Hi! It's Jez here. Hello. Hi. How's life? Mine's busy. REALLY REALLY REALLY busy. At school the work's being piled on heavily, and I simply don't have time to update regularly. This story's not on hold, but you can expect chapters very sparingly- I tried to do one every day, but I need to keep my grades up. SO. Maybe a chapter every weekend? Don't quote me on this, it depends how much work I have! review, favorite, follow, update, blah, bye! ~Jez P.S: You guys see the Iron Man 3 trailer? EPPPIIiCCCCC.
Clint leaned over the rail, watching Natasha intently. Her moves were as smooth and agile as ever as she dodged the multiple exercise trainers attacking her. It was obvious who was going to win before the fight had even started- the trainers were older, and had more practice, but Natasha had the right amount of natural talent combined with intelligence to take them out without even ruffling a hair on her head. Clint knew from experience.
As Natasha brought down the third trainer onto the floor, the last stood up from where he had been sheltering himself from her blows. Lines of frustration were etched deeply into the stocky man's face as he circled her. His eyes were wary as he attempted to analyze her next move, but like everyone else, he was wrong as he barreled towards her. Almost scoffing in contempt, Natasha did a perfect flip over him and the man crashed to the floor. Natasha kicked him from behind to make sure he stayed down, and then turned to meet Clint's eyes. He gave her a nod and got a barely perceptible one in return.
"Agent Barton?" Clint had been aware of agent Phil Coulson approaching from behind him, but didn't tear his eyes away from the training scene below. "I keep telling you to just call me Clint." He commented dryly as Natasha got to work on the punching bags.
"I know. Sorry. The boss wants me to try being professional." Phil said apologetically, and Clint turned to shake his hand. "I figured."
"You got my message, then?"
"Yes, Hill made sure of that. She has a very loud voice." Clint grimaced, rubbing at his ears.
"You weren't answering your comlink." Phil pointed out reasonably.
"Is that what you're going to tell Fury when he loses his best agent because he can't hear anything?" Clint asked him, deadpan, and Phil's lips twitched in amusement. "You don't have to worry. I'll be the one filling out a mountain of paperwork."
Clint didn't reply. He had turned to watch Natasha train again, and his hands gripped the rail so tightly his knuckles turned white. He pulled an arrow out of his quiver instinctively, and then slid it back into place. "Why me?"
"Why were you asked to supervise Natasha's training?" Phil asked ruefully, as if he had known the conversation would steer that way. Clint nodded neutrally, and Phil gave him another contrite, slightly awkward smile. "You've been studying her file for so long you must know it by heart. And you've faced her before; you know her better than us."
"What about me being the best agent in S.H.I.E.L.D?" Clint asked sardonically and Phil raised an eyebrow. "You know, once, people were humble."
"Once people also believed the Earth was flat." Clint replied cynically, looking once again at Phil. "You've got to live in the times."
Phil was unfazed, and checked his watch. "I'm living in the time right now- I'm actually late for an important meeting with the 'great' Tony Stark."
Clint pulled a sympathetic face. "That billionaire? I've seen him on the TV. The guy's a nightmare."
"But," Phil added steadily, "S.H.I.E.L.D could use his genius. Which is why I have to go." Despite his cheery attitude, his voice held no enthusiasm, and as he turned to leave he clapped Clint on the back. "Good luck with Black Widow."
"Who?" Clint said blankly, with a hint of surprise in his voice. Phil shrugged. "That's what they call her. Even Commander Fury is doing it."
"Odd." Clint mused. "She's not really like a spider…."
"But deadly like a black widow." Phil said seriously, swiveling to face Clint again, despite his lateness for his meeting. "Whatever thing you have for her~"
Clint began to protest loudly against this statement, but the other man cut him off impatiently. "Whatever it is, Clint… don't underestimate her and definitely don't trust her. She may have sworn herself to S.H.I.E.L.D's cause, but we've had double agents before."
"And dealt with them accordingly." Clint replied confidently, casting aside his worries.
"None of them were as skilled as Natasha Romanoff. Watch your back. I'd hate to have to find someone to replace you- interviewing people is an absolute pain in the ass." Phil left this time, his footsteps echoing throughout the hall. Clint was relieved; this drilling was the last thing he needed right now. When his comlink beeped, he sighed in disgust and gingerly pressed the button, holding his ears. "Hill?"
"No. Me." Fury's flat tone registered, but Clint, tired and drained, felt the need to act difficult. "Who's me? Me me being the garbage man, or?"
"Shut up, Barton. That's an order." Fury snapped, and Clint snapped a mock salute.
"I have a mission for you. Barton, have you ever been to Budapest..?"