Trust is a Difficult Thing to Gain (November 2005)

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Post by XslvrstarX on Fri Oct 25, 2019 3:11 pm

For the first 72 hours that Natalya was at the Tower she was not allowed out of the room she was confined to. After an extremely heated team meeting, it was finally decided that they would give her one chance to prove herself. If she failed, then they would turn her over to SHIELD. Jarvis constantly monitored Natalya while she remained in her room and would occasionally report what she was doing. For the most part, she slept (or tried to) or just sat calmly. Isabella had gone out with Logan to get her some more clothes. Natalya showed no signs of aggression or anger, but she was clearly still going through a lot mentally.

On the fourth day Isabella decided to allow Natalya to come out of her room. Confining her to that space was inhumane and this was going to give them more of a chance to figure out if trust could be built between them. It was just Logan and Isabella in the Tower with Natalya. Natalya was quiet as she wandered around, with Logan following close behind her. She didn't touch anything, but when she got to the workout room she became much more interested.

"Can I use this room?" she asked him.

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Post by Conleth on Fri Oct 25, 2019 3:50 pm

The meeting with everyone was not what Logan had hoped. Steve was very adamant about turning her over to SHIELD or the authorities to pay for her crimes. Luckily Isabella and even Serena seemed to not agree with him. Tony and Kate appeared to remain neutral to a degree and so 3 were for and 1 was against. Natalya would stay in the tower on a trial basis. Any infractions, any could change that but for now she was there and more and more Logan felt that she was worth this effort.

After a few days Isabella thought that allowing Natalya access to the tower...apart from the lab, should be afforded to her. She would not make a prison of their home and that extended to everyone who lived here. Since Natalya was Logan’s guest she would be his responsibility. For the most part she didn’t ask for much of anything. When he noticed she was low on food or drinks he brought more in for her. He had asked her what she wanted but she just said nothing when he asked so he just brought her the same things. The little fridge couldn’t hold much.

He followed behind her when she was given leave to move around the tower. Like anyone with tactical thinking he could see her looking at the available exists. That and she paused a little too long at the doorwall that overlooked the landing pad. The jet was not there right then and there would be no way for her to climb down either. The elevator would not open or operate for her. Jarvis had her biorhythm and whenever she approached an exterior door or window it was toggled into a locked status. The same went for the lab.

The lower levels, the pool, hot tub and gym though seemed to peak her interest. Tony had assembled some of the most advanced fitness equipment in the world. And some he had invented himself. “Ofcourse, anywhere in the tower but occupied apartments and the lab are open to you Natalya. You don’t need to ask permission,” he said.

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Post by XslvrstarX on Fri Oct 25, 2019 4:24 pm

Natalya nodded when Logan told her she could use the equipment. She was used to exercising daily and had become depressed without it. Several hours later she was down there beating the punching bag. The Super Soldier Serum made her stronger than the average person and she had more endurance too. She was wearing a black sports bra and black leggings and her hair was tied back. She moved quickly, but with precision and accuracy. She was agile and almost graceful in the way she fought, but also deadly.

For the next few days this was where she spent most of her time. She had seen Logan watching her that day for a while and then he disappeared. After she finished her workout she started to walk back towards her room to shower when she heard raised voices. She immediately recognized them as Steve and Logan. She heard her name mentioned and stood back where they couldn’t see her. She listened quietly to what was being said.

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Post by Conleth on Fri Oct 25, 2019 4:52 pm

“You’re mad Logan, the woman is just giving us a false sense of security. The moment she can arrange it, she’ll try to escape. Why would any of us give her that opportunity?” Steve said in tones of obvious irritation. Logan was off his rocker in his estimation. Either by some odd obsession with the woman or just him being a fool he didn’t know.

“She needs a routine Steve! And goals,” He said and Steve looked at him like he had never seen Logan before. “What, I looked it up online! And we could use her on the team, think about it. She’s just as strong and fast as you if a bit smarter. And no I don’t think Rome was built in a day. That’s why I’m bringin it up now got dammit!” Logan said in a rasp. “We get her into a routine and she can heal man, I know she can” He said.

“She’s a trained killer Logan, there is no way in hell I’m giving her a weapon. You must be crazy if you think that I will,” Steve said. “Besides, helping and defending people is not in her,” Steve said. “You don’t know that, no one does, least of all her!” Logan said and took a step toward him. “Its easy for you to suppose, asshole. Every night I hear her. I don’t know if she’s having nightmares or what but she’s suffering man. You know what they did to her. Give her a chance,” Logan said and then he nearly writhed in irritation. “Please,” Logan said under his breath. But loud enough for Steve to hear. Steve’s mouth gaped. He had never heard Logan say ‘please’ for anything. He just looked at him for a moment.

“Alright Logan,” Steve said. His voice was quiet and guarded. “I’ll talk to Tony and Isabella about this and we’ll set a date for her to start. But I’m warning you. If she hurts or kills someone or escapes, that’s on you. You’ll have to live with that,” Steve said. Logan scoffed in nearly a snarl and they stepped away from one another. Logan stopped mid stride. “Add it to the pile along with everything else!” he growled and then continued on to his own apartments.

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Post by XslvrstarX on Fri Oct 25, 2019 5:10 pm

Natalya waited until Steve had left before walking down to Logan’s apartments. She hesitated a moment before knocking on the door. When he opened the door he seemed surprised that she was there. She looked at him a moment before finally speaking. “I overheard what you said to Steve...thank you.” Natalya had never thanked anyone for anything on her entire life. However, she oddly found that saying those words felt...good. She didn’t wait for him to respond. She just walked over to her room and closed the door.

Later that night she had the worst nightmare she’d had yet since being at the Tower. She screamed out in fear and terror and began to tremble. When Logan stepped into her room he would see she was still asleep and covered in sweat.

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Post by Conleth on Fri Oct 25, 2019 6:13 pm

Muffled screams came through the wall. Logan could take it no longer! He nearly launched himself out of bed and stalked angrily over to Natslya’s room which was right next to his own. He opened the door and her screams pierced his ears. Frightful of others hearing her he shut the door behind him. He was about to tell her to get a hold of herself but she had begun to cry and her voice, soft one moment. Loud and pleading the next made his heart go out to her. Was she being tortured? Or raped? He could not decide which would be worse of they were even different. But he knew he needed to help her...somehow. And the decision was made.

‘Oh god don’t hurt me’! He thought as he moved to the end of her bed and then crawled up behind her. As softly as he could he tucked one arm under her pillow and the other he draped over her. As he got himself into a good position he drew her toward him and wrapped her up into his thick arms. “Shhhh, shh, your alright Natalya,” Logan whispered. “Your safe,” he murmured and made soothing sounds near her ear. She seemed to settle as if whatever was happening in her nightmare had stopped. ‘Oh you've done it now, haven’t you Logan?’ He asked himself. He called himself nine kinds of idiot for bringing her here and yet he knew it was the right thing to do. Gently he brushed her hair back out of her face. It was wet from sweat.

And hours later thats how he found himself. He had stayed awake all night. That and his arm had fell asleep. Natalya and grabbed it and he had been unable to extricate himself from her for fear of waking her up. A dim light appeared under the thin separation of the door and the floor and Natalya shifted which allowed Logan to retract his numbed arm. It tingled as he carefully shifted down to the end of the bed. Her breathing had changed as if she had woken up but when he looked at her she hadn’t moved. He could not aee her face in the light and he silently left her room.

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Post by XslvrstarX on Fri Oct 25, 2019 6:35 pm

After Logan left, Natalya continued to lay there. She had never had anyone comfort her like Logan had. She didn’t know what to think of what he had done. It was unlike anything anyone had ever done for her. Everyone had always used her for their gains and had not cared about how she felt. Logan was different. He was helping her without wanting anything in return. Although she wasn’t sure he considered her a friend, he was the closest to a friend she had ever gotten.

After a while of laying there she smelled something. It was a slightly sweet smell. She got up and stepped out into the kitchen. She found Logan there cooking...something. He poured a batter out onto a skillet and it began to cook. After letting it cook for a short period of time on one side he flipped it over. They were round in shape and got slightly brown. The smell made her mouth water.

“What are those?”

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Post by Conleth on Fri Oct 25, 2019 7:37 pm

Logan yawned as he poured in the flour and the rest of the ingredients. He used a metal whisk for the blending and he looked over at the pan that had just a little bit of butter on it. The butter melted as he mixed and then he tapped the whisk on the side of the large, glass measuring cup he used to pour the batter into the pan. Logan wasn’t a great cook at all as far as how many things he could cook. However the things he did like to cook were usually very good and he was particular on how he made his pancakes.

Some mornings he made them and no one could know when it would happen. A completely random event and he always made enough for everyone to eat as many as they could. He made them a specific size and only one at a time in the skillet pan he liked. He saw Natalya leave her room and she seemed to pause a moment as she saw him and then stepped over toward him.

“Oh...these?” He responded. “Pancakes,” He said. “You’ve never had pancakes before?” When Natalya shook her head Logan frowned. “Well then, let me make you a plate,” He said. He took one at a time from under the heat lamp and placed them onto a clean plate. He put some butter and then some syrup on them and repeated the process with the second and the third layers. He added a few strips of bacon on the side, retrieved a fork, a napkin and set it all down in front of her. “Do you drink coffee? I’ve been sucking it down all morning,” He said and procured her a cup and poured her some as he yawned yet again and shook his head.

When Natalya picked up the fork Logan grinned. “Careful, they’re addictive,” He warned then went back to making another one.

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Post by XslvrstarX on Fri Oct 25, 2019 8:07 pm

Natalya’s diet had been greatly restricted and monitored. She only ate what Tatiana allowed her to eat and it was all based on making her body the strongest it could be. She was never allowed to eat junk food or sweets. Tatiana would have flipped if she saw the stack of pancakes and bacon Logan gave her. She watched the syrup mix with the melted butter and drip down the sides. Her mouth watered even more and she picked up the fork and took a bite. Her eyes widened in amazement. It tasted even more incredible than it smelled. It was the most amazing thing she had ever eaten. Logan would see the hint of a smile pull on the corner of her lips. She began to almost shovel the pancakes into her mouth.

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Post by Conleth on Fri Oct 25, 2019 8:47 pm

Logan chuckled at Natalya’s reaction and how fast her pancakes were disappearing. Serena came out toward the kitchen still in her light blue robe and pajamas. She yawned and came right up to the table like she always did when Logan made pancakes. He began to build her plate and he poured the next pancake in the shape of an ‘S’ for Serena like he always did.

He poured her a glass of orange juice and he slid it toward her with a fork and napkin. “Did you sleep well? You look tired,” He said. “I was up late studying Advanced Chemistry,” she said as she sipped her juice. “There’s a boy named Peter whose super smart. We have a...competition kinda,” She said sleepily as Logan flipped the ‘S’ pancake. Logan looked at her and smiled. “You sure you’re not getting sweet on this boy?” Logan said, trying to make Serena blush.

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Post by XslvrstarX on Fri Oct 25, 2019 9:42 pm

Serena hadn’t passed judgement on Natalya like Steve and her father had. She didn’t really know much about her other than the fact that she had apparently been an assassin. She had overheard a few conversations between the Avengers about her and had gathered that Natalya had been tortured and likely raped. She believed that Natalya deserved a second chance at a better life and was happy to see her eating pancakes. Natalya appeared to be enjoying them based on how quickly she was consuming them.

Serena took a seat at the breakfast bar and smiled as Logan began to pour an S shaped pancake for her. She liked it when he did that. She was rather tired. She had been up late studying Advanced Chemistry. She and Peter had a bit of a competitive streak. It was completely friendly though. She nearly blushed at Logan’s comment about her being sweet on Peter.

“We’re just friends. We’re really close, but not like that.”

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Post by Conleth on Fri Oct 25, 2019 10:16 pm

Logan used the spatula to place the ‘S’ pancake onto Serena’s stack and buttered them. He doused them in maple syrup and tossed several pieces of bacon next to the stack then slid the plate in front of her. Natalia smirked at Serena’s words. “You can tell if he likes you if you touch him. His arm or his shoulder as if by accident or as if it’s just incidental contact. If his cheeks flush than he thinks of you as more than a friend,” Natalya said as she prepared another bite. She did not look at Serena but spoke as if what she said was of no real import. Logan grinned at Natalya and looked at Serena. He smiled and shrugged at her than made a plate of pancakes for himself then saw that Natalya’s plate was empty.

“More?” He asked with a smile and exchanged plates with her. Natalya smiled and dug in right away. Logan blinked. “She...really likes pancakes,” He said then made himself another plate.

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Post by XslvrstarX on Sat Oct 26, 2019 8:49 am

Natalya had a very high metabolism and thus was able to eat much more than the average person. As the others came out to eat breakfast she could sense their unease and so she got up and out her plate in the sink and went back to her room. Today was the first day she would be training with them. Steve in particular was still very insure about letting her train with them, but he was convinced to let her try. Natalya knew Logan had stuck out his neck for her and she didn’t want to screw this up. She dressed in her training clothes and met the others down in the training room. Natalya stood next to Logan. She didn’t mention anything about the night before and what he had done.

“I’ve never trained as part of a group before,” she whispered to him. “I’m not sure what to do.”

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Post by Conleth on Sat Oct 26, 2019 10:08 am

Logan wasn’t nervous about Natalya’s first day of training, not exactly. But it was important to him that this all work out. He thought Steve might try to trip her up somehow bit there was little he could do besides just going along with whatever was going to happen. Today they were in the shooting range and Kate, Isabella and Tony were already on the opposite side of the range. It was shaped as a boxed hallway that went around in the shape of a donut though square and there were crates and low walls, high walls and ledges that people could hide behind and onto. It had a high ceiling for those who could get up there like Isabella and Tony in their suits.

“Just do what he says and guard your team and your flank,” Logan said. Steve moved to the weapons locker, unlocked and opened it and then got out 2 weapons. One for himself and one for her. Logan didn't use them. “Ok today we’re using tek shots. Small stick robots that expand line rubber or glue, try to hit them in their helmet face so they have to use their suit sensors,” he said. “Then he handed her 3 small silver orbs. “These are false sensors. Throw one and they will think that its one of us. They’ve already been programmed. “The odds are against us, Tony’s suits are powerful but not every mission will be fair,” he said and looked at Natalya. “This is s training exercise, not real combat. We want to win but not at the cost of serious injury...understood?” Steve said. “You’ll be my second. You’ll guard my flank while I attack. If my weapon jams or I am hit you will move in front. Logan will be our secret weapon. Call out enemy contacts but do not engage them. Logan will draw their fire while we perform flanking maneuvers. Any questions? Good,” he said then handed her more magazines for her weapon then stepped away.

Logan checked out her gear but he spoke to her as he did it. “Your instinct will be to over achieve. Thats not what this is about. Steve will be testing you to see if you can follow orders,” Logan said. Our enemies will reveal themselves to try and get you to break cover and go after them. Resist that inclination and stay on track,” Logan whispered. He saw that she looked...uncertain about this. “Hey, you’ll do fine,” he told her with a smile.

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Post by XslvrstarX on Sat Oct 26, 2019 1:19 pm

The only orders Natalya was used to following were Tatiana’s. Otherwise, Natalya worked alone. Working as part of a team was not something she she had ever done. However, she knew Logan was counting on her to not screw up this opportunity. She listened closely to Steve’s instructions and took the weapon he handed her. She glanced over at Tony, Isabella, and Kate and then nodded in understanding.

As Steve stepped away Logan stepped up to her and began to check her gear. She looked at him and her eyes met his for a moment.

“Thank you for all you’ve done for me.”

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