Thirty seconds remaining.
Nat's left hand slowly traveled down her stomach and to her waist. She moves over to her left pocket and reaches inside. She grips a square object made of cardboard. It was a box of matches that she pulled out. She flipped it open and removed a 'match' as carefully as possible.
Yelena, seeing the smile dancing on her downed enemy's face, narrows her eyes and presses the bo staff into her neck. "What are you looking so smug about?"
Nat laughed with coughs in between as she choked out her answer: "You just defeated yourself."
Yelena chuckled skeptically. "Are you getting enough oxygen to the brain? I hope so because it would be 'insufferable' of you to die of asphyxiation."
Nat holds up her hand without the 'match' inside and points blindly at the computer Yelena destroyed.
"You think I would fall for that, though? You cu-" She pauses in her speech as a memory came back. Natasha Romanoff pressed enter on the keyboard before Yelena destroyed it. Once she recollected this, she turns and looks at the destroyed monitor in horror as a dozen scenarios ran through her head and they all ended with her failing.
With Yelena's head turned, Nat thrusts her left hand up and stabs Yelena in the nape.
Yelena screams in pain and jumps to her feet. She clutches her nape in agony before all of her movements froze in place like Yelena was a statue holding a bo staff in one hand while her other hand was grabbing her neck.
Nat spits out blood that was painted on her tongue and she slowly rises to her feet. She casually stiffens her stance and arches her back like an eagle soaring into the sky. She rotates her back clockwise and counters to crack the bones in her spine. She lumbers before she grabs her throat softly and feels for the sores. "You did a number on me, Yelena." Nat calmly walks over to the frozen Yelena and circles her. "I can't believe what kind of person you are: All this over some Daddy issues? I thought Black Widow agents were supposed to be the best of the best but you just perverted everything they stood for. You are such an embarrassment."
Nat grabs the bo staff and takes it apart so they're two batons once more. She carefully removed Yelena's Black Widow Bite gloves and put them in a holster in her utility belt. She spots her gun stolen off of her earlier and she snatches it back. "This is my favorite weapon by the way."
"What...did...you...do…" Yelena wheezes with force through her teeth.
Nat steps in front of her. The only thing that Yelena could move was her eyes and wanted herself to be the only thing Yelena could see. "I put a needle in your nape." She holds her hand up and points at the needle Yelena couldn't see. "I took inspiration from the movie, Kiss of the Dragon. An acupuncture needle in a forbidden location on the body. I prefer a less violent method, however." Nat demonstrates by turning around and showing Yelena her nape and tapping against the spot where she stabbed punctured Yelena. "You won't die, but I've paralyzed you. Cut off your central nervous system to everywhere in your body. The only thing mobile of yours is your eyes." Nat faces her again. "You will be free once I remove the pin from your neck."
"Please…" Yelena sobbed with a frozen face, "I... don't…"
"Want this fate? You're responsible for your downfall." Nat walks over to the destroyed computer and taps on the screen. "You think I would be this nonchalant if America was in danger?"
If Yelena could move her head and opened her mouth, she would've spat out insults and called Nat a derogatory term. But since her mouth was stitched shut, that ability was lost to her.
"All three of the missiles, instead of heading to Beijing, Paris, and Moscow, all of them are going to take a nosedive on Devon Island, the largest uninhabited island in the world. Chances of casualties there are one in one hundred billion. Trust me, I did the calculations."
Yelena's eyes widen in horror and try moving but remain paralyzed in place. She grunts out inaudible words but fails to deliver any message towards Nat.
"You brought this on yourself, Yelena," Nat says without emotion as she walks back over to Yelena, "I'm not going to kill you. I just want you to be a product of your failure." She grabs the nape of her neck and places her fingers around the acupuncture pin carefully to not rip it from her nervous system. "I'll give you a chance to escape but I promise it won't be easy: All you have to do is pull the pin from your neck and you should be free. Not too quickly or too slowly." She removes her fingers from the needle and steps back. "I would do it as quickly as possible either way because, by my calculations, you'll have at least seven minutes before the warhead comes crashing down on your roof." Nat turns and faces the door. Before she leaves, she hears Yelena call out to her in terror.
"Don't leave me!" Yelena shouted through her teeth. "Please don't leave me! Kill me!"
"Goodbye, Yelena," she said softly with sympathy in her voice, "But the main difference between you and I: I was raised to have emotions, you were trained to exterminate them. I won't kill you, but I'm not going to save you just so you can start the cycle all over again for a third time."
"Please! Kill me! Reunited me with my father!"
"You're still my friend to a degree, I can't do it. I'm sorry Yelena." She turns around and walks back to Yelena. "Just to be clear, Yelena, I'm straight and this was never going to happen between us. But I hope this makes you feel better." She laid a kiss upon Yelena's lips. She wasn't a lesbian, but she was laying a kiss upon Yelena's lips to help make her feel better. Yelena did have a crush on Nat and she decided to let her go with a parting kiss. Nat looked up on tears that broke through Yelena's eyelids. She finally had something to cry over other than dying. Her wish had come true.
"See you later, I'll remember you as my best friend and not a killer." Nat steps out of the room, leaving Yelena to sob quietly. She thought back to the kiss though. She knew Nat wasn't gay and that it was never going to work between them, but she was happy that the woman of her dreams had made her wish come true.
Nat runs down the hall, reaching the stairs. Before she made it to the stairs, she tripped on something and went tumbling down once more. She yelled in pain when she reached the bottom step and landed on her back hard. She had completely forgotten about the tripwire that was set up earlier. The same tripwire that caused her to fall and nail her thigh to a wooden board. The pain in her thigh returns but she suppresses her cries of agony by forcing her mouth shut. "Not this time," she told herself with a wheezing breath. "I'm not screaming in pain this time."
Tony finished off the last of the thugs and staggered backward and pressed his back against the wall. That big fight with over fifty men had taken a toll on him and cost him most of his physical energy. He slowly slides down the fall and lets the soaking water from the sprinklers that were still running soak up the sweat around his neck area. He removed his skull mask and allowed his real face to get a breath of fresh air. He opens his mouth and lets the water sprinkle into his mouth and he gulped it down.
"Tony!" Nat's voice called him in the corner. He lifts himself off his feet and waddles over to the steel door and unlocks it. He pulled the door open with all his strength and Nat comes running through. "We have to get out of here as quickly as possible."
"What the hell did you do this time, Nat?" Tony asked but didn't follow her. She stopped in the middle of the room full of corpses and unconscious bodies.
She holds her hands up in confusion but when she felt the sprinkling water hit her forehead, she felt as cool as a cucumber. After thirty minutes of physically fighting, she felt like she deserved a break...until she reminded herself why she was running in the first place. "There's a warhead coming our way, have to get out of here."
"What did you do?" Tony demanded as he jumped over the bodies to meet his sister. He spots her limping on her right leg and saw the blood trickling down her side. "What the hell happened to your leg?"
"Pure accident. Must get out of here unless you want to be radioactive fish food." Nat limps to another steel door at the end of the hallway and with the assistance of Tony, unlocked it and started limping as quickly as possible. She finds the strength within herself to mentally block out the excruciating pain in her thigh and just runs as fast as she could, jumping over bodies in the process.
One of the bodies sprung back to life and grabbed Nat as she jumped over him.
Nat fell to the ground and immediately kicked the threat in the face and back into consciousness. "Stay unconscious!"
Tony grabbed her by the hand and helped her up. He ran in front of her and acted as an escort. He made sure that none of the bodies would spring back to life and try to pull a lurker on them from The Walking Dead.
Tony leads Nat to the junction from earlier where they split up. There was still a fire raging throughout the hallways but it was under control and not spreading as much as it was earlier. "Looks like God is giving us a chance."
Nat and Tony make it to the ladder. Tony climbs up first to make sure that the top was clear of any threats. Nat climbed one leg up at a time up the ladder but when she made it halfway up, the bar she had her hand wrapped around dislodged from the ladder and sent Nat falling.
Upon the surface, several soldiers escaped the launch control center after hearing the countdown of the nukes being launched. They were either aware of the nukes' new targets, or they were running out of fear of Nat and Tony. Several of the soldiers ran back to the airfield and climbed into the airplane that Yelena took to get on the island earlier. The seven of them quickly climb in. Four soldiers that were left behind, spotted Tony climbing out of the hatch and went to settle the score before leaving.
Tony, using his photographic memory on how fast Ward was, quickly snaps the first soldier's neck and shoves his body towards the three. He lunges for the three as they push the body away and drives all three of them into the ground with a single tackle.
With Nat in the underground tunnels, the fires were started to spread in her direction. She spotted the incoming threat and started climbing as fast as she could up the ladder. She makes it above the hallway point but the bars that her feet were standing on broke beneath her. She loses her balance and her hands slip from the bars. She falls as flat as a piece of paper on her back and groans in pain. Her unhealable wound was starting to hurt again.
The fires got closer.
"Why does everything have to be so difficult? Am I in a movie or something?"
She races up the steps but the lower part of the ladder broke off from the top part under her weight. She held the broken off part of the ladder in her hands before throwing it down to the ground in fury. "I thought it was bad luck standing under a ladder."
The fires come closer and closer to her. She presses her back against the space in the wall where the ladder should've been. She reaches for the tip part of the ladder but it was out of her reach by five feet. "Shit," she cursed her favorite phrase, "Looks like I'm going to have to do this old-fashioned way."
Nat runs down the hall right down the middle, narrowly avoiding the flames that are starting to climb up the wall. The sprinklers do little to nothing to keep the fires under control. She positions herself and takes deep breaths of adrenaline. She sprints for the wall, running as fast as she could, feeling her heart pulsing through the wound in her thigh and what felt like something falling out of her unhealable wound. She leaps off the ground and wall-runs up and grabs the ladder with one hand.
She pulls herself up and prays that the bars won't disconnect from the walls this time.
Unknown to her, the sleeve to her right leg caught fire and slowly spread up her catsuit.
On the surface, there were corpses of the first, second, and third soldier lying on the ground in front of Tony.
The fourth thug raises his gun and prepares to shoot Tony in the back.
Nat leaps forward and kicks the soldier in his spine. The soldier falls to the ground with a thud and quickly picks himself up and aims the gun at Nat. Nat does a tornado kick to the thug and hits him square in the neck with the pant sleeve that was set on fire. The soldier drops to the ground unconscious and Nat quickly pats down on her pants to put out the fire.
Tony kicked dirt and the fires eventually went out but not before they left first degree burns on her right ankle and thigh.
"That was awesome," Tony commended, "That was awesome."
"Thanks," Nat replied in a nonchalant voice before the two hustle back to their airplane, Tony once again taking control.
"I estimate that we got a few more minutes before the bomb touches down here," Nat warns her brother, "I think I might have done a miscalculation."
"I don't care, I'm just flying off."
Tony turns on the engines. The Russian airplane in front of them that was filled with the soldiers saw Nat and Tony get into the light aircraft but none of them made any attempts to attack. It looks like they were aware of the new nuke's launch coordinates. Both planes speed up down the runway, picking up speed as each second passed. At the same time, both planes pull up the throttles and ascend into the air but Nat and Tony's plane was ahead.
"Do you remember what the blast radius was, Tony?"
Tony's memory started acting up due to absorbing all the fighting moves. He stutters, "Five or six miles, I don't remember."
"Just fly us as quickly as you possibly can out of her.
If Tony could hammer his feet onto the imaginary and fly faster, then he would.
Nat looks out one of the windows and although it was still dark outside, she could see the island gets smaller and smaller the more distance they put between themselves and the island. "We want to get far enough to where we can't see the island."
"Do you want to take the plane?"
"No, you got this little brother. You seem to have a better hand on it then I do."
"Then stop pestering me and let me do my job!"
"Alright, I'm sorry. I just don't want history to repeat itself."
Tony yells: "HISTORY, REPEAT ITSELF!" He looked over his shoulder at his sister. "History is already repeating itself. Except for this time," Tony replays the incidence back in his mind and compares it to today, "We get a chance to escape with our appendix and face still intact. How could that slut do that to us? Just to restore balance? I like the world the way it is right now."
"Insane daddy issues can make anybody go crazy nowadays." Tony was about to say something else until he felt a rumble and his attention was now at its peak. "What the holy shit?" The two siblings looked up and saw what looked like a meteor that was lighting up a small section of the sky like the sun. The two shielded their eyes from the bright sun and turned away. Tony turned on the autopilot and placed his goggles on before he looked out one of the windows to see the nuke blowing up the island and leaving a gray mushroom cloud behind. "Wow," he gasps in astonishment. The explosion was big and bright enough to light up several miles as if it were the sun. "That is…" He had never seen a nuke go off in front of his eyes. "Something else."
"And this time, we get a second chance to rectify our hesitation." Nat opens one eye to look out and watch the gray mushroom cloud rise in the sky. She takes in a breath before letting it out. "Goodbye, Yelena."
Five Days Later
Almost a week had passed since the incident in Sweden. The touchdown site received no casualties from the civilian side but when NATO sent their NEST teams to investigate, it was estimated that there were ninety-four casualties in the launch control center and all these casualties were Russian soldiers. There were a handful of people that survived, either by escaping the island or by winning the astronomical chances of surviving and one of those people was Yelena Belova. She survived but ever since the United Nations branded her as a code red security threat to not only the United States but the world, she was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole to the most secure supermax prison in the world: ADX Florence. While she lived the rest of her days rotting in prison, she was also going to spend the rest of her dies, rotting away with radiation poisoning. Just like her father. While she stayed in a cell, chained to the wall like a dog, less than seven days to live, she would always look back at that kiss that Nat delivered upon her lips, and smiled. It was just enough reason for her to want to be alive, so she could always replay that memory out in her head.
Nat and Tony were in the hospital for a checkup to make sure that neither of them had any major bodily damage. After the 'Nuclear Disaster Backfire of Sweden' as the locals called it, Nat and Tony were taken in by soldiers in NBC suits and were given a scrub down for any radiation. How humiliating it was for them but at the end of the day, Tony get to keep his skull mask.
Now the two Red Room agents laid back in their neighboring hospital beds back home in Washington D.C. Tony insisted that he keep his mask on during all times of his stay at the hospital for obvious reasons. Nat was lying comfortably on the bed and snuggling up against her pillow and drifted off to sleep during the daytime.
Nat woke up with a groggy vision, not knowing what time of day it was before a heavy object weighing around forty pounds came jumping on her stomach and she let out a groan of discomfort. "That's a big hug there," she said to her smiling niece, "Jeanne."
"How are you feeling, Aunty Natty?" Jeanne asked excitedly, "Mommy told me that you have a few broken bones."
You would think so with the cast wrapped around the one leg that received a lot of damage. "They're battle scars, Jeanne." Especially the battle scar that I've had for five years and the doctors are STILL unable to fix. "These battle scars tell a story."
"Can you tell me a story?"
Nat looked at her bandaged face brother for approval and he gave her the okay. Nat then started telling the kid version of what happened to them.
Mercedes Merced-Masters approached her husband and watched with glee as Nat started chatting with her daughter. It brought a warm smile to Tony's face to see his daughter happy and he grabbed Mercedes's hand and kissed it. "I must be in Heaven if I'm seeing such a beautiful face."
Mercedes blushed at her husband's flirting. "Every day can be Heaven for you, babe." She regards the bandages wrapped around his face. "Speaking of beautiful faces, is wrapping your face in bandages like a mummy necessary?"
Tony shrugged innocently. "I would've been wearing my skull mask but doctors told me that if I'm going to refuse to show my disfigured face, then I should at least be wearing bandages so there is no confusion."
"If that's how you want it then I guess it's okay."
Mercedes grabs a nearby chair and sits down in it. She rests her elbows on her knees with her head hanging down. She thinks back to something before she looks up at her husband and sighs. "You remember when we first met?"
Tony looks at her and it doesn't take long before the memory comes back to him like his brain was playing a sideshow. "We met as trainees for the SWAT force," he said as he sat up. "I remember." More of the memory starts to play out. He was grateful he didn't lose any of his core memories with his wife as he continued like a narrator: "You were best friends with Derek Killian."
"He introduced us," she corrected like an editor.
"You turned me down twice before you finally agreed to double date with Derek and his civilian girlfriend."
"You were a conceited douchebag back then," she recalls, "You were so conceited it made me sick."
"I wanted the best so I could be the best." Looks like that's another thing my sister and I have in common. "That's why I couldn't stop thinking about you."
"I was starting to worry about you not remembering."
Tony knew why. "That's why I've always tried to stay away from fights as much as possible: So my memories of you and Jeanne weren't erased. I remembered on our wedding night that we danced to the song 'Heroes and Villains' by the Beach Boys. I always remember because whenever I'm in a bar, or fast-food joint, or wherever with a jukebox, I would play it for hours and hours and hours just so I could gain the memories back. I remember one time playing the jukebox the same song for three hours. I think I even annoyed the waitress working there. It is memories like this that make me never want to get into fights because you and Jeanne are the most precious thing in the world to me."
She eyes Nat. "What about Nat?"
He contemplated with a so-so gesture of his hand, "She's okay for a sister, so she is the second most precious thing I'd say."
Mercedes chuckled before she leaned over and kissed her husband on the bandaged forehead. "Thanks for doing what you did."
"No problem. I've always wanted to be a superhero until I realized that they were fictional. So I just try to be the best there is for you and Jeanne."
"You're a superhero to me and that's what our daughter thinks over there."
The two watch Nat and Jeanne exchange conversations.
"And just like that, the Wicked Witch of the East went flying right into the sky and falling right after the meteor hit the ground. And after that, the Wicked Witch of the East was banished to a dungeon and never heard from again. That's when Nat clicked her ruby slippers together and she and her dog, Tony, escaped back home to see little Jeanne."
"Wow," Jeanne gasped in awe after hearing the Wizard of Oz version of the story, "That was a great story, Aunty Natty. Are there any other stories that you can tell me?"
"Not right now I'm afraid." She sets her niece down before sinking back into her bed. Her eyes drew up to the television and they see a news report on somebody. She thought the person looked familiar before she recognized that handsome face. "Bruce Banner?"
"Who's Bruce Banner, Aunty Natty?" inquired Jeanne.
Nat brought herself out of her trance and shrugged. "I have no idea, honestly." It wasn't a total lie. I do know that he turns into a green creature and that he terrifies me in that state.
"What you thinking, Nat?" Tony questioned like he was an interrogator. His eyes followed to the screen. "Who's Bruce Banner?"
Nat looked at him like he said something she didn't like. She opened her mouth to scold him but decided not to. "Just somebody."
"If you say so," he said doubtfully.
Nat sits up in bed and stretches. She grabs a crutch and walks herself out of the room. Tony gets out of bed and chases after her, telling Mercedes and Jeanne to eat whatever hospital food they gave him.
"Where are you going?"
Nat slows to a stop and faces her brother. "I was just getting some fresh air."
"You should get back to bed. After all, you deserve a good night's rest. You saved the world from nuclear warfare."
"I was just doing what anybody would've done."
Tony shook his head. "Don't try and act all modest with me: You're the superhero that I've always wanted to be. You should be proud of yourself. Jeanne is proud of you and she is four."
"I can't rest yet," she insisted, "THe Red Room excommunicated the two of us because they knew what we were capable of. That means they're scared of us."
"Then can't we just leave them alone?"
"Leave the Red Room alone?" She shook her head. "It's too powerful of an organization to exist. If someone like Yelena could become a Black Widow agent, then I have to do something about the Black Widow mantle. With Yelena about to die in a few days, someone will be eager to take her place and probably someone worse than her."
"Let me come with you. I mean, we are in this together like Batman and Robin. I'm Batman and you're Robin."
Nat laughed under her breath but shook her head. "I've wanted to become a Black Widow for the longest time but now I realize what kind of rank and level of authority that title holds, it is too powerful. If the whole point of a Black Widow was supposed to be an idea and not someone with superhuman abilities, then anybody could be a Black Widow. And I have a theory that Yelena and Ward became a Black Widow and Hourglass was because they both were born and raised in the Red Room."
"Your reasoning is sound, Nat, but how are you going to eliminate the Black Widow mantle if it is just an identity that anybody could assume?"
Nat went silent as an answer came to mind. "I'll take up the Black Widow title myself. I'll take it up and do what Yelena and Ward failed to do. I'm not going to become vindictive people like they were."
Tony's eyes widened through the eye holes in his bandages. "You're going to take up the Black Widow mantle?" He raises his hand like a toddler. "Can I be the Hourglass? Please?"
"So if you're going to become a Black Widow, what is the message that you're going to be sending? You can't just take up the Black Widow mantle and call yourself a badass. You have to have some kind of angle."
"The message I intend to spread is that the world isn't so black and white. The two of us are living proof that there are good people in the world."
"Calling ourselves good people seems self-proclaimed."
"We were called good people by your wife and daughter. I feel like that's enough to motivate you."
Tony laughed and patted his sister on the shoulder. "Good luck, sis. You sure are going to change the world one day." He pats her in the stomach and unintentionally opens up her wound once more.
Nat smiles in annoyance at him and casts him an annoyed look. "Thanks for the pat on the stomach, Taskmaster."
About a year passes before Nat picks up Bruce Banner's trail. They track him down to a hospital in Turkey and they subdue two mercenaries known as the Gradys and she assumes the female's identity via a holographic mask while her brother assumes the male's identity with his latest mask with an updated hologram system. They slowly stepped into the hospital room with the human Banner to observe until he turned around and threw a crowbar at Nat's stomach.
The crowbar struck the female Grady sister in the chest and she went flying back. The male Grady brother's eyes followed his sister as she flew across the room before turning back to shoot Bruce with his pistol. Bruce rushes the Grady brother and slapped the pistol out of his hand before grabbing him by his neck and slamming his head into the door jamb above him and knocked the brother out instantly.
Nat hid behind a couch and focused on breathing, trying not to give her position away and when she heard the sounds of growling coming from the human Bruce, she stiffens in fear.
Hello readers, The Alpha Gray Wolf here, I have just finished the latest introductory to my Marvel Fanfiction Universe stories. That does it with Phase One of the Marvel stories and now time for Phase two. I have a storyline planned out and if you want to read my Phase One stories in order, it's Black Widow, Incredible Hulk, Spiderman, then Venom. And if you pay close attention, you'll find small details that show that all these characters are connected and everything is set up like a domino effect. Thank you for reading my story and I really appreciate it. Leave a review, favorite it, follow it, and as always: Constructive criticism is always helpful. I'm multitasking with my fanfiction stories and I hope you like the outcomes. Thank and until next time, I'm the Alpha Gray Wolf.
Oh, and by the way, all of this stuff in the story is original. Nothing was taken from the Black Widow trailer as this was halfway down when the trailer came out. And the chapter titles spell out
This serves as two things: The abort codes to the nukes from five years ago and the first appearances of Black Widow and Taskmaster in the Marvel Comics.
Black Widow: Tales of Suspense #52 and Taskmaster: The Avengers #195
Goodbye and Merry Christmas.