To have Nat explain it, this was Russia and ballet was serious business, professional dancers moreso, and one of her ability? Well, she definitely ranked a bodyguard.

Clint and Natasha spend a few months undercover in Russia. Clint gets jealous.

Caveat Lector: unexpected knife kink. Also, unexpected feels.

Thanks to Pamela for giving this thing a good swift kick in the head, and to Sarah for her brain twin powers. You guys made this infinitely better than it could ever have been otherwise!

Ostensibly, this is for the cottoncandy-bingo prompt "Curtains", as selected by Kris.

It took months after he brought her in for them to even start working as a unit, a real team, not two people thrown together who were occasionally useful to one another. Learning to work together was an uphill battle; it took a lot for them to let someone else have their back. After a few false starts, however, they were finally successful, managed to pull it together on a mission to Russia, land of ice, the Kremlin, and, according to Natasha, the only place in the world to get a decent drink.

It was a simple enough job, just gathering information on a former employee of Howard Stark's, and to celebrate, Natasha got him drunk on cheap vodka while they waited for evac. He'd nursed a hangover the entire flight home, ruing the day he'd met Natasha Romanoff.

All in all? A good mission.

They were sent back to Russia five years, dozens of ops, and one alien invasion (okay, maybe two alien invasions, if you counted that time in Moldova with the anteaters) later, but they knew each other now, knew the other's strengths and weaknesses, relied on each other in a fight. More and more lately, they relied on each other for other things, too. And if Clint had been confused about what they meant to each other before they started screwing each other senseless, well, now he was just baffled.

The close quarters they've been living in since they arrived in Moscow a few months ago certainly wasn't helping matters.

Their assignment couldn't quite be classified as a long con (even if it was hard to call it anything else), and it had started back in the summer with Natasha auditioning and then training for the role of Gisele with a smaller dancing troupe. Clint was along for the ride as her bodyguard (as if she needed it).

It was kind of disconcerting how easily he fell into the role, how well he played a silent, hulking mass of a man who had no purpose in life but to walk her to the stage and back every evening, to hover during rehearsals, to drive her home at night.

He rather liked it (very, very secretly, of course).

He'd initially thought their cover strange for a pair sent in to gather information about designer amphetamines, but, well, to have Nat explain it, this was Russia and ballet was serious business, professional dancers moreso, and one of her ability? Well, she definitely ranked a bodyguard.

And if he got to glower at her adoring (predominantly male) fans? That was just icing on the cake.

He didn't blame them, not really. He got to see her every day, all day, and he could barely peel his eyes away from her. But still.

Truth be told, the entire thing had been a nice break, an unexpected respite from superheroes and evil masterminds. They'd been able to settle into a routine for the first time in, well, years, actually, if he thought about it, and it was a routine centered on the dance studio during the day and back alleys by night. It almost felt like they were spies again instead of tag-a-longs to superheroes.

That was the crux of it, really. Their routine here was one set by them, carried out by them, for them. Just the two of them, him and Natasha, not them and Stark, not Natasha and Rogers running the show with him watching from the sidelines, not them and the team. Just them. Him and her, working a case alone, by themselves, with no one but each other as backup. Just like the old days.

Well, minus the brain melting sex. That definitely wasn't like the old days. But they'd changed since then, since he lowered his arrow instead of putting it through her eye, since she'd dragged his sorry ass out of that fire in Sao Paulo. They've lived through a lot together, and even though he never pictured himself here, watching Natasha float across the stage, he wasn't complaining.

Natasha danced perfectly that night, as always. She melted into her plies (a word he'd grudgingly learned sometime during their second week undercover), pirouetted like a top across the stage, light on her toes and ethereal. She was lost to it, the music, the movement, and he could tell that she felt her role, really felt it, just from the expression on her face. She wasn't emotionless, no matter what others thought, and he would be a terrible partner if he couldn't tell when she was relating too strongly to a fictional character.

When the curtain dropped after the final bows, she shuffled over toward him with exhaustion and elation equally represented in her limbs.

He didn't dare to reach out to her, not physically, but he nodded his appreciation, and he knew that she could tell what he was thinking from the way she blinked slowly in reply before chatting in rapid Russian with the actor playing Albrecht. The man crowded her space, evidently assuming that Natasha's onstage persona ought to carry over behind the scenes as well.

"Albrecht" laughed loudly, obnoxiously, resting his hand on Natasha's shoulder, and Clint tamped down the sudden swell of jealously that ripped through him. He knew better, he really did, and instead of giving in to his gut and punching the man in the face, he imagined all the ways he could strangle him with the stage curtain. He and Natasha had scoped out several good dumping sites two days ago. No one would ever find the body.

Clint valiantly resisted the urge to smile.

At last, Natasha freed herself from her cast mate's attention, and then they were off, headed back to her dressing room to change.

He'd intended to stay outside, hunkering around her door and staring menacingly at anyone who dared test the threshold (pretty boy principal dancers came to mind), but there was something strange, unsettled in the air tonight, and Natasha flicked her eyes and beckoned him to follow her inside.

She reached behind him to lock the door, brushing up against him a bit too nonchalantly, and he suddenly had a very clear idea of just where this was going.

The door barred against intrusion, her posture shifted immediately. Gone was the naïveté, the youth in her step, and she was Natasha again, his Natasha, still graceful, but with the tinge of deadliness that attracted him to her in the first place.

"He's a moron," she said without preamble. Clint did her the courtesy of pretending that he didn't know what she was talking about.

She scoffed. "Give me a break, Barton. I saw you working out where to hide the body."

He laughed at that, moved in close to her, paused for permission before pressing his lips to hers. Pulling back, he said, "Can you really blame me?"

She cracked a smile. "Shit, I'd help."

He knew that already, but it was nice to hear just the same.

He helped her out of her costume then, a strange contraption he never would have given thought to except that it was Natasha's. She called it a "romantic tutu", but he preferred to think of as "too damn much lace and gauze". One hand delicately balanced on his shoulder, she stepped out of the dress, then carefully zipped it inside its bag, hanging it up and putting it on the on the garment rack before she turned back to Clint, heat blooming in her eyes.

He swallowed.

She pushed him backward then, shoved him down onto the couch and crawled into his lap, all heat and vigor. Her hands were everywhere, greedy little things that grasped and clutched and caressed, but then, his were everywhere, too, turnabout being what it was.

It wasn't long before there were too many clothes, too much fabric and lycra, too much everything that wasn't bare flesh, and she was tearing at the wool of his suit.

He was sucking on the underside of her chin when his fingers closed on the knife she'd somehow managed to secret on her body, and he leaned back to grin wolfishly at her.

"God, I love you," he said, and it spoke volumes about the way they've changed in the past few years that she didn't smirk or try to demur, but just attacked him in reply, shucking his jacket and tearing his dress shirt open, the buttons popping off and pinging against the wall. Somewhere in the back of his mind, he recognized that it would present a problem when it came time for them to make their exit, but that was the least of his concerns right now.

Much more interesting was the look Natasha gave him when he unthinkingly held her knife against her thigh. He didn't wait for permission then, figured the heat in her eyes was enough, and he pushed her back to her feet in front of him.

He drew the edge of the blade along her thighs, her hips, watching as her mouth dropped open and she forgot to breathe. Flipping the knife around, he carefully held it as close to the guard as he could, then rubbed it up and down along her slit. He stared at her face, rapt as the flush along her cheeks deepened to a purplish scarlet and spread down her throat, her neck, spilling down her chest. She moaned throatily as he rubbed her, and she leaned closer until her chin was resting on the top of his head. He could see her nipples through the thin fabric of her leotard, and he couldn't stop himself, he really couldn't, because they were right there in front of his face and he was a guy and she was Natasha and suddenly he was lathing her breasts through the fabric and it didn't even matter that he couldn't taste her because she was making the most delicious sounds in the back of her throat.

And then he couldn't take it, couldn't take all the fabric separating them and he attacked, slitting open her leotard and cutting her tights to shreds, ripping the remnants of synthetic clothing from her body and shoving his fingers up inside her when she was bared.

She was slick, pliable and throbbing, already having lost so much of the usual control she exhibited. She leaned forward to clutch at his shoulders as he pumped, and it felt like victory, felt like he was claiming her. He pulled his hands from her, it sent a thrill through his body when she whimpered in response.

He jolted again when she rallied enough to realize why he stopped, when she licked her lips and watched him shed his pants. He stroked himself once, twice, staring cockily up at her, his greedy eyes drinking in the sight of her standing over him, wet and wanting him, but then she was back in his lap, sinking down on him and clutching him tightly inside of her body.

It was good, so good, so fucking perfect, but the angle was wrong, and he needed to be deeper, needed to stake his claim, even if it was irrational. She let him move them, though, let him reposition her until she was bent over, clutching at the arm rest, and then he plunged back into her, kissing and biting her shoulders as he fucked her mindlessly.

She started to curse as he moved, a litany of words that would be meaningless to anyone else, but they spoke the same language, in this more than anything else, and when she moaned his name, begged him for harder, faster, more, fuck, Clint, he obliged even though he knew he couldn't keep the pace for long.

He came shortly after her, unable to control himself after she veritably screeched that she was his, and fuck it, he didn't even give one single shit if everyone in the goddamned theater heard because she was his and he was hers, and there wasn't anything anyone could do about that.

They stumbled out of her dressing room not long after that, and this time, Clint didn't bother to repress his smirk when they passed a wide-eyed Álbrecht in the hall.

All in all, it was a good assignment.

Thanks for reading! If you have a moment, I'd love to hear what you think!