Title: Children

Rating: Have you seen Jeremy Renner? Or, for that matter, have you seen Scarlett Johansson?

Summary: They are children – hopeless, broken, weak children, because they cannot stop what they feel.

Disclaimer: As much as I adore Joss Whedon's work, I don't own any of it. Which is a real pity, because if I'd been a Fox executive "Firefly" wouldn't have been cancelled…

She didn't know what she would say when he woke up. He'd seemed pretty disoriented when she'd hit him against the railing, but in a 'what the hell happened' kind of way, not a 'robot with fried circuits' kind of way. Still, Fury had insisted upon strapping him to the chair. She hated the director for that, even though she knew that he was right.

At first, everything was fine. Well, as fine as it could possibly be when your partner, your best friend, has woken up from some kind of mind control and realized he's killed dozens of innocents. He felt guilty, she comforted him, and everything was going to be back to the way it was before; the way it should be.

But then he'd called her out on her bloodlust. She could hide herself from everyone, fool them all, except for him.

"Now you sound like you."

"But you don't. You're a spy, not a soldier, but now you want to wade into a war. Why? What did Loki do to you?"

The concern on his face was going to be her undoing. She could hardly bear to look at him, his warm body so close, his leg pressing against hers, his grey-brown-green eyes warm with worry. She loved those eyes. They were never consistent, never the exact same color, changing depending on the light and his mood. She'd hated the blank blue look that had overtaken them. That wasn't her partner then.

She fumbled through her next sentence. "He didn't, he…"

She couldn't finish.

"Natasha?"

The word was a caress. It was as if he'd put his hand to her cheek and cradled it.

"I've been compromised. I've got red on my ledger. I want to wipe it out."

They'd discussed the ledger before. After all that she had done, after all the blood on her hands, she wanted a chance to even the score. Not redemption, not necessarily, but the opportunity to begin anew. Paying back her debts, so to speak. But this time, she's not talking about the lives she stole, and the lives she wants to give. She's talking about the life she nearly lost, the face that she's been staring at on the screens in the command center for the past week.

"Nat…"

Her nickname. First names are rarely used at all, so the very idea of a nickname is a step in intimacy that few cross. But he's called her that since Budapest.

They've come so close to this, dancing around it. She wants to take the plunge so desperately, but she can't, not now. Love is for children.

It's funny; she lost her accent years ago but Mother Russia still exists in her somewhere.

He places his hand on her knee, and she's nearly lost.

"Whatever it is, you know I'm here, right?"

God, Clint, stop being so nice. If he could just stop the whole 'help-fix-your-problems' thing, she might be able to concentrate. Some people – idiots, really – thought that they could fix her, fix what's broken. Only Clint was different. He didn't want to fix her. He was broken, too, in his own way, and he knew what it was like. But he knew that she didn't have to be a victim of it. She didn't have to let that one part of her control all the rest. From the beginning, he was trying to help her, let her see the other parts of her.

She nodded. "I know."

He smiled gently, and her heart melted a little. Then he stood up.

"I'd better go wash up. I'm sure I'm a mess."

Natasha had to bite back the offer to help him. She'd always had a thing for his biceps.

The idea struck her that she should follow him, pin him to the wall and explain exactly how much it had hurt her to watch him go through that. Before she could even stamp the thought down, however, there was a knock at the door.

"Come in." She called. Noticing her boot hadn't been zipped – such was her haste to get to Clint – she bent down to take care of it.

Mr. Good Old Golden Boy himself stepped into the room. A part of her greatly admired Steve Rodgers. He was polite, stuck to his morals, a team player… just an all-around good guy. Of course, it was those same qualities that annoyed her.

Captain America – really, the name fit him to a T – informed them that they needed to fly a jet to Manhattan, now. Natasha looked at Clint, who was just coming out of the bathroom.

"I can."

Steve looked at Natasha, who nodded. The moment was over, and she wasn't Natasha anymore. She wasn't Nat, the broken woman that needed her partner. She was Black Widow, and he was Hawkeye.

Time for that war she'd been so eager for.

::::::::::::::::::::::::::

"This is just like Budapest all over again."

"You and I remember Budapest very differently."

It had just kind of slipped out.

He knew that she wouldn't know what he meant. In her mind, Budapest was being outgunned, outnumbered, surrounded and, oh yeah, harassed by a rabid monkey (don't ask). He hoped that she'd take his comment to mean that he didn't remember Budapest having crazy aliens and a demigod with serious ego issues.

For him, though, Budapest was a good thing. They'd gone on missions together before, since he'd turned her and helped her to defect, but that one had been different. That time, she'd fully trusted him. That was the first mission they'd had where they were truly partners, in every sense of the word.

It was also when he realized that he cared for Natasha Romanoff far more than he should.

Love is for children, she would say, and he had to agree with her. They both had broken pasts, dark deeds that had either happened to them or been caused by them. Not only was there no time for affection, but it was foolish to harbor it. Assassins tend to have short lives, and having a weak spot only increased your chances of getting stabbed in the back.

Not to mention that the last time he'd chanced his heart, he'd gotten it trampled on. He remembered the final fights, the bitter taste in his mouth, the feeling of abandonment. He didn't recall how he got into the bar, but he did remember Coulson picking him up off the floor. He owed the guy a lot.

And now he'd never get the chance to repay him.

Hawkeye dealt a particularly vicious blow with the tip of his bow in the skull of an alien.

Coulson had warned him, when he'd been persuading S.H.I.E.D. to take on Black Widow, about falling again.

"You're a big-hearted, compassionate idiot underneath all that assassin stuff, Barton, and frankly, sir, I'll be damned if I have to watch you nearly drink yourself to death again over a pretty face that couldn't handle the long haul."

It had been one of the few times he'd ever seen Coulson get really angry. The guy was gentle, in a way, and always had that soft smile lurking in the corners of his mouth. The relationship between an agent and his handler is a unique one, and Clint was proud to say that his relationship with Phil Coulson had been a good, solid one.

Oh, yeah, aliens attacking. Hawkeye fired off a few more arrows.

But Natasha wasn't like Mockingbird. He always thought of her as Mockingbird in his head, because thinking of her with her real name dredged up all the personal feelings, all the anger and bitterness. Natasha had been his friend, his partner, for years now. He wasn't the starry-eyed youngster anymore. He'd had his fair share of pain and loss, seen a few things (although nothing quite like what Loki had started) and, yes, he had been with a few women as well. He had changed, hardened, grown. There was a level of trust and companionship between him and Nat that was so deep, they could almost communicate without speaking.

Speaking of which… Hawkeye focused on the battle again, Nat at his side as they fought in tandem. This feeling of teamwork, the effortless partnership, filled him with joy. It counterbalanced the savage joy of battle that rushed through him.

That was the thing. She completed him. Not in the 'better half' crap but the feeling of being whole, of being at peace, when she was near. No matter what the hell else was going on, if Natasha was nearby there was a kind of peacefulness in his heart. No one else had ever given him that feeling.

He'd wanted her from the first, of course. Who wouldn't? Beautiful, kickass, gorgeous red hair that was far too uncommon nowadays… it was long, past her shoulders, when he'd first met her but since then she'd cut it short. He liked it both ways. He remembered when she'd first gotten it done. She'd showed it to him, and he could feel her nervousness. He could always read her.

"What do you think?" She'd asked.

"I think it's beautiful." He'd looked up at her from the bar where he was doing chin-ups. "You look beautiful anyway, though." He'd added absentmindedly.

He'd turned back to his exercising quickly so he wouldn't have to see her face.

Want her, yes. Always. But need her? Love her? That was new. That had been since Budapest. It had only grown since then. It was fucking childish, he knew, but he couldn't stop it.

So yeah, their memories of Budapest would be wildly different.

::::::::::::::::::::::::

It was after the battle. Tony had the idea, of course. Natasha swore that the moment he was unconscious is the only time he's ever shut up.

And yes, they're all on a first-name basis now. Saving the world from an immortal and an army of crazy armored things from the other side of space will break the ice like nothing else.

They were all sitting in that shawarma restaurant that Tony had been babbling about when he woke up. She'd seen plenty of guys wake up after being put under and in all honesty none of them could be held responsible for the things that came flying out of their mouths. But oh no, Tony held them to that promise and so there they were, eating this weird Arab food in a half-destroyed restaurant.

She had Steve on her left at the head of the table, with Thor across from her. The big guy was chowing down, making appreciative noises. Tony was next to the Asgardian, kitty corner to her, happily – and noisily – chewing away. Bruce was at the foot of the table, stuffing his face to mask his chuckles. Apparently Hulk smashing was a fantastic way to loosen the guy up. Who knew?

And in between Bruce and herself, moodily chewing on his meal…

Clint wouldn't stop staring at her. He just would not take his eyes off of her the entire meal. About fifteen minutes in, he propped his feet up on her chair, their legs pressed together. When she bent down to take another bite, she'd needed to brace herself to try and get the whole damn bite in her mouth (the stupid thing was really messy), and she'd placed her hand on Clint's leg.

It wasn't supposed to be intimate; a casual touch, nothing more. It was the sort of thing that friends do.

But it wasn't.

Not when he kept staring into her eyes, his face such a mixture of emotions that it was unreadable. The others didn't notice, of course; aside from the fact that they were all absolutely exhausted (hence the lack of conversation, and the only reason Thor, Tony and Steve weren't trying to kill each other), to them it was Hawkeye at the table, his face as blank and hard as ever.

But it wasn't Hawkeye. Hawkeye came out to play when there was a fight to be had or a mission to take on. This was Clint, her partner, and he was unsettling her right now.

When they'd finally finished eating, they'd paid the owners and given them a large tip for being generous enough to let them stuff their faces after their restaurant had nearly been flattened, and went their separate ways. Well, kind of.

Thor knew exactly where he was headed. His girlfriend, Jane Foster, had been placed in some remote observatory to keep her safe from Loki while all of this had been going on. Now that she was allowed to continue her astrophysics research, Thor was going to meet up with her. He hadn't seen in her over a year, and so Natasha had no doubt they'd be up to some quality time.

Tony was going to pick up Pepper and get to work on rebuilding Stark Tower. At least, that's what she'd assumed when he said "get to work with Pepper". Or had he said "on Pepper"? She didn't know.

"You're all welcome to stay at my Manhattan residence while we tie up loose ends." He'd offered.

They all knew what that meant. Loki and the Tesseract. Her head ached just thinking about it.

"The only place I've been staying was provided by S.H.I.E.D." Steve said. "As Fury hasn't contacted me yet, I'd welcome the rest, if just for a little while." He nodded in thanks.

Natasha looked at Clint who was, for some fucking reason, still staring at her. She opened her mouth slightly, not sure of what to say, but Clint answered for her, his eyes never leaving her face.

"We'll accept; but just for the week."

They had decided that Thor would get a week with Jane before returning to Asgard to deliver Loki and the Tesseract.

Tony grinned. "It'll be fun!"

Clint was still staring at her.

:::::::::::::::::::::::

Nat might have refused to tell him, but Fury harbored no such qualms. He had laid it all out for Clint, pure and simple. Not that his boss had blamed Clint in the slightest. But facts were facts, and what he had done while under Loki's influence, he wasn't sure he would ever be able to forgive himself for.

The first couple of days at Tony's place were nice. He couldn't help but be worried about Natasha, though. She had this weird air about her, almost like a skittish horse. Yes, he had some experience with horses. No, you don't want to know.

It took an episode with Pepper to realize what the emotion lurking behind Nat's eyes was.

They were all in Tony's training room, goofing off, when Tony had started running his mouth and one thing had led to another… and the next thing they knew they were all on top of each other, beating the snot out of one another. Natasha hadn't been there, busy with something else, but it had been the five of them just duking it out when Pepper had entered the room.

Clint liked Pepper. She was nice, funny, put together and was the only person who could even hope to control Tony. But her composed, laughing manner vanished upon seeing them putting each other in headlocks.

She'd, well, basically thrown a fit.

They'd all jumped apart guiltily, like two horny teenagers caught in the act, and Tony had hurried over to her. He'd put his arms around her and led her out of the room. Curiosity had gotten the better of them and he, Bruce, and Thor had hurried to peer around the corner and see what was up.

Steve had maintained that spying was not polite. It really was funny how a guy could be so, well, clean in such a dirty world. It was almost fucking comical.

Poking their heads around the corner, they'd seen Pepper crying in Tony's arms while he held her tight. He couldn't make out all of what she was saying, but he got the gist of it. She knew they wouldn't really hurt each other. She'd just been reminded of what had happened, of nearly losing her lover, and she'd panicked.

"I'm sorry, you know I've seen you go through stuff like that before but nothing, nothing of that scale and… and I'm just so scared…"

It had hit him like a jab to the gut. That was what he'd been seeing in Nat's eyes ever since he'd woken up. The fear in Pepper's eyes was a match for the emotion in Nat's own.

She was afraid. But of him or for him, he didn't know.

Unable to decide and unable to help her until he knew, Clint focused instead on reviewing the mission, catching up on what he'd missed while on the wrong side of the fence.

Apparently, there'd been a huge smackdown between Steve, Thor and Tony, Bruce was also a genius who spoke three syllable words the way actors spoke Shakespeare – it sounded really good but no one else understood it – and Fury had been preparing an army powered by the Tesseract.

He'd saved the security video with footage of Loki's cell for last. He'd done it because he knew that Caulson's death was on it, and he was cowardly putting that off for as long as possible.

Finally, though, there was no avoiding it, and so he popped in the disk and watched.

Boring stuff, mostly Loki pacing in his cell, Fury being pissed at Loki, Loki annoying the guards, and…

Wait…

What was Nat doing there?

Natasha was standing just outside of Loki's cell, her face unreadable. Well, unreadable to anyone but himself. He knew her like he knew the calluses on his fingers, and he could tell that she was nervous.

"I'm impressed. Most people can't sneak up on me."

Clint had seen Nat conduct a thousand interrogations. Most of the time the sap didn't even know that he was being interrogated at all. Some stupidly thought that they were the ones doing the interrogating. Loki was one of those idiots.

But this time was different.

To anyone else, Natasha was just playing the game. Pretending to be in love with Clint Barton, pretending to be horrified when Loki threatened to make Barton kill her, and then wiping that smug smile off of the bastard's face. He'd revealed that his plan was to bring Bruce Banner aboard, let the Hulk be unleashed. He'd played right into her hands, like so many before her.

And yet…

And yet, this time she wasn't pretending. She wasn't acting. Clint had seen her so many times, at work and relaxing, to know when she was being genuine. He suspected that he was the only person who could tell the difference between what was true and what was false with her. And she was really hurting.

He rewound the disc and froze it on her face right when Loki was threatening her. The stinking asshole's foul voice chilled him.

"So no, I will not bargain with you. I will take your precious Barton and I will have him kill you, in the most personal, painful ways that only he knows, because he knows your deepest fears. And then I'll let him wake up, just long enough to see his good work, and when he screams, I'll kill him."

Natasha looked like she was about to cry. And only he knew that she really was.

He lifted his fingers, placing them on her digital face, her eyes wide and full of horror.

"Nat…" He whispered.

So that was what Loki had done to her.

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::

It was their last evening at the Stark residence. Tomorrow Thor would be back, they'd return Loki to Asgard along with the damn Tesseract, and everything would be back to normal. Not that normal was exactly the standard in their lives.

Steve was going to visit the graves of a few friends and pay his respects. He hadn't said for sure what he'd do after that, but she knew that whatever it was, Captain America would be doing something to better his country. Bruce was going back to L.A. with Tony and Pepper so the two men could conduct some research together.

That left her and Clint.

Natasha honestly didn't know what she was going to do when tomorrow came. Take in some sun in the Bahamas, maybe, or blow some dough in Monaco. It had been a while since she'd touched the stash she'd hidden away in a safe in Switzerland. She had more than enough to sponsor a lavish retirement, and then some. But every time she closed her eyes and pictured those things, it was always with a serious, gray-hazel-eyed sniper by her side.

Ever since she'd nearly lost him, she was seriously becoming unraveled. He'd told her about Mockingbird, of course, but she'd never understood what would drive someone to that kind of despair, what level of attachment would cause so much pain. Then he'd been taken from her, and she'd known. Oh, had she ever known.

She was walking down the hallway to her room, contemplating her next move, when she felt another presence. You simply don't sneak up on a master assassin, no matter how well you know them. It simply invites disaster.

Natasha whirled, preparing to strike, but her assailant was too quick and had her pinned to the wall. She was about to counterstrike when she got a good look at his face.

"Clint? What the hell?" She hissed.

"We need to talk." He was looking at her again, that same kind of soul-searching look he'd been giving her ever since he'd come back, but this time there was conviction there. She tried not to let thoughts of him taking her against the wall overload her brain.

"Um… okay?" She said slowly.

She led him to her room, locking the door behind them. He turned, his hands clasped behind his back.

"I saw the interrogation." He said quietly.

They knew each other too well; she didn't have to ask what interrogation he was talking about.

"Loki was an idiot. His ego is so inflated he couldn't even entertain the idea of someone tricking him." Natasha said, sitting on the bed. "As if I'd be so stupid as to bargain with him."

That wasn't what Clint was talking about, and she knew it.

"He really hurt you." Clint sat down on the bed next to her. They were mirroring their positions of the other day; only it had been his room, and his bed. That time Steve had interrupted them. Natasha had a sudden vision of him walking in on them. The poor, pure guy's face would turn beet red and he'd mumble something that sounded like an apology before bolting out of the room. She nearly smiled at the thought. Honestly, she half suspected the guy was still a virgin.

"I think you've forgotten my acting skills. Juilliard trained." It's an old joke between them. That and the joke about her being a ballerina after a mission in which she ended up not only doing the splits but having to kind of go on-point to reach a button on a control panel.

It's strained, though. The joke, that is. There's this feeling in her gut, one of teetering on the edge, that dark, ragged edge. They've been partners for years now. At first it was because Clint was the only person who could match her. He was always the one she ended up sparring with in the ring. Then there was the mission where she didn't get out of the way in time, and the explosion sent her ears ringing and her world spinning. He'd called her Natasha then. It wasn't long before Nat became his name for her.

Then came the cookies. She'd noticed he liked those oatmeal chocolate chip ones, instead of with raisons like everyone else. When he'd found them in the community refrigerator, sitting there as innocently as you please, he'd looked over at her, his eyes smiling. The next day there had been a bottle of premium Russian vodka hidden in the back of the cupboard. She was the only one who drank it.

A week later, she'd called him Clint.

Three days after that, he'd begun the habit of brewing her tea in the morning. She hated coffee, and for some reason Clint was the only one who could make her tea as well as she could, despite the fact that he never drank the stuff.

They were partners. They couldn't afford to be anything more, despite the rumors swirling. Even Tony assumed they were fucking. Actually, that wasn't that surprising. The man's mind was rarely out of the gutter.

But no, this partnership, this relationship they had, was too precious to her. And now it was being all laid on the line.

"Nat…"

Not that voice again. Agent Clint Barton might be a stone statue the rest of the time but when he did that with his voice…

She kept looking at the floor.

"Natasha."

She bit her lip.

"Don't make me call you 'Agent'." He joked.

Love is for children.

Clint gently took two fingers, lifting her chin up and turning her head so that she had to meet his eyes. "Damn it, Nat." He said gently.

She is a child.

He kissed her. In all of her imaginings, it had never been this soft, this sweet. It was always rough, at the end or in the middle of a mission, dark and hard and wrong, wrong, wrong. But this was different. It was like the time they'd been so drained they'd hugged after the mission, or when she'd cut her hair and he'd let it slip that he thought she was beautiful. The kiss was almost beautiful. It felt right.

When he pulled back, she could see no emotions roiling in his eyes, no fight or confusion. Only conviction. In what, she wasn't sure. But he was certain of something, in a way that she hadn't seen him certain about anything since he'd woken up from Loki's spell.

She wanted to say something. She wanted to tell him that this was wrong, they'd only be compromised, that she was already compromised, that they can't afford love and she was a pathetic, stupid child and she needed him…

But they were always best at silence.

She kissed him back, giving in to the moment for the first time since she couldn't remember when. The guilt, the dripping red of her ledger, their jobs, all the rest, were viciously pushed to the side. The slide of their tongues, the way he sucked and pulled at her lips, the soft nips she couldn't help but give him, were enough to engulf her.

::::::::::::::::::::::

He was glad they hadn't done this before.

It would have been a quick fuck, a release of tension. It wouldn't be what it should be. It wouldn't be what was now. He could never tell her how he felt, simply because he lacked the ability. But from the way her legs gripped him to the slide of her hands as they explored his skin, he knew that she understood. She felt the same way.

They were always better when they didn't speak.

He knew that she was beautiful, but sparring with her and that black cat suit simply hadn't prepared him for this. As each bit of flesh was exposed to him, he worshipped it with his hands and mouth, his eyes nearly black orbs as he drank her in. Her nails dug helplessly into his shoulders as he suckled her breast, his fingers teasing the nipple of the other until she was making tiny, needy thrusts with her pelvis. He was so fucking hard it hurt.

She let him lay her down on the bed. He knew her, knew that whatever past times she'd had with whoever she'd had them with were nothing like what this was going to be. She was letting him lead, letting him be in control, and a rush of gratitude and love overcame him, making his knees tremble a little.

He wanted to keep teasing her; he wanted to slide his fingers into her, watch her buck off the bed; suck on her skin until the fight marks weren't the only bruises she had. He wanted to taste her.

But Natasha had never been as patient as he was. A sniper has to wait, perfectly still, sometimes for hours, before taking careful aim and choosing the precise moment to strike. Nat liked to get in close and get dirty with her targets. Broken bones, choke holds, and concealable knives were her style. And now that impatience came out to play once more, as her hand slipped down to glide over his stomach, his muscles clenching under her touch, before taking a firm hold of his cock. She guided it to her entrance, stroking it, her thumb rubbing tiny circles at his head. He groaned, squeezing his eyes shut.

He sensed the teasing smile that hid behind her lips. He alone had the ability to tell when something amused her, and it was a privilege that he cherished. He opened his eyes, and sure enough, lurking behind her porcelain-and-rosebud mouth was a grin as wicked and impish as any he'd seen. He growled.

Entering her in one swift movement wiped the lingering almost-grin off her face, and she flung her head back, her body arching to meet his. She was both soft and hard, her curves and natural femininity working in harmony with the taut muscles and hard angles her body had developed from years of training.

They didn't cling to each other. It wasn't like that. They were partners, and they were equals. They moved together, years of working together translating well into the bedroom. He wasn't going to last long. He'd wanted her for too long. Next time, he promised himself, he'd draw it out, make her come again and again. But now, he was swiftly approaching the edge.

He slipped his hand down, curling his fingers just so. She came with a drawn-out moan, her head falling back, her juicy lips parted. His climax hit him like a hurricane, bombarding him and sweeping him overboard.

Her name slipped out of his lips before he could clamp them shut.

"Natasha."

She was panting, her nails sinking into his skin, sure to leave marks. Fortunately anyone looking would mix them up with battle scars, of which he had plenty. Nat lifted herself up, gazing at him intensely with the look that he was beginning to learn she reserved only for him.

Clint swallowed hard. They were risking everything as it was, and now he'd been an emotional sap and said her name.

Instead of slapping him or, worse, getting up and leaving, Natasha pressed herself against him, her head resting on his shoulder, her lips by his ear.

The word was barely a breath, but he heard it.

"Clint." She murmured, her entire body melting against him.

His arms around her, he buried his face into her neck so that she wouldn't see him smile. He knew that she would feel it anyway.

:::::::::::::::::::::

If anybody noticed any changes, they were smart enough to keep it to themselves. No one said anything when they stood together at Coulson's funeral. There was an official funeral, of course, but after that there was a special funeral that consisted of just the team, Agent Hill and Fury. They all said a few words.

Fury didn't give them a mission, just clapped them all on the back and said he'd be in touch.

Nobody said anything, or even looked surprised, when they arrived together to see Thor off with Loki. Tony had a slight smirk on his face when he saw them get into the same car together, although he might have just been focusing on the sweet ride. Apparently the guy was really into cars.

Certainly none of the people at the airport said anything about the attractive couple boarding a flight to the Cayman Islands.

They didn't say anything either. They knew where they stood.

They were children. Stupid, senseless, selfish children, and they were setting themselves up for disaster. Enemies would find out eventually, and they would use that weakness to exploit them and hurt them. If they weren't careful, they'd get a thorough lecture from Fury. They couldn't afford this, and they both knew it.

But they didn't care.

They were weary, tired of fighting this. They weren't lovers. They were partners, and they would fight through this. They'd gone against a demigod, an army of aliens out to destroy Earth, and a bunch of mismatched heroes, each with their own problems the size of a small city. They'd come out on top of all that, and fuck it, they were going to come out on top of this, too.

Maybe children knew something the rest of the world had forgotten.

Two quick notes here – first, I know that in the comics Black Widow's last name is "Romanova", but in the films it's "Romanoff". Since this is a fanfiction based on the film, I went with the film spelling. Second, I really wanted to have them going at it like rabbits before Steve knocked on the door, but I felt that it just wasn't in their nature. They're both too reserved for that. So for those of you who were disappointed, don't worry, I'm right there with you. I have no control over these characters in my head. They go and do what they want and I just do my best to catch up with them.

Now… look into my eyes… you are feeling very sleepy… very sleepy… you want to click the blue review button… that's it… the blue review button…

Did the hypnosis work?