When Clint first asked Natasha on a date, she wasn't quite sure how to react. To begin with, she didn't really understand what he meant, and ended up staring at him in a very confused way for at least thirty seconds. "Is there a mission I don't know about?"

"No, Tasha, I mean - do you want to go out tomorrow night? For dinner, and...to the theatre?" He tried not to laugh when he saw she didn't get it yet. "Don't you want to go out without having to take out an Armenian child trafficking ring?"

"Oh." She seemed taken aback for a few moments before a rare smile spread across her face. "Yes, that sounds good."

"It's a date then." He gave her a smile of her own, something she wasn't used to see these days. Ever since Loki's attack, he'd become more reserved, as if he thought letting his guard down for a single second would invite another invasion of his mind. Seeing him relax, even for a second, made her happier than she'd care to admit. She was also more excited about their date than she'd care to admit either.

Then Fury had to go and ruin it with one of his stupid video conferences.

"All Avengers are to remain at Stark Tower for the next five days. Nobody is permitted to leave without my express permission. You cannot leave for any reason at all. No, Stark," He caught the look on Tony's face, "No excuses. There's a situation down in Baltimore and we may require you at any given moment. So, stay put."

"I have a meeting with the head of-"

"Director Fury, Agent Romanoff and I have plans for tonight, and-"

"Cancel. Them." The look Fury was giving them all was positively brutal, even through the screen. "None of you may leave the tower, do you understand?"

Clint and Natasha shared a look. Steve nodded with a quiet, "Yes, Sir." Bruce was silent, probably not paying attention - he rarely left the tower anyway. As Fury disconnected the call, Tony just grinned, turned to the others and said "Well, this is going to be fun."


Within a day Tony was going mad. He'd finished half the games on his laptop (twice) and wasn't bothered with the other half. Bruce had kicked him out of the labs when he decided to find out what would happen if he put three eggs into a centrifuge (exactly what could be expected to happen) and he was in no mood to work on the Iron Man armour. There was only so much entertainment that could be gained from a bottle of scotch, and Pepper had gone out hours earlier. Finally, at the persuasion of Banner, he went downstairs to put on a movie. Popcorn in hand he grabbed a random DVD from the extensive collection and threw himself down on the couch.

Barton was sitting in the corner of the room, apparently doing a crossword with a black pen and paying no attention to Tony as a disc was slipped into the player and the television buzzed to life. Clint barely even looked up as From Russia with Love started to play on the screen, but he chuckled quietly at the familiar theme tune.

Natasha strolled into the room looking serene and oddly happy. A light sheen of sweat covered her arms and back, visible as she wore nothing more than a black sports bra and leggings. Tony guessed she'd just returned from sparring with Steve, if the way she was stretching her arms was anything to go by. However none of this really mattered to him; no, what mattered was she was standing in the goddamn way of the television screen.

"D'you mind moving, Romanoff? I'm trying to watch something."

"What are we watching?" She flumped her body down beside his, taking a handful of popcorn and chewing it slowly. Clint joined them on the lounge but said nothing, keeping his eyes on the screen and the smirk off his face.

"Old spy movie. James Bond." He barely acknowledged either of the assassins, pulling the bowl of popcorn towards his body defensively. That didn't stop either one of them from getting to it though, and Tony found himself in the uncomfortable position of sharing his food, his lounge and his movie with the two.

Natasha knew exactly what she was doing. "That is ridiculous. If he had fired the shot before jumping it undoubtedly would have hit its mark."

Tony tried to keep himself from being annoyed. But after two or three more comments like this, he couldn't help but turn his head and say, "If you don't stop speaking, I'm going to throw you out the window."

"I'd like to see you try that, Stark, I really would," Clint drawled, reaching over and taking the bowl of popcorn from Tony's hands. Popping a handful into his mouth, he chewed slowly and watched as Tony tried to stare Tasha down.

Staring down Natasha 'the Black Widow' Romanoff, master assassin, was no easy task. She gave him a killer glare of her own and, without taking her eyes off him, murmured "If he tried that in an actual fight, he would break his lower spine."

"I quit. Watch the damn movie, take the popcorn, I don't care." Stark marched out of the room, grabbing his iPad on the way and muttering something about "goddamned assassins always having their way". Tasha grinned and leaned into Clint, taking a piece of popcorn and settling in to watch the movie properly.

"Guess we get our date night after all."