This is a transformative work. All things/persons from Buffy the Vampire Slayer
are the property of Fox Television and were created by the folks at Mutant Enemy (aka Joss Whedon and Co.). Disney/Marvel owns the Black Widow and other Marvel characters appearing in this story. The story idea itself and the words used to create it are mine.Spoilers:
None that matter. Buffy: Chap. 1 - pre Season 1, Chap. 2 - between Season 4 & 5, Chap. 3 - 10+ years after Season 7. Chap. 4 - Some time in the far future. BW - Chap 1 & 2 - take place before Iron Man 2. Chap. 3 & 4 - After Avengers (But CA: Winter Soldier probably didn't happen in this AU)Story Influenced By: BABYMETAL
, Yuka Funakoshi
and her band Chronoship
, Yukon Jack, and Fanta Orange and Cherry soda.
The Black Widow as depicted in this story is an amalgamation of the character in the MCU and Marvel Universe (I'm not a huge fan of the movie depictions of her but used some elements of that characterization anyway) but is, by necessity, an AU version. Purists may wish consider her to be a bit OOC to lower their stress levels.2.
The Black Widow goes by several different names in this story, all valid according to Marvel.3.
I don't write sex scenes. Sorry. At certain points in the story you'll need to use your imagination.Word Count:
2,143 (Part 1 of 4)
Written for the 2014 International Day of Femslash
Through her seat in the window, the Widow watched her target rush down the sidewalk, packages clutched precariously in her arms, her face tilted down away from the glaring sun. Slipping out of the coffee shop, she followed, her stride giving the appearance of casualness, but keeping her within several strides.
The woman wasn’t her preferred choice for a floater but the only one that would allow her to meet her already compressed schedule. The job had been seemingly cursed from the beginning but it was too late to back out now. Especially with the drop dead date had been moved from late spring to mid winter. Days from now.
If she could insert herself into this woman’s life for several days, or even hours, it would give her enough cover to infiltrate the very insular world of private LA galleries, something she’d been unable to do without the backing of her former masters, which was no longer an option.
Joyce Summers, a soon-to-be divorcee with a troubled daughter might not look it to outsiders but she had connections in the art world that would make the heads of many national art museums jealous. And right now, the Widow really needed those connections.
She’d come up with and discarded a dozen different plans for infiltrating Summers’ life, eventually settling on the classic white knight approach. All she needed to do was rescue a hopefully grateful woman from a potentially violent mugging as she rushed to her gallery after visiting her daughter. The setup had been simplicity itself. A few words in the right ears would send one of the more gullible members of the LA underworld into her target’s path. From there the plan was almost fool proof.
Joyce hurried down the sidewalk, headed back to her office. It hadn't been the best day. Visiting Buffy at the private mental hospital Hank’s insurance had insisted on had gone like every other visit. Since the District Attorney had dropped the charges in exchange for a psych evaluation, Buffy had been committed for at least six months, or until she was deemed cured of her delusions. Joyce hadn’t been able to find a lawyer willing to get Buffy released as long as she continued insisting that vampires were real. Something Joyce didn’t think her daughter was even capable of in her current drugged state. But they wouldn’t decrease the drugs until she changed her story. It was an impossible situation.
Stopping at home, she’d been welcomed by a large envelope containing divorce papers from Hank’s lawyer. They hadn’t been a complete surprise, he blamed her for the embarrassment Buffy’s problems had caused him, but she thought he could have at least handed them over to her in person. And to top it all off, she’d had to pick up one of the pieces for the gallery’s holiday display personally. A quarter of a million dollars in sixteen century Incan metalwork sitting in her purse. If anything happened to it, she’d have no place to bring Buffy home if she could even afford a lawyer to get her out of that institution.
The sun was glaring in her eyes as she turned the corner, two blocks from her office. With a body shaking crash her progress was brought to a sudden stop, causing her to drop everything except her purse. Something roughly grabbed her shoulder as she tried to step back
"I’m sorry," she said, looking up to find herself being held by a large man. From the scar on one side of his face to a tattoo down the other, and the expensive tailored suit, he looked like something out of one of Hank’s favorite gangster movies. His large left hand gripped her shoulder while his other hand was wrapped around the strap of her purse.
"Please let go," Joyce said, trying to pull back from him.
"No," the man said, in a thick accent Joyce couldn’t identify. He tugged on her purse.
"Let go," Joyce said louder, hoping someone would stop and help her. His grip tightened painfully on her shoulder.
"I’ll take this," he said, tugging harder on her purse.
"You can’t have it, that’s mine," she said, twisting and pulling in vain to get free. Out of the corner of her eye she looked desperately for help but the street seemed to have suddenly cleared.
"Mine now," he said. "You is mine now also," he added when she refused to let go of the purse. Letting go of the purse, he covered her mouth with his hand to keep her from screaming.
Feeling nauseous, and frightened, Joyce kicked his legs and tried to stomp on his feet but the man ignored her.
From behind her a woman’s voice shouted, "Let her go!"
The man laughed and turned, dragging Joyce after him across the street. Several steps later he came to an abrupt halt.
"I told you to let her go," the same voice said again.
"No," he said.
There was a sharp crack and she smelled ozone. The man fell forward, pulling Joyce down with him. His grip on her suddenly disappeared and Joyce fell back, hitting her head on the sidewalk, blacking out.
Groaning, Joyce opened her eyes, and found herself looking up into a pair of green eyes above a pert nose, framed by short ebony hair with a faint blue tinge.
"What happened?" she asked, trying to sit up. It felt like she was lying on a bench.
"You hit your head," the woman said, a very faint Southern accent making her sound exotic to Joyce’s West Coast ears.
"You saved me from that… that…," Joyce couldn’t think of a word to describe her assailant.
"Yes," the woman said, helping her up.
"Thank you," Joyce said. "Where’d he go?"
"He didn’t like my taser," the woman said. "He ran away."
"My purse?" Joyce said, looking around desperately, the quick movements causing her to wince in pain.
"Right here," the woman said, gesturing to her other side.
"And my other packages," Joyce said, spotting them next to her purse.
"Of course," the woman said, not explaining how they’d been retrieved. She handed the purse to Joyce.
"Thank you," Joyce said, opening her purse to check its contents. Satisfied that everything was still there she put the strap over her shoulder. Looking around she noticed she was even further from her gallery than before, sitting on a bench in the small park near her office that she often ate lunch in. "Did you carry me here?" she asked in surprise.
"You aren’t heavy," the woman said, shrugging.
"I need to get to work," Joyce said, pushing herself up, feeling slightly wobbly. "And you must have places to be."
"You appear to require additional help," the woman said, standing up and collecting Joyce’s packages.
"I can take those," Joyce said, protesting. Taking a step, she winced again.
"No," the woman said. "I’ll carry them for you. Which way is your office?"
"Five minutes past there," Joyce said, pointing at the park entrance.
"Good," the woman said.
"Do you have a name?" Joyce asked.
"You can call me Natalia," the woman said.
"I’m Joyce, Joyce Summers," Joyce said. "Shall we?"
"After you," Natalia said, waiving her forward.
This is where I should give you a reward for the rescue," Joyce said, tiredly placing her purse on her desk. "Unfortunately, I have a reception to get ready for. Would you take a rain check?" she asked.
"I’m free tomorrow evening," the Widow said. "After that I’ll be on the East Coast for the next year."
"If you don’t mind being surrounded by boisterous art lovers, several overbearing artists, and their patrons, you’re welcome to come to the opening reception tonight," Joyce said hesitantly. "We could have that drink afterward."
"I can do that," Natalia said. "What time?"
"The doors open at seven," Joyce said. Reaching across her desk, she grabbed a small card, writing on the front and back. "It’s invitation only but this will get you past the security at the door." She held the card out for Natalia to take.
Sighing in relief, Joyce watched the last guest leave, or not, she thought, looking around and seeing Natalia gazing intently at a large watercolor. She’d been too busy working the crowd all evening to do more than briefly acknowledge her appearance and notice how well she blended with the other guests as if she frequented such things every day.
"You’re still here," Joyce said, joining her in front of the painting.
"You promised me a drink," Natalia said, turning her head slightly to look at her.
"There’s some champagne left over," Joyce said. "And I’ve got some forty year old Scotch in my office."
"You don’t strike me as the Scotch type," Natalia said.
"Art gallery in LA," Joyce said. "Rich art lovers spending money expect expensive beverages."
"It’s about the image," Natalia said, nodding.
"Yes," Joyce said. She frowned. "I don’t want to go home," she said.
"Soon to be Ex-husband," Joyce said, grimacing. "Hasn’t quite finished moving out."
"I have a bungalow at the Bel-Air," Natalia said nonchalantly.
"Oh?" Joyce said, raising an eyebrow. "I’m not sure I’m that type of girl, no matter what the traditional reward for a rescue is."
"A drink and conversation," Natalia said, giving her an encouraging smile. "Nothing more."
"That’s a definite possibility," Joyce said. "The cleaning crew will be here first thing in the morning. I just need to lock up."
Leaning forward, Natalia kissed her right cheek. "Meet me outside?"
Blushing, Joyce murmured a soft "Yes" and watched the other woman stride to the entrance. "Just drinks and conversation? And you believe this?" she said to herself.
"Good morning," a soft voice whispered into Joyce’s ear.
"That tickles," Joyce said, opening her eyes to see a very naked Natalia leaning over her. "What are you doing up there?" she asked, reaching up to trace the outline of a pert breast.
"Looking at you," Natalia said, smiling. "Did you enjoy yourself last night?"
"Very much," Joyce said, feeling like she should be purring. It had been a fantastic evening. From the moment they stepped into the bungalow, until now. "We have to get up, don’t we," she grumbled, rolling out from under her.
"Yes," Natalia said, slipping off the bed and grabbing a robe. "I have business downtown, and you have to supervise your gallery’s cleaning crew."
"Will you be able to join me for lunch?" Joyce asked, slipping on the fluffy white robe Natalia handed her.
"Unfortunately, no," Natalia said. "I have a meeting at noon and a leave for the airport immediately after."
"That’s disappointing," Joyce said, watching her delightfully naked companion gathering together her things. She decided that she’d ended her experimental phase in college much too soon. "Is there time for a shower?"
"Together?" Natalia asked, stopping to look at her. "I can make time for that," she said in response to Joyce’s nod.
"Good," Joyce said, grabbing Natalia’s hand, and pulling her into the bathroom. "This has to go," she said, taking off her robe.
Thinks had worked out better than expected, the Widow decided, as she drove towards the airport following her last meeting. She’d made a contact at Joyce’s gallery that had gotten her exactly the opening she needed in less than a day. Her next stop was a small auction house in Manhattan, one step closer to her goal.
Unfortunately, she couldn’t go back to Joyce. It could potentially put her in danger now that the wheels were rolling. Maybe another time. The younger woman had been a delightful bed partner for those brief hours. Experienced at pleasing others but still an innocent, willing to experiment.
Unaccountably feeling bad about the deception of the last day, the Widow decided to make a stop on her way to the airport. A certain young woman could use some advice. And someone encouraged to free her. From what little Joyce had told her the night before it was obviously a trumped up charge. If she was reading the situation correctly, someone had wanted Buffy out of the way until they could retrieve her for their own purposes. That she could deal with with a few well chosen words in the ear of a certain one eyed American agent.
Based on what little exposure she’d had with the supernatural, even she knew vampires were real, though she wasn’t going to tell Joyce that. The Widow didn’t think it would be useful to shatter her illusions. Apparently, vampires were exceedingly rare. She hadn’t seen one in person in decades so finding one to show Joyce would take more time than she had to spare. Nodding to herself, she pulled into the hospital parking lot. It wouldn’t take long and she’d still make her flight.