Hey everyone! I know all of you have been on pins and needles for the epilogue. I got a Mac for Christmas so I had to transfer everything over to that and then I was getting a lot of hours at my job so I didn't have much time. But it's finally here! I hope you like it! Enjoy!
Disclaimer: I do not own the lyrics below. They belong to The Calling.
If I could, then I would
I'll go wherever you will go.
Way up high or down low,
I'll go wherever you will go.
One Year Later
The thump of the bass shook the walls to the castle-like structure as wedding guests danced to the beat of the song. Plates of half-eaten wedding cake littered the guest tables while several guests stumbled drunkenly to the bar for another round of beer and shots. Shoes, ties, and evening bags were abandoned at the tables as everyone flooded the dance floor. Even though the venue was a complete mess, the wedding was still an elegant and classy affair.
Seated on the stony ledge of a nearly floor-to-ceiling window were Clint and Natasha. They watched as guests crowded around Tony and Pepper, the bride and groom of the reception. Clint's tie was hanging loosely around his neck and his dress shirt was untucked. His sandy blonde hair was disheveled and there were heavy bags under his eyes. If he had the opportunity to sleep right now, he would.
Natasha wasn't any better. She'd given up on wearing the silver heels that matched so well with her midnight blue chiffon bridesmaids dress; they lied next to Natasha on the window ledge, clearly forgotten by the red-headed assassin. Her red curls were deflated and she'd unpinned her hair from its loose up-do earlier in the night. The female assassin leaned into Clint's side – his arm protectively wrapped around her shoulders – as she started to nod off.
The wedding wasn't a dud either. Though Clint and Natasha weren't the most sociable people on the planet, they were sure they would've enjoyed the affair if they hadn't been on a mission almost 48 hours prior. To be completely honest, they weren't supposed to go on any missions prior to Tony and Pepper's wedding. However, a serious matter with Iran's nuclear program had gone awry, which required all hands on deck. The mission resulted in a few bumps and bruises and a nasty concussion for Clint while Natasha had managed to completely tear her ACL in her right knee. The surgery, the brace, and, especially, the crutches had put Natasha in a sour mood. And she'd been that way ever since.
Since Clint wasn't one to leave Natasha on the sidelines, he'd stuck by her side all night. Then again, they'd stuck by each other's sides ever since they'd gotten engaged that day in the SHIELD medical wing. If it hadn't been for Clint's intense rehabilitation on his shoulder and the various missions from his recovery up until now, the assassins would already be married. Unlike Tony and Pepper's wedding, they wouldn't want a huge affair. Thus, planning would be minimal and the wedding could take place within a week. If SHIELD could just cut them some slack, then they could actually sit down and think about their impending nuptials.
The song faded from an upbeat Lady Gaga song to a slow ballad by Taylor Swift. Clint couldn't even hear the groan over the first few lines of the song, but he knew Natasha had let one escape. The archer chuckled to himself before rising from the window ledge and holding out a hand to help his partner into a standing position. With a roll of her jade green eyes, the female assassin grasped the archer's hand anyways.
Once the female assassin had her balance, Clint grabbed her crutches and handed them to her. With a nasty scowl, the female assassin shoved the crutches under her arms with reluctance and then followed the archer out of the venue's French-style doors. Clint, the cocky gentleman that he always is, held open the doors with a snarky grin on his face as Natasha hobbled her way through the doorway.
The landscaping outside the venue consisted of a grey stone walkway that led up to a small man-made waterfall. Just to the side of the waterfall was a small sitting area constructed out of grey slabs of stone. In silence, Clint and Natasha shuffled their way to the small sitting area to relax and get away from the hullabaloo of the wedding.
When they reached the secluded area, Clint instinctively reached for Natasha's crutches, but received a nasty glare from the female assassin. In one quick motion, Natasha removed the crutches from underneath her arms, spun around and sat down gracefully on the stone bench. Clint, hardly in awe of her little stunt, rolled his eyes and sat down next to his partner.
They sat in silence for a few minutes with only the thump of the stereo inside the venue and the trickle of the waterfall to keep them from going insane. It was an unusually cold night for the middle of June but the night sky was clear as could be. Out of nowhere, a slight breeze rippled through the air, causing the female assassin to shiver. In one quick sweep, Clint had his tuxedo jacket off. At first, Natasha refused the garment but eventually she caved when another breeze ripped through the air.
Inside the venue, the bass of the stereo ceased in shaking the walls as it switched to another ballad, this time by Sara Bareilles.
"How much longer do you think this wedding has until Tony ruins it?" Natasha asked as she fixed her gaze at the night sky.
Clint snorted. "I'll be nice and give him ten minutes."
Natasha cracked a smile as she bowed her head to hide the innocent gesture. "I'll give him five."
The assassins drifted into silence once again. The music within the venue faded from the Sara Bareilles ballad to a mid-tempo pop song. From where they were seated, Clint and Natasha could see Tony and Pepper in the middle of the dance floor, dancing to the beat of the music. At one point, Tony wrapped an arm around Pepper's waist and dipped her, eliciting a smile from the red head.
"Think that will be us anytime soon?" Clint asked, half joking.
Natasha snorted. "You and I both know that our affair will be a lot smaller."
"Emphasis on soon," Clint reiterated.
The red head grew silent, bowing her head as she picked at her perfectly polished nails. "I don't know," she mumbled. "Work keeps getting in the way."
"Would it help if I finally gave you your ring?"
Clint had never managed to get Natasha's ring back from Barnes. He'd assumed it was forever lost. Therefore, during some downtime about a month ago, Clint trekked up Fifth Avenue to Tiffany's in hopes of finding a ring that was better than the last.
Without getting a response from the red head, Clint slid from the edge of the bench and knelt in front of Natasha.
"What are you doing?" she breathed.
With just a smirk, Clint reached into his pants pocket and produced a pastel blue box from Tiffany's. In one quick flick of his finger, he flipped open the box to reveal a stunning ring on a silver band. Nestled in the center of the bad, surrounded by a circle of diamonds, was an emerald big enough to legitimately qualify as a rock.
"You know, the guy is supposed to be the one who proposes right?" Clint asked. The red head nodded silently. "I couldn't let it go. So here it is. Here's my proposal. Here's the ring. And I'm going to ask you because it has to be asked. So here it goes…" The archer paused for a moment before taking a deep breath. "Will you marry me?"
The red headed assassin tilted her head to the side as she contemplated the question. After a couple seconds, she smirked. "No."
Clint rolled his eyes. "You're a pain in my ass."
"But you wouldn't have it any other way."
Clint nodded in agreement before plucking the ring from its velvety cushion and sliding it onto the female assassin's finger. Without asking for permission, he pulled Natasha into a standing position before dipping just like he'd seen Tony do to Pepper a couple minutes before. However, in typical Clint Barton fashion, he pressed his lips to hers.
Clint and Natasha weren't quite how long they'd stayed like that. It could've been a couple seconds or a couple minutes. Either way, they were pulled out of their reverie when a huge crash from inside the venue brought them back to reality. Clint pushed Natasha up into a standing position just as Tony, in the full Iron Man suit, came crashing through one of the windows. A roar from inside the venue only made the assassin duo snicker.
"We really should've put money on that bet," Natasha said.
"It wouldn't be a party unless Tony somehow unleashed the Hulk," Clint added.
Over by the window, Tony got up and brushed the shards of glass off of himself. Out of the corner of his eye, he noticed Clint and Natasha staring at him. "Would you guys mind helping me out?" he asked.
The assassins rolled their eyes but walked toward the billionaire as he climbed through the window. Another roar from the venue elicited screams from the wedding guests. As Clint and Natasha made their way across the walkway to rejoin the wedding, one thing was for certain.
Eloping sounded like a pretty fantastic idea.
Phew! Finished! Thank you to everyone who stuck around for this story, despite my sporadic updates. Also, thank you to everyone who added this to their favorites or alerts.
And now for the big part. Thank you to all my reviewers: aleah987, Super Secret Boy Band, Irothohulcap, lilacring1120, trinilynn, The 24th Reader, Malmal86, gilliganstole-thetardis, Orion84, Ciara, Mew Mew Boudica, Agnesita1385, Hawaiichick, ASKessler, JRBarton, Coley Coughlin, dontstopthelove15, NCISRookie33, NightmareOfTheDark, TheNaggingCube, Pati G W Black, 221bplanetwinchester, ClintashaLoved, Clarity in Scarlet, Waterlilies, fbiuzz, sibunagirl-0331, Kar, lilypad8607, discordchick, sv4me, Tori, Lotuslita, Clintasha101, Katherine41319, BlossomHunt, Clintasha4evr, n2a0d0i0a, Twister of the Mind, JerichoSteele, Fat Squirrel, Morgan, patty cake rocks, CBarton forever, Sarah, HawksArrowXx, Nightrunner144, FriendLey, Cookie-Stories, Black Widow and Hawkeye OTP, bootsandhughes, soccerstar0198, agent-HAWKEYE, Rennier, Nat Romanoff, Alfheimchick, Miss Jackson Grayson-Barton, JoMiSm, TheMaddestHatterOfThemAll, Awesomeness, Kalo Suva, SK2, Black Betty, Jo-Jo287, awisperthroughthewinds, paintallthestuff, thewitchofthewest, bathpinkdog, Oriana8, boysmom5, BlueBanshee, Sunshiningdays581, Callie823, Ranger11, The21stquinn, .13, Miss Romanoff, jensmit75, Ragemuffin, I'm-The-Angel-of-Darkness, speedreader1999, Madame Tango, NoLongerHidden, darkheartrocker86, BatmanOtaku, and all the guest reviewers!
Your support has meant so much and I thank you guy so very, very much.