Clint had always been a light sleeper. His training early in life had taught him that sleep was only a waste of time, and that it was essential to be able to awake at any moment. For the most part, he only slept every night because sleep meant precious hours alone with Natasha.
Natasha. She was usually an incredibly light sleeper, too, but after having been in labor for nearly two days straight earlier that week, he didn't blame her for completely conking out.
This time he was awoken by the sound of soft cries from the next room. He slipped out of bed quietly, trying not to wake his sleeping wife, and padded into the nursery where his daughter was whimpering.
"Shh," he crooned, gently lifting her from the confinement of her crib. "It's okay, baby girl."
Nestled in her father's strong arms, the infant soon calmed, reduced only to the occasional hiccupping cry as they swayed gently back and forth.
Clint looked down at his daughter, whose face was still somewhat red and wrinkly, being a newborn and all. She had a tuft of auburn hair and big eyes. And she was a perfect miracle.
Natasha had never planned to get pregnant. That's not something spies did, and besides, wasn't that conforming to society a little too much, with the whole marriage-and-babies-and-happiness thing?
When she had found out, she was furious at herself.
Her first reaction was to terminate the pregnancy. Back in Russia, there was always a little back alley for such… transactions. But this was not Russia. And that was not something she could go through with.
It had taken her a long time to finally admit she loved Clint – how would she possibly learn to love another human being in nine months? She refused to listen when Clint insisted she'd be a great mother and that she just didn't know it yet. She was mad at how tired she got when she tried to train and her bump got in the way. She was mad when her suits no longer fit and when she could no longer move with any sort of agility. She was mad that all of her life training was being depleted, that she was becoming fat and vulnerable and swollen like some sort of… normal housewife. She couldn't stand the team's amusement when they found out she was pregnant. Tony laughed for days, nudging and winking at Clint whenever they were in the same room; Thor insisted that a huge celebratory feast was in order, and asked what gender they thought the offspring was; Fury raised his eyebrows and said that he never thought he'd live to see the day. And then there were Steve and Bruce – Natasha liked them. They offered polite congratulations but never brought it up again.
Since she couldn't train like she usually did, Clint offered her archery lessons, since it wasn't too strenuous and would release some of her pent-up energy. She did fairly well, but it was still hard to pull the bow to its full capacity, even with her above-average strength. Upon seeing the welts that had formed on her arms from the bowstrings, Clint tried to convince her to stop, but she only gave him a look equal to death itself.
"I need this, Clint," she hissed, and sent an arrow right into the bullseye.
He didn't argue with her.
She never gave into cravings or bursts of hormones – well, she did cry a little in the bathroom after Tony teased her once, but no one saw that – but she still didn't act like her normal self. She told Clint he was handsome quite frequently. He liked that. However, retaliating and telling her that she looked just as gorgeous was akin to standing in front of a cannon.
Bruce was the only one around when Natasha went into labor. She tried to sneak out of the house four or five times without him noticing, but she was in too much pain to get down the kitchen stairs. Eventually he came into the kitchen and she couldn't escape in time. He simply looked at her.
"A few hours," she mumbled.
He shook his head. "You're strange."
There was forty eight hours' worth of labor, though she didn't remember much; Clint had made sure she was plenty drugged up before she could mutilate any of the doctors. Soon enough, his daughter was born. Eight pounds, two ounces, absolutely perfect. Clint cried when he held her for the first time.
And here he was, standing next to her crib, holding her again and staring into those beautiful eyes.
"Clint?" He turned to see Natasha had appeared in the doorway, rubbing her eyes. "Why didn't you wake me up?"
"You could use the sleep," he said gently.
"I wanted my baby." She kissed his cheek. "And Claudia, too." She took the baby gently, looking down at her young face with a smidgen of uncertainty.
"My arms are more suited to hold a bazooka," she said darkly. "But I don't think I ever loved a bazooka this much."
"I don't know," chuckled Clint. "That one time in Budapest – "
"Shut up, Hawk."
Was it awful? I had to. There isn't enough Clint x Natasha love out there! Review?