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25 February 2013 @ 04:21 pm
Graphics and Ficlet: the things one shouldn't do  
So I made some graphics and a ficlet thing for sugar_fey's prompt at the be_compromised Mini Valentine's Promptathon, which was a Regency AU and "I always want to know the things one shouldn't do."/"So as to do them?"/"So as to choose." Natasha and choice! How could I resist? :)

Title: the things one shouldn't do
Rating/Warnings: PG13 for mentions of murder and a shirtless Clint
Ficlet length: 460 words
Summary: Natalia has always wanted to know because knowing means having a choice. (Regency AU; graphics and ficlet)

"I always want to know the things one shouldn't do."
"So as to do them?"
"So as to choose."

Natalia Alianova Romanova has always wanted to know. She was listening at keyholes and cracked doors long before her parents were murdered and Ivan took her under his wing, teaching her ways of gaining information she never dreamed of back when discovering secrets was child’s play. She believes there’s no such thing as knowing too much. Unfortunately others disagree, or at least they believe there’s such a thing as the wrong people knowing too much, and they send people after Ivan and his little songbird to kill them.

Natalia, warned by Ivan’s murder, dresses herself in other women, wears and sheds other lives, as she leaves Russia and travels around Europe, plying her trade and trying to lose those who hunt her.

At the English Court, under the Prince Regent, Natalia becomes Natasha. She attempts to con Tony Stark and his colleague Bruce Banner, because detailed knowledge of their innovative work will fetch a pretty price, but getting past Pepper Potts proves to be difficult, especially with the eagle eyes and sharp ears of Philip Coulson, Nicholas Fury, and Maria Hill tracking her as she plays politics for her own ends. Meanwhile she’s befriended by Jane, who against her family’s wishes and all advice has accepted an offer of marriage from a loud, boisterous Northerner, and is looking for someone other than her lady’s maid (Darcy) that can talk to who isn’t trying to stop the marriage from going ahead. Thor is of a royal line, wealthy, and obviously head over heels for his fiancé, so Natalia fails to see the problem. It seems there is one though, tangled up in the affairs of the Court and the affairs of Thor’s brother.

Natalia has always wanted to know because knowing means having a choice. Everyone should have a choice. Her own projects start getting away from her as she draws on her resources to help Jane and figure out what Thor’s brother is planning. She means to approach Steven Rogers, recently returned from military service, to use him to get to Stark, who greatly admires the man, and instead ends up introducing them both to Thor. She intends to question Banner on his work and instead questions him on the use of a material she believes Thor’s brother has stolen.

“Do not think that just because your game has changed that I don’t know you’re still playing one,” Pepper says, smiling sweetly.

Amidst intrigue and assassination attempts, enter Clint Barton: the one pursuer Natalia just can’t seem to get rid of.

But everyone has a choice and this man who has been sent to kill her may yet make a different call.
hufflepuffsneak: aggressive friendlinesshufflepuffsneak on February 25th, 2013 06:03 pm (UTC)
Damn! That was brilliant. And the pretty pictures... Will there be more?
inkvoices: avengers:past behind you hug (C/N)inkvoices on February 28th, 2013 10:52 pm (UTC)
Glad you liked :D ...I wasn't planning on it?
hufflepuffsneak: love everybody in this barhufflepuffsneak on March 1st, 2013 02:46 am (UTC)
Well it's great as a stand alone. I'm just jealous, all of my AUs turn into crack, but this is quite elegant.
inkvoices: avengers:past behind you hug (C/N)inkvoices on March 5th, 2013 01:00 am (UTC)
I don't have the funny bones to write crack, but I love reading it :D
I'm not weird, I'm limited edition: natasha smiles at clintanuna_81 on February 25th, 2013 06:35 pm (UTC)
Oh this is so exciting and fascinating and I wish there was more. And I am staring at all the pretty artwork, which is just WONDERFUL after the crappy day I had.

Also, Natasha and CHOICES *nods* (I'm really not coherent right now. I just want you to know that I like this, very much, and wouldn't mind if there was more)

Edited at 2013-02-25 06:40 pm (UTC)
inkvoices: avengers:natasha romanoff is black widowinkvoices on March 1st, 2013 12:20 am (UTC)
Glad you liked it, and glad I could cheer you up a bit *hugs*.

I liked the idea of a Natasha who chooses knowledge as kid, before the Red Room or whoever even get to her, and then continues to make her own choices and to advocate choices for others, even if that messes things up (for her). I don't think they'll be more, because I haven't a clue what's going on (I just wanted to put some words with the pictures!) but I think Clint chooses not to kill Natalia and then gets all confuzzled because he then has to choose if her's going to help her, what mischief he's going to get involved in, what to tell his employers and so on, and Natalia would be all 'choosing to choose means making choices' or something like that. Anyway, yes, CHOICE.
sugar_fey: avengers: hawkeye waistcoatsugar_fey on February 25th, 2013 11:11 pm (UTC)

This is lovely. Great fic and very pretty pictures!
inkvoices: avengers:jeremy renner b&winkvoices on February 28th, 2013 10:54 pm (UTC)
Well, Thor and Jane get married. And Clint chooses not to kill Natalia. But then he's gonna have to make a lot of other choices, like whether to help her and get into mischief figuring out what Loki is up to...and Natalia is all 'this is what happens with making that first choice, the choice to chose - you get more choices.' Or something. Other than that, I have no idea. Kissing! Some of that :)

Glad you liked :D
alphaflyer on February 26th, 2013 02:55 am (UTC)
Emmm .. are we all correct in assuming/hoping that this is an abstract for a longer, fully illustrated work?

And while your readers await "more" (the perennial cry of successful fan fic writing), I plead GUILTY for absconding with that glorious shot on the bottom left. Amid all that intrigue, I am sure I'll get away with it ... right? :-)
inkvoices: avengers:jeremy renner b&winkvoices on March 1st, 2013 12:14 am (UTC)
Um, no? Not a time period that I'm familiar with and I have no idea what's going on. If it helps, Thor and Jane will get married, Clint will choose not to kill Natalia, and then they'd be a bunch of stuff about choices and making the choice to choose meaning have to make more choices :) ALTHOUGH if anyone else wanting to write a longer work or play with this I would happily illustrate it ;D

Let me know if you actually manage to steal it, since it's attatched the other images as a collage and you, er, shouldn't actually be able to. I can do you the original screenshot and maybe the original crop if it doesn't let you.
alphaflyer on March 1st, 2013 12:24 am (UTC)
Best way to familiarize yourself with the Regency period is to gobble up some Georgette Heyer novels (beach reading, less substantial than Jane Austen). But yes, the "abstract" helped! :-)

And yeah, you're right -- the art theft didn't work. I hadn't actually checked until now, but I did get the whole (wonderful) collage. I would LOVE the isolated image, in whatever form, will duly credit its origin on my LJ and make liberal use of it in Bar postings ... ;-)

Have a great evening!

inkvoices: avengers:past behind you hug (C/N)inkvoices on March 5th, 2013 12:58 am (UTC)
I've read a bit, because I love to read all things, but...not generally my era. Currently I'm reading a pile of dystopian. I think there's more likely to be a Hunger Games or Uglies crossover or fusion thing in my future than Regency, sorry :/

Well here's the original image, which is a screenshot from the new Hansel and Gretel film that I found on Jeremy Renner's website, so credit doesn't belong to me *grins*.

Crazy4Orcascrazy4orcas on March 1st, 2013 04:26 am (UTC)
GORGEOUS! It took me a while to tear myself away from the artwork to read the ficlet. Then, when I finished with the ficlet, I was drawn back to the artwork. Really beautifully put together -- both the art and the fic!
inkvoices: avengers:past behind you hug (C/N)inkvoices on March 5th, 2013 01:03 am (UTC)
THANKING YOU! I had fun playing with the pretty pictures of pretty people :)
Salmastryon: Iriasalmastryon on December 10th, 2016 06:36 am (UTC)
So pretty and creative!
inkvoices: avengers:assassins huginkvoices on December 11th, 2016 10:39 pm (UTC)
Thank you!