Author's Note: Written to fulfill my need for more adorable Clintasha stories! Enjoy!
You're gonna be the one that saves me
She didn't get where she was by showing weakness.
The Black Widow had managed to become S.H.I.E.L.D.'s best female assassin by embracing the persona that her name exuded. Everything that made her Natasha—the fears, the pains, the joys—was locked away behind a wall so thick that no one could even hope to penetrate it and those that were foolish enough to try . . . well, they ended up with broken bones and a ticket out of S.H.I.E.L.D. She was proud of how well she pulled off the façade and how everyone respectfully kept their distance. They knew what she was capable of doing and whether it was out of fear or admiration, they stayed out of her way, which was good.
She told herself that it was good.
She had never needed to rely on anyone; she had never wanted to. People only hurt others. She had killed innocent civilians, betrayed those that had put their faith in her, and had burned bridges with nearly everyone she had ever encountered. Forming bonds with others only led to heartbreak. After all, she had enough red in her ledger to prove it, along with the memories that accompanied her reign of terror. So, she stayed away from people and people stayed away from her. It was a win-win situation.
Then, Clint came along and changed all that.
He acted like saving her life was the best decision he had ever made as he bragged about it to Fury whenever Natasha skillfully pulled off a mission.
"See that Fury?" He would begin with a smirk on his lips and a sparkle of amusement in his eyes. "Told you Nat would be a great fit here." He would then smile at her—a total, unguarded "I-think-we-should-be-best-friends-forever" smile—and then go back to work, like nothing out of ordinary had happened. Then, there was the fact that he refused to call her anything but "Nat" or "Tasha". She had told him hundreds of times to call her by her first name, but he had always rebuffed her pleas.
"What fun would that be?" He would ask her with a smirk on his lips and a carefree ease in his eyes.
God, she hated him.
She hated him so much that whenever they spared, she made sure to push herself in the hopes that she would get to wipe that smirk off his face with her victory. Clint motivated her and made her want to be better than him. The Black Widow wanted nothing more than to outshine her partner and make him frown for once—make him suffer while she got all the glory. The idea of getting him to stop being so damn cheerful around her was so tantalizing that she trained for hours, long after many of the S.H.I.E.L.D. technicians went home. Sometimes, she would go all night, pounding her fists into the punching bag. She had to be better than him; she had to show him what she was truly capable of. He should've been scared of her! She was the infamous Black Widow—a master assassin that had killed so many innocent civilians—and yet, Clint treated her like she was just a normal woman. It was almost as if her past deeds didn't even matter to him!
"No," She muttered to herself as she halted her barrage of punches for a few seconds. It was nearly three in the morning and her knuckles were beginning to bleed from the sheer force she had been packing into her attack. Wiping a bead of sweat from her forehead, she allowed her forehead to rest on the punching bag. The cool leather gave her some slight relief from the pounding in her head. She had been at this for far too long. "It matters." Resolved, she went back to her fighting stance and continued to attack.
Her past deeds would always define her. S.H.I.E.L.D. had been reluctant to take her in the first place because of all the bloodshed and hell she had caused. If it hadn't been for Clint . . .
"Hey." His voice took her off-guard and she abruptly stopped and faced him. He was dressed in sweats and had a small smirk on his lips. She wondered what he was even doing here, as she knew for a fact that he wasn't on a mission.
"Training?" He inquired as he took a few steps into the training room and she nodded. "You're bleeding, Tasha." Without even asking for her permission, he bridged the gap between them and pulled out a bandage from seemingly thin air. She eyed him oddly and he laughed dryly.
"Carry those around with you all the time?" She kept her tone light, though there was a serious undercurrent in her words.
"I like to be prepared." He answered simply as he wrapped the bandage around her bleeding knuckles. Satisfied, he shot her a grin and she resisted the urge to snap at him. How could he be so damn happy all the time? Didn't he know who she was and what she was capable of? Wasn't he afraid of her like everyone else?
"Thanks." She mumbled as he stepped back from her. She prepared to strike the bag once more when Clint coughed quite conspicuously. Sighing, Natasha spun around to face him. "Problem?"
"Nope." He smirked as he sat down on the floor, eyes meeting hers.
"Okay, then, I'll see you tomorrow."
He didn't move from his spot. She grimaced and forced her tone to remain patient.
"Yeah?" She shot him an exasperated look, which only seemed to make Clint's smile even wider. It was clear that he knew that he was annoying her and that he was perfectly fine with that.
"What are you doing?"
"Nothing much," He told her with a shrug. "Just sitting."
"Don't you have a mission to go prep for?"
"No." She really wanted to tell him to get lost or better yet, send him flying out of the room, but she settled for simply ignoring him and continuing her training. Natasha was aware of his gaze on her, seemingly studying her intently. "Been sleeping?" She froze.
"Yeah." She lied.
"Really?" He challenged and she nodded. She tried to sleep, really she did, but most of her night was spent combatting nightmares. She was lucky if she got three hours sleep a night and on the nights when sleep refused to come, she went to train and used her hatred of Clint—she still hated him regardless of what he did for her—to good use. "Nat—"
An alarm went off and Natasha had never been more relieved to receive an emergency mission than she had in that moment. Relieved, she practically sprinted out of the room and onto the bridge.
"Agent Barton, Agent Romanoff." Fury greeted curtly, staring intently at the footage of what appeared to be an attack in progress on one of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s many bases. "Your mission is simple: find out who is responsible for this attack and bring whoever is in charge back here for questioning while the other soldiers fight off their enemies. Is that clear?"
"Yes sir!" Both of them said together in unison.
"Good," Fury replied. "Now, move!"
While Natasha hated Clint—really, she did hate him even if he occasionally made her smile and laugh and forget her guilt—she had come to the conclusion that she was the only one that was allowed to hurt him. Anyone who dared to lay a finger upon her partner would be shown no mercy.
Which is what happened to the man that had dared to shoot Clint while his focus was on the opponent he had been fighting. After hearing the gun go off and seeing the blood beginning to seep through Clint's uniform, she quickly disarmed the thug and then broke both of his wrists before knocking him unconscious. The gunshot also had the unforeseen consequence of alerting the higher ups of whoever had orchestrated the attack and causing them to flee. So, the whole mission had been one huge failure—the masterminds behind the attack had vanished, Natasha had no clue who was responsible, and Clint had been shot. She cursed as she saw how close the wound had been to his heart. It had been close—if Clint hadn't moved in that last few seconds, the bullet would've went directly through his back and out through his heart. He had been lucky.
"Nat?" Clint mumbled groggily, the shock from the blood loss starting to kick in.
"Stay awake, Clint." She ordered as she hauled him up. Wrapping one of her arms around his waist and pulling his arm around her neck, she began to move towards the jets. He needed a medical team, but unfortunately, Natasha wasn't sure if she was going to be able to get him to one in time. The battle was still going on and Clint was walking wounded which meant that their speed was greatly compromised. They were vulnerable and an easy target—two things that Natasha knew spelt trouble.
"Got shot." He muttered.
"I noticed." She forced herself tone to be a bit sarcastic, but some of the worry and panic that she had been keeping bottled up spilled out into her voice. His eyes met hers and she forced herself not to dwell on that as she kept moving.
"It's gonna be okay, Tasha." She would've stared at him incredulously if she had the time, but they had to move. Clint had been the one shot, he was the one bleeding, and yet, he was comforting her as if she needed to be taken care of!
"I know." She lied as she glanced around the surrounding battlefield. Numerous S.H.I.E.L.D. agents were going up against the mystery organization's agents and between the gunfire and the bombs, Natasha wasn't sure if she and Clint would make it even two feet, let alone all the way to the jets. Glancing to her right, she noticed the red stain growing noticeably larger—he was losing a lot of blood. She had to act right now! Letting go of Clint's hand of a second, she reached for her handgun and calmed herself. She could do this.
"Let's go." He nodded slightly and Natasha steeled herself against all the doubt and fear boiling up within her. She let the façade overtake her—let Black Widow control her. The feelings went behind walls and soon, she felt numb and focused her. She began to walk and shot those all those that even dared to take one step closer to them. She was getting Clint out of this alive if it was the last thing she did. She spied the jets and quickened her pace. She was so close!
"Agent Romanoff!" Maria Hill shouted over the din of the battle. Natasha had never been more relieved to see Fury's second in command before. "What happened?"
"Barton's been shot," Natasha explained as she helped ease him onto a stretcher that the medical response team had put out. "He's bleeding profusely."
"Are you hurt?" Maria continued, waving over some of the doctors to begin work on Clint.
"Good," Hill answered. "Get Barton out. Now!"
"Yes ma'am!" The team responded and the jet quickly took off, leaving Natasha alone on the battlefield.
"Your mission?" Hill inquired.
"Failed." Natasha replied and Maria cursed.
"Then, help clean this mess up." Natasha nodded and made her way to the middle of the battlefield. She was angry and was finally ready to lose control over emotions.
This was going to be fun.
She readied her fighting stance and then attacked.
Despite her professed hatred for her partner, she was beyond relieved when the surgeons told her that there would be no permanent damage and he would be okay. She couldn't help but smile when Clint opened his eyes two days after the surgery. A few days after that, the hatred she was so sure that she had felt towards her partner has faded away. If she thought about it—and sometimes she did—Natasha knew that she never really hated Clint in the first place. She had grown up being feared by others and had learned to never trust anyone. Clint had been the first and only person to reach out to her, to treat her as normal, and in fear, she had rejected him.
Funny how it took a bullet to make her realize that she actually cared for him.
She came out of the battle with a few bruised ribs and some minor cuts and after a severe reprimand from Fury over how she had let the mission fall apart, Natasha was pleased to finally be done with the whole matter. The mission had failed officially, but hey, she and Clint were alive. What more could she have asked for?
"Penny for your thoughts?" His voice startled her and she chided herself for allowing her guard to be down.
"Shouldn't you be resting?" She snapped. Clint ignored her question and took a few steps to the window that she was staring out. The helicarrier was making its way back to the main S.H.I.E.L.D. base but it would still be a few more hours until they landed. In front of them, the two saw the full moon light up the nighttime sky. Stars twinkled around them and it was surreal to imagine that just a little more than a week ago, the two of them had been fighting for their lives.
"Can't sleep?" He ventured.
"Don't want to," She answered honestly. "How are you feeling?"
"Sore," Clint replied with a shrug. "But, I'm alive."
"It was close."
"You got us out, Nat," Clint told her, placing a hand on her shoulder and squeezing it gently. "That's what matters."
"It was too close." She insisted firmly. He didn't argue with her—they both knew that she was right—and just stood there, silently offering support. They remained there for what seemed like hours until with a small sigh, she faced him. She pulled him into a hug and though he was shocked for a few seconds, he quickly returned the embrace. It was a rare display of emotion from a woman that everyone assumed had no feelings. No one was around to witness the hug and both parties would deny it had even occurred in the future, but for this second—this one moment—they were nothing more than two people who had been through a scary experience and needed each other to move on.
And then that second passed.
The walls went back up and Natasha quickly backed away from him. It had been too close—she had almost lost the partner that she didn't hate—and she swore that she would never let it get that close again. She would protect Clint and keep him safe.
"Fine." She replied quickly and he let it drop.
Clint had been the one to acknowledge her as someone more than the infamous Black Widow. He had been the first to reach out to her, been the first to try and get to know her—she owed him a debt.
And Natasha Romanoff always paid back her debts.
Author's Note: I plan on writing more Clintasha stories because they are my OTP of The Avengers. They are so cute! Please review!