Prompt: Natasha appreciating Clint's looks, but in a down - to - earth, realistic way? Because he does have more years than her, and he isn't a young boy with a perfect bodybuilder's figure. He's mature and powerful and experienced (in many different ways); there are signs of that experience on him, there are scars, and one of the best things about him? He wears that body of his so well, and she really, truly loves it. (mostly my reaction to "Clint has a six pack" which I often see around; because while he might have had it as a younger man, I don't see him spending time reducing body fat as nearly - 40 years old SHIELD agent. It's hard, it takes time, besides, body fat is useful, especially for someone with work as hard as his.)
Disclaimer: I own nothing but the story, though I would like to appreciate a Clint of my own, thank you J
Author's notes: All the cookies in the world to the wonderful alphaflyer for beta'ing this monster in all its iterations, making sure it is readable, telling me I was onto something from the start. Also to the awesome anuna_81, who not only supplied the prompt, but told me she loved my first draft and showed me how to make this story so much better than I thought it already was ;) Ladies, you are wonderful and helped me tremendously in stretching my writing muscles, I can't thank you enough!

Feedback is love, so please share your thoughts with me 3

Natasha looked up from the book she'd been reading as Clint exited the bathroom after his hot shower, clad only in a pair of boxer shorts, a fresh white gauze pad taped across the wound on his chest. This last mission had been physically demanding. Clint had been clipped by a bullet across the ribs, falling from his sniper's perch in a tree and bruising his back rather impressively as a result. Once healed, the bullet wound would make a great addition to his scar collection. Although both were rather minor injuries, it would take him a while to get back in the game after this. His body wasn't healing as fast as it used to, now that he was approaching 40.

Natasha knew the stories behind all the marks marring his body (and most of those that burdened his soul). She didn't like it when they couldn't go on missions together, but this one hadn't required her special skillset. And he almost didn't make it back to her, a thought that made her heart clench while she reveled in the sight of him making his way over to their bed, over to her. Seeing Clint like this was never easy, every time it happened was once too often for her liking.

Although he looked beat up to hell and moved gingerly, he was still all lethal grace and lived-in skin. He really wore that body of his well, even as he had to carefully lower himself to his side of the bed with a wince and a sigh. She could tell he was relieved to be lying down when it seemed that his whole body went boneless as he sank into their comfortable mattress. Grateful that he was still with her, she felt warmth spreading through her, deep affection for her partner both in the field and of her heart. He closed his eyes for a moment; he really looked a mess. Putting her book down, she rummaged in the drawer of her bedside table and grabbed the bottle of arnica oil she's stashed there for occasions like this. Needing to feel him alive beneath her hands she'd massage his aching body, knowing that he would feel better once she had rubbed some of it on his bruised back.

Twirling the bottle in front of his face, she tapped him gently on his chest. "Turn over, old man. Let me make you more comfortable."

He scoffed at the moniker and stuck his tongue out at Natasha, making her burst out in relieved laughter. His antics melted the tension in her stomach as she realized that he was really back with her. He may be 10 years older than her on paper, but she adored that he had retained this childish sense of fun. It was something she'd very rarely experienced before and she loved the levity he could infuse into even the direst situations. And Natasha, who sometimes felt like the oldest soul on Earth, loved that he made her feel young around him.

When he turned towards her to roll onto his front, the skin over his belly pulled taut, for a second revealing the massive, naturally sculpted abs that usually hid beneath a thin layer of fat. Nobody would think to look for them and Clint didn't spend hours in the gym working on his body; his body was shaped by the life he led.

Once he was settled more or less comfortably, she straddled his butt and gently began massaging the oil onto his bruised back, drawing a contented sigh from Clint as she felt his muscles relax. He wouldn't allow himself to be vulnerable with anyone else, which made this all the more special for both of them. Natasha loved doing this for him – and for her, it soothed her when she could feel his broad shoulders, shaped by years of pulling the bowstring and doing acrobatics, lose the tension the injury had brought, reaffirming that he was going to be ok.

Tracing his shoulder blades she smiled as she remembered Clint soaring through the air like his namesake when working on the high bar, his favorite. She loved seeing him like that and could spend hours in the gym watching him, a look of elated concentration on his face. You can take the boy out of the circus, but getting the circus out of the boy? Not a chance, it seemed.

His whole back was crisscrossed by faint scars, so old that they had faded to thin silver lines. Seeing the markings on his back always made her seethe with impotent fury and protectiveness. If his father hadn't been dead for longer than she'd been alive, she would have gladly killed him for what he had done to his family, to her Hawk. Even though she bore similar marks as physical reminders of her upbringing, she hadn't received them at the hands of her parents; that intimate betrayal made Clint's far worse in her eyes.

Rubbing some oil onto her hands, she kneaded those strong biceps and the sinewy corded muscles of his forearms. They were a testament to his weapon of choice, but also spoke of agility and endurance. As an archer and sniper he had to be able to hold a position – and his weapon - for hours at a time. Endurance was everything, when waiting for the perfect moment to strike.

His arms felt cold, the extensive bruising seemingly impeding the blood flow to his upper extremities. Natasha knew the arnica would help with that, so her fingers dug deep into the muscle, working it in, feeling warmth return with every determined stroke.

"Feels good", Clint mumbled into the pillow he had placed under his head, a shiver running through him.

Natasha answered with a "Mhmm", feeling calmer the more time she'd had ascertain that Clint really was back with her. She bent down and placed a kiss on the nape of his neck, "I'm glad you're back," she whispered in his ear before straightening back up, drawing another breathy moan from him.

She continued downward to his hands, those big, strong hands she loved so much. Applying gentle pressure, she rubbed oil along each digit, massaging the fleshy parts with tiny circular motions. They were at once a working man's hands as well as an artist's, calloused yet capable of precise, minute movement when they played her body like a fine instrument. Gripping her hips when he thrust into her, hard enough to leave marks or digging into her ass as he held her to the wall when they couldn't wait until they made it to a bed. (Not to mention those knobby joints that felt so good inside her…)

Natasha sighed wistfully; feeling herself become wet as she remembered their last lovemaking before his departure. She was sure that the whole building must have heard them, but she couldn't find a single damn in her to give. She'd been utterly fucked out by the time he had to leave on his mission and was just glad that he had a thirteen hour flight ahead of him to recuperate.

But now was not the time to act on her arousal, not yet. His body needed some other kind of attention at the moment. Warming more oil in her hands, she returned her attention to his back, this time only skimming over the heavily bruised shoulders, the sight and feel of the overly warm skin making her wince in sympathy. She concentrated on his lower back, the only uninjured part of his back. When she worked the oil in, she felt Clint melt into the mattress and smiled. His skin was soft here, so unlike the skin of his arms which were frequently exposed to the sun. She loved the feel of it under her hands, his warm body under hers, there was nowhere else she wanted to be.

Scooting down to straddle his legs, Natasha pushed his shorts down and off to gain access to his butt. The very butt that was unanimously referred to as the best ass in SHIELD by the female (and most of the male) personnel - something that amused Clint a great deal. She knew he had some body issues, being relatively short and unassuming. But she loved his compact form, the hidden strength no one would know to look for in him. He may not have the perfectly sculpted body of their new teammates (well, neither had Tony or Bruce), but then he was utterly human and bore his humanity with the grace of hard-won experience.

His face had character; it spoke of the life he lived, hours spent outside no matter what the weather. It was there in the strong line of his jaw and high cheekbones that were offset by his slightly too big nose. Not to mention those remarkable multi-colored eyes that changed with his mood, framed by a spray of wrinkles and sparking with wit and intelligence. They could be possessed by a boyish charm if he wanted them to, charming secrets right out of the mark. On other occasions they were cool and commanding, analyzing enemy movements in the blink of an eye; his sharp mind coming up with the best plan of attack when plans A, B and C had fallen through.

Natasha wouldn't exchange any of that for the movie star looks of Cap or Thor, nor the immaculately groomed likes of Tony Stark.

Training her thoughts back to the matter at hand, she dug her fingers into the firm, round globes of Clint's ass. She loved the feeling of muscles and hair beneath her fingertips and the way he twitched when her thumbs slid along his sciatic nerve. He moaned contentedly as her palms slid back up to those slight dips over his hips that his musculature had formed and Natasha smiled. For even though it was marred by scars and not as firm and lithe as it used to be - he had put on a few extra pounds over the years - his body was gorgeous to her.

Clint started to hum in contentment and Natasha snorted out a laugh. Only he could be lying in bed, looking like he'd been run over by a truck and purr like a cat. Feeling mischievous, she smacked his ass lightly; it was just irresistible in its firmness, causing him to huff indignantly. Smiling, she moved to lie on the bed beside him, kissing the cheek she had just abused. The taste of the oil she'd just rubbed in and of him, of home, mingled on her lips; lust for him growing bright and hot in her belly.

She ran her hand up the inside of his legs, all the way until she reached the juncture of his thighs and then went even further. The touch drew a startled gasp from him, and Natasha started to gently massage him there too. The gasp quickly turned into a low moan as she continued her caresses. He tried to get his arms under him to roll on his back, but he was either too sore from his fall or too blissed out from Natasha's deft fingers to find the strength. It was adorable, how he flailed about like a stranded turtle.

"Need a hand, old man?" Natasha said with a smirk and a chuckle.

Clint just groaned and ground out, "If you would, princess."

Natasha laughed. "Call me that again and you're gonna lose a body part you are very fond of!" She mock-snarled, grabbing him again, squeezing very gently.

He chuckled in response. He was the only man she'd let get away with that kind of endearment and he knew it. But she helped him flop onto his back nevertheless, drinking in the sight of her Hawk, now naked in front of her and she felt herself grow wet in anticipation.

He looked worn but content now, his eyes half closed. His torso was dotted with a plethora of lines and puckered skin, left in the wake of bullets, knives, even two from arrows his former mentor had shot at him. She bent down and kissed one of the arrow marks, as she always did when they made love instead of the urgent clashing of bodies in the wake of an adrenaline high. She placed hot and heavy open mouthed kisses on the ones that she knew had been close calls, drawing breathy moans from him. His hands found their way into her hair, gently playing with the long red strands as her tongue slowly traced each line of puckered skin, making love to each bit of evidence of his will to survive.

Natasha's right hand snaked across his abdomen, the underlying musculature now relaxed without hint of the hidden, hard muscle beneath. She pinched his side, loving the feel of the smooth roll of fat and skin, laughing lowly at the indignant scoff Clint gave and tenderly pressed her lips to his. His hands cupped her face and he deepened the kiss. She moved her hand along the thin line of hair from his navel to his dick, her hand closing around him. She loved how he felt in her hand, warm and soft, the skin still silky smooth just like all those years ago. He broke the kiss to suck in a breath of air as she gently stroked him and Natasha felt him grow steadily harder. His eyes flew open to fix her with a hungry look that made her breath catch, halting her hand. Clint's hands roamed from her face to her breasts, the light brushes of his thumbs over her nipples drawing a sigh her. She felt his hands move with hers as she took the hem of her shirt and lifted it over her head before taking off her panties, leaving her naked for him to see.

She wanted to feel him inside her, to reaffirm their bond in the most intimate way. She straddled his hips and closed her eyes as he slowly entered her, hearing him hiss and the slight change in his breathing, felt his hands on her hips as she started to move. She leaned down, careful not to touch his wounded side and planted her hands on either side of his head. He strained up to meet her lips, a slight wince escaping his lips as the muscles in his chest and abdomen contracted. She bent further down, placing her hand on his shoulder.

"Nuh-uh, let me do the hard work this time," she said between their lips as they kissed.

He smiled at her, his eyes vivid and she suddenly couldn't breathe. It hit her again how easily he could not have made it at all.

As if sensing her thoughts, Clint's hands slid along her back, his calloused fingertips setting the nerves along their way alight and chasing away those thoughts. Instead she could only think of how he felt inside and around her. Chills were running up and down her body, making her shudder and tighten around him. They both moaned at the sensation and his hands cupped her face, holding her gaze steady as she slowly rocked above him. His face turned serious, thumbs stroking her face.

"I'm here, I'm not going anywhere", he whispered, knowing that she needed to hear it, needed to feel him alive below and inside her.

She paused at his words, running her hands through his short hair, before she kissed him with abandon, affirmation that he was okay, alive, with her – here, now.

His features softening, Clint's arms closed around her back again, pulling her close to him, her breasts pressed against his chest, right above the gauze. He planted his feet flat on the bed, bending his knees. "That better for you, babe?"

She felt it immediately; the slight change in angle took him much deeper into her, filling her completely and allowed him more movement without putting any strain on his wounds.

"Oh God. Yes. Yes." She panted out. "You okay?" She just barely managed to breathe out as an afterthought; her whole body alight with sensation.

"With you, always," Clint answered breathily, his eyes half closed in ecstasy.

Sitting up, she braced her hands on the headboard, his hands on her ass, gripping it tight as he met her every move halfway. She groaned in pleasure as he pressed the rough pad of his finger to her clit. Moaning loudly, she felt the edges of her vision whiting out as she soared towards release, Clint panting hard below her. His face was scrunched up in concentration, a constant litany of fuck and God and Tasha falling from his lips as they frantically moved together. She joined her hand with his between her legs, twining their fingers together as she felt his movements become erratic. His eyes clenched shut and he grunted out her name as he went rigid below her and she watched him as he came. The sight and feel of him pushed her over the edge; her vision exploding in a ray of colors.

Her body tingling from the afterglow, Natasha opened her eyes to find him gazing at her, sweaty and spent. She smiled, one of those smiles that was only his to have.

"Welcome back, soldier," she said as she pressed a sloppy kiss on his lips.

Rolling off of him, she snuggled into his uninjured side, her arm resting on his belly, her fingers tracing lazy circles on his soft skin. His arm cradled her to him, gently stroking her side. He kissed the top of her head as she felt herself drift off to sleep.

"It's good to be back," she heard him whisper just as sleep claimed her.