Disclaimer: I don't own Marvel comics or characters or movies, and am making no money off of this fic.

AN: Written for the October 5th Spooktober prompt: magical creatures.


Brave New World (that has such people in't) by luvsanime02


"Can you fly with those?" Clint asks.

Of course that's his first question. Of course that's his first response when Natalia finally shows him her wings. He's not even staring at them, really. He's already looked them over and assessed her wingspan, clearly, and now he's watching her face.

Clint always watches Natalia's face, even though her expressions are as controlled and artificial as everything else about her. He takes what she's comfortable with giving him, and nothing else. Which is a big part of the reason why Natalia finally feels okay with sharing this secret with him.

"I can glide with them," she says, flexing one of the wings pointedly. They're smooth, not feathery, and they feel almost like silk under her touch. Maybe they are made of silk. Natalia wouldn't know. She's never known anyone else who also has them to ask.

"Harpy," Clint says out of nowhere.

Natalia tilts her head to the side slowly. "What?" she asks, keeping her tone perfectly pleasant.

To Clint's credit, the fact that she's upset has definitely reached him. He winces and shakes his head in a hurry. "No, I mean, are you a harpy?" he asks. "That's what those remind me of."

Oh. He means from the myths. Relaxing again, Natalia folds her wings back against her shoulders and shrugs. "I have no idea," she admits. Personally, she's always been rather fond of the fairy theory, though she doesn't say that out loud.

She's telling Clint rather a lot about herself in that one statement. That she doesn't remember having parents or anyone to ask, that her handlers never answered any of her questions about her wings - and punished her until she learned never to ask in the first place, that she hasn't found any answers through her own research in the years since she stopped relying on anyone else but herself.

Clint nods. "That's fine," he says, and she almost believes him. "Must make infiltration a lot easier."

Natalia smiles. Clint is changing the subject on purpose, and she appreciates the gesture. "It does," she allows. "Most people don't look up." And even if they do, they're never trained to look up high enough to spot her before it's too late. She's been trained to glide in silent and strike fast.

They're both silent for a minute. Natalia lets the quiet sit between them, wondering if Clint will leave now. If he has to get back to S.H.I.E.L.D. She's not worried about him telling his superiors about her wings. If she was, she'd never have shown them to him in the first place.

"Want to split a pizza?" Clint asks.

Natalia agrees, even though they really shouldn't be seen together and the longer that they are together, the more likely it is that they will be found out, but that doesn't matter to her right now. The idea of being discovered talking with Clint Barton, Hawkeye and agent of S.H.I.E.L.D., is starting to matter to her less and less as more time goes on.

They get a pizza together, and Natalia smiles once without meaning to, and she thinks that maybe this could all work out for them both, somehow. Clint gives Natalia hope, and after so long without it, she finds herself treasuring the feeling, and him.