Disclaimer: Marvel's The Avengers / Avengers Assemble (depending on your timezone) does not belong to me, will never belong to me. So much love goes out to tombombadillo, because she thinks I'm a good writer. (Katie's sweet, but a good liar.)

The most comfortable shirt she owns was his.

Well, is still his. She borrows it every couple of months. When he's sure to be gone for a while she breaks into his rooms and carefully lifts it from a chair, or the bed, or the floor; Clint may have been military-trained, but he liked to rebel against the cleanness of his kills with the nuclear fallout he called his 'nest'.

Her room is pristine. She could be killed on a mission and SHIELD could move someone in an hour later with no life debris to worry over; anything she had fondness was hidden far from her center. Came from a hate of being the source of innocent casualties, a weakness she would never admit to freely.

She folds it into a tight square of fabric under her arm, checks the perimeter for any threats, and extracts herself from the situation. When she arrives successfully in her quarters she finds contentment in spreading it out on the pitiful excuse of a plank SHIELD thinks of as a bed.

It's a battered thing of a t-shirt; she doesn't know when or where he got it, won't blow her cover asking. Pale blue - the colour of a young spring sky, not one she ever saw in Russia, but Mauritius; one of the Vice Prime Ministers had gotten ideas and...well. More marks in her ledger, more stains on her soul. They had been given some free time after that one, and she had spent the next two days soaking up sun on another island under SPF 90; no trace left.

There had been a design on it when it began life. She could detect faint text across the chest and a spatter of what she imagined might be birds across the stomach, but she tells herself it doesn't matter, why would that matter. What matters is the feel: it's tight across his shoulders when she's seen it on him, translates to sheet-like draping down her frame. The fabric kisses her skin blushingly and she revels in it; feeling softer than the silk negligees numerous men have given her as their plaything, whispering their secrets as she giggles in their laps and counts down the minutes until she can pry cold hands from her body, the arrows jutting unerringly from their throats or eyes. She never has to say thank you because it's part of the job, but he always gives her a grim smile afterwards; a mark in his ledger means one less in hers, and he knows he bears the weight more visibly than she does.

He wears the names on his sleeve, exposes them in his sleep. She engraves the names on her marrow, keeping them closer than a lover.

She likes the scent of it too, something clearly typically masculine but still most definitely his. Sleeping in it made her wonder sometimes if this is what it would feel like having him wrapped around her, but those nights ended in surging nightmares of bright flashing pain and nausea and a severe sense of longing. He smelled like lightness and sincerity, a clean bird of prey in his perch high above; she imagined she smelled like death, a rightful fragrance for a bringer of close ends.

She always wore it in her room alone and never dared wearing out, couldn't risk someone recognising it and breaking down her carefully constructed wall of blatant apathy towards those around her. Widows were sometimes known to be caring, but spiders had no love for anyone; black widows even less so.

After a few days when she finds it difficult to resist the urges to keep it, just one more night, she knows it's time to execute the return. She washes it in a rarely used laundry on-board, looking it over for any stray hairs that might have fled her body. The return mission is a reverse of the theft, but she rubs it against his other strewn clothes to catch his smell before placing it exactly where she found it to begin with.

She truly appreciates having a plan, and a backup plan, and a backup to that backup. It made her life - a seething mass of demise and pain punctuated by lengths of boredom and training - easier to contain.

Until he catches her.