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  1. Tags
    Summary

    Everything sounds too good to be true, like there’s some sort of catch. He’d been studying Bruce’s notes for almost a month, but Bruce had told him he couldn’t bring her back when he snapped the rest of the world into existence, and she didn’t come back when Tony snapped himself to death after the final battle -- so how could she be here now, all this time later, as if nothing had ever happened?

    Because she was. She was walking around the house knowing exactly where to find everything and she knew exactly what to say and how to touch him, and there was no other explanation except that it had to be Natasha -- his Natasha -- because no one else would be this calm or know him this well.

    Language:
    English
    Words:
    53,289
    Chapters:
    10/?
    Comments:
    193
    Kudos:
    172
    Bookmarks:
    26
    Hits:
    2374
  2. Tags
    Summary

    A girl is nineteen years old and writes Natasha on a piece of paper that she hands to an American man, who nods and says, “Natasha. I like it.”

    A girl is nineteen years old and realizes it’s the first time someone has treated her like a person and not an object, and she thinks, I like it, too.

    --

    A boy is nineteen years old and writes Tony on his name tag at MIT; he meets a young African-American at a frat party who nods and says, “Tony. I like it.”

    A boy is nineteen years old and realizes it’s the first time someone has treated him like a person and not an object, and he thinks, I like it, too.

    Language:
    English
    Words:
    2,087
    Chapters:
    1/1
    Collections:
    1
    Comments:
    17
    Kudos:
    55
    Bookmarks:
    8
    Hits:
    288
  3. Tags
    Summary

    Natasha looks around, attempting to find her bearings, noticing for the first time a small glowing obelisk reflecting into the sky from the pool below. Ignoring the pain radiating throughout her body, she drops to her knees, fingers scrabbling in the warm water as she attempts to grasp the stone. Blistered fingers close over its pulsating light and she withdraws her hand in triumph, only to find emptiness in the middle of her palm.

    “Fuck,” Natasha mutters, spitting out blood. Red swirls in the water, mingling with the orange tinge of her surroundings, a hollow and sorrowful blend.

    [Just because you die, it doesn't mean everything ends at that moment. At least, not for Natasha.]

    Language:
    English
    Words:
    4,985
    Chapters:
    1/1
    Comments:
    20
    Kudos:
    36
    Bookmarks:
    3
    Hits:
    254
  4. Tags
    Summary

    Later -- after the crying, after the phone calls, after the battles -- she’ll pore over every moment on that godforsaken planet. She’ll go over every tiny detail, pulling apart each thread of the memory like the cotton candy she used to share with Lila at the county fair. She’ll think about how she should’ve been faster, how she should’ve been stronger, how she should’ve been better. She was the Black Widow, after all. Black Widows never failed.

    She’ll live the rest of her life thinking about the fact that she’s alive because her best friend has done something seemingly baffling -- chosen her, believed in her, offered her a lifetime of peace as his last conscious decision, because he decided that she deserved a chance at the happiness she never thought she could attain.

    Language:
    English
    Words:
    10,839
    Chapters:
    1/1
    Comments:
    26
    Kudos:
    62
    Bookmarks:
    14
    Hits:
    421
  5. Tags
    Summary

    In 2023, Natasha Romanoff falls to her death on Vormir.

    In 2012, she wakes up in Clint Barton's bed, in his New York apartment, wearing his clothes.

    Language:
    English
    Words:
    13,135
    Chapters:
    1/1
    Comments:
    53
    Kudos:
    238
    Bookmarks:
    54
    Hits:
    1728
  6. Tags
    Summary

    Natasha knows she’s put herself in a bubble and she knows she’s only seen the fringes of Thanos’ destruction from the reports and the news articles; she knows she’s been on the outside looking in. Seeing the rest of the world suffering so openly makes her realize how selfish she’s been by barricading herself in a safe space.

    And that makes her angry. Angry that Thanos has stolen so much from so many innocent people, angry that she’s been sitting around feeling sorry for herself while everyone else attempted to work through their circumstances, angry that she’d thought there was nothing she could do to help aside from shooting at blank targets over and over again.

    No more.

    Language:
    English
    Words:
    5,911
    Chapters:
    1/1
    Comments:
    33
    Kudos:
    76
    Bookmarks:
    18
    Hits:
    489
  7. Tags
    Summary

    “The rules are simple – a soul for a soul. An irreversible, binding exchange for that which you love most. But what you have done, I have never seen the likes of before. Never before has a double sacrifice been made on my watch. Never before has the stone been able to willingly split itself in two, the way it has for you.”

    Language:
    English
    Words:
    1,603
    Chapters:
    1/1
    Comments:
    63
    Kudos:
    360
    Bookmarks:
    54
    Hits:
    2054
  8. Tags
    Summary

    He hadn’t had to say it. He knew she could see it on his face but he had said it anyway, because he felt like he needed to, in order to make it real. Because, fuck, it still didn’t seem real. They had screwed with time so much that he couldn’t accept there was no way to change things, he couldn’t accept that there was no possibility of him opening the door and finding Natasha on the front steps the same way he was able to suddenly see Laura’s phone call after Bruce snapped his fingers.

    But Bruce had explained it, and Steve had explained it, and even Nebula had explained it. And he had told Thor himself. A soul for a soul, an irreversible, binding sacrifice.

    Natasha was gone.

    Language:
    English
    Words:
    4,831
    Chapters:
    1/1
    Comments:
    54
    Kudos:
    170
    Bookmarks:
    30
    Hits:
    1059
  9. Tags
    Summary

    “Do you love me?”

    Natasha looks up sharply, almost spilling her tea, meeting eyes that are curious, soft and warm. In bed with drops of rain making handprints against the apartment walls, solitary and away from the violence and the katana and the leather uniform that filled him with so much anger, she can almost believe that this is really them -- that this is how it should have always been. Her and Clint, together in the way that she always wished for.

    Her and Clint, not dusted, not out for blood against the world, not married or torn apart by hurtful pasts, just together.

    “Yes.” Natasha blinks back rogue tears. “I do -- I always have. It didn’t matter what your romantic life was and whether or not I was involved. I’ve always loved you, Clint. And I don’t think that’s ever going to change, no matter what universe we end up in.”

    Language:
    English
    Words:
    9,512
    Chapters:
    1/1
    Comments:
    19
    Kudos:
    96
    Bookmarks:
    13
    Hits:
    1040
  10. Tags
    Summary

    She hadn’t asked her question until much later, knocking on the door long after she knew everyone else had gone to bed.

    “Can you teach me how to shoot like you do?”

    It hadn’t happened right away. There had been discussions -- mostly discussions with her mom, who wasn’t exactly ready to say yes to Lila picking up a bow and arrow. There had been long moments of awkwardness where Lila had wanted to ask her dad if he’d come to any decisions yet, but she also didn’t want to upset the new calm of him being home and adjusting to his new house arrest lifestyle.

    And so Lila had practiced on her own. She didn’t have a real bow and arrow, just the silly nerf one her dad had gotten her some years ago, but she used it to learn how to aim and looked up exercises and tips on the Internet. She wanted to be ready so that when mom and dad said she was ready, she would be ready.

    Language:
    English
    Words:
    11,633
    Chapters:
    3/3
    Comments:
    15
    Kudos:
    45
    Bookmarks:
    9
    Hits:
    456
  11. Tags
    Summary

    When Lila Barton is five years old, she watches her dad walk out the door with a bow strapped to his back and a uniform that looks like it’s made of leather.

    When Lila Barton is six years old, she watches her dad put down his bow and arrow and watches him look at her mom and say the words, “last project.”

    [a collection of stand-alone stories about the life of Lila Barton]

    Language:
    English
    Words:
    7,018
    Chapters:
    4/?
    Comments:
    31
    Kudos:
    126
    Bookmarks:
    14
    Hits:
    1390
  12. Tags
    Summary

    The first thing Natasha does, before anyone else can react, is blurt out “who the fuck are you?” Steve gives her a look of surprise, Bruce gives her a look of amusement, and Carol’s expression doesn’t change at all.

    --

    This is how Carol meets the Avengers.

    Language:
    English
    Words:
    2,793
    Chapters:
    1/1
    Comments:
    24
    Kudos:
    205
    Bookmarks:
    25
    Hits:
    2074
  13. Tags
    Summary

    You've always had a good head on your shoulders, Nick, his mother told him when he agonized over an army recruitment package, trying to decide whether he should enlist as opposed to staying at home and helping his family. Your choices always benefit the people you care about, even if you don't realize it.

    [Four people Nick Fury recruited for SHIELD, and one he didn't have to recruit at all.]

    Language:
    English
    Words:
    4,265
    Chapters:
    1/1
    Comments:
    39
    Kudos:
    395
    Bookmarks:
    65
    Hits:
    2303
  14. Tags
    Summary

    Clint closes his eyes, exhaustion flowing through his body and settling into every nerve ending, every bone broken and bruised and scarred over the years. “We both had a choice.”

    “No,” Natasha says shortly. “You didn’t have a choice. But I did. And they were going to come for your family, Clint! For my family!”

    “And you think running away made them any safer?”

    Natasha shakes her head. “No,” she acknowledges softly. “But at least it gave them a chance.”

    Clint knows he can’t hide the pain in his eyes. “I don’t know if it was worth the chance.”

    Series
    Language:
    English
    Words:
    69,392
    Chapters:
    11/11
    Comments:
    103
    Kudos:
    120
    Bookmarks:
    22
    Hits:
    2865
  15. Tags
    Summary

    “Thought you’d wanna go back to space,” Clint says. Carol grins and pushes unruly blonde hair out of her eyes.

    “I figured since I was already here, I deserved a little time to myself before fighting more aliens.” She cocks her head. “Plus, I’d heard rumors of the infamous Barton farm and I had to come see it for myself.”

    Language:
    English
    Words:
    4,926
    Chapters:
    1/1
    Comments:
    11
    Kudos:
    80
    Bookmarks:
    13
    Hits:
    457
  16. Tags
    Summary

    “Do you ever think about how different your life would be if you didn’t have SHIELD?”

    “All the fucking time,” Clint says matter-of-factly. “I mean, I was a messed up orphan from a broken home. If I hadn’t...well...if I hadn’t made a name for myself in other ways and caught someone’s attention while I was being irresponsible, I’d probably be dead by now.” He looks over at her and raises an eyebrow. “You?”

    “All the fucking time,” Natasha echoes. “I’d probably still be trying to figure out things in the Red Room. If there’s even still a Red Room to work for. But I wouldn’t have you.”

    [Five moments in Natasha's life between then and now, and how Clint made a difference every time]

    Language:
    English
    Words:
    9,463
    Chapters:
    1/1
    Comments:
    2
    Kudos:
    46
    Bookmarks:
    5
    Hits:
    471
  17. Tags
    Summary

    Clint studies his sword. “It’s not Hawkeye anymore. Hawkeye was an Avenger, and he died when my family disappeared. There’s only Ronin now.”

    “I’m sorry,” Natasha says, knowing she doesn’t sound sorry at all. “Ronin.”

    Clint focuses on his blade, twirling it deftly. “Hate it all you want, Natasha. Ronin is who I was always supposed to be.”

    “No,” Natasha replies, fighting the urge to smack the katana out of his hand, knowing it’ll probably end badly for both of them. “Because Ronin would have shot me in the head when he found me on the streets. And Ronin would have killed me on that helicarrier, not come back to me when I knocked him out. And Ronin would have let that child in Sokovia die, not run back into the line of fire. Those are things that Hawkeye did.”

    --

    In a world full of loss, the only person who can bring you back is the one who is willing to wade into the fire to find you.

    Language:
    English
    Words:
    14,380
    Chapters:
    1/1
    Comments:
    10
    Kudos:
    58
    Bookmarks:
    6
    Hits:
    714
  18. Tags
    Summary

    “You don’t know what it’s like.”

    “What what’s like?” Natasha asks curiously.

    Nebula’s lips turn up in sardonic pleasure. “To be unmade.”

    Natasha smiles grimly. “Try me.”

    Language:
    English
    Words:
    2,998
    Chapters:
    1/1
    Comments:
    10
    Kudos:
    41
    Bookmarks:
    5
    Hits:
    305
  19. Tags
    Summary

    When Fury says, “I know a renegade soldier when I see one,” Carol remembers her life in flashes. She remembers a man spitting out the words in spiteful distaste: “I know a renegade soldier when I see one.” She remembers a girl with swaggering confidence, a best friend with a crooked smile: “I know a renegade soldier when I see one.” She remembers a boy with chocolate skin and an impish grin trying to hide the flush on his face after a kiss: “I know a renegade soldier when I see one.”

    And when she picks up a lanky boy with long hair and an overgrown beard on the side of the highway, she takes one look at the bow strapped across his back, leans forward in the driver’s seat as she slows to a stop, and invites him in.

    Language:
    English
    Words:
    5,747
    Chapters:
    1/1
    Comments:
    30
    Kudos:
    244
    Bookmarks:
    55
    Hits:
    1394
  20. Tags
    Summary

    “Hear me out, okay? What if I had a different proposition?”

    In the end, Clint’s really not sure how he gets roped into going on a road trip with Peter Benjamin Parker. He suspects it’s one part dad guilt, one part wife guilt, one part stir-craziness that he won’t admit in front of his wife and children, and one part a son and daughter who look at him with dreamy eyes when he mentions he’s going to spend some time with Spider-Man.

    Series
    Language:
    English
    Words:
    9,033
    Chapters:
    1/1
    Comments:
    14
    Kudos:
    180
    Bookmarks:
    20
    Hits:
    1769

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