There is no warning. One minute, they're clustered around the table, devouring eggs and coffee and pop tarts. The next, JARVIS alerts Natasha and Clint to a phone call and then they are gone, on a jet that will deliver them halfway around the world.
Tony, Thor, Bruce, and Steve confront Fury about it, but he just glares at them over the thick file he's reading and tells them to get out. Agent Hill explains, once they corner her in the elevator, that an urgent assignment arose and Clint and Natasha were the only ones capable of dealing with it. Thor and Tony protest that vehemently, but Hill just rolls her eyes and shoulder past them to leave the elevator.
The assassins are gone for nearly a week.
When they return, the four not-spies rush to the medical bay to see them. They expect Natasha and Clint to be tired, sure, even exhausted. They expect bruises and cuts and maybe even some moderate injuries. But Clint and Natasha are professionals. Even Thor has trouble taking down Natasha when they spar, and Clint has to be the sneakiest person on earth. The number of times he's dropped down unexpectedly from the vents in testament to that. Nothing can touch them.
They couldn't have been more wrong.
Natasha is lying on a bed, staring blankly up at the ceiling. She lies there quietly, small and still. She is in a hospital gown, but Steve can still see the near black bruising that paints her whole left side. Her wrist is in a cast and the bottoms of both feet are wrapped securely in gauze. Tony, meanwhile, is speaking (yelling) at the doctor.
"-the fuck is she sedated? Explain, now!"
The doctor clears his throat and stammers, nervously, "She was captive for nearly 30 hours before Agent Barton retrieved her, and she responded with increasing hostility to our attempts to help her. We had no choice but to sedate her."
Bruce's face has gone ghost-white, and the others can understand why.
30 hours is a long time.
They can't even see Clint. He was flown back to the base and immediately rushed into surgery to repair a shattered jaw, a cracked pelvis, massive amounts of internal bleeding, several cracked or broken ribs, and a dislocated shoulder. The surgeons had just finished, and Clint was now being in kept in a quarantine room to prevent infection. Before they can even protest, several orderlies are ushering them insistently out.
They sit in the living room, quietly furious. There isn't much they can do; they'd never knowingly hurt their teammates' recoveries like that. But they are outraged all the same, outraged at the doctors, at themselves, but mostly at the idiots who would dare fuck with the Avengers.
Four days pass. Natasha and Clint return to the mansion at the same time. Clint, it seems, had been going stir-crazy in isolation, and Natasha is still paranoid. The doctors, overwhelmed and frustrated by their patients' behavior, have decided to discharge them both several days earlier than planned.
Clint is out firmly on bed rest. The full gravity of the situation hits his team when he accepts that willingly. In fact, Clint can't stand unaided without copious amounts of pain. Natasha recovers much more quickly, but she still stays several feet from anyone who isn't Clint at all times, never allowing anyone to stand between her and the exit. She is tense and coiled at all times, ready and waiting to flee.
Things look bleak.
Slowly but surely, things start to improve. Clint heals, until he can stand and jog and even shoot his arrows without wincing. Natasha stops flinching when people get too close. The others still occasionally plot revenge, but they soon realize that attitude isn't helping. Steve brings Clint his bow to practice with while he's still on bed rest, and makes sure no one gets to near Natasha. Tony redesigns a room for them both, with a massive TV and a huge bed for Clint and one wall that he can shoot as many arrows at as he likes without damaging. Bruce tends to Natasha, changing her bandages and removing her cast; she doesn't trust the doctors. And Thor is Thor; a strong, solid, happy presence, dependable and trustworthy.
And soon they are whole again.
gen or ot6, The Avengers take care of their assassins.
Sometimes SHIELD borrows Clint or Natasha for missions other agents aren't qualified to do. The Avengers aren't too pleased with the state SHIELD returns them in.
Clint and Natasha!whump with the rest of the team taking care of them. could be gen or ot6, whichever :3