It has been two months. Since the accident you haven't found the courage in yourself to visit her. Her side of the bed lays the same, edge of the covers curled down slightly because according to her "it looks nicer" and a few knickknacks spread over her side table. The stub of the concert you went to on her birthday last year. A strip of pictures of you too when you nudged her into a picture booth at the carnival. A stack of notes that you both wrote each other. Her socks are still on the floor from the night before the mission. Her pillow still fluffed.
You haven't cried yet. According to Steve's whispered conversations with Tony it means your still in stage one of grief. Denial.
That's not true though. Your girlfriend isn't dead so what are you grieving? She's in the med-bay laying on the same cot. In a coma not gone. What's done is done though so you quit moping around your shared room and go down to the shared floor to see the mission board.
Frowning you tap Steve's shoulder.
"Why am I not on any of these missions?"
He hesitated before answering.
"Look, I know you wanna go distract yourself but this isn't healthy. You need to go see her. This isn't right"
You scoff before looking up at him. "This isn't right. My girlfriend is in a coma. To hell with what's right or wrong here and who, says I haven't gone and seen her huh?"
"I do." Tony speaks up from where he was sitting watching you argue back and forth together. "Your name has never been checked on the sign in sheet on the med-bay. On the last two missions you went and stitched up your injuries yourself and, avoided going into the med-bay even when there was a chance that you could see Peter's next invention."
Wanda looks up at you too. "I agree with Tony. You haven't been down here for anything besides the mission board. You turned down every offer to watch a movie or to even cry. I get this is affecting you but you need to stop losing yourself in missions. It isn't safe"
You threw your hands up "I don't need to go see her. I know what she looks like or have you forgot that I was with her when her heart flat lined. Or when she lost so much blood that the first thing they did was get a bag of it and replace it every 20 minutes because it was that bad. Or I forgot did you see her basically say "HEY guess what I'm okay with dying for now really its fine" with the last breath she had? Have you ever thought that the reason I haven't gone to see her is because she is going to look the same as when she died and I can't stand it. That I can't let myself cry because I know as soon as I start start I don't know if I'll ever be able to STOP because I know she's gone. And all I've got left is her voice in my head" Your voice breaks in between each sentence and you begin to cry, for the first time in those few months you finally let yourself feel everything while you sink to the ground. Steve wraps you in a hug and Wanda gets up to join. Soon enough your wrapped in the midst of everybody, warmth and comfort flowing through them and trying to console you.
You end up pushing back from their hug in an attempt to pull yourself together a couple minutes later.
"I'll go visit her later" You don't think that they believe you but Tony nods and speaks for what seems like all of them.
"Of course. We'll be here if you need us"
You make the lengthy trip back to your room and decide to change into something comforting. The black hoodie that Natasha used to live in when she was upset pierces through your mind. You see it laying on a chair still wrinkled from the last time she wore it. You get an idea and instead of wearing that you choose something simple.
As you hesitate instead of going down to the med-bay immediately your eyes land on a picture framed on the wall. You were kissing her cheek and her cheeks were red. It was a couple months after you had started dating. It effectively reassures your decision as you bring the sweatshirt with you. You take the elevator down to the med-bay praying for nobody else to hit the buttons between floors. You write your name on the sign out list outside her room and walk in.
She looks better than...then. Her arms a static by her side and the heartbeat monitor is beating readily. You don't say anything to her yet, simply walking over to the attendant and asking if its okay to move her around yet, pitching your idea with a hopeful look in your eyes. When she nods you take that as cue to walk over to her.
She looks so.. peaceful. Ethereal almost. The smudged dirt had been moved from her face. Red hair lay out on her right shoulder and a cast on her left ankle. Two bandages were on her right arm and you're sure that if you lifted her shirt you would find more, all stab wounds and scratches leading to blood loss..
You nod at the nurse in the room waiting for them to leave before you step over to her leaning her forward and putting the sweatshirt behind her. Satisfied with the placement you lean her back and weave her arms through the sleeves. You step over to her leaning her forward and putting the sweatshirt behind her. Satisfied with the placement you lean her back and weave her arms through the sleeves. Satisfied with your work you lean back and appreciate that she looks a little bit more.. human. You take a seat next to her.
"Hey Nat. Uh you probably can't hear me. But um. You lived. Your still alive. Sorry for not visiting. I um. I don't know what to tell you. I've been doing okay. I was in a mission and I got stabbed carelessly a week ago but that's it." You hold her hand, waiting for a twitch or a shudder like it says in all the story books. A lover holds the other and magically wakes up.
"I could really use you around." Your voice shudders in between words. "Things haven't been the same. I miss you. Things are crazy."
You lift her hand up and press a kiss to the back of it. "Come back to me please. Come back like you always promised you would." You press one final kiss to her forehead and get up and leave waiting waiting WAITING for her voice to call out and tell you that she's here and alive and okay.
It never does.
You exit the Med-bay slightly nauseous and feeling worse than when you came. You wish it were like all the books you read. All the romcoms you watched with her.
"I still don't understand why we're watching this again." Natasha comments. It was some romcom that she wasn't that interested in. Instead of watching it she was watching you. Smiling when you smiled giggling when you yelled out commentary.
"are you even watching it?" you ask her for the 4th time when she got caught looking at you.
"I am I promise." She brings your hand up to her lips a habit she had.
Not risking getting caught again she looks at the screen.
"Wait so she's just gonna wake up? That's like 2 gallons of ketchup blood she lost and she's just gonna wake up because he asked her too?" she yells outraged. You giggle at her expression loving the playful side of Natasha you got to witness. At least give her something to wake up too? The nurse is hotter then he is goddamn it and doctors should be offended, they didn't need to do anything it was his voice that woke her up!"
"Hey!" you pout "What about me"
"I never said you weren't hot" She protests when you move from where your cuddled into your side. You pretend to be mad and stay on the end of the couch until out of nowhere she plops down ontop of you, peppering your face and neck with kisses "I" kiss "love" kiss "only" kiss "you" kiss "Capice?" Kiss.
"Capice!" You giggle trying to squirm away from where she was attacking you with kisses.
You end up creating a schedule of visiting her every other day. Soon enough that turns into every other week. You never stop though until your sent on a month long mission. It dawns on you then that just because your world stopped moving, everyone else's never did.
You take one last glance around the room, memorizing every detail before walking to the quinjet. Hopefully, something would change when you came back.