Clint’s only nine and Barney gives him a jar of fireflies to read by; Clint asks to be read to, but he sees his older brother struggle over the words, Clint smashes the jar on the ground the next morning, and never asks to be read to again.
Breathe, obey, kill rings through her heard, and she does; but she falls, hard one day, hits her head, and hesitates.
Clint hates Russia – targets are all too easily lost under the white blanket that coats everything he can see – but the Widow's hair drips red onto the snow, and he looses an arrow.
Clint offers Natasha his hand. she takes it and bears her teeth in someone’s imitation of a smile, pulling him away from everything he’s ever known.
One day, many years from now, Natasha won’t be able to recall her first laugh; now, it slices through her chest like a knife, but she’s not entirely convinced it’s a bad thing.
It’s nice, this thing that they have – if Natasha were anyone else she’d look at Clint and think friend; as it is, there’s only a pull in her chest as they spar together that’s somehow more than.