Characters: Bruce Banner, Natasha Romanov
Pairing(s): Bruce & Natasha, Clint/Natasha
Genre: Mostly Gen, 5 Things
Disclaimer: Not mine.
Summary: Five observations Bruce has about living with Natasha in Stark Tower with the rest of the Avengers.
1) He knows way too much about her sex life.
Natasha is just as stealthy about sex as she is about everything else.
Clint is not. Clint is the opposite. Clint is extremely vocal, and also likes to narrate, so anything Natasha is doing to him – or him to her not with his mouth – becomes public knowledge to anyone in the whole damn building.
Thor threatens to have Clint’s mouth sewn shut. Tony pretends like he can’t soundproof the walls, which is total bullshit, because he likes listening. Steve refuses to discuss it and turns bright red whenever anyone mentions it or anything remotely sexual.
Natasha ignores them all.
Bruce buys Natasha a ball gag and hands it to her in plain view of the others. Steve and Thor don’t know what it is, but Tony totally does. He probably sprains something not telling them, and his eyes are enormous.
“Thanks,” Natasha says, neutrally, while Clint squints at him.
“Very welcome,” Bruce says, and walks off.
2) Natasha sleepwalks.
She didn’t start doing it until a couple months after moving into Stark Tower. She usually just walks around for a little bit, sometimes falling asleep in random places. Tony knows for a while based on security cameras, but eventually they all encounter her in the middle of the night.
It’s very unsettling to have an unconscious assassin wandering around like that. Her pajamas are black, just like her typical killing-the-enemy suit. No one is willing to wake her besides JARVIS, and that just seems a little mean.
One night Tony – or more likely a programmed robot without any sense of preservation – successfully puts a bell on her. Bruce hears it jingling outside his lab, and he thinks it’s a cat – totally what Tony had in mind – when he goes to check it out.
It’s not a cat, it’s a deadly sleeping woman stumbling around the hallway. Bruce watches her, unsure what to do. Clint sleeps like the dead and he’s not actually any safer trying to wake her.
Eventually, Natasha decides the corner is a nice bed and slides right down the wall. It’s very strange to see her like this, face slack and body limp. He wouldn’t say she looks peaceful, but the edge she brandishes the rest of the time is absent.
Bruce gets a blanket from his lab and very lightly tucks it over her.
Natasha murmurs when the fabric brushes over her, and he freezes.
“Good night,” he says, in the shitty Russian he learned traveling to Chechnya. “Stay a sleep. Sleep. ”
In the morning, Natasha is gone and he finds his lab blanket carefully folded up by the door.
3) Natasha is not very helpful in the kitchen.
A lot of the Avengers can actually cook. Tony, because he likes building cuisine-related gadgets, even if half of them have repeatedly set the kitchen on fire. Steve doesn’t understand the microwave, or he’s afraid of it. Tony has scarred him with all the flame-throwing robots. Clint likes the precision of baking. Thor just likes eating.
Bruce finds cooking relaxing. Anything he makes gets eaten, no matter how it turns out. Thor takes care of that.
Natasha does not cook much. She has a few odd pre-packaged containers with Cyrillic lettering on them that she throws in boiling water. Tony says it’s instant borscht, because he thinks taunting Natasha near boiling water is wise.
But whenever anyone is baking, Natasha finds her way into the kitchen. At first, it was just with Clint, but she gradually started doing it with everyone else. Even with Bruce, which was a disaster the first few times because her rigid, tense posture made him tense and distracted, and then the oven was on fire, and one of Tony’s fire-suppressant foam robots drenched the entire kitchen.
But she actually came back, after that. Maybe because the Other Guy didn’t show and it was just the two of them covered in foam.
They don’t talk or anything. It’s Bruce’s baking time and Natasha’s silent watching time. She just wants to be the first to lick the batter off the beater, and he’s okay with that.
4) Natasha’s human.
It’s easy to forget, since she typically back flips out of danger and then kicks it in the face.
She doesn’t have an Iron Man suit, Captain America’s serum in her veins, or Thor’s…Godliness. She doesn’t keep Hawkeye’s distance from the battle. And she definitely doesn’t have The Other Guy.
Bruce doesn’t actually see what happens. For all he knows, it could have been him. He’s changed back, trying to get a handle on the adrenaline crash that always follows. Also trying to locate clothes, because it’s winter and chilly. Tony never, ever gets tired of bringing up the naked thing.
So he’s looking for a shirt, when he finds Natasha sprawled on the ground. She’s face down and still. For a moment, Bruce is almost gone and the Other Guy is almost back. It’s touchy, but Bruce shakes him off.
He kneels down and touches her neck, finds her pulse strumming under her fingers.
“Mmm,” Natasha says, waking under his touch. She tries to push herself up, which is an odd reaction. She should have tried to shoot him.
“It’s me,” he says. “Don’t move. You could have a spinal-”
“Don’t,” she says, and is already up on her knees.
Bruce grabs her before she pitches forward on to her face.
She’s basically limp in his hands, and she lets him lift her up off the ground. He gets one hand under her knees and the other around her lower back.
Natasha mumbles something into his chest, where her head is resting. He doesn’t hear her, but assumes it’s some kind of threat, since she’d never let him touch her like this. Bruce can see a goose egg and river of blood flowing down the back of her scalp.
“You have a concussion,” he tells her, and she peers up at him with bleary eyes. “No more fighting today, okay?”
Slowly, Natasha’s arms rise from her sides. Bruce tenses, prepared to very gently and very quickly put her back on the ground if she starts strangling him.
Instead, she drapes her arms clumsily around his neck and holds on, clinging.
“We won’t tell anyone about this,” he promises, and starts walking. He feels Natasha nod against his chest.
5) Natasha is his friend.
Stark Tower is a little insane over the end of the year holidays. They’re trying to teach Thor about Midgardian celebrations, but they’re letting Tony do way too much of the talking.
Tony also puts up mistletoe in every damn doorway and the elevators.
The end result of this is that Bruce gets frenched by the God of Thunder five times in one day.
He’s in the elevator after the fifth time, trying to figure out if it’s worth asking him to stop, and also mentioning that no holy book anywhere says anything about tongue, Tony is a lying liar. Steve is going to have a heart attack the serum can’t handle, and then Fury will be mad.
Natasha steps into the elevator on its way to his lab’s floor. She takes one look at his face, which probably has beard burn among other evidence.
“Hey,” Bruce says, and shoves his hands in his pockets the way he always does around her.
Natasha nods, then presses a button for her floor. “Thor?” she asks, as the elevator climbs.
“Yep.” He exhales. “Five times.”
This gets a head tilt and tiny fluctuations of her facial muscles that might actually be a smile.
“Nine,” she answers.
He turns to her. “That might be a little excessive. Did you try kicking him?”
“No.” Natasha looks up at the surveillance camera blinking down at them. “He doesn’t deserve it. Stark does.”
“Give him one from me,” Bruce says. And he means “a kick to the face” from Natasha to Tony, but suddenly Natasha is leaning up to him.
“Huh?” he says, smartly.
She’s shorter than him, but somehow gets their lips level and lined up. And then she kisses him. Just a gentle peck, nothing like Thor’s earlier plundering.
The elevator dings for her floor. Natasha steps back, then out and through the doors.
“Good night, Bruce,” she says, and the doors close behind her.
~Please Feed the Author~