Shoutouts to the-vintageclassic, pengineer, EpicPackage, CreativeDreamer98, Jo, patty cake rocks, TheNaggingCube, princessjoey630, beverlie4055, kamarooka, paranoid-mandroid, and Agent Keene for reviewing!

Hahaha I dropped this chapter unexpected like Beyonce dropped her damn album. Surprise, y'all. I got inspired over the weekend because I wanted to finish this story up and get started on the next one since I have lots of ideas. So yes, this is the last chapter of Hawkeye, Compromised, but don't worry because Part III is coming. Part III will be called Stubborn Love, and I promise it won't be as painful as these two have been. If you want an email or notification for when the first chapter is up, feel free to Favorite/Follow me! I'm going to stay on the same schedule of updating on Mondays and Thursdays, but don't expect the first chapter until Thursday.

I'll also be uploading on archiveofourown. I published a new oneshot there about how I think Natasha got the arrow necklace, and it's called Bullseye, so feel free to check that out, too.

Thank you so much for following/favoriting/reading/reviewing/sticking with me until the end of the line! Your support means more than I can say, especially since I had a rough start with the original sequel and wound up losing a lot of readers from it. You guys are the best, so thank you =)

For extra emotions, listen to "Gone Gone Gone" - Phillip Phillips. I know it's cheesy and overplayed, but it's fitting =)

Please, please, please let me know your thoughts on this last chapter! Also, it would mean a lot to me if you didn't unfollow/unfavorite this story just because it's finished! Thank you again for sticking with me and making this journey such a fun one.

Enjoy! =)

Chapter 14

Clint didn't mind hospitals. Of course, he would much rather prefer to not be in a hospital at all, but if he had to be, he could exist like a normal human being without freaking out or getting anxiety from it. There were some agents he'd worked with who wouldn't go near a hospital, even if their partner were inside about to die. Clint attributed his nonchalance to the fact that he'd been hospitalized so many times that it was just second nature, but some of those agents hadn't even broken a finger, let alone a major bone.

Actually, Clint prided himself on how well he could behave in a hospital. In a way, it was almost second nature. He was used to waiting for doctors to see him or his partner, and he was used to letting time waste away as the seconds ticked on. But this time was different. This time, Natasha had been bleeding in his arms, and he'd been unable to do anything more than talk to her. God, he hadn't even been able to hold her because he'd had to keep pressure on the wound. All that time on the floor, and he'd just talked to her, mainly repeating words of comfort of how she was going to be ok.

He walked down the halls of the hospital without any particular place in mind, and he thought about all the times he'd failed Natasha. He couldn't remember half of them, but he could remember a lot of them. But the one that stuck out most of all was this one. Out of every time he'd failed her, today had been the most serious occurrence and the one that he hadn't been able to afford losing.

Clint didn't know how long he walked up and down identical halls, but eventually, he found himself back at the initial waiting room. Nick was gone, but Palmer was still there, looking worried and upset. Sitting right by Palmer was Maria Hill, who looked every bit as worried as Palmer did. Clint slowly dragged his feet over to them, noticing how Maria blinked extra hard when she saw him, as if she couldn't believe that it was him.

"Barton," she said.

"I know. Fury already came and yelled at me," Clint replied.

"I'm not here to yell at you." She gave him a tired, uninterested look. "I'm here because you two are my agents, and one of you is hurt." Clint stared at her, and she nodded towards the seat across from her as an invitation for him to sit down. Still moving solely on physical motivation and nothing else, Clint stiffly sat down. "Just so you know, Romanoff didn't want to report back on you. She said it felt sneaky to her. She actually missed her check in with me yesterday on purpose, and I covered for her. Told Fury that she'd called, but I hadn't put in the latest report yet."

Clint's expression became less wary, and he stared at her with new regard. "Why?"

"You think I like this?" Maria asked mildly, her face showing signs of stress. She lifted a hand and smoothed the side of her bun back as she fought to hold in a sigh. "At first, I thought that Fury might have been right on giving you a mission to take your mind off things. We've seen how you've gotten before whenever you have too much time off. You get antsy, and when you have to do paperwork, you distract the junior agents."

Clint couldn't argue with her, but he wasn't going to let her off that easily. "So sending me on a Level Four mission to keep me occupied was the natural answer."

"Yes," Maria said with a nod. "But that was until I really thought about it. Barton, you and I have known each other for years. We're friends. I thought it was sneaky and backhanded, but I'm your handler now, and I have my own orders to follow. Don't be mad at her. She didn't want anything to do with it."

"I'm not mad at her," Clint protested, feeling like a little kid arguing with his brother again.

"Not right now. But when she wakes up…remember that." Maria gave him a long look, and he held her gaze, finally nodding and looking away. He really wasn't mad at Natasha. How could he be mad at her? He'd just spent God knew how long walking up and down the fucking halls of the hospital to stop worrying about her but to no avail.

Worry was a funny thing, Clint realized. He knew that his defense mechanism was to shut down. He normally turned inside himself and fought out his emotions by pretending that they didn't exist, but worry didn't always allow that. His worry for Natasha shone through the hard wall he'd let come clamoring down, and he couldn't stop it, even though he'd been trying to the second he'd passed her to the medics.

Time passed, and he tuned his mind out the way he did whenever he was sharpshooting. He could be patient. He had all the patience in the world. He hadn't sat on countless rooftops for countless hours only to be labeled as impatient. But when the doctor came around the corner with a clipboard in hand and let his eyes fall on the three agents sitting there, he'd never been more impatient to hear the results in his entire life.

"Miss Romanoff's family?" the doctor asked in English. Clint leapt to his feet, nodding and moving swiftly towards the doctor as Maria and Palmer pulled themselves up and over, too.

"Yeah, that's us," Palmer replied.

"How is she?" Clint asked.

"Surprisingly, the bullet didn't leave any severe damage to major organs. What damage there was, we were able to repair with little trouble. However, Miss Romanoff lost a lot of blood." The doctor's face was serious as he looked at all three agents, and Clint felt his heart drop down to his feet. "A lot. She flat-lined twice in the OR."

"But is she ok?" Clint asked, suddenly feeling very desperate. If he had to wait another second to hear how she was, he felt as though he were going to explode right there on the spot.

"She's alive," the doctor answered with a quiet smile. "She pulled through, and she's resting now, but yes, Miss Romanoff is expected to make a full recovery."

"How long will that take?" Maria asked.

"She should be stable enough for a transfer in about a week, and then a few more days in the hospital in the United States, and then she should take it easy for about three months after that," the doctor replied.

"Where is she? Can I see her?" Clint asked, feeling his eyebrows draw downward into a concerned frown. The doctor smiled and nodded.

"Yes, she's ready for visitors. She's still unconscious, but—"

"Where is she?" Clint asked again. If the doctor were offended, he didn't show any signs, but then again, doctors were like that, Clint had realized. Doctors dealt with distraught friends and families on an every day basis, so Clint's outburst, his short interruption, was nothing in the long run of what his reaction could have been.

"She's right down this hall. I'll have one of the nurses take you," the doctor said as he lifted a hand and beckoned one of the nurses to come over. Again, Clint felt the immediacy to be near Natasha build up in his bones, and he could barely wait for the dark-haired woman to take him, Maria, and Palmer down the hall to the room. He knew that he could switch off auto-pilot at any moment, but he couldn't quite seem to get his body to turn it off. Not until he saw her. Not until he could see for himself that she was ok.

He didn't remember the nurse pointing out the room, and he didn't remember Maria grabbing Palmer's arm and holding him back while Clint crossed into the room the nurse had led them to. He just moved, holding his breath as he waited to see her. And then she was in front of him. She was unconscious and paler than she usually was, but she was there.

Clint's breath caught in his throat as he looked at her. Technically, Natasha was ok. As long as she was alive, that meant that she was ok. But the longer he looked at her and saw how still she was, the harder it was for him to believe that she was ok. Deep down in his chest, Clint knew that this wasn't his fault because there was no way he could have prevented, and yet he couldn't shake the guilt that lingered over his skin. He slowly crossed towards Natasha and took deep, painful breaths to make the weight off his chest lift. The air around him seemed to grow extra right, and the pressure on his skin became almost unbearable, but Clint knew that he wouldn't leave her.

He sat down in the chair beside her bed, pulling it closer to her bedside. He knew it wouldn't matter to her whether he held her hand or not because she was unconscious, lost in her medically induced sleep. But it mattered to him. So he reached out and touched her and closed his eyes when he felt the warmth of her skin beneath his hand. One thing he never tired of when it came to Natasha was how warm she always was, even though she complained about being cold. She was constantly taking his sweatshirts and jackets and putting them on before curling up near him as a way of hinting that she wanted him to touch her and warm her up with his body.

As long as she stayed warm, she was alive, he told himself. So Natasha, he thought, stay alive.

Over the next hour, Clint kept watch by Natasha's bedside, constantly checking her pulse to make sure that she was ok. He knew he was being paranoid about it, especially since the doctor had said that she was going to pull through, but he had to check. At some point, Palmer came in and brought him a coffee, which Clint eagerly accepted, but for the most part, Clint was left to himself.

It wasn't until he was mostly through with his coffee that Natasha began to wake up. He saw it before he felt it in her hand, but the second he saw her start to move, he felt his heart leap. Sure enough, Natasha slowly opened her eyes, squinting against the dim light in the room as her sensitive green eyes registered where she was.

"Hey. Hey, Nat," he said quietly, his heart stuck in his throat. At the sound of his voice, Natasha turned her head to the side and looked at him. Slow like melting butter, her mouth slid into a small smile. As Clint looked at her, he felt his heart race so fast he was sure it'd burst out of his chest. She was ok—she was drugged and probably in pain, but she was ok, and that was the only thing that mattered to him in that moment.

"Hey," she murmured so quietly that had Clint not been looking at her, he wouldn't have heard her.

"Hey. Do you know where you are?" he asked. She blinked several times, her eyes still squinted as she adjusted to the light.

"Hospital," she replied.

"Do you remember what happened to you?" Clint asked. He noticed how her hand seemed to curl more securely into his as if she were acknowledging his physical presence there with her.

"Mm-mm," she mumbled with a mild shake of her head. She paused and frowned just a tiny fraction. "Guns."

"Yeah, there were guns. You got shot," Clint said. Despite the serious tone of the situation, he started to laugh, and he shook his head, looking at her face as if she held the sun in her hands. "You scared the shit out of me, Nat. I thought you were going to die."

"Not today." Natasha mustered a faint smile. Clint could tell that she was fighting through the fogginess of her pain medication, and he moved a little closer to her.

"Are you in pain?" he asked.

"Mmhmm," she said. "Don't care."

"Morphine," Clint answered, nodding with his own faint smile. "They've got you on morphine."

"Makes sense." Her eyes started to lose focus, and her head tilted to the side the way it did whenever she was getting ready to fall asleep. "Tired."

"Yeah? I know you are," he said, giving her hand a squeeze. "Go to sleep, Nat. I'll be here when you wake up."

His words seemed to have an effect on her; suddenly, she stared at him with strangely clear eyes, and she began to shift on the hospital bed, her face screwing up tight with pain. "Shit."

"Natasha, don't move. Just rest up," Clint said with a frown, unsure of what she was doing. But true to her stubborn nature, she didn't listen and kept shifting to the side. Finally, he saw what she'd done. With tired, pained eyes, she looked at him and gave a small, inviting jerk of her head.

"Come on," she said. Clint's heart lurched, and he gave her a worried look as he calculated whether or not he would be able to fit on the bed with her.

"Nat, I don't want to hurt—"

"Come on," she interrupted. "Tired."

Clint paused for just a few seconds, and he was about to tell her no because he was too damn afraid of hurting her, but she looked so tired and expectant that he found he couldn't say anything but yes. Moving carefully, he let go of her hand, slipped his shoes off, and slid beneath the thin blankets covering Natasha. As he settled down into the bed, being way too cautious about where his body was in relation to hers, he was startled to notice how much she relaxed into him. Her head leaned against the edge of his shoulder, and she closed her eyes, already breathing deeply.

Suddenly, it hit Clint that he'd almost lost her. Natasha had almost died. She still wasn't even completely out of the woods yet, but she was more alive than she was dead, the complete opposite from when he'd last seen her. He leaned his cheek against the top of her red hair and squeezed his eyes shut in order to try to regain control over his emotions. His jaw tensed, and his mouth shook as he pressed his lips tight together with the force of everything he was feeling. Even in her tired, medicine-filled state, Natasha felt his physical reaction.

"Clint?" she murmured curiously.

"Just get better," he whispered, his voice thick. He laced his fingers with Natasha's again and felt her lightly squeeze his hand in response. "I need you to get better and be ok."

"Promise." She tucked her head into a more secure position against his shoulder. "Not going."

"Good." Clint felt his voice catch, and he squeezed his eyes together even tighter. "Because I love you, Tasha. I love you so fucking much, and I don't want a new partner. So get better. And fast."

"Love you, Clint," she replied, the volume of her voice slipping as she lost the fight to stay awake. He rubbed his thumb back and forth over the back of her knuckles more out of an attempt to soothe himself than to soothe her, and he simply lay there, feeling the warmth of her body. She was alive. She was alive, and she would be ok, he thought quietly to himself. She would always be ok.

The next two weeks passed slowly and quickly all at the same time. Each day Natasha improved, and the time came when she was finally cleared to be released back to the United States to continue her recovery. What Natasha knew was that she was going home. What she didn't know was that Clint had a plan for them.

It wasn't until Natasha found herself in a car she didn't recognize, wincing at the still lingering pain in her torso, with Noelle in a carrier in the backseat that she knew something was going on. "Clint? What—why is Noelle here? This isn't even your car."

"I know. That's why we've got to pull out now," Clint replied as he slid into the driver's seat. He glanced over at her and saw the jet lag all over her face. "Also, Wood owed me a favor, so when I called Allison and told her that I was sending my cousin over to pick up Noelle for me, Wood went and got her."

"Wait, why is Noelle in the damn car?" Natasha repeated. "I'm tired. I want to go home."

"We're taking a detour," Clint said, easily shrugging. Natasha stared at him and then sighed, letting her head fall back against the headrest.

"You've been off since Italy," she pointed out. Clint got the engine going and then put it into Drive, easing it out of the spot in the SHIELD parking lot. "Ever since I got shot, you've been weird."

"Well, I didn't want to ruin the surprise." Clint rolled his eyes and shot her a look. "We're not exactly going home, and I didn't want to tell you because I'm not a killjoy."

"Then where are we going?" Natasha asked. Clint shot her another look that told her she shouldn't ask questions, and she just raised her eyebrows at him. When he didn't reply, she let out another sigh and turned around to look at Noelle in the backseat. "Hi, Noelle. Hey, kitty cat. Where's he taking us, huh?"

"It's a long ride, so get comfortable," Clint said blithely. Natasha turned her green eyes onto him and gazed at him with a curious expression. "What?"

"What is this?" she asked. "And when I say you've been weird since I got shot, you've been really weird. Dr. DiAngelo wasn't thrilled about me making the flight back to the U.S., let alone a road trip."

"I never said anything about a road trip," Clint answered with a slight grin on his face.

"We're in a car that belongs to neither of us with out of state tags, and our cat's in the backseat. We're not going home, and we're not going on a weekend trip to Ocean City, Maryland. From what I've been able to tell, we're going somewhere pretty far away, and we're staying there a while," she said. Clint's grinned widened, and she found herself giving him a small smile in response. "I'm observant, Barton. I might not be as sharp as I usually am since these meds dull me out, but I've still got some of the goods."

"You're impressive is what you are," Clint answered. "Well, you're not wrong in any of that guessing."

"So you want to explain to me what all of this is about?" she asked. Clint drummed his fingers against the top of the steering wheel as she looked at him. He had that look on his face as though he weren't sure if he were going to let her in on his little secret or if he were going to tell her, so she did the thing she knew was best to do in this situation. She waited.

"Fury wanted to put us back in the field," he said finally. Natasha jerked her head to the side and stared at him with large, disbelieving eyes.

"What?" she asked.

"I—I think he meant it as a good thing. He knows that whenever one of us gets hurt, we're both out for blood afterwards. But I told him no. They can send in other people to clean up the Tribiani mess. I told him we were getting the hell out of dodge." He took a quick peek at her to see her reaction. In the backseat, Noelle let out a mournful meow at being cooped up in her carrier as their background soundtrack.

"Oh," she said, her tone unclear. "Well, that doesn't surprise me."

"Nick forgets that because he never needs to stop, his agents don't," Clint remarked with just a hint of exasperation in his voice. "He didn't argue with me when I turned him down, though. I think he knows we've done enough."

"We have," Natasha carefully agreed. "Did he say who he was sending in to clean up the Tribianis?"

"No. Since our cover was blown, they're probably sending in tactical or something. Francesca and all of them will most likely wind up in SHIELD prison," Clint replied. He took another look at Natasha and saw her face draw downwards. "You ok?"

"Yeah. Just…wishing the mission had turned out differently," she said without looking at him. She turned her head towards the window so he couldn't see her. "I don't like leaving loose ends."

"Would you have preferred to finish the mission?" Clint asked, surprised. "I thought you'd—"

"No, no, no. That's not what I'm saying." Natasha turned her head back to look at him. "I think we need time away from SHIELD because—God, look at us. Not even two months ago, the whole New York thing happened, and we've been going nonstop because of it. It's a surprise neither of us got shot up sooner."

"Nat, you were right," Clint said suddenly. Natasha kept her gaze on him, and she tilted her head to the side as she waited for him to continue. He looked nervous and apprehensive, unsure of what he was about to say. Out of nervous habit, he started thumping the heel of his palm against the steering wheel. "I'm not…I'm not really ok. I mean, my nightmares are getting better, and I'm getting a little bit more sleep than I was, but…as a whole, I'm more not ok than I am ok."

"First step to healing is admitting it," Natasha quipped gently, meriting a quiet smile from him.

"Then I hope you're happy," he said. "I don't like saying I need help, so…there you go. Write it down or something."

"I get it," she replied, leaning her head back against the headrest. "I really do. If I could go the rest of my life not ever needing anything from anyone, I'd be happy, but…sometimes it doesn't hurt to have a little back up. And I'm your back up, Clint. I'm a bit of a sorry excuse for back up with this hole in my body, but I'm still your back up."

She watched Clint swallow and nod as he kept his eyes on the road to navigate the busy New York City traffic. His eyes were hidden behind his typical sunglasses, but if she'd been able to see his eyes, she knew she would have seen that soft look he always got whenever he felt grateful.

"Good," he said. "Because I'll need you to back up some parts of my memory that aren't really there anymore."

"I can do that," Natasha agreed. "I can definitely do that.

After a few seconds of silence, he cleared his throat and grinned. "I'm still not telling you where we're going."

"Goddammit, Barton."

Since Clint hadn't been getting a lot of sleep, anyway, he drove straight through. About halfway through the trip, Natasha knocked out in the backseat with a pile of pillows around her to make her more comfortable, and it was just him and Noelle now in the passenger's seat as he finished up the rest of the drive. In the midst of driving, he had time to think about what he was doing. He'd been solid on this plan back when he'd made it in Italy, but now as the moment drew nearer, he really started to understand the risk of bringing Natasha to this place.

He quieted his mind with soft classic rock on the radio, and he drove. Strangely enough, he found driving to be therapeutic, so he tried to focus on that instead of the other things that threatened to take over his mind. It wasn't that he didn't trust Natasha because he trusted her explicitly—he just didn't know how she'd react to where he was taking her. He glanced back into the backseat to find Natasha sleeping hard, something she never really did. As a spy, she was a pretty light sleeper, always on alert even when she was unconscious. However, the medication she was on to help ease the pain knocked her out hard, and that meant Clint was her eyes and ears.

With nervousness in his chest, a quiet cat beside him, and the soundly sleeping shape of the woman he loved in the backseat, he drove.

It was four in the morning by the time Clint pulled up the long dirt driveway. Quietly, he shut the engine off and turned over his shoulder to put his hand on Natasha's arm. "Nat. Hey. Hey, wake up."

Slow and sleepy, Natasha opened her eyes and blinked them several times, stifling a yawn as she covered her mouth and stretched one of her arms out. "Mmm?"

"Nat, we're here. You're also probably due for another pain pill," Clint said. Painfully, Natasha pulled herself into a seated position, and she rubbed her eyes while Clint got out of the driver's seat and began shuffling around towards the trunk where their stuff was. She squinted her eyes outside at the darkness surrounding the car; she couldn't see much since it was so dark, but she could see some shapes looming out in the distance.

But it was the object right in front of her that made her pause. She was looking at a house. It was too dark to really tell much detail, but she could definitely make out the shape of a house with a large front porch and maybe some chairs out near the railing. Wincing as she moved, she swung her legs down and opened the car door. "Clint?"

"Yeah?" He looked over the edge of the trunk and slung one of their duffel bags over his shoulder.

"Where are we?" she asked.

"My place," he said. "I can grab Noelle."

"No, no, I can get her," Natasha insisted, but Clint walked past her to the front seat and pulled the cat out before shutting the door behind him. Natasha yawned and squinted her eyes at the house. "But where are we?"

"My place," Clint repeated. He waited for her to step forward. "We can stand out here all you like, but there's a bed upstairs that's calling my name."

"This is—is this really yours?" Natasha suddenly felt the exhaustion and the grogginess drain away as she processed his words. Out of the two of them, the one who was more likely to have a secret safehouse was Natasha, and she knew it. The both of them knew it. Clint was the one who was open about things, who didn't try to hide things from her on purpose, and yet here she was listening to him tell her about his place.

"Yeah," he said casually. "Come on."

"Wait, you have a house in—in—what state are we even in?" she asked.

"Can we go inside, and I'll explain?" Clint asked, a sigh evident in his voice. Natasha paused, and he turned to face her. "Please, Nat. I'm sorry I didn't tell you about it if you're mad at me for not telling you, but I'm sure I'm not the only one who has a secret place."

Natasha lifted her eyebrows, though Clint couldn't see them in the dark, and she slowly exhaled the breath she'd been holding. "Touche."

He waited for her to walk beside him, never once asking her if she needed help because he knew she hated feeling weak. Instead, he slowed his pace and walked with her, remaining patient as she took her time climbing the stairs up the front porch. Natasha waited as he pulled out a key and stuck it in the door. After he'd unlocked it, she followed him in and waited for him to turn on the lights but found that he started straight towards the stairs.

She followed him up the worn stairs, placing one hand on the wall to steady herself as she went up. The walls felt older and comfortable, as if they didn't mind being well-worn with many years behind them. Her wound started hurting her near the top of the stairs, but she kept her mouth shut as she continued to follow behind Clint.

When Clint reached the landing, he set Noelle down and opened the door for the cat to go bursting out of in an excited burst of freedom. Natasha waited for some kind of explanation, but he kept walking in the darkness of the house. He walked into a bedroom and turned the lamp on in there, only looking back to see if she was following him.

Slowly, she walked into the bedroom and looked around. The house was older, but it wasn't ancient. It looked lived in and loved, two things she wasn't really used to seeing in a place of residence. Clint was already sitting on the bed and shoving his shoes off without so much as a second look her way.

"Where are we?" she asked. "This is your house?"

"Technically, it's my farm," Clint corrected in a nonchalant tone. Natasha's eyebrows shot up to her hairline, and she crossed towards him to sit beside him.

"Farm?" she repeated.

"Yeah," he said. "It's a farm. No one knows about it. Not Palmer, Fury, or anyone at SHIELD. Coulson didn't even know."

"I'm the only one," Natasha said slowly, more of a statement than a question. Clint nodded still without looking at her.

"It was the only option we had," he said. "I didn't want SHIELD getting involved here. It was either stay here with no chance of contact from them or go back home where they could still monitor us."

"All this time I thought I was the one with secrets," Natasha murmured. Finally, Clint looked at her with a slightly defensive expression, and she shook her head in a quick interruption before he could speak. "I didn't mean it as bad as it sounded. I just meant that I never would have thought you'd have…a house. A safehouse like this."

"Something like that." Clint's tone was vague, but she didn't ask him to elaborate. "I'm sorry I didn't tell you."

"Don't be." She waved a hand in a brief gesture. "You did nothing wrong."

"I thought you were going to be mad."

"Why? Because you're smart? Clint, you did the same thing I've done."

Clint looked down at his lap, and she caught the shadowed side of his profile against the lamplight. He messed with his fingers and rubbed his callouses as if the motion were soothing for him. "I thought we could stay here for a while. Not long. A month, maybe. Just until you're better."

"And you," Natasha added. He looked up at her through his eyelashes, and she gave him a small but serious smile. "Until you're better, too."

For a moment, it looked as though Clint were going to protest, but then he nodded. "Ok."


In less than an hour, Natasha was curled up in Clint's arms with her nose pressed into the center of his chest the way she liked to be held whenever she didn't feel well. She didn't know how long they'd be there, but she'd already made her mind up that she wouldn't leave until he was ok, too. He could take care of her and worry about her all he wanted to, but at the end of the day, she would be the one to take care of him.

She thought about New York, and she thought about Loki. She thought about the Tribianis and the fight in Italy. She thought about Clint climbing into her hospital bed and telling her he loved her. Yes, he'd tried to kill her, and yes, he'd fully intended to. But the thing was, when worse came to worst, he was always the one to save her.

You're going to be ok, she thought.

I won't let you fall, her mind whispered.

We're going to be just fine. You and me, Clint. You and me.