Natasha has decided to have breakfast in the dining room today. Somehow, she’ll feel safer among people, she decides. She grabs her purse, opens the door. Steven is standing there before her, a look of hesitation washed over him.
Natasha ...is all I could say. I knew there was more that needed to be said, but damned if I could find the words. She looked frightened, almost, to see me. But then, for all she knew, I was dead.
They stand on either side of the door and on opposite sides of a universe. She thought...she had told herself he was dead. It seemed best that way. But here he stands before her, flesh and blood and looking sheepishly guilty.
Natasha, I tried again, I know you have a million questions. You might have even thought I was dead...two years, right? It's been two years. You have no idea how wonderful it is to see you! I came as soon as I could. No one would tell me where you’d gone to, and...and... I was aware that I was spewing words even I wasn’t listening to anymore.
I grabbed her then and held her and she faltered for a moment before returning my embrace.