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"Please Come Back Inside."

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Steve is a heavy sleeper, but he knows when he’s alone in bed.  If he is honest with himself, he hasn’t slept well since the battle with Thanos and his army.  That battle did a number on him.  It did a number on everyone.  A part of him thinks that it would have been less of a waste of time to simply go back to the day of the Battle of Wakanda and simply tell Thor to go for the head.  But what would that have meant when he, or whoever made the trip, got back to the present?

Steve has had to force himself to quit playing the “What if” game over and over again.  It’s all over; his wife and son are safe and sound.  James might still be a two-year-old, but that’s better than him being a pitiful jar of dust that he and Natasha kept in his old nursery as a shrine. 

That nursery is gone.  The Avengers complex is in ruins.  Avengers like him and Natasha are homeless for the moment.  Pepper insisted on letting her pay for lodging in a hotel until they can get themselves a home.  He and Natasha have been looking at houses.  He has his sights on a country house in Ohio.  It might be nice to go back to his childhood home of Brooklyn, but after everything, he thinks it’s best for his family to start a new life somewhere fresh. 

The hotel isn’t so bad.  Full time room service, king-sized bed, a crib for James, a sixty-inch hologram TV, a large bathroom…really it has most of the materials of a home.  Yet it is no home.  That’s all he can say before Natasha threatens to hit him with a sandwich for telling her to look on the bright side. 

But where is Natasha?

He finally opens his eyes and sees that he is indeed alone in bed.  With effort, he sits up and rubs his eyes.  When he looks out the window, he sees that it’s raining quite heavily outside.  The baby monitor hasn’t sounded, so he can only assume his son is fast asleep.  Or is Natasha holding their son?

He swings his legs off the bed and grabs a hoodie off the chair to throw on over his T-shirt.  He tiptoes out of the bedroom and enters the den.  The couches are fancier, more expensive for his taste but at least they are comfortable.  James’s crib is set up behind the largest couch.  He walks over to it and sees his red-haired son sleeping soundly.

A flash of lightning illuminates the room, followed by a loud crash of thunder and the boy doesn’t even stir.  “You sure have become a heavy sleeper, son,” Steve marvels.  He kisses his hand and rubs his son’s forehead affectionately.  “Sweet dreams, my boy.”  He wonders what exactly two-year-olds dream about.  Natasha might tell him that James’s brain isn’t big enough to process dreams just yet. 

He turns around and looks out the sliding glass door leading out onto the patio.  Being on a first floor suite, theirs came with a patio. There indeed, he sees his wife.  She’s sitting on bench with a raincoat on, but her head is exposed to the rain.  No doubt, her pants are probably soaked through as well. 

Steve sighs and heads towards the door.  He unlatches the door and slides it open.  Immediately, his skin starts to prickle with the moist chill of the rain.  The fuchsia sky hangs heavily in the air, like a ceiling that is lower than it’s supposed to be.  Upon the sight of jagged white streaks of lightning, a memory flashes through his mind.  It reminds him of a time in his childhood when he would cower into the arms of his mother on a stormy night in Brooklyn.  Each flash of lightning illuminates the otherwise quiet town. 

He and Natasha didn’t want a hotel room in the middle of New York.  It’s just a hotel upstate within an hour’s drive of the Starks’ forest home.

Not caring about getting wet, he goes out into the rain and approaches his wife.  Five seconds later or so, he is completely soaked. 

He sits next to Natasha without invitation. 

“Can’t sleep?” he asks. 

Natasha doesn’t respond immediately.  “I could ask you the same question.  Go back to bed, Steve.”

“Not without you, babe,” Steve counters.  “Let’s go inside before we both get sick.”

Natasha finally looks up at him.  Her braid is plastered to her skin and the redness of her hair looks crimson in the lackluster light.  Her blonde streaks are beginning to fade, but they are still there.  He likes those streaks of hers, but if he’s honest with himself, he misses her fiery hair.  Perhaps having their son back in their lives has inspired her to return her hair to its natural redness.

As for her face, he wishes that there was something he could do about the forlorn look in her eyes. 

“Can we get sick?” she challenges.  “In all the years we’ve known each other, have either of us ever even caught a cold?”

“No, but we can still be cold,” Steve points out.  “Please, just come back inside.  I’ll run you a hot bath.”

Natasha looks away stubbornly.

“I join you if you want,” Steve offers, maybe a little more desperately than he intended.  However, by the quirk of Natasha’s brow as she returns her gaze to him, he feels satisfied. 

“Will I be in your lap or you in mine?” she asks coyly. 

That might be one part that he has no control over.  She is the boss.  “I’ll let you decide.”  He rises to his feet and offers his hand.  She accepts it as she follows suit and together they walk back inside, out of the miserable rain. 

“I’ll get the bath going,” Steve offers.

“No,” protests Natasha.  “I’ll start the bath.  You just worry about getting out of those pajamas.”  She grabs his butt for emphasis and he has to swallow down his moan so as to not disturb their son.  Steve watches her until she disappears around the corner towards the bathroom.  Sighing to himself, he eventually walks in the same direction, but towards the bedroom.  He struggles out of his wet clothes and puts them into the hamper.  He then replaces his wet clothes with a bathrobe from the closet.  Before he shuts the closet door, a chest catches his eye.

Crouching down, he opens that chest.  Within are what some might consider junk; just ruined remains from a burned down home.  But Steve loves them anyway.  The first thing he picks up is a framed photograph of him and his family the day after they brought James out of the infirmary.  Steve remembers that James urinated on Tony.  After Tony went and changed his clothes, he brought out champagne and they all toasted to James Rogers. 

Sam managed to sneak a photo of them as Steve planted a kiss on his wife’s head.  He later gave them the photo giftwrapped.  It was actually Natasha who wanted to keep the photo.  Up until that point, she had never really been one for photographs.  Having James in their lives must have changed that.  From that point on, they started keeping a photo album. 

Updates for that photo album came to an abrupt halt with the Accords and Steve and Natasha were forced to go on the run.  Being a fugitive of the law as well, Clint was barred from being James’s legal guardian, so Tony and Pepper took up the responsibility of caring for him. 

Steve thought that Tony had every reason not to do that one favor for him after their fallout, but he did.  Tony wasn’t going to let James go into the system.  Since then, Pepper had been the one to fill the photo album with more photos of James right up until the Snap.  At that point, Tony had sent James to Clint’s farm to up him out of harm’s way.  Sadly, James ended up a victim of the Snap as well.

Having set down the framed photo, Steve picks up that photo album, or what’s left of it anyway.  He can still make out the words “Moments of James” in Russian.  Some of the photos are intact; others are burnt or faded beyond recognition.  One thing that he did save which is not in the box is the stuffed bear he got for James not long after he was born.

Natasha joked that that stuffed bear has battle scars now.  Comrade Teddy is missing an eye and his left arm and leg are singed. He’s a survivor. 

Another thing Steve managed to find in the rubble was Natasha’s ballet shoes.  He gathered the items before he returned all the Infinity Stones to their proper timeline.  He was convinced he would never see his wife again; the ballet shoes were going to be his link to her.  One thing he appreciates is that even though they grew distant some time over the years, she never took off her wedding rings. 

Speaking of which, he did manage to find his and Nat’s wedding album.  That, surprisingly, survived the wreckage without a scratch.  Probably because it was a memory that they chose to keep locked away in a safe.  That safe also included their marriage certificate as well as James’s birth certificate. 

They still want to keep their son’s existence as secret as possible, but they also want proof of his existence all the same.  Their son’s records are simply not in any computer. Computers can be hacked.  They weren’t going to risk that.  They printed one physical copy and then they put the proof of their marriage and their son, as well as other important information that they would rather keep hidden, onto a flash drive and then deleted all other traces. 

That flash drive itself was hidden in a safe place that only the Avengers knew about.  They hid it inside a desk clock in Pepper’s office at Stark Industries. 

Steve looks back at the ballet shoes.  They are quite battered.  Come to think of it, he and Natasha didn’t even celebrate their anniversary this year.  In fact, they haven’t celebrated their anniversaries much at all since the Snap.  Their anniversary and their son’s birthday are only a month apart from each other and it was all just too sad for them. 

He doesn’t know about her, but he has five gifts that he wants to give her.  One of them will be a new pair of ballet shoes. 

He should stop thinking about that now.  His wife is waiting for him and her patience is not infinite, especially when it comes to her desire for him.  He should know; he feels that same impatience for her. 

He carefully sets all the items back in the chest and closes it quietly.  Then, he rises to his feet and heads for the bathroom.  Even before he enters, he can see the glow of candlelight beneath the doorway.  Indeed, as he enters he sees candles the back of the toilet, and on a shelf near the bathtub where they normally kept their sets of shampoo and body wash. 

In the bathtub, beneath a sea of bubbles and steam, is Natasha.  He thought she might have been lounging, but instead she’s huddled in the middle of it.  In stark contrast to the romantic vibe she has created, she looks about the same as she did in the middle of the rain.  Only this time, she has no clothes on.

She glances up slightly.  A small laugh escapes her throat, but it sounds more like a choke.  “I thought I’d recreate a part of our honeymoon,” she explains gently.  “Do you remember?”

What kind of silly question is that?  Steve wonders.  “Our honeymoon in that lakeside cabin in the Russian wilderness?” he asks with a smile.  “How could I forget?”

Natasha lets out that same choked laugh again.  “You’re right.  Sorry I asked.”

Steve sighs again and closes the distance between them.  He removes his bathrobe and carefully steps into the bathtub behind her.  A sharp inhale through his nose sounds as his skin welcomes the warm, but not too scalding water.  As he settles behind Natasha, he reaches out and links his arms around her, his hands gently molding her breasts.  Gradually, she eases into his touch before leaning back against him. 

Her head now nestled against his shoulder he can’t help breathing in the scent of her.  His nostrils flood with the lavender oils she must have put into their bath.  If Natasha notices how much his groin is betraying his desire for her, she makes no show of it. 

“Are you still having nightmares?” he asks, rubbing circles in the pliant flesh of her breasts and belly. 

Natasha nods numbly.  “Every time I close my eyes, I’m back on Vormir.  I feel like I’m falling.  Dying and coming back is not normal, Steve.”

“I did the same once if you remember,” Steve tries. 

Natasha scoffs.  “If you’re talking about crashing that plane into the ice in World War Two, that hardly counts.  You didn’t die; you simply froze.  I still remember the impact, Steve.  Sometimes I find myself having to remember that my body isn’t broken anymore.”  She cranes her neck and looks Steve in the eye.  Her eyes are sparkling with tears as she says, “Steve I thought I’d never see you or our son ever again.”

Steve holds her tight to himself.  She grips his hands for dear life as she starts sobbing. 

“It was just a dream,” he reminds her soothingly.  “You’re with your family.  I can’t stop you from having nightmares, but you know the good thing about nightmares?”

“What good could there possibly be when it comes to nightmares, Steve?” demands Natasha.

Steve places a hand under her chin and gently forces her to look him in the eye again.  “All you have to do is open your eyes and I’ll be right next to you.”  He leans in and presses his lips to hers.  His kiss is gentle, chaste even.  However, that doesn’t seem to be enough for her. 

She reaches up with one of her arms and grasps the back of his head.  She holds his face to hers as she deepens the kiss.  He responds in kind, allowing her tongue access into his mouth and letting her dominate the kiss for a moment. 

The water sloshes around them as Natasha twists around so that she is facing him.  Straddling his hips, Natasha glances down at him.  Steve meets her eye and nearly gulps at the sight of her.  Though fresh tears continue to spill from her eyes, there is a hunger in them.  Plus he would be damned if he could ignore the droplets of water and suds running down the length of her front.  Seeing the wetness of her breasts makes him harder than he already is. 

Before he can react, Natasha is grabbing the back of his head again and she smashes her breasts against his face.  He takes the hint and his tongue slides out, tasting the flawless skin of her breasts.  His own hands wrap around her, holding her to him as his mouth finds one of her nipples.  Natasha whines above him as he takes her left nipple into his mouth, alternating between sucking it and softly taking it between his teeth. 

It’s been too long since they have done this.  Yet, he knows her whole body.  He knows just how to make her whine and moan. 

As he switches to her other breast, he feels her sliding against his hips, but not quite meeting his painful erection.  Eventually, she yanks his head away from her breasts and forces him to look up at her.  The hunger that was in her eyes before have darkened into something a bit more animalistic.

She crashes her lips down onto his again and kisses him fiercely.  He kisses her right back, not allowing her to dominate the kiss this time.  Their tongues clash together, sliding against each other and darting to and fro between their mouths.  Elsewhere, he feels a hand slide against his chest before sliding down, down, down until it meets his throbbing erection.  A startled moan escapes his lips as that hand wraps around his erection and slides up and down a little bit. 

Finally, Natasha pulls away from him.  He only has a second to see her swollen lips before she places them against his ear.  “Steve,” she whispers hoarsely.  “Make love to me, please.” 

Steve groans as her grip around him tights.  “Well, since you asked so nicely,” he says through his teeth.  The world becomes a blur as he lifts her into his arms.  Her legs seem to wrap around his middle of their own accord as he steps out of the bathtub.  Her lips are all over his face, his neck, everywhere her lips can reach as he walks them out of the bathroom.

By some miracle, he manages to get them to the bedroom.  They stumble onto the king-sized bed and once again they are kissing each other like they want to devour each other.  Her hands are all over his back, her fingernails drawing invisible patterns into his skin.  The feel of her hands against him excites him. 

There’s not woman in the world he would rather have touching him.  He lets a hand trace a line from her collarbone, down to her breasts where he takes a nipple between his fingers and pinches it a little.  It drives another whimper out of Natasha, but he’s not quite where he wants to be just yet.  His fingers continue their path down the length of her body, stopping briefly to trace the scar on her belly left by Bucky all those years ago, before he starts to feel the wetness of her that has nothing to do with their bath. 

She shifts beneath him as he slides a finger into her.  She still shaves that area, so there is little barrier between his fingers and her intimate flesh.  A loud moan escapes her lips as he adds a second finger and begins to play around with her sex.  He stifles that moan with a kiss of his own.  They didn’t need to wake their son. 

Finally, he lifts himself off her and he gazes down at her.  A flash of lightning and he can see her feature darkened with desire, her hair fanned out around her head on the bedsheets.  With a glint in his eye, he places the index finger of his free hand to his lips and shushes her seductively. 

Natasha purrs in respond as she spreads her legs wider.  He bends down to her again and starts to kiss his way down her body, following the same trail as his fingers before.  He stops to offer her breasts plenty of attention.  He feels her body arch under him as she tries to press herself deeper into his mouth.  That’s not where either of them want his mouth to be, so eventually he abandons her breasts, sliding his tongue out to leave a wet trail down the length of her belly.

When his tongue reaches her silken folds, Natasha lets out a long, though suppressed moan.  Teasingly, Steve’s tongue darts out against her intimate flesh, noting the taste of her.  He finally removes his fingers from her grasps her hips with both hands as his tongue delves into her.  He feels her legs wrap around his head as another moan escapes Natasha’s lips.  He smiles to himself as she takes a pillow and bites into it to suppress her building moans. 

The Black Widow is entirely at his mercy.  That’s enough to make a humble man very smug.

He might have teased her more, but it’s been too long since he has touched her.  He finds her clit and grazes it with his teeth.  She squeals into the pillow and he can see she is fighting not to let her arms flail in ecstasy. He can’t help himself anymore.  He licks her once…and stops. 

It’s not long before a growl escapes Natasha’s lips and she removes the pillow from her teeth and scowls at him.  “Don’t you dare neglect me, Rogers,” she warns. 

Steve gapes with mock terror.  “Neglect you?” he repeats.  For emphasis, he puts his tongue on her again…then stops after a few seconds. 

“Stop…fucking…teasing me!” his wife growls. 

“Uh-uh, language, Mrs. Rogers,” he teases, stroking her intimate sex again. 

“You—ahh—swear—and we both—know it,” Natasha manages, biting into the pillow again.  Her moans are building up again and he can tell that she is close. 

That’s it, he mentally projects into her.  Come for me, Black Widow.  As if she heard his silent command, a muffled screech goes into the pillow as his tongue and face splash with her heated essence. He continues to lick her until she comes down from her high, her legs shaking spasmodically around him. 

Finally, he lifts up off of her and he stares at her in the darkness.  She’s dazed, he can tell.  Her breasts swelling as her chest heaves with breath.  A mischievous smile spreads across her lips and before he can register what has happened, she has him pinned to the bed.  She is straddling his midsection, the ends of her hair tickling his chest as she gazes down at him.

Her lips crash against his and he swallows her moans as she tastes herself on his lips.  The kiss is sloppy and fiery.  There’s nothing elegant about the way she is kissing him.  All she seems to care about is the feel of her lips against his.  Soon, she lifts her face from his and grabs his wrists pinning them to the bed. 

Steve can’t think of anything more attractive than a naked Natasha straddling him with her hair a tangled mess around her.  Her nipples are veiled by the ends of her hair and in the darkness they enhance the visibility of her heavy breathing.  “My turn,” she whispers seductively. 

She leans down to him again and her lips graze his chest.  Her lips find one of his nipples and her tongue sliding around it a bit before sucking it between her teeth with a loud kiss.  Steve’s eyes roll back into his head as a moan finds its way out of his throat. 

“Eyes on me, handsome,” Natasha commands softly. 

Steve does his best to keep his eyes on her as her lips continue their trail down his body.  When her lips reach the tip of his swollen erection, his mind goes blank.  The only thing his brain can comprehend is the feel of his wife’s lips on him. 

Her tongue slides out, tracing the length of his member.  Her tongue is very gentle—annoying gentle.  His toes curl in on themselves as her lips reach the base of him. 

“Oh, God,” he gasps as she sucks one of his testicles into her hot mouth, giving it a shallow tug.  He tries his best to keep his eyes on her, but the sensations she is giving him are blinding his senses.

She releases him and then nibbles her way back up to the tip of his erection.  She takes him in her hand and licks him all over.  Her tongue slides up the length of him before stopping at the tip, her tongue swirling around him in endless circles.  Eventually, she opens her lips and lets him slide into her mouth. 

Steve’s head hits the sheets hard as she sucks him into her mouth.  Absently, one of his hands is reaching down to tuck her hair around the side of her neck.  Another moan comes out of him as she presses her tongue against him within the tight confines of her mouth.

His toes curl up painfully as one of her hands starts to fondle his testicles at the base of him.  His senses go haywire as she starts a combination of bobbing up and down on him and fondling his testicles.  

It feels so good and it’s driving him insane.  

But that’s not how he wants to come for her.  He reaches down with his other hand and lifts her off of him. 

“Steve, why…?” Natasha’s indignant question is cut short as he pulls her up towards him and rolls them around so that he’s on top. 

“Your request was for me to make love to you,” he explains simply, reaching down to guide himself towards her entrance. “I intend to fulfill that request.”  He slides into her easily, and they both moan loudly.  Her walls clamp down on him with the force of a vice, a very delicious vice. 

Her legs wrap around his waist as he begins to move within her.  The feel of being completely surrounded by her is just too intoxicating.  Other women may have caught his eye, other women might have piqued his desire, but none of them were Natasha.  None of them will ever be Natasha.     

“Missed this…missed you…so much,” Natasha mumbles between moans and kisses.  She rolls them over and they fall off the bed. 

Steve groans at the impact which only makes her giggle.  She throws her head back as she impales herself on him, rising up and down on him rapidly.  Her breasts bounce in the most delicious way as she moves on him.  In response, Steve reaches between them and toys with the bundle of nerves near her entrance.  With his other hand, he reaches up and fondles one of her nipples. 

She whines at his touch. 

He can feel it building.  He can feel his orgasm as it threatens to sweep over, consuming them both.  When it does, they both squeal in delight.  Stars dance at the edge of Steve vision as Natasha collapses on him.  Steve strokes her hair as she reaches up to claim his lips in a lazy kiss. 

“I love you,” she whispers. 

“I love you too,” Steve echoes. 

“But can you do me a huge favor?”


“Don’t let it be another four years before you make love to me again.  Bad things might happen.”

Steve chuckles.  “I think that won’t be a problem.”

“Good, now be a good husband and go blow out those candles in the bathroom.  Then come right back, understood?”

He loves the authoritarian tone of her voice.  “Yes, ma’am.”