Chapter 1

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By the end of the World Championships, Steve has her number and email scribbled on a torn piece of paper. He'd stumbled into her two more times (not on purpose) after their initial meeting and she'd smiled through both of their very short conversations. Before he could be pulled away by his team, she had stuffed a crumpled note into his hand and wished him luck. It wasn't until he'd returned from practice that he had read it.

He texts her that very night and when he returns to the United States, he's met with a phone bill that's high enough he decides texting might not be the best form of keeping in touch with her. He writes her an email to let her know.

You are hopeless, she writes back. Steve still grins. Download WhatsApp.

That's her entire reply and Steve is so upset about it that he downloads the app just to see why it's so important. Once it's finished downloading, he stares at it in confusion. What does he do now?

As if she had sensed it the moment he downloaded WhatsApp, a text appears on his screen. It's from her phone number, but the message arrives on his WhatsApp screen and not his iMessage one.

Welcome to the real world :)

And thus begins a whole new era in Steve's life.

He texts her for hours after that. She doesn't always reply immediately, but when she does, Steve jumps to read the message. Every single thing she writes makes him grin and he's suddenly glad that Sam and Bucky had to bail on their plans. They hadn't missed the way he'd stared at Natasha during the Championship and they weren't dumb. It wouldn't take long for them to connect the dots if they saw him grinning at his phone.

What time is it there?

It's nearing dinner time for him and while he's not sure what the time difference is, he knows it's much later in Moscow.


It's the first text from her that makes him frown and he types out a reply before he even thinks about it.

You have practice tomorrow, don't you? You should go to sleep.

She starts typing as soon as his message sends which is a pleasant surprise. Normally he has to wait a while to hear back from her.

I will


Steve's almost embarrassed by how quickly he sends the message, but he isn't given a second to worry about how it came across because suddenly his phone is ringing.

He fumbles his phone for a full second and a half, nearly dropping it, before hitting the blue button and holding it up to his ear. "Hello?"

"You worry a lot." Her accent is just as thick and beautiful over the phone as it had been in person.

"I'm told it's one of my fatal flaws." Somehow, his voice doesn't shake even though the pounding in his chest is making his fingertips buzz. "You shouldn't overwork yourself, though."

"I do not." Steve almost argues but decides not to. She's speaking again before he can anyway. "I was chosen for the Russian Olympic Team. We practice more."

"Holy shit!" This time, he does drop his phone. When he finally recovers it, she's laughing on the other end. "That's amazing!"


"Yeah!" Steve nearly shouts. "You—I'm so proud of you!"

And goddammit, he is. He's only known her for a handful of weeks, but he's pretty sure he's never been this proud before.

"My father is the Olympic team coach," she reminds him. "If I had not been chosen, it would have been—"

She loses the word after that and they spend a few seconds trying to figure out the right one. Steve attempts to help, but she gives up shortly after and simply says the word in Russian.

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