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Title: Out of the frying pan...
author: Cindy Ryan
summary: see part one

Natasha awoke to the sound of gunfire. Her chin slapped painfully against her partner's left shoulder as he turned to fire back. Her partner had Natasha in a fireman's carry. Natasha's head hurt and her lungs burned and her already injured shoulder was in a constant state of pain. Otherwise she felt good enough to fight and that was clearly what they needed right now.

"Clint, put me down."Natasha ordered

"You okay?"Clint asked as he ducked into a small grove of trees.

"Good enough."Romanoff replied as her partner set her on her feet.

As the world rotated to it's normal position Natasha was grateful it didn't spin. Her head throbbed more but nothing spun. She took that as a good sign.

"Sure you're alright?"Barton asked not quite releasing his grip on his partner's shoulder's. "You've been out for half an hour."

A bullet hit the tree to the left of Clint sending bark flying. Both S.H.I.E.L.D agents ducked and Natasha took out her weapon and fired.

"Don't have a choice; have to be okay right now."Natasha stated. "How many are after us?"

"Seven as far as I can tell."Clint responded as he took cover behind a tree opposite Natasha. "I'm going to circle back see if we can find out who they are."

Natasha nodded. "I'll keep them distracted. Be careful."

"You too."Barton replied as he started back the way they had come.

The Black Widow checked her ammo supply was relieved to see she had more than expected. The enemy fired and Natasha responded .


Phil Coulson zipped up his black jacket as he stood on the flight deck. They had just come within range of the crash site and one of jets was being fueled and the rescue team was boarding. In his right hand Coulson held a small computer padd. On it was the latest satellite imagery of the crash site and surrounding area within twenty miles. Watching the data made Phil feel like he was doing something. The heat images were comforting in the fact it was conformation his team was alive. They were on the move though and Coulson knew Clint and Natasha were running out of options.

"Let's go people; we're on a clock."Phil ordered and the remaining three members of the rescue team got in the jet.

Phil followed and the hatch closed behind him.


Clint took down the first gunman and was approaching the second when an aircraft came to a stop a few feet away. It hovered in midair and the back hatch opened. Clint raised his weapon as everyone on the group froze. In the darkness it was impossible to tell if the plane contained friend or foe.


The gun battle seemed to go on for hours even though Natasha knew it wasn't even close to that long. She began to wonder what had happened to Clint. If his injured ankle had failed him and he was stuck somewhere. Just as Natasha was about to leave her hiding place and go in search of her partner the gunfire stopped.
There was nothing but silence and the sounds of insects. Now Natasha was left with the dilemma of stay or go.


Five armed S.H.I.E.L.D agents moved to the edge of the plane's hatch guns drawn.

"This is Agent Coulson of S.H.I.E.L.D you have ten seconds to drop your weapons and surrender or you will be fired upon."Coulson's voice boomed from the plane's speakers.

Clint was never so happy to hear his supervisor's voice. "Took you guys long enough."

The remaining gunmen glanced at each other and thendropped their weapons raising their hands.

"You're a hard man to find, Agent Barton."Phil replied as the plane landed. "Good to see you. Where is Agent Romanoff?"

"Here."Natasha acknowledged as she emerged from the darkness weapon drawn. "Thought my partner may need some help."

Clint glowered. "I had it under control."

Natasha smiled. "Ready to go home or do you wish to stay and camp?"

Hawkeye laughed. "I've had enough of this place how about you?"

"Home and a hot shower sounds wonderful."The Black Widow stated as she ushered some of the enemy gunmen into the plane.

"Yeah it does."Clint echoed as he followed guiding the remaining gunmen into the plane.

The hatch closed behind and the plane took off.


Twelve hours after their return to S.H.I.E.L.D base Clint went in search of his partner. They'd been cleared from the medical ward with orders to rest for forty-eight hours. Which of course meant Natasha was not in her quarters. They'd both been in and out of separate and joint debriefs. Turns out the group that crashed their plane was a local extremist group that hadn't been happy with a foreign presence in their country. On his second hunch Clint found the Black Widow in the gym. She was sitting on one of the far benches throwing knives at a target with her good arm.

"Hey,"Barton greeted as he sat down next to the red head.

"Hi."Natasha replied not stopping her practice.

"You're supposed to be resting."Clint chided.

"I was bored."Romanoff responded as she paused a small dagger in her hand.

Clint chuckled.

"How's your ankle?"Natasha asked.

Clint lifted the foot in question the ankle was heavily bandaged and taped. "Sore, stiff. Your shoulder?"

"They said you did an excellent job relocating it."Natasha commented. "Still hurts."

"We make a pair don't we?"Clint asked with a rueful smile.

"Part of the glory of the job."Natasha commented returning his smile."Hungry?"

"Starved."Clint replied. "Since I saved your life how about you buy me lunch?"

Natasha raised an eyebrow as they stood. "I think we were even on that mission."

"Really?"Clint asked with a grin. "Well we can debate that over lunch. Deal?"

"Deal."

end