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Title: figures dancing gracefully across my memory
Fandom: Avengers movieverse
Disclaimer: not my characters
Warnings: pre-canon through post-Avengers; implied bad things happening to children
Pairings: Natasha/Clint
Rating: PG
Wordcount: 450
Point of view: third
Prompt: MCU, Clint/Natasha, contrary to popular belief, he's the clean/neat one after the discipline of the military and she's the one who lives in organized chaos



For a very long time, Natasha doesn’t have 'things.'

As a child, she has a small room which is truly a cleverly disguised cell, one set of clothes, fresh toiletries as needed (that she never chooses for herself), and a new file every week. (When she is not on missions, those files are how she counts.)

When she burns her masters behind her, she chooses not to acquire ‘things’ because they are traceable. Because they are pointless. Because they are weight she can ill-afford to carry.

She has weapons and that is all.

Until Clint Barton.

.

Clint leaves little things in Natasha’s quarters: baubles he finds on missions, music he thinks she should try, books that she might enjoy. She stares at the baubles, listens to the music, and reads the books, and then –

She keeps them all, hidden away in her quarters where they will be safe. When Clint finds himself a safehouse away from SHIELD, Natasha’s treasures slowly migrate there. (She does not trust SHIELD, of course not. She trusts herself. She trusts Clint.)

Clint keeps his own things put away neatly. When she leaves her belongings spread out over his territory, he lets it lie. They are the only two ever there, so it doesn’t matter.

.

She does not think about it.

.

“I am shocked, shocked I tell you,” Stark prattles as he weaves his way through Clint’s front room. “The mess! The horror!”

Everything is in its place; she and Clint could both get through it blindfolded. She ignores the sense of satisfaction she gets from surveying the realm: her books scattered across the floor besides the couch; four different iPods charging at the wall, cords tangled together; yesterday’s clothes on the back of the armchair and her cat curled up on the shirt; Clint’s dog, half-on and half-off his bed, toys spread haphazardly around; DVDs piled next to the bookcase; and Clint himself, half asleep with his head on her lap as she reads the worst trashy romance she can find. Or, well, was reading, till Tony Stark barged his way in.

She sighs, lowering the book. Clint stares up at her, resignedly. “What are you doin’ here, Stark?” he mumbles.

“Inviting you to the clubhouse!” Stark announces, presenting them with two embossed invitations. “We’ve already got a Hulk, and I think two master assassins are just what we need.”

“No,” Natasha says, raising her book.

“No?” Stark repeats. “No?”

“Shall I say it in Latin?” she asks. Clint snickers.

Clint’s dog finally realizes there’s a stranger and lunges to his feet with a howl. Of course, that wakes the cat, who hisses and flees to the bedroom.

This time, it’s Clint who sighs.

continues here



Untitled
Original, PG,
Gen, 190 words
any, any, a messy end to an equally messy life.



"Come on now," he says, "don't make this any harder than it needs to be. We both know our kind don't retire."

You smile at him, hands loose at your side. He's got a gun in his. "It is as messy as it needs to be," you say. He got you into this life, years ago. Quick money, lots of vacation time -- you were so stupid, then. Such an innocent kid. And look at what's become of you.

He taught you everything you know, but he's old, now. He wouldn’t be using the gun if he wasn’t.

“C’mon,” he tries again. “Don’t fight me. You know you won’t win.”

You pissed off the guys who still own him by refusing a contract. The tiny piece of your soul left wouldn’t let you torture two kids to death just because their father is a dickwad. It’s not big, that piece of your soul, but it sure is loud.

His hands are steady on his gun, got you dead to right. You’re moving before he pulls the trigger.

This isn’t where you die, but he’s right about one thing: y'all's kind don’t retire.



Title: Twirling down time’s corridors I see your shadow dancing
Fandom: Avengers movieverse
Disclaimer: not my characters; title from Olga Levertoff
Warnings: Spoilers for everything 'til WS. Memory issues, sadness, talk of violence.
Pairings: Clint/Natasha, a little implied Steve/Bucky, past-Natasha/Bucky if you read it as such
Rating: PG
Wordcount: 720
Point of view: third
Prompt: MCU, Clint/Natasha +/ Bucky, If Bucky was her Winter Soldier, then Clint was her summer soldier



At first, after Odessa, as she floats in and out of consciousness, she remembers him in dreams. He had no name, but his hands were strong, his eyes cold, and his body warm as he danced with her.

But it was a dream, only a dream, because Natasha has never been a dancer.

.

Clint cuts a mission short, ignores his handler’s complaints, and arrives merely a day after SHIELD pulls Natasha from the wreckage.

(She knows it was the Winter Soldier, but does not say it – the Winter Soldier is a myth.

She also knows she should be dead. But she lives, and she dreams of dancing.)

Clint takes her home and smothers her with affection. She is unused to the care, to the gentleness, to the rage on her behalf -- he promises to find whoever it was, put a bullet in the bastard’s eye. Natasha listens in silence and when Clint’s rage is spent, she curls up in his lap, rests her head on his shoulder, and sleeps.

.

She dreams of dancing. Of blue eyes, of a warm hand and a cold one, of murmured songs in English, and being called sweetheart in a soft voice.

There is much she does not remember, and less she trusts. But -- I knew him, she thinks, waking in Clint’s arms, watching the sunlight spread across the room. I knew him.

.

Captain America is found, the tesseract taken, Clint stolen. Natasha brings in Bruce Banner, Thor arrives on his own, and though Loki opens a portal, Natasha closes it.

Even after SHIELD’s psychics release Clint, there are still those in authority who want to punish him for the entire thing. And Natasha wants to take him and run, to protect him, but instead she tells him to go to ground somewhere, to stay out of sight, and she remains with SHIELD to ensure his safety.

And then – “Fast, strong, had a metal arm,” Steve Rogers tells her while Nick Fury dies.

“A ghost,” she says. She thinks, I knew him.

.

James Buchanan Barnes. The American. The Winter Soldier.

“Bucky?” Steve says, and Natasha’s got a bullet in her shoulder, and those eyes –

But he doesn’t even look at her. She’s dreamed of him for years and he’s only staring at Steve, but his face –

And he’s gone.

.

There is no time to call Clint.

Someone drags Steve, half-dead, onto the shore of the Potomac. Natasha makes the best decision she can with the little time she’s given, and she knows that people will die. But more will live. She cannot – there is so much red and it will never be washed clean, but she does her best because it is all she can do.

She hands Steve a file full of horrors that echo in her memory and then she runs to Clint.

.

“Can you tell me?” he asks, arms wrapped around her, his voice gentle in her ear. His back is to the window; she faces the door. She cannot look at him, at anyone, until –

“I was Natalia,” she says. “I danced.” The words pour out, half-sentences in a dozen languages, and Clint listens, fingers stroking along her stomach.

When she at last falls silent, he presses a kiss to the back of her neck. She does not cry. She never cries.

.

Natasha Romanoff meets Bucky Barnes on a warm spring day. He’s standing just behind and to the side of Steve, while she’s holding Clint’s hand.

There is much she does not remember, that she never will. She knows it is more than he has.

He meets her eyes for a moment before dropping his gaze and leaning a little closer to Steve.

“Hi,” she says after the silence grows awkward. “I’m Natasha.”

“Bucky,” he says back.

.

A very long time ago, when he had no name, she was still Natalia. She thinks they danced.

But there is much she doesn’t know.

Now, she curls up on the couch in her room in Stark’s tower, and Clint stretches out beside her, his head in her lap, and she has Jarvis stream ballet to the screen. She can still feel another man’s hands on her, gentle and strong, but she will never ask if he remembers.

She smiles at Clint, holds his hand, and looks to the future.



Title: expecting the unexpected
Fandom: Highlander/Supernatural
Disclaimer: not my characters
Warnings: AU
Pairings: none
Rating: PG
Wordcount: 355
Point of view: third
Prompt: Highlander/Supernatural, Methos & Castiel (& Jimmy), Jimmy was raised by Methos
Note: I figured a Jimmy raised by Methos wouldn't be all that good of a Christian, if he was a Christian at all. So no Amelia and no Claire, meaning Jimmy's the last possible vessel for Castiel.


The first time the angel speaks to him, he listens, waits for the angel to leave, and then he calls Dad. He’s on his fifth time around the country, recording people's stories, writing three different books (two fictional, one about the history of locomotion), while Dad is off pretending to be a college kid again, avoiding the Highlander (and weren't those years fun because Adam Pierson was an only child and Jimmy was too old to be his kid).

But even though Jimmy's all grown up now, even though he's out on his own and seeing the world, Dad had promised him that he could always call if he ever needed help, or just to talk, or anything.

So he does. He says, "Dad, either I'm going crazy or angels are real."

Dad's quiet for a long moment, and then he asks, "Where are you?"

.

Angels are real. Dad hates them.

When the angel comes back, Dad's with him, and Dad announces, "The boy won't be saying yes to you."

The angel demands an explanation; when Jimmy goes to answer, Dad glares at him. The angel promises that Jimmy won't come to harm, that he will be protected and honored among all men.

Dad flat-out laughs. "If your only choice is Jimmy," he says, "then you'll take me."

The angel -- recoils. Jimmy glances at Dad and Dad's smiling. "Yes, I thought that'd be your reaction. But the boy is mine, you understand, and what's mine is beyond touch. So you'll take me or you'll be without a vessel for what's ahead."

The angel slips into Dad like little shards of light while Jimmy's demanding, "Dad, what are you doing?"

"Do not be afraid," the angel says with Dad's voice. "Of all of humanity, the oldest shall be safe."

"What?" Jimmy says, getting in-between Dad's body and the door. "How do you know that?"

The angel smiles at him. "Because his father is Death," the angel says, and then he's gone in a rush of wings.

Jimmy spends the next hour trying to call Dad on the phone, but there's never an answer.



Title: what history knows
Fandom: Avengers movieverse
Disclaimer: not my characters
Warnings: Talk of brainwashing/torture/violence/death/mayhem. Post-Cap2.
Pairings: Steve/Bucky
Rating: PG
Wordcount: 780
Point of view: third
Prompt: Any, any/any, Everyone Says I Love You [Revolution]


In his dreams, he is young and laughing. In his nightmares, he is cold and alone. In his waking moments, he is scared and angry and in pain.

He prefers the dreams.

.

History does not say much about Bucky Barnes. He is a footnote in Captain America's story.

History says less about the Winter Soldier: it is a ghost.

.

Ghosts fade away. So does the Winter Soldier. The longer it is awake, the longer it runs and hides, the more a man appears, a man with opinions and wants and feelings. The asset felt nothing. The man feels everything. But if he ever knew what to do with emotions, the knowledge was stolen long ago.

And that makes him angry.

.

History says that Bucky Barnes was Captain America’s closest friend, his brother.

The man’s memories say the same, but there is more to the story. There always is.

.

In his dreams, he is young and laughing with a tiny blond boy. The boy calls him by that name, and puts an arm around him, and tells him to be more careful, that luck’ll run out eventually.

In his dreams, he says, “Stevie, don’t you know that luck’s always on our side?” and he laughs and laughs and laughs.

.

In his nightmares, he slaughters entire cities. Families. Bloodlines and nations and continents. He kills people he doesn’t know for people he fears and hates, but he never slows and he never stops.

In his nightmares, he has no name and is only a weapon, and he wakes with the certainty that he will never allow anyone power over him again.

.

In his waking moments, he keeps moving. The asset saw everything, even if it didn’t know how to process the information. It stored years of knowledge and the man knows how to access it, how to analyze it, how to hunt and track and slaughter everyone who had a hand in the asset’s creation and maintenance.

In his waking moments, he is more than a ghost – he is wrath, he is ruin, he is vengeance… and he does not slow, and he does not stop. He was their puppet for 70 years, but he is a man, now. He is a man, but he knows everything the puppet knew, the skills and the intel, and he has nothing but time.

.

In his dreams, there is a boy who loves him. In his nightmares, there is a man he kills.

In his waking moments, there is a man following him with the boy’s eyes, and the man calls him by that name.

.

History knows that Bucky Barnes loved Captain America. History is wrong.

Bucky Barnes loved Steve Rogers with everything in him, as a friend and as a brother and as the other half of his soul.

.

He leaves a note at the smoking ruin, pinned to the one of the scientist’s bloody forehead. Go home.

The boy from his dreams, the man from his nightmares, leaves a note in return, and he comes back two days later to read it. No. Not without you.

.

Bucky Barnes died in the snow. The Winter Soldier never lived at all.

He waits for the boy to catch up because he wants to live.

.

“Call me James,” he says, checking his gear to keep his hands busy because he’s nervous. He doesn’t like it. It seems like a silly thing to be.

“I’m Steve,” the boy from his dreams replies. He glances up to see the man’s smile – but the boy is still there. The boy is always there.

.

A lifetime ago, with a team, Bucky Barnes and Steve Rogers made Hydra’s mission extremely difficult. Since then, they have both become even more dangerous.

Before, a lifetime ago, with a team, they had a war to worry about, superiors to placate, ideals like honor and integrity to uphold.

.

“You want the honors?” Steve asks, holding out the lighter.

James takes it with a smile.

.

In his dreams, he is young and laughing, and there is a boy who loves him. In his nightmares, he beats a man bloody and never looks back.

In his waking moments, he is with the greatest man in the world, and he is happy and alive.

.

History knows that Bucky Barnes died in the mountains. History is not wrong. Bucky Barnes died young and afraid and alone.

But James is riding shotgun in a stolen truck, as Steve explains about something called American Idol, and when he speaks, Steve listens, and they plan together, they share a bed, they eat the same food and enjoy the same music, and James cannot remember a better time than this.

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
maldeluxx
Sep. 6th, 2014 02:20 pm (UTC)
I so could imagine that room, all the mess and cat and dog and Clint XD

And yes, that gun means he's the one that should 'retire'. :P

I think Natasha is so classy that she can keep her fond memories and let Bucky live his new life-line, quite easier than she might've thought. The image of them dancing is so good :)

Poor Jimmy, all alone, but perhaps this choice was better than what was in the canon.

I think I like the last one most, especially because of how it ends, and how it shows so many levels. Beautiful. :D
tigriswolf
Sep. 6th, 2014 11:47 pm (UTC)

Thank you so much for reading!
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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tigriswolf
questioning in order to create

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