Hi! Here's a quick second chapter. It's quite short, clocking in at about 700 words. I know the timing of the fic is off, Natasha would've began working for SHIELD in 2004, but for the sake of the fic I'm keeping them in 2009. I'm working on the next chapter, I'm going to post two more. I might update them when the movie comes out and add on a bit. Also, I just saw Little Women as well as Fighting with My Family and I literally could not be any more excited to see Florence in Black Widow.

The family's month together had gone by in a blink. Their brief time together really proved how makeshift they were. Natasha and Yelena fought like sisters, and Melina and Alexei were somewhat similar to their parents. Somewhat. Melina was just annoyed most of the time, and Alexei was always busy eating some weird, exotic food.

No one was happy to get back to their craft, whatever it may be. For Melina and Alexei, it was missions. Natasha was helping out with some mission in America. Yelena had to go back to the trying Red Room academy. She wasn't looking forward to it. Yelena hated the strictness of the training, but that's all she'd ever known.

Yelena was always the first one to go. She never even unpacked her suitcase. Melina and Alexei lived there year-round, Natasha and Yelena were usually the ones to have to always have their bags packed and ready.

Yelena would have to leave behind all her comfy sweat pants and sweatshirts. They sat in their drawer all year only for her to return for a month and not fit into any of them. Melina and Alexei probably grew tired of constantly having to replace them. It was almost traditional, though, for them to give her a new set of clothing upon her arrival.

She didn't want to board the train that would take her near the academy. Only with Natasha's word of encouragement did Yelena even consider getting near the train car. From there on, Alexei had grabbed her shoulders and forced her to walk ner it.

Why did Yelena even try to rebel? She'd be forced back in, no matter what her efforts were.

It broke Natasha's heart, though she wouldn't show it. Natasha had been the same when she was young. No one wanted to go back to the Red Room, under constant fear that you wouldn't make the cut. She'd counted several times when an instructor would tell a girl to kill another for being too weak. Natasha had even killed a peer herself, but she openly regretted it. Yelena was strong, though- that's all anyone could hope.

Once Melina purchased Yelena's train ticket, there was no avoiding the journey to come. Alexei let go of the girl's shoulders and let her board the train, simple as that.

They all waved goodbye to Yelena and gave her their best wishes. The girl sat down, dreadful thoughts circulating through her head. This was only the start of her annual hell.

Natasha looked down. Yelena had broken her emotional wall. Her sight was quite blurry. She blinked, and desperately tried to wipe the tears away.

"Natasha?" Melina asked quietly. "Is everything alright?"

Natasha looked up at Melina, "I…" She couldn't vocalize her problems to Melina, of all people. Melina had been cycled through the Red Room more times than anyone. But maybe she'd understand.

"I feel… so bad… so sorry. For Yelena. She doesn't deserve this."

"No one deserves their fate, Natasha. No matter how hard you try, you can't avoid what's been coming all along."

The two women stood at the train station for a moment, Alexei already back at the car.

"If you had ever had the chance to get out, do you think you would've?" Natasha's face was free of tears.

"I don't think I've ever been that strong," Melina admitted. "That takes courage that isn't trained."

They began walking back to the car.

"Yelena will be fine, Natasha. Focus on your mission, you can leave Russia." Melina added quietly, "You'll leave hell."

Natasha laughed, "You don't know how excited I am, Melina. I've worked on my English harder than anyone, and I finally get to use it full time."

Melina smiled, "My English isn't good, and I've tried hard. Yours is perfection. You will pass easily."

"I guess watching all those American cartoons paid off. I'm forever in Snow White's debt."

The two started dying laughing, leaving Alexei perplexed as he sat in the driver's seat.

"What's so funny?"

At that, Melina practically hyperventilated. She was laughing so hard.

That was rare for Melina.

If you liked this chapter, leave a review. If you didn't like this chapter, leave a review. You get my point?

Anyway, thanks for reading!

I'll have out the next chapter soon.