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firebird's child

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It's in their intimate moments that Natasha found herself confused, unsure even, though she would never go as far to say such a thing. The quiet moments they shared after sparring or when they clean and prep their weapons side by side. These little shards of time are what leave her uncertain.

She was a creature of battle, of fire and fight and force. She could be quiet, be a shadow against the candlelight but this was something different.

They sat together, eating a meal and talking idly. Nothing serious, nothing heavy. He teased her and she mocked him and it was comfortable and quiet and strange all at once. She didn't know what to make of it, even though she new it was a good thing.

“What are you,” he pressed after an extended, though not uncomfortable silence.

Her eyes raised to meet his, studying his expression, looking for the mistaken wording but finding nothing. “What am I?”

“Yeah. What are you? You're not.....I know you're not telling me everything and if we're gonna do this, if we're gonna be partners, I gotta know at least a little more than what I do now.”

She considered lying, weaving a tale that would satisfy him but instead she stayed silent. She wasn't sure what she could say, what to tell him, what he would even be willing to believe.

“I'm a lot of things,” she finally stated. “You're going to have to keep working with me if you want to find out.”

~

She thought she was alone when she released her wings. Although she had done a perimeter check and made sure she wasn’t followed, she still missed him.

It was careless, it was stupid and, in her line of work, it could have gotten her killed. She was just lucky it was someone friendly.

Her wings, large and flaming red, flared up as she stretched and moved, arching upwards towards the sky or,, at the very least, the top of the warehouse she was occupying.

She new he was there after a moment, knew he was watching her. She couldn’t see the expression on his face but she could imagine it. Surprise, uncertainty, a mixture of other emotions that were hard to categorize into simple words.

She considered calling out to him, telling him to stop his hiding but she doesn't. She wanted to have him come to her, have him reach out to her. She didn't want to start this conversation.

But he never cam eout ad, after a few hours of having her wings out, she felt better, felt like she could pull them i for a while and ot be driven insane by the need to release them again.

~

They were on an away mission when he catches her playing with fire.

She was sitting next to the fireplace, watching the flames dance and he had just come in from the cold. They didn't say anything because they didn't feel like they had to. The mission went well ad they would be heading back in the morning.

She moved her hands, and the flames followed her, She hummed and they swirled and rise in time with her voice. He watched, quiet and surprised but not as surprised as he could have been.

They both knew she was more than average and what's a little fire manipulation between friends?

She looked up at him ad the flames died down,, though they still made her eyes glint in the dim light. She was looking for something, anything to tell her what he was thinking. When she was only greeted with a small shrug and a smile, she returns the expression and settles back in to play with her element.

~

“What are you?”

She looked u from the papers she was scanning, arching a brow at hi. “What was that?”

Clint leaned back oi his chair, gaze steady. “What are you?” I've waited long enough to know. I've seen you do your tricks and the....wings. So, what are you?”

She smiled, laughing a little. “I'm whatever you want me to be,,” she offered with a wink of her eye. “I'm whatever you think I am.”

“He rolled his eyes, throwing a pen at her. “Not a good enough answer.”

“I'm....” She considered, not sure what to say. “My father was the sun and my mother was time. My sisters and I are what happens when they meet.”

“Pretty words,” he replied. “So you're not human then. Or a mutant?”

She shook her head. “I was here before humans called this place home, I'll be here when they die out. Some people call us firebirds, some people call us phoenixes. Whatever we are, we live, we burn, we die, and we come back.”

“Clint stayed silent, studying her, trying to read if she were somehow lying. When he saw that she wasn't, when he saw that there was nothing but sincerity in her expression, he nodded.

“And they make the bird jokes about me.” He grinned.

Natasha chuckled. “If they only knew.”