eighteen.

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18.| BE READY.

SWEAT DRIPPED DOWN HIS BROW AS HE WAS MESSILY WRAPPED IN HIS BEDSHEETS. James's mind was running over one hundred miles per hour as he twisted and turned to the rhythmic beat of his own nightmares. Vividly painted horrors played out in front of his closed eyes as he fought against the demons who haunted him, but it wasn't enough. James pressed his lips together tightly before it transformed into a clenched jaw. The Stark man didn't take too much to sigh heavily as he opened his eyes to stare up at the ceiling of his bedroom.

James was stripped of his shirt as he had one arm tucked beneath his head and his legs crossed at the ankles. He inhaled and exhaled sharply as he laid in bed, before throwing the covers off of his body and pushing himself to throw his legs over the edge. Resting his elbows on his thighs, running his fingers through his hair and scratching his scalp. He didn't know if he was trying to claw the constant nightmares out of his mind or what have you, but he found himself doing it either way.

There was a soft knock on his bedroom door, which made him furrow his brows together. Straightening up, he twisted around to watch a headful of red hair peak into his bedroom, and a small chuckle left his lips. James met her piercing emerald gaze as she took him in, stepping into the bedroom. The woman approached the Stark man and took a seat beside him on the bed, sitting on her knees.

The Russian assassin stared down at James for a few seconds, before resting a hand on his shoulder. He didn't hesitate to reach for her hand and cover it with his own, wrapping his fingers around her hand. Her eyes were glued onto him as she watched his thoughts took over his state of mind, and she shook her head.

Natasha threw her legs over the edge of the bed, resting her hand on his thigh. He stared off ahead of him as he inhaled again, which made Natasha raise an eyebrow at him. The two agents met the other's gaze, and for a slight second, James thought that he knew was going on in her mind. But it was Natasha Romanoff that was sitting beside him on the bed; the super spy who had secrets that no one would ever know. Secrets that would never break the surface of the world's atmosphere.

"I'm fine, don't worry about it, Romanoff," James attempted to brush her off, but Natasha let out a scoff as she shook her head.

"That's a bunch of bullshit, and you know it, Stark," Natasha replied to him, and James couldn't help but let out a low chuckle. The redhead pressed her lips together as she reached for his back and began to rub it comfortingly. James turned his chin to meet her eyes again, before shrugging his shoulders slightly.

"Look, it's just the occasional nightmare that I have, it's fine, really," James attempted again, but Natasha still wasn't buying his lame attempt at lying. So, when she gave him a certain look, James shook his head. "Nat, you know that I'm always having these nightmares. It's nothing to be concerned about. They're not as bad as they used to do."

"That doesn't mean you should be dealing with them by yourself, James," Natasha reminded him and he nodded his head. "Look, you know I'm not the type of person to break down and by sympathetic or compassionate, even if I'm working on it. You have people here to help you get through these things. The James that I met didn't seem like the kind of man to hide away behind his nightmares."

Executioner's Song ― 𝐍. 𝐑𝐎𝐌𝐀𝐍𝐎𝐅𝐅.Where stories live. Discover now