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Parker and Romanov: Two Women and a Baby Shower

A/N: By popular demand, the next installment of Parker and Natasha.

"You're married!" Parker sat straight up in her chair and very nearly spilled her coffee. "I wasn't at the wedding."

Natasha smiled. "No. I didn't know you were free."

Parker frowned. "But you're married and pregnant, and we weren't supposed to be able to do that."

Natasha merely shrugged and sipped her not-coffee. In fact, it was ginger tea. "There's a baby shower if that would make you feel better."

Parker looked a little lost for a moment. "I don't know anything about babies."

That look was one Natasha had worn on her face and greeted in the mirror when she first discovered her supposed sterility was as false as any cover she'd worn. She understood that look, and she had to tamp down on a few unpleasant memories as she set down her tea and wrapped one of Parker's hands in her own.

"We don't know anything when we start," she said. "But we're designed to learn quickly."

It was true. Parker stared at her, then the faintest twinges of a smile appeared at the corners of her mouth.

Three days later, Hardison hacked the SHIELD database, cursed Stark firewalls loudly and profusely, but eventually managed to locate the phone number of one, Clint Barton, landline.

"This guy is living in yesteryear, man." Who still used a landline anymore?

"Just get him on the phone," Elliot growled.

A loud thunk echoed behind them, probably Parker tossing aside another useless baby book.

Hardison and Elliot exchanged looks. Hardison dialed.

On the third ring, a very sleepy, grumpy, confused voice picked up. "Barton?"

"Give me that." Elliot took the phone and said, "It's Spencer. What did your woman say to Parker?"

A long pause. "Huh? What?" Muffled noises. "No, it's Spencer. Give me a minute. What about Parker?"

"She's scaring Hardison," Elliot said, neatly ignoring anything about whether she was scaring him. "She's reading baby books and ordering him to make the craziest gadgets and taking me shopping at baby stores, and she's been asking about our medical histories."

A longer pause. Barton's low chuckle started almost inaudibly but just kept growing into outright laughter.

"Glad you find this amusing, Barton!" Elliot barked into the phone.

"No. Sorry, sorry." He managed to get his breathing back under control with some apparent effort. "Natasha invited her to the baby shower. Hang on a sec. Nat, what baby shower?"

"Stay with me, Barton. You're having a baby?"

Hardison dropped his head to his hands, already starting to moan and groan. Elliot waved at him to hush.

Muffled conversation on the other end. Barton groaned. "Yeah, we're having a baby, complete with shower apparently."

Great. Just great.

"I am not having a baby with Parker," Elliot stated emphatically, glaring at Hardison.

Barton sounded amused. "Congratulations?"

"Good night." Elliot hung up the phone.

Parker rejected twelve gifts before settling on a rocking chair. Three were things she'd stolen before remembering Natasha was trying to turn over a new leaf. Four were perfect—for a baby girl, and they didn't know the gender yet. The next were all suggestions from the guys and she ruled them out for various reasons, mostly, "Baby safe, Hardison."

If only she'd had Sophie to depend on.

In the meantime, she read books, went window shopping, grifted her way into a two-day daycare job, then stayed a week. At the end of it, she decided newborns were difficult to sleep with without a comfortable chair that was safe for parent and child.

Then she talked the guys into giving her a ride and dragged them in with her before they had a chance to escape.

Natasha had on her working face, which told Parker she needed backup. This was proved the minute she was engulfed in a hug by a strawberry blonde named…

"Pepper Potts. So good of you to come."

"Thank you," Parker replied automatically, then immediately went past, hand latched on tightly to Hardison's arm.

Elliot came behind, lugging the chair. "Where do I put this?"

Parker followed where Pepper pointed and Elliot followed Parker.

Natasha found them before he'd gotten the chair on the ground and gave Parker another hug. She stiffened but pasted a smile on her face.

"I'm so glad you came," Natasha said warmly. She shook hands with Elliot and Hardison. "So glad to meet you. Clint's told me a bit about you."

Elliot smiled and nodded that way he did when he wanted out of there as fast as he could.

"Of course, you're staying for the party?" Natasha shot him a pleasant, expectant smile and procured the strained, 'of course,' that was only polite.

Parker had forgotten how good the Widows could be at what they did. She settled for her less subtle you're-not-anywhere-buddy grip on Hardison's arm to convince him they were all in this together.

Natasha gently herded them toward the other guests.

Lots of people. Too many people, names, expectant smiles. It was easier to skate beneath notice and pocket wallets than meet Coulson, Hill, Carter, May, Morse, Fury, and an endless line of other agents intent on greeting this unknown friend of Natasha's. Natasha simply introduced her as Parker and moved her right along. No one really needed to know where the two met first.

But then it was mostly men on one side and women gathered around the gifts, and everything felt a little easier. They talked about babies instead of history.

"Do you know yet if it's going to be a girl or a boy?"

"Have you picked a name yet?"

"They're terrible when they're teething, but…"

They oohed and ahed over Parker's gift, they planned out dozens of ways to spoil the coming girl, and they shared all the joys and headaches that might be ahead of the new parents. Parker listened and let herself sink beneath notice as she watched Natasha be a normal woman with a real smile that lit up her entire face.

On the way back, she leaned forward and put an arm on the shoulder of each seat in front of her.

Elliot glanced back. Hardison kept his eyes on the road.

"I want a baby," Parker announced calmly.

Lucille screeched to a halt.

Parker just grinned. #

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Holiday Requests: Off-Duty Shenanigans

This entry is part 6 of 7 in the series Holiday Requests 2014

Leverage + MCU, Parker and Natasha wreak havoc together to pass the boredom of being off missions/jobs

They're not allowed to go on missions (cases) because, as amazing and strong and independent as both women were, they had to make some concession to masculine (over)protective hormones around pregnancy.

"And combat could cause a miscarriage," Natasha admitted with a sigh over her steaming cup of… hot chocolate. She mourned the lack of coffee not for the stimulants but for the taste, which she claimed rather emphatically that decaf could not touch.

Parker glared at her own cup of hot chocolate. "I could accomplish so much. No one suspects the pregnant woman."

Natasha stared at her. No one did. She raised an eyebrow. "What case are your boys working?"

"Wouldn't tell me." Parker scowled more furiously.

Natasha smiled. "I am a spy."

It was a different skillset, one a handful of thieves wouldn't be prepared for.

"Now you promise you'll be careful," Clint double-checked for the umpteenth time while Natasha gritted her teeth and bore it.

"I'm spying, not fighting," she reminded him. "No one suspects the pregnant woman."

"They'll recognize you." His brows furrowed in adorable concern.

She kissed his cheek and waved him off. "Give me some credit, Barton." By the time she was ready, she could have been Parker's sister and she certainly didn't look like the Black Widow in her thick glasses and messy blonde ponytail and bookish outfit.

"Have fun."

Parker sighed in contentment hanging upside down from the harness outside of a window while Natasha handed her tools while watching Spencer's and Hardison's positions on her tracking unit.

"You should exercise as close to the due date as possible," Natasha agreed. "This was an excellent decision."

They both looked around for a moment, taking in the breeze, the view over so many unsuspecting heads, the delightful feeling of momentary weightlessness instead of aching feet and back and, seriously, they could not wait to give birth and get back their usual centers of gravity.

Parker righted herself thoughtfully and handed back the glass cutter, which Natasha tucked back into her belt. "Did your Clint think we would be grifting inside the building?"

Feet flat on the ground acting normal? Natasha snorted. "If he did, he forgot who he married."

Parker nodded. "He knows."

Natasha agreed readily. "Yes. Do your boys know about the Red Room?"

"Most days, I don't." Parker shrugged it off with a slight blankness to her face that suggested disassociation and long familiarity with leaving well enough alone. "Shall we?"

"Hardison!" Eliot's voice was hard over the comm. "There's no package!"

"What do you mean there's no package? Of course there's a package. Do you think I didn't lovingly resear—"

Parker's distinctive giggle interrupted them and both men clutched their earpieces in surprise. "Got it! Meet you back at the house later. I've got a playdate first."

"We left you the cleanup," a clipped alto interjected before both women left the line.

The two reconvened at the Tower, giggling and sharing hot chocolate while they put their feet up. Clint came by and smiled, glad they had both found another friend.

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Holiday Requests: The Red Room Made the Deadliest Assassins and the Craziest Thieves

This entry is part 4 of 7 in the series Holiday Requests 2014

MCU + Leverage, Parker was red room for Anonymous

A little dose of crazy and a little failure of memory behind a ridiculously high skillset might indicate something else under the hood.

"Why'm I getting the feeling our thief isn't normal?" Barton asked, shoving the paperwork down the conference table toward his partner.

Romanoff shook her head with a, "Don't be sill— Oh." Recognition flickered in her eyes at the picture on top. "Parker."

Leverage Consulting & Associates was aboveboard on paper, but their activities didn't exactly line up with law-abiding citizens. Natasha brooded over this for approximately two hours until Coulson brought down word that SHIELD wasn't interested in the company, only retrieving their lost gadget.

"We don't normally hire thieves to get back our assets, but it was taken up with several other owners' materials in a mass raid on the storage facility," Coulson informed them. "This crew retrieved all of the stolen goods."

"We'll think about using them in the future," Hill offered.

Visible tension went out of Natasha's shoulders. Clint just groaned. That's all he needed, another crazy ex-Red Room operative to develop a soft spot for.

This Parker was clearly well taken care of. Clint did a double take when he saw the profile pictures of the rest of Leverage's associates.

"Eliot Spencer, you old dog."

"You know him?" Natasha cast him a baleful eye under her red bangs.

Clint didn't really like the new look, but it wasn't worth complaining about. It'd be gone in another half dozen missions guaranteed. "Retrieval expert. Did good work in armed forces before we both went freelance."

And that was as good as a welcome mat.

She took out her burner phone, dialed Leverage's phone number, and handed it to Clint.

"Thanks, partner," he snapped. "May I?"

It was worth it to see her tiny smile.

They didn't mention Parker. If either member of Strike Team Delta knew anything about the Red Room, they knew reminders of it were more than unwelcome.

They walked in with smiles on their faces as the rightful owners of an inocuous looking, expensive vase and shook hands with Alec Hardison before Parker breezed out, got one look at Natasha, and hit the roof—literally. She was up and out of Natasha's typical combat range faster than a spider could scurry.

Natasha just stared at her from across the room for a long moment. She picked up the package and said softly, slowly, "I work for SHIELD now. Perhaps we could be friends." She shrugged slightly.

Clint could see the tension back in her shoulders, see that this actually meant something to her.

Parker bit out in that same flat tone Natasha used to use when he first recruited her, "Prove it."

Natasha tilted her head, pursed her lips, and finally pulled out a USB drive. "Don't get caught with this."

Parker watched as Natasha set it in Hardison's open palm. This clearly was over the hacker's head.

Finally, Natasha tugged Clint's arm and they left. Before they reached the door, she wound her fingers through his.

Three weeks later, a text message appeared on Natasha's nobody-has-this-number-nor-can-hack-it phone at three o'clock in the morning, waking Clint and starting a blue streak. Natasha rolled over and flipped it open. She showed it to him.

Nothing blew up. Coffee at 700 across from SHIELD.

He stared at her. "Friends, huh?"

Natasha shrugged and set the phone back on the nightstand, but a tiny smile played about the edges of her mouth.

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