“Don’t you know who that is?”
“I’m pretty sure it’s the daughter of the Black Widow. And Hawkeye.”
“I heard her father started teaching her acrobatics as soon as she could walk.”
“I heard she knows all the seduction techniques her mother learned in the Red Room.”
“Well, I heard she has the Winter Solider at her beck and call.”
Ariana kicked out of the handstand she’d been holding herself in for the past ten minutes and turned to face the other junior agents that were in the gym. Her parents had argued against her joining the training class at SHIELD, but she’d pointed out that she needed to be able to at least recognize some of the agents who’d be at her back. And hopefully that would mean they wouldn’t shoot her in it.
Picking up the towel she’d dropped, she sauntered towards them, feeling almost proud of them when they didn’t scatter at her approach. Stopping in front of them, she placed a hand on one hip and faced them down. Tossing her fiery hair over one shoulder, she realized she would have to look up to most of them. “My name is Ariana Barton, not hey you or she. Yes, my parents were Strike Team Delta, but I don’t intend to ride on their coattails. Dad started teaching me acrobatics when I was five, not as soon as I could walk. And yes, although it didn’t come up, I can shoot a bow almost as good as him. Although I prefer Makarovs like Mom. No, I did not learn Mom’s seduction techniques because I am not a Red Room operative. And no, I do not have James at my beck and call. We’re partners and you should be so lucky to have him as a partner.”
Pushing through the group that was standing slack jawed in front of her, she headed out the door, turning to fire one parting shot, “Oh, and although it didn’t come up, yes, the Hulk gave me piggyback rides when I was a kid.”
She pulled up short when she exited the gym at the sight of James leaning against the wall, his arms crossed in a deceptive pose of casualness. “I don’t think the point was for you to scare the baby agents, Doll,” he drawled.
Ariana tossed her hair over her shoulder again. “I didn’t scare the babies. If I’d intended to scare the babies, I would have brought SERA. Or arranged a sparring session with you. Or Mom. Now that would have terrified them.”
James snorted. “You are definitely your father’s daughter.”
“Was there ever any question?” She slipped her arm through his. “Come on. I’m hungry. And then I want to run the obstacle course.”
“Yeah. Absolutely your father’s daughter,” he said as he allowed her to pull him away.