Author's note: So as for the title- yep, I totally went there. Consider me the biggest sap on the planet; I just could not help it. The giggle factor was too high.
I had this thought for a story immediately after seeing the movie. I have this weird thing for amnesia fics- there's just so much drama to be created.
So there are a few things you need to know to understand this story. This takes place maybe 6 months after "Avengers" and "Uncompromised" (while you don't need to read it to understand this I recommend you do just to get the gist of the characters as I view them) and the whole team is living in Stark Towers. Loki (for unknown reasons that will be probably not be explored here) is still on earth causing problems but a much smaller, more normal super villain scale. Like in the comics (which to be truthful, I have no read. In fact all I know about Avengers I got from the movies and some online research.)
And before I forget- I don't own anything about the avengers. I forgot to disclaim last time.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who read, reviewed, favorite and alerted after "Uncompromised." I hope to see many of you here again.
The first clue she had that something was horribly wrong was Clint's arrow one inch away from her jugular.
When he swung his bow and arrow up to aim at her there was a strong chorus of No's from Stark and Rodgers who had been on the mission with him.
"Don't do it" Rodgers practically screamed. "She's on our team. You're friends!"
"She's my target" Clint said, his voice colder then she'd ever heard it. "The infamous Black Widow. I've been tracking you for months" he said, addressing Natasha but there was something so wrong with his tone and his face and there was no recognition in his eyes.
"Clint no" Natasha said, hands held up at her sides, showing her weaponless state, "That was six years ago. You didn't kill me you took me in-to SHEILD. We're partners now."
"It's true bud" Stark spoke up, reaching to lay a gentle hand on Clint's bow. Big mistake.
Clint turned the bow sideways and faster than Natasha's eyes could follow the arrow was un-knocked and Stark was on the floor an angry lash over his face.
Natasha took advantage of the momentary chaos to look at Rodgers'. One eyebrow quirked up, clearly asking what the hell had happened on what was supposed to be so simple a recon mission they hadn't even needed her to come.
Not that that was the real reason she'd done what she never, ever did and sat the mission out.
"Agent Barton" Rodgers said slowly, answering Natasha's unspoken question, "Appears to have lost his memory of the past six years."
"Don't talk about me like I'm not here" Clint growled.
"Is this true?" Natasha asked, looking into Clint's eyes for some sign that this was a very poor taste and out of season April fool's joke, "You don't remember working with me?"
Clint looked confused and started to lower the arrow so it was pointed at her stomach instead of her throat. She knew that that the gesture meant he was reconsidering shooting her but it made Natasha's body fill with fear. If he shot her now she would live but it would injure her badly enough to…
She couldn't think about it. Not now. Not when he didn't even remember her.
"I remember you being my target" Clint said, staring into Natasha's eyes with the cold expression of a hunting bird of prey, "in Paris. Next thing I know I'm down on a rooftop and a man in a metal suit and Captain fucking America are asking me if I'm ok. So no- I don't remember you. But I don't work with partners."
Oh Clint. She could barely breathe. She was going to throw up.
She tried desperately not to hyperventilate and to calm down. Clint needed her now whether he knew it or not.
"That was six years ago" she said again, hands still raised by her head, "Fury told you to kill me. You made a different call and recruited me. He was furious and stuck you with me as a punishment but we worked so well together that the arrangement became permanent."
Clint stared into her eyes looking for the signs they had been trained to spot in a liar. Pupil dilation, sweaty forehead, trembling hands.
She forced herself to remain steady as a rock.
Slowly he lowered his bow so the arrow faced the ground and Natasha breathed a sigh of relief. "I believe you" he said, voice half awed. "Now what the fuck happened to my memory? How did I just lose six years?"
Six very important, vital years. Especially the last three.
"Some sort of spell is my guess" Stark said, slowly getting up off the floor. "But Banner will be able to tell more after we've run some tests on you and figure out if you remember anything at all from the past six years. We need to get you to medical."
"No!" Natasha said, "He won't go. Clint hates Doctors."
"Stop talking about me like I'm not here" Clint snapped. "And you" he turned from Stark back to Natasha, "how do you know that?"
"We're partners" she said, drawing out the word hoping that the euphemism would strike something inside of him. Make him remember her and remember that their partnership included more than just killing people together.
"I told you I don't do partners."
"You also said you believe me."
"I do." Clint's hand was grasped loosely around his bow, which was as relaxed as he got in a potential combat situation. He didn't trust her yet. "I don't know why but I do."
Sweet relief flooded Natasha's body. At least her Clint was in there somewhere.
Stark moved to put his hand on Clint's shoulder and then seemed to think better of it. "We need to get you down to medical big guy- the only way we're going to figure this out is with some brain scans. "
"Ok" Clint, who Natasha was starting to realize was locked firmly into his Hawkeye persona, looked at her, his expression all but unreadable but she could tell he wanted to ask her something. She saved him the trouble.
"There are no needles involved right Stark?"
"Jesus" Tony snickered, hand going up to cover his mouth, "don't tell me bird boy is scared of needles."
Clint whipped around to face Stark. "What did you call me?"
Tony threw up his hands to indicate surrender. "Sorry. Sorry." He grumbled, his eyes going to the floor, "yesterday you would have thought that was funny."
"Let's just get on with this" Natasha practically exploded, earning her a curious look from the man who no longer knew her or…
…cared about her.
"Ok" Clint said, tense but amiable. "You got a place where I can stash my bow?"
A sense of relief so pure it almost made her pass out surged through Natasha's body. He was trusting them enough to go unarmed. Not that it meant much because Clint was lethal with or without his weapons but it meant something very important that he was willing to put them down somewhere someone else knew where they were.
"I'll show you to your room" Rodgers offered quietly. Clint stared at him for a long minute, trying to assess the almost painfully earnest Captain's motives but nodded eventually.
"Let's get on with then" he said.
The Brain scans were inconclusive. Fucking inconclusive. They couldn't tell what was wrong.
Natasha whirled around and sent an angry roundhouse kick into the punching bag dangling from the gym ceiling, sending the bag rocking wildly on its tether. The light from the floor to ceiling windows made it cast odd shadows in the large, mostly empty gym. The exercise was focusing but instead of calming her like it usually did it only made her angrier. Her favorite sparring partner wasn't here but locked up in medical-where he normally hated to be- and he didn't even want her with him. He'd only asked for Fury-to corroborate the story he'd been told and then for Coulson who he'd worked with for two years before Natasha had come along.
It had been the second time she'd had to tell Clint Coulson was dead- killed by an alien megalomaniac who had also attempted to take him for her for good.
And now somehow he had managed- Loki- to actually take Clint away from her. Removed the memory of every single moment they had spent together.
It all became too much and Natasha realized, appalled, that she was crying. Angrily she used her fists to brush the tears away from eyes but they wouldn't stop coming.
Finally the burst of tears was too much to contain and Natasha sank to the gym mat lined floor and started to sob. She was so preoccupied with her own grief that she didn't even notice when another person came into the room.
"Oh Natasha" Pepper's voice came from the door five feet to her right and three feet above her from where Natasha was crying on her hands and knees. The older woman came over and knelt next to Natasha on the floor. "I heard what happened. I am so sorry. I know how close you are with Agent Barton."
"No you don't" Natasha couldn't stop crying. "No one does, not anymore. Just me now."
Pepper looked puzzled for a second then understanding dawned on her face.
"Natasha are you and Barton…lovers?"
Natasha nearly burst out laughing at that. It was so very polite the way Pepper said it. And ironic.
"No." She finally managed to stop the tears. "No we're not lovers. We're married."
Pepper appears to have been stunned into silence. Natasha's crying turns into laughter and once she starts she can't seem to stop it.
"That's not even the worst part" Natasha says, trying desperately to get a handle of her hysteria. "My husband of three years has no idea that I'm anything more than a target to him and that's not even the worst part."
"Natasha I don't…" Pepper seems at a loss for words. "I'm so sorry. I had no idea." She pauses and a strange look comes over her face, "does anyone know that you're married?"
"Coulson" Natasha picks herself up off the floor, "he was our witness. And he'd hold on to our wedding rings when we were on assignment."
"God. I don't know what to say. I can't even imagine- if Tony forgot all about me…"
Suddenly Natasha can't hold it in anymore. This great secret she was going to tell Clint when he got back from what was supposed to be a relatively harmless recon mission.
A/N: All right here we go! This was a little short but I guarantee further chapters will be much longer. It may be a few days before chapter two is up but I will write as fast as possible. In the meantime please, please review (I had over a thousand hits on "Uncompromised but only 11 reviews) it fuels me and makes me update faster and write better. So hit that blue button and let me know what you think- the good, bad and ugly.