13 May 2017 @ 12:20 pm
On Duality  
On Duality
Words: 4410
Rating: T
Warnings: None
Characters: Clint/Natasha, Jasper Sitwell



It is usual to think of good and evil as two poles, two opposite directions, the antithesis of one another…. We must begin by doing away with this convention.

Martin Buber, On Good and Evil

*

 

The farmhouse is always the same.

Natasha doesn't care much for steadiness —the result of a life where patterns and predictability can get you killed— but a small, treacherous part of her mind finds the idea of a constant oddly comforting. She wonders when that happened, how she allowed herself that sentimentality, let alone how she allowed herself to acknowledge it. Maybe once she had stopped considering her legacy as exclusively composed of blood and chaos, once she had accepted that while she might never wipe out all the red, attempting to balance the thing might count for something... maybe then she had started allowing herself the luxury to think of something calm and serene as a constant. SHIELD psychs would probably have something to say about that, but she doesn't plan to share this information with anyone.

It had been fourteen months into their partnership when Clint had opened up about where he would mysteriously disappear during his time off, and brought her there. After the emergency extraction, the long flight back to DC, the medicals and the debriefing and Fury's rant that having the clean-up team retrieving arrows from sixty corpses is not the definition of subtle, Barton, their esteemed leader had informed them that they could choose between one month of counselling and one month of leave, whatever they preferred, as long as they did not blow up the expected steam in his Helicarrier. Natasha didn't think she had anything to steam off —almost dying was hardly a novelty in this job— but that's Americans for you. They chose the leave, if anything to avoid the whispers in the corridors and Coulson's examining eye. Four years later, they’re still avoiding Budapest.


Here in AO3.