Readers, i dont even know what this is honestly. Possibly proof that i should stop writing after midnight cause i no longer make sense. You be the judge.
Routine. For the trained assassins, Black Widow and Hawkeye, they knew it was a necessary evil. Too much routine would get you killed. You get too comfortable in a situation, you relax when you should be on guard, you give you enemy the one opening they need to get to you and those around you and it's game over; you've lost everything. But having no routines puts your sanity on the line. While their skill set is quite defined, the situations in which they're using them are constantly changing. Every mission is different: undercover, infiltrations, assassinations, grab and go, information gathering, long term missions, quick day missions. Any aspect of the mission can change at a moment's notice, making routines outside of the field necessary for them to ground themselves, give them something real to hold onto.
Their routines started simply enough when they first became partners. It was nothing elaborate, just sitting next to each other as they were transported back to S.H.I.E.L.D; whether it was ten minutes or ten hours away, Clint and Natasha could always be found sitting next to each other, eyelids drooping from exhaustion, but both unwilling to fall asleep, their bodies still wired from the completed mission. They would only fall asleep once they reached their respective rooms.
As time progressed and the two agents grew closer, their routines altered slightly, just enough for the other S.H.I.E.L.D agents to take notice although they were afraid to make any remarks about it. Instead of just sitting next to each other, now they held hands, their white knuckled grip on each other attesting to the difficulty of the mission. Now they were comfortable closing their eyes for periods of time, but they would not sleep. Once they arrived back at S.H.I.E.L.D, they would head to the medical bay. If one of them was injured badly enough to warrant an overnight stay in the bay, the other would be sitting in a chair next to the hospital bed, both of them fast asleep from exhaustion. If they were assured their partner was fine, they would go their separate ways, heading to their own rooms.
The years passed by as Clint and Natasha grew closer, more trusting of each other. And their routine changed with them. The other agents no longer found it strange to see the infamous Black Widow, a woman who could kill you in twenty different ways before you even realized you were in danger, resting her head against the sharpshooter Hawkeye's shoulder, her eyes closed as they held hands. It wasn't unusual to watch Clint wrap an arm around Natasha's shoulder and pull her close against him when she looked particularly strung out after a mission. The two agents still went to their separate sleeping quarters once they arrived back at S.H.I.E.L.D, but they were closer, almost intimate. The agents speculated for years that there was something going on between the pair; they were always together, almost joined at the hip. Of course no one had the guts or the death wish to approach either of the agents about it. Some things were better left unasked.
It was after a particularly bad mission went south, after S.H.I.E.L.D agents were lost that their routine changed again. Both were rattled to their core. They had both seen death, had brought death with their hands. But to see agents they worked alongside, the people they cared about dead shook them in ways they believed were impossible. The ride back to headquarters was silent as they gripped each other's hands tightly, their eyes wide open. Instead of going their separate ways once they arrived back at S.H.I.E.L.D. Natasha followed Clint back to his room, still gripping his hand tightly. This move crossed the line they had clearly drawn, the line that separated their work from everything else; they knew there was no going back after that moment. Once they were back in Clint's room, the door firmly locked behind them, they stripped off their uniform, crawling into bed together in only their undergarments. It wasn't about sex; it wasn't about love or lust. As they laid in bed together, limbs tangled, blanket wrapped tightly around them, their breathing falling in sync, it was about being there for one another, reassuring the other that they were both alive, they were both safe, they would both live to see another sunset. It gave them the one night of safety, knowing they could sleep without seeing the horrors of the day in their dreams.
Their routine widened to include others after they joined the Avengers. After any Avengers mission was completed, the entire team would gather in the living room of Stark Towers for food and a movie Tony usually chose. It was a few hours of normalcy after a day that was anything but that, giving everyone a chance to ignore the thoughts in their mind. But the night always ended the same for Natasha and Clint. After a quick ten-minute separation to shower, they would find themselves in the same bed, Natasha's head tucked under Clint's chin, her hands stroking his sides soothingly, both reassuring themselves that their partner, their best friend, their other half was not lost, their world had not ended. Their favorite routine would continue.
What do you think readers? No more late night writing? Reviews please