DISCLAIMER- I don't own the Avengers."Says who?"
"And what gives you the right to boss me around?"
"Hmm, I don't know, maybe the fact that-"Phil Coulson groaned. They were at it again. He tapped his com and spoke into it, "Agent Barton, Agent Romanof, I suggest that you stop arguing like children long enough to realize that the subject is leaving the premisis." Phil rolled his eyes at the stream of muttered curses in a variety of languages coming from the earpiece. "Hawkeye, are you in position?" After receiving an affirmative, he continued. "Widow? What about you?"
"Good. Get ready, he's coming your way." All Phil had to do now was sit back and wait to see if any backup was needed, although with those two, the fight would probably be over before the other guy had a chance to get backup. Although they squabbled like an old married couple, everyone had to admit that they worked well together. Phil listened carefully to the sounds of fighting, waiting for the telltale whir of Clint's arrow to let him know when the job was done.
It came soon enough, and Phil spoke through his earpiece. "Is it done?" For the first time in a long time, he had to wait for a response. "Hawkeye? Widow?"
"Natasha needs medical attention!" came Clint's slightly panicked voice. Immediately, Phil sat up. He had been Clint's handler for years, and he hardly ever sounded so worried.
"Can you bring her out? Or do you need us to come in?"
"I can get her out to the front, we shouldn't draw too much attention. I'll be out soon."
Less than two minutes later, Phil saw Clint walking out the unguarded door that they had dealt with earlier, carrying a limp Natasha bridal style. Phil was amazed at how gently the archer carried his partner, as if she was something highly important and easily breakable. As he got closer, it became obvious to Phil how worried he was about his partner, which made him worried too.
Natasha was unconscious, blood trickling down her forehead from her hairline and back into her long hair, turning it even more red. Her face was pale and her eyes were closed, and the only indication that she was, in fact, alive, was the faint rise an fall of her chest.
"Get her inside, Dr. Grandone is waiting." Clint rushed into the truck and placed her on the bed, then sat down, his head in his hands and his hands shaking. Other people would try to console the assassin with empty promises, Phil however, knew better. Anything less than the truth would aggravate him, as he didn't want to be treated like a child.
"Mr. Barton, I'm sorry, but you are going to have to ride up front, it's too crowded back here." the doctor gently commanded. As if in a daze, Clint got up and moved to the front seat next to Phil. The ride passed in silence, but as soon as they stopped, the archer refused to leave his partner's side, even when she was in the infirmary, he kept a constant vigil in the seat next to the bed.
Once she woke up, Phil expected them to go back to bickering like children as usual, but he was pleasantly surprised. They seemed to have bridged the gap that had been separating them for the first few months that they were partners. On the job, they were unstoppable, off, they became the best of friends. When they sparred, it was like a choreographed dance, every advantage that one had was matched by an equal advantage the other had. Speed and agility matched strength and size to the point where the end of the match was only brought about by fatigue. Some of their matches went down in S.H.I.E.L.D history as the longest between two agents, one being almost a half-hour.
Two years later, Phil became aware that something in the duo's dynamic had changed. It was recently after their mission to Italy to stop a major drug lord. Directly after the fight, they got a message from Fury telling them that there was something they needed to deal with in Budapest. Somehow, during the fight, they got separated, and Clint was taken captive, his earpiece removed. Natasha, while she was trying to find him, discovered that her com wasn't working, they had somehow broken their connection so they couldn't call for backup.
Phil wasn't extremely clear on the details of how exactly they had ended up in Greece, but he knew it was something along the lines of disarming a bomb and following the culprits to Greece. He wasn't sure why it had taken over a week, but whenever he asked, they gave a vague non-answer and changed the subject.
Two years later, he learned what happened. Natasha was in the infirmary with a broken leg, and Clint wanted to be with her but was stuck in an office with Phil being debriefed. Phil could see that the assassin was nervous by the way his fingers were drumming on his leg, but he ha no choice but to stay.
"Is this going to take long?" Clint questioned for the third time.
"It will take as long as is necessary." Phil said patiently.
Clint hmphed. "Can we do this later? I want to see my wi- er, partner." His eyes widened at the slip, obviously hoping that Phil hadn't noticed. However, Phil was a professional, not to mention that he knew Clint better than anyone else. Save his partner, who was now revealed to be more than that.
Phil raised an eyebrow. "What were you about to say, Clint? Your wife?" Clint knew he was cornered and nodded. "How long now?"
The archer muttered something unintelligible.
"What was that?"
"Budapest," he said louder.
Phil smiled, "Congratulations!" When Clint looked up surprised, he continued, "I'm assuming Fury doesn't know?" Without waiting for a response, he added, "Let's keep it that way, shall we?"
"Really?" Clint's eyes couldn't get any wider.
"Unless, of course, you want to tell him, in which case I could shoot him an email-"
"No!" Then he sat down again, "No, that would not be a good idea. You won't tell?"
"I won't tell. Now, I believe you would like to go see your wife, I think we are done here!" The younger agent was up and out he door immediately. In fact, Phil could practically see a cloud of dust behind him. He shook his head, chuckling. If someone had told him four years ago that the bickering duo would get married, he probably would have laughed in their face, but somehow, he wasn't too surprised.
As unsurprised as he might have been, he definitely couldn't say the same for the Avengers when they discovered it two years later.
A/N- Hope you liked it! Thanks to the reviewers of the last chapter, and thank you in advance to any upcoming reviews! (Hint hint!)