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

AN: Written for the January 25th Winterhawk Mandatory Fun Day prompt: a character who can talk to animals.

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Let In by luvsanime02

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"You've got to be fucking kidding me."

Bucky had been determined to remain quiet while being kidnapped. It's a matter of principle. He's pissed as hell that he was taken to begin with, and he refuses to cooperate with any of their interrogations. Not that they've tried a whole lot yet beyond threats and a sad, laughable attempt at intimidation. Still, Bucky was all set to keep up the silent and stoic act.

Except he wasn't expecting a snake to casually slither its way inside his cell, run over his foot slowly while Bucky watched warily, and then leave again. And not five minutes later, Bucky watches as Natasha walks around the corner with the snake hanging around her neck and begins to pick the lock to his cell.

It's an old-fashioned lock, one that Bucky could easily snap in half, but he'd been waiting until later before escaping. Looks like he doesn't have to worry about that, though.

Natasha opens the cell and gives him an impatient look. Bucky raises an eyebrow in reply.

"No, seriously," he says, "we have to talk about this."

Natasha turns around and starts walking away, because of course she does. Bucky snaps the shackles around his wrists and follows her, because of course he does.

It's just… Bucky never thought that Clint was serious when he'd said that Natasha can speak to animals. Who the hell would take something like that seriously? Everyone else always laughs whenever Clint mentions it, too. Bucky had thought it was an inside joke that he didn't understand.

Well, apparently, it is a joke, but only Clint and Natasha are in on it. And now him.

Natasha's quiet for a few more minutes, but then she picks up the snake and mutters something quietly. She's asking the snake to scout ahead. Bucky can't believe that this is actually happening, but the snake moves away from them calmly.

Bucky stares hard at the back of Natasha's head. Eventually, she turns around to face him.

"They told me I was born this way," she says. Bucky understands what she means. She doesn't know for sure where her ability comes from. "Ever since I was little, I always had an edge when it came to wilderness training."

Bucky smirks before he can stop himself. "I imagine it comes in handy when you're doing reconnaissance, too."

The corner of Natasha's mouth quirks up. "Sometimes," she says. "There was a mission that went bad a few years back, and I needed help getting me and Clint out."

Which explains why Clint knows about her ability. "I can't believe you can fucking talk to animals," Bucky says, because seriously?

Aliens dropping from the sky? Fine. Him and Steve still being alive? Sure. Hovercrafts are awesome. Stark's suit is awesome. Meta-humans and gods are sort of normal now.

But someone who can talk to animals?

Natasha picks the snake back up and listens to its hissing for a minute. What the fuck is his life. "Come on," she says, "before Clint and Steve decide to do something stupid."

They would. Bucky's amazed that they haven't stormed the place already. Natasha and Bucky (and the snake) move through the building, the snake warning them of anyone coming beforehand. Bucky still hasn't wrapped his head around that before they're outside and running like hell.

Bucky owes Clint an apology after this, though. Who could have guessed that all those times his boyfriend joked that his best friend could order takeout by asking a bird to raid a dumpster were true? Not that Bucky wants to eat dumpster food, and he makes a mental note to berate Clint for doing so later, but he has to admit that it's quite the talent.

Guess you really do learn something new every day.