A/N: Characters and situations belong to Marvel Studios. Written for the prompt To run great risk.

To Run Great Risk

It had been two and a half years since the Snap. The catastrophe that made the Incident in New York City and the collapse of Sokovia look like localized riots had a name now, even to the general public. Steve had taken a train into Brooklyn to attend mass. Rhodey had flown out two days before Christmas, presumably to the cabin in the backwoods that the other Avengers weren't supposed to know about. Tony had earned his peace, and if it stung that he didn't want them to be a part of it, well, the holidays weren't the time to press the point. Rocket and Nebula were halfway across the quadrant meeting up with Carol, and Thor hadn't made contact since settling New Asgard.

At a minimally decorated dive bar in Manhattan, Natasha leaned back against the counter sipping a vodka cocktail and watching the countdown in Times Square on the news. It was strange what traditions continued. Two and a half years and life went on - for some, at least. She drained the dregs of her glass and set it back on the counter. From behind her, someone slid another glass across the bar. Without turning, Natasha picked it up and raised it to her lips.

"Ross wants you back in the Raft," she murmured under cover of a sip.

The reply was equally quiet. "Not enough manpower to run it."

She kept her eyes on the screen. Ten, nine, eight, seven… "Not enough manpower anywhere. You should-"

On the television, the ball dropped. A pair of lips pressed against her cheek. She could have turned, stopped him, but Natasha closed her eyes and took another sip. When the glass was empty, so was the space behind her.

You should come home.