Natasha has gotten used to the missing pieces.
"Why did I double-cross you or why do I need to visit?" she responded, understanding that she was negotiating from a position of weakness, even if she wouldn't appreciate the time constraints until it was too late.
"The latter," T'Challa replied, his voice giving nothing away. "I understand the former now."
She took a deep breath before saying anything because the first time would hurt. The first time always hurt. "You don't understand the former completely and that's why I need to visit."
It was vague, hilariously so if she'd been inclined to find any humor in the situation, but she knew who she was dealing with and that he'd parse it properly.
"He is under my protection," T'Challa warned, proving he'd at least understood part of it.
"I mean him no harm," she assured. "Please, sir."
2700 words | PGish | Peggy Carter, Howard Stark, Bucky Barnes, Nick Fury
She recognizes the car the moment it appears and, with sick horror, recognizes the place. She'd never seen it from on high, just marched around it at ground level looking for something, anything, that could have explained how Howard had lost control of the car. His blood alcohol level had been elevated, of course it had, but it was Howard and it would have taken far more than that to impair his faculties.
The far more turned out to be a motorcycle and an assassin and her heart soars with relief and the kind of righteous anger that came with knowing how to avenge the murder of her friends. But then comes Howard's final words and the assassin's turn toward the camera before shooting it out and she is frozen, breathless and numb. The CDV finished playing and the machine beeps at her, asking what she wants to do next and she honestly has no idea.
It takes her a long few moments before she can move, reaching out to tap the button to rewind the disc to the moment a man who looks for all the world like James Buchanan Barnes stares straight at her.