FIC: Love Is
Rating/Warnings: PG13; for trust issues, darkish thoughts
Prompt: from franztastisch Whisper a dangerous secret to someone you care about. Now they have the power to destroy you, but they won’t. This is what love is. [Welcome to Night Vale]
Whisper a dangerous secret to someone you care about. Now they have the power to destroy you, but they won’t. This is what love is.
It’s a game that children play, spilling secrets until they find a trustworthy soul who can embrace them, contain them, hold them cupped inside their hands without letting them overflow into someone else’s hearing. It’s a game for children, who give things away without hesitation far too often, without a thought for the consequences. It’s a game that inevitably hurts.
You can kiss a lot of frogs before you find a prince. You can love a lot of people before you find one who loves you back. You can collect the shattered pieces of yourself as you are destroyed over and over. It’s how the fairytales go; you can never have what you want the very first time.
Better never to try than to fail.
Especially when your secrets are so sharp and your fault lines are becoming clearer every day. Especially not with people who already have power over you, more than you have allowed anyone to hold over you since you were too young to know any better. Especially when you want (which is the most dangerous secret of all).
Better never to try, but when he whispers into your ear, voice sex-rough and love-soft; when he tells you the name of his brother, the reasons his marriage failed, his worst nightmares; when he holds out his pieces to you, broken but still precious… When he whispers his secrets to you, he makes you believe in mutually assured destruction.
This is what love is.
FIC: Eyes Wide
Rating/Warnings: R for swearing, sex, undetailed reference to flash backs and sex as a tool
Prompt: from shenshen77 How does their lovemaking change when Clint loses his hearing? Or does it change at all? Maybe he has been deaf all along but Natasha didn't know. How does it affect their affections when she finds out?
Author Note: um, I also kind of filled my own prompt of He likes to look (to see that it’s her). She likes to be touched (to know that it’s him). Oops.
He likes to see her, and that doesn’t just mean watching. As hot as it is when she fucks herself on her fingers, eyes hooded and wearing nothing but a wicked, wicked smile while he sits there with broken ribs or drugged up to his eyeballs or otherwise incapable of joining in… Yeah, it’s hot (and mean, and you’d think he’d learn to avoid being injured more often by now with that kind of incentive), but he likes to see, needs to, and there’s a difference.
When she breathes damp against his neck, tightens her thighs around his waist, and shakes beneath his hands, he can feel that her body appreciates the attention, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that she’s enjoying herself.
It’s rare that Natasha slips away into bad memories during sex, but it can happen. Less rare, but still unusual, are the times that she falls into work mode; sex as rote, as a means to an end, as part of someone else’s life that she’s pretending to live. More common are the days when she forgets herself because she’s concentrating on him, because she finds it more natural to give pleasure than to receive it, because it’s taken her a long time to see sex as something that can be fun, as something that she can want.
And when it comes to wanting, none of that is on Clint’s list. He likes the people he loves to be safe. He likes his partners to enjoy themselves. He likes it when he gets to make them feel so much that they can’t think about reciprocating.
His sight has always been his sharpest sense, but when he had his hearing it was easier to read people, especially when blood headed south and brain functions became somewhat difficult. Now, with his hearing imperfect even when he wears his aids and with touch unreliable, Clint needs to see. He needs to see her.
After the incident (and it isn’t an accident, because accidents are things that aren’t self-inflicted and Clint is a SHIELD Agent and an Avenger, so he can’t really be said to have accidents anymore, but he doesn’t regret it, he won’t) Natasha grows her hair long and starts tying it back before they have sex. She makes sure that she’s always facing him. Sometimes, when he hasn’t managed to pleasure her enough to make her forget, she’s deliberately louder.
For her part, Natasha likes to be touched, needs to be. She says it’s grounding and she doesn’t say much else about it but Clint always makes sure that nakedness involves touching. Even when he can’t join in, when he’s wearing comfy clothes and bandages and she’s wearing that wicked smile, even then he reaches out a hand and rests it on the bare skin of her knee.
After she places her hand, still wet and he can smell her (and he really needs to work on the not being injured thing), on top of his. He taps Morse code messages against her skin (want and not fair and love you), his eyes fixed on their fingers as she laces them together.
FIC: got your back (you can finally fight the hurricane)
Rating/Warnings: PG13; Clint had a bad childhood, trouble sleeping
Prompt: from [Unknown LJ tag] The problem with watching movies together is that Clint falls asleep. Every freaking time.
Author Note: SPOILERS for Pacific Rim (but not the ending). Pre Clint/Natasha (because Natasha isn’t there yet. I blame the new Black Widow comics for this turn of events)
Clint’s arm is warm around her shoulders and Natasha snuggles closer as on the screen Mako Mori watches Raleigh fight Chuck Hansen when he won’t apologise to her. Men, Natasha thinks fondly, as Clint’s head drifts backwards to rest against the sofa and he starts snoring softly, can be such idiots.
She can’t count the number of times that Clint has asked her if she’d like to watch a movie or a TV show with him. The couch in his apartment is a favoured spot, but they’ve crashed in rec rooms at various SHIELD sites, curled up in beds with a laptop, surfed channels on televisions in hospital rooms, and took over one of admittedly many entertainment rooms in Tony’s tower. And yet every single time Clint falls asleep. Every time.
American popular culture says a guy asking a girl to watch a film is probably a come on and if he then falls asleep on her she ought to be offended. Since Natasha thinks popular culture is often a poor measure of reality, and doesn’t want her partner and friend coming on to her anyway, this doesn’t bother her in the slightest. She did, however, used to wonder if it meant something was, well, not quite right.
Then she’d asked him. After he’d managed to fall asleep mere minutes into an opening scene that consisted of surround sound explosions.
Natasha loves watching Clint try to explain things. Descriptions he’s excellent at; explanations not so much. If he’s given the time to construct something in writing he generally comes up with something reasonable, but the rest of the time it ranges from ‘I know this looks bad’ to ‘because boomerangs’ with a whole lot of ‘um’ in between. She’d never tell him, but it’s really amusing. Especially when it’s Coulson or Kate that he’s trying to explain something to.
God alone knows what he said to the higher-ups when he brought her in that persuaded SHIELD to take a chance on her.
So when Clint had ducked his head and flushed across his cheekbones before he’d even begun to explain away his sleeping habit Natasha had straightened her face in preparation to ward off laughter. That was one explanation that hadn’t been amusing though.
Her friend had grown up constantly watching his parents so that he’d know when to hide, watching circus shows so he’d know his cues, watching audiences that he had to please, watching through a sniper’s scope to know when to kill, watching so many things to know when and how to act that watching movies and television, not reality TV or the news but entertainment that he doesn’t have to pay attention to and can do nothing about, is relaxing. Having a reason to sit still that doesn’t require action switches his brain off. It’s one of the few things that helps him to sleep.
Another is Natasha watching his back.
Pair the two together and he’s out like a light.
It’s flattering really, as long as she doesn’t think too much about why he might have so much trouble sleeping. She doesn’t want to ask, not when asking seems to get her answers that are so personal. It’s none of her business.
Although it does bug her that he misses out on all of the endings.
So she catches him up, over comm lines, in safe houses, in hospitals, on flights, when they’re waiting to be called into Coulson’s office. She tells him about fight sequences and they get exasperated about their failings. She relays the jokes that she didn’t get and watches him try to explain them to her. She gives him every ending and he never seems sorry that he slept through it.
There is this one show though that Clint is determined to see all the way through. He falls asleep five minutes into an episode, twenty on a bad day, so he’s watching it in intervals whilst Natasha can quote along with each episode before they move onto the next one.
Some days it seems like everyone watches that show. SHIELD Agents and Avengers alike will joke about it. They’ll overhear civilians talking about it in coffee shops. Once it was even on the news.
Clint complains about spoilers and won’t let anyone ‘spoil’ him for episodes that he hasn’t seen, even though they’ve yet to finish even season two. Natasha humours him. She never tells him the endings or talks about anything past the point where he dozed off. And she pretends not to see him smiling when she joins in conversations about it.
Not that she’ll ever understand the appeal of Dog Cops. She’s more of a cat person herself.
Next to her Clint shifts restlessly and mutters something that she doesn’t quite catch. She reaches across his chest, takes his free hand in hers, and lets them come to rest on his chest, where she can feel his heart beat slow as he calms back down. His breathing deepens.
On the television screen Mako and Raleigh kick ass in a Jaeger.