Author's Note: Inspired by I'm a Fountain of Blood in the Shape of a Girl on Tumblr by brbshittoavenge. For my mind control square for Trope Bingo.
All the Eye Sees
They strip her down to nothing between kills, and all she sees is red.
She has a name, but she does not know what it is. Tsarina, Natka, Alianovna, Romanova, Natalia, Chernaya Vdova…
She has a body with muscles and flesh, but they are nothing but a fountain of blood in the shape of a girl. Electricity and machines write skills into her muscles and memory into her flesh. To rise on pointe, to snap a neck, to kiss…
She has a mind, but it is not hers. The restraints come down, her throat is raw with screams when she is a little girl, and she is not born; she becomes. She is the tsarina, the socialite, the widow.
They take her down and wrap her up in silk and wires and restraints. She is no longer a girl. She does not scream, though the agony is as red, as relentless. She stares at blood on the back of her eyelids, feels the reshaping of memory, of self.
Natalia Romanova wakes.
"You have heart."
It is taken, it was his, but now it is warped and wrapped in lies and wicked whispers, and all he sees is blue.
He has a name, but it is stolen from between his lips. Clinton Francis Barton, Hawkeye, the Hawk, Clint…
He has a body with muscles and flesh, but skill is shredded away and flayed from his limbs. He shoots. He misses. Just a dude with a bow. His angry heart is soothed in cold, blue light. He missed.
He has a mind, but it is not his as it has always been. Relentless desire outweighs the knowledge of who has been and who he has decided to be. Serve Loki, bring about his glorious purpose, Natasha…
"You have heart." His heart is a fountain of blood in the shape of a girl. His heart is stolen and made the object of cold blue truth. She must be destroyed before Loki can have him all.
He flexes his fingers. He cannot afford to miss. The tesseract's grip loosens enough, just enough to allow him to think, allow him to make the shot. He can think, he can think, he can see… red.
His mind is screaming.
He wakes and she stares into the agonizing scream in his eyes. He blinks it back and shakes his head, and she sees the woman before she woke, lying in restraints on the table. Red, red, but she knows when he gazes at her like an abyss that all he sees is blue.
"Do you know what it's like to be unmade?"
She looks at him. She thinks of electricity and machines, blood and memory. She thinks of magic and monsters, cold blue light and desire.
"You know that I do."
Once upon a time, for isn't that how these children stories go? Once upon a time, an archer met a king's daughter who had been enchanted. He shot her with the arrow of sleep.
Natasha Romanoff woke.
Nobody interrupts her vigil over Clint's unconscious form. She had fought him, pounded him in the head in some impossible hope she wouldn't have to kill him.
"Clint," Natasha says, hand ready on her knife. "Wake up."