AN - Finally finished chapter three! Sorry it’s taken me longer than I anticipated to upload, but thank you for your feedback. Your continued support really motivates me and makes me smile when I read the comments. Please let me know who you’d like to see next, or which characters you’d like to feature in any bonus chapters I write. :)
Here’s a link to this story on fanfiction.net in case you want to read it from the beginning. https://www.fanfiction.net/story/story_preview.php?storyid=8262510&chapter=1
Chapter Three – Natasha
The third time someone other than Thor was able to lift the hammer it was in an interrogation. The red-haired assassin stood back surveying the man tied strictly to the chair before her. Outwardly he seemed like an ordinary foot soldier. Brown eyes, light brown hair, thin silver scar above his left eyebrow, standard uniform. But she knew differently. She knew he was going to throw everything in the book at her to put her off his trail.
What made Natasha truly the Black Widow was not necessarily her agile combat skills and fear-inspiring hit count, but her ability to see the finest details that few others could. She had known no-one else to ever have the skill as honed as her. Until she met Clint that is.
She narrowed her eyes imperceptibly. There was a small amount of perspiration on his forehead and his knees were trembling slightly. His pupils showed no change at all. No signs of the dilation that happened when people felt fear, or contraction which tended to happen when they were in shock. He was putting on an act.
Well, she was quite the actress herself.
“Tell me what you know about the operations happening at this base.”
She could sense the others moving around in the background, but at the moment, there was only her, and they prey. She began to thread the web.
“I- I don’t know much at all, I just help with transport, and do occasional research missions.”
“If that’s true,” her voice became seductive, “why were you in the central control room?”
“I j-just got called in by one of the lieutenants, he said there was a new mission.”
“What kind of mission?”
“I don’t know. You have to believe me. He didn’t say. Just said it was a level one priority.”
She leaned in close like a lioness moving in for her prey. “Now why would an ordinary foot soldier, who helps with transport and does research missions, be called in for a priority mission?”
“I think they needed extra hands. I just- I don’t know.” She brought her face even closer to his, locking onto his eyes and not letting go. Her hands covered his where they were tied to the chair, and she made sure to brush her leg against his.
“P-please. I can’t tell you what you want. Please. Just l-let me go. I have a wife and a daughter.”
She stepped back from him and walked around the back of the chair, brushing her fingers over his shoulder.
“You can’t tell me? Or you won’t.” She purred.
She saw his eyebrows twitch as he momentarily lost control of the persona he was playing.
“As for the family, you don’t have a wife or a daughter. You killed your wife six years ago. Isn’t that right …General Stanton?”
As Natasha said the final few words and blew his act she leant in close to his face again, letting him see the full cold malice in her heart through her eyes. She felt satisfied when she found real fear in his eyes.
“Don’t think you can lie to me.” The Widow whispered. “I know exactly who you are.” She punctuated each word quietly. “Now tell me what I want to know. Where is Thor?”
As the man before her realised there was no point in holding up the façade any longer he let it drop like the iron slice of a guillotine. The momentary fear in his eyes receded and he sat forward in his chair, matching her glare with one of his own before a sadistic smirk tilted the corner of his mouth.
“The Black Widow. You are every bit as impressive as the stories say.” He stated quietly, looking her up and down. “You had never seen me before, and yet you knew immediately I wasn’t who I said. But really that’s child’s play in the world of espionage. Merely the tip of the interrogation iceberg. The deep-set secrets that you want to know… will be much harder to gain.”
Her face remained impassive as she replied: “I’ve made men twice your size scream for mercy. If you’ve heard stories, you must understand that their one common factor is how…persuasive I am.”
He chuckled patronisingly, as if she had not just threatened his life.
“You misunderstand me. You are impressive as a woman. That however, is your greatest downfall, and makes you less impressive as a spy. You can never match the raw power of a man equally. You must use agility and petty skill to make up for it.” He paused, smirk growing. “Your feline charms, whilst interesting, have little place in this field of masculine authority. You will never make me tell you what you need to know.”
In the background the other four members of the team noticed that the conversation had become louder and more on edge. Steve moved closer to Clint and murmured: “We should probably step in-”
“No.” Clint cut him off. “That would be the worst thing to do right now. You’d be proving everything he’s just said right.” From the calculated look he was giving Stanton, Steve gleaned that Clint actually did want to step in to the defence of his partner, but was stopping himself.
“Nat has him exactly where she wants him.” Clint added turning to Steve. “He’s in her web now. He just doesn’t know it yet.”
“Actually I understand you perfectly.” Natasha was replying to the General. “You think you’ve dropped the act in favour of your true persona, but the fact that when threatened you reverted to a character who was fearful and uncertain shows that you truly are… a coward. Your lack of belief in women shows weakness, not strength. You fear that a woman will outdo you, and so list her flaws to try to cushion yourself on a pedestal above her. That’s why you killed you wife,” she tilted her head as she moved toward him, “isn’t it? It’s also why you fear being alone with me.” Natasha said coolly, using what she had first seen in his eyes to her advantage.
“With a male interrogator you could match power with power, but with a woman, you fall prey to feline charm.”
Stanton lunged as far forward as he could manage restrained to the chair, an ugly snarl contorting his face.
“I’ll tell you nothing.” He spat.
Natasha remained perfectly still and continued to stare impassively at him. The granite grip of her gaze seemed to will a bead of sweat down his forehead.
“Not a thing.” The pressure of her cold eyes was succeeding in making him continue to throw out words in his defence.
She could tell that his resolve was at its weakest now. Now was the time to shatter it.
Natasha spied exactly what she would shatter it with out of the corner of her eye. Without any warning she walked away to the left of the room.
“Nat, what…” Clint murmured as she passed the other members of the team without glancing at a single one.
Her attention was instead focused on the object sitting on the floor at the other end of the room. Mjolnir. Cracks raced across the ground running outwards from where it was placed. As though the God it belonged to had dropped it flat into the floor.
Reaching down with the slender fingers of her right hand she gently slid her palm down the handle. Exactly half way down the hilt she gripped it firmly.
Behind her the other Avengers could see what she was attempting and remained quiet in anticipation. She had her back to Stanton, on the other hand, who couldn’t see the hammer.
From her crouched position she stood up fully, lifting the hammer from its crater in one fluid motion. For a moment she stood looking down at it with her back to everyone else in the room. Only Clint would have been able to discern the momentary change in her face which reflected awe.
She turned swiftly and strode back across the room, looking straight at her intended target and not acknowledging the surprise on her teammates faces.
She stopped before Stanton, facing him once more.
“Wha- how? You-” He gasped in shock.
Natasha cut off his floundering immediately.
“Since you obviously know a little about the hammer, your surprise, while ignorant, is not unexpected. Your assumption that only Thor can lift the hammer is sadly misplaced though.” She glanced down at Mjolnir, admiring its intricate design from the closest vantage point she had ever had.
Stanton took the moment to hiss: “You’re no man. Certainly no God. Your power has no consequence.”
“Only someone who is worthy can lift it. While I may not be male, and certainly no God,” she moved in so she was just inches from Stanton’s face, “I am worthy.”
Stepping back with a note of finality, she swiftly brought Mjolnir down on the right hand of Stanton. The general let out an anguished scream as the bones of his knuckles crunched and shattered under the pressure. The scream continued as she turned the hammer, letting it do a little more nerve and muscle damage.
“Tell me, where is Thor?”
When no reply was forthcoming Natasha broke the bones in his wrist.
“Al-right, alright.” The man whimpered, finally defeated by Natasha’s prowess.
He told the team where they were holding Thor, and the Black Widow walked from the room, followed by the others, carrying the hammer. She took not even one glance back at the man she had just shattered.