Title: Pillow Fort
Author: Shatterpath
Feedback address: shatterpath@shatterstorm.net
Date in Calendar: 17 December 2014
Fandom: Marvel Cinematic Universe
Pairing: Jane/Natasha
Rating: G
Word Count: 1470
Summary: Some Christmas adorableness with an Avenger, a couple highly competent girlfriends and a mouthy sidekick.
Spoilers: Not hardly.
Warnings: Schmoooooooop!
Archive: ShatterStorm Productions & AO3 only.
Feedback: Constructive criticism is always welcome.
Advertisement: Part of the FSAC:DW14

Author's Disclaimer: Not my characters, obviously. Marvel and Disney are big, scary badasses, I just can't stay away from their characters!

Author's Notes: So this is based on a AU I've been working in where my favorite pairings of Thor/Jane and Steve/Natasha somehow drifted together and became a poly foursome. It's been fascinating to work with this dynamic in all of its combinations and Jane/Natasha weren't gettin' enough love, so this enabled me to take care of that. So, a slumber party seemed like a good way to explore various relationships and let me work with Darcy and Pepper as well, so win! Story setting notes: So that you know, I'm working under the concept that all the Avengers, as well as Jane and Darcy, have moved into the Avengers Tower to live and work. And this takes place before the events of the second Thor and Captain America films.

It had started out as a simple Girls Night Out. Honestly it had.

But then it had been too cold and who wanted to deal with the holiday crowds anyway? So they'd taken advantage of Pepper's high end corporate contacts and gorged themselves on a wide variety of gourmet food and wines. Only then had things gotten strange. Jane and Pepper were still dressed up, sans shoes, Darcy was stripped halfway to her underwear because the lacy top was itchy and no one could stop Natasha from going ninja and vanishing only to return clothed in squishy fleece pants so big they looked like footie jammies and a silky camisole. Darcy laughed until she coughed over the stars and stripes theme of said squishy fleece and made a grab for the drawstring holding them precariously to Natasha's waist.

"You totally stole those from Steve, didn't you?"

For a moment, the long, prissy look almost cowed the younger woman, but a smile broke the stalemate, making Pepper and Jane laugh. "Yes. He hates them and they keep my feet warm."

Chuckling, Jane bounced to her feet and leaned over to bestow a loving kiss on Nat's smiling mouth. "Anyone else need a refill?"

Darcy hopped to far steadier feet than the others expected, given the night's indulgences, and swept up the redhead's glasses, Pepper's right out of her hand. Scientist and assistant chattered animatedly in the kitchen while their quieter companions merely soaked up the peaceful ambiance and Christmas decorations.

"Thank you, by the way," Natasha suddenly piped up. "For getting this place decorated but leaving us enough to finish up. We had a ball."

Pepper smiled and nodded acknowledgement. "You're welcome. I was happy to do it. Were you really stringing Thor along about Santa and his slave elves?"

The peal of laughter from the normally self-contained spy was a delight to hear. "It would have never worked if Steve hadn't played along. That sincere all-American good boy look of his I swear could convince the devil himself. It was pretty funny."

"It was hilarious, be honest," Jane added as she returned to hand off Nat's wine glass before snuggling down with her lover. "I only wish I'd been able to keep from laughing just another few minutes to see how far they would have taken it."

"And made for a terrific story the next day," Darcy added as she joined them again. "Though it took twice as long to get it out of her than it should have, due to the giggling."

That set off said giggling, the happy sound echoed by Natasha and Pepper, the latter reaching out for her glass, puzzled when Darcy paused in mid-hand off. Sweeping a narrowed gaze around the spacious living room, Darcy clearly had something on her mind.

"Y'know, we totally need to build a pillow fort while there's no big, destructive males tromping about."

And that was that. Jane instantly turned into a hyperactive toddler over the idea and there was no stopping them. The redheads never even bothered to try and protest, no matter that the entire thing was absurd, Pepper having outgrown such silliness decades before and Natasha completely clueless, but game for whatever Jane saw fit to drag her into. The whole lot of them were flushed and exhausted with laughing by the time they'd raided the apartment for bedding and pillows. Dining chairs had been commandeered to prop up sheets like a tent and the couches had been stripped of their cushions to build a cozy nest and Jarvis had sent Dum-e down with flashlights to make it a proper pillow fort slumber party.

The only little hiccup had been Natasha's non-reaction to having her field of vision to the rest of the apartment completely cut off. Thankfully Jane, even sensitive to her subtle moods, immediately insisted on a 'skylight' in the tent of sheets and the drama was nipped in the bud. She understood that her warrior lovers, all three of them, were quite literally unable to turn off the protective awareness that so defined them and was happy to accommodate so that Natasha didn't need to allocate so many mental resources to the visceral need.

Then, at last, the makeshift structure was perfect; a sloppy tent of expensive fixtures rendered into childlike delight and they crawled in to gaze at the twinkling Christmas tree now perfectly framed by the hanging sheets, the city glittering behind it.

"I swear you have an even prettier view than the penthouse," Pepper sighed happily and squirmed down into the nest to enjoy a completely non-demanding relaxation in proper abandon.

"Perfect," Darcy added with smug satisfaction as she settled in, pressed between Pepper and Jane, the latter once more reduced to tired giggling. As Pepper had thought to incorporate part of the coffee table into the fort, she was in charge of the wine glasses, the fine crystal catching the muffled flashlight beams and throwing bent light onto the concealing sheets. "My sibling and I used to do this sorta thing all the time. Every kid should do stuff like this, no matter how late."

Smiling with mixed happiness and melancholy, Natasha took a last look around the dark apartment and crawled after the others, lithely slipping up behind Jane.

"My dad and I did stuff like this all the time," Jane mused where she lay shoulder to shoulder with Darcy. "Or outside in a real tent in nice weather where I first learned to love the stars."

The sniffle instantly alarmed the others, but Darcy found herself in that odd position of no longer being Jane's emotional support as Natasha murmured something reassuring that didn't sound like English. Like iron to a magnet, Jane willingly accepted the coaxing to curl up as the little spoon, head pillowed on Natasha's upper arm and hugging said limb to her chest. Hugging the smaller woman snugly, Natasha poured out all her painstaking life lessons of how to love and soothed down Jane's drunken pain with murmured words and gentle caresses. Sleepily twisting her head to the side, Jane kissed Nat lingeringly while Darcy and Pepper watched with fascination at these completely contrasting sides to these people they had once thought they knew something about. But even when Natasha had infiltrated Pepper's life in her spy role and they had been friendly-- a relationship painstakingly rebuilt over time-- she had never been the cuddly sort. And Darcy had been living practically in Jane's pocket for over a year and had thought she knew pretty much every mood and quirk.

A small, competent hand that had built machines capable of opening the bridge between worlds and written out mind-bending equations was messily stroking waves russet locks, a faint moan echoing up, Jane having completely forgotten her audience. Natasha was the picture of gentle adoration, nothing of the deadly warrior and assassin to her in this safe, loving space.

But someone was going to get embarrassed pretty soon so Pepper chimed up dryly, "shall we leave you two alone?"

Spluttering in amused embarrassment, Jane left off her sloppy seduction and buried her face in Nat's throat while the redhead glared at her friend with no malice. Pepper only laughed.

Deliberately aiming for nonchalance, despite the human python pressed to her, Natasha asked after her companion's holiday plans. Jane, half on her side and half on her back, remained cuddled tight to the woman who was as integral to her heart as the men they both loved as well and finally drifted off with a long, gusty sigh.

"I would totally not have called out Jane as the cuddly sort," Darcy finally commented. "You've clearly corrupted her."

Both redheads chuckled even as Jane muttered sleepily. "Mutual."

Long accustomed to gearing her wake/sleep cycle to Jane's, Darcy dozed off in short order and a peaceful quiet fell again. Pepper half looked up at the false ceiling of the pillow fort and let her mind drift and half watched Natasha quietly fawn over her lover.

"You like having someone to protect."

For a long moment, Natasha didn't answer, merely stroking Jane's dark hair and watching her peaceful profile.

"The other way around is probably more accurate."

Wisely choosing not to press, Pepper merely sipped her drink and waited to see if the spy needed an ear.

"Normally, the idea of someone hovering and fussing and trying to protect me would irritate me. At best."

Pepper nodded at the quiet confession, watching Natasha's deadly hand so gentle on Jane's head.

"For reasons I don't at all understand, I don't mind her being that sort of person for me."

Neither of them expected Darcy to sleepily pipe up with, "even if it's sorta like getting barked at by a chihuahua."

Jane didn't even stir at the laughter.

Happy Holidays everyone!

The conversation that spawned this silly sweetness:
[15:30] Me: and AJ has okayed me to do a Jane/Natasha centric piece
[15:31] Me: for the femslash calendar
[15:31] Friend: Sounds like the creativity returned at the best time since there's bunches to do!
[15:32] Me: indeedy
[15:33] Me: (FiancÚ) is having more drama with yet another Twitter friend, but I'm managing for now
[15:33] Me: seriously, Twitter is the devil
[15:33] Friend: Ack - that is no good. It does seem to be the devil *takes Doggy and hides from the Twitter in the pillow fort*
[15:34] Me: pillow fort.... hmmmm
[15:34] Me: that might be too whimsical for my Avenger girls, but a hilarious mental image
[15:35] Friend: I had the same mental image *laughs* It's probably too silly for the ladies but was still a funny thought
[15:35] Me: slumber party!
[15:36] Me: i COULD drag in Pepper and Darcy. THEN i could get whimsical
[15:36] Me: Jane gets slightly drunk and... cuddly. Pepper says dryly, "shall we leave you two alone?"
[15:37] Me: gets a dirty look from the other red head
[15:37] Me: which she laughs at
[15:37] Me: *fake drama sigh* I've got to do it now, don't i?