One-shot... A long one at that... Haha! Enjoy!

They were coming at all angles, Romanoff firing her guns whichever way she could to try and deter them off. Stark was soaring through the sky in an effort to keep the creatures from flying out of the 3 block area. Barton had his back to Romanoff, firing arrows in every direction, knowing that he soon wouldn't have much left and would have to rely on the guns strapped to his legs. He turned, firing.

"It's just like Budapest all over again," Romanoff cried, her voice edging with nostalgia.

Barton continued to fire. "You and I remember Budapest very differently," He shouted over the roar of fire and Rogers hurtled past.

Agent Clint Barton had been watching her for almost 4 days. Four days too long, Nick Fury was now calling every hour to see if the job had been done. In which Barton would merely reply that full observation had not yet been met and further investigation into the beautiful young woman would need to continue, before hanging up the cell phone and continuing to watch her. What seemed most strange about Natasha Romanoff was just how ordinary she kept her self. Despite her constant switching from hotel to another hotel every night, she seemed to have a fairly strict set of day plans. What surprised Barton the most was her ability to work on very few hours sleep and smaller still things to eat. Romanoff would spend much of her time on the town, talking to backhanders in alleyways and passing packages to individuals. She liked her coffee, black with a splash of cold water, usually served with a small slice of toast and in the evening she would take her coffee with a splash of 67% vodka. She read two papers, the local and the international and would save the personal adds. She would then return to her hotel in the evening, prepare for whatever job she needed to do, then leave and not return until the early hours of the morning before waking up at 5 am and repeating the process.

This evening, she was dressed in provocative clothing, a short mini-skirt, showing off her impressive legs, a white strapless top that hung just above her belly button with tall heels and a short black jacket. Barton watched from a distance as Romanoff made her way down the streets towards a strip club.
Barton's ear piece began to buzz and he pressed a button on the side answering it, whilst reaching for an arrow from his quiver.

"Barton, it's been nearly 5 days," said a disgruntled Fury. "Progress report? Has Romanoff been successfully removed?"

"Correction," Barton replied, taking his eyes off the woman and turning slightly. "It's been four days. And I am getting there. I just want to know what she is doing here."

"Let the local police discover that," Fury said. "I want her dead."

"Why is she such a threat?" Barton asked.

"Have you been compromised?" Fury asked, his voice rising.

"That's a negative," Barton replied, rolling his eyes. "She just doesn't seem particularly dangerous at all."

"I beg to differ," said a voice. Barton turned and an elbow smashed into his nose and chin, sending him knocking back into the wall he was leaning against. Romanoff grabbed his wrists, pulling them together and then in a feat defying gravity, she ran against the wall, flipping into the air and pulling Barton to the ground. Barton tried to fight against her but she had pulled him to the ground and rested her heel against his throat. She picked up his bow and arrow, throwing it to the side.

"What are you in? Lord of the Rings?" She scoffed, pulling a gun from a holister around her left thigh. She clicked it and pointed it directly towards his head. "Who are you? Who are you working for?"

"Okay, I think I get what he means," Barton groaned. Romanoff clicked her gun again.

"Who?" She asked.

"Nick Fury?" Barton replied. "Know him?"

Romanoff showed no emotion. She reached down and pulled the earpiece from Barton's head and pressed it against her ear. "Not interested. Your agent has been compromised. But probably not in the way you expected." She threw the earpiece away. "You've been following me for nearly 5 days."

"Four days!" Barton replied angrily, trying to move, Romanoff pressed her heel against his throat. "You knew?"

"Please, I'm pretty sure my mother knew, you weren't exactly subtle," Romanoff said.

"You know, you should be flattered, I didn't kill you right away." Barton replied.

"Oh, so that's you mission," She snapped.

"Well... That and to find out why you're working in a strip club." Barton asked.

"I honestly don't think that is any of your business." Romanoff said. "Goodbye," She pressed the trigger on her gun before Barton spoke again.

"I've seen what you do," He said, closing his eyes.

"I'm sorry?" Romanoff asked, flicking her long dark red hair from her eyes.

"You don't kill good people, you let them live. You observe them yourself before you decide whether or not they deserve to die." Barton said. "You kill only the bad."

"If I'm so good then why were you sent to kill me?"

"Well to be perfectly honest is killing the Ambassador to the Spanish Embassy really going to get you into the good books?" Barton asked.

"He was a liar. A hypocrite. A thief. A womaniser. Sick. Perverted." Romanoff defended. "He deserved to die."

"Probably," Barton shrugged. "But that doesn't stop an agency like S.H.I.E.L.D seeing you as a threat."

"A threat?"

"You did kill-"

"I KNOW WHO I KILLED!" She shouted.

"If anything I wasn't going to kill you either," Barton said.


"I wasn't," Barton said. "Truly."

"Lying makes you pathetic," Romanoff said. "You going to let me kill you?"

"Er..." Barton shrugged under her heel and kicked the back of her knee, sending her flying. He struggled to his feet, gripping her ankle. She twisted, flying through the air, kicking him back. Barton rolled as she fired three shots. He used his leg to trip her up, sending her to the ground before grabbing his bow and an arrow and aiming for her neck.

"Look at that," He said.

"Get off me!" Romanoff snarled.

"Not a chance in hell," Barton said. "You're nuts,"

She rolled her eyes reaching for her gun. Barton kicked it away before getting up. He sighed grabbing his quiver and flinging it over his shoulder. He then got his earpiece and smiled at her.

"Told you I wasn't going to kill you," He said.

Romanoff was panting as she sat up. "Who are you?"

"I'm like you," Barton called, slipping his earpiece on and calling Fury. "I'm no one."

Fury was furious. Barton didn't really care. He let Fury know that Natasha Romanoff was specifically off limits and any dealings that S.H.I.E.L.D had with her in the future, he was to be directly alerted and involved in the mission.

Fury agreed solemnly, knowing that Barton could easily go rogue and also cause havoc for the agency.

It was a few months after his meeting with Romanoff, that he sat with Agent Coulson and Agent Maria Hill, watching the devastation that had been done to Manhattan by a creature called "Hulk"

"Should we involve ourselves?" Coulson asked.

"I think this has already been covered," Barton replied, pouring himself a cup of coffee. "The army has been called in."

Agent Hill raised her eyebrow suspiciously. "I think we're a little bit better than the army,"

"True," Barton said. "But the guy, Banner, his girlfriend's father, is a big colonel or something and doesn't want S.H.I.E.L.D touching it."

"Why?" Coulson asked.

"Probably because he wants to do his own little experiments on the man." Hill said. "And, it's a little too public for us,"

"Agreed." Hill said.

Something caught Barton's eye, a flash of long red hair and security guards. He put down his coffee and exited the room, looking out.

"Hey!" He shouted.

"Agent Barton," came Fury's voice. "Stand down."

Barton turned as Fury marched over towards him.

"I asked you not to take in Romanoff unless I had some input," Barton said.

"And we stayed by those terms. However, when we find her breaking into S.H.I.E.L.D lab's we have to take decisive action," Fury replied. "She's chemically engineered to survive. Strength, intelligence... Despite her natural brilliance... It's excelled by over 100%. She is dangerous. And her ageing process has been slowed. She could live for some time." Fury stared at Barton and sighing, his one good eye looking up at the ceiling. "FINE, take the case." He handed Barton a file.

"I thought I was only good for hit jobs,"

"And so's she." Fury said. "Get on a level with her."

"What do you want me to do? Offer her a job?"

"If it gets her to talk then offer her fucking vice presidency," Fury snapped. "Get moving."

Barton smirked a little before following the security down the corridor. He watched as the secured Romanoff in a glass cell. Her hands and feet were shackled to the chair and to the ground and she stared down at the white floor. Hill joined Barton, folding her arms.

"Something doesn't sit right with me," She said. "Romanoff is skilled. Better than all of us combined."

"What are you saying?" Barton asked, looking at Romanoff's file.

"I'm saying," Hill said. "I think she wanted to be caught."
Hill looked over and then moved away when she realised that a response wasn't going to happen. Barton closed the file, nodding to the guard who unlocked the door and let him inside.

"I was hoping I would see you again," Romanoff said, not looking up.

"Mm," Barton smirked a little. "Is that why you broke in?"
Romanoff looked up, flicking her hair out of the way. "Do you want it to be?"

"That's not going to work on me,"

"I beg to differ," Romanoff replied.

"So you did break in here to talk to me," Barton said.

"No," Romanoff replied, growing angry. "I wanted to wipe my file."

"Well to be perfectly honest, breaking in here is just going to add to your already extensive file," Barton said. He pulled up a chair and sat opposite her.

"Okay," He said. "We're going to be here a while whilst Nick Fury tries to find out what to do with you,"

"Oh that'll be fun," Romanoff said.

"My name is Clint. Clint Barton,"

"You know my name so the pleasantries aren't just going to sit right."

"Shame, I was hoping for tea and cake," Barton said.

"You're deliberately being pathetic,"

"I'm just being nice," Barton said, smiling slightly. "The other's, especially Agent Hill wouldn't exchange such pleasantries."

"Shame," Romanoff muttered.

"Let's see," Barton opened the file in front of him. "Born 1928, you look good for your age by the way... Orphaned as a child, you caught the attention of the soviet intelligence at a young age... Saved by several individuals then taken back to form a group of elite sleeper spies, the Russian Government liked you and so used you in several experiments, slowing your ageing process and enhancing your physical abilities." Barton closed the file. "It doesn't mention that you've been rogue for nearly ten years now,"

"Why should it?" Romanoff asked. "I never technically quit."

"Now that... That poses a problem for us," Barton said.


"Mm. You hold a very unique skill set. One that could be valuable in the future."

"I think not."

"You haven't heard what I have to say yet."

"No, but I have a fairly good idea,"

"I can get you a good job here. Not one that you are used to, but the pay is good, and we protect our own." Barton said. "You won't need to change much, just answer to missions and what have you."

"I don't do the paperwork side of things," Romanoff snorted.

"Well good thing I'm not asking you to be my secretary." Barton smirked. "But I doubt gender stereotypes have been your strong suit." He got up, putting the file on the chair and folding his arms. "We get dental."

"You're going to try and convince me with that?" Romanoff scoffed.

"It worked for Agent Coulson," Barton shrugged.

"I don't work for anyone," Romanoff snapped. "I never will. I didn't work for Russia, I won't work for America. End of the discussion,"

Barton sighed. "Okay well, we're going to hand you over to Russia. What do they do with Soviet spies again? Or America? What's the policy on that?" He picked up the file and began to make his way out of the cell.

"Wait," Romanoff called.

Barton turned.

"I want to be separate," She said. "I want to work by my code, not theirs."

"I'll let Fury know," Barton smiled.

"You know, when I said offer her a job, I didn't actually mean, offer her a job." Fury said.

"She might be useful," Barton defended.

"To the bad guys, yes!" Fury said.

"You don't think people can change?" Barton raised an eyebrow.

"Bitch, I know people can't change," Fury snapped. "Look at
Coulson and Hill."

"Oh please don't drag me into your little domestic," Agent Hill sighed, looking up from her computer.

"Send her on a mission with me," Barton said. "Not Hill, can't stand her, but Romanoff, send her to Budapest with me and we'll see how it goes,"

Fury's good eye seemed to twitch. "She messes up, or causes you to mess up, you're both off and will be my personal targets. Got it?"

Barton seemed to understand the threat pretty well. He smiled slightly though, before getting up and moving across the room out into the corridor. He plugged his earpiece in and marched off. He guessed her size, going to the locker room and finding a suit and shoes for her. Along with several guns, and equipment that she would need for the mission. He then made his way silently to her cell, looking in on it. Romanoff was staring at her feet, silent and reserved. Barton cleared his throat.

"Open it," He ordered the guard outside Romanoff's cell. The guard unlocked it and pushed the door open. Romanoff looked up and smiled softly.

"I hoped it would be you," She said.

"Here," He said, throwing the bag down at her feet. "We're going on a mission."

"You're kidding me," Romanoff stared at him. "I thought that was a ruse to get me to talk."


"You're actually serious, you think I should..." Romanoff
trailed. "What if I run away?"

"Then I will shoot you,"

"And if you miss?"

"Then I will make it my personal business to bring you down."

"A man with a plan," Romanoff smirked. "Cool."

"Look, you can either take the offer or sit here and rot," Barton said.

"Well I can't exactly do anything whilst my hands are tied," Romanoff said, raising a perfect eyebrow. "Literally, not figuratively you realise,"

Barton smirked and nodded towards the guard before clicking a switch outside the cell. Romanoff's bonds fell off and she straightened, rubbing her wrists.

"What's that?" She asked.

"Your new uniform," Barton replied. "Come on, I'll show you where you can suit up."

Romanoff grabbed the bag and swung it over her shoulder.

"We have a mission in Budapest," Barton said. "Long story, rich guy with a lot of money found something that he really shouldn't have. We think it's a bit of technology that was used on Steve Rogers during the war. Either that or a bit of alien tech, we can't really decide."

"Alien tech?" Romanoff asked.

"Yeah..." Barton led her down a corridor. "We tried to get Professor Charles Xavier interested, but he wasn't having it... Don't ask... Mutants," He held out his hand, pointing towards a female bathroom. "Here you go."

Romanoff looked at the door with slight suspicion before pushing it open, Barton following her.

"Woah," She said. "What do you think you're doing?"

"Oh please, don't flatter yourself," Barton said, closing the door behind him. "I don't trust you yet. Not completely."
Romanoff's mouth twitched slightly as she chose a stall and closed it. Barton leaned up against the opposite wall, his arms folded.

"So, you're my partner?" Romanoff asked.

"Not quite," Barton said. "More like... Personal flunk monkey,"

"Charming," Romanoff muttered. "What do I call you? Barton? Agent? Partner?..." She paused and peeked out from the cubicle. "Clint?"

Barton continued to smile. "Clint's fine," He said.

"Weapon of choice Clint?"

"Bow and arrow, but I'm good with a gun too," Barton replied, turning the taps on and off again.

"I prefer a 9mm bore Glock handgun," Romanoff said.

"Lucky we have them, then," Barton grinned.

"How long did you spy on me?"

"Er... 4 days... I thought you knew that..." Barton frowned.

"I mean before that,"

"Oh we were tracking you for nearly a month."

Romanoff looked around the cubicle once again. "Well doesn't that send reassurance down my spine,"

"It should," Barton said. "We didn't kidnap or kill you or plan to do so until after you killed that embassy member." He cleared his throat. "So what do I call you?"

"I'm sorry?" Romanoff opened the cubicle door and stretched. She looked good in a uniform. She leaned down and zipped up her boots.

"What do I call you? Romanoff? Natasha?" Clint asked.

"Oh I don't care," Romanoff rolled her eyes, looking through the bag.

"Tasha it is then,"

She stopped, and straightened, placing a hand on her hip. "Anything but that,"

"What you don't like it?" Clint asked.

"It's a name of endearment and you are anything but dear to me," Romanoff replied.

"Oh, sorry, Tasha,"

Romanoff shot him a dark glare, pushing her guns into the holister that had been provided. Then she stood in front of him, ready, an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. Barton stared at her. She was both beautiful and dangerous. Smart yet practical.

"So," He said. "Budapest,"

They landed in Budapest airport early the next morning, both exhausted from the flight. Barton was quick, organising hotels and transport whilst Romanoff decided to teach herself the computer system S.H.I.E.L.D owned. Their cover - as newly weds on honeymoon made things awkward for Romanoff, finding herself in a hotel room with only one double bed and a fake wedding ring on her finger.

Barton set up the computers on the desk, hooking up the small television and programming it to recieve transmittions from the agency.

"Who takes the bed?" She asked, dumping her things to the side and investigating the room.

Barton looked over. "You take it, I'll sleep on the sofa." He indicated the lumpy looking sofa underneath the window.

"Don't be ridiculous," Romanoff said, closing the curtains and putting her guns to the side. "I don't sleep as much as you do, you take the bed."

"But you just..."

"I was being polite," She snapped.

"Oh, techy," Barton muttered, typing into the laptop in front of him. He sighed and handed her a file. "The man's name is Herrick A. He's a well known criminal with full knowledge of... Things that the government would rather keep secret. Like Mutants, and S.H.I.E.L.D and Dr. Banner excetra... I dare say you've met a few of them in your time?" Barton raised an eyebrow, grinning. Romanoff decided to ignore him and his gib, knowing that he was referring to a man named Logan who helped her and revealed himself to be a mutant. Barton cleared his throat and continued. "Anyway, he's managed to evade our grasp because he has a lot of friends in high places. Government officials who... Like him around. He's stolen a powerful piece of alien tech and it could potentially make him immortal. And whilst we already have insuffrable bastards in the world, we really don't want one that can't die."

Romanoff handed him back the file. "So what's the plan?"

"We observe." Barton said. He tapped a few keys on the laptop before handing giving her a smile. "He owns a couple of places in the city, he's kind of the go-to guy."

"You're still not telling me the plan," Romanoff said.

Barton grinned. "We get you all dressed up, you find him, talk with him."

"About what?"

"The almost nuclear war of 1962,"

"Don't joke about that," Romanoff said darkly.

"Sorry," Barton rolled his eyes. "What do you have in mind?"

"I find him and kick the crap out of him." Romanoff said.

"Again too forward," Barton said.

"Weren't you supposed to think of this before we arrived?"

"Well to be honest, Fury lets us really have free reign, that is, of course, until we accidently kill the the President..."

"Okay," Romanoff leaned forward. "Does he deal with assassinations?"

"Yes," Barton said. "Though I see no reason to bring that into it."

"Okay..." Romanoff stood up, putting a hand to her hip and pacing slightly. "We're newly-weds... And we just got here... Only, say, I married you for the money... And now I want you to die in some... Freak accident so I can claim the reward..." She looked over.

"I like it," Barton said. "But isn't that a little cliche?"

"What would you do?" Romanoff asked, folding her arms and looking at him skeptically.

"I go to get you killed, only instead, I strike up a deal, you're attractive, so Herrick can have you, if I get a cut of the money. That way, no lives are put in danger. And you can get close to him."

"That puts me at personal risk,"

"I'm not going to leave you in the lurch!" Barton cried.

"You better not," Romanoff said.

Barton handed the photograph of Romanoff to Herrick A. He looked at it, and removed a big cigarette from his lips. He was a slender man, with slick almost platinum white hair and a tight pinstripe suit. He gazed at it with narrow eyes before leaning back in his chair.

"What do you want me to do with her?" He asked, his voice soft and gentle.

"Kill her," Barton said. "I want to cash in on her life insurance."

Herrick smiled a little. "She is very beautiful."

"I know that." Barton replied. In truth he had expected the man before him to have an accent, something that put him out against the rest of them. But in truth, he spoke softly, and in a tight-lipped unrecognisable accent. Much like a grandfather.

"Such a waste," Herrick muttered sadly. "What do I get in return?"

"A sixty-forty split of her insurance." Barton said.

Herrick shrugged. "Look at me boy, do I look like I remotely need the money?"

Barton scratched the side of his face. "Maybe not,"

"Perhaps..." Herrick moved closer. "We can make a better deal. That ring around your neck... I doubt it's yours."

Barton touched it before clearing his throat. "It's a side-show ring. I got it when I was growing up."

"Grew up on as a side-show attraction?" Herrick raised an eyebrow.

"Yes," Barton said.

"Well then I shall have that," Herrick said.

Barton looked nervous before snapping the ring from the cord and placing it in Herrick's open palm. He stood up to exit.

"Wait," Herrick said. Barton stopped. "I think... You're hesitant about this... Never killed anyone before?" He stood and put the photo of Romanoff to the side. "How about another deal?" He smiled slightly and put the ring back into Barton's hand.

"What?" Barton asked.

"Well..." Herrick smiled. "What about... I take... Miss... Tasha off your hands and make her one of mine,"

"One of your what?" Barton asked.

"My girls," Herrick said, pointing down to the club where scantily clad women were dancing with drunk clubbers. "They each perform a certain roll... See there's Daisy, bless her, stealing some cash from that drunk looking fellow. And Laura, she's giving some... Well, very bad men a taste of their own medicine, and there is my daughter Katie, I won't tell you what she's doing, only that the man she is with has something that I want."

"She'll be safe?" Barton asked.

"But of course,"

"And what...?"

"Well." Herrick tilted his head. "I make it look like she's dead. Have a body be found, dead on the beach, give you some aliases that deny you from the murder... And you get the life insurance."

"Deal," Barton said.

Herrick was smiling. "Where are you staying by chance? So I can have my boys pick her up..."

Barton gave directions and shook Herrick's hand before making his way out of the club. He pulled out his cell phone when out of range and dialled Romanoff.

"The trap is set," He whispered. "They'll be coming for you,"

Romanoff spoke. "Right."

She switched off her cellphone before looking at the last shred of data tucked away in Barton's laptop. She was reading thoroughly the Iron Man files about a genius playboy philanthropist called Tony Stark and his suit that could give him the powers of a superhero. She finished, reading, thinking about everything before getting up and changing into some nightwear and packing up the equipment. She slowly crawled under the bed sheets, stretching and closing her eyes, her heart jumping from her chest and a knife concealed to her right thigh.

Her eyes flickered between sleep and consciousness. When she realised it was probably better to do something whilst waiting, she got up and splashed her face with cool water and filled up a glass before returning to the bed.

There was a sharp knock on the door. Romanoff jumped, putting the glass down and pulling on a thin dressing gown. She opened the door and peered out, expecting the worst.

"Mrs Jones?" A woman dressed in a clean cut suit with a wiry stance and long dark hair.

She decided she was going to kill Barton, MRS JONES! He had been singing that bloody song on the plane journey. Natasha swore violently in her head, cursing the day she had met him.

"Yes?" She answered privately.

"You have to come with us."

"What if I don't want to?" She replied.

"You have to,"

"I don't know who you are," Romanoff said, simply, beginning to close the door. The woman used her foot to stop the door closing.

"Your husband, Clint, is in trouble."

Romanoff opened the door slightly. "What's happened to him?"

"He's run into to-do with the mob."

"Is he alright?"

"He needs you to get him out,"

"Of course, let me just get my purse," Romanoff crossed the bedroom grabbing her purse and pulling on a pair of pants and shoes. She returned. "Take me to him."

"How are you enjoying your new life?" Herrick asked, reaching for the scotch on the tray Romanoff held.

She didn't reply, moving away to join her "sisters". The other girls stood, scantily dressed and looked to be either enjoying the situation or loathing every second.

"You have to thank your husband for it," Herrick said. "Oh and you're dead. Back where you come from."

Eomanoff said nothing.

"She's not impressed yet is she?" Herrick asked. One of the other girls shook her head. "Perhaps if you saw some of my collection?"

Romanoff blinked and Herrick stood. "Come on my dear," He held out his hand to her and pulled her through a separate door behind his office. He clicked on the light and a spacious corridor was lit. Huge glass cases filled witb artifacts of which Romanoff recognised from S.H.I.E.L.D files.

"What is this place?"

"It is my collection," Herrick said. "My most prized possessions go in here. Along with... Other things..." He smiled slightly before moving down the corridor.

Romanoff took out the knife from it's hiding place and moved silently behind Herrick. She slit his throat in one swift easy action before grabbing what he had stolen and calling Barton.

"Tasha, you realise that the whole 'spy on him, get a read, then move in for the kill,' was the plan? And by kill, I don't mean kill," Barton sounded exasperated.

"I got the stuff, what's the problem?"

"The problem is that Herrick's a big time mobster," Barton said. "His people could hunt you down in a second,"

"I can take them,"

"You really want more red on your ledger?"

"I don't think that's any of your concern."

Barton sighed. "Where are you Tash?"

"Herricks club. I'm leaving via the back exit." Romanoff replied.

"Are you wearing proper clothes?" Barton asked.

Romanoff ignored him as she pulled the bag of items over her shoulders and slipped out the window.

"Oh... Tasha, I can see your underwear," Barton teased.

Romanoff tapped the button of her earpiece. "Where are you?"

"Black motorbike," Barton said.

Romanoff spotted him and began to hurry over. She handed him the bag of items. "Have anything for me to change into?"

"Well," Barton said. "I didn't think that you'd be sneaking out in your panties." He sighed, realising the night was cold and it wasn't a good idea to ride a motorbike in only a pink bra and thong. He unzipped his jacket and handed it to her. She took it gratefully and pulled it on, tucking her hair away. She put the items between herself and Barton before climbing onto the bike. Barton geared it up before they took off down the street.

Three gunshots. One missed Barton by an inch. The second hit the motorbikes exhaust pipe and one was miscounted for. Barton turned swearing, looking over.

"Herrick's hit squad," Romanoff bellowed. Barton kicked up the engine and they sped down the streets. He pulled off, ducking into alleyways and tiny streets, confusing the ones that were chasing them. Barton was on call with Fury.

"Yeah... She killed him... THAT'S WHAT I SAID!... No... We'll be fine-"

"LEFT BARTON!" Romanoff cried. Barton swerved the dead end, taking the left.

"What...? Oh... Nothing. Back seat driver is all. When can you send out the helicopter?... Why is Coulson using it?... Oh never mind." Barton turned. "We have to stay low for a couple of days."

"Great," Romanoff said, pulling out two guns and firing them at her attackers. She hit the front wheels of their car and broke the windscreen. She thought she had managed to hit one of them, but she wasn't sure in the dark.

Romanoff turned, sitting back to back with Barton, feeling a sharp pain in her side, still firing guns. Their chasers were beginning to thin out.

Barton managed to find a house abandoned on the outskirts of the city. He pulled up and hide the motorbike under a pile of garbage. He and Romanoff got into the house, quietly.

"Well, this is nice," Barton muttered looking around for a light.

"Not yet," Romanoff muttered, slapping his hand, putting her guns on the table. She winced slightly and Barton looked over.

"You alright?" He asked.

"Fine," Muttered Romanoff. She held up her hand and saw the red rouge on her fingers. "Oh..." She stood still for a moment, wavering slightly. "I think I need a bath."

Barton pointed down the corridor towards the bathroom and Romanoff kicked off her shoes, staggering towards it.

"Hey, we'll need a team to go to the hotel room and pick up our things," Barton said.

"Barton? Do we have a first aid kit?" Romanoff asked.


"Bugger," She muttered.


"Doesn't matter." She replied.

Barton left her, pulling up the bag of stolen items. He looked through it, finding what he had been sent for. A glowing cube, that seemed to emit a powerful energy. He stared at it for a moment, putting it to one side. He looked around the room. It had been deserted for some time, he could make that much out. The previous tenants must have left in a hurry, certain things had been left behind. Barton got up and scoured the rooms, finding a pair of jeans and a shirt for Agent Romanoff. He knocked on the door of the bathroom.

"Tasha?" He asked, opening it slightly. "I found you some..." He stopped. Romanoff was barely covered and was applying a thick heavy and foul smelling ointment to the small of her back.

"Did you get hit?" Barton asked, putting down the clothes.

"It's just a scratch," Romanoff replied. "It'll heal."

"Yeah, I heard that was one of your talents," Barton replied. "Here." He took the cotton bud from her and rubbed the wound. Romanoff winced slightly, her body bruised and broken, much like his. They stood in silence for a moment, Barton cleaning up the last of the blood.

"I think it's clean now," Romanoff smirked.

Barton grinned, putting the bud down and washing his hands. Romanoff turned and slipped off the ugly outfit that Herrick had made her wear before pulling on the jeans and t-shirt. Barton caught a glance of her from the corner of his eye.

"Well," He cleared his throat. "Well done, mission accomplished... Even though it's really not what we planned."

Romanoff smiled. She began to move away but Barton accidently bumped into her.

"Sorry," he muttered, but he didn't move. He slid a lock of her long dark red hair to the side.

"Barton," Romanoff said. Her hand rested on his chest. "Clint,"

Barton looked at her with sad eyes, his hands wrapping around her waist and pulling her close. Romanoff let herself be held her lips edging towards his. The kiss was small, barely a touch.

"I think we've been emotionally compromised," Romanoff whispered.

Barton nodded sadly, knowing that S.H.I.E.L.D had a strict policy on romance. He kissed her again, holding her tightly and never wanting to let go. Romanoff felt safe for the first time in many years. Barton sighed and let go, moving away.

Romanoff turned, looking in the mirror, thoughts conflicting slightly. She shook her head before following Barton back to the front room. Knowing that this might be the first and last mission that they had together.