avengers: natasha rolling hating

Ultron Trailer Thoughts

First up, I am absolutely dying for new canon. I miss writing in MCU. I want to write in MCU. I just...can't anymore because I've wrung all the plot bunnies I can from Avengers, and I'm not exactly sure what to write about in the wake of Cap 2. Frankly, I want my fandom back from Steve/Bucky. It's not that I hate the pairing. I just hate how much it dominates MCU fandom these days. I click through people's pinboards and AO3 bookmarks, looking for something I want to read, and it's all Steve/Bucky all the time. Which is great if you like Steve/Bucky, and pretty lonely if you do not. I miss the early days of MCU fandom, when people were throwing together random characters and testing out different ships and exploring how egomaniacal people with mismatched personalities might slowly become friends.

I do have a few MCU stories in my WIP folder, but the only one that's anywhere close to completion is the crack about Natasha being on a reality cooking show. The rest probably had a plot when I started, but hell if I know what they're supposed to be about now.

First, I'm really sad that Tony made the Ultron. I really love his redemption arc, and I love the character in general, so I'm super sad that he wrought great destruction from his good intentions (although that is totally the sort of thing he would do).

Now onto my unpopular fannish opinion: I am totally fine with Bruce/Natasha if that's what happens. It's obvious from my fanfic that I like Clint/Natasha a lot, and I think that's what the writers of the previous movies were setting up. (I mean, hello, Nat is wearing an arrow necklace in Cap 2. Most people don't wear jewelry for people who are just friends.) That said, the relationship is ultimately fanon, and I don't want to be so attached to my fanon that I reject new canon when it appears. And Bruce/Natasha is interesting! Yes, she's afraid of the Hulk, but she also fought by his side in an alien invasion. No, Bruce doesn't trust the Black Widow, but yes, he got over those feelings to fight beside her. What they have in common is guilt over destruction they've caused, the feeling that there's something dark inside both of them, and knowing what it's like to do something terrible that's not entirely within your control. Also, I imagine that Nat is feeling misused by SHIELD the same way Bruce does. Those are pretty profound things to have in common, and I doubt they're going to find that kind of understanding in other people.

Anyway, I feel like we can all keep our Clint/Natasha shipping without too much trouble, regardless of what happens in Ultron. Of course, there is the time-honored fannish tradition of ignoring canon we don't like. However, there's also the much more interesting (in my opinion) option of writing about Clint and Natasha having a temporary breakup. What drove them apart? What draws them back together? How does Clint deal with knowing that Natasha had someone else, if only for a little while?

Anyway, if you too are open to exploring Bruce/Natasha, here's the story that sold me on them:

although it's so romantic on the borderline tonight. (6337 words) by paperclipbitch
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: The Avengers (2012)
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Bruce Banner/Natasha Romanov
Characters: Natasha Romanov, Bruce Banner, Tony Stark, Nick Fury, Steve Rogers
Additional Tags: Post-Movie(s)

Post-movie. “You shouldn’t google yourself,” Natasha tells Bruce.

I'm definitely intrigued by Natasha/Bruce. It's not the direction I expected the films to take, but I like both the characters a lot, and while I've never thought of them having a huge amount of sexual chemistry, I also think it could work. Natasha talked about exploring herself, finding new covers, at the end of Cap 2, maybe Bruce allows her to see an aspect of herself she didn't see before.
maybe Bruce allows her to see an aspect of herself she didn't see before.

I like this idea very much!
I know what you mean about the proliferation of Steve/Bucky in the MCU fandom. Normally I'm all about the slash, but Steve/Bucky really just does nothing for me. In fact, none of the slash ships in MCU do anything for me - not Steve/Bucky, not Steve/Tony, Tony/Bruce, Clint/Phil, none of them. Which is really unusual for me! The only ship that really gets me interested is Clint/Natasha, like you. That said, if they go there with Natasha and Bruce, I could get on board, depending on how it's handled...

In all honesty, I'm just here for Hawkeye...
I am not a very slashy fangirl, especially in MCU. The popular slash pairings often conflict with Tony/Pepper, which is one of my very few OTPs. Mostly, though, I just want variety. I understand that Cap 2 gave us a pretty limited range of characters and just the one obvious ship, so I'm hoping the new film rekindles some interest in other characters and shipping possibilities.
I'm also in agreement about Bruce/Natasha. I know some weren't expecting it and it has created much ranting and debate amongst the fans, hell it might not even happen for real because we're basing all of this off of the trailers (which are known to be taken out of context and thus misleading). But I'm certainly intrigued by their dynamic in the films, for all the reasons you stated, and it'll be interesting to see how they bond after their initial relationship in the first Avengers film. There is indeed much to explore there, no matter what is in store between them; as friends or something else, I don't particularly care, Natasha developing bonds with the rest of the Avengers is something I want to see more of in this film and future films. I do like Clint/Natasha, but otherwise I'm not huge on the shipping field with MCU. I'm quite neutral about it, actually.
That's a good point - trailers don't always reflect what's really happening in the movie. The Cap 2 trailer sort of implied that Steve and Natasha slept together, and that definitely didn't happen (at least not on camera).
Yeah, I like Steve/Bucky, but I'm always disappointed when a fandom latches onto one pairing and seems to forget how to write anything else. :(

I was honestly surprised by the reaction to the Bruce/Natasha tease in the trailer. Holy crap are people freaking out about something that might not even happen. It makes me super sad to see so many of the Clint/Natasha shippers acting like people who like Bruce/Natasha are wrong and stupid (and maybe the reverse is happening too, I just see more of Clint/Natasha). Why does fandom always feel the need to make things into a fight? Someone else's opinion doesn't make yours less valid, and yours doesn't make theirs less valid. You don't have to stop shipping something just because something else might happen in the canon. I mean, calm down.

Personally I don't have a stake in it either way. I love Clint/Natasha but I enjoy Bruce/Natasha as well, and I think there's a lot of potential there. Honestly I'd probably prefer to have Natasha/no one, because wouldn't it be great if a female character just got to be awesome by herself without the media's need to give all women boyfriends? Maybe then people would quiet down about the ship wars and just ship what they want and let others do the same.

Sorry, that turned into a bit of a rant!
Yeah, I'm surprised by the vehemence of the reaction too. I always thought the whole point of fandom was that you wrote what you wish you saw in canon, so it doesn't matter if your ships don't make it into the source material.

I actually enjoy seeing strong female characters in relationships because I think that choosing what kind of relationship you want is a very powerful choice -- but I understand the opposite argument too. The real problem is that so much of our media contains only one woman, so she has to fulfill everyone's picture of how female characters are represented. What we really need is canon that contains multiple women, some of whom are in relationships and some of whom are not.
Anyway, I feel like we can all keep our Clint/Natasha shipping without too much trouble, regardless of what happens in Ultron.

You're right about that :)
Aaaaah man, I hear you on being sick of the Steve/Bucky colonization of fandom (so to speak!). I love both characters, I love their relationship, and I don't mind the ship, per se, but it's a little like having the same meal every night for supper -- no matter how fond of it you might be, having it everywhere all the time starts to grate on your tastebuds after a certain point.

P.S. I think I friended you a ways back (possibly for Star Trek fic? I remember you writing a lot of Sulu and Gaila stuff that I was super into!), but I'm not sure if I ever introduced myself. In any case, hi! I am a creepy Internet stalker who has been reading your Avengers/Star Trek/Veronica Mars/etc. stuff forever now, don't mind me! :D /waves
Yes, exactly - I have no problem with the relationship, but it's frustrating if that's the only thing you can find in the whole fandom.

And nice to meet you! *friends you back*
Yeah, I really wish you could filter things out of AO3 searches. Part of my frustration is that even when you browse tags for pairings/characters you like, Steve/Bucky is there too...usually as the main pairing and the whole point of the plot. I don't hate the ship; I just want a break from it.

The reality show thing probably will get finished. It just keeps growing, and now I need to rewatch some reality cooking shows to remember what kind of challenges they have...This is getting kind of insane.

That's a good point that just because it's implied in the trailer doesn't mean that it's going to happen. The Cap 2 trailer kind of implied Natasha/Steve, but that certainly didn't happen in the film.
Personally, I enjoy shipping Natasha because I think deciding what kind of relationship you want is a very powerful choice, and I think it's interesting to see someone with such a difficult past choose to be vulnerable...but obviously different people have different feelings on that.

I honestly didn't get enough of the Winter Soldier in Cap 2 to feel very invested in a ship, but I guess other people did? Which is all wonderful for them...I just want some variety back!

I'm not sure if I would have gotten anything romantic from the trailer if every LJ entry I saw hadn't been accompanied by some kind of Bruce/Natasha analysis. I guess we'll just have to see what happens!