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Elizabeth Culmer, only a *little* bit crazy...
09 March 2019 @ 05:26 pm
[personal profile] pole_dancer said: Roommates / Sharing a Room - MCU - Nakia (Black Panther) and Natasha Romanoff, also known as Black Widow (Iron Man)

Did you know that Lupita Nyong'o and Scarlett Johansson are only a year and a half apart in age? I didn't until today. :D (700 words)

[AO3 version]

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Room for Coincidence
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"This is an interesting coincidence," Natasha said without reaching toward the hand her new roommate had offered in greeting. "Unless you had a hand in--?"

"I did not. What our superiors may or may not have planned is another question entirely," said the Wakandan agent who Natasha had briefly met under the code name Antelope and was now listed on the Columbia University directory as Nakia Q'Noma. She lowered her hand, untouched. "I would suspect yours, since I'm not here on assignment, but your surprise speaks against that."

Natasha shrugged and smiled. "Sometimes a coincidence is actually coincidental." Disconcerting though it was. She disliked things beyond her control, and it was impossible to manipulate random chance the way she could manipulate social systems, conversations, or more physical weapons. "I'm auditing the Barnard dance program for a year of acculturation and vetting."

Nakia absorbed the implied change in Natasha's allegiances with a shallow nod. "I'm completing a two-year Post-baccalaureate program in psychology, plus the usual. Will that be a problem?"

Natasha shrugged. "Not that I know of. I suppose we'll both know more shortly."

"Indeed," Nakia said. "On that note, please excuse me for a moment while I make a call." At Natasha's nod of agreement, Nakia stepped into the graduate dorm's hallway and closed the suite door behind her.

Natasha promptly pulled out her own cell phone, called Agent Coulson's secure dropbox, and left a report. "My roommate is from Wakandan intelligence. We worked alongside each other on a retrieval in Kyrgyzstan two years ago. There shouldn't be any personal or political fallout on that front. She claims to be on detached or reserve status, but I only have her word for that and she might be reactivated at any point. Orders?"

She hung up and returned to transferring her new civilian wardrobe from her two duffel bags to her new dresser and closet. She hadn't yet built a comprehensive assessment of Coulson, but Barton trusted him -- which said several things in and of itself -- and her handful of personal interactions with the man had created a general impression of competence. And, of course, he had access to all of SHIELD's databases and connections. He'd get her what she needed to know as soon as reasonably possible.

In the meantime, Natasha finished hanging her three dresses -- one for looking like an eager young professional, one for attracting sexual attention, and one for conveying friendly innocence -- and contemplated the bare, off-white walls of her tiny bedroom. She ought to hang something artsy or kitschy on at least one. That seemed to be a typical feminine trait, and she needed to construct a convincing cover even if her roommate already knew some of the truth underneath. Barton would probably say she also needed to construct a self that made her happy, and there was no way to do that without experimentation.

The main door of the suite opened and closed, and Natasha leaned out of her bedroom door with her eyebrows raised in silent question.

"I don't believe we'll have any conflicts of interest," Nakia said with a small but convincing smile, warm all the way from the set of her shoulders to the tiny muscles around her eyes.

If that was artificial, Natasha wanted to learn her tricks. If it was genuine... Barton would think Natasha should learn that trick -- being human -- as well, though he'd probably phrase it differently.

For the moment, she could at least manage convincing wry humor. "What if I want to put posters on the walls and our taste in art is incompatible?"

"Then it would be war," Nakia said with obviously false gravity. "But I'm sure we can find something neutral for the living room and kitchen, however disparate our bedrooms may become."

"We are resourceful," Natasha agreed. "And on that note, once you've unpacked, would you mind coming with me to reconnoiter the campus store? I have supplies to purchase and it's easiest to discuss art choices with the options in front of us."

"So long as you come with me to purchase groceries this evening," Nakia said, "it would be my pleasure." She offered her hand again.

This time, Natasha grasped it. "Deal."

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End of Ficlet

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