'What time is it?' Clint wondered as he slowly awakened, Natasha still nestled in his arms. A quick glance at the clock on the wall told him it was shortly after seven in the morning. 'It's a wonder neither of us fell out of the chair last night,' he thought as he got to his feet, moving slowly to keep from waking Natasha. He gently placed her on the bed, smiling as he looked down at her. Her skin was cool to his touch, the raging inferno of her fever having passed. Her breathing was slow and even, her skin back to its normal healthy color. "Glad you're better, Nat," he whispered, kissing her forehead before walking out of the room. He was hesitant to leave her alone, it seemed like something always happened to her when he left the room, but he needed to find a doctor to check up on her. 'She'll be fine,' he thought, quickly walking through the hallways.
Natasha felt as if she was hit in the head with a two by four as she slowly regained consciousness. 'For all I know I could have been,' she thought as her mind tried to separate reality from the nightmares caused by the toxic gas and her fever. The last thing she knew as an absolute fact was running into the building during the Avengers mission. Everything after that moment was up in the air for her. She wasn't sure where she was or who she was with. 'God I hope I haven't been kidnapped again,' she thought tiredly. 'I don't have the energy to fight right now.' She slowly opened her eyes, the brightness of the lights causing her to wince.
"Tasha?" a familiar voice said softly, a roughened hand holding hers tightly.
'Oh thank god,' she thought with relief, squeezing Clint's hand gently. 'If Clint's here, then everything's fine.' She opened her eyes again, raising her free hand to shield them from the brightness. "Clint," she rasped, her throat rough from lack of use.
"Welcome back to the land of the living," Clint replied, smiling slightly. "How do you feel?"
"Dizzy…very dizzy," Natasha said, closing her eyes. "Where are we? What happened?"
"We're at S.H.I.E.L.D. I caught you when you jumped out of the window-"
"Knew you would."
"And we brought you straight here. You've been unconscious for the past four days. You had me worried, Tasha," Clint finished, stroking her knuckles slowly.
Natasha forced her eyes open again, fighting against the alluring pull of sleep. "Clint," she called softly, forcing him to look at her. "You know I'll always make it back to you right? Even all the weird stuff I saw and I saw a lot of stuff, I knew I'd make it back to you."
"I know, Nat. You're a fighter; you'll always come back to me," Clint replied, wrapping his hands around hers. Natasha closed her eyes, a small smile on her face. She knew Clint would hold onto her hand again until she woke up, which was immensely comforting to her. "What did you see in your dreams, Nat? You were really upset from them."
"Hmm? I saw a lot of stuff, a lot of the past missions. That wasn't even the weirdest part," she answered, opening her eyes again and looking around the room. "The weirdest thing was…wait the rocking chair is real?" she asked, her eyes landing on the chair in the corner.
"Yeah, Thor brought us a rocking chair. Why?" Clint asked curiously.
Natasha laughed softly, the lull of sleep slowly pulling her under. "The rocking chair is real. It's actually real; it did happen," she murmured before falling asleep.
Clint stared at Natasha's peaceful face, baffled by her comments. "You have something to explain when you wake up."
"I hear the doctors cleared you to go home," Clint said as he entered Natasha's hospital room. "Are you ready to go?"
"Yeah, I just need a second," Natasha replied, carefully getting off the bed. She wasn't sure how strong her body was after being bedridden for days. "Clint, we're best friends right?"
"Yeah, of course."
"So I can ask you anything, right?"
"Yeah," Clint replied cautiously. "What's up, Nat?"
"When I first woke up, I thought something I saw while I was sick was a dream," Natasha said, fidgeting with the hem of her shirt. "But I realize it's not now, but I don't know if it's true or not."
Clint raised an eyebrow as he watched her, confused by her words. Natasha was the most straightforward person he knew; to see her tripping over her words was rare. "Nat, just spit out what you're trying to say."
Natasha took a deep breath, trying to calm herself. She could feel her heart beating faster, her palms getting sweaty. "What you said last night when we were in the rocking chair, when you said you loved me, did you mean it?" Clint felt his eyes widen at Natasha's words. He was sure she was sleeping when he spoke to her. "Clint, did you mean it?" Natasha asked nervously.
"Yeah," Clint said after a moment of silence. "I meant it." 'Guess this is the moment of truth,' he thought.
"You know this could end horribly for us right? We could end up breaking up."
"Or we could work out amazingly," Clint replied, taking a step toward her. "If Stark can handle a relationship, we definitely can."
"That's very true," Natasha laughed. "I don't know how to do the girlfriend thing. I've never really had a boyfriend; I was too busy being an assassin."
"That's okay; I'm not really sure how to do the boyfriend thing either," Clint said, taking another step toward her. "We'll just have to figure it out together."
"And I do not do pet names. If you call me honey or sugar or anything, I will stab you," Natasha said, glaring at him.
"How about babe?" Clint suggested, stepping closer to her, less than an inch of space between them. "Or maybe something else," he suggested as she continued to glare at him.
"You know how stupid it is for us to fall in love with each other, right?" she asked, resting her hands on his chest.
"Fury calls us stupid all the time, might as well live up to his standards," Clint replied, wrapping his arms around her waist.
"You know I love you, right?" she whispered, looking into his eyes. She could feel the butterflies fluttering in her stomach, her heart racing.
"Yeah I do now," Clint replied, pulling her against him and kissing her softly. "I love you too."
That's the end of this story, ladies and gentleman. Reviews please!