|ｐａｎｔｈｅｒ (kingly) wrote in avengers_logs,|
@ 2019-09-27 13:23:00
|Entry tags:||-complete, natasha romanoff, t'challa|
Who: T'Challa & Natasha
What: A DATE
Where: A lovely Ethiopian restaurant
|For a first date, when Ethiopian food had been decided upon, it seemed a little - what was the word? Extra? To fly out to the actual African country of origin, even though T’Challa needed to return to Wakanda for a spell anyway. He flew back and forth, the miles eaten and easy to handle on the royal jet, but stuck to New York City for this dinner excursion - next time, he would gladly bring Natasha with him. If she wanted to go.|
Tonight, he took her to one of the city’s best Ethiopian restaurants - even if they didn’t embark on an actual trip to Africa, their tastebuds could go in their stead. It was difficult to choose between all the classic meat dishes and the spicy stews - but either way you had injera bread as the only utensil, so eating with your hands was a go. The food was traditional, the décor very modern - bright green leather couches, African masks hanging up, zebra print wallpaper. The tables were candlelit, and he’d managed to snag a relatively private one. There was also a large hearth dedicated to performing a traditional Ethiopian coffee ceremony, with ornate, decorative pots lining built-in wall shelving. Almost like stepping right into an exotic cafe across the world.
He had just ordered a bottle of honey wine, because it too seemed a requirement. “Thank you for coming out with me,” the King smiled a little sheepishly. “I have to admit, I am...a bit nervous.” It was perhaps silly considering all they’d been through but the last thing he wanted to do was make a bad impression.
Natasha had been delighted at the restaurant they’d ended up in. It was one she’d heard of but hadn’t had a chance to check out for herself, largely due to inconvenient timing and the high demand for a reservation. Leave it to T’Challa to score a reservation and get them a table with an amazing view. There were dishes on the menu she hadn’t had before. Everything smelled delicious when it reached the table and Natasha’s stomach was rumbling in anticipation. She also needed to get a sip of that coffee before they left. It’d been so long since she’d had that wonderful Ethiopian mix.
“It’s honestly my pleasure. I’ve been trying to score a reservation at this place for weeks.” She arched an eyebrow at T’Challa in surprise. He seemed such the smooth and consummate gentleman that something like this should’ve been old hat for him. “You shouldn’t be. I’m sure your normal charm will swoop in to save you.”
“Thank you, let us hope so,” T’Challa chuckled. He would feel his nervousness float away in time, he was sure, since he was already very comfortable with Natasha - but knowing this was a date, and that at least some romantic interest was involved? Well, it tended to bring out butterflies in just about anybody - even in smooth, charming Kings.
When their wine was delivered he poured them both glasses, making room on the table for dinner - it was a huge shareable platter of basically everything you could eat by the method known as ‘rip and dip.’ Beef tartare mixed with kibbe, chicken stew, cooked greens, soft fresh cheeses, shiro wat (which was like refried beans, but with chickpeas and a better combination of spices). “How have you been though? How is Clint?”
He was curious if Natasha was making any headway there, but it had been months and nothing had changed so he doubted it.
Natasha nodded her thanks when T’Challa poured her wine then reached for the glass to take a sip. It was an orange color that reminded Natasha of orange juice. It tasted nothing like it. There was a hoppy flavor that wasn’t at all familiar and the alcohol content was far more potent than she was expecting. Clearly she had missed out on something the last time she’d sampled Ethiopian food.
She took one of the additional rolled strips of injera that were laid on their platter and tore off a bite to eat. It had the perfect hint of sour like sourdough bread but in a flat and spongy form. She scooped up a bit of the shiro wat with another piece. The explosion of spices in her mouth was even better than she remembered.
“I’ve been doing good for the most part. I’ve come to terms with the memories we received and am now more focused on this life I have here.” She paused. “I’ve haven’t talked to Clint much. We seem to be on very different trajectories right now. But enough about me, what about you? How’s Wakanda doing? Have the waters returned to normal?”
“Thankfully, they have,” T’Challa replied, using the injera to scoop up a bit of stew - the bread they were currently using as a utensil, the size of it was enough to basically cover the whole table if they rolled it out so there was no shortage. For dessert, there would definitely be coffee to go and perhaps something from the Italian bakery nearby - as a general rule, Ethiopian cuisine did not include dessert.
Though walking might be welcomed after this delicious meal, for the love of Bast. “We continue to monitor the earthquake situation - since they were what dislodged the trident from its hiding place. There is little information to go off of, but it’s certainly something to keep an eye on. If you would like to assist with that, we could always use more eyes.”
He didn’t comment on Clint, since Natasha’s body language there was...very telling. No, he’d just leave it be. There was nothing he personally could do about the situation anyway, even if it was a shame. “I am glad that you have worked through things a little more, regarding our other world,” was what he decided on. “Feeling both the good and the bad, letting it come. And no matter what, I am also glad you do have a life here - and that I get to be a part of it.”
Natasha scooped up some beef tartare herself then followed it with a sip of wine. It brought out all the flavors from the smokiness of the beef to the sourness of the injera and then the wine’s own accent notes. Her eyes were always bigger than her stomach at Ethiopian restaurants. It was surprising how much injera filled one up. “I’d be happy to though you probably have it well in hand. I’m surprised Strange wasn’t able to provide more information, but I guess his realm is more the background intel than the reasons why something happened.”
But that was the thing about their roles in the world, taking all the extra precautions wouldn’t hurt anything. It might save their asses later down the line. Or it might lead them down dark paths. She shook her head and focused back in on the moment. She had wonderful company and delicious food in front of her.
Natasha wouldn’t hesitate to make that same sacrifice here that she’d done over there. If it had to be done, then she would do it. Her ledger demanded it of her. She smiled slightly. “I am too. It does make one live life a bit more to the fullest. So much can be gone in simply an instant that it’s a shame to waste time on regrets.”
Any dark paths that loomed ahead, T'Challa would be there to walk them with her - or potentially help lead her down another road. He was interested to see where this whole thing went - it was much different than any of his past 'relationships' already, given that they had the opportunity to do normal things. Like go to dinner without anything ridiculous interrupting.
"He had information about the trident itself - but knowing what is so far beneath the ocean, it is...tricky," the King admitted. "All we can do is monitor the situation. Personally, I am glad to have you with me to devote attention to it. My top general believes we should simply leave it be, but given what happened with the trident I am hesitant to do so."
Another sip of sweet wine was taken, with him savoring the taste as he set down his glass. "Well, I am not going anywhere, unless the laws of this universe deem it so - but I guarantee that any version of me will like you as much as this one does."
Hopefully that didn’t sound too...cheesy. But he meant it regardless.
“I can understand where your general is coming from. There has been a lot of upheaval recently and it would be nice if things could settle into a rhythm again. However, someone that’s prepared has a lot more options to maneuver than someone who hasn’t.” It was a personal philosophy Natasha subscribed to and it had served her well over the years.
She gave him a soft smile. She appreciated the sentiment. “You are too kind. I know I can be an acquired taste for many people.”
When she wasn’t fulfilling a role in an operation anyway. If she wanted, she could be everything to anyone. It’s why her circle was normally small but due to the circumstances of this world had grown exponentially in ways she hadn’t envisioned.
T’Challa chuckled gently. “You are correct.” He personally preferred to have options and a certain degree of preparedness for most scenarios - you couldn’t guarantee something ironclad, but a vague idea. That was appreciated.
He reached across the table (and luckily didn’t knock anything over, but they seemed to have cleared a lot of this food off the communal platter), grasping one of her hands in his. The fact that Natasha had died ‘on the other side’ disappointed him, yes, but what also disappointed him was that it was the result of a suicide mission wherein she really had nothing to lose. She should have had much to lose - she should have spent the five whole years of the snap being adored by her friends, she should have fallen in love. Instead it just seemed so lonely. She didn’t deserve that.
“I enjoy your taste,” he assured. “Hopefully my own taste was not so off-putting and I will earn a second date?”
Natasha had enjoyed herself. The company had been pleasant and the food was delicious. There were no worries about work intruding or making things awkward between them. It was refreshing to have a frank and equal discussion with someone that wanted nothing more than to get to know her. She squeezed T’Challa’s hand back and gazed back at him.
She chuckled. “You are far from off-putting, T’Challa. You sell yourself too short and I would be delighted to go on another date with you. Hopefully, you don’t tire of me anytime soon.”
“That will not happen anytime soon - or at all, Ms. Romanoff.” Of course, by now, he usually called her Natasha - the way he said the more formal moniker, however, was entirely flirtatious in nature.
T’Challa was uncertain how great he was at flirting, but either way, he’d get more opportunity to try on a second date - which thrilled him. “Would you like to take some coffee to go, and then go for a walk? There is dessert to be found, I’m sure,” he smiled crookedly. Pastries or cake or even ice cream - it was a good night for any of that, and a good night for more walking and talking.
Natasha arched an eyebrow. He could say that now but there had been many a time in the past where once a suitor went beyond the initial first dates and outside of their desire to sleep with her their interest immediately waned. She let her smile turn sultry in response and drew a finger lightly over the back of his hand. Two could play at the teasing game.
She glanced at the mostly demolished platter, which had only small tatters of injera left. “I think I’ll go with the coffee. I’m not sure I could stuff myself any fuller with dessert, but I definitely must come back to this place to try some another night.”
That smile was going to kill him, T’Challa was sure of it. The King slayed by the infamous Black Widow and her wiles - and he had no complaints whatsoever. “Very well, sounds like a plan,” he agreed, fingers brushing her palm in turn. He was reluctant to let go, but did anyway - just to pay the bill (in cash) and leave a nice tip for the waitstaff, after ordering two coffees to go.
He handed Natasha hers and headed over to get the door for her, his arm sliding around her waist, coffee in the other hand. Being close to her was nice, and it was also a nice night - they could enjoy a leisurely stroll without a care or anything to interrupt (or so he hoped).
If they found dessert, so be it. If not, he had a feeling that just her company would be plenty satisfying all on its own.