You're Late, Barton.
He was supposed to be back hours ago! Why isn't he back or why hasn't he called? My thoughts practically screamed as the music blast in my ears from my iPod and I punch the dummy I am sparring with. "Where are you, Clint?"
I keep practicing until I fall to my knees breathless and yank the buds out of my ears. I run my hands through my sweaty hair and stand turning to see Dr. Bruce Banner standing there. "Hey."
"Hey. You okay? You've been in here since four this morning." He says and raises a brow.
"Yeah, yeah…I'm fine. Just trying to relax." I nod and grab my water taking a long drink trying to make my mind shut off the frantic thoughts.
"It's Clint, isn't it?" He asks and I close my eyes making them look calm.
"What about him? He's not even here." I shrug and sit bouncing my knee.
"And you are worried about him…" Bruce crosses his arms and looks down at me.
"Well, h-he is my partner, Banner." I stammer and sigh. Get a hold of yourself, Widow! It's just Clint.
"Yeah…" He grins and turns to leave as I sit thinking of excuses as to why Clint is late.
Clint's mission was just a bit harder than we thought and he'll be rushing in the door unscathed any minute now…He's just trying to make me worry, just like does with me. Yeah, that's it…he's just messing with me.
"Barton's been compromised." I hear Coulson's voice in my head and I flinch getting up to go to the 53rd floor of the Tower which is our level. I put my water and iPod down thinking of ways to distract myself. I sigh feeling my hand move around the wedding ring on my necklace and look down. "Come home, Clint."
I growl to myself and tuck the necklace back in my shirt turning to go to the large bathroom for a bath. "JARVIS, run a hot, bubble bath please."
"Yes, Mrs. Romanoff." The robotic voice says and I hear the water start running. I. strip down and pull the silver chain off my neck to look at diamond band with tearful eyes. I slide it on my finger for the first time in months remembering that mission in Rio three years ago.
"Come on, Nat! This is our chance to be together and we don't have to tell anyone." Clint practically begs holding my hands and looking in my eyes. "You already know I love you more than anything in the world and I know you love me too. I see it in your eyes, Tasha."
I smile faintly and slip in the tub leaning my head back as my body slowly relaxes. I close my eyes and sigh. "JARVIS, play Clint's most played music."
"Of course, Mrs. Romanoff." The voice says and Coldplay starts to play softly.
I slowly get out of the tub pulling on underwear, bra and shorts on before turning to search in the closet for a shirt. I stop when I find one of Clint's S.H.I.E.L.D hoodies and bring it to my face inhaling his scent deeply. I quickly pull it on and go to our room groaning when I hear someone coming up through the elevator. I go to the living room seeing Tony and Steve looking around.
"Hey, Red." Tony says and enters the kitchen area looking in the fridge.
"Stark. Get out of my kitchen or I will make sure that piece of shrapnel gets to your heart." I hiss crossing my arms and glare at him as he steps away.
"I told him not to bother you, Natasha. I'm sorry." Steve says and I shrug.
"Not your fault. I'm just going to bed, I don't feel well." I say turning to walk back to the bedroom.
"If you are worried about Katniss, I can locate him." Tony says and I stop looking over my shoulder. "I can tap into S.H.I.E.L.D's tracking on him and find where he's at."
"Do it." I nod and enter the bedroom shutting the door quite loudly. I crawl in bed telling JARVIS to shut the curtains and turn the lights off so I can sleep.
I smile faintly looking in the mirror seeing myself in all white and lace while Clint dresses in a black suit and tie. He comes behind me placing his hands on my waist and kisses my shoulder. "So beautiful…"
"Clint… I love you." I pull his arms around me as I turn to face him and smile looking at him. Our eyes break away from each other to look at the window with quirked brows as we hear helicopter blades from above and we grab our preferred weapons.
I jump awake gun in hand hearing actual helicopter blades from outside and I jump up running to the elevator to go up to the main living room. I aim the gun in front of me and the doors opens to reveal Thor with his hammer, Steve shield in hand, Tony looking arrogant, Bruce sleepy eyed but frustrated and finally Clint with various cuts, bruises and burns.
"Going to shoot me, Nat?" He says with a slight smirk that I know too well and I lower the gun slowly walking closer.
"You're late, Barton." I cross my arms looking at him and tilt my head, my eyes wandering over the cut on his temple.
"Ran into some trouble, like always." He shrugs then winces losing his grip on his bow and I step forward not letting it slip through his fingers or mine. I press my other hand to the center of his chest to help him stay up right knowing he won't want to show weakness to everyone else and look up at him. "Knife wound on my back."
"Let's get you to our floor and I'll take care of it." I slip his bow into my hand and pull his arm over my shoulders.
"I'll look at him, Natasha." Bruce says and I shake my head slightly.
"I got this, Banner. We've patched each other up too any times to count." I say leading Clint to the elevator while everybody watches us and I push the right floor number keeping quiet until we get there.
"Nat, I'm sorry..." Clint starts and I stop him by kissing him softly. I look up at him and try to blink back tears. "Oh, baby...I scared you that badly?"
I shake my head and help him get to the bathroom to sit him on the edge of the tub. "You're just never late and it was your first solo mission after the whole Loki thing..."
Clint takes my hands pulling me to him and kisses my forehead. "You know I will always come home to you whether I'm two weeks late or two weeks early."
I nod hugging him tightly and sit back on my heels to unbuckle his quiver of few arrows. I lay them behind me and he starts to unzip his vest as I get a cool cloth. I sit on my knees in front of him and gently clean the cut on his temple as he removes his wrist guards and gloves. "What happened?"
"I had everything done and was practically out of the building when this idiot yelled "Hey, that's Hawkeye!" and two guards grabbed me." Clint answers and watches my face as he pushes his vest off gritting his teeth. "I wanted to shoot the guy then but that might have made things worse."
"You think?" I stand to pull off his undershirt and sigh seeing the bruises. "Managed to keep this safe, eh?" I smile and run my fingers along the silver chain holding the wedding band and arrow with a golden Hawk's eye on it I gave him years ago.
"Of course." Clint smiles placing his hand over mine on his heart and runs his finger along my ring. "You're wearing yours?"
I smile softly and nod lacing our fingers together on his chest. "I really missed you, Clint."
"I missed you too, beautiful." He kisses my cheek winking and stands turning to let me clean the cuts on his back. "God, that stings..."
"Sorry, babe." I kiss his shoulder and finish by putting some bandages on the gash under his shoulder. "That's going to hurt for a few days."
"Tell me about it…" Clint mutters and kicks off his boots taking knifes and two guns out of his belt. I slide my hand in his side pockets to pull out extra weapons only we know about. "Hey. Watch it."
"What?" I look at him and my hands freeze thinking he's hurt on his legs too.
He grabs me pulling me around to his front and holds my waist. "What if I had something in there you don't need to know about?"
"Like what?" I raise a brow and looks up him with my hands on his sides.
Clint pulls something from his pocket and I gasp softly seeing a smile red velvet box. He looks me in the eyes and smiles softly opening the box. "Another reason why I was late...I owe you this from a long time ago when you told me what kind of ring you would want. Remember that?"
I nod looking at the ring shocked and tears up seeing the black diamond in the center, aquamarine stones surrounding it in a square and diamonds along the band.
"I know we agreed to keep this a secret and we still can if that's what you want but I want people to know you are mine. I love you so much and I want everyone to know that." He grins sliding the ring on my finger and kisses me softly.
I cup his face and smile standing on my toes to hug him tight. "If they see my rings and ask then we tell them, I promise."
"I love you, Nat." He kisses my lips repeatedly and holds me close. "I'll change and we'll go to bed."
I nod and stop him taking his ring off the chain to put it on his finger. "There."
Clint leans his head into my neck nuzzling and just holds me as I wrap my arms around him. We grin at each other and I help him get changed into some shorts. I take his hand and lead us through to the bedroom to get in. I let him get situated not wanting him to be in pain and curl up into his side laying my head on his chest. "Goodnight, baby."
"'Night, beautiful." Clint says kissing my head and rubs my back a we finally fall asleep comfortably safe in each others arms.