Disclaimer: I own nothing!
Saw the Avengers last weekend- absolutely amazing! My current favourite film and these 2 are my current favourite pairing! I kept elbowing my friend every time they came on, especially when they had scenes together! This is my first Avengers fanfiction so I hope I do it justice!
SPOILERS FOR THE MOVIE!
He's always been good at disappearing off, hiding in curious places to keep an eye on events and when he doesn't want to be found he makes damn sure he isn't until he gets a message requesting his presence.
And so it comes of no surprise to the rest of the team that as soon as the medics let them all out of the hospital wing, Clint, Natasha, Tony and Steve armed with various painkillers and medicines, Clint disappears.
"Do you think we should…?" Steve hesitates wondering whether the best course of action is to leave the archer alone. All eyes turn to Natasha who sighs heavily debating what to do. She knows that Clint wants to be left alone but also that to leave him alone would be the worst thing to do.
"I'll go." She offers quietly rubbing a tired hand across her eyes and meandering slowly down a corridor trying to decide where to start looking, knowing she's in for a long search. But still she knows her partner better than anyone else, knows that he's beating himself up for letting Loki take over his mind and knows that he hates himself for fighting her. She hates herself for fighting him too, even if she had no option.
And so while it would have taken anyone else several hours to hunt the archer down she finds Clint in just under an hour having nosed into most corners of the helipad but finds him in the bathroom attached to his room sitting on the toilet seat head in his hands.
"Of all the places to hide." She comments lightly leaning against the doorframe and crossing her hands over her chest.
He doesn't look up and his voice is rough when he speaks. "Not hiding."
"Sure you're not." She crosses the small space in two steps and grasps his hands tightly tugging him out of the bathroom and into his room pushing him onto the bed and sitting next to him. They sit in silence as she waits for him to speak but quickly realises she will have to be the one to make the first move. "It wasn't your fault." She speaks softly but firmly laying her hand on his knee and squeezing.
"I attacked the helipad." He mumbles keeping his eyes trained on the floor. "I let them in; if I hadn't those agents wouldn't have died, Coulson wouldn't have…" He breaks off for a second and gathers his emotions together. He's an assassin; he rarely betrays his feelings and he certainly doesn't have this type of reaction to death. But this is different because he knew these people and he knew Coulson.
Natasha watches him carefully breathing a sigh of relief as the cloud starts to leave his face. But then it returns more forcefully than ever as he turns to look at her horror written across his face. "We fought didn't we? I hurt you, oh god Tasha I…"
She panics slightly watching him get worked up as he starts to ramble breathless in horror at what he did. "Clint." She whispers softly turning his face to look at her. "I'm fine." She ignores the sting of bruises covering her body, some of which she's sure result from her fight with her partner and focuses on him. "Besides I won." She smirks at him hoping to lighten the mood. "Knocked you out cold."
"Thanks for that by the way." His smile is small but at least he has one and she breathes a sigh of relief. "Oh god what did I do?" He moans suddenly his head dropping down into his hands again and Natasha closes her eyes again as intense hatred for Loki curses through her; she hated the guy before but watching Clint blame himself for something which is all the bloody God's fault brings about the emotion more strongly than she's ever felt before.
"Clint listen to me." She moves to her knees in front of him. "That wasn't you; that was Loki. You had no choice; Fury told me what happened, how you had no chance against not having that thing stabbed at you. No one blames you."
He glances at her and she can see that he so desperately wants to believe her but can't quite let himself. "Come on Clint; do you really think that Rogers would have accepted your help so readily if he didn't trust you and didn't blame you. Do you think Stark would have, Banner, Thor?"
He says nothing but nods slightly and she lets the topic go for now. It might take him a little while but she knows now that he will forgive himself. They sit there for a while longer hands clasped together on Clint's leg until finally they've both yawned at least twenty times both exhausted.
"We should get some sleep." Clint mutters finally after Natasha's yawned again. "It's been a long week."
"Longest one of my life." She agrees finally letting go of his hand and standing up to disappear into her rooms. He watches her go before moving back into his bathroom to wash and change for bed. It's moments like that when he wishes that Natasha doesn't have to go and that they weren't constantly dancing around each.
He settles down under the covers switching the light off and closes his eyes hoping for peace. It doesn't come easily and images flash through his mind of that day and how he could have stopped it all from happening if he hadn't let himself be controlled by Loki.
He's only been lying there for about ten minutes when his door opens again and Natasha slips in dressed for bed and looking exhausted. He mumbles something unintelligible through the darkness and she says nothing in return simply flings back the covers and curls up beside him.
They lie next to each other close enough to feel the other's presence but not touching. Until obviously on the verge of sleep Natasha stretches slightly and rolls onto her side one arm coming up to rest over his chest and her head pillowing on his shoulder.
He freezes for a moment, his muscles tensing up as they would do when bracing for impact in a fight. Her eyes are closed and her breathing relatively even; he wrapped one arm around her body resting his cheek against her hair, breathing in the smell of her shampoo and smiling to himself.
The weight of the week is still heavy on his shoulders and memories of what happened, of what he did still keep entering his mind every time he closes his eyes but eventually her gentle breathing and firm grip on his lulls him to sleep.
Natasha awakes first that morning to find herself still tangled in Clint's arms. Without even thinking her face spreads into a grin and she curls her fingers around the hand on her stomach. The slight movement make Clint stir but he doesn't wake and she lies contentedly there until the alarm sounds throughout calling all of them for the debriefing that Fury had postponed for the following day.
Clint bolts upright, awaking in the way they both do when work invades their sleep. "It's only the debriefing." She mumbles still sleepy, running her thumb across the back of his hand. He nods, smiling at her as they both get up.
She makes for the door, to have a quick shower and get ready in the ten minutes she has before the meeting starts but he catches her arm before she can reach the corridor. "Thank you." He whispers pressing a kiss against her cheek, obviously still sleepy and unthinking.
She doesn't know what to say and so rests her hand on his cheek briefly before slipping out to her room. He's leaning on the wall outside hands in the pockets of his sweatpants when she emerges dressed in a similar outfit and in silence they go to join the others in the meeting room where they sit opposite each other listening to the others and forcing their opinion through when they feel it should be heard.
They ignore the curious looks sent their way by the others who haven't failed to notice the looks they give each other when they think the other isn't looking because it's enough at that moment to sit there with the knowledge that something is changing between them.
They don't need to think about the future, about how one day the fact that they share a bed will develop into something more, and then finally Clint will snap and ask her just what the hell they mean to each other and she'll storm out and go and spend three hours in the gym before curling up back beside him in bed and then finally Tony will drag him to buy a ring and he'll ask her shyly one evening before bed and finally they're both happy.
Thanks for reading- I would love to hear your thoughts!