May. 25th, 2015

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The Velveteen Spider [DW notice | tumblr notice]
26k words | PG-13-ish | Natasha Romanova, Clint Barton, et al.

summary: Natasha Romanova thinks that accepting Nick Fury's offer to join SHIELD is the end of her old life and the beginning of her new one. In hindsight, she had no idea of what that really meant.

“You’re an idiot, Barton,” she said when he’d finished. “An amazing idiot.”

He made a dismissive noise as he shifted over to get up, presumably to go to the restroom. “Is that anything to say to your best friend?”

She looked up at him, shocked at the words. “Who says that you are my best friend?”

“You got any others?” he asked with a shrug. “Therefore, I am the best one.”

“That means you are also the worst one,” she called after him as he headed off, but she was just drunk enough for the words to float around in her mind like mosquitoes.

She remembered the conversation the next morning, when she dragged her hungover but far more sturdy self to SHIELD’s New York headquarters off Times Square to go get yelled at by Coulson in person. She could say that Barton was presumptuous for considering himself her friend, but it would probably be more truthful to say that he’d simply recognized it sooner.

That’s when she started calling him Clint, first in her head and then out loud. The first time, it slipped out and it startled her. Startled Clint, too, but he recovered and beamed at her and then continued driving like a maniac because it was the only way they were going to get out of Hungary alive unless they wanted to swim the Danube from Budapest to Vienna.

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