So here is a thing I’ve been wanting to talk about since I saw The Avengers and haven’t been able to because I was too busy writing we were emergencies: Natasha Romanov? Is terrified of the Hulk. Let me stop right here and address the comment I least want to receive in response to this statement, and, unfortunately, the comment I believe I am most likely to get:
- No she’s not, because that fear would make her less of a badass/Yes she is, and that fear makes her less of a badass/any permutation of the idea that being afraid of things somehow negates badassery:
What? No. Human beings are afraid of stuff, the end. It’s part of the human condition. People eat, sleep, breathe, shit, and fear things. Like, universally. Even Chuck Norris, wherever he may roam, has at least one thing that is his mental equivalent of something going bump in the night. Having fear is not a determinate of strength of character; how you handle that fear is. DONE.
Okay, with that out of the way, let’s first establish how we know Natasha is afraid of the Hulk. There’s the scene in the helicarrier, yeah, definitely, where she tries to keep Bruce from Hulking and then has to deal with him while Hulked; then there’s the scene afterwards, where she is visibly freaking the fuck out until she stands up and goes to beat the brainwashing out of a close friend, and yep, that’s fear, no question. But, you know what, I’m pretty sure any reasonable human not-immortal-like-Thor person would be a little bit like HOLY SHIT THAT WAS TERRIFYING AS FUCK JESUS GOD in the wake of being the target of an indestructible giant green rage monster. So, really, I think the more telling scene in her reaction when Bruce screws with her at the beginning of the movie—the degree to which her reaction is visibly, palpably one of fear is something we’ve never seen from Black Widow. And it’s not because the Hulk has showed up; it’s because there’s been the suggestion that he might. Or, to be more accurate, it’s because she’s just watched what she thought was Bruce losing control.
Because that’s what this is about, guys; that’s what it’s always about, with Natasha. Go grab yourselves some artist formerly and currently known as Prince, because this is a story about control.
I won’t touch Barton. Not until I make him kill you slowly, intimately, in every way he knows you fear. And then he’ll wake just long enough to see his good work. And when he screams, I’ll split his skull. That is my bargain, you mewling quim!
- Just like Budapest all over again.
- You and I remember Budapest very differently.
divided, we fall.
#platonic life partner old marrieds that could kill each other and everyone else in two minutes flat #diametrically opposed and a seamless team because of it #they make each other better #natasha is the brain; the cool-headed one with a killer eye for nuance and detail #clint is the heart; the one who is more in touch with his emotions #and because of that he can compartmentalize and set them aside when he needs to to get the job done #or use them to his benefit and make decisions that might go against the grain and against protocol and against orders #and yet natasha’s thing is loyalty—to the kgb and then to shield #and she owes clint a debt for making the decision not to kill her but to bring her in when he saw who she was and what she could do #and because clint is more emotionally open he understands that he is attracted to her and recognizes his feelings #and he knows that she can’t (won’t) do the same and he’s okay with that #and bc he’s so in tune with his emotions he can recognize them in other people #and maybe he doesn’t have the finesse to manipulate others and mold himself into aliases like natasha can #but he knows how people work and he teaches her about emotional cues and she teaches him about attention to detail and they coach each other #he’s a tactician and reconnaissance; he sees things better from the air #she is the spy #clint is self-assured; he knows who he is and he knows himself and that’s why he is so shaken when loki takes over #natasha has served all her life and it’s always been about who she’s working for #she hides behind the smokescreen of espionage so much that sometimes she doesn’t even know where she ends and everything else begins #with tasha there is always this fear that clint’s feelings for her whatever they might be aren’t for HER #because she is such a chameleon with her masks and her mind games #eventually she’s not even sure who or what she is from time to time#and she gets that she’s good at what she does and they are good together #but she doesn’t understand clint’s quiet conviction about her when she is constantly shifting and adapting to her surroundings #and it’s always been that way—so how can he love her when he doesn’t even know who she is #or who she might be in the next minute?
the worst part about clint/natasha is the nicknames
because it’s like they both know they didn’t become each other’s weaknesses
they chose to be it they made each other their own chinks in their armors
but it’s for the better because they have something worth putting their life on the line for and it didn’t make them better people but it certainly made them better fighters
everyone calls it a weakness in a trade where assassin’s can’t trust each other but they trust and depend on one another they have nicknames for one each other they make it personal
i think the reason they’re the absolute best in the world is because to make it personal is to paint a target on your back in bright red and it shows how utterly bold they both are for choosing to fully accept each other in public as much as private
by having nicknames for each other, even simply the action of being protective of one another, or having the mention of the other’s name make their hearts beat a split second faster, just the simple EXISTENCE of their emotional attachment to each other - that’s a liability and that could mean a more painful and intimate death (like loki threatened) in the spy world
because it’s a button, a kill switch, and normal people are made up of all kinds of obvious buttons (family, friends, hobbies, everything) to push to make them hurt but it’s so so so hard to actually find a spy’s buttons because they shroud them in lies and deception
so the fact that companionship happened isn’t so much the remarkable part but the fact that they’ve chosen to OWN it, to accept it and use it as a strength rather than a weakness. they really are each other’s weakness, but by reclaiming it, accepting it, flaunting it, it has actually put them a step above everyone else
because they can each boast a picture perfect confidante in their world where no one has anyone’s back
they sleep with one eye open for the other and they’re so sure they’ve got each other until the end so they move as one and they fight as one and they think as one and they have that level of closeness that best friends, soulmates, siblings have
and they’ve shown the world that they don’t care who sees
by giving each other nicknames