Topic #35 Past Life
The laceration on her thigh wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t exactly good. It was going to need to be stitched up or she’d be leaving a tail of blood behind her. Natasha had been careless as evident by the wound, but she wasn’t about to be even more careless.
She slowly slid to the floor and looked at her thigh. With both hands she pulled black leather away from the wound. Blood seeped out, mixing with sweat and contrasting against pale skin. The actual wound was about four inches long and deeper than she would’ve liked. At least it had been a clean cut; the edges were smooth and not jagged. It was easy to be thankful for the small things.
Without looking, she reached into a pouch on her belt and pulled out a small plastic packet. She tore it opened and removed the needle and catgut. Be prepared. The Boy Scouts had a great motto in her book.
She took a moment and peeked out from behind the crates she had taken refuge behind. The coast was clear as Americans liked to say. She sat back down and steady hands threaded the needle. Once the catgut was through, she tied a knot into both ends and set to work.
The needle pinched as it went into pale skin at the top of the wound. Doing this was going to hurt, but it’d serve as a reminder for her carelessness. The second time pinched as much as the first time and Natasha winced. It didn’t get any better as she continued.
The comm. Piece in her ear beeped twice. Now what? S.H.I.E.L.D. better not be telling her to abort. Not after she had already shed blood for this mission.
“Widow,” she said barely above a whisper. The sub-vocal comm unit at her throat captured the slightest noise and allowed her to communicate effectively and quietly.
“How about a hello or a hi like a normal person just once?”
Natasha almost groaned. It was worse than S.H.I.E.L.D. aborting the mission. “Is there something you wanted Matthew?” she asked, her hands not slowing in their task. Although Matt would be a good distraction from the pain this was causing.
“Can’t I call just to say hello and see how you’re doing?”
“You? No. Did you want something?”
“Did I catch you at a bad time?”
When isn’t it a bad time, she thought as she poked the needle into flesh again. “No,” she lied.
“I know that tone of voice. You’re working.”
“Sort of,” she answered frowning as the blood started flowing a little heavier from the unstitched part of the wound.
“What does that mean? You never sort of work. What’s going on Tasha? What are you doing?”
“Sewing if you must know,” she replied and jabbed the needle into flesh a little harder than necessary. Ow, that hurt.
“Sewing? Are you making a quilt or something?”
She sighed. Between the pain and Matthew, she could use a bottle or two of good vodka. “I’m stitching up a wound,” she hissed as the needle reached the half way point.
She could hear the concern in his voice, but he should know by now that she was capable of taking care of herself. “It’s just a scratch, Matthew. I’m stitching it up because I don’t want to leave a trail for someone to follow. Four inches long in the fleshy part of my thigh. Nothing to get worked up over.”
“Do you ever consider taking some time off?”
Not this again. It seemed like every time they talked he hounded her about taking time off. “Do you?” she shot back knowing full well what his answer would be.
“Touché.” There was a long pause. “I worry about you.”
“I know,” she replied, not wanting to get into this. Not now. Not in the middle of a mission and not when she was in physical pain. She didn’t need emotional pain to be added to it. She was trying to close one wound; he was trying to open another.
“You push yourself too hard and too much.”
“Matthew, I adore you, but don’t start harping on me about work. I don’t need it right now. Is there some reason why you talked Fury into patching you through on S.H.I.E.L.D.’s comms?”
“I was worried about you. I haven’t heard from you in awhile.”
“And Fury bought that crap?” she grumbled and continued her task. “Remind me to kick his ass when I see him.”
”Now that sounds like the Black Widow I know.”
Natasha snorted and finished with the stitches. She tied off the end of the catgut and ripped off the extra. She tucked the needle back in her belt and took another look at the wound. The stitches were small, neat and precise. “Probably was a seamstress in a former life,” she mumbled.
“What? You were mumbling.”
“I was just appreciating my handiwork. I was just musing that I was probably a seamstress in a past life. A doctor couldn’t do better stitches.”
“I have to go. If you feel like you must talk, you can take me to dinner when I get back.”
“When will that be?”
“When I get back. Do I look like Nostradamus?”
His laughter floated through the comm. She wasn’t trying to be funny. “Take care of yourself Natasha. I’ll see you soon.”
“Yeah,” she sighed. “Take care of yourself, Matthew.” She disconnected the comm and stood up. Matt would come later, right now she had work to do. She pulled a pistol from its holster and slipped out from behind the crates.