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More than a mission ▹ Iron Widow

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Natasha Romanoff ran fast through one of the many gears of the Helicarrier. She stared at the display of her smartphone, on which Director Fury's message was still flashing. Completely headless, she rushed around and ran straight into another person.

The redhead raised her head and looked right into the face of a man she knew so well. "Clint," she said a little surprised: "Sorry. I didn't saw you." "That's something completely new," Clint laughed: "What's bothering you so much that you don't notice me?" She sighed and held the cell phone in his face: "Fury. Who else?"

"Oh God, what have you done again that he wants you to come into his office?" he joked, but a breath of real interest resonated in his voice. "Nothing at all", Natasha gave him an offended look: "I never do anything bad". "Sure", he rolled his eyes laughing: "As for that, we both know that it's not quite true." Caught!, Natasha cursed inwardly.

"It doesn't matter," she tried to distract quickly from the subject: "I really have to go now, otherwise Fury's anger at me will only be bigger than it probably already is." Then he nodded and she could feel his gaze resting on her as she continued to approach Fury's office.

Arriving at his door, she took a deep breath. Although she really had no idea what she has done, but she knew it probably wouldn't end well for her.

When an "In" sounded, she pushed down the handle and entered. Nick Fury sat at his desk. As soon as she opened the door, he lifted his head and looked directly at her. But strangely enough, his facial expression didn't darken against her expectations. Instead, he nods her to sit down: "Agent Romanoff. Here you are at last. Have a seat. We have something to talk about."

Then she slowly let herself sink onto one of the two chairs in front of Fury's desk and looked at him expectantly: "All right, why am I here?" As she spoke, she skilfully overplayed her nervousness. "I have a new mission for you," he told her soberly, moving a little back on his chair to open the top drawer of his table. He pulled out a light brown folder and placed it on the tabletop in front of her.

She really hadn't expected a new mission, since he usually announced something like this before meeting her. That's why this news came as a surprise to her, but somehow she was happy. A real mission was in urgent need of her again. That was just something different than the boring one-day missions. And maybe it would become quite interesting.

She stretched out her hand to the file and pulled it over the table to herself. Then she opened it and took a look at the first paper. "I should be a S.H.I.E.L.D. Shadow?" "Exactly," confirmed the man whose left eye had a black eye patch: "You're supposed to work at Stark Industries indefinitely to have a look at Tony Stark and end up writing a review of him." Her eyebrows contracted slightly. What the hell did he want with an evaluation of this man?

"It might do you good to ask fewer questions, Romanoff," he advised her, but she could read in his face that he didn't blame her for being curious. Instead, it almost seemed as if he appreciated that she wasn't just naively following his orders. Although at times he probably cursed her for being so stubborn and sometimes even ignoring his words because she thought it was better. "Well, it's too late for that," she simply replied and tilted her head slightly: "Now I've already asked the question."

"Didn't you see the news?" Fury actually added to a statement Natasha hadn't reckoned with at all: "He announced live on television all over the world that he was Iron Man. I want to know if he could become a problem." She looked at the man in front of her for a few seconds and grinded thoughtfully with her jaws: "They want to see if he has potential, don't they?

But this time Fury blocked: "You have to leave a few things to me, Romanoff". But for her his words sounded like a clear 'yes', which she didn't tell him. Instead she just nodded: "Of course, Director Fury." "Do you accept the assignment?" he drilled to finally get his answer.

She nodded without even a second's hesitation: "Yes, I suppose so." But if she had known at that time what this job would hold for her, she probably would have thought longer about it.

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The elevator almost moved at a snail's pace and Natasha couldn't hide the fact that it was clearly too slow for her. She wasn't keen on meeting Tony Stark and playing the lawyer for him, but that was part of her mission and she had to go through it.

She drove her hand through the red hair that fell over her shoulders in long curls and sighed. This mission was actually just the change she needed again and she had always loved to be on the road as a shadow for S.H.I.E.L.D.. But what she had heard from Stark didn't make her leap for joy.

With her fingers she stroked the fabric of her black pencil skirt to smooth it out before stepping out of the cabin. In the meantime the elevator had come to a halt and the doors had slipped apart.

She quickly checked the folder that Fury had given her a few days ago for the meeting with Stark and hoped to understand why he had ordered her to come to him at all. However, she didn't get any smarter from the large number of papers than she did without them, which meant that she would probably only receive the rest of the information from Stark personally.

That's why she purposefully walked towards the small hallway that was supposed to bring her to Stark and tried to put on as neutral a facial expression as possible. She was professional when it came to missions and that's exactly what she wanted to radiate. So she pressed her shoulders back a little to immediately give a more confident impression and raised her chin slightly. Not far enough to seem arrogant, but just enough not to seem afraid of the man. For this you clearly needed more than an arrogant millionaire.

As soon as she arrived at the end of the white corridor, she entered a room with a long window front. In the middle there was a wide ring, from which two men came out at that moment.

It took a few seconds, but then she noticed that one of them was Tony Stark and thus her target. At least he hadn't been hard to find. The two, however, did not seem to have noticed the young woman yet, so she slowly approached. The other man became aware of her and followed her with his gaze. Tony became a little surprised by the fact that the second man stopped interacting with him and stared over his shoulder at Natasha and turned around to see for himself what captivated the slightly thicker man.

"Oh, you must be the lawyer," he gave her a suspicious smile, which she immediately saw through. She knew how to lay masks over her face to hide her own emotions from others, and could identify his expression as one. But she, too, smiled friendly and approached him: "Yes, you had asked me to file a patent on one of your latest inventions, Mr. Stark," she recalled, stopping in front of the two men.

"My name is Happy Hogan," imagined the man she had never known before, holding out his right hand. He grabbed her without hesitation: "Natalie Rushman, nice to meet you. I've heard a lot about you." Of course, that wasn't entirely true, since I had only been working here for a few days, but I hadn't let myself be deprived of a little 'smart thinking' beforehand. There was nothing wrong with that, she tried to convince herself. That's what all agents did to be prepared for their missions.

She could really feel how her words made his cheeks hot and had to stifle a grin with all her might. Stark's head of security seemed easy to wrap around his finger, but he still made a friendly impression. Quite different from Stark, of whom she had hardly heard from the other agents before. But how could he have been so stupid as to reveal to the public on TV that he was Iron Man? This information had already been enough to make her think he was an arrogant asshole.

"Thank you for coming, Miss Rushman," Stark joined in again, and his tone surprisingly told her that he didn't seem to like the conversation between his friend and her. Her eyebrows raised slightly in a questioning expression, but she tried to hide that sudden emotion and smiled a fake smile instead: "For you, I always have time, Mr. Stark."

"That's exactly what I wanted to hear," suddenly his rigidly upfacing corner of his mouth turned into something you couldn't call anything other than a real, amused smile: "But now, no more formalities." As he said that sentence, she had the impression that he was looking past her to Happy.

"Of course, Mister Stark," she approached him closer and opened the folder in her arm again, but this time all the way to find the papers. Relieved that she had found the right ones, she pulled them out and passed them on to the man. Had she been undisturbed, she would have had to take a deep breath at that moment. She was not allowed to fly up on her first meeting and certainly not, because of her own inability. This thought had weighed heavily on her shoulders ever since she had entered the giant monster of a building in the morning and had initially forced her into a slightly squeezed posture. But now all this was no longer allowed to count. Now all that mattered was that she did her part well and everything else didn't matter for a moment.

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While Tony pressed his thumb on the corresponding field on the form, he probably let his gaze wander over them for the hundredth time. You might think he was trying to memorize every inch of her beautiful body. Every smallest curve, the shape of her body, the swing of her hips and every inch of her face.

"Would that be all, Mr. Stark?" she asked as soon as he had left his fingerprint on the paper. "Yes, for now that's all for now," he confirmed with a smile. He liked her presence, but unfortunately he had no good reason to keep her near him. But he would still find something to have her with him. He didn't doubt it for a second. He was Tony Stark and always found a way.

"Then I wish you a nice day, Mr. Stark," she began to collect all the papers he had signed. "I can only give that back," he said before going back to his friend Happy.

He had dropped himself on one of the two chairs in the corner and watched the situation closely. A broad smile had spread across his face, saying that Tony had seen exactly how he had flirted with the lawyer. Or at least he had tried, for the redhead had resisted him with ease. Tony's ego was quite annoyed that she hadn't responded to him, but he would make her. No one could resist him for long.

When her footsteps had faded away, he dropped onto the free chair next to Happy and crossed his legs to annoy the other man a little, whose habit seemed to have become this. "Well, that worked out well," Happy remarked sarcastically and immediately sat down differently when he realized that Tony was imitating him. In his voice a slightly grumpy tone was heard. "Yes, I think so too," Tony confirmed and pretended not to know what Happy meant: "The patents have finally been officially registered.

Happy put his head slightly crooked: "I didn't mean that." Tony ignored this as best he could and turned to the glass table to his left. But still he couldn't quite overhear the words and crunched his jaws easily. But Happy didn't seem to want to accept that: "You know very well that I meant the woman". "Oh, did you?" he asked, but didn't sound as if he really wanted to know the answer.

In order not to have to listen to the mocking comments of his head of security, he wiped his finger over the glass plate, which slightly reflected the sunlight. This resulted in a high-tech interface appearing on it. He pressed a few buttons and then started typing on the keyboard without hesitation.

"Happy had also noticed that he was obviously occupied with something else, and looked over his shoulder in order to catch a glimpse of the table himself. He briefly read the two words that Tony had typed. A mocking tone resonated in his voice as he tilted his head and gave him a disapproving look, "You're not googling her right now." "Oh, yes," he pressed the 'Confirm' button and then began to scan all the data that was displayed to him.

At that moment he was particularly proud that he had once again managed to find out so much about the young woman. And indeed, Natalie Rushman was even more impressive than he had expected. According to her application, she spoke countless languages, including Russian and Latin. However, she had less experience as a lawyer. To be honest, he hadn't expected that, as she had given the impression that she knew exactly what she was doing. But maybe she was just good. At that thought he began to grin. Surely she was naturally good at some things and he would love to get a taste of some of them.

He skipped her application and went on to the pictures Jarvis had found for him. One of them immediately attracted all his attention. She could only be seen dressed in black underwear. Her long red hair fell over her shoulders in curls just as it did that day. Her eyes were on a person behind the camera and her lips, covered in red lipstick, had turned to a barely perceptible grin. She was really beautiful, but that was nothing against the lawyer in kind. Even Tony couldn't deny that.

Tony let herself sink back against the back of the chair and closed the interface with a wipe. "Say, Happy", with a big grin on his lips and he couldn't hide how much he liked the idea he had just come up with: "I've been needing a new assistant for a long time, haven't I?"

Happy's forehead folded and he threw him his typical, contemptuous "What - have - you - now - already - again - before - look at: "Yes? He drew the word extra long and expressed without a doubt that he was not at all sure whether he wanted to hear what came next. "I think I've finally found the perfect candidate for the post," his corners of his mouth moved even higher, so that his smile took on almost diabolical features. That was the perfect solution. So he could have them around and let his charm play a little.

"Tony, this may not be such a good idea," Happy wanted to interject, but the millionaire simply ignored him. "Please call Miss Rushman and tell her that I want her as my personal assistant," he asked him and rose from his chair with these words: "And if she says 'no', talk to her until she changes her mind. I want her to do this job."


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"So? How was your second day at work, Nat?" Clint's face got an amused grin. She had told him about the new mission and also explained that she had little desire for Stark and so far this attitude had not changed much. "It worked", she wrinkled her nose slightly: "Today I had my first personal meeting with Stark".

"You don't seem very happy about that," he estimates from her facial expression and hit the mark with it. "I'm not either. You can really believe that," she nestled a little closer to Clint and inhaled his usual smell. He was the only one to whom she had told about her new assignment and was pleased that her best friend asked about it. After all, she could hardly complain to Fury.

"Why? Was he mean to you?" he gave her a worried look. "No, worse," she sighed. They both knew that Natasha wouldn't put up with something like that. Not even for a mission. A grin appeared on his face: "Oh, don't say he tried to flirt with you."

Natasha's facial expression spoke volumes, but still she explained: "Not directly with me, but much more with his new lawyer Natalie Rushman." But this didn't seem to surprise Clint very much: "You really resent him? "Yes, he's my boss. He shouldn't even think about flirting with me," she began to give a little moral sermon. "So I can understand him", he grabbed one of her red strands and wrapped it thoughtfully around his index finger: "It's certainly very hard not to flirt with you." She sighed again: "Still, it's wrong."

"But you're supposed to keep an eye on him," Clint tried to become sober again and put the strand behind her ear: "and that will certainly be easier if he shows at least a little interest in you." In fact, he was right about that and the agent knew that too. If Stark tolerated her near him, it clearly made her job easier. Because how else could she write the desired assessment at the end of her mission?! So should she perhaps go into his flirting attempts?

"You're right", she put her head in his neck bend and buried her fingers in the soft fabric of his T-shirt: "You're always right". Without seeing it, she knew that he had put on a proud and loving smile at the same time. He gently stroked through her soft hair. "You don't have to start with him right away," he made clear what he had meant: "Just don't always block him. She nodded, but remained silent and simply enjoyed his tender touches, mixed with his pleasant voice: "You know I would never seriously advise you to do something right with anyone for a mission. You know that, don't you?"

"Yes, I know," she answered honestly and looked at him from her green eyes. He would never do that and she knew exactly. If she started anything with men on missions, it was never Clint. She did it on her own because she knew it would make the missions a success. But there were never any feelings involved.

"You're really my best friend," she just started to talk. But she was abruptly interrupted by her own cell phone. The shrill ringing tore up the peaceful mood and Natasha moaned unnervedly. Immediately the thought occurred to her that she could simply stay in her bed and ignore the ringing.

Apparently he could read her mind, because he advised her: "You better answer it. I'm sure it's important. Maybe it's even Fury who wants to know how things went with Stark today. Mentioning Fury's name was enough to get her to reluctantly break away from Clint. Faster than she had expected from herself, she rose and reached for her smartphone, which she had put down on the bedside table.

She took a look at the number, but couldn't match it, and instead of the name of the contact calling her, it was just 'Unknown'. Out of the corner of her eye, she noticed Clint, who had crossed his arms behind his head and gave her a questioning look. Although she had no idea who it could be, she still answered. After all, it might be important.

"Hello?" she spoke into the receiver and didn't say her name. She had gotten used to it after it had almost blown her camouflage during a mission. "Uh, hello, this is Happy Hogan," sounded an insecure man's voice from the loudspeaker as she had deliberately turned up the volume: "Am I speaking to Natalie Rushman? Clint loved listening to her phone calls. Especially in the context of missions and she let him have that fun when it wasn't about anything too private.

Natasha switched on immediately: "Yes, here is Natalie. What's going on?" "Well," he printed around a bit. Immediately she felt a bad feeling. It had to be something not exactly good. Otherwise she couldn't explain his behaviour. Or was there something she knew nothing about?

"Mister Stark asked me to make you an offer from him", meanwhile the man at the other end seemed to be a bit caught again: "He would like you to become his personal assistant. What do you think about that? Natasha's eyebrows twitched in the air. She really expected a lot, but not that.

One hand lay on her shoulders and she turned around to see Clint, who had now also sat down. Silently he nodded to her and told her that she should consent. Even her first thought when Happy had made the offer had been to say 'yes', as Clint's words had come back to her mind. Undoubtedly this was the perfect chance and she could not let it pass.

"She asked "Mister Hogan? after a few seconds of silence in which she had silently communicated with Clint. "Oh, Miss Rushman, please be so kind as to call me Happy. Just Happy," he offered her immediately and she couldn't help but smile. "Thank you very much, ... umm Happy", she thanked briefly: "I don't have a problem with it either, if you call me Natalie." Actually, she had set herself apart emotionally from the mission and simply wanted to complete it as well as possible. But Happy seemed to be a really nice man and to have him, if she accepted the offer, maybe the time would at least make it a little easier for her.

"But now back to Mister Stark's offer," she changed the subject again to get back to the essential: "I think I'll take it." "Oh, that's great," the euphoria in his voice told her that he had expected it to be harder to convince her: "Then I'll see you tomorrow morning in Mr Stark's apartment, all right?" "Yes, until tomorrow", she said goodbye and then hung up.

Sighing, she stowed her cell phone in the drawer of the bedside table and felt two strong arms around her hips. "Well done," Clint's voice sounded quietly next to her ear: "Now come back to bed. You have to get up early tomorrow.


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The cup in her hand let the warmth return to her body that the rain had taken away from her. She shoved herself as well as she could between the rushing people who were streaming across the streets of the big city, trying to escape the rain just like Natasha herself. Dark storm clouds hang depressingly over the city, literally dropping the woman's mood into the cellar. And then there was the fact that today she would work as Mr. Stark's personal assistant for the first time.

As soon as she arrived at the Stark Tower, she scurried into the tall building and purposefully walked towards one of the elevators. For the modern entrance hall with its black leather sofas, she had no view of it. She stopped at the elevator cars and pressed the button that was to call the car to her. While waiting, she took a sip of her coffee and closed her eyes for a moment. She had cancelled her breakfast that morning and hadn't really slept in for a long time.

When the 'ping' of the elevator came, she opened her eyes again and got into the elevator. Thank God there weren't many employees here at this time of day, and she even had the elevator just for herself. Then at least she didn't have to slip into her role immediately and had a few seconds left to herself. Anyway, she hoped so.

But wrong thought! Suddenly a bright male voice sounded: "Good morning, Miss Rushman". Surprised, she raised her head and looked around the cabin, but it was still empty. "Um, hey," she tilted her head and kept looking around a little confused. She hadn't expected such a strange situation in the morning.

"You seem surprised to hear from me", the voice again penetrated her ears: "Did Mister Stark tell you nothing about me? "No, he must have forgotten that," she tried to relax and leaned against one of the walls. "My name is Jarvis. I am the AI designed by Mister Stark," explained the disembodied voice and immediately she realized something. "Nice to meet you, Jarvis," she said, relaxed again, looking at the ad that told her how long it would be before she had reached her destination.

"Apparently the journey took too long for you," the AI noted, and Natasha felt a little caught. If the artificial intelligence could scan her movements or something like that, "Well, it could go a little faster," she murmured and sipped her cup again. "Her wish is my command," the young woman immediately noticed how the upward journey seemed to be faster. "Thank you", she said and began to prepare herself for the day ahead.

A few minutes later the doors opened and Natasha stepped outside, which brought her straight into Stark's apartment. She sighed briefly and had to resist the urge to turn around again and get into the elevator. But she had to go through that now and maybe it wouldn't be as terrible as she expected.

"Mister Stark?", she asked and took a few steps into the apartment. Apparently she was standing in the hallway. When no answer came from the man, the pretty redhead set himself in motion and moved straight on until she reached the living room. But there was no trace of her boss there either. Maybe he was still asleep. And when would he certainly not find it funny if she woke him!

That's why she stepped around the large sofas and stopped in front of the large window front. Curious, she looked out and couldn't help but admit that the view of the city was beautiful. And that despite the fact that torrents were pouring down from the clouds to the earth at that moment.

"Miss Rushman, nice to see you", suddenly a scratchy, deep male voice sounded behind her, testifying that he hadn't been awake long. She immediately drove around and saw Tony Stark. His black hair was damp and he was dressed in nothing but a light towel tied around his hips. As unnoticed as possible, she let her gaze wander. From his dark eyes to his well-trained body and the blue glowing device in his chest to his hips.

"Do you like the view?" A broad smile appeared on his lips as if he knew exactly what she was looking at. "What? she quickly looked away and tried to hide how she felt caught. "The skyline," he replied calmly, but couldn't wipe the contented smile off her face: "Or what were you thinking of? She rolled her eyes and then supported herself on the sofa with one hand. Why did he only manage to lure her out of her reserve?

She watched him relax, almost as if he had faded out that she was still there, moving through the room. After a few yards he seemed to have reached his destination as he stood behind the bar and bent down to grab a bottle. The inscription could decipher even from a distance and had to really control itself to suppress a renewed rolling of the eyes.

With her head slightly crooked and her gaze unmistakably contemptuous, she followed him and sat down on the stool in front of the bar. He reacted with a new smile: "Would you like a drink with us? "No, thank you," she fixed him with her eyes and followed each one of his hand movements: "Go ahead." He shrugged his shoulders, opened the bottle of vodka and filled the clear liquid into a prepared glass. When the liquid mixed with the ice cubes, a glass clink relaxed and if she hadn't been on duty, the Russian might have accepted his offer after all.

As soon as he had put the bottle away again and wanted to reach for the glass, she stretched out her hand quickly. Since she was clearly quicker than the man with her hands, she wrapped her fingers around the glass and dragged it across the bar to herself. In return, she handed him the half-empty coffee cup with her other hand.

"Hey, what are you doing?", first he looked at the coffee cup and then over to the woman who took a sip of his drink. Now it was her turn to put on a winning smile, which he apparently didn't like at all. He crossed his arms in front of his chest and stretched out his hand: "Give me that back, sweetheart."

She briefly pretended to think and then shook her head: "No, I don't think that's a good idea. They have to work. "I can work better with alcohol," he tried to argue, but she didn't give the drink away: "I'm not falling for that, Mr. Stark. You'd better have a sip of coffee. It really helps." "Well, but then you're not allowed either," he contradicted her and walked around the bar over to her: "After all, you have to work, and if this rule applies to me, it does apply to you too, Miss Rushman."

Behind her he stopped and bent over her shoulder to take the glass out of her hand. She could feel the warmth of his body through the fabric of her black dress and got goose bumps. As he spoke, he breathed his hot breath against her neck, so close he was to her, making her shudder slightly. Immediately she cursed her body for this unwanted reaction and decided to give in to bring more distance between him and herself: "Touché.

She pushed the glass away from herself to a place neither could reach and then rose. As soon as she had managed to distance herself from him again, it felt like she could finally breathe properly again.

"So", she quickly tried to find a new topic to deal with: "What is the first thing for today? Stark sighed almost as if he had hoped that she wouldn't try to touch on a new topic. "Happy comes later to discuss things with me," he began to explain again in a completely professional way: "I would like you to be there." "Why did he come here?" she asked with honest interest. The prospect of not being alone with him all day long, but at least having Happy's support for a few hours, made her feel a relief.

"I'll go down to my workshop in time and work a little," he explained to her: "In time you might want to take a look at my diary. After all, you should be a little informed about what is going to happen in the near future. She nodded and looked around the room for a laptop, which she saw right in the corner of her eye. Then she looked back at Stark, who was tapering on the elevator. "Don't you want to get dressed first," her eyebrows went up. He turned his head to her and she could see his amused grin on his lips: "How nice of you to worry about me, Miss Rushman." With these words he actually turned around and walked towards another door, the elevator's door. "If you get longing for me, you are welcome to visit me in the workshop", with these words he had already disappeared and she was glad that she could not see his face while speaking. But if things went on like this, she would not survive much longer.


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After some time, when Natasha had been at the computer and had been searching through his appointments, the 'ping' of the elevator sounded quite unexpected. Surprised, she moved a bit back on the chair. She saw Happy and Stark, who seemed to be entertained. She couldn't hear what they were talking about, but the expression on their faces told her it had to be something serious.

As soon as they entered the living room, Happy noticed them immediately and a joyful smile appeared on his lips. "Natalie, nice to see you here," she rose and he shook her hand, which she also grasped with a smile and shook: "I'm glad my good friend hasn't driven you away yet." In his words, she could not avoid her mouth corners lifting slightly. Had Mr. Stark often managed to get his assistants to resign on their own?

When she briefly stopped by Happy, she caught a glimpse of Mister Stark, who had a confused look on his face. It was written all over his face that he was surprised that they spoke to each other by their first names. But she just tried to ignore him and looked back to Happy: "Why are you actually here? "Didn't Tony tell you?" he asked and looked over his shoulder at Stark, whose gaze hadn't changed yet.

"Don't we want to sit down first," Happy asked and nodded towards the sofas. Since she thought this suggestion was reasonable, she nodded in agreement and followed the man to the seats. "Well, what's it all about now," she went after, after she had dropped on one of the sofas. Stark had sat down next to Happy on the other.

"Tony and I just wanted to discuss some things for the benefit event that Tony goes to tomorrow," Happy told her. She had read about it in his diary, but didn't seriously think Stark would go there personally. It just didn't seem like something you'd do to her. Rather, she had assumed that the parties he went to were more about barely clothed women and a lot of alcohol. She had raised her eyebrows slightly and looked at the man in surprise.

"What's the matter," her boss asked her laughingly: "You almost look as if you hadn't expected it? "No, not to be honest," she said bluntly, and thereupon collected a snatched look from Stark. Happy's corners of his mouth, however, had lifted and formed such an amused grin that he tried to hide from his friend by slightly avoiding his gaze.

The black-haired man crossed his arms with a sour look in front of his chest: "Just for this comment you have to accompany me now". "What? No, that's unfair. You are the boss here and must be present," she tried to talk her way out immediately and waved her hands defensively. She seemed to be strong about it, but didn't want to be softened: "If I have to, you have to too, sweetheart, if I have to," she narrowed her eyes a bit, but didn't know what to say to it. Because this seemed to be his revenge for making fun of her.

Looking for help she looked at Happy, who just shrugged his shoulders at a loss: "Well, I'd need someone to take care that Tony doesn't do shit. We can't afford that." "I don't need a babysitter," Stark interfered again and looked at his friend as if he had betrayed him. Instinctively he raised his eyebrows and gave him a meaningful look: "Do I really have to explain to you why I want someone to come with me?" Stark's protest stopped immediately. "All right, but only this one time and then you are," he turned again to Natasha: "Not my guardian, but my companion."

She pressed her jaws against each other, but knew exactly that they wouldn't give her a chance to get out of it again. So she gave in and sighed: "All right, as you like." A contented smile appeared on Stark's lips as if he had said exactly what he wanted to hear.


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Natasha stroked one of her red strands behind her ear and leaned against the back of the desk chair. Then she pulled out a black hair band and tied her slightly curly hair to a high ponytail. Her eyes fell on the clock above the desk she had been working on. It told her that she had been working for several hours. But she hadn't noticed it at all. But now the day slowly but surely turned to its end. She turned around on her chair and caught a glimpse of the night skyline stretching to the horizon.

Only now did she realized how quiet it actually was in the apartment. Happy had disappeared a few hours ago, after helping Stark to persuade her to go to the event with him. But after that her boss just disappeared again without changing many words with her.

And although she didn't like to admit it, she was a little worried about the man. For hours he hadn't shown up here once and she herself was hungry. Didn't it have to be that way with him, too? To be honest, she did not assume that he had a minibar in his workshop.

One thought long and hard about it, she rose from the chair and made her way to the kitchen. Hungry, she opened the fridge and took a look inside. My forehead was wrinkled. Surprisingly, the freezer compartment was almost empty. She certainly hadn't expected that from a rich man like Stark. Rather, she had assumed that he had hired someone to go shopping for him. But that was apparently not the case.

"Jarvis", she raised her voice in the hope of somehow attracting the attention of artificial intelligence. But she wasn't sure if the helper could be reached everywhere and if she was authorized to talk to him at all. "Please don't talk to me like an 'Alexa', Miss Rushman," the KI immediately said,"This hurts my feelings." She raised her eyebrows in surprise: "Sorry." Did she really just apologize to a machine? However, Jarvis Art fitted quite well with Mister Stark, so she shouldn't be surprised. "Thank you, that's what I wanted to hear", the voice sounded again and Natasha grinned slightly: "But now to the main thing. What can I do for you?" "Do you think Mr. Stark has a problem with me making something to eat quickly," she asked her question at his request. After all, it wasn't usual to just start eating in the middle of work.

"I don't think he would mind," Jarvis told her," ... and if he did, let him argue with me about it later." Natasha burst out laughing, unable to suppress it. The idea of Stark as he discussed with Jarvis was simply too good. "Thank you, Jarvis," she laughed and then started thinking about what she could make from the few ingredients while she tried to calm down again.

She had already eaten the prepared food for about half an hour, but didn't go back to work immediately. Because slowly she was really worried about Stark. She had deliberately done more than she could eat. Admittedly, she had done the rest for Stark. So she got up from her chair and took the second plate: "Could you tell me where Stark is at the moment, Jarvis?" "He's in his workshop working right now," he answered her question and she thanked him. Meanwhile she really had to admit how practical Jarvis was and that he really impressed her. Maybe Stark was a little bit more than she thought of him after all.

With the meal in her hands, she left the kitchen and went under Jarvis' instructions to the elevator, which took her to a glass door. Behind it, as expected, she could see Stark. Without long hesitation, she quietly opened the door. She behaved so quietly that he didn't notice her at all. This gave her a glimpse of the concentrated working Tony Stark.

With a firm gaze, he stared at the blue, luminous, three-dimensional design that floated in front of the man in the air. With one hand he drove his way through the now tousled hair. He had taken off his shirt and wore only a white tank top. But apparently he couldn't get any further, because he slowly began to circle the design with a helpless look.

As she watched him, a little smile crept on her lips and she couldn't help but watch him further. Watching him in this completely different state, in which he was so trapped in his own work. Unconsciously at that moment he showed her a side of him she hadn't noticed before.

Suddenly, however, he raised his head and looked over at her with a grin: "Have you been standing there for a long time?" His words made her warm all of a sudden and she was sure that at that moment she had a slight blush in her cheeks. "No, I just came down," she honestly said and pushed herself off the door. "Do you like what you saw?" he asked further and moved away from the hologram. Relaxed, he stepped towards his glass desk and sat down on the plate. "I have no idea what that is, so I can't say much about it," she honestly admitted. The agent herself used weapons only in the best possible way, without knowing how to make or design them herself.

"I brought you something," she quickly broached a new subject and approached him. She stopped in front of him, placed the plate next to him on the table. "Oh, thank you," a broad, amused grin he couldn't quite arrange appeared on his lips. She crossed her arms in front of her chest: "What?" "You were worried about me," a joyful expression played around the corners of his mouth.

"I didn't," she contradicted him immediately and shook her head vehemently. "What else then?", he gave her a challenging look. "I just cooked because I was hungry, and Jarvis then said... ", she wanted to explain to him while she avoided his gaze. "Hey, don't drag me into this," Jarvis spoke out of the blue. "All right, Miss Rushman", he wanted to reach for her hand with an amused grin, but she quickly pulled it away: "I am your assistant and therefore have the task of taking care of you. Nothing more!" "If you think so," he replied with a grin, but she noticed that it no longer reached his eyes. And somehow this made her feel a little bad.

She turned away from him and tried to get rid of the bad conscience he had caused in her: "I'll see you again tomorrow". "Wait", he said a little louder and brisker, making her stop. What could he still want from her now? With questioningly raised eyebrows she drove around to him: "Yes?" She noticed his gaze wandering over her body, but didn't think it necessary to comment.

"Why don't you stay here for tonight and don't go home," he suggested without having to talk long and hard: "After all, it's really late and your boyfriend won't be happy to be woken up by you now." "My boyfriend?", she frowned. Was he trying to find out whether she was in steady hands like that? If so, it was a really bad attempt and not as inconspicuous as he might have thought. "Or don't you have one", Stark immediately hooked on, which is why she really had to pull herself together so as not to roll her eyes demonstratively. "I don't think that any of your business", she grated her jaws thoughtfully, but then gave in: "But no, I don't."

His eyes were filled with an expression that could almost give the impression that he was happy to hear that. But apparently luckily he didn't intend to comment: "So, what do you say to my offer now?" Natasha swallowed and began to wonder what he was up to. Apparently her facial expression had revealed her concerns to him, as he quickly added something else: "Of course you could choose your own room for the night and I would definitely leave you your privacy and leave you alone for the rest of the night. Don't worry."

In fact, his words surprised me. Actually, she had assumed that he would see this as an opportunity to turn her on. After all, he hadn't allowed himself to be deprived of flirting with her before. But somehow he was right already. It would be midnight in about an hour and to be honest she didn't feel like returning to S.H.I.E.L.D. now and getting up in far too few hours again to get back on his mat on time. "All right", she agreed after a short hesitation: "I'll see you tomorrow morning."

She walked up to the glass door to get into the elevator, but then stopped again and turned to the man again: "Please go to bed soon, too." Instead of accusing her of anything again, he blinked at her in amazement, but then nodded: "Promised".

A small, content smile appeared on her lips: "Good night, Mr. Stark." "Good night, Miss Rushman," he replied: "By the way, you're welcome to dream of me."


Chapter Text

Natasha turned off the water and stepped out of the shower. She quickly took a towel from the rake and wrapped the fluffy white cloth around her body. Dripping slightly from head to toe, she left the small bathroom that was directly connected to the room where she had spent the night. She hadn't found out yet whether Stark was already awake, nor did she want to. She would have to spend enough time with him later. Especially since the charity event was on today's agenda.

Yawning, she stepped back into her room and walked over to the closet. She had already noticed yesterday that it was filled with women's clothing. At first she was a little surprised, but then she remembered that, according to her information, he often had visits from women. That's why she wanted to avoid using the cupboard as much as possible.

She sighed and closed the doors again before falling backwards onto the bed. That night she had slept surprisingly well and had indeed been spared nightmares. This, however, blamed her on the fact that it was always like that at first when she slept in a strange bed. Soon the nightmears will come back. She had no doubt about that.

The redhead turned her head to the side and discovered a square box on the other side of the bed. Surprised, she sat up again and stretched out her hands to grab it. On top of box was a piece of paper with her own name on it.

Her forehead folded and she lifted her eyebrows in surprise. This revealed a black bundle of cloth. She let her fingers glide over the fabric. It was soft and felt high quality. Since Stark was the only one she suspected in the tower, he must have been in the room while she had showered. She took the garment out of the box and stood up. She immediately realized it was a short dress with a generous neckline. Typically Stark! He couldn't seriously think she was going out like that.

Immediately she stormed out of the room with the dress in her hand and started looking for the man. She found him in the kitchen after a few seconds. She stopped in the door frame: "Stark!" With a surprised look, the man turned to her and let his coffee cup sink: "Good morning, Miss Rushman." Then he let his gaze wander over her barely clothed body. "What's this?", she held the garment in front of his nose and simply ignored his greeting. "A dress," he replied laughing.

She looked at him angrily: "That is also clear to me. But why? I have my own clothes." "Yes, but I want you to wear this for me," he looked at her pleadingly: "Couldn't you do me this little favor?" She barely grated her jaws noticeably: "How do you know it would fit me?" "It will fit," he said reliably: "I'm sure. Trust me about that." He kept to himself the fact that he had estimated her measurements when she walked through his door for the first time.

When she didn't make any effort to move, he tilted his head slightly and his voice became begging: "Please, Miss Rushman. Do that for me. Just this one time." There was no point discussing with him anyway and the way he looked at her told her that this really seemed important to him. And she wouldn't give in on the subject at all. She was sure of that. So she decided it was up to her to finish the whole thing: "All right, but just this once." "Great", he said, but contrary to her expectations he didn't seem arrogant: "Thank you".

"Do you want to have breakfast with me?" he asked surprisingly and she noticed that she was actually hungry. So she nodded slowly, but still hadn't put on a happy facial expression. The upcoming evening wouldn't be funny for her.

As it slowly began to dawn, Natasha decided to finish her work for today and get ready for the upcoming party. Also Stark had already disappeared into his room and she suspected that he was changing as well.

So she also went into the room that Stark still left her and went to the box. She had brought the dress back before she had breakfast with him. She immediately remembered the promise she had given him. So she took the dress out of the box and held it in front of her body for a test. As far as she could tell, it was actually her size. But how could he have known about that?

With nimble fingers she unbuttoned her blouse and pushed it down her shoulders to throw it onto the bed. Then she pushed her black skirt off her hips and let it slide to the floor. She picked it up and placed it next to the blouse before turning to Stark's dress. She couldn't resist a sigh, but then slipped without pressing any further. The fabric was surprisingly pleasant on the skin and she had to admit that she liked it better than she had expected. And that, although the neckline was the same ... was generous, as she had thought. However, she had to admit that her breasts looked pretty good in it. Stark had taste!

"You look wonderful," Stark's deep, male voice sounded behind her. Surprised, she turned her head towards the door and actually saw Stark leaning relaxed against the door frame. He let his gaze wander openly over her, but remained stuck to her face.

"May I help you," he asked, when she seemed to have nothing to say and turned his gaze to the zipper, which she couldn't close herself. For a moment she just looked at them, but then nodded quietly. A little smile appeared on his lips and he pushed himself off the door frame to slowly walk towards her.

Arriving next to her, he put his hands briefly on her hips to make her step forward so he could stand behind her. He then let her go, but although she cursed herself internally , because she wanted to feel his touch for a moment longer. He gently stroked her hair to the side and then ran his thumb over the part of her back that was not yet covered by the dress. Whether he did it intentionally, she couldn't judge exactly, but his fingers felt good on her skin and she secretly didn't want him to stop. She could feel him put his fingers on the zipper and slowly pull it shut.

When he was done, he stayed behind her for a moment and she just looked at them quietly in the mirror. Then she took another step forward to bring a little distance between the two again. She noticed that he hadn't tied his tie yet and turned around to him: "Don't you know how to do that?" "I do, but I think maybe you could do it better," he smiled charmingly. In fact, she had already done it often enough and nodded: "I guess you're right." She skilfully tied his black tie to a perfect knot. During that she felt his gaze on her the whole time and his heart was beating faster under her fingers.


Chapter Text

Tony took a sip of his drink and let his eyes wander through the crowd as best they could. He was looking for Natalie, who had managed to escape him. They had arrived here together and some paparazzi had taken pictures of her in his arm. She hadn't hidden the fact that she hadn't been happy about it from him, which had amused him a little. At her request, he had gone in with her instead of talking to any journalists. Now he regretted this very much, because he had lost sight of her. And that, although she was supposed to be his companion and thus at his side.

"Anthony, my old buddy", a voice suddenly sounded behind him. The voice was so distinctive and so shrill that it sent a shiver down his spine. It was so memorable that Tony immediately knew who was behind it.

Tony didn't even bother to put on a fake smile, but just turned to the person behind him. There stood a man with blonde-brown hair and glasses wearing his typical suit. If he was honest, the man always reminded him pretty much of a ferret. "Justin Hammer," he said in a sobered tone: "Please don't call us friends." The man continued to grin his exaggerated smile and elbowed him slightly in the side: "That's right, you'd rather be a fan of competition".

The dark haired man's eyebrows went up. He wasn't the one who was out for competition here. Rather, it was Hammer who always tried to copy Tony's achievements. That's what the Washington trial of his Iron Man suit had shown him. Finally, he had shown a video of Hammer trying to make copies of his suit.

"Yes, sure," he replied only because he knew it wouldn't make sense to discuss it with him anyway. "I didn't know you were going to be here," Hammer leaned on the bar next to him and with a gesture of his hand told the bartender to mix something for him. "And I didn't expect you here," he honestly admitted. Had he known, he would at least have tried to avoid him.

"I saw you outside with such a really beautiful woman," Tony immediately realized that he had to talk about Natalie. He pressed his jaws slightly against each other and felt how he had to pull himself together in order not to be noticed. "Your new assistant?" asked Hammer and Tony slightly pinched his eyes. Why didn't he even think that she could be his girlfriend?

He decided he didn't want to give him an exact answer, that he was going for the redhead: "Maybe." Hammer laughed and took his drink: "Well, how's your work going? Are you making progress? Although he was grateful for the change of topic, that was something he didn't want to talk about. His work was none of Hammer's business. After all, he didn't want a copy of Justin Hammer's own months of work to show up too soon.

Searching, he let his gaze wander through the room, hoping to find some excuse to wind his way out of this conversation. And indeed, he managed to spot Natalie in the crowd. Apparently, she noticed his help-seeking look as she suddenly began to move in his direction. A light smile appeared on his lips and his gaze became grateful. If she could really save him from this situation, she really had something good with him.

With the two men Natalie stopped and smilingly turned to Tony, "Hey Natalie", he deliberately addressed her by her first name to make it seem like they knew each other better and not just his assistant. It was just a white lie and surely he wasn't the first to lie to Hammer.

For a moment she looked at him in surprise, but then she clicked and joined his game: "Hey Tony." Her voice was unusually soft and seductive. Although he knew that she wasn't serious and wouldn't normally talk to him like that, he couldn't resist a big grin.

From the corner of his eye, Tony noticed Justin fixing her with his gaze and scrutinizing her from top to bottom. Immediately he noticed that it didn't fit him at all. Although he knew that she would kill him for that thought, he wanted her to be his only possession while she was here with him.

"Hello, nice to meet you", Hammer stretched out her hand to Natalie: "I am Justin Hammer. But you can call me Justin." From the corner of her eye she looked at Tony and then reached for Hammers hand: "Tony has told a lot about you." Both knew it was a straight lie and Tony really had to pull himself together not to laugh.

To mark his area, he stepped a little closer to her and wrapped an arm around her hips. She immediately turned her gaze to him and in her eyes he could see that she was thinking for a moment whether she should be angry about it or not. Apparently, however, she decided to let him do it - or she just hid it from him, that she wanted to kill him for it - and leaned slightly against him.

She gave Justin a smile and then leaned over to Tony's ear to whisper something into it: "What exactly is this going to be, Stark?" "You want something from me?! Her eyebrows raised and he could see that she was really out now. "But well, your wish is my command," he just went on and reached for her hand: "See you, Hammer."

With these words he wanted to drag her away with him and from Hammer to finally escape from this terrible conversation with the other man. "Thank you for saving me, Rushman," he whispered to her, but then he only took one eye roll from her side. I led her to some sofas on a window front and dropped on them. "You don't like Hammer, do you?" she whispered quietly and sat next to him. Surprisingly, however, his hand did not let go of her, which, to be honest, he was happy about.

"Can you blame me for that?" he asked with a grin, "Believe me, I have my reasons". "Then one of us must think about something to get rid of him completely," she said and fixed something behind him: "There he is again. At her words, he turned in the direction she was looking and noticed the man again grinning as he approached her. "He really doesn't notice when people don't want to talk to him," Tony sighed soberly. He couldn't really be serious!

"Okay, please don't freak out now," she whispered quietly and then put a hand on his cheek to turn his head over to her. "Why should I...?" he asked a question, but was interrupted when her lips lay down on his. For a moment he was completely perplexed, but then returned the kiss and put one hand on her side to draw her closer. He couldn't say exactly what she was up to, but suspected that she hoped Hammer would finally disappear when he saw it. After all, others usually felt uncomfortable seeing intimacy in public. And that was probably what the woman was aiming for.

However, for a moment, this was pushed into the background. The feeling of her lips on his was too intoxicating and he had to pull himself together not to pull her onto his lap. He knew she didn't do it because she wanted to kiss him, but because her hammer was getting on his nerves just as much as it was on his own. Nevertheless he enjoyed it. And to be honest, she was even better than he had expected.

After a few seconds, however, she detached herself from him again and he could hear her cursing quietly: "Man, this guy is really persistent. Her words told him that Hammer was still there and he couldn't help but sigh annoyed. This guy seemed to really want to stick to them and really didn't know when it was enough.

"Follow me," she asked him and reached for his hand again before it rose again. "Where are we going?", a grin appeared on his lips. Because even if Hammer really annoyed him, her sudden initiative amused him a little. He didn't even know that from her, except in relation to work.

"You'll see," she didn't turn to him, but simply pulled him further to a door. She stopped in front of it, gave him another kiss and then pushed the door open. "He probably won't follow us here," she said after she had detached herself from him and disappeared into the room. "Let's hope so," he said to himself more than to her and then followed her.

He closed the door behind him and realized that they were now in the men's room. Ambiguously grinning he put his head crooked: "Do you want to tell me anything in particular with this room? She rolled her eyes: "No, certainly not." "Too bad," he laughed and then went to the washbasins, where he leaned up and took a look in the mirror.

"How about a 'thank you for saving me'," she crossed her arms in front of her chest and leaned slightly against the wall. He watched her in the mirror for a moment. Today she had really surprised him several times. "Thank you," he said a little reluctantly, then looked at himself in the mirror for a moment. His gaze fell on his neck and he noticed some thin, black lines where his veins were running along. He quickly looked away and tried to repress the thought of the problem the palladium nucleus near his heart was slowly posing.

"You don't like me very much, do you? He turned around to her and watched her react to his words. To his astonishment she just shrugged her shoulders: "Perhaps. Actually, he had expected her to simply answer with a brutally honest 'yes', which surprised her. Had he managed to change her attitude towards him at least a little?

Chapter Text

It had become pitch dark in the meantime, but New York was still completely animated. They had already left the party that Natasha had already noticed the effects of his drinking on Stark. Now they were on their way back to the Stark Tower. The man had insisted that she come back with him and if she was honest, she didn't feel comfortable letting him walk home alone. Because even though he wasn't drunk yet, you could feel a slight effect.

"Say, Stark," she broke with the silence that had developed between them since they had set off. "Yes?", she could feel how his gaze lay on them. "What exactly do you have against Hammer?" she asked cautiously, realizing that this seemed to be a sensitive subject: "So apart from the fact that he's really annoying."

She looked over at him and noticed that he swallowed easily: "We have been competitors for a long time and he tried to copy my ideas when I was primarily building weapons". Immediately she could understand that he didn't like him. If someone else would try to copy her as an agent, she wouldn't be a special fan of that person either.

"He also tried to get my suit taken away at the Washington trial," he continued and swallowed. She hadn't even known about it.

"But let's talk about something else,' he suggested, and she raised her eyebrows. "Why," she hooked up and noticed that the Stark Tower was already in sight. "I don't like talking about work on dates," she knew, without even looking, that he was grinning wide at that moment.

"She looked at him partly reproachfully and partly disbelievingly: "This is certainly not a date! "But", his grin took on a childlike form, which was probably largely due to alcohol: "We went out, you kissed me and now you're going home with me. Doesn't that sound like a date to you?"

She bit her lower lip. Technically, he was kind of right, but she wouldn't admit that. "I would rather say that I only came with her to look after her. Besides, you and Happy really forced me to," she replied immediately. "And then what was that about the kiss?" He looked at her provocatively.

"I only helped you out of a tight spot," she said with a slightly defiant tone. To be honest, she didn't even know why she had done that. "You could have done something else too', apparently he didn't feel the need to let her get away with it. "It was just an act of passion," she contradicted him. "Interesting," he grinned contentedly: "So in affect you feel the need to kiss me."

Annoyed, she moaned and accelerated her step. Now it was really enough for her and she wasn't ready to talk to him about it any further. "Miss Rushman, wait," he shouted after her. At first she didn't react, but after a few seconds she slowed down. Finally she had promised Happy to take care of Stark.

Suddenly her hand vibrated in her pocket and she pulled it out with a questioning look. Clint's name flashed on the display. "Who's Clint?" she hadn't even noticed he was looking over her shoulder.

"She gave him a warning look, which he simply ignored. "You said you didn't have a boyfriend." "He is not my boyfriend either, but my best friend," she replied honestly. "That doesn't mean you can't be intimate with each other," he replied and she gave him a sharp look: "This is really going too far, Stark.

"Yes, I know, I'm sorry' that his apology was serious, she was honestly surprised. "It's okay," she mumbled and refused the call with a wipe on the touch screen. She couldn't possibly answer while she was working. But he probably didn't expect her to still be with Stark. After all, she hadn't expected to be with him that long today.

"Please sleep with me again today," he asked as they arrived at the entrance to the tower. "Why do you want that?" she drilled and looked at him inquiringly before they passed the entrance. "Don't look at me like that," he demanded gently and lovingly stroked one of her red strands from her face: "Is it such a sin to want you around me?"

Chapter Text

"Come with me," as soon as the elevator doors opened, he reached for her hand. Natasha had agreed, albeit reluctantly, to stay here again tonight - Clint wouldn't necessarily be happy about that, as he seemed to miss her slowly - but somehow she hadn't been able to refuse. Because even though she didn't like to admit it, he managed every now and then that his charm also had an effect on her. And that, although she actually tried to defend herself vehemently against it. But the more time she spent with him, the harder it was for her.

"What ...?" was the only thing she brought out before he pulled her with him. But he didn't answer her question, but instead made her go into the living room with him.

There he stopped and began to take off his suit jacket. With her eyebrows raised, she took a step back: "What's it gonna be, Strong?" He looked at her reproachfully and then grinned amusedly: "Relax a little, Miss Rushman." She tilted her head slightly and stopped where she was when he approached her to see what he was up to.

He stopped with her and put his hands on her hips to pull her towards him: "Just now, thanks to Hammer, I didn't have a chance to dance with you. So I would do that right now." A charming smile appeared on his lips and he seemed to be waiting for her reaction.

To be honest, she really hadn't expected that and needed a few seconds to realize what he had just said. But then she nodded slowly and let him pull her a little further into the middle of the room.

"Jarvis, would you help us a little," he asked his artificial intelligence, and suddenly music began to play. "Thank you," Stark replied and then turned back to the young woman. Natasha couldn't resist a little smile.

"Was that just a smile," he teased slightly, since unfortunately he had not missed this reaction. Thereupon she quickly avoided his gaze, whereupon he released a hand from her hips and gently placed a hand under her chin to get her to look at him. "Hey, it's okay," his voice was unusually soft: "I want you to have fun, so relax a little for me. Trust me. Just this one time!

"All right, I trust you," she admitted sighing and let her hands slowly wander over his upper arms to his shoulders. "This is something completely new," he grinned and she almost thought she could see in his eyes that he was enjoying it. Then they began to move slowly. He had put his warm hands above her bottom on her back. The warmth of his hands penetrated the fabric of her dress and slowly she began to feel comfortable in his arms.

She let him lead her and just followed him. The music was slow and so they moved at the same tempo. He had drawn them so close that their bodies were only a few centimeters apart. Although at first it felt strange to be so close to him, it didn't feel bad, but much more reassuring. "Did I tell you how great you look in that dress?" he asked after a few minutes and she lifted her head slightly to look up at him. "Why? Because of the neckline," she replied, making sure that he looked exactly at that spot.

A grin appeared on his lips and for a few seconds something flashed in his eyes that she didn't even want to interpret. But then he shook his head: "No, I mean altogether. Although that's quite a nice extra." She rolled her eyes. "Hey, don't always do that," he grinned: "You can't blame me. You're attractive."

His words surprised her because she hadn't thought he would say that openly. He had obviously flirted with her several times, but he hadn't said anything like that before. He noticed her gaze and grinned broadly before loosening a hand from her back to remove a strand from her face. More instinctively than intentionally, she moved towards his touch and his fingers left a hot, tingling trace on her skin that made her shudder slightly. Slowly they really exceeded what they called a professional boss - employee - relationship.

Chapter Text

When Natasha opened her eyes the next morning, it took her a few seconds to know where she was again. It was the room she had spent the previous night in, for she was undoubtedly in the Stark Tower. This was revealed to her by the cozy bed where Clint wasn't, as usual, and the morning sunbeams that must have awakened her fell through the large windows. In the Helicarrier, where she used to live, it was usually Barton or Fury who woke her up.

Slowly she rose and her memories slowly came back. She sighed slightly as she remembered the night before. He had wanted to dance with her and if she was honest, he had somehow enjoyed being so close. No, she wasn't allowed to think like that. Absolutely not! She quickly suppressed this thought and pushed the blanket aside to leave the bed. She did not know what time it was. She had hung her dress over the chair last night and then went to sleep.

But now she left the room and walked slowly through the hallway to the kitchen. It was probably quite unprofessional that she hadn't gotten ready yet and wasn't standing on the mat to work, but her stomach was growling. So she just hoped that Stark was still sleeping and didn't catch her like that, just with a short pair of shorts and a white T-shirt.

Accordingly, she was surprised when she discovered Stark in the kitchen. She stopped in the doorway and watched him quietly tampering with the stove. Seeing him in the kitchen was surprisingly amusing. It was immediately clear that he didn't normally do that.

After a few seconds of watching him, she cleared her throat slightly, as he didn't seem to notice her by himself. He immediately turned around to her with a spatula in his hand. When he noticed her behind him, he let his gaze wander noticeably over her and an almost contented smile appeared on his lips: "Good morning, Miss Rushman. "Tomorrow," she replied, still a little sleepy, and drove herself a little embarrassed with one hand through her hair as she noticed how he looked at her.

He takes a small step towards her, which gives her a glimpse of a plate of pancakes. Had he made some breakfast himself? "You seem to have enjoyed my bed. You slept long," he grinned at her broadly and put the spatula away before turning off the stove. She bit her lip lightly. Was it true that she had slept so long? But then she let his words go through her head once more and truncated: "Wait. Me in your bed? That wasn't your bed?

"How do you know that,' he said without batting an eyelid and took the plate. "No, it wasn't your room,' she repeated, shaking her head stubbornly: 'I would have known. Yesterday you went to your own room and I clearly went to another. He began to grin amusedly and put the plate on the table: "Well, you're right. That wasn't my room, but it was worth a try."

She rolled her eyes and looked at him contemptuously: "That's not funny." He made a noise that revealed that he saw it differently, but then, without discussing it with her, he reached for her hand: "Anyway, now please eat something first". She followed him uncomplainingly and allowed him to pull back a chair for her to drop on. "Thank you', she smiled slightly and waited for him to sit down as well.

"And do you have a hangover this morning?" she went after while they both started to help each other at breakfast. "No, on the contrary," Tony took a sip of his coffee: "I'm fine." Amused, she raised her eyebrows: "Really? How come?" "It was just easy for me to sleep well after you did me the favor and danced with me," a little smile appeared on his lips as he noticed her facial expression. Natasha was frozen in the middle of the movement and looked at him for a few seconds, just exploring and surprised: "Stark! You're not supposed to drink in the morning." The redhead couldn't explain his words any other way.

"He put his cup on the tabletop and pushed it over to her. Almost as if he wanted her to check that he hadn't drunk a drop of alcohol that day. She sighed and took another pancake: "All right, I believe you as well, but please stop saying such things.

Immediately he opened his mouth, tried to contradict her, and told her that for a change he had meant it very seriously. But he didn't, he just closed his mouth and let her believe that he was just joking.

Since the sudden silence seemed to make her uncomfortable, she just wanted to eat up quickly and then get up to get ready and get to work. But Stark stopped her: "Wait, I'd like to talk to you about something else." Surprised, she sat thereupon and looked at him questioningly, as he suddenly sounded serious and she was almost sure that it was now back to work. And to be honest, she was very happy about it. So at least they could gain a little more professionalism again. Or at least she hoped so.

"Something," she drilled immediately. "A journey," he replied and observed her reaction closely. Natasha frowned: "For business reasons? She hadn't read anything about it in his appointments, which is why it was a completely new piece of information.

"No, ... not quite," he contradicted her: "I'd rather thought of something like a vacation." "Vacation?", her eyebrows contracted: "You never go on vacation." "How do you know that," he went after, whereupon she slightly pinched her eyes in a researching expression: "I'm your assistant and know her calendar and there's been nothing about holidays for years.

"All right, you're right, but now I feel like a little vacation," he explained briefly, but his smile told her that that wasn't all. "And? she asked, hoping that he would speak the language. "I want you to accompany me', he leaned forward a bit.

"Why do you want me to go on holiday with you?" Her voice was suspicious. After all, she was only his employee. Or at least she should be. "But I need someone to take care of me," he justified with a grin: "You heard Happy after all." "So you admit that you need a babysitter," she grinned at the thought of the conversation between the two men that she had observed between the men a few days ago.

The man aproned his lips: "No, I need an escort who might also keep an eye on me on the side". "And why can't Happy do that," she threw in and bent over with a challenging look. She noticed how his focus lay briefly from her eyes to her lips: "He has something to do in New York before and travels later. Besides, I need you."

When he noticed what it sounded like, he went on: "To make sure I didn't do anything stupid. I also promise it won't go the way it did yesterday". What he meant by that, she knew exactly and, to be honest, it made it easier for her. So no exhausting competitors and no kisses.

"Besides, a little vacation would certainly do you good," he added. "And you would certainly like Monaco very much." "Monaco," she stared at him in surprise. "I knew you'd like it", his smile appeared on his lips and he almost lovingly stroked a strand behind her ear. She sighed slightly and couldn't help but move towards his hand to feel his touch a little longer.

Chapter Text

Tony opened the door of Natasha's black car and stretched out his hand to her: "Miss Rushman." Grinning, she put her head slightly crooked, but reached for his hand: "Since when are you such a gentleman, Mr. Stark?" "I'm not, but it flatters me that you think of me," he replied, but even if she hadn't wanted it, she didn't quite believe him. She rather thought that he could be just that, if only he wanted it. But she preferred to keep that to herself. Not that he thought anything wrong with her.

She grabbed his hand and let him pull her out of the car. "Thank you', she said honestly and wanted to let go of his hand again. But he didn't seem to agree with that, because he held her for a moment before he let her. She passed him and caught a glimpse of the plane that would take her to France.

"Do you like it?" apparently he had noticed her impressed facial expression. Before she replied, she let her eyes wander over the big flying machine and discovered a lettering at the rear end that clearly assigned it to the property of Stark Industries: "It was clear that you had your own plane," she said to herself rather than to him before looking at him again: "But you already know that you could have invested the money differently. He laughed and laid his hands on her shoulders: "Yes, I know, but I need it for business." He didn't comment that he liked that she didn't seem to be hot for his money.

"And now you come," his fingers slid over her naked arm. A slight shiver ran down her spine: "I don't mind we can go anytime". This time it was he who grabbed her hand to gently pull me towards the stairs. Together they climbed up the stairs so that after a few seconds they had reached the front door. There he let her go again so that she could get in before him.

Once inside, she was now in a spacious cabin with bright, inviting leather seats. Certain that it would start soon, she sat down while Stark walked forward through a door. With a hand signal, however, he told her to wait where she was and Natasha was pretty sure he had some details to discuss with the pilot.

Sighing, she sank deeper into the cushions and complied with his request to wait here. After a short discussion, she had agreed to fly with him to Monaco and hoped that she would not regret it later. So at least they didn't have to talk to Fury for long. Her boss seemed almost happy that Stark wanted her to be his companion.

But the more time she spent with him, the faster she began to feel because she was playing something for him. But that was her mission. There was no other way. But still they got closer and closer and she was sure that he would hate her if he found out. Maybe that wouldn't even be her biggest problem if she thought that his touches slowly began to please her more and more. When she caught herself with these thoughts, she quickly tried to deal with something else.

"Do you want anything to drink?" Stark's voice suddenly sounded behind her again and turned his head in his direction, happy about this distraction from her own thoughts. In his hands, the man held two glasses, which she immediately recognized as wine glasses. With a serious look, she looked at him: "I don't drink during work". "Neither did I", he let himself fall into the seat opposite her and placed the two containers on the table between them: "But this is a holiday. I'm allowed to do that, and you have explicit permission to do that." Natasha couldn't help but burst out laughing. He couldn't really mean that, could he?

"Why are you laughing?" apparently he meant it seriously. "I'd like to remind you that on my first day as your assistant you grabbed the first ten minutes of alcohol," she explained immediately. "That ... is right," he admitted with a dissatisfied expression on his face: "But that was also the only time.

"And then what was that at the charity event," she threw in. "It was all Hammers fault," he defended himself immediately and the mention of the name gave them both a bitter expression: "I had no choice but to survive the evening than to drink, since they certainly wouldn't have made out with me to sweeten the whole thing at least a little bit more. You're right," he confirmed, "because in Hammer's presence there was hardly any choice but to drink. He sulked slightly, probably because of his latter statement, and she couldn't help grinning about it.

"Will you ever drink with me, Miss Rushman?" he looked at her with big eyes and a begging look. "Maybe if you were nice to me," she joked with a grin and looked at him provocatively. "I'm always nice to you," he disagreed immediately and looked at her a little hurt.

Immediately she felt bad, but before she could apologize for those harsh words, which were not really meant seriously, an expression appeared on his face that surprised her. "Or do you mean another kind of 'nice'?", an ambiguous grin appeared on his lips and he wobbled his eyebrows amusedly. "Stark!," she rolled her eyes and slipped down a bit in her seat. He had pulled something out of her words that she didn't really want to say consciously, but still, he made her more restless and she felt a tingling heat spreading all over her body. She didn't want to talk to him about it during the whole flight.

Chapter Text

"You know, I would have the perfect idea of how we could spend the day," he told her as they walked down the aisle to the hotel room. "She was never sure whether to expect anything good or bad from him. "We could go to the beach," he opened his suggestion to her: "The hotel is only one street away." Surprised, she looked at him. "What? irritated and questioning at the same time, he looked at her. "That's a really good idea," she replied, smiling slightly. "You almost act as if I never had any good ideas," he folded his arms in front of his chest. The fact that he stopped fortunately saved them from an answer.

Now they were standing in front of a dark wooden door and Stark pulled out the room card they had received a few minutes ago at the reception. He held it in front of the electronic lock and it unlocked with a quiet click. Tony pushed the door open and then entered with the woman in tow.

The room was bright and modern and a large double bed immediately caught her eye. "So we share a bed? her eyebrows had lifted and she looked at him dissatisfied. He could see that she was not very enthusiastic about this situation. "Had I told you that before, they certainly wouldn't have come," he explained but looked at her apologetically. She rolled her eyes but kept her agreement to his statement to herself. She often shared the bed with Clint and was used to sharing the bed with a man, but with Stark it was different.

A discussion about the sleeping situation was the last thing she wanted at that moment. So she decided to just shrug her shoulders and keep looking around the room. This allowed a glass door to be seen through white, thin curtains. Natasha curiously approached them and pushed the curtains slightly to the side so that she could see a small balcony with a perfect view of the beach promenade.

"Do you like the view?", a hand lay on her hips as he whispered into her ear. She could feel his hot breath on the naked skin of her neck and an unstoppable goosebump spread all over her body. With his knuckles, he gently stroked her cheek just to reach for one of her red strands and push it behind her ear. Silently she nodded as her throat was dried out. The hand on her hip couldn't possibly ignore her, the touch was too attractive and she thought she could almost feel the warmth of his palm through the fabric of her dress.

For a moment she closed her eyes and tried to rearrange her thoughts after he had thrown her completely upside down. Once she swallowed hard to moisten her throat, hoping he wouldn't listen to how she was feeling right now.

"W - We should get ready for the beach now', with these words she took a step forward and brought back some distance between her bodies. At that moment, the man was especially happy that she had her back to him as she hadn't seen his disappointed facial expression when she had dodged him. But this one turned into a contented grin when he noticed the wavering of her voice. So at least he had a little influence on her!

But he knew it was wrong for him to keep her from going now. So he stepped aside and let her slip past him. She kept her eyes on the ground so he wouldn't notice the treacherous expression in her eyes as her heart beat faster.

Tony stayed there for a few seconds until he heard the bathroom door closed. Only then did he turn around and step back into the room. These days would probably be more difficult than he had expected. At least that's what the unpleasant bump in his pants made him suspect. But how could he prevent that from happening to this woman?

"When her voice resounded about ten minutes later, he drove around and saw her in the door frame. "Yes, have you been there for a long time?", he saved the counterquestion as to whether she had already finished. He preferred to examine her from head to toe. This also struck her, which is why she rolled her eyes: "No, I do not. I'm just finished." She had decided to put on a plain white summer dress over her red bikini, which flashed out from underneath, and some white flip-flops.

"All right, let's go then," he suggested and stretched out his hand to her as a kind of invitation. "Whatever," she came to him and he grabbed the key card before they left the room together. As they walked quietly down the hall, she could take an unresolved tension between them that even she was unable to deny. And she was sure it would end in an explosion if it didn't go on like this.

A few minutes later they stepped out into the street. It was emptier than expected, but Natasha was happy. In contrast to New York, this was a good chance. Only some tourists strolled around. Natasha started to look around the area enthusiastically and was happy about this distraction.

Just when they were bent around a corner together, a suggestive whistle was heard. Natasha looked in the direction the sound had come from and discovered a man staring at her with a grin. She only reacted with a roll of her eyes but ignored it otherwise. It wasn't the first time that some guy was whistling after her.

Stark, however, did not seem to be able to dismiss it so easily. Because Natasha noticed how he narrowed his eyes into slits and warned the guy. But not only that. Because that didn't seem to be enough for him yet. He put his arm demonstratively in a possessive gesture around her hips and certainly pulled her to himself. Surprised, she looked at him: "What are you planning to do? "I don't want anyone to turn you on and especially not in my presence," he explained with a sour look and stroked her side with his fingers.

She didn't know what to answer and just kept looking at him while he avoided her gaze. Almost as if he hadn't wanted to pronounce those words, but only to keep them for himself as thoughts. But if she was honest, she liked at least a little that he was trying to mark his territory at that moment. Nevertheless, she told herself that she was not allowed to start thinking like that in the first place. After all, he was her boss and she was his assistant. Nothing more!

Chapter Text

Slowly Natasha opened her eyes and blinked several times until she noticed that she was still wearing her sunglasses. The rays of the hot French sun had interrupted her nap. Slightly yawning, she stretched out to her clothes on the sunbed to catch a glimpse of the display on her cell phone and read the time. About half an hour ago they had arrived at the beach, had looked for two sunbeds and then Natasha had already fallen asleep after a few minutes. The long flight had made them too much. Fortunately Stark didn't have anything against it and just let her sleep.

Now fully awake again, she sat up and stretched herself slightly before drawing her attention to the couch next to her at the thought of Stark. But there was only a large white towel and a light grey T-shirt. But there was no trace of him anywhere. That's why she let her gaze wander across the bright sandy beach in search of the man.

After a few seconds, she discovered a black head of hair between the other bathers, which looked suspiciously familiar to her. And as the person came closer, she recognized Mister Stark, who was slowly moving towards him. Natasha's eyebrows twitched in the air as she looked at him. She pulled the sunglasses down a bit so she could see over the edge. So she got a better look at her boss, who had taken off his shirt and was still wearing his swimming trunks. This allowed her to look not only at the blue shining arc reactor in his chest but also at his muscular upper body. Unconsciously she licked her lips slightly at the sight. Damn, he's looking really good. The fact that he dripped from head to toe told her that he had already been in the water without her.

When he noticed that she was awake, a broad grin appeared on his lips. Immediately she pushed the glasses up again, hoping that he hadn't noticed her look. "Hey, sunshine," he laughed and sat down on his couch next to her: "Awake again?" She tried to cover up her reaction to him as best she could: "Don't call me that, Stark."

"Oh come on, Miss Rushman," he looked at her a little sadly and immediately she felt bad: "This is a holiday, so at least give me a little smile. We're here to have fun." When she didn't answer and turned away from him, he got up smiling again and came up to her. But she didn't notice that until he put his arms around her.

"What the ... ", surprised she turned him now nevertheless again the face. But too late. He had already taken the glasses from her and made himself at it to lift her. One arm he had looped around her upper body and held with the other her legs.

"Stark?", she struggled slightly with her legs and tried to free herself from him: "You are soaking wet. However, he held them tight and protected them in his arms. "Come on, relax," he asked her with a grin and pressed her a little closer as he stepped on the water with her.

His grin infected her and while she continued to defend herself slightly, she began to laugh slightly and leaned her head slightly against his shoulder. "Please let go of me', she wrapped an arm around his neck to feel a little safer in his grip: 'The water is certainly cold. "Just wait," she laughed, and the next moment she felt her legs coming into contact with the seawater. However, it was completely different than expected. It was bearable and cool. So she stopped defending herself against him and instead let him carry her further inside.

"And? isn't that bad, is it?" his voice sounded after a few seconds close to her ear again and she lifted her head. "No, it isn't," she admitted and couldn't resist a slight smile. "Well, look,' he smiled too, and she could see a happy expression in his eyes that let her heart make a sentence. This little trip did him good. Since she worked for him, she had hardly seen him so carefree.
"Will you stay here with me, too, if I let go of you now", he then hooked after and without thinking long about it, she nodded. If she was honest, she liked to see him like that and didn't want that to stop. But when she didn't make any effort to free herself from him, he added something else: "Or would you like to stay in my arm? Now she tried to get away from him quickly: "Of course not."

"Yes," he laughed easily and it was obvious to him that he didn't believe a word she said. But he loosened his grip around her anyway and let her slowly sink into the water. Immediately she put herself in a good position so that she would not sink, as she could no longer reach the ground with her feet. She felt Tony looking at herself, who in contrast to her seemed to stand quite well.

Only now does she realize that he had taken her to a place where relatively few other people seemed to be. Was that the intention? To be honest, she didn't mind that much. Tony gave her a moment to look at the whole environment. Here, unlike in the rest of the city, the wind was pleasantly refreshing and she visibly enjoyed the refreshment. Unlike in America, it seemed to be quite hot in France at that time.

"My idea wasn't so bad after all, huh?" his voice resounded after a while. Meanwhile, she had laid down on her back and floated so relaxed on the water. "Yes, that wasn't so bad for a change," she agreed, amusedly grinning. "Not so bad at all?" he looked at her a little offended: "You know how to understate." "Yes, I do," she grinned broadly and closed her eyes for a moment.

Suddenly she felt something touching her ankles and she opened her eyes slightly to recognize Tony who had let his fingers slide gently over her skin. "I knew you would like Monaco," he commented as she shuddered under his touch. "You must have taste, I'd say," she admitted.

"Oh, a compliment from your mouth, Miss Rushman," he teased with a laugh, putting his hands around her ankles and gently pulling them to himself: "That's something new." She didn't resist, but simply let him pull her over: "Better not get used to it."

"I really shouldn't do that," he laughed. Meanwhile, she was close to him again and wrapped her legs around his hips before she straightened up again. So they were as close again as when he had carried them, or maybe even closer. "Here I could get used to very well," he whispered to her and stroked her thighs. Instinctively she wanted to contradict him, saying that this would certainly not happen and was allowed to. But instead, she kept her mouth shut and just looked at him, unwilling to answer anything.

At that moment she obviously enjoyed being around him and enjoying the atmosphere she had created around her. And this time she wasn't able to deny it.

Chapter Text

He stood on the balcony and let his gaze wander over the beach, where the waves beat against the sand. The sun had already set over the city, but he was still wide awake thanks to the time difference. Relaxed, he had leaned on the metal railing and listened to the splash of water coming from the bathroom.

They had returned to the hotel about half an hour ago and had both made it their business to wash the salty seawater from their bodies. She had let him go first, as she seemed to suspect that she would take longer than he did. But at the same time, she had given him time to think about the day. And if he was honest, she had surprised him today. She had allowed his closeness a surprising amount. And if he only thought about it, a strange feeling spread in him that he had hardly felt in his life so far.

Although he had fun flirting with her in the beginning, maybe even hoping she would go along with it, it had become more. He wanted her attention, no other man at her side, and just wanted her to be happy. And seeing her with him today so relaxed and relaxed had done him more than good. More and more it turned out that this holiday had been a great idea.

Meanwhile, Natasha had dried her red hair and dressed so she could leave the bathroom. To her surprise, there was only one lamp in the corner of the room that was turned on, throwing pleasant light at the walls. She immediately began to look around the room and caught herself looking for him. After a few seconds, however, she recognized him on the balcony and slowly walked towards him. He didn't notice her until she suddenly appeared next to him.

"Also sometimes ready", he grinned. "Have you missed me already?", a grin also appeared on her lips. "Can you blame me for that?" he replied and she could feel him looking at her.

The surprise was written all over his face when he realized that she was wearing nothing more than a thin white top and black panties, as well as a white cardigan covering her shoulders. However, he would lie if he said he didn't like it.

"You shouldn't walk around like this," he recommended her anyway. "Why? a little smile appeared on her lips as if she knew what he had been thinking. "That's dangerous', he grinned also: 'That's how you do it to me, namely not to flirt terribly with you.

She took a step towards him: "I like to live dangerously". "Oh, Miss Rushman," the gap between them got noticeably smaller: "You're driving me crazy." She didn't answer, but instead closed the last few inches between them so that they touched slightly.

That was enough for him to lose control. He put his hands on her cheeks and looked at her face for a moment before leaning down to her and putting his lips on hers. She immediately returned the kiss without a second's hesitation. Both kept their eyes closed to lose themselves in the intoxicating feeling that was rushing through their bodies at that moment. She let her hands wander across his chest up to his shoulders, leaving a pleasant tingling sensation on his skin.

At first, it was a slow and loving kiss, but it quickly became more demanding. She buried her fingers in his hair and leaned slightly against him. He stroked along her sides and enjoyed the feeling of her warm, soft skin under his fingers.

She detached herself from him again and reached for his hand to walk towards the door with him. He let herself be dragged along by her but hesitated a little as she walked towards the bed. She pushed the cardigan off her shoulders and let it fall to the ground: This gave him a glimpse of another part of her beautiful body. She grinned and let her hands run over the fabric of his shirt to pull it over his head.

But to her, and frankly to his, surprise, he stopped her. He reached for her dainty hands and looked at her seriously: "Are you sure you want to do this? "Yes, I am sure," she smiled at him and in her meadows, he realized that she meant what she had said.

He put his arms around her and then lifted her without long detours. Immediately she wrapped her legs around his hips, knowing exactly what she was doing. Everything else would have surprised him, but Tony carried her over to the bed as she pressed against him. His heart had started beating faster and he hoped she couldn't feel it.

He gently let her sink into the sheets and wanted to free herself from her for a moment, but she held him with her. He began to grin: "I never thought you would be so excited about this idea". "I'm good for a surprise now and then," she grinned broadly and loosened her legs from his hips before she started kissing him again.

But she interrupted again for a moment to take off his T-shirt. This gave her a glimpse of the blue - glowing arc reactor in his chest. Fascinated, she stared at it and he couldn't hold back a slight smile as he noticed her gaze.

"Do you want to touch him," he asked and swallowed lightly. Normally he was rather cautious about that, you could even say sensitive. But something told him that he could trust her. "If I really can,' she breathed and looked up at him because she had noticed his reaction. "Yes, you may,' he gently stroked her hair: 'But please be careful, yes? "Of course", for a moment she looked at his face with big eyes before she lowered her gaze back to his chest.

Slowly she stretched out her hands and drove carefully over the metal rim. He leaned slightly forward to make it easier for her and then leaned to her right and left to watch her explore what was keeping him alive. Although this was a new experience for him too, he had to admit that she liked her gentle touches.

However, every time her finger slipped over his skin, only more desire built upon her, in him. He just wanted her and there was nothing he could do about it. "I want you", he whispered to her and pressed his lips demanding on hers. She gasped and let the hands now glide over his muscular back.

Quickly he pushed the thin straps from her shoulders and let his hands wander under her top. Purposefully he moved her to her breasts and kneaded them slightly. "Take it off," she breathed, a little breathless from his touches.

Only more spurred on by this, he skilfully took it off, although he thought for a moment about tearing it apart. This gave him a glimpse of her black lace bra and he felt the bump in his pants begin to throb with excitement. Hungry, he began to kiss her breasts as she tampered with his pants. She couldn't stand it any longer either. For it was no longer enough for him to feel only under himself. He wanted to be in her and feel the twitching of her hips while she moaned his name.

When she moaned, came under him and arched her back, it was enough to push him over the edge. For a moment they stayed in position and he used the time to look at them before he pulled himself out and sank into the pillows next to her. She struggled for air and he noticed that her legs were still trembling slightly.

He put an arm around her and gently pulled her closer. Immediately she snuggled up to him and pushed one leg over his own to be even closer to him. He gently stroked her hair and played with her red strands as she slowly normalized his heartbeat. Beating with her was even better than he had ever imagined.

"What did you plan for tomorrow, Mister Stark," she asked after a few moments. Surprised, he looked down at her. She noticed that too and looked at him with questioningly raised eyebrows: "What?" "Don't you think it's about time that you called me by my first name and that we let this girl go? At least when we're alone." "Do you offer this to all your assistants after they've slept with you?" She raised her right eyebrow with a teasing look.

"Ouch," he replied, "Do you think I sleep with all my assistants?" Immediately she opened her mouth to answer something, but he put a finger on her lips: "No, I do not. Otherwise, I'm always a good boy and don't even think about it. Only with you, it was not possible from the very beginning". "You at least tried," she looked at him surprised. "No, not really," he replied honestly and grinned broadly: "Wouldn't have worked anyway.

"I wanted you much too much for that", he put his forehead against hers: "And I'm glad that you went over to the 'you' after all." He gently kissed her as he stroked her side. She moaned slightly into the kiss before releasing it again.

"But to get back to your question," when he noticed that she trembled slightly in his arms, he reached for the blanket to cover both of them: "Tomorrow there's a Formula One race in town and a driver is competing for my company. I am expected to go and I had hoped that you would be my companion again. But I understand it even if you don't ... "

Smiling, she put a finger on his lips: "If you want me with you, I'll come with you. It can't get any worse than the last time I was with you, anyway." She was undoubtedly alluding to the unpleasant meeting with Hammer. But when she remembered her little help he grinned: "Well I loved it when you just kissed me. So you made me hungry for more." She pushed him gently into the side with her elbow and gave him a slightly blaming look, but couldn't hold back a grin. "It's like that," he defended himself laughing slightly: "I just never get enough of kissing you."

Chapter Text

When the bathroom door opened, Tony lifted his head slightly. "Hey, a happy smile appeared on his lips when he saw her. "Hey," he greeted her and approached him as he stretched out his arms to her. "Come here," he asked and looked at her pleadingly as he brought her into a seated position.

Arriving at him, she stopped and he put his hands on her hip: "Are you sitting on my lap?" She tilted her head: "Tony ... "Oh, come on. I don't want to pretend it didn't happen yesterday," he said gently. That he said something like that, he couldn't believe himself, but he meant it exactly as he had said it.

Surprised, she raised her eyebrows as if she hadn't expected to hear anything like it from his mouth either. To be honest, she had assumed that it was only a one-time thing for him. "What? Did you think that I only slept with you to check you off on a to-do list or something?" he looked at her a little disappointed. "No", immediately she shook her head resolutely.

When she had spent time together in the beginning, it might have been a thought that could have sneaked into her mind. In the meantime, however, that had changed. Although one could believe in the existence of such a list. And maybe she also stood on it, but even if she did, she didn't care.

"Well then, that's good. Otherwise, I would have been a bit offended", he pushed the lower lip slightly forward, but couldn't hold back a grin. When he made another attempt to pull her onto his lap, she let him. "You are so beautiful," he muttered and put his forehead slightly against hers. She smiled slightly and gave him a feather-light kiss: "Thank you." "You too, but you know that yourself," she cuddled him slightly into the side and he grinned. He had reached for one of her red strands and wrapped it around his finger. "Do we want to go for breakfast?" he asked, after a few seconds in which he had just looked at her. "Are you hungry?" she asked. "Yes," he grinned broadly: "But not just for breakfast." Immediately she understood what he meant and couldn't quite stifle a grin: "Maybe there will be a dessert for you afterward. Who knows? "Hmm," he said with satisfaction: "Those are great prospects for the day."

"I think so too. But now seriously," she came back to the topic: "Let's go down. Now that you're talking about food, I'm getting hungry, too." He grinned: "Well, that sounds good." She rose from her place on his lap and reached for his hand to pull him to the door with her. He immediately crossed his fingers with hers and followed her after quickly grabbing the room card from the bedside table.

"So", he began as they walked down the hall together: "You agree with the plans for today? "Of course," they got into the elevator together. The elevator was empty and he used the undisturbed moment to wrap his arms around her from behind and put his head down on her right shoulder: "There is a very good chance that she will get super boring. Just so you're warned." She couldn't help but laugh amused when he said, "Believe me, Tony. I never get bored with you." "Why didn't that sound like a compliment now?" he grumbled and pushed her hair aside so he could kiss her on her naked neck. "Hmm," she shrugged her shoulders and gave him a broad, teasing grin: "Just think your piece." "Ey," she complained: "You'll get that back."

A few seconds later they stepped out of the elevator car together. He had meanwhile put an arm around them and was walking straight towards the breakfast room to get something from the buffet. She walked straight towards the scrambled eggs as he moved in a different direction. She observed him briefly and then took a plate to slowly fill it.

After a few minutes, she felt someone put their hand on her hip and didn't even have to turn around to know it had to be Tony. "Ready," he asked and now she turned around. "For now," she said and let him guide her in a certain direction.

Tony dragged them through an open door so that they stepped outside on the porch, which was also available for them to eat. It was already warm outside, so she didn't feel the urge to go back in. On the contrary. She enjoyed the pleasant sea breeze, which at that time was a bit stronger than lunch or afternoon.

Together they let themselves sink to a wooden table and she closed her eyes briefly before she gave a relaxed sigh. "I love to see you like it here," she heard his voice and could feel him reach across the table for her hand to gently stroke the back of her hand with his thumb. She opens her eyes again and smiles slightly: "And I love to see you so happy".

He just opened his mouth as if he wanted to reply to it, an unexpected voice rang out behind her: "Man, Tony, there you are. Before she turned around, she noticed Tony's obvious eye-rolling. Immediately she turned to him and saw Happy. The expression, however, expressed anything but satisfaction.

He stepped up to them quickly and Natasha remembered that he must have arrived this morning or perhaps even yesterday evening. "Tomorrow," he greeted her before turning to Tony and looking at him with a disapproving look. "What," he asked him in surprise. But now Natasha became curious and looked expectantly at Tony's head of security.

"It wasn't until he dropped a newspaper on the table in front of them that she became aware that he had been holding it in his hand the whole time. "Tony simply replied in a relaxed manner and remained seated, leaning completely relaxed against the back of the chair.

Natasha, on the other hand, bent forward a bit to take a look at the front page. A large picture was printed at the top that made her freeze. "Oh my God," she breathed more to herself than to the others. Because not only Tony was to be seen on it, but also Natasha, with whom he sat together on one of the sun loungers on the beach.

Her reaction also led her to risk a quick glance and a slight smile appeared on his lips: "The photographers are getting faster and faster. Shocked, she lifted her head and looked at him stunned as her heart began to jump slightly: "That's not funny, Tony." "Tony", Happy spoke again: "I didn't know at all that you had gone over to the 'you'." He slightly closed his eyes as if trying to find out what had happened between them in the last few days. She immediately lowered her eyes and noticed her cheeks getting warm. Normally this wasn't typical for her, but this was something else. After all, their relationships weren't usually so strongly drawn into the public eye. Even with the fake relationships, she had to maintain for missions.

"Hey", again Tony grabbed her hand and made her lift her head again: "That's just an article. It'll be forgotten in a week. Believe me! Natasha sighed. Hopefully, he was right. An undercover mission like this one could blow it up in no time.

When she was reminded again that this whole thing was just a mission, it felt like a dagger was slowly and painfully drilling into her heart. She had started to feel comfortable with the man and somehow she didn't want it to stop. Although he certainly hated her anyway if he found out that she was an agent who was put on him by her boss. This thought made her heart beat faster for a moment and she immediately tried to push him out of her head again.

Chapter Text

When the car stopped, Tony pushed his door open before walking around the vehicle. When he got there, he opened the car door on her side with a flick of the wrist. Then he stretched out her hand to help her out. Of course, he also knew that she could do it just as well on her own. But he used every chance to prove to her that he could also be a gentleman if he wanted to.

Because he hadn't missed the fact that she hadn't been too happy about the article in the newspaper and somehow he felt a little bad about it. He had never been bothered by anything like that, but he didn't want her to feel uncomfortable when she was with him. He wanted nothing more than for her to be happy. That's why they had agreed to her wish and agreed that today at this event they would pretend there was nothing between them. Although he already knew that it would not be easy for him.

With a slight grin, she looked at his hand before she grabbed it. He grinned broadly and gently pulled her towards him. Fortunately, Happy had temporarily parked in a spot where there were no journalists, so they had at least a few minutes together before all the hustle and bustle started.

"Are you sure you can do this?", she asked again.

"What? Not staring at you all the time and the need to suppress the need to touch you and have for me alone," he replied and as he spoke, he realized that it would be harder than he had initially thought. Especially since she just looked fantastic in her red dress.

"Yes, exactly that," she laughed slightly.

"Just this one time," she asked him and gave him a kiss on the cheek: "Then we're back in New York and you're welcome to do it all over again."

"Well, that sounds like something I can make friends with," he said and then let go of her hand.

"Happy," he turned to the man who was sitting in the driver's seat and tried with all his might to stifle a big grin. When he was approached, he quickly tried to put on as neutral a facial expression as possible and then turned around to his best friend: "Yes? "

He asked him and his head of security nodded in agreement before starting the engine again.

Tony and Natasha also started to move slowly. They were quite late, but Tony had assured her that it wasn't too bad. After all, he was usually too late, so no one else expected it from him. She had been content with that, as there was no point in discussing it with him anyway.

As they walked across the sidewalk, his gaze was on Natasha. After a few seconds, she began to feel his gaze on her and I looked at him with my head slightly crooked: "Tony."

She drew his name extra long.

"I'm sorry, I can't help it", he gave her an apologizing look: "You just look too good today".

Then he raised his hands defensively: "I promise I won't do it, but let me look at you for those few minutes."

She rolled her eyes with a sigh but said nothing more about it. Instead, she simply accepted his compliment.

A few minutes later they had crossed the extensive Formula 1 terrain and a large building was already in sight.

"Are we there," she asked curiously, but her question answered itself when she noticed the numerous journalists and photographers outside the entrance.

"You're probably right," he replied, but then fell silent when they came within sight of the photographers.

"Oh shit," she cursed quietly because she hadn't expected so much press.

When the first discovered Tony, loud cries immediately began and a bright lightning storm ignited. Everyone seemed to suddenly get their hands on Tony for an interview. The redhead sighed and regretted her decision to stop acting as Tony's secretary today - which she was. More and more, she felt the need to reach for his hand in order not to feel so lost in this moment.

Suddenly she was approached from the side by a man holding a recording device: "Sorry, M'am."

With a confused look, she looked at him and had no idea what to say.

"Are you Tony Stark's new girlfriend?", he asked immediately, holding the device in her face. Completely taken by surprise, she just stared at him with her mouth open and was completely at a loss what to answer. After all, she had no idea what kind of relationship she had with him.

"Uh, no, I'm just his... " she just put on an explanation, she suddenly grabbed someone's arm and pulled her gently, but firmly, away.

Surprised, she turned around and discovered Tony who had appeared next to her and led her away from the reporter. Immediately, unbridled relief spread inside her and she followed him slowly up the stairs to the front door.

"Never leave me alone with them again," she asked him immediately, after which he replied with a nod: "I wasn't going to. Don't worry!"

"But what did you want to tell him?" he then asked with an interested look: "What do you think you are to me?"

"I don't know", she shrugged her shoulders: "Your secretary?"

"Hm", he wrinkled his nose and didn't seem happy with her answer.

But before he said anything, Happy appeared at his side: "Hey, luckily I discovered you so quickly. I probably never would have found you among the many people."

Tony sighed but later decided to talk to her about it. Then, when they were alone again. Because although she had been his secretary, in the beginning, things had changed over time and he didn't like it when she said that she wasn't more than his employee.

Chapter Text

Once inside the building, Tony was approached again by some reporters who wanted his attention. This time, however, the insecurity she had felt before failed to materialize as she still had Happy by her side.

As a waiter passed by, Tony took a glass from the tablet he was carrying. Just as he was about to put it on his lips, Natasha took it from his hand. "Not today," she whispered to him with a warning look, whereupon he sulked and tried to snatch it away from her again. But she had already walked a few steps away from him and had started sipping the glass herself.

But he couldn't go after her, because the reporter started to involve him in a conversation and didn't allow him to leave. "Come on, we'll find a table," Happy whispered to her.

"Sounds like a good plan," she agreed with a nod.

Together they pushed themselves between the other people in search of a good table.

"What about that one over there," she nodded to a table. This stand so that one had a good view of a television on which a broadcast of the race was running. "Looks good," said Happy and confidently walked up to the man in the tailcoat standing next to him.

Natasha used the time they were talking to each other to turn around and catch a glimpse of Tony. He still seemed to be interviewed, but seemed a little unfocused. When he noticed her look, she could also see from a distance the grin that appeared on his lips and a wink he couldn't resist.

"At that moment Happy's voice resounded behind her again and she turned back to the head of security.

"Yes," she murmured but was still with Tony with her thoughts.

"I cleared everything up," he explained to her and nodded to the table:"We can have it."

"Great", she put on a smile and followed the man to her new place.

As soon as they settled down, he fixed her with an interested look: "So, Tony and you, huh? Interesting."

"Um," her eyes widened slightly. She knew he must have noticed, but she hadn't expected him to say anything for a second.

"Maybe," she simply avoided his question further, not sure what she should answer exactly. After all, her relationship was undefined and she didn't want to say they were more until they talked about it.

"Yes," she could see in his eyes that he didn't believe a word she said: "Even I notice how he looks at you."

Immediately she felt her cheeks warming and she could already vividly imagine a slight blush spreading on them. Was it so obvious or did he just know Tony so well?

"Hey," suddenly two hands lay on her shoulders and she turned her head to the person behind her. There she discovered Tony looking down at her with interest. He gently massaged her shoulders.

"Hey," Happy greeted him, but still wore the broad, knowing grin on his lips.

"What are you talking about?" he asked, almost as if he knew what her previous topic of conversation had been.

"Oh nothing," she tried anyway, although she didn't know how long he had been standing behind her. She looked up at him and gave him as innocent a look as possible.

Tony, on the other hand, had immediately noticed the slight blush, which he liked quite well on her cheeks. However, he didn't intend to ask any more questions at that moment if she deliberately didn't tell him. Either he would ask her again later or try to squeeze Happy. As he knew his loyal friend, however, he knew that he would hardly betray her if she had asked him not to. Even if he would damn well like to know what they had talked about.

He took his hands off their shoulders and then let himself fall onto the chair in the middle of them.

"I've had enough of interviews today," he changed the subject to get the conversation rolling again.

"I can imagine that," she said with a grin, but then teased: "You're doing very well, though."

He looked at her slightly offended: "Yes, I know. But I'd rather spend the time with you than with these photographers."

For a moment she forgot that Happy was sitting with them and grinned broadly: "Well, you have to go through that now".

Stark had a thoughtful face and suddenly she thought she could see a sparkle in his eyes that she didn't suspect anything good.

"What?", she asks, hoping to find out what he had been thinking about. He just shrugged his shoulders at it innocently: "Oh, I was just thinking about how I could make this a little more interesting."

Her eyebrows raised right away and she knew immediately that this didn't mean anything good.

Chapter Text

"Anthony, my old friend," that's when someone put a hand on the millionaire's shoulder from behind. But he didn't have to turn around to know who was standing there. His voice had already betrayed Justin Hammer and then there was this unmistakable way in which he pretended to be a friend of Tony. And that, although he knew they certainly weren't.

Tony pressed his jaws tightly together, took a deep breath and then slowly turned around on the barstool he was sitting on.

"Hey," he said in as neutral a voice as possible as he shoved Hammer's hands off his shoulders.

"I didn't know you would be here today," a hint of bitterness mingled with his voice and he began to think about how to escape from that situation.

"I would have called you, but then I thought it would be better to surprise you," he smiled, whereupon Tony had to stifle a roll of his eyes with all his might.

"Yes, very nice", the sarcasm could be heard exactly. While he was talking, he looked over Hammer's shoulder and looked with his eyes for Happy and especially Natalie. They had already saved him at the last meeting with the other man and maybe she would do that again for him. Even if she had to think of something else. At least if she wanted to continue to pass for no more than his assistant during this event. Although he wouldn't mind if she kissed him again. At that thought, he immediately noticed how not only something inside him but also in his trousers began to move.

"Tony", Hammer began waving with one hand in front of his eyes to regain his absent attention: "Are you still listening to me?"

He sighed and then nodded, "Yes, of course."

He hadn't even noticed that every word had left Hammer's mouth, he kept to himself for once, because he didn't feel like talking to him any more than he had to. The few words they had exchanged were enough for him anyway.

Once again he let the gaze wander past Justin and this time he saw the woman he had honestly hoped for. Ignoring that Hammer might notice, the moment she looked at him, he gave her a tortured and help-seeking look.

When her looks met, she immediately noticed the look on his face. Instinctively, she frowned and tried to analyze the situation he was in. Only then did she realize with whom Tony seemed to be talking. It was Justin Hammer who had robbed her of her last nerve at her first meeting. So much so that she could understand Tony's face one hundred percent.

That's why she started to move without thinking long and hard and pushed herself through between the other people. She had already managed to keep him from hammering the last time. So why shouldn't she be able to do it a second time? Although she probably had to think of another way. After all, she had been the one who had wanted him not to show that they no longer had a truly professional relationship. However, it became harder and harder for her to hold on to herself.

When he noticed that she was approaching him, he grinned and suspected that they had understood exactly what situation he was in.

"Hey, Mister Stark," she greeted him as she arrived at the two men.

"What can I do for you, Miss Rushman?" he asked and had only eyes for her. Now that she was so close to him, she felt the need to put her arm around her petite body and pull it. But he wanted to respect what she had wished him to do.

To both his and her surprise, Hammer, who had been staring at her the whole time, cleared his throat, and it almost seemed as if he was trying to get her attention: "Nice to see you again, Miss Rushman." 

"Hey," replied she, but Tony was sure that she had hoped to just ignore the other one.

"You know, if dear Anthony here gets too exhausting for you at some point, you can always come to me," he smiled and tried to be as charming as possible, but failed miserably: "My doors are always open to a woman like you."

Tony had to suppress a choking and Natasha a demonstrative eye roll. However, he suddenly felt his inner self shrink and jealousy rise in him. Although he was very sure that she would never leave him to work for Hammer, he still got a little nervous. In his pocket, he clenched one hand firmly into a fist. But then he couldn't fight against the urge to put an arm around it. He simply had to make it clear to his competitor that she belonged to him and that he should forget his suggestion very quickly. His fingernails dug through the fabric of her dress into her skin.

"Stark," she mumbled softly and laid her hand on his. So she made him relax immediately and loosen the grip noticeably. Since he too had noticed that he was reacting stronger than he wanted, he looked at her with an apologetic look, whereupon she quickly formed a barely noticeable "All right" with her lips.

She came back to the topic: "Could I talk to you for a moment?"

"Yes, sure," Tony replied, but Hammer didn't seem to have understood that she wanted him to leave her alone. So she added again emphatically: "In private."

But that didn't seem to help either. But she was not surprised. So she grabbed his hand and pulled him with her.

"What are you going to do," he asked when they were a bit away from Hammer. However, she did not answer but grinned only slightly.

Chapter Text


"Well, what do you want to talk to me about, Miss Rushman?" he teased slightly grinning when they left Hammer. Nevertheless, he kept teasing them deliberately. After all, she had insisted that they pretend she was nothing more than his assistant.

But she didn't answer anything, but just gave him a look over his shoulder. But he didn't miss the touch of a devilish grin on her lips. She was up to something, but at that point, he couldn't yet figure out what it was. However, he knew he would like it.

With one last look into the crowded room, she pushed the door open and pulled him into the small room. Now he also began to grin when he noticed that they were in the washroom in front of the toilets. "You can't stay away from me either," he said as she locked the door behind them.

"It was you, after all, who didn't seem to be just my boss before Hammer," she let her fingers wander over his back from behind before she wrapped her arms around him and laid her head down on his shoulder.

"I had to mark my territory," he explained, looking over his shoulder.

"Towards him?", her forehead folded and she pressed lightly against him. This made her accelerate his breathing and nervousness spread throughout him.

"Yes, of course", he said immediately: "He hit on you and I won't let him do that. You belong to me."

These words also made her heart beat faster. She detached herself from him to walk around him so that they could stand opposite each other and look into each other's eyes: "Do I? Do I belong to you?"

"Yes, you do," he gently pulled her towards him and her upper body pressed against his: "At least I want to."

Grinning broadly, she leaned forward and breathed: "You know, right now I'm very willing to break our agreement".

"Yes, I notice that, too," he gently drove through her hair: "But I can't help it."

He pulled her to himself and enjoyed the feeling of her body on his: "You saved me again."

"Yes, in there I'm probably quite good", only a few centimeters separated their faces from each other: "And I can even think of a good way how you could return the favor".

"I know exactly what you're thinking about," he grins: "But do you want to break our agreement?"

"I'd love to do that right now," she leaned her forehead gently against his. That was enough for him as confirmation. He put his hands under her buttocks and lifted them as if it were an ease.

With her in his arms, he walked towards the counter where the sink was set. Her lips met and he pressed them against him. Then he let her slowly sink and gently pushed her legs apart to position herself in between. They didn't interrupt her kiss for a moment and he remained as demanding and passionate as he was at the beginning.

He stroked his eyes across her side and enjoyed the pleasant warmth of her body. The fact that she hadn't been able to hold herself back caused a wonderful feeling in him. Because he liked that she somehow couldn't make it seemed to keep her distance from him for a long time. Even if she didn't find it so funny if she knew how much he liked that fact.

"You're driving me crazy today," he mumbled into the kiss and felt her smile begin.

"I know," she breathed and released for a moment to put her legs around his hips and pull him to herself. Then she began to kiss his neck, sending waves of desire through his body. With her fingers she stroked across his chest, slowly opening some of his shirt buttons.

Her heart started beating faster and she wondered how he managed to get her to throw over the deal she had insisted on. Near him, however, she lost her self-control faster than she would have liked.

When she had pushed the light fabric of the shirt from his shoulders, she suddenly faltered and detached herself from his neck. From the corner of her eye, she had noticed something that attracted her attention.

With one finger she slowly drove over Tony's chest. Several long, dark lines stretched over it, ending at the arc reactor. She had noticed them last night, but somehow they didn't seem so striking, and if she was honest, her focus at the time wasn't really on them.

"Tony", she didn't raise her eyes, but just kept looking at his chest: "What's that?"

But that didn't escape her that he swallowed hard and instantly stiffened.

"Oh nothing," he mumbled to the answer and tried to cover his skin with the fabric again in a bad attempt to hide the lines from her. But Natasha didn't intend to let him get away with it and tried to prevent that. Tony, however, was faster and reached for her hands to cross his fingers with hers.

"Tony," she said in a begging tone, but the man just shook his head.

"Not", he shook his head and there was a pleading expression in his eyes: 'I don't want to talk about it now'.

She bit her lower lip slightly. She had to know what it was all about - the patterns that had formed on his chest didn't look healthy at all. But maybe he was right. This was neither the best place nor the best time to talk about it.

For a moment she just looked at him sighing, but then nodded slowly: "All right, I'll let it go."

"Very good", he smiled content and put his forehead against hers, whereupon she leaned slightly backward so that she could look him in the eye: "Then I can finally do to you why you brought me here".

"That sounds very promising," she grinned broadly and put her hands on his cheeks to pull him into a kiss again.

Chapter Text

Natasha made her way through the crowd of people with a confident step. She had only separated from Tony about five minutes ago, but that had been enough for her not to discover him among the many others.

While she had tied his tie properly, he had suggested that they should not leave the room at the same time. She hadn't had to think long about it and immediately responded. Because they had both agreed that they did not necessarily have to give such an obvious template to the journalists.

So she had waited a few more minutes in the room and spent the time looking back as she had before she had disappeared with him. However, it still kept her busy with what she had seen. The lines on his chest didn't look healthy at all and seemed to originate from the reactor near your heart.

Before she started the mission at Stark Industries, Fury had told her a lot about Stark and that it was only the Arc reactor that kept him alive. So he didn't hide the fact that he had only worked with palladium, which was not good for the human body.

And when she compared her knowledge with the picture on his chest, she had to admit to herself that it looked pretty much like the onset of palladium poisoning. But if it was, why didn't he do anything? Because if anyone could find extraordinary solutions to his problems, it was Tony Stark!

When she suddenly noticed Happy in a corner, she accelerated her step and headed straight for him. Happy and Tony were best friends, and if anyone knew where the millionaire had disappeared to, it was his head of security.

"Hey, Happy," next to me she came to a stop, and the man turned to her.

"Ah, Natalie, you're back now, too," he commented with a knowing expression on his face.

"Um, yes," she lowered her eyes slightly because that was nothing she had to talk about: "Say, have you seen Tony?"

Through her words he made a serious face and then shook his head: "Only very briefly and then he disappeared".

Natasha frowned slightly. Somehow she had no good feeling at all with Happy's words and the expression on his face only reinforced it. "And you just let him go", there was a slightly critical tone in her voice. After all, they both knew that the worst ideas came to him when he got bored at an event like this.

"Yes, but maybe it wasn't such a good idea," he agreed with her: "Because he said that he wanted to make the whole event a little more 'fun' here."

She was about to open her mouth and respond to it when a voice came out of the loudspeakers next to the TV nearby. At the same time, Happy and Natasha were driving around staring at the big screen.

"Just before the start of the race Tony Stark enters the pit lane", pictures of Tony passing by the cars were shown and immediately the driver's outfit he had put on jumped into her eye. A bad feeling spread inside her, but she kept looking, hoping he wasn't doing what she thought he was doing. He stopped at the car, which belonged to his company, and talked to a man wearing the Stark Industries logo on his jacket.

Then the driver, who had already been in the Formula 1 car, got out with a raging look. He pressed his helmet into Tony's hand and then disappeared from the racetrack. "It seems Stark had decided to drive the race himself," the race commentator shouted full of ecstasy. Both of them folded down their jaws at the same time and stared at each other in bewilderment.

"Oh my... " she began and Happy, who probably said the same thing, continued her sentence: "... God."

"He's gone crazy," she muttered, while Happy let herself sink into a chair and rest her head on her hands: "Man, Tony, what are you doing to us?!"

"Happy, what are we doing now?" she asked and he noticed that she had stiffened immediately when she realized what he was up to: "He's going to kill himself."

Chapter Text

With a confident look, Tony slipped into the long, low lying formula - 1 car. Then he took the dark blue helmet and put it on while the car was brought to the starting line. A touch of nervousness came up in him as he put his gloved hands around the steering wheel and noticed the accelerator pedal under his shoe sole. However, he quickly dispelled the feeling and allowed the anticipation of the race to simply overshadow it.

When the last three seconds started, a beep sounded again and again and a scoreboard was used to count down. When the zero appeared and a long tone could be heard, he put his foot on the gas and slowly pushed it down. The engine howled and before he knew it, he started at full throttle. The others were racing beside him with loud engine howls and his heart was beating firmly against his chest.

They took a few bends and the longer it ran, the greater his ecstasy grew and he didn't want it to end too quickly. Suddenly, however, there was something new. Screams were reaching his ears. But they weren't expressions of friends and fun, just the opposite. That made him concentrate for his moment from the track to the grandstand. He discovered that there suddenly seemed to be a tremendous restlessness, the origin of which he could not yet guess.

When he turned the next corner, he noticed something that even shocked him. Shortly before the next turn, several of the other cars were stacked on top of each other, destroyed. Some of them had been severed in the middle and parts were lying around everywhere. What had happened? After an ordinary rear-end collision in a race like this, it didn't look that way.

Then he suddenly discovered a man in orange clothes. Out of his sleeves, a long, whip-like construct hung on each side, whose blue glow reminded him of that of his arc reactor.

Tony drove at such a high speed that he couldn't slow down in front of the man, no matter how hard he stepped on the brake. His muscles hardened and for a moment he was paralyzed. His fingers closed tighter around the steering wheel and he couldn't do anything but just watch the stranger reach out with a long movement of his arm and seem to be focusing on Tony. As if he was targeting the millionaire.

The man with his whips just missed Tony's legs, but still separated the front part of his vehicle from the rest and threw the vehicle around just like his fellow passengers. Tony could feel the tires coming off the ground and then for a moment felt the feeling of weightlessness. The following clashing and the heavy shock of the impact made him come up strained.

An unpleasant pain chased through his back and small sweat beads dripped from his forehead, caused by the adrenaline that spread throughout his body. Countless thoughts were racing through his head, but slowly he freed himself from his stiffness and tried to make the best possible decision about what to do now.

As he heard approaching steps, he took off his helmet as quickly as he could and then unbuckled his seatbelts to free himself from the wreck. Because the other man seemed to be after Tony and in such a position he was helplessly at his mercy.

As well as he could, he pushed himself out of the seat and finally landed on the ground again. However, the superhero straightened up, staggered a few steps before he could catch himself again.

His breath went flat and he pressed a hand on his chest, hoping to catch himself. For he had to do something, otherwise, he was at the mercy of the unknown. For a moment he let his gaze wander over the grandstand, from where by now almost all the spectators had disappeared - only a few onlookers, who had to be tired of life, was still hanging around near the two of them.

However, he was looking for a certain person in the surrounding area. Or rather, after two. Where was Happy? Because his head of security was the only one who could help him at that moment, as he kept his Iron Man suit. And this although he had originally asked him not to bring any of his suits to Monaco. But he hadn't expected that he would get into such a situation and need him. So where was his best friend when he needed her?

Chapter Text

Before Tony noticed what was going on in front of him on the track, Natasha and Happy were shocked to see an unknown man in orange clothes suddenly enter the track. With the blue-bright, whip-like weapons dangling from his sleeves, he cut the Formula 1 car, like butter, into two parts and made sure that those he didn't catch would snap into their riders.

For a few moments, both of them stared stunned at the screen. Natasha was the first to release herself from the short rigor of shock.

"Happy", she grabbed the man to her left by the arm to draw his attention from the screen to her.

The man blinked once, but then looked over at her before reaching for her hand and suddenly pulling her with him:"Come on, Natalie."

Without a moment's hesitation, she followed him and, together with him, made her way through the other people who also scraped around the TV. By now everyone seemed to have noticed what was going on outside.

"What are we doing now," asked Natasha as she walked beside him. Both of them knew that he was lost if they couldn't find a way to help him.

"I have one of his suits in the car," he explains, as they pushed open the door and sprinted down the stairs. Fortunately, the photographers had finally disappeared there. At least they could talk to each other undisturbed and were not stopped by anyone.

"He was against it, but I took one with me," he explained.

"That will pay off now," she commented.

Arriving at the car, Happy opened the door on the driver's side, got in and started the engine.

"Where is the suit?" she asked while opening the rear door of the car.

"You'll find a suitcase in the back of the trunk. Take it and then get in," he ordered her literally. She immediately started to move, tore open the trunk and stared briefly into the stowage. She immediately discovered the suitcase and took it out before closing the flap again and sitting on one of the rear seats.

"Here take the key," Happy turned around to her again in his seat and handed her a small, rather technical-looking key. Without hesitation, she accepted it and took an interested look at it as the head of security depressed the accelerator: "What is this for?"

"Tony needs him right away to activate the suit," he explained, briefly tied with a concentrated view of the road.

"Hmm," she grumbled and leaned against the seat, while now they were also on the same route that Tony had covered before. Her heart was beating unusually fast. She was used to such pressure from missions, but this was something else. Because although she didn't like to admit it, it was Tony. She was worried about him, even though he was Iron Man and the first and most famous superhero in the world. But not only that. He was also Tony Stark, who always managed to get out of situations he didn't want to be in with ease. Nevertheless, she had to know that he was still doing well.

As she turned around the last corner, they reached Tony and his unknown opponent. The hero skilfully avoided him, but she could see that it was getting tighter and tighter. Instinctively, her hand moved to a certain spot on her thigh. There was usually always one of her weapons on missions. This time, however, she reached into the void. Immediately she froze and her heart stopped for a moment.

But then she remembered again that she had consciously decided not to take her pistol with her in an emergency today after it hadn't caused any problems the day before. She hadn't wanted to run the risk of discovering it either, which would put her in need of explanation. After all, he still had no idea who she was. Although she began to feel worse and worse in the meantime.

"Tony," Happy shouted at that moment and regained her concentration. Thereupon, however, the person addressed also turned around and became inattentive. But before he could catch Tony, Happy's reflexes came up and he pressed the gas pedal. Again, the car, which had been stopped shortly before, started quickly and caught the stranger. The car pressed the enemy with the bonnet firmly against the fence, which separated the track from the rest of the terrain.

Tony used this chance and ran over to Natasha immediately. Quickly she opened the door and handed him both the suitcase and the key outside.

"I'm glad you're okay," he muttered as he put the suitcase on the floor and deactivated the lock with the key.

"Me?"She asked, surprised, and looked at him just as confused: "I should rather ask you that."

With a grin on her lips that completely surprised her, he bent over to give her a short kiss on the forehead: "Take good care of yourself, yeah?"

But before she could reply, the enemy had freed himself and hurled his weapon once more in Stark's direction. However, the suit had almost stretched out over his entire body, so that he simply fended off the attack with ease. Because he simply intercepted the weapon in the air and remained protected by the material of his suit. The burning heat that the weapon radiated, however, he felt cleary.

As soon as he was completely covered by his red and silver Iron Man suit, he took a few steps away from the car so as not to endanger his friends. Fortunately, his plan worked out perfectly because his opponent immediately followed him away from the others.

Meanwhile, Jarvis had also woken up and his boss used the few seconds of breathing space: "Hey, Jarvis! "

"What can I do for you, Mr. Stark?" the artificial intelligence immediately reported.

"Can you tell me who I'm dealing with here?" Jarvis immediately started scanning the stranger's face and after a few seconds a picture and a name popped up on the right side of the interface.

"Ivan Vanko," Jarvis said, and Tony nodded thoughtfully:"Thank you."

The name didn't mean anything to him. But he didn't have time to think about it.

The next attack hit him hard, thanks to the few seconds he hadn't concentrated in. One of the whips hit him right against his chest and somehow tangled with his suit as he was thrown to the ground. Then he cursed instinctively and slowly rose again from the hot asphalt. To his amazement, that seemed to matter much more to him than the previous hit. Because the interface before his eyes had begun to flicker noticeably and a small groove had formed in the metal on his chest.

"What the hell do you want from me," he said loudly enough for his counterpart to hear him. To his surprise, he began to laugh.

"I want to give you to give back what your father did to my family," he shouted angrily with a Slavic accent, while at the same time a hateful look appeared on his face. But this answer only made Stark more confused, instead of telling him who he was looking at.

In the few seconds, they had talked to each other, Tony had bundled all his strength to perform his best trick. But he would also need this trick if he finally wanted to end this argument. So he stretched out his gloved hand towards him and used the power he had deliberately built up in his glove over the past few minutes. This caused a bright, hot jet to shoot out of the blue - glowing module in the palm of his hand. The beam hit Vanko with full force in the middle of his chest, whereupon he flew back with full force.

At that moment police sirens were suddenly heard, which seemed to approach rapidly. Relief suddenly spread inside him and he breathed deeply. There was something about the opponent's weapons that had made it harder than usual for him and he had to find out who this man was as soon as possible. Tony opened his visor and looked over to Natalie and Happy, who had taken distance from the fighters. Now that the adrenaline was leaving his body again, he suddenly noticed a stabbing pain in his chest that he hadn't even noticed until then.

Chapter Text

Slowly Tony moved towards the bed as she closed the door behind them. Groaning, he dropped on it and she turned around to him. With slightly trembling hands, the man tried to open the buttons of his shirt but failed. Disillusioned sighing, he looked over at Natasha. She was still standing in the entrance and had watched him try his miserable attempt.

"Yes, I know," he looked at her: "It was a bad idea."

"Yes, definitely," she agreed nodding: "Even a bad one."

She could see exactly how he rolled his eyes lightly. However, she knew that he only did it because he wanted to prove her right as little as possible. But then he looked over at her again and gave him a begging look: "Can you help me anyway?"

For a moment she just observed him, but then slowly started to move. When she arrived at the bed, she sat down on the mattress next to him.

"Of course", she started to open the buttons but watch him closely.

"Thank you", he smiled and stroked her arm with his fingers. He could also elicit a little smile from her.

As she pushed the thin fabric of his shirt to the side, her mouth corners lowered again and her eyes widened slightly: "Damn, Tony."

"What?" ,he tried to rise slightly to see for himself, but then sank back into the mattress again and made a pain distorted face. A long burn wound stretched across his chest, where the unknown man had caught him with the fire-heated weapon. Her trained eye told me that it wasn't a particularly bad burn, but she knew from her own experience that it still had to hurt like hell.

"What is it?", he asked and looked at her in pain.

"A burning", worried, she looked down at him and gently stroked his dark hair. As he tried to rise again, she gently but firmly pressed him down on his shoulder: "Please try not to move so much. Then it just hurts more."

"All right," he sighed softly.

"How could that happen," she continued. After all, she had assumed that his suit protected him sufficiently. And in the beginning, it had worked that way. So how had the man caught Tony like that?

"I don't know", with a slightly desperate look he shook his head. After all, he had assumed that his suit could protect him from almost anything. But that day was the first time he had been proved otherwise. However, there had also been something strange about the Slav's weapons. They had the same blue glow as the arc reactor in his chest.

"But please don't worry", he took her face in his hands: "I'll figure it out". Silently she nodded and tried to smile, but the expression in her eyes remained worried.

However, she tried not to let it show. That's why she blinked once quickly but didn't lose her smile.

"All right", she gave in and then stroked her fingers across his chest to his waistband. She stayed there and gave him a meaningful look, whereupon he began to grin broadly: "What are you going to do?"

"I think we should take a shower," she replied as she opened his belt.

"We?", he sounded a little surprised by her suggestion, but not averse.

"Yes, we," she nodded: "So you can wash out your wound."

"And what exactly are you doing?" he went after and stroked her side.

"I... " for a moment she thought about a good explanation: " ... must take care that you don't slip in the shower. " "

Oh, yes, that makes a lot of sense," he grinned smugly and then drew her closer to himself to involve her in a kiss.

Chapter Text

Finally, Tony's shirt joined his other clothes before he put his foot in the shower and turned on the tap. It only lasted a few seconds, but then it quickly got hot and he sighed contentedly. Even when it was hot in Monaco, a wonderful hot shower was always good. Especially when he had the chance to share it with a woman like Natalie.

"Where are you?" he shouted after a few seconds, as he slowly began to miss her near him. After all, it had been her idea. Although he had honestly not expected it. Meanwhile, however, he began to believe that he underestimated her. The thing in the washroom at the event had finally started.

"I'm coming," her voice penetrated his ears from the other room and a grin spread across his lips. Then he heard the door open with a click and he drove around.

He noticed the redhead who had positioned herself in the door frame and watched him with interest.

"Well there you are at last," he grinned and leaned slightly against the wall. Then she walked straight towards him and stopped just before the shower.

"But for my taste, you still have too much on", with these words he gently stroked her arm.

"Yes, I know", she focused his eyes with her gaze and then drove her hands to her back to open the zipper of her red dress. Slowly she pulled him down and watched his reaction very closely.

"You love to let me stew, don't you?" he bent slightly forward and at that moment wanted nothing more than to touch her.

"A little," the corners of her mouth raised even higher and he could see a challenging expression in her eyes. Then she pushed the thin fabric off her shoulders so that her dress landed on the floor within seconds.

Now that she was barely wearing anything, he couldn't be any longer and pulled her on. With his strong arms, he easily lifted her into the shower and put his lips on hers. Desiring he kissed her as the water pelted down on their two bodies. Purposefully he stroked his fingers across her side to her bra and opened the clasp with ease. She immediately freed herself from her underwear and then took off her panties just as quickly.

Grinning, he detached himself from her again and let the gaze wander speechlessly over her body for a moment.

"What?", she asked, surprised by his reaction. The only thing he got out, however, was a "wow" that elicited a slight laugh from her.

"What?", she continued to drill and let her fingers wander gently over her shoulders.

"You are so perfect," he breathed as he let the gaze wander from top to bottom over her beautiful body. She frowned her forehead, but continued to smile: "You've seen me naked before, haven't you?"

"Yes, I know," he nodded immediately: "But before that, I didn't have the chance to look at you that long. But already now."

Natasha closed the gap between them and wrapped her arms around his body. She took special care not to touch his burn.

"Does it still hurt much?" she changed the subject while gently leaning her head against his shoulder. He hesitated briefly, but then replied to her: "It's not as bad as before, but it works."

"I'm glad," she muttered and enjoyed his closeness and warmth: "Hopefully this will help a bit until you go to a doctor."

"That you are here helps me enough already", he lovingly stroked her through the meanwhile wet, red hair.

After a few seconds, however, he detached himself from her again and then detached himself from her again to grab the shampoo.

"Turn around," he asked her gently. For a moment she looked at him as if she was trying to read his face. But then she nodded and turned her back on him even though she had no idea what he was up to. But she trusted him and let him do it.

He rubbed the shampoo between his hands until it foamed slightly and then began to gently rub her body with it. As he turned to her back, he saw something he hadn't noticed before. A scar in the form of a thin, white line stretched over it and without him being able to explain it, his heart became heavy at the sight. How had he not noticed it before?

"What is that", he gently placed a kiss on her shoulder and drove his fingers carefully and gently over the mark at the same time. With her eyebrows raised, she looked over her shoulder to see exactly what he meant.

"What do you mean," she fell silent in the middle of the sentence, suddenly knowing what he was alluding to.

"Oh", she bit her lips slightly and avoided his gaze. How could she explain that to him? Finally, she couldn't tell him it was a remnant of one of her first missions with Clint. Because he still had no idea that she wasn't just his assistant Natalie Rushman. And she was just as afraid of what would happen if he found out as she was of what would happen if she just went on like that.

Chapter Text

Natasha sat on her desk chair with a slightly consumed expression on her face, staring at the computer screen in front of her, perplexed and bewildered at the same time.

When Tony entered the living room, he noticed her immediately - in the meantime he forgot again and again that she was his employee. With an interested look, he stayed in the door frame and enjoyed the sight. He wasn't used to having a woman around most of the time, and if he was honest, he never really wanted it. Tony had always been more into short, quick things and frankly, that was exactly what he had initially wanted from the woman sitting in his living room.

But the longer he had spent with her, the more he had wanted her with him. Meanwhile, he loved to always have her around and didn't want her to go either. Although he knew that she also had a life of her own and couldn't always be with him. Especially since she thought that she was no more to him than his employees. Even after they had had sex with each other. But how could he blame her? After all, that had never really meant much to him in the past with other women. But if she knew what he felt when she was around, she would know that she was no longer just his secretary.

As his curiosity grabbed him, he pushed himself off the door frame and walked towards her on quiet soles. Only behind her did he stop and look over her shoulder at the screen as well. She finally noticed him but wasn't frightened by his sudden appearance. "Hey," she murmured but kept staring at the images that were taking place before her eyes.

"Hey," he replied to the greeting: "What are you looking at?"

His eyebrows raised in a teasing expression: "Do I have to become jealous?"

At first, she didn't understand what he was alluding to, but then she read the expression on his face and grinned slightly: "No, don't worry. I'd never look at that at work and if I did, I'd just get a little inspiration there, of course."

"Oh, I think you're creative enough on your own," he grinned amusedly.

"But seriously now. What are you looking at," he put his hands on her shoulders and started massaging them slightly. Finally, he had noticed her helpless expression on her face. She slightly leaned against him and finally turned her gaze away from the screen: "The News."

His eyebrows raised in amazement: "You watch the news? I wasn't expecting that now."

She didn't seem to him to be someone who was particularly interested in promo gossip and the weather, because lately, the New York news has hardly revolved around anything else.

"It's just an exception," she explained, confirming exactly his thoughts. She made him concentrate on the headline at the bottom of the screen. But when she saw her little adventure on the racetrack, he reacted very differently than she had expected.

"We've been really good at making it into the news lately, even though the focus this time seems to be on me and not on you," he laughed amusedly and could imagine that she was pretty happy about it: "With all the journalists there, it's no wonder anyone's reporting about it."

"Yes, you're probably right about that," she agreed with him and then turned her desk chair all the way around to him.

She should have expected it, too. After all, Tony was the first thing people saw as a superhero, and when something like that happened, everyone wanted to know exactly what had happened. Nevertheless, it was somehow difficult for her to get used to it. After all, she was rather undercover in her job and let the public know as little as possible.

"I want to go back to Monaco now," he said while looking down at her, tearing her out of her mind again.

"Why that?", she asked, but had to admit that she had enjoyed it quite a lot there: "Because people expect you to work properly again?"

The obvious, teasing tone in her voice had not escaped him, which is why he began to grin broadly: "Yes, but even worse, I find it that you have to work properly again."

For a moment she just looked at him in surprise, but then started to laugh: "Isn't that somehow exactly what I should do as your secretary? Work. If you have that attitude towards all your employees, soon nobody in the company will do anything anymore."

"Oh, I would certainly think of other tasks for you," he grinned ambiguously. Playing shaken, she looked at him with her mouth open: "What an immoral offer from you, Mister Stark."

"You make it pretty hard for me to keep me away from you, Miss Rushman," he grinned slightly teasingly.

She laughed again, but then put on a more serious facial expression and shoved her hands under the man's T-shirt.

"What's that going to be," he laughed but didn't stop her, just watched her with interest. However, she didn't answer anything, but simply pushed it up until the burns he had kept back from his fight against the stranger were completely free. However, she did not see the slightly burnt flesh as expected, but a white bandage covering almost everything. Immediately she raised her eyes and he could see a happy smile on her lips.

"You went to the doctor," she noted with a satisfied tone of voice.

"Yes, I was", he scratched his back of the head slightly. He hated doctors and that's why he normally would have pushed himself as long as he could or even tried to avoid it completely. However, he had noticed that she was worried about him. Therefore he had decided to be reasonable once in his life and had gone to the doctor without her knowledge and had had his wound treated. And in fact, he had to admit that he was better afterward.

"Thank you", she rose slightly from her chair to give him a gentle kiss. She made him smile and he reached for her hands: "There's something else we need to talk about, though."

She tilted her head slightly and looked at him in surprise: "About what? At first, she somehow didn't think of an important topic that he wanted to discuss with her."

So she followed him attentively with his gaze as he stroked one of her strands behind her ear and then bent her down to her because she had sat down again. He placed his hands to her right and left on the armrests of the chair to keep her from fleeing this conversation. Although he knew that she could free herself at any time and he didn't intend to force her to talk about anything she didn't want to talk about. But at least he wanted her to listen to him.

"Do you think that for me you are just my assistant," he asked. Even if he didn't tell her, he had thought a lot about it since she had said that. And he had concluded that he wanted her to be more than just his assistant. She should be so much more, but first, she had to know how he felt. Even if he took the risk that she didn't feel the same way.

She bit her lower lip slightly and avoided his gaze, not sure what to say. After all, she didn't know what he was feeling and didn't want to get lost in anything. What if she told him that she felt something near him that she didn't dare to define and that he didn't feel the same way? Then the next time she worked for him wouldn't be so much fun. However, her mind told her that it would be stupid not to answer because his question told her that he was going for something. So she simply decided to say what she felt. Because if he wasn't allowed to know who she was, he should at least know how she felt about him.

"I don't know", she looked at him again: "Maybe not".

He sighed as he fixed her eyes with his: "Absolutely not."

Her lips shared slightly, but she was unable to say anything. She hadn't expected such a direct revelation. When he noticed her gaze, he laughed and gently stroked her cheek: "I've got what it takes to make you speechless after all".

He made her awaken from her rigor of surprise. However, the seconds had been enough for her to realize what he had said. Although she hadn't missed that there was something between them - something they both liked - she hadn't been aware that it made him see them as more than his employees and that he wanted to define what was between them.

"Stand up for a moment," he asked her to her surprise and reached for her hands to pull her on her feet. With a questioning look, she rose and then watched him confused as he sat on the chair in her place.

"What's going on," she asked slightly amused as he looked up at her.

"Now you can sit down again," he stretched out his arms to her. Now she couldn't hide a slight grin any more and then let herself sink softly to his lap.

"You know, when you first set foot in this building, I wanted nothing more than to get you in my bed," he said honestly, although she might not be very happy about it: "You know that, don't you?"

"Yes, I know," she agreed with him, interested in what he was getting at: "And in the end, you managed to do it."

"Yes", somehow he felt guilty about it, although she didn't seem to hold it against him: 'But it meant something to me with you in a different way than it did with all the other women so far'.

"Why," she asked and put her head against his shoulder while listening to him.

"Because I want you not only in my bed, but everywhere around me, and always," he stroked her hair again while she observed:"And that's why I wanted to ask you out with me."

"But of course only if you want to," he quickly added.

For a moment she seemed thoughtful, but then she began to grin and nodded: "I don't think that sounded like such a bad idea at all".

He took that as a 'yes' and the tension he had felt at the thought of asking her finally fell away to be replaced by relief. So far she had only gone somewhere with him once voluntarily, without Happy interfering and asking her to.

"What can I expect when we go out?" she followed curiously, but he just shook his head: "That'll be a surprise."

She sulked slightly, but he could see that she tried with all her might to suppress a grin.

Chapter Text

Natasha strolled relaxed through the corridors of the Helicarrier. However, her outer appearance did not correspond to what she was feeling inside. Because she was on her way to Fury's office and the closer she came the more nervous she became. Although the well-trained agent didn't even think she knew what nervousness felt like. But she had been wrong. Probably that was more than justified when she thought about what she wanted to discuss with her boss. Only those at least would be able to remain completely calm. Nevertheless, she didn't let anything sound out of place, but simply tried to appear as usual.

Some of her colleagues rushed by as she approached Fury's office. She stopped in front of it and thought about it again. Was it a good idea? Probably not, but she didn't have a choice.

So she knocked lightly against the door and put one hand on the handle when a "in" sounded from the other side. One last time she took a deep breath, pushed the handle down and entered the room.

She immediately let her gaze wander through the room until she discovered the director of S.H.I.E.L.D. . He had positioned himself in front of the window and looked out with his arms crossed behind his back. When she had closed the door behind her and taken a few steps into the room, however, he slowly turned around and she saw his face, which was divided into two halves by his black eye patch.

"Agent Romanoff", he greeted her and approached his desk.

"Have a seat", he asked with a gesture, but she knew better than to think that it was less a request than an order. So, without thinking long and hard, she set herself in motion and let herself sink into one of the two chairs.

"You know, your call surprised me", he did the same for her and also let himself sink into his dark office chair: "Actually I had expected you much later."

He crossed his legs and put his hands on his knees as he watched them with his one eye.

Only now did she realize that she hadn't thought about what to say to him. Or rather, what reason should she give him to allow her to complete the mission at Stark Industries or replace her with any other agent. After all, she couldn't tell him that she didn't want to do it anymore because she had developed feelings for Stark and felt herself continuing to lie to him. When you think about it, the whole thing was kind of ironic. A well-trained Russian spy who falls in love with a self-obsessed, world-famous billionaire.

"I wanted to talk about what my mission was like", she said: "Can I finish it soon?"

He looked at her with a penetrating look: "Are there any problems that you haven't told me about yet? She swallowed easily but tried not to let it show.

"No", she said quickly, "I just wanted to know when I could turn to new things."

She looked at the man that he didn't believe her. They had known each other long enough for that, and she knew that he could assess her quite well. However, if he knew that this was not the only reason, he said nothing about it. Instead, he spoke of something she hadn't expected: "If you are here before, there is something else I wanted to talk to you about".

She swallowed easily, unsure of what he would say now. After all, the man was always good for a surprise or two and thinking that he didn't know anything was the biggest mistake you could make.

"You know, Agent Romanoff, I'm a person who follows the news from time to time", the director said with his explanation. Even before he continued, Natasha knew that she would not like his next words.

"And there I saw something very interesting", he continued: "More precisely, I saw Stark and you. In Monaco, on a central Formula 1 circuit, he fought against a stranger."

To her surprise, this made it easier somehow. That he had seen it was better for her than if he had seen her on the beach with Stark. That would have been worse than if he now knew about the confrontation with this stranger.

"I don't even know what happened", she said immediately: "It happened way too fast for me to have been able to do anything."

"Yes, I know", he replied nodding:" There was nothing you could do. But we should try to avoid a second attack on Stark and that's where you come in."

She was glad to hear that he didn't blame her. After all, she hadn't been able to see that something like this was going to happen. But what did all this have to do with her? To get an answer to that question, she asked interestedly: "What exactly do you mean by that, Director?"

"I'd like to give you another task for your current mission at Stark", he explained in more detail: "I talked to Agent Coulson and we decided that we'd also ask you to keep an eye on Stark's security. This one attack on him won't be the only one if someone is really after him. The man has made some enemies over the years and you are our best choice. After all, you're already working for Stark Industries, which puts you close to him and we hardly have anyone better than you."

Again she swallowed hard. Of course, she knew that Fury was right somehow, but that would prolong her mission and make her lie to him even longer. Then the chance that he would forgive her if he ever found out was even smaller. At the thought that something might happen to him because she hadn't been there, her heart became heavy. If that happened, she could never forgive herself.

So she made the, for her, the only right decision at that moment and agreed: "All right, I'll play the bodyguard."

Just as they were talking about Tony's safety, something occurred to her that had been suppressing her until now: "I noticed something else you might want to know about." The man frowned with a questioning look: "What are you talking about?"

"I noticed something in Stark that worried me quite a bit", she hoped he didn't ask where she knew about it: "I noticed dark, almost black lines on his body that seem to be spreading more and more."

He made a thoughtful expression on his face as if trying to figure out what it might be. So she went on and told him her theory: "I think it's related to the arc reactor in his chest. After all, he has a palladium nucleus and of course I can't say for sure, but it looks pretty poisonous to me."

Fury crunched easily with her jaws and she could imagine how he was already looking inside for a solution. Because they both knew that you died agonizingly from palladium poisoning and that they, therefore, had to find a solution quickly.

Chapter Text

"How far along are you?", she heard Tony's voice from the other side of the door.

"Almost there", she answered immediately, looking in the direction his voice came from:"Give me a minute."

"Okay", she could hear in his voice the light-heartedness she had last noticed in Monaco. Since they got back to New York, he had become more involved in his work. Nevertheless, he insisted on interrupting her work at least once to spend time with her, to flirt with her obviously or to let his sarcasm run free. As far as that was concerned, even his work could distract him from these behaviors. But she had to say that his visits were a welcome distraction.

The muffled sound of his footsteps on the wooden floor told her that he had disappeared again towards the living room and her hand wandered searchingly to a spot on her thigh. It was there that evening, hidden under the fabric of her dress, that her pistol was indeed located. This time she wouldn't make the mistake of not carrying it with her again for fear he might find out who she was. The last time this had been her downfall and she had also taken the job as a kind of secret bodyguard. And she was already very sure that the one attack on Tony would not be the only one and then she wanted to be prepared.

She took one last look in the mirror before she smoothed her dress once more and moved towards the room door. She opened it and then stepped out into the hallway. Immediately she turned her eyes towards the living room and discovered Tony there. A little smile appeared on her lips when she realized he was wearing a black suit.

"Someone has dressed up", she commented with a grin as she let her fingers wander across his chest.

"I can only return that", as soon as she had stopped in front of him, he let his gaze wander down her body. A slight grin appeared on his lips: "You look stunning, Natalie."

A smile also appeared on her lips, and she wrapped her fingers around the tie that he had knotted around his neck. Then she pulled him down gently to engage him in a kiss for a few seconds. The man replied without hesitation, while his hands moved to her hips as if by magic.

When they separated again after a few seconds, the grin on his lips widened: "The evening is off to a good start. I wouldn't mind if it went on like this."

Also smiling, she rolled her eyes: "You are impossible."

Secretly, however, she had been thinking the same thing as Tony:"The evening is coming along nicely. I wouldn't mind it going on like this."

"You're allowed to dream", she laughed amusedly and released his hands from her hips to reach for her hand and pull it with him towards the elevator.

It was clear to Tony that he was looking forward to going out. And not only because it was her first real date. After all, Happy had talked her into coming along and usually the excuse was that he needed someone to watch out that Tony didn't do the usual and was in the papers the next day. Another reason was the fact that it was one of the few dates he had with a woman who meant something to him and whom he liked to have by his side.

"Where are we going?", she asked when the elevator doors opened after a few seconds.

"You'll find out soon enough", he said with a conspiratorial look as he winked at her. The redhead looked at him searchingly and tried to read his face, hoping to find out somehow. To be honest, she had never been a big fan of surprises. But how could it be otherwise? After all, she was an agent, and ignorance could usually cost her life with ease. Although she didn't worry so much about her life at that moment, it had become a habit to want to know almost everything. Besides, relationships weren't something she knew very well about, which was somehow ironic. After all, she had already had enough of men. However, it had rarely been exclusively for her interest. Most of the time it had been missions that had got her involved with men.

But with Stark it was different. Although it started as a normal mission, their attitude, which had been rather negative at first, had changed and their work at Stark Industries and Tony himself had become more than a mission. However, she could hardly give
Fury her feelings as a reason to finish the mission. Especially since there was something like romantic feelings hardly known from her and the person who was closest to her was Clint, who however was not more than her best friend.

"I promise you, you won't regret it", he winked at her charmingly before stopping at his car and holding the door open for her: "Just trust me."

She sighed slightly, but then gave it up and got in: "All right, then surprise me."