The bible, as it turned out, wasn't really her thing. She got enough violence and twisted sex in her real life, thanks, she preferred her books to have humor and show her what ordinary life supposedly looked like. Memoirs were her favorite. Still, it had some good stories, and she could kind of see where people could read it again and again, looking for something more than was really there.
She liked the part about Isaac wrestling with the angel, it felt like something she could relate to, and how Jacob struggled with his brother. She liked the way Moses felt he needed to hide his stutter and the way Miriam danced over the bodies of her dead captors. The bible didn't always take her away, but at times, it had a comforting familiarity to it.
She felt for Vashti, experienced a rush of righteous pride in the queen's choice to walk away from her royal fucktard of a husband, but Natasha saw too much of herself in Esther to be distracted. In Esther, Natasha saw flashes of the times she'd purposely hiked her skirt up an inch or so, tilted her head just the right amount, pursed her lips in a well-timed, subtle come on. In Esther's carefully planned dinner, her courteous invitation to her most reviled enemy, Natasha saw every interrogation she'd ever done well, every trap she'd ever laid.
She wondered, privately, if it was the same, if her actions could be justified, when they had always been about her own survival, rather than that of others. That was changing, with her place in SHIELD, with her bonds to Barton, but it was a slow change and she still considered herself, her needs, first. Esther, if the book was to be believed, hadn't.
Natasha didn't believe everything she read, but the question nagged at her, all the same.
And when she did, and left them with just enough rope to hang themselves and all their black-market progeny, she decided that justification might not be possible, but redemption, even amongst carnage, certainly was.