I have decided to try my hand at Whumptober! I may not be able to post a new prompt every day, but I will try my hardest to get all 31 prompts by the end of the month. Since I tend to post stories about the same characters, I will try to put different people in each prompt. When I mean these characters will be random, I mean really random. If you have a character you really want to see, let me know!

Prompt 1: Shaky hands

Characters: Natasha Romanoff, Clint Barton, Steve Rogers, Tony Stark

Rated T for swearing, descriptions of blood and death. If death triggers you, I would suggest skipping this chapter.

Tony reached out his armoured hands and shot down the final Ultron bot. Satisfied with his work, he hovered down to the street, where his team was waiting.

"Was that it?" Steve asked.

"Probably. If we don't find any more, we can head out." Tony answered.

"Oh, good." Clint sighed with relief. "I can finally eat something."

Steve chuckled and looked around, his smile faltering. "Wait, where's Natasha?"

"I think she's in the jet. I'll go look." Clint said. He jogged up to the jet and peeked inside. "Nat, you in there?"

After a couple moments, he turned back to the worried team. "She's not here."

Tony tried to remain calm and put his hand to his earpiece. "Black Widow, come in."

Nothing.

"Natasha! Status report."

Silence.

"Shit." Steve swore, grabbing his shield.

Clint's eyes went up. "Language, Cap." Nobody laughed, not even Clint.

"Spread out!" Tony ordered. "I want to know the moment you see her."

The men split up, frantically searching the city for any sign of their friend. Tony flew up a couple hundred feet and scanned the area. There was no sign of her.

Ruling out that she was in the open, Clint turned to an abandoned grocery store. He went in, being careful to avoid debris and glass.

"Natasha?" He called. "Nat?"

Just as he was about to leave, he heard a sniffle from behind a broken beam. Clint cautiously peeked over the wood and found Natasha sitting on the floor. She was alive.

Relieved, Clint turned to his ear piece. "I found her, guys. She looks shaken up, but okay." Then he noticed something else. "She's not alone."

Ignoring the questions from Tony and Steve, Clint took a deep breath and knelt down next to his friend. "Hey, Nat. You okay?"

Natasha didn't answer. Upon closer inspection, she was leaning over a child, a young boy who couldn't be older than 5. Natasha's hands were cradling his limp head. The boy wasn't breathing.

"Oh, Nat." Clint sighed and put a hand on her shoulder. "I'm so sorry."

Natasha lifted a shaking hand (the one that wasn't covered in blood) and wiped a tear from her face. "His name was Emmeret. He was grabbing some fruit for his mom when an Ultron grabbed him and threw him at the wall. I got there just in time for him to tell me his name. The last thing he asked was if his mom was okay."

Natasha shuddered at the memory. "I was right there, outside the store. I saw the Ultron go in but I thought everyone had evacuated." Another tear fell onto her lap. "I was right there."

Clint pulled her closer. "You did all you could, Nat. I'm so sorry."

At those words, Natasha started sobbing in Clint's chest. "I was right there," she repeated.

Suddenly, Tony and Steve rushed in, shouting for their teammates. They saw the two laying on the floor in front of a child and stopped short, knowing immediately what had taken place.

Most of the Avengers knew the pain of not being able to save someone. For weeks after, they would feel guilty, like they could have done more. As terrible as it was to see an adult's last breath, it was nowhere near as traumatic as watching a child die. A child, an innocent being who had their whole life ahead of them.

Steve sank to the floor, and Tony soon followed. For what seemed like an eternity, they sat silently and grieved the loss of a life.

When Natasha had stopped crying, Clint helped her stand up. Tony pulled out a wipe and removed the blood from her trembling hands. Steve carefully picked up the body and held it close to his chest. Slowly, the Avengers made their way to the jet.

In the weeks that followed, Natasha went through the 5 stages of grief. Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Guilt, and finally acceptance.

They buried Emmeret and his mom next to each other in a cemetery near their home. Natasha held on to Clint like a lifeline, and Clint didn't mind one bit.

Natasha's hands never stopped shaking, not completely. But she always had hands to hold when her own threatened to give up.