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For I have Kissed Thee a Thousand Times

Awkward Kiss

He's always been the shy one out of their little band of misfits. A combination of geniuses, nerds, and athletes, their group doesn't follow the standards of the high school status quo. While Tony Stark and Bruce Banner are prodigies in their own right. Stark likes to fiddle with different machines (last week he took Steve's phone apart and put it back together). Bruce is more into medicine and helping the world become a better place. On the other hand, you have Thor Odinson, the oddball who loves mythology but is also the captain of the football team, which makes him the most popular of their group.

And then there's Natasha. She's been his best friend the longest. Has stuck by his side through all of his hospital days when he was young and sickly. He never really got over his asthma, or some of the other illnesses he has. She always helps him beat back the bullies that tried to intimidate him. Cleans his cuts and bruises. But she would visit him when he couldn't leave his room, or do much by himself. So he's still that scrawny little kid who never learned not to make the bullies angry. Yet she's still his friend.

"Have I done something to upset you?" Steve quietly asks Natasha as they walk down the halls of their high school. The halls are empty since it was late. Steve stayed after school to watch Natasha at soccer practice and now they're walking to her locker. He clutches his history book tighter to his chest, terrified of the answer to his question.

Natasha stops and goggles at her friend. "What gave you that idea?"

"You're just distant lately. I mean I know you're one of the most popular girls in school and you have other friends. If you don't want to hang out with me anymore, I'll understand." He uses one hand to settle his black thick rimmed glasses back on his nose. Blue eyes watch cautiously for any sign of rejection.

Natasha shakes her head, reaching up to flick the rim of his familiar dark blue baseball cap. "You're crazy. Freaking nuts. Of course I want to hang out with you. I don't care what other people say. Your opinion is the only one I care about."

"Oh," Steve replies softly. "Okay." He clutches his book tighter as he looks down, trying to hide his pleased little smile. "I'm so happy we're friends, Natasha."

"Yeah. Friends."

There's something in Natasha's voice that made him look up. Natasha was looking off to the side but she seemed so sad. "Tell me what's wrong," Steve pleads.

"Nothing's wrong."

"Then please tell me something. Why do you look so sad? Why won't you look at me?"

"I'm not good with words," Natasha says, moving a step closer. Her pale cheeks as flush with color. He watches as she runs her fingers through her crimson hair, tugging at the small curls that form whenever she showers and doesn't straighten it.

Steve reaches out and puts a hand on her pale arm. "You can tell me anything."

Natasha moves so that she's directly in front of her friend. She gazes briefly into Steve's eyes and looks at his lips. She takes a hold of Steve's arms and closes the distance between them.

The kiss is awkward at best. At the last minute, Natasha closes her eyes and she ends up hitting their noses together. Her forehead knocks against his baseball cap uncomfortably. She adjusts this by turning her head and they're lips now fit properly together. She doesn't know what to do after that so she just stays there. She can feel the heat on her cheeks. So there they stand, in the middle of the hallway, Steve's history book pressed between their bodies, Natasha holding his arms but not moving them.

Steve can feel his eyes widening as a blush stains his face. Why is Natasha kissing him? Is this what Natasha was trying to tell him? That she liked him? He can't move he's so stunned by what is happening.

It dawns on Natasha that she might have made a huge mistake. She breaks away from the kiss, feeling tears well up in her jade green eyes. "I'm sorry, Steve. I… I… I'll never bother you again."

Steve watched as the Russian redhead quickly scoops up her gym bag from the floor and turns to flee. He knows that if Natasha runs away, they'll never be alright again. Natasha's already running and Steve clutches his book to his chest as he chases after her. He runs faster down the hall than he's ever run before. His breathing speeds up and his throat is starting to tighten when he sees her reach the end of the hallway. Before she can reach the turn, he tackles Natasha to the floor; it was hard to tell who's more surprised.

"Steve!" Natasha exclaims as her face smashes to the floor.

Steve sits on Natasha's back. "You can't just kiss me and run off! That's very rude."


"You have to give me time to process this. I mean this is so sudden."


"I thought you hated me. I thought you didn't want to be my friend. I was ready to leave you alone forever when this happened." He's always felt like Natasha's one of those people that deserves a better friend than him. She's got all the other guys in their group to choose from, so why him? He can't do anything but wheeze and help her with her history homework.


"And another thing—"

Natasha interrupts him mid-speech. "Steve, I can barely breathe like this."

Steve blushes when he realizes he has Natasha pinned to the ground with his own weight and Natasha's heavy gym bag pinning her. He's surprised he was even able to knock the strong woman over. "Oh, I'm sorry."

Steve kneels up and helps Natasha turn over and sit up. He quickly sits back down on her lap to prevent the woman from getting away again. Natasha flushes the color of her hair again and, since Steve is closer than he's ever been before, he can see that the red hue follows the path of her collarbone and sweeps down to…Steve shakes his head. Maybe when things are less awkward, Natasha will let him draw her. Steve's on her lap and their lips are so close again. Steve realizes the same thing and also blushes. He doesn't have a plan. All he can do is tell the truth.

"I like you too," he whispers as sky blue meets jungle green before he leans forward so their lips are touching again. It's still an awkward kiss, but neither of them have kissed anyone on the lips before. They'll get better with practice.


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