There was little many could do to heal the hurt of tragedy. When someone so close, ceases to be able to see you again. Natasha Romanoff was not one to deal with such emotions, especially from a child.
She shouldn't have talked to him. She shouldn't have done what she did. There were sure to be others who could do what she was doing. And yet, there was something else.
She had known his parents. Both had worked for SHIELD before their untimely death.
"Miss Romanoff?" A voice cut her from her thoughts.
"I- I had a bad dream," he squeaked out. The tiny, mousy boy with hair long enough to get in the way of his eyes.
"Did you?" she said rather than asked. Dreams, she knew plenty about bad ones. But he was just a child. He couldn't cope like many agents here did, legally speaking anyways.
"Could you... Could um..."
"Could I what?"
"Tuck me in?" he sounded unsure. Natasha inwardly sighed, but did walk the boy back to his bed, and helped him get comfortable. She was about to leave when Peter asked her to wait.
"Sorry, but... Could you stay? Just till I fall asleep? My m-mommy," he sniffled, "she did it when I was scared."
Natasha could have easily said that she wasn't his mom and that she didn't coddle. But seeing the embarrassment, the sadness and the fear on his face, as well as her own acknowledgment that she had in fact, brought him in under her custody. So instead, she sat next to the bed, brushing hair out of Peter's face.
"Close your eyes Peter."
Peter did just as she asked. While waiting for him to fall into sleep so she could leave, there was only a surpringly comforting silence. But minutes passed slowly and, like many children, Peter began to fidget. She had no doubt that he was tired and wanted to sleep, but part of having bad dreams was the difficulties going back to sleep. Natasha couldn't help but think of her partner Clint. He was always good with kids, and she recalled that he had told her that if a baby was fussy a lullaby would sometimes calm them down. She didn't know if it would work for tired and scared children but, she would give it a go. She had a mission tomorrow after all and having three days without sleep would be unwise.
"There is a castle on a cloud,
I like to go there in my sleep,
Aren't any floors for me to sweep,
Not in my castle on a cloud.
There is a room that's full of toys,
There are a hundred boys and girls,
Nobody shouts or talks too loud,
Not in my castle on a cloud."
Natasha was vaguely surprised to see Peter's face relaxed from either time, or her quiet rythmic talking. She wouldn't dare admit to singing.
"There is a lady all in white,
Holds me and sings a lullaby,
She's nice to see and she's soft to touch,
She says "Peter, I love you very much."
I know a place where no one's lost,
I know a place where no one cries,
Crying at all is not allowed,
Not in my castle on a cloud."
Peter's breathing had fallen into a consistent pattern, his chest rising and falling slowly. She felt an odd reluctance to stand up and leave though. Could she have been like this? Before the red room?
She shook her head and left Peter's room. It didn't matter. While she hated the very red room's existence, she couldn't change what it had taken and given her. All she could do, was make sure that the child in her care didn't end up with the same fate.
Yes, I used Castle on a cloud and Black Widow. Thanks to Hivedragon, Yuuki GB, Spider-pun and Rocker On. Wow she was a popular pick.
As you can see, Peter is still a small child, no powers or anything, just some early Spider fluff.