A fill for the cottoncandy-bingo prompt, "Fight".
Thanks to eiluned, Amanda, and Bees for putting up with me and all this fluff bingo nonsense for the past several months. I never would have gotten this far without you guys!
Additional thanks to all of you lovely people who've been reading and reviewing and favoriting my stories on this wild ride - love you guys!
"For the record, next time Cap mentions Doom bots, I'm sick," he said, taking the bottle Natasha passed him. "I am way too old for this shit."
Natasha snorted at him. "Ok, Murtaugh," she replied sarcastically, and then she leaned her shoulder against his. "But you'll have to do it yourself because the next time Cap calls, I'm throwing my phone away."
"Do me a favor and toss mine, too, in that case." He took a long pull from the bottle before passing it back. He grimaced. "Jesus, Nat. Where the hell did you get that shit? It takes like a toilet."
She smirked at him with cracked lips. "In Mother Russia, vodka drinks you," she said, tipping the bottle toward her mouth.
He pushed back against her, wincing when he felt the strain in his ribs. "I am never letting you near the internet again."
She chuckled. "You love it."
He nodded, took another drink, and said without malice, "Yeah, well, no accounting for taste."
They both sighed, growing silent. Conversation between them had always been secondary to everything else, and right now, everything else included not moving more than absolutely necessary and drinking enough of Natasha's rot gut potato vodka that they wouldn't feel it when they eventually didhave to move.
It had been a hard battle, one they'd nearly lost, all of it resulting in Clint now counting Dr. Doom as his least favorite supervillian (he'd rank Doom even below that creepy guy with the demon powers, Panda Master, or whatever it was, and that guy had melted Clint's favorite bow).
Doom had unleashed a horde of robots on an unsuspecting crowd of last minute Christmas shoppers, and SHIELD and the local pd both had called for backup. Things had been touch and go for a while, and Clint felt lucky to have scraped through with nothing more than a three cracked ribs, a black eye, and a few scattered abrasions.
Natasha, on the other hand, had been caught off guard by one of the Doom bots, and she'd been knocked into a wall and unconscious, sliding into a pool of blood that had taken him far too long to determine was not primarily hers. His entire world had ground to a standstill as he'd frantically checked for her pulse.
Outside his decidedly narrow focus, the combined forces of their super-powered teammates had saved the day (which would have stung more if he hadn't been too busy worrying about Nat). They'd destroyed all the Doom bots and wrapped the whole situation up so neatly that he'd be hard pressed to find fault with it (well, except for the idea that anyone could somehow keep Doom in prison).
After Natasha woke up, the six of them had headed back to headquarters together, all of them going their separate ways at the elevator - Tony to the lab to tweak some repulsor design or the other, Bruce to his bed to sleep off his "Hulk migraine", and Steve to, well, probably lament property damage or some shit like that. Thor, he knew, would be in the kitchens, tearing through everything edible he could lay his hands on.
He and Natasha had headed up to the roof with a bottle of vodka. It was kind of their thing.
"Do you think the others ever feel like this?" he asked after a while.
Natasha swallowed, looking up at the sky thoughtfully. "Thor probably likes it if he does."
He laughed. "Stark wouldn't admit it," he said, taking the bottle back.
Natasha shook her head. "Definitely not." She turned to look at him. "Bruce is probably still sleeping the Hulk off . . ."
"And Rogers probably hasn't felt tired since that time in the Savage Land," he finished.
Natasha frowned. "Which time? That time he got stuck there with the Skrulls? Or when we had to get the keys to the Quinjet back after that T. Rex ate them?"
Clint shuddered. That last . . . incidentmanaged to give him recurring nightmares where alien invasions and hordes of sentient bugs had not. He shook his head, forcing himself back to the present.
He held the rapidly emptying bottle up, inspecting its contents. "This shit needs to come with some kind of warning label - 'Warning: might cause blindness. Drink at your own risk'."
She grabbed the bottle back. "If you don't like it, then stop drinking it," she muttered, tossing in a few choice insults. Then, louder, she added, "As if the pigswill you call beer is any better than my crappy vodka."
"Ahah!" he exclaimed victoriously. "So you admit that it's crappy!"
Natasha raised an eyebrow, then drained the end of the bottle. "I never claimed otherwise. Besides, it's Polish," she finished disdainfully, as if that somehow explained its quality.
"Excuses, excuses," he said.
She rolled her eyes and scooted closer. "Nothing but the worst for my guy."
"Mmhmm," he replied, priding himself on the fact that he didn't miss a beat even though being called her guy was enough to set his heart aflutter. Stupid cheap ass vodka. "I bet you say that to all the girls."
It wasn't his best, but then he was pretty sure he was a hell of a lot drunker than he currently felt.
Natasha looked at him funny, and he got the feeling she would smack him except that her arm really wasn't capable of moving that way at the moment.
"You are seriously disturbed," she said.
He sighed at that, not finding a good retort, and instead of saying anything, he just stared at her. Gingerly, as much for his own benefit as hers, he reached out and traced a line on her cheek with his forefinger.
"I was worried about you back there," he said, feeling the vodka really start to hit and watching Natasha's face swim in front of him. "All that blood . . . I don't know what I would do without you."
She stared at him for a long moment, opening her mouth and closing it several times, looking for all the world like a confused fish. At length, she said, "As soon as I can put weight on this leg, I am going to fuck the shit out of you, Barton."
He drank again and threw his arm around her shoulders. It only hurt a little. Like, when he breathed. Small price to pay.
"I expect at least three orgasms," he replied with a grin.