Natasha blocked Clint's fist, knocking his arm out of the way, and using it as leverage to flip herself around his fit body, landing lithely behind him. She kicked the back of his legs, sending him stumbling forward and effectively messing up his near perfect balance. Clint ducked out of her lethal hold, dropping down and kicking her feet out from under her in one smooth motion and sending her on her back. Before he could pin her, she vaulted backwards into a handstand, scissoring her thighs around his chest, bringing her partner crashing to the mat. He wrapped his hand around her ankle, pulling Natasha off of his chest and down beside him. He pinned her arms to the mat, tilting his head down so he was inches from her lips and could feel her staccato breaths fanning across his face.

"Dead." He whispered quietly in her ear. He smirked as a suppressed shiver made her heartbeat race even faster than it already had been from sparring.

"Good, Barton." Their handler praised from where he leaned against the worn ring ropes. Hawkeye glanced at his friend, loudly voicing his thanks to the man. Natasha directed a slight, barely noticeable nod of her head to Clint that meant 'Good job.' The cocky glint to Clint's silver eyes nearly made the Russian spy roll her eyes. 'Thanks.' She narrowed her eyes on the hold he had maintained on her forearms. 'Now get up.' Clint breathed a chuckle, rolling off his partner and hauling her lightweight body up as he stood.

Phil Coulson watched the silent conversation, engrossed in his Agents' unique communication skills. It'd been five years as of today since a twenty-one year old Hawkeye dragged a dangerous and uncooperative Russian assassin into SHIELD, four and a half since the same assassin had begun to trust Clint. Phil had witnessed more of their unspoken conversations in that time span then was possible to count and it still never failed to amaze him; the way they seemed to be naturally tuned to each other, the way they seemed to read each other's thoughts, the way their sparring looked more like a choreographed ballet then fighting and moreover the way they had learned to trust each other.

When Coulson recruited Clint Barton, he found him as a broken boy, lost in the dark and drowning in utter betrayal with no knowledge of a way to save himself from the life he'd gotten himself tangled in. He found a boy who was incapable of trust. When Clint brought Natasha in, all Phil saw was a skilled Russian gun-for-hire who had defected from her country and posed a danger to everyone on base. Clint on the other hand, saw through her thick cement mask. He saw himself in her. He saw a scared girl who had the same inability to trust that he had before Phil taught him how to again.

And looking at them now, the same distrusting kids that had come to him broken, now made whole by each other, seemed unreal to Phil.

Clint and Natasha brushed themselves off, looking over at their glaze-eyed handler waiting for the next set of instructions. The two agents crossed the mat, leaning against the black ropes on either side of Coulson, waiting patiently for him to snap out of whatever he was thinking about.

"Good, Clint." Phil repeated suddenly. "But you are still letting her get behind you! Stay one step ahead of her and watch your back, we've gone over this." He coached. "You did well too Natasha, but you got too cocky and lost focus." She nodded, she had already known that. "Understood?"

"Yes sir." Clint mocked. A smirk twitched at Coulson's mouth.

"Good, now get out of here. Both of you." He added, jerking his head behind them at the closed metal door.

"What?" they questioned simultaneously, looking for clarification.

"You heard me. Out. Before I change my mind." He grumbled, massaging his temples with his thumbs. It took Clint no more than a second to put the date with the break they were being gifted. Natasha's brain caught up with her perceptive partner's moments later.

"Thanks Phil." Natasha told him, hesitantly putting her hand on his shoulder as she walked by. Phil flawlessly covered his reaction to the contact with a smile, the realization that a second ago had been the first physical form of affection she had ever offered to him. No matter how insignificant it seemed to anyone else, it meant a lot to Phil. Clint looked at her curiously as they left the gym, the gesture towards their handler had not gone unnoticed by him. She shrugged, a motion that Clint knew meant she would tell him eventually. They both habitually stopped at Clint's room, ignoring Natasha's almost empty SHIELD issued dorm room.

"You first," Natasha muttered, nudging him towards the bathroom. Clint disappeared behind the door without a word. The sound of the door closing behind him was echoed by the sound of the shower being turned on. The red head dropped down on Clint's bed, tucking her arm underneath her head while she waited for Clint to finish. He emerged from the bathroom a few minutes later, light brown hair dripping wet, wearing shorts and a skin tight shirt that left a transfixed Russian spy in its wake.

"You done yet, Nat?" he scoffed, noticing that her stare was fixed on his upper body. She swallowed thickly, glaring at the immature man as she moved past him towards the still steaming bathroom.

Clint laughed quietly once the door had closed. It was always entertaining to watch the 'emotionless' Black Widow's reaction to her feelings, even if it deniably and vaguely disappointed him that she tried to repress it. She took a little longer to shower then he had and when she came out, braiding her wet ruby red hair over her shoulder in short black shorts and a tight red tank top, both of which had probably been stowed away in his closet somewhere, he found himself in the same position she had been in earlier.

"You done yet Barton?" she teased, smirking a smirk that rivaled that of the devils. He blinked slowly a few times, dragging his eyes away from her body to meet her eyes.

"You're going to be the death of me Tasha." He groaned matter-of-factly, tossing a small black box through the air, turning away and walking towards the opposite corner of the room. She peeled away the crude wrapping job, smiling down at the gift in her hand. She scrolled through the playlists that had been loaded onto the iPod, freezing when she came to the folder titled September 22; the day she first admitted she loved him. She wasn't sure then, and she still wasn't sure now, when she started admitting the childish emotion to herself, but at some point between the day he'd spared her life and September 22, she had. One quick glance at the first few songs had her striding across the room and slamming Barton into the wall. His face stayed blank as he waited to see what she would do. He relaxed internally when she crashed her lips against his. He wound his arms around her small frame, kissing her back without hesitation.

"Thank you for saving me five years ago." She whispered against his lips when she pulled away. He laughed, almost inaudibly.

"You saved me too, you know." He explained. She smiled teasingly before leaning back into the kiss.