Disclaimer: The Avengers characters are not mine, just borrowed for this story.

Reviews are always welcome and appreciated

Note* for this story I decided to try something different. Each chapter is named after a song I believe reflects either a character or some aspect of the chapter. At the end of the chapter will be the name of the artist who performs the song. I'm not sure how well it turned out but hopefully it adds a little extra to each chapter.

The Devil Looks After His Own

Natasha was standing out on the middle of the roof staring off at the horizon. Her black dress sparkled in the moonlight; the city lights lit up the night sky like the perfect backdrop, and the nearest souls were a hundred floors down. She didn't turn around as Clint made his way across the roof to stop just behind her. Everything was eerily quiet except for the steady sound his breathing; like the world had melted away just for them.

Hesitantly he called out her name. Failing to get a response he reached across the small distance between them and placed his hand tenderly on her shoulder. As soon as his hand made contact she spun around brusquely and locked eyes with him. He could normally get lost in those jade green eyes, but his attention was immediately pulled to the sharp stabbing pain that tore through his side; a small gasp escaped his lips.

As he looked down, he shakily brought his hand to the knife that Natasha had plunged into him. His hand gently wrapped around hers which was still tightly grasping the hilt of the weapon in the fatal wound. Clint could taste the warm copper of the blood that was dripping over his lip and he looked into Natasha's eyes to find cold indifference.

His voice trembled. "Why?"

"Shhhh." She placed a hand gently behind his head and cradled it to her neck as Clint felt his body begin to sag. Natasha brought them down to their knees with more care than he could ever remember her showing him. She placed a loving kiss to his cheek to pacify his weak attempts at struggling.

Barton didn't know what hurt worse; the blade in his gut or Natasha's betrayal. He painstakingly wracked his brain for a reason to justify her action. If it was going to be anyone to take him out he supposed he would rather it have been her, here in her arms.

His body felt heavy and he had no choice but to lean against her. His hands dropped by his side and his forehead now hung heavily on her shoulder. Summoning the last bit of strength he could he tried one more time. "Why Natasha?"

She brushed her hand across his chin and gently lifted it off her shoulder. He screwed his eyes shut letting out a whimper of pain as she twisted the knife deep in his gut. When he finally managed to open them again what was facing him was far worse than the impending death that was whispering his name on the soft breeze. Instead of the vibrant green eyes that had been a constant at his side, were the icy cold blue ones the Tesseract freely offered.

A million questions ran through Barton's mind. The how and why was Loki back and when did he claim Natasha as his own? They all died on his lips, drowned in the blood that now poured freely from his mouth. The darkness was calling and pulling him under. He drew in one last breath as Natasha leaned closer and gently whispered in his ear, "bluer than velvet were her eyes."

Clint shot up in bed gasping for breath, hand immediately going to the stabbing pain in his side but there was no blood on his fingers; no knife protruding from him. He sprang from the tangled sheets and rushed to the bathroom. Yanking up his shirt he stared at the spot where he had felt the blade slide in but in the soft glow of the bathroom light there wasn't a mark. Getting his breathing back under control he started to make his way back to bed when the haunting voice of Lana Del Ray caught his attention. "And I still can see blue velvet through my tears."

It was then he noticed the flashing light of his alarm clock. "What the hell," muttered Clint. The numbers on the clock flashed in time with his growing anger.

"JARVIS, who set my alarm for three thirty in the morning?"

"My apologies sir, but Mr. Stark is presently reconfiguring my systems resulting in various glitches in the network. It appears your alarm clock was affected."

"Tell Stark I hate him. You know what never mind; I'll tell him myself. He's in his lab?"

"Indeed sir."

Clint was use to having nightmares, particularly ones involving Loki and the Tesseract but that was the first one when it wasn't him being controlled. In fact that had been one of the worst dreams he had in a while and the walk to the lab might help settle his nerves. If he was going to be honest, it was kind of a relief that the radio had woke him up. Barton didn't really want to know what Natasha was going to say before Blue Velvet replaced it, as oddly fitting as it had been.

Finding himself in front of the lab door Clint punched in his access code and entered into the middle of another AC/DC marathon blasting over Tony's speakers. Stark was too busy manipulating things on one of the computer screens to notice Barton's arrival and yelped as he turned to find the archer standing right next to him.

"Jesus Barton! JARVIS cut the music. That's creepy; you assassins need to wear a bell or something - don't you know it's rude to sneak up on people like that."

"Rude?! How about having my alarm go off at three thirty in the morning?"

"Brilliance doesn't recognize decent hours of the day. I had an epiphany on how to make JARVIS better, unfortunately installing the updates I need is wreaking havoc on his systems and a few inconsistences have popped up. I'll get it all sorted; but don't worry, Cap already came down here and said his peace and your girlfriend left her calling card..."

Barton glared at Stark who rolled his eyes at the archer's protest. Sometimes it was too easy to get a rise out of the man, and Tony couldn't resist poking at the complicated 'not relationship' the two SHIELD agents tactfully ignored.

Clint then looked at the dagger imbedded in the wall and pictured an irate Widow coming down to the lab to talk to the insomniac; he was kind of sorry he missed it.

"So I decided to call it a night and finish up later. It's you guys that are going to suffer though; these little hiccups will be occurring until I finish. So if you get burnt toast or miss a meeting in the next few days, don't come crying to me."

Waving Stark off Clint headed back upstairs but decided against going to his room. There was little chance that he was going to get anymore sleep now anyway. Grabbing a blanket from the closet and a cup of coffee from the kitchen he headed up to the roof to watch the sunrise. At the very least he could disprove his fear that a killer redhead with a knife would be waiting up there for him.

Blue Velvet by Lana Del Ray