A/N: Just a small idea that came to me for various reasons and will likely grow into something more. I just want to see Adam and Aria spend more time together.
Shoot between heartbeats. It's the way she's been trained. When the heart beats, blood rushes, and the surge minutely jolts the body so that the rifle's barrel gives a twitch. Wait to squeeze the trigger until you are still.
Aria's noticed the effect before—poor awareness and breath control with a target at 1000 yards, and the shot goes wide. Since the Incident, she's noticed the difference, too. No blood rushing through her augmented arm, and it's surprisingly easy to keep the scope perfectly aligned. No vibrations, no jostling: just steady crosshairs hovering unwavering and lethal upon their mark.
At least, they would be lethal, were she in the field and not on some military training range.
The bullseyed targets bring a quiet, assured smile to her face when she goes to collect her score. She's heard the disgruntled murmurs behind her back—"I could do that too if I had a robot arm; she must have some kind of targeting system,"—and brushes them off with a shrug of her mechanical shoulder. If that were the case, Jensen would have her beat. She's consistently outscoring him, too.
He's one of the few others that visit the range who looks genuinely impressed by her without the usual accompanying resentment. "That's near-perfect again, isn't it?" he remarks as they're packing away their gear, Aria still wearing that proud yet understated smile.
"Yes, it is."
"All that time I trained with SWAT, and I still can't come close to touching that."
"Don't feel bad, Adam. I guess the Marines just have higher standards." She's teasing, but he returns the smile with one of his own.
"Well, maybe you'll have to teach me some time."
The rare smile looks good on him. Aria's pulse jumps, and she contemplates how spending any time in the necessary close proximity might be prone to make her own shooting suffer. It doesn't dampen her enthusiasm when she agrees. "Maybe I will."