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The Widow's Followers

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Natasha is okay when Iron Man merchandise shows up everywhere. Of course Stark will get his face plastered on every surface possible, and Natasha was the agent to identify the man with narcissism. (Even if she was beginning to revise that evaluation.) But it doesn't bother her to see the toys, shirts, and posters cropping up everywhere.

She is relatively unsurprised when she stumbles across Captain America merchandise. Captain America was, after all, a public icon that people of all ages looked up to for about seventy years, even if the man was a bit of a dork. Steve, obviously, was deeply uncomfortable with his face all over the place but, being Steve, narrowed his eyes for a total of four seconds before saying absolutely nothing.

It doesn't bother Natasha when she sees young kids running around with foam Hulk fists. Nor does it bother her when she sees a small boy running around at the park wearing a red cape and carrying a small, stuffed version of Mjolnir.

Natasha is, after all, a covert specialist, and one cannot be covert if one has their face all over the toy store. And Walmart. And comic book shops. And literally any place with t shirts.

Clint somehow gets under the impression that it does bug her, as evidenced by the new black sweater she finds on her bed, a red hourglass hand stitched onto it rather sloppily. She wears it, but only because the rest of her sweaters are in laundry. Clint doesn't say anything, but he grins like an idiot when he sees her wear it.

"Aw man," Clint mumbles when they stumble across a giant mural of the Avengers. Iron Man is detailed down to the plating as he flies around, Captain America looks stoic as glares off into the distance, Thor's face is perfectly lit by the lightning coming out of Mjolnir, and Hulk looked perfectly frightening. Natasha and Clint are noticeably absent.

"I think it's a good thing," Natasha tells him. "SHIELD can't have our giant faces painted in the public eye."

"But we're public figures now, kind of," Clint offers. "It's not like our pictures weren't all over the tabloids after the attack."

Natasha turns away from the painting. "Maybe no one cares," she says.

Clint begins to obsessively buy anything with arrows on it after Tony starts wearing shirts with Iron Man depicted on them, though he occasionally swaps out the red and gold for a purple shirt reading 'Hulk Smash' in bright green. Bruce can't decide whether or not he disapproves of it. Thor starts wearing pyjamas with little cartoon Mjolnirs on them. Natasha doesn't see a single piece of Black Widow clothing anywhere.

Natasha winds up on the computer one day and very casually Googles something along the lines of 'why the hell is there no black widow merchandise what the actual fu' before catches herself and shortens it to 'black widow merchandise'. Clicking on the first link, which is labeled as 'news', she finds a month-old article, which she quickly skims before seeing her code name. Black Widow and Hawkeye, of course, are the least marketable Avengers, and are simply not as popular as their fellow teammates, with almost no demand for them. However, Hawkeye does appear to be gaining popularity ever since his team up with Quicksilver last week and Daredevil the week before that, so we may see Hawkeye merch hitting stores soon.

Natasha looks down, her mouth set in a firm line, before wiping her computer history and shutting down the laptop. She then moves on with her life. It doesn't bother her when Clint comes home to the tower that day with four bags of Hawkeye merchandise, announcing that "holy fuck, guys, they finally made Hawkeye merchandise, look there's action figure and it has Lucky, this is the greatest thing I have ever seen in my entire life".

It doesn't even bother her when she's grocery shopping and she sees an assortment of decorated cakes, each Avenger represented, with the exception of her. It doesn't bother her at all, right up until she hears a small girl wearing a black tutu talking to her mother.

"But Momma," she says "Why are no Black Widow birthday cakes?" she asks, leaning in close to the cakes.

"I don't know, Meg," the mother answers, "Can't you get a Captain America one?"

The girl drops her head. "But I don't want a Captain America one," she whispers. "I want Black Widow. She's cool."

And it's at that moment that Natasha swears revenge on the person who wrote that article, along with all the people who decided against Black Widow merch.

She pretty much forgets about buying food and goes back to the tower with what she had in her cart, which was actually just a box of Nilla wafers and six boxes of Poptarts. Clint stares at was supposed to be dinner and shrugs, dumping eight wafers into his coffee. Natasha grabs her laptop and begins her research.

She has the twitter account up within the half hour, and has the account officiated three minutes after that. Her first tweet is up immediately after, the woman from the grocery store tagged, Natasha having tracked her down in less than ten minutes.

@officialblackwidow Was made aware that #wewantwidow is a thing. I know there aren't any cakes @holiday_jacobs4 but would Meg be okay with me at her party instead?

The tweet goes viral within the hour and Natasha beats out the world record for fastest to a million followers and then fastest to two million by the next day. #wewantwidow trends worldwide and eight year-old Meg almost passes out from excitement when Natasha Romanoff comes to her birthday party fully suited, with a large box of nerf guns as a present. Natasha spends nearly six hours playing with Meg and her friends, who were rather excited about the Nerf guns but even more excited about Natasha. Natasha trades contact information with Holiday and proudly tells her that she would happily babysit Meg whenever needed. Pictures are taken and Nerf suddenly decides to make a Black Widow series of nerf guns. They sell out within the month.

It turns out people are actually really excited about the Black Widow joining social media and Natasha spends almost an entire day retweeting welcome tweets.

@hawkeyeandhiscooldog @officialblackwidow Welcome to twitter! (Way to upstage me you jerk.) #wewantwidow #iwantwidownerfgunstheyarerad

@stevengrantrogers Nice to see you online, @officialblackwidow! If Clint tells you have to sign every tweet with #yolo, don't believe him. #wewantwidow

@pepper_potts Go @officialblackwidow! I've bet $50 on you having more followers than Tony by the end of the week, don't fail me now. #wewantwidow

@iamironman @pepper_potts @officialblackwidow how dare you #wewantwidow

Pepper wins the bet and Natasha does not mind at all when she meets a teenage girl with a white t-shirt and #wewantwidow painted on in black. She doesn't mind when she meets a young boy who enthusiastically shows her his widow bite bracelets that his older brother helped him make. She doesn't even mind when both pictures of her with each kid went viral.

Tony makes a dog tag made for Lucky that's shaped like Nat's hourglass, with #wewantwidow printed on the front. Clint puts it on Lucky and Bruce gives his approval. Natasha pretends not to notice.

@officialblackwidow You are a kickass human being and if anyone tells you you're not good enough, punch them in the face.

@officialblackwidow I believe you can direct your complaints to @allyourcostumes. RT: @allisonroberts Little sister was disappointed to find out they don't sell Black Widow halloween costumes. Me too tbh #wewantwidow

Natasha is not particularly surprised when the company is bombarded with a sudden huge demand for Black Widow costumes. She feels both flattered and accomplished when the suit comes out a week after and is both accurate and well made. She manages to not tear up when she meets a total of thirty-seven little Black Widows on halloween, six of whom were boys wearing the suit. Clint tears up though. He also buys a Black Widow costume for Lucky from PetSmart. Lucky has it on for a full week before Natasha tweets a picture and everyone loves it.

People notice the dog tag and a replica is in stores four days after.

@officialblackwidow I actually really need to see pictures of that. Please. RT: @jonathanwalls287 My daughter wanted to be a princess for Halloween but she also loves @officialblackwidow. So she was both.

Steve was almost as excited about the world's increasing love for Widow as Nat is, though he is much more open about it. The man wears the five different Black Widow shirts he found in his size for a month straight and actually punched a guy in the face when he called her a useless slut. The other Avengers are shocked and Natasha is only mildly irritated. Fox News goes crazy.

@officialblackwidow @stevengrantrogers got detained for punching a guy in the face for me. Thanks Steve, really, but I can handle myself.

@hawkeyeandhiscooldog @officialblackwidow THROWIN SHADE

@stevengrantrogers Sorry, @officialblackwidow. Old habits die hard. (And by old habits I mean getting into fist fights, not underestimating women :/ )

@iamironman @stevengrantrogers YOU GOT INTO FIST FIGHTS??

Natasha goes to Clint with an idea and the two set up Nat's YouTube account at three in the morning. By five, her first video is uploaded and linked to her Twitter, titled "things secret agents do at four in the morning" and consisting of her driving to Starbucks while lip syncing Anaconda with Clint in the passenger’s seat lip syncing just as passionately.

The video hits four million views in two weeks and Thor is humming the song for another three.

Natasha continues to update the account with various videos, ranging from vlogs, to cooking videos, to a series of her pranking the other Avengers.

@officialblackwidow tfw you prank @bruce_banner and he hulks out (◡‿◡✿)

"There's definitely a lot of training," Clint tells the interviewer. “A lot of hours in the gym.” Natasha nods alongside him, slightly bored and waiting for her own question.

The interviewer finally turns to Nat. "And Miss Romanoff, you are the only woman on the team."

Natasha nods. "Yes, I am," she says.

"Could you give any of the girls at home some makeup tips?" the interviewer asks. Clint's mouth falls open.

"Actually," Natasha replies, flashing a smile. "I can." She turns to the camera. "Wear whatever makes you happy," she says. "If you want no makeup, that's good. If you want to cake it on, that's good as well. Don't let anyone tell you how you should look, do it because you want to." The interviewer, whose name Natasha has already forgotten, looks confused, as if that was the complete opposite answer from the one she expected. "And that goes out to any trans or non-binary people as well, not just cisgirls," Natasha adds.

Clint's face gets screenshotted, made into a gif, and affectionately titled 'wHEN yOUR fAVE sAYS tHE tHING'.


@mrsnatromanoff OMFG

Bruce and Thor find Natasha on the couch, aggressively cutting red construction paper into little red hourglass shapes. They sits down next to her and, without question, pick up scissors and begin cutting. It takes about two hours before Clint and Steve find them with at least a thousand hourglasses piled on the table. Nat turns around.

“We’re almost out of paper,” she tells them. “Can you grab us more?”

Steve promptly marches out of the room and comes back, dragging Tony by the arm.

“Why the fuck are you dragging me around?” Tony demands.

Steve gestures silently to the pile of paper on the table.

Tony grabs his phone. “Happy?” he asks. “Do you mind running out to Staples to grab some red paper?” Tony pauses, and then shakes his head. “No, just buy all of it.” Another pause. “Yes, all of it. And be here as soon as you can.”

They spend the next day cutting. And two more days after that. With the entire team of Avengers, plus Pepper, Happy, and whoever happened to be in the tower at the time, they managed to cut out approximately 10,000 red hourglasses the size of business cards. Natasha spends the next week writing on all of them.

On a particularly sunny day, with only slight bit of wind, the rest of the Avengers help Natasha haul what Tony calls the “big ass fans” onto balcony. They turn them on and Natasha begins throwing the paper up in front of the fans.

Clint laughs as the fans sweep the hourglasses into the air fluttering in the breeze as they get scattered all over New York. Below, an young redheaded girl snatches one out of the air, looking at it. On one side, You are special. Natasha’s signed her name on the other side.

@karenpage Was visiting NY city when Natasha Romanoff dropped cards all over the city. This woman is fantastic.

@realhawkeyekatebishop @hawkeyeandhiscooldog YOUR TEAMMATE IS SO COOL

@officialblackwidow @realhawkeyekatebishop YOU’RE SO COOL

@kamalakhan Pretty sure @officialblackwidow is the official queen of everything. (ノ◕ヮ◕)ノ*:・゚✧

These days Natasha sees Black Widow things everywhere. Shirts, posters, costumes, action figures, and an actual stone statue one time. Natasha lives for the moments when little girls run up to her and hug her legs. When teenagers and women of all other ages tell her that she inspires them every day.

So, no, it does not bother Natasha when she sees the other Avenger’s merchandise.

It bothers Meg though. She earnestly tells Natasha that they have cooties.