He was sent to kill her...he changed his mind.
REWRITE: I didn't really like what I did with this in the beginning, so I started anew. This will also be a ONESHOT. Clint x Natasha. Don't own the Avengers. R&R! Also, my geography and possible accuracy of where Romanoff is born is probably wrong, seeing as comic book Natasha and movie Natasha are different, but bear with me!
Clint Barton has always been good at his job. He gets the necessary information, he locates the target, he terminates the target, he moves on: next job. It's why he's called Hawkeye. Not only because of his 10/10 vision and the fact that he's never missed a single shot, but because he's as quick as a hawk flying through the sky: one minute he's there, the next, he's gone...and someone's lying dead on the floor behind him.
He's pretty sure that's why he's been chosen for this job. But he doesn't feel good about it. His target is a woman. A woman with a horrible past.
And he was supposed to kill her and move on, just like he always does. He gazed down at the folder in his hands. His eyes glance over the words he's read a million times and focuses on the photo he's admired even more. Deep blue eyes, hair like fire, full lips...
A knock on the door pulled him out of his daydream and he sighed.
"Yeah?" He called out.
"Barton? It's me." Clint stood and gazed down at coffee table...if it even was one anymore. There were files everywhere, not an inch of the glass surface of the table visible. He walked to the door and looked into the tiny see-through hole in the door and saw one black eye-patch looking into it.
"Oh, there you are." Clint stared at the door in confusion. How did he see him with no eye?
"How did you-"
"I heard you. For an assassin, you're not exactly quiet. Now hurry up and open the door." Clint chuckled and unlocked the door, holding it ajar.
Nick Fury stood before him in all his glory, his black cape billowing behind him as he smirked at Clint, his one eye wide with excitement.
"Barton." He said, nodding.
"Fury." Fury walked inside and looked down at the coffee table, raising an eyebrow.
"Reading a bedtime story?" He asked, amused.
"More like a horror one." Clint said, sitting down on the couch and picking up another file.
"Romanoff's not exactly known for doing good." Fury said, grabbing a chair and sitting down.
"Are any of us?" Clint muttered, looking up at Fury solemnly. Fury sighed.
"Not really, no. But at least we put down the bad people. The ones that threaten the peace. The ones that kill innocent people without even flinching. I'd say Romanoff fits all three categories." Clint didn't reply. Fury looked at him with narrowed eyes, examining him.
"Barton, if you can't do this, I can get someone else on it-"
"No. I can do this. It's just..." Clint sighed, staring down at the photo of the woman once more. Fury waited patiently until finally, Clint looked up at him.
"I got a lot of blood on my hands. And sometimes it gets to me. The people I've killed...they might've been bad people who've done a lot of horrible things, but they were still people." He said hollowly. Fury sighed and nodded.
"I know. It gets to me too, sometimes. But then I think about all the people I might've saved. Future targets of all the people I've put down...and that makes me feel a whole lot better." He said, smiling. Clint half-smiled at him, the guilt not quite leaving him. He got up and walked over to the kitchen, pouring himself a glass of scotch and handing a second one to Fury.
"Got any leads on where she might be?" Clint asked. Fury sighed.
"To be honest with you...no. She's all over the place. Three weeks ago, she was spotted in Venezuela. The next week, Australia. Three days after that, Germany. Now...god knows where she is. She's almost impossible to trace, and we've been trying to track her down for months now."
"Damn...this girl knows how to disappear..." Clint said, running a hand through his hair.
"She's an assassin unlike any I've ever seen. I didn't expect any different. She was born and raised in the heart of Russia, Barton. That country is spy-central. They train their kids from young."
Clint walked back to the couch and picked up a folder with details on the murder of a young woman, Tatia Drakoff. He looked down at the three other massive files and looked up at Fury.
"This is all her doing?" He asked.
"Yes, it is. Victor Drakoff's daughter, killed eight years ago, GSW to the head. Romanoff was seen fleeing the area, among a crowd of hysterical people." Fury took the folder in Barton's hands off him and pulled out a photo. A single woman with auburn curls was walking calmly among a crowd of crying people, some of them with their hands raised and some of them running, tears falling down their faces. Clint grabbed another file.
"Bank Robbery in Sao Paulo. Five people dead. Romanoff's doing." He said, nodding to himself.
"There was someone else with her, but he was shot by a security guard on the scene. He died before we could interrogate him." Clint picked up the last file and his jaw tightened.
"Her most heinous crime of all..." He whispered. Fury sighed.
"Hospital fire in Wisconsin. Forty five people killed, one hundred and fifty injured." He whispered. Clint looked up at Fury and he sat down next to him.
"Barton...you get rid of her, and you'll be saving a lot of lives. She's got no compassion, no emotion. She's an assassin at heart and in mind. She's been trained to kill mercilessly. She's deadly. She seems innocent at first, but when she bites..." Clint nodded and Fury clapped his shoulder.
"Get some sleep. I'll call you if we hear anything." Fury stood and walked over to the door.
"Night." Fury closed the door behind him and Clint sighed, laying down on the couch and falling asleep almost instantly.
"Barton! Barton! Open up!"
Clint's eyes snapped open and he got up, running to the door.
Maria Hill stood before him, her arms crossed.
"You're going to Bayamo." She said. He looked at her in shock.
"Romanoff's been spotted." Clint closed his door behind him and followed her down to base, where hundred of agents were at computers, tracking down S.H.I.E.L.D's most wanted.
"When am I leaving?" Barton asked, as soon as Fury came into his view. He was sitting with an agent, both of whom were watching surveillance footage of a woman crossing a street, her red curls falling down her back as she glanced behind her.
"Freeze it." Fury said quickly. The agent froze the image on the woman looking back and they ran it against a scan of Natasha Romanoff's face. Ten seconds later, the computer began beeping.
"79% facial recognition. It's gotta be her."
"When am I leaving?" Clint said again, a little impatiently. Fury began walking and Clint followed him, Maria close behind.
"ASAP. You'll meet with Julio at the airport, he'll take you to our weapons facility there. Take what you like-"
"You know what I'll take." Clint said, smirking. Fury chuckled.
"Right. Agent Hill will drive you to the airport, there will be a private jet waiting for you, it'll get you to Cuba in no time."
"Got it." They all walked back to his room and Clint showered got changed as quickly as he could. When he got out, Fury and Hill led him outside of the facility and Fury clapped Barton's shoulder.
"Listen to me, Clint. This Romanoff...she's more dangerous than the others. You need to be careful. You're one of my top agents and I don't wanna lose you anytime soon, you understand me?" Clint nodded and Fury took a deep breath.
"Then go, and watch your back."
"Come on." Maria called. Clint hopped into his seat and Maria drove off, leaving the S.H.I.E.L.D facility behind.
Maria drove almost at top speed to the airport and Clint stared drumming his knees with his fingers nervously. She chuckled.
"You can do this, Clint. You're one of the best." He laughed.
"Although, I gotta admit, I'm a little bit annoyed. We could've used someone like Romanoff in our team. She's...well she's one hell of an assassin."
"She's killed a lot of innocent people, Hill."
"Haven't we all?" She countered. Clint sighed.
"Maybe..." She stopped in front of the terminal and Clint smiled at her.
"See you when I get back?" She chuckled.
"Sure thing." He got out and walked into the airport, heading straight to security. His heart was racing.
This was it. Romanoff was his target.
Time to do what you do best, Clint. Kill and move on.
Cool winds brushed on his skin and he suppressed a shiver. He was on a rooftop across a Motel, where Fury had called and told him Romanoff was staying at. He cracked his neck and surveyed the streets again. It was pretty empty, except for one kid kicking a soccer ball around and a couple of thugs not far from him. He grabbed his binoculars and looked around once more, taking a bite of an apple while he was at it.
He'd been here for almost three hours now. Romanoff was nowhere to be seen. He sighed and stretched his back, then went back to surveying.
He saw the kid with the soccer ball kick it high, then kick it sideways. It smacked the back of one of the thugs, and he saw all five of them turn and glare at the kid angrily.
Uh oh, I smell trouble.
They started yelling at the kid in Spanish. The kid was shouting sorry back, their echos sounding in the twilight sky. They walked toward him and the kid cowered back.
"Shit." Clint whispered to himself. He reached for his bow, the arrows slung on his back. He saw one thug pull out a knife.
"Shit." He whispered again. He nocked an arrow onto his bow-
And heard shouts down below. He grabbed his binoculars, fumbling slightly.
Someone with red curls was running up to the thugs and yelling in Spanish. She came to a stop in front of the kid, her arms protecting him.
"Romanoff!" Clint said through clenched teeth. He went to reach for his bow-
But Romanoff did something that took him off guard, and he found himself frozen, the binoculars pressing into his eyes.
She kicked her foot out and hit one thug's gut, then kneed him. She twirled over his keeled over body back first and landed a kick on another guy's head. She blocked a punch from one thug and slammed him into the fourth guy, then drop-kicked the fifth guy, all in less than twenty seconds. She stood in front of the kid once more and glared down at the thugs, and they scrambled to their feet and ran off, shouting in Spanish. Clint stared in amazement as she looked at the kid and whispered something to him, then ruffled his hair and smiled. He ran off down the street.
"HEY!" She called out. The kid turned and Natasha ran over to his soccer ball and kicked it to him.
"Se olvido de algo!" She said. The kid caught the ball and grinned.
"No hay problema!" She yelled back, grinning. The kid ran off and Romanoff looked around, then ran back to the Motel.
"Wow..." Clint said, chuckling. Maria was right. She would be a good agent with S.H.I.E.L.D...if she didn't kill so many innocent people.
She's nice for a killer... He thought. He waited patiently for any sign of a light turning on, his binoculars ready. Ten minutes went by and still nothing.
"Come on, Romanoff...where are you?" He whispered, pushing his binoculars deeper into his eyes.
He froze when he felt something hard press into the back of his head. He didn't need to look to know it was a gun.
"Who are you?" She asked.
"Will you at least let me turn around?" Clint asked, trying his hardest to ignore the frantic beat of his heart. He felt small fingers wrap around his bicep and spin him around.
Long red curls, deep blue, anxious eyes...she was exactly like her picture.
"Hello, Natasha." He said calmly.
"Who are you?" She asked again. He took a deep breath, but didn't reply.
"You don't look Russian..." She said. Clint looked at her in surprise.
"Am I supposed to?" She stared at him in confusion.
"Why are you after me?"
"Drakoff's daughter. Sao Paulo. Wisconsin. Take a pick." Natasha's grip on her gun grew tighter and she glared at her, her eyes shining.
It took Clint awhile to realize that the reason her eyes were shining was because she was trying not to cry.
"Those were accidents...I didn't want..." She whispered, trailing off. Clint looked at her in shock, his hands still raised and she cleared her throat.
"They made me do all that." She said hollowly.
"Who?" Clint asked.
"Answer my question first, who are you?" She snapped. Clint took her moment of anger to take advantage and he grabbed her arms and elbowed her in the face. The gun went off and Clint felt something hot rush past his cheek.
Natasha fell to the ground and rolled backwards, rising up and curling her hands into fists.
"Cheap shot." She said calmly, wiping blood from her lip. She swung her arm forward and Clint caught it. She surprised him by jumping up and wrapping her legs around his head, spinning him around and smacking him to the floor back-first. He groaned in pain and she went for the gun.
"Oh no you don't!" He slammed into her and she went tumbling over the edge.
"Shit!" Clint reached forward and took her arm just in time before she fell, and she was dangling over the edge of the roof. She looked down at the floor, which was thirty feet below her. She glared up at him.
"You're here to kill me, just let me go!" She shouted fiercely. Clint hesitated. She had her hand curled around his forearm, but she suddenly released him.
Clint didn't know why, but he suddenly pushed and lifted her up. She climbed up herself-
Then landed her boot right in his face. He stumbled to the floor and she went to run, but he caught her ankle with his foot and she fell down next to him. She went to spin around-
And Clint smashed his elbow into her face again, and her eyes rolled in the back of her head. She slumped on the ground, her body no longer tense and Clint panted.
"Feisty one." He said, ruffling his hair. Clint wanted answers.
And he was going to get them.
He lifted the bucket of water and threw it at her. He heard a loud gasp and a cough, before a curse of anger and a shout. He chuckled and crossed his arms, leaning against the table.
He'd tied her to a chair in the middle of the room, her arms behind her back. She glared up at him, her red locks sopping wet and covering her face. She flipped them out of her face to look at him properly.
"How the hell did you get past motel security?" She growled, her voice shaky.
"I told them you were passed out. Drunk. Not that hard."
"I thought you were here to kill me."
"I made a different call. You said someone made you do all those things. Who?"
"Why should I tell you anything? I don't even know who you are." She said, looking up at him with amused eyes. He leaned forward, his face right in front of hers and rested his hands on top of the arm rests.
"Because I'm the only thing keeping you alive right now. So what's your story?" She didn't take her eyes off his, even when he backed up and rested on the table. She cleared her throat and glanced down. Clint saw a bruise forming on her jaw where he hit her, and her mouth was swollen.
"What's yours?" She said back, her eyes still amused. Clint grabbed his gun and cocked it.
"Stop playing games."
"I'm not playing games. You think I'm going to tell my life story to some stranger? I wouldn't even tell my life story to a close personal friend. You want my story, I want yours." He glared at her.
"The whole thing?" He said hollowly.
"Yup." She said sarcastically. He glared, then cleared his throat.
"Fine. I'm an Agent from the Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement and Logistics Division, otherwise known as S.H.I.E.L.D. We're a secret military law enforcement agency, protecting the free world from threats...human and non-human."
"Non-human?" She said, raising an eyebrow. He ignored her.
"Your crimes got our radar going. We've been tracking you down for months and I was sent to kill you. That's basically it."
"S.H.I.E.L.D...sounds American." She said. Clint raised an eyebrow.
"It is...what did you expect it to be, Russian?" She looked away and Clint looked at her in shock.
"You did...why would your own people be after you?" He whispered. She cleared her throat, then looked up at him.
"I was born in Volgograd, Russia. My parents died in a fire when I was four. I was put into an orphanage, and taken away when I was six."
"By who?" She looked at him in amusement.
"Who do you think? A child with no home who tended to cause trouble in the orphanage...in their eyes, I was perfect."
"Russian Spy Agency or something?" Clint continued. She chuckled.
"Sure, if that's what you wanna call it."
"So they trained you to be an assassin from the age of six?" Clint asked in disbelief. She nodded slowly.
"Jesus Christ..." Clint rubbed his neck nervously. God knows how many Spy Agencies there were in Russia...and how many six year olds they were currently training.
"I had my first mission when I was thirteen...they told us the people we were killing were a threat to the world...we thought we were doing good."
"Drakoff's daughter?" Clint asked. Natasha swallowed.
"We received word that he was involved in drug and weapon deals. The shot was meant for him, but I missed. I suffered...severe consequences for that mistake."
"What did they do?" Clint asked softly. She scoffed.
"What they always do when someone does something wrong." Clint found he didn't want to know.
"Another mission. We were supposed to steal a specialized diamond from a scientist. Dr. Nikolai Kristov. They told us the diamond was just a cover for what was inside...a top secret powder, similar to Anthrax, that could wipe out an entire nation. We succeeded, but I lost my partner. I got to the agency, and I discovered they were going to use the powder for themselves...for what, I don't know. My gut told me to run, so I took the diamond and I ran."
"So...you're not only running from us, you're running from them, too?" She nodded and Clint ran a hand through his hair.
"What did you do with the diamond?"
"I took a little dive into the nearest river...packed it into a box and buried it deep under sand so they can never find it. Even if they do find it, it's probably useless now. Powder substances don't fair well in water, and I made sure some went into the box before I closed it." They were silent for awhile.
"Wisconsin..." He said slowly. She looked up at him, and Clint saw there were tears in her eyes again.
"I didn't...I saw a bunch of thugs go in with masks and I knew something was wrong. I thought I could help stop them. They unhooked the gas tanks in the hospital...all of them. I had a gun...I didn't think, I just shot. The whole place exploded and I got out of there as fast as I could."
"What were they doing?" She shook her head.
"I don't know. I have absolutely no clue."
Clint watched her, surveying her.
"You're not lying are you?"
"It's a pretty hard story to make up, especially under pressure." She said, chuckling.
"You're a trained spy, this is one of the first things they teach you. How to lie."
"Put me on a lie detector, if you want. I've told you everything."
"Oh come on, you think I don't know you can cheat those, too?"
"Fine, then just kill me!"
Clint was silent and Natasha sighed.
"I know I've done a lot of bad things. But I didn't know. The Agency had me under false pretense, I thought I was doing good. I was supposed to just kill and move on. And I was good at it. I am good at it. Kill and move on." She repeated.
Just like me... Clint thought guiltily.
"And the minute I found out I wasn't doing any good in the world, I left. They're hunting me just as much as you are, so you know what? Just do it. I can't run forever, and I'd rather die by your hand then by the hand of my own people. So just...do it."
Clint looked at her and saw her face was blank. He moved forward, raising his knife-
And cut the ropes around her body. She looked at him in shock.
"What are you-"
"We could use someone like you at S.H.I.E.L.D." Clint said, smiling slightly.
"What?" She said, confused.
"I'm taking you with me back to base. You're going to tell them your story, start to finish. You're going to tell them the truth. And we're going to help you. Because that's what we do."
Natasha looked at him and shook her head.
"I've killed innocent people."
"By accident. We've all killed people. We're assassins, it's what we do."
"How do I know you aren't taking me there to interrogate me on information I don't know?"
"You don't. You'll just have to trust me."
"Too bad. I'm the only shot you've got." She sighed, then looking at him and nodded slowly.
"Fine..." She stood up, massaging her mouth where the bruise was forming.
"You pack a mean punch."
"I was trained to." She looked at him, amused.
"I never did catch your name..."
"Clint. Clint Barton. Back at S.H.I.E.L.D they call me Hawkeye."
"I'm sure you already know it, but...Natasha Romanoff." He shook her hand and smiled.
"Don't worry...I can get you a clean slate." She scoffed.
"You better, because right now...my life is in your hands, Clint Barton."