Her long red hair fell into her face as she leaned her head towards him, slowly sliding her hands up his arms until they came to rest on his shoulders.

"Tasha…" He murmured, trying to remind himself why he shouldn't just reach out and tuck the fiery strands behind her ear. "This isn't right…"

"Sssh…" She whispered, pulling herself against him. "I know you want this. Just kiss me, Clint," she said softly, her lips were just inches from his….

He awoke with a start, his nose catching a familiar scent as he rolled over and squinted in the darkness. His eyes took in the ivory dresser, floor length mirror and wine colored curtains. Natasha's bedroom….

"So sleeping beauty wakes up," she murmured from the doorway, her eyes sparkling with an amused expression. She set a tray down next to him. "How's your head?"

He sat up slowly, his mouth slightly open. "Whaaaat….. what am I doing here?"

She sat down beside him, her mouth forming a frown. "Don't you remember? We were caught in a firefight, and you hit your head. The doctor says you don't have a concussion, but I didn't think you should be alone, with Bobbi still in Seattle and all."

He nodded. "Won't your boyfriend be jealous?"

"I doubt it," she said with a smile, reaching out to ruffle his unruly hair. "So, really. How's your head?"

"Fine, I guess."

"Well, you should still get some rest. Sleep now."

"Nat?" A voice called from the hallway. "We better get going, or we'll be late for work." He poked his head in the door.

"Barnes," Clint greeted.

"Hey. Good, you're awake." He wrapped an arm around Natasha's waist. "Ready?"

She nodded, reaching for her long trench coat. "You, stay here," she told Clint, pointing her finger for emphasis. "I'll check on you at lunch."

He groaned loudly.

"I'd listen to her if I were you, Barton," James advised.

"Fine," he mumbled. "See ya."

He waited until after he'd heard her car speed away before he made his way to the living area and plopped down on the couch.


Hours later, he looked up from the television long enough to murmur a quick "Hey," when he heard her turn the doorknob.

"Well, this is a pathetic sight," she said.

He turned back to her. "Where's Barnes?"

"He stayed for a private meeting with Fury. Why aren't you in bed?"

He shrugged.

She moved over to him, patting his leg so he would make room for her and he obliged. "What are you watching?"

"Don't know. Don't care."

She frowned. "Is there something you wanted to talk about? You don't seem like yourself."

He shook his head.

"Did Bobbi call?" She pressed. "I left a message for her last night. She must be heading back soon, right?"

He sighed. "Bobbi's not coming back from Seattle, Tasha."


"Well, I mean I guess she is at some point, but not to me."

"What are you talking about?" She asked softly, placing a gentle hand on his knee.

"We broke up. Again."

"Oh, honey, I'm so sorry," she said sincerely. "What happened?"

"I don't know. We want to be together, we just can't make it work. Happens sometimes, I guess."

"So, you're just giving up? Is that really what you want?"

"Could you not touch me right now?" He asked, gazing at her hand which was now gripping him more tightly.

"Sorry," she said, pulling away.

He shook his head. "It's fine. It's just that you're really hot and I haven't had any action outside of that firefight in awhile."

"So let's go."

He raised his eyebrows. "What?"

"You and me. Right here, right now," she said, crawling into his lap.

"Uh… Tasha…"

"What's the matter?" She purred, nuzzling her nose along his jaw.

"We can't just…"

"Why not?"

"Because.. we can't."

She smiled. "Because you're going to go after her?"

"No… we're finished, I just told you."

"I don't buy that. You've changed."

"How so?"

"Well, I left it wide open for you, just now and you didn't do anything," she pointed out.

"But I wanted to," he said quietly.

"Obviously not."

"You give me too much credit," he muttered. "Believe me, if I wasn't scared that Barnes would take my head off with his bare hands I would have had you up against the back of the couch five minutes ago. Don't tell him I said that."

She grinned. "Since when do you not take what you want?"

"When there's somebody stronger than me that could beat me up real bad."

"Now, I know that's not you at all, Clint. But assuming that were true, what if there's nothing standing in your way except you?"

"What are you talking about? Are you saying I should change for her? Because if you are, then baby you don't know me at all."

"No, I'm not saying that. I'm saying you just do whatever you have to do to work it out."

He thought for a moment. "I guess you're right. I'm just so sick of this back and forth."

"Well, you do what you feel is right, but whatever you do, don't give up on yourself."

He stood up from the couch. "Thanks, Tash. I'll see you later."

"Where do you think you're going?"

"I'm going to Seattle for a few days." He said with a grin.