Continuity: The Avengers (2012)
Genres: Angst, Drama, Fluff, Holiday, Romance, Slice-Of-Life
Summary: Love is a precious gift.
Date Of Completion: December 14, 2014
Date Of Posting: December 21, 2014
Disclaimer: I don’t own ‘em, Marvel and Paramount do, more’s the pity.
Word Count: 873
Feedback welcome and appreciated.
The entire series can be found here.
What little girl
"What Little Girls
Are Made Of"
Moonlight streamed in through the large glass windows of the bedroom, illuminating the entwined figures on the bed. Pepper was peacefully asleep, her arm flung around Natasha as she spooned her under the covers.
Natasha was awake. She gazed at the moonlit silvery patterns on the rug as she listened to her lover’s breathing. She was relaxed, a state of being rare in her past but becoming more frequent lately. She could look around this room and not see threats everywhere.
Stars twinkled in the reflection of a large mirror on the far wall. Natasha watched the stars, slipping out of bed. Pepper stirred slightly, then settled back down comfortably into dreamland. Natasha smiled with affection as she put on her robe and slippers. She left the room and went down the stairs to the common floor.
Pepper woke, groping for Natasha. Empty space was all she found. She smoothed the pillow and got out of bed, pulling on a robe and finding her slippers.
She padded down the hall. Natasha was not in any of their private rooms. She took the stairs down to the common floor.
Natasha was sitting cross-legged in front of the giant Christmas tree in the living room. Moonlight set the tree sparkling as the tinsel and ornaments were a fairytale confection to the delighted eye. Pepper loved Christmas trees and had enjoyed decorating it with the Avengers. Presents were piled up beneath the branches.
“Christmas was not celebrated in Russia when I was a child. Not the thing to do in Soviet Union.”
Pepper noticed the unconscious slip into a strong Russian accent. She listened as Natasha continued.
“I did see a Christmas tree once. The one memory I have of my parents is when I was very little, just before they took me away to Red Room. We attended The Nutcracker ballet. I think that is the night I decided I wanted to become a ballerina. Or a princess. The Czarina of all the Russias!”
Natasha gestured theatrically. Pepper still stood behind her, tears streaming down her face. Natasha lowered her arm and rested her chin on her propped-up hand. Her trust in Pepper was complete, allowing the other woman to stand behind her unprotected back.
“You’re saying you like girly things?” Pepper asked lightly, trying to keep her voice steady.
“Of course.” Natasha pulled her fuzzy pink robe closer and wiggled her feet in their pink bunny slippers. “You got this robe and slippers for me. You know my heart.”
“Oh, yes.” Pepper glanced down at her green watersilk robe and delicate matching slippers. Was she really so sophisticated? Or was she a fuzzy robe and bunny slipper kind of woman, too?
Pepper dropped to her knees and wrapped her arms around Natasha’s shoulders. “I love you,” she said with every ounce of her being.
Natasha touched her hand and rested her head on Pepper’s arm.
The evening gathering went well, the Avengers enjoying the holiday without an interruption. Jane, Darcy and Erik had arrived and joined the happy group. There had been plentiful food and drink and Christmas songs playing through the speakers, courtesy of JARVIS.
Natasha was grateful that the party had broken up early as everyone planned to get up early the next morning. Breakfast would be enjoyed and presents exchanged.
Let’s hope the supervillains are taking the day off tomorrow.
She started undressing, removing her black sequined top as Pepper entered their bedroom. “Great party, dahlink.”
“Thank you.” Pepper went into the walk-in closet as Natasha kicked off her shoes and removed her pants, draping them over a chair. “Get me my robe, will you?”
Pepper tossed it to her. Natasha caught it and removed her jet earrings and bracelets. “I’m going to take a nice, hot shower.”
“Wait a minute.” Pepper took a box off the top shelf. “Open this first.”
Natasha put on her robe. “I thought we were opening presents tomorrow.”
“We are, but I prefer you don’t open this one in front of everyone.”
Curious, Natasha unwrapped the silver package with its blue bow and opened the lid. Her eyes widened and she lifted out a diamond tiara.
“All for you, my beautiful Czarina.”
Tears shimmered in Natasha’s eyes. She held the tiara like the precious gift that it was, the glitter attracting her gaze.
“Put it on.”
Natasha carefully put the tiara on her head. Pepper took her hand and led her to the full-length mirror. Natasha saw herself and Pepper smiled. She had never seen her Beloved look so beautiful.
“It’s beautiful,” Natasha said, unconsciously echoing her lover. She loosed a torrent of Russian, which meant her emotions were at their deepest.
Pepper took hold of Natasha’s shoulders and kissed her hair. The tiara sparkled and Natasha touched it with awe in her blue eyes.
“I love you,” she whispered.
Pepper hugged her as Natasha returned the hug fiercely. She was a ballerina, a princess, the Czarina of all the Russias.
Most of all, she was Pepper Potts’ Beloved, and that was the best of all.