Natasha is old. She’s not like, shitting you right now. Granted, she’s not as old as Steve Rogers (he’s like, about a decade older than her). But she is still like, pushing a hundred years old. No jokes.
For a woman her age, she certainly does such a damn good job of looking incredibly young. If you send her original file from the World War II with her real DOB and all that, plus herself to see a dermatologist, his/ her jaw would surely drop. She’s giving Steve a run for his money as the best-looking elderly on Earth.
And Steve, that punky shit that is her best friend (to be honest, she doesn’t even know how to label their relationship because it’s just… really complicated and very, insanely hard to explain), knows exactly how old she is. And he loves to tease her about it ever since he found out about this little secret of hers.
She claims she hates it. But little did she know she enjoys it because Steve’s teasing means he’s comfortable and happy around her which is exactly how she wants him to be when he’s around her.
As of this morning, she turns 90.
She’s in the en-suite kitchen making her morning cup of coffee when Steve comes back from his morning run with Sam (she has no idea how they can even get up because it’s like, freezing cold outside, and she has no idea how they can leave the comfort of a warm and comfortable bed to do exercise this early, to begin with). He has this really tight-fitting t-shirt on (which she bought for him – and they really are worth every penny she spent on them because damn those abs look very fucking delicious) (not that she’d ever tell Steve that) and he literally reeks of the smell of sweat.
“Hey, you,” she greets him as she hands him a cup of coffee. Knowing what he is going to say before he even opens his mouth, she grunts, “Don’t say it, Rogers.”
Not that he listens.
“Happy 90 years old birthday, Nat,” he says cheerily, throwing her way this cheeky grin of his that manages to stop her heart every time, and reaches for his cup of coffee that she now tries to take away from him.
“Fuck off, Rogers,” she mutters. “I don’t need to be reminded of how old I am.”
“Surely that’s because you’re starting to worry about going into a nursing home due to your advanced age?”
Even with her back turned, she could literally feel his smirk. God does she want to wipe that off his face.
“Says the man who is a decade older than me,” she rolls her eyes at him.
Two cups of coffee for the both of them, and a very filling breakfast (courtesy to Steve, she has found out that he’s quite a good cook during their days on the run) later, Sam bursts in their room (do not ask her why they are sharing a room: it’s just their thing) (and yes, she knows they’re getting teased by absolutely everyone about this), he has his right hand covering his face. Goddammit. “You guys are dressed right?”
The truth couldn’t be further from what Sam thought:
Steve and she are sitting on the sofa, reading mission reports (they are doing this to avoid writing their own report). They keep a very respectable yet comfortable distance between each other, in which Natasha’s legs are on top of Steve’s, her body stretched on the sofa, her back leaning against the armrest.
“We’re not naked, you know,” Steve noted drily. “Very funny, Sam.”
“Except this joke has been going on for eons and it’s really getting old,” she adds.
He peeps through a small gap between his fingers. “Sure, it is.”
“Leave them alone, Sam. Natasha will shoot at you soon,” Wanda tells him, gently pats on his shoulder, before walking off with Bucky and Clint, who are busy snickering at Natasha and Steve.
Beside her, Steve hums a song from back in the 1940s. A Doris Day song, she believes it is.
“I’d like to see her try!” Sam yells back at Wanda. “She loves me too much to try to pull that off!”
She hears Clint laughing. “Yeah, no shit, Wilson. Tell her that when she’s busy putting bullet holes inside you.”
“Steve’s here, she won’t do it!” he calls back. Sam winks at her. “Can’t mess up her image in front of Steve, right, Nat?”
“Oh, no, I’m not getting into this,” Steve chuckles as he enjoys the showdown while sipping on his cup of coffee (by the way, his favorite kind of coffee is fucking Americano: it’s so cliché). “I don’t want to risk dying.”
“By the way!” Clint bellows from probably somewhere at the end of the hall. “Bucky, Wanda and I wish you a happy birthday, Nat!”
“Thanks,” she yells back (though she doesn't know if he could hear her because he never puts on his hearing aids this early in the morning – he claims he is yet to be awake enough to hear anyone's bullshit) as she rolls her eyes at Sam, who’s still being very annoying. She picks up the gun that she hides under the stand next to the sofa. “That’s it, Wilson. You have exactly 30 seconds to state your reason for entry before I shoot at you.”
“What? I’m just here to wish you a happy birthday! And that –”
It doesn’t take long for her to empty her round and before she hears Tony’s complaints through JARVIS.
Steve, who’s now massaging her calves (which are very sore from yesterday’s mission), doesn’t seem to mind one bit though – he looks rather amused – so that’s good.
Turns out, Tony has found out that it’s her birthday (she needs to do a thorough investigation on this matter later) and decides that it would be such a great idea to throw a big party to celebrate it.
Don’t get her wrong, Natasha loves parties. But she is also a very private person and would really much like to keep her birthday a quiet affair and spends it with her dysfunctional family.
She’s in the common area, sitting in front of the fireplace, wrapped up in a “BOOM” blanket and holding her “B.A.M.F.” mug that Steve gave to her as her birthday presents last year when they were on a mission in Colorado. A little side note, he does know the meaning of the abbreviation, thank you very much, he isn’t all that clueless (scratch that, he just has a good teacher teaching him all this stuff).
Snow falls outside of the Tower. This winter is –
“Hey, Red!” Tony cheerfully calls for her attention. He’s on the phone with Pepper. “How old are you again? We need to know how many candles to put on the gigantic cake Pepper got for you.”
She ignores his question. “You know, a big party really isn’t necessary. I’d very much prefer to have a small one with you guys only.”
“She is not telling me! Okay, I’ll try to find out – yeah, I’ll try. No guarantees though… yes, okay, okay, I’ll tell her that too. M’kay, bye Miss Potts,” he hangs up the call.
“First, Pepper says happy birthday. Oh, and so did Rhodey and Happy. They’re with her right now.”
“Mm-hm, please tell them I say thank you,” she purses her lips and rests her mug on the coffee table.
“Ah, about that,” Tony waltzes over, rubbing his hands together. She crooks her eyebrow.
“What?” she asks, carefully. “You’ve sent out the invitations, haven’t you?”
The corner of his lips curls up, and he looks at her with a smug ass look on his face. “I might have done that already.”
“Tony,” she sorts of half whined. “You know I don’t want you to spend that much money on a big party when I am just content with having everyone around the table, eating some Chinese take-out.”
“But!” he scoots over to her side. “I did it already. And it’s truly no big deal. I have tons of money. Besides, Pepper might or might not want to spoil you because she wants to make up for missing your last birthday.”
“She knows I’m not angry with her for missing it right?”
“She does,” he reassures her. “It’s just that she feels bad.”
Tony walks away as Steve comes in the room. He holds up a box of donut that he knows she adores from that shop down in Brooklyn.
“You went all the way down to Brooklyn?”
“Anything for the birthday girl, right?” he laughs as he sits down next to her.
“Oh, and don’t christen my sofa, please, you two. It’s really expensive,” Tony yells.
She throws her slipper at him, but the lift door closes before they could land on his face.
She sighs as she snuggles in closer to Steve. He is really like a human pillow. Really comfy. His sweater is made of this crazily soft material (she’s so glad she bought it for him as Christmas gift a few years ago) (it’s also really sweet to see him still wearing something she gave him).
They have just finished writing up their mission report and decided that they might just as well as making the best out of the
A loud bang echoed in the huge common area. Steve groans as he wakes from his nap.
“What is it this time?” she gets up, reluctantly, from Steve’s comforting warmth.
“Ah! Lady Natasha! Tony has just informed me that today is the day of your birth!” Thor’s voice booms as he walks into the area, holding an… amphora?
“Here,” he presents her with an amphora when he takes the seat next to her. “A bottle of the finest ale from Asgard, brewed for a thousand years. A very fitting beverage for a strong warrior as you, Lady Natasha.”
“Oh, thank you, Thor. This is very nice of you. I’ve been meaning to try this liquor for years, but Steve wouldn’t let me,” she nudges him as he flashes her with a sheepish smile. “Says it’s too strong.”
“Aye, but you are Russian, no? Clint has told me that Russians are one of the most capable drinkers on Earth, having a special affinity for different sorts of alcoholic drink, and that, uh, you have a serum similar to that of the Captain’s. So, I suppose it would not hurt for you to try some. The worst case would just be you… relieving the contents in your stomach the morning next, no?”
“Ha-ha, yes, Thor. Of course,” Natasha grins at him. Then pokes Steve’s side with her elbow, to which she earns a small sound of protest from him. “See? I told you I can drink it.”
“We’ll see about that,” he says, and she laughs at the ridiculous sight of him attempting (and failing) to wriggle his eyebrows.
Thor gets up from his seat and places Mjolnir on the tea table. “So… I shall retire to my room for now. I have had a long journey and needs to rest in view of the celebratory feast scheduled tonight.”
“See you, Thor,” she smiles at the weary-looking God. Steve nods at him.
“And, may I say that it is good to see you both finding yourselves a very matching spouse, Lady Natasha and Captain Rogers. You two look great together and are a formidable force to be reckoned with.”
“Oh, Thor,” Steve shifts underneath her. “We aren’t…”
But Thor is long gone before they can say anything to him.
Not that they can explain their relationship to him in the first place.
“Dammit! This man has no regard for lawn maintenance!”
Her phone chirps a few minutes after that, and she is once again leaning against Steve’s chest. They had the blanket wrapped around them tightly and she is definitely not cold anymore (if anything, she’s starting to feel like she will burn soon, given their sitting position and the fact that Steve is hot like a fucking furnace does not help, at all).
Natasha picks up her phone and the notification center on her StarkPhone (the latest edition, wrapped and given to her by Tony in a ‘welcome back’ package when Steve, Sam and she returned from their adventure after the whole H.Y.D.R.A. fiasco) shows that she’s received a message from Fury.
Steve peers over her shoulder and asks, “What does Fury have for us now? Another mission?”
She opens the chat.
12:04 EDT | Nick Fury: do you know stark has sent out invitations to a big birthday party of yours?
12:05 EDT | Nick Fury: oh and by the way happy birthday kid :)
“Uh, no. He’s just wishing me a happy birthday,” she replies. “And… telling me again, that Stark has made a big deal out of my birthday – which I’m grateful for – I’m just not comfortable with all that glamor.”
He gives her this little smile and a small nod. Of course, he understands. They’ve been partners for years. She kind of gets a bit fixated at the blueness of his eyes. Has she mentioned that they are of this really pretty shade of blue? No? Steve’s got really beautiful baby blue eyes that can melt your heart like how heat melts ice. His eyes are truly stunning.
Has she been staring too long?
Probably. She is definitely not sorry though. He’s got very beautiful eyes. They’re like… really blue.
She averts her gaze from him, feeling her cheeks warming up a bit.
Is she blushing right now?
“Ahem. I see where you got your habit of using emoticons,” Steve leans over her and points at the chat. “I didn’t know Fury likes, or even knows, these types of things.”
“I’m old, not dead, Rogers,” Fury’s voice appears behind them.
Natasha swears Steve’s face has gone dumbfounded for a moment when he tries to make out whose voice it is. She just has to laugh.
They turn around to see Nick Fury, the Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. himself, staring down at them. “A rather interesting position you both are in, huh.”
“Director, a call just came for you. World Security Council on line 6,” Maria calls after him.
Man, does this woman ever take a break?
Fury waves his hand. “Can they give me a break? Don’t they get tired of these long-distance calls every 5 minutes?”
“Apparently not, sir,” Maria responds, slightly amused. “I have them on mute, you need to press the unmute button before answering.”
“Great,” he answers coolly. “Happy birthday, by the way.”
Natasha thanks him, and he walks away, phone in hand and ready to yell at whichever councilman (or councilwoman) is on the phone ‘bugging his ass’.
She gives Maria a smile. “Hey there, Hill. Busy today?”
She throws, what she identifies as, a friendly glare her way. “Always, Romanoff. I’m always busy.”
She flops herself down on the seat next to them and grunts. “Urgh, I’m exhausted. I’ve been going through poorly done mission reports – which mean I have to redo them later,” another groan. “Then I have to assign new cases to different agents – oh, happy birthday, Natasha, by the way – then probably brief them, which mean I have to do some homework myself first…”
Natasha rubs her temple, “Jesus, Maria. I actually feel sorry for you.”
She waves her off. “Doesn’t matter. All in a day’s work. Besides, I have a vacation planned a few days later with Sharon to the Bahamas. Should be fun.”
Maria sits straight and takes out her phone after a small notification sound was made. “Sharon and Coulson say hi and wish you a happy birthday.”
“Tell them I say thank you, and to Sharon that I hope to see her blonde hair making a comeback soon,” she chuckles. Steve runs his hands down her arms underneath the blanket, it feels really soothing and her bones just gone soft.
“Huh,” Maria crooks her eyebrow, looking up from her phone. “Sharon also wants me to tell you that you and Rogers look hella cute together, so you guys should… and I quote, ‘consider being a couple’.”
Steve protests. “Why does everyone…”
“Hey, not my words. See you guys at the party.”
07:42 EDT | Peter Parker: happy birthday nat!
08:30 EDT | Natasha Romanoff: thanks :)
08:30 EDT | Natasha Romanoff: have fun at school.
12:34 EDT | Peter Parker: well as much as one can have at school, i guess…
12:34 EDT | Peter Parker: omg you didn’t tell me you are throwing a HUGE party???
12:34 EDT | Peter Parker: oh no, mr. stark’s the one throwing it. haha. my bad.
12:35 EDT | Peter Parker: okay so mr. stark texted me and happy is driving me to the tower after school
12:36 EDT | Peter Parker: i should be there by 17:30 i think.
15:27 EDT | Natasha Romanoff: it’s okay kid. take your time.
15:27 EDT | Natasha Romanoff: steve asks me to remind you to not use your phone in class.
16:38 EDT | Peter Parker: i am not!!!
She chuckles at the kid’s texts. He’s adorable and so fun to tease.
Steve looks over her shoulder. “Peter is using his phone in class, isn’t he?”
Natasha turns around to see his brows furrowed. It’s cute. Her lips curl at the sight of that and she gently rubs the crease between his eyes. “You look like an angry puppy when your brows are all mushed together like that.”
“I most certainly do not.”
“Peter agrees with me.”
Steve and she have just finished their extra sparring session (intense and the sexual tension is very palpable, per usual) on top of their weekly target-shooting session, which sounded weird to her when Steve first proposed it, considering they usually only spar on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays (today is a Friday). It doesn’t matter though she enjoys a nice sparring session. He’s pinned her down five times and she’s tackled him six times.
They are walking past the lab when Bruce calls her name. She notices that the blinds are closed (funny – because she knows Bruce hates to work with the blinds down – he has mentioned that it makes him feel trapped somehow and somewhat uncomfortable).
“Happy birthday, Nat,” he gets out of the lab, pushes up his glasses and rubs his hands on his lab coat, which is weirdly colorful – Natasha wonders what kind of experiment he has started this time.
“Thanks, Bruce. How’s everything going?” she tries to take a peek at what’s happening inside the lab.
He quickly blocks her line of sight, “Oh… Uh… Nothing. Just some experiments that aren’t ready to be seen yet.”
She feels something is pulling her back, only to turn to find out that Steve is looking quite nervous and is holding her arm.
Steve probably realizes that he’s holding her back a split second later and takes his hand off of her like he’s been burnt by fire. He clears his throat. “Uh, Nat? You mentioned… wanting to grab a shower and some quick snacks before we prepare for the party?”
She tilts her head. “… Okay…?”
Bruce ushers them to the direction of the lift. “You guys go get a nice hot shower or something… I’ll just stay here… At the lab… Uh… I’ll see you guys at the party!”
And just as quickly he stops them to wish Natasha a happy birthday, Bruce slips back into the lab and closes the doors rather loudly.
“… What’s going on?” she asks Steve. “What aren’t you telling me?”
“Nothing,” he reassures her (not that she’s buying it). “Everything’s fine. Bruce’s just a little bit worked up after he finished his experiments.”
“He didn’t say anything about finishing his experiments.”
“Well, I assumed that he just finished it… That would explain why he’s so wound up, no?” he laughs drily.
She knows something’s off – can’t really place what is wrong – but something is just… not normal.
But she brushes it off, because it’s her birthday, and she’s entitled to at least take a break from being all paranoid and suspicious on this occasion.
After a long and very hot shower that leaves her muscles very relaxed later, Natasha heads out to the room with only a towel wrapped around her and had tied her dried hair up in a very messy bun.
She opens the bathroom door and enters the bedroom, and sees that Steve is leaving a box on their bed. He’s already dressed in a black suit. Damn, suits look hella fine on him.
“Oh, shit,” Steve curses and turns his head away as he notices her walking out of the bathroom in his peripheral vision. “Shit, shit, shit, sorry… I didn’t mean to… ah, shit.”
He all but dashes out of the room and closes the door. She hears him calling her name from the living room – “Pepper said for you to put on that dress… and to uh, wear the heels you guys bought last time?”
Natasha shakes her head, this man, she swears, as she tells him she’ll do exactly as Pepper instructed (because you can and should never defy Miss Potts, especially when she’s literally your landlady) (Tony and she aren’t married, but still, there’s no difference).
She carefully lifts the lid of the box which is elegantly wrapped with a nice bow tied on it.
She gasps when she sees the dress. When she pulls it out, fully out of the box, she’s absolutely breathless.
It’s a stunning dress – a mermaid dress, backless, and with a small train. The straps cross behind her back and it’s just plain silver sequins. Nothing more and nothing less. Elegant and simple. Just the way Natasha likes it.
She tries it on and, God, this dress is perfect. It hugs her figure tightly and shows off her curves. Natasha especially loves that small train. She’s also very sure Pepper bought her this dress with her heels in mind because her silver high heels are just as simplistic and chic as her dress.
She takes out her jewelry box and takes out the necklace that Steve (again) gave her as her 85th birthday present. The hourglass, small, sits at the bottom of the necklace and almost touches the V neck of her dress. It is also a symbol of the Black Widow – Steve said he bought this necklace with her in mind (which is, incredibly sweet of him). Natasha also took out these silver double chain earrings that she bought on a girls’ trip with Maria and Sharon a couple of years ago. It’s unpretentious and just the kind of earring that would work fantastically with her outfit.
Before she put on her rings and bracelets, though, she decides to do her hair first. Her hair’s been wavy, and she’s let it grown for a while now, so it’s about five, six inches past her shoulders. She takes some hair from both sides and does a simple knot while leaving the rest of her hair down. To secure the knot, she inserts a hairpin with two decorative leaves at the tips. After that, Natasha puts on two silver rings that resemble the shape of leaves and a bracelet of similar design.
She looks at the mirror and decides that she’ll just apply a liquid matte lipstick of her favorite shade of bright red. Another fifteen minutes of minimal makeup involving mascara and smoky cat eyes later, she inhales deeply before opening the bedroom door.
Steve’s back is facing the door and concentrated with writing their mission report when she clears her throat.
He whips his around, maybe a little bit too fast, and she twirls.
“How’d you think I look?”
He looks speechless. She really has to leave a beautiful thank you note to Pepper.
“Uh… Majestic. Beautiful. Absolutely beautiful, Natasha,” his Adam’s apple bobs. “Stunning. Wow.”
She smiles gingerly. “You really think so?”
“Definitely. You’re going to be center of attention tonight.”
Natasha grins and fidgets before asking him a question she’s been meaning to ask him ever since she’s heard of the planning of a birthday party for her:
“Be my date and escort me down?”
When she descends the stairs to the main common area with Steve, she does not anticipate the scale of the party. The only people present are those who wished her a happy birthday today… nobody else. Not a big, fancy party that Tony had told her.
“Happy Birthday!” they yell from down the hall.
There isn’t many decorations or anything. Apart from the Christmas tree that has already been there, and a gigantic cake (as promised by Tony).
“You guys planned this, haven’t you?” she exhales.
Pepper laughs. “We didn’t. Only one person did.”
“Oh my God, you planned this,” she looks at Steve and exclaims. “You didn’t!”
Steve dodges her playful punches. “Yes, I did.”
“Is that why you distracted me the entire day? So everybody could set up and fly in New York?”
“Yes…?” he ducks her other punch on his arm.
“You jerk,” she jabs his chest. “You know I hate surprises!”
Everyone is laughing now, and Natasha thinks she’s the happiest she’s ever been because she’s surrounded by people she loves and cares about greatly in celebration of her birthday.
“So… Happy birthday? I guess?” Steve sends a sheepish smile her way.
She laughs as she pulls him close, “Ah, fuck it.”
And then she pulls him down by his necktie and kisses him.