avengers au → natasha is the american 007, pepper is both her Q and her love interest
Natasha isn’t ice, she’s a forest fire or a hurricane, and Steve has been around long enough to know that this is rarely understood. Natasha could melt away the freezing winters of Russia if she wanted to, and when Steve finally kisses her for real he tastes ashes on her tongue.
She discovers the dossiers, the yellowed photographs, tucked neatly into a box under his cot, and when she looks up at him Steve sees himself mirrored in her expression.
“James,” she says, and Steve’s world stops.