bozhemoi: (all made up)
Natasha Romanoff {Black Widow} ([personal profile] bozhemoi) wrote2014-07-19 11:46 am

For [personal profile] broken_arrow | Underneath It All

Natasha liked the shadows. She was comfortable in them, she knew how to operate out of sight. Everything had changed though. It started with the battle of New York and the Avengers, but it had most certainly been aggravated by the many heads of HYDRA revealing themselves. She wasn't used to being so off-balance and if she hadn't taken the offensive and brought herself out into the open she would have ended in a far worse position. If she was going to be left without a shadow to hide in, it would be on her terms.

It had helped having Captain America by her side, Steve Rogers now a man and partner she could trust. He wasn't Clint, though. He wasn't the archer she had truly built a working relationship that had no equal. They had been through so much together. They knew the best and worst, and they could still trust each other.

Natasha had briefly been forced to consider life without Barton by her side when Loki had used his staff, but a little cognitive recalibration had fixed all that and she had Clint back. She could have really used him the last few weeks, but they'd been seperated when he'd been posted on another mission and Natasha had stayed close to nation's capital.

The last time she had seen him they'd burned off some excess energy after a bumpy mission, their boundaries of friendship flexing to accomodate the moments they needed a little something extra to get through the day. She hadn't received word from, or about him, since HYDRA surfaced and she'd be lying to herself if she didn't admit to the growing concern in the pit of her stomach. She couldn't risk looking for him though. She couldn't risk blowing his cover when all eyes seemed to be on her after the press conference.

Instead, she went through the motions to keep herself safe, and pick up shattered pieces of SHIELD so they could work on a defense against the old enemy. She had found a home in the Avengers Tower, embracing the more public side of life so that there was nothing she could be blackmailed with, and any safe houses remained just that - safe and unknown to anyone but her and Barton. She hoped he'd found his way to one of those, but again she couldn't risk a search. And that really was starting to frustrate her.

She sighed as she dropped her bag on the floor, shedding her jacket and draping it over the back of a chair as she considered the bag of take-out she'd brought home. Another quiet night planned, another evening of trying to pretend that she was content to stay on a shortened leash.

broken_arrow: (sleeping in chair Renner)

[personal profile] broken_arrow 2014-07-19 03:34 pm (UTC)(link)
Clint had been on a mission in Serbia with five other agents when Steve and Natasha had exposed SHIELD as HYDRA and had torn the organization to the ground. The news had come across Agent Johnson’s radio alone, and before Clint knew what was happening Johnson and three of the others had opened fire on himself and Agent Sands. In the end Clint was the only one to walk away, or to be more accurate, to limp away. He had made it out alive, but not unscathed.

The first day was the hardest, having no idea why his team had turned on him, but he’d managed to get hold of a newspaper without being noticed. He had ditched all his insignia and hidden his gear, and luckily the black clothing hid the blood stains rather well, but he didn’t dare linger in town, especially after reading the headline for world news.

It had taken time to process, and even longer to believe. SHIELD had fallen, infiltrated from within. Johnson and the others had been HYDRA, but for how long? Since the beginning? He had known some of those agents for years; had they been conspiring against him and the others all that time? How had he been so stupid? How hadn’t he seen this coming?

Stranded in a country not his own, unsure who to contact or who to trust, he had gone underground. Natasha had a small safehouse in Romania and he had gone there, though not without hesitation. All those years, everything they were to each other and for each other, he still couldn’t help but have a moment of doubt. Everything he knew was wrong. He had worked for SHIELD for around twenty years and he’d never had an inkling. Sure, he didn’t always agree with their methods, and Natasha was walking proof that he didn’t always follow orders, but he had been loyal and he had given everything he was to that organization.

So what did that leave him with? If he wasn’t Agents Barton anymore, then who was he?

He had quickly pushed past his doubts about Natasha, telling himself that if he had to trust in one thing then it had to be her. He had gone to the safehouse, and he had waited. The bullet wound in his shoulder had been the worst one, though another had struck his calf and he had various other cuts, bruises and strains from the fight. Overall it could have been a lot worse.

For a few days he hid out, unsure of what move to make next, unsure of anything, really. He felt isolated, lost, so his first step was information. He had found a library and caught up on most recent news, his breath catching when he saw picture’s from Natasha’s hearing. She was alive, and okay, and in the public eye. He wasn’t sure what to make of that last one except that she probably wasn’t hiding out like him. So what, then?

It was then that he discovered Tony’s new pet project: Avengers Tower.

It was as good a guess as any.

Getting back to the United States hadn’t been easy but he had funds hidden around the world, and anything was possible with enough disposable cash. Once home he resisted the urge to kiss the ground, or to return to his own place. He wasn’t safe yet, not until he knew everything including the stuff the media didn’t.

Getting access to the tower would be the harder part with all of Stark’s technology and securities... or so he had thought. As it turned out Tony had been working with a whole lot of wishful thinking and had already programed Clint’s fingerprints and retina scans into the system. He had full run of the place.

After the stress and uncertainty of the past few weeks Clint could have cried.

Apparently he had his own floor already set out for him, but there was one stop he had to make first. With a little help from JARVIS Clint ended up on Natasha’s floor only to discover with sinking disappointment that she wasn’t there. He settled into a large, comfortable chair to wait.

Too bad he was too exhaustion to stay awake to do so. He didn’t even hear her enter.
broken_arrow: (surprised shocked renner)

[personal profile] broken_arrow 2014-07-20 12:11 am (UTC)(link)
More often than not Clint slept dreamlessly, but since the battle of New York, when he did dream they were always nightmares. He had thought he was getting past that, that things were finally settling back to normal, but when everything went down with HYDRA the nightmares returned full force.

He dreamt he was still under Loki’s control, or that he had been brainwashed into being HYDRA. He dreamt everyone was HYDRA except for him. He dreamt of killing his friends, his coworkers, of them turning on him and hunting him down.

Sometimes he even dreamt of her.

Being in her space, knowing this was hers though he wasn’t sure she even lived there, the dream came more easily and move vividly.

She had come for him, had tracked him down; she was glad he was alive, that he was safe; she missed him, she cared about him. It was everything he wanted, and even more so when she drew close, her hands moving gently over him, caressing him softly, pulling him close. Her lips were a hair’s breadth from his and he felt her whispered words more than he heard them.

It wasn’t until he felt the sharp stab of cold steel in his belly that the words registered. “Hail HYDRA...”

His eyes shot open as pain pulsed through his shoulder where her hand lay. Without even thinking, still half asleep and caught in his dream, he reflexively grabbed her wrist. Hard.
broken_arrow: (disbelief Clint)

[personal profile] broken_arrow 2014-07-20 12:54 am (UTC)(link)
His eyes were unfocused, and he seemed to look through her rather than at her. She had stabbed him, but... no, that wasn’t right. The pain was in his shoulder, not his stomach where it should have been. In his shoulder where there had been... it was a bullet, not a knife, not her...

At the sound of his name he met her eyes, but there was no malicious intent in their green depths. He saw compassion, affection. Her voice was soft and he let her words sink in as his gaze followed her hand as she slowly raised it. At the first touch to his cheek he flinched as reality came rushing in. This wasn’t a dream, she was really there, it was really her. “Tasha?” he choked out, his voice broken with sleep. Realising he still held her in a death grip he quickly released her wrist and mimicked her own movement, moving his hand to touch her cheek instead. Her skin was soft and smooth and so warm and full of life. “I wasn’t sure you’d be here.”

The words came out in a rush of relief. She was here. He had found her.
broken_arrow: (bright eyes Renner)

[personal profile] broken_arrow 2014-07-20 01:20 am (UTC)(link)
Now that he really looked at her, now that he let himself see her, he noticed how her eyes shone but brushed it off as a trick of the light. It was too dim to really see. It was nothing.

What wasn’t so easy to ignore, though, was how she nuzzled into his hand and kissed his palm. Clint blinked at her, tried to read her, but his head was still fuzzy, and she had always been near impossible to read.

He wanted to wrap his arms around her, to pull her to him and bury his face in her neck and assure himself that she was real, that he was home, that the hard part was over. He wanted to feel warm, comforting human contact after feeling so alone and lost, wanted to feel her heart beat and listen to her breathing after so much silence. He wanted so much, but what he ended up doing was lowering his hand and sagging back into the chair. “Okay,” he agreed, knowing there was no point trying to argue with her. Might as well let her patch him up and get it over with.
broken_arrow: (Default)

[personal profile] broken_arrow 2014-07-20 02:11 am (UTC)(link)
While Natasha got her first aid supplies Clint pushed himself up to sit a little straighter and rubbed the last of the sleep from his eyes, banishing the nightmare to the dark recesses of his mind. It was stupid, just his mind playing with him like it always did. After Loki had fucked with his mind he used to have nightmares about killing Natasha in many horrible ways, and now it seemed his subconscious thought it would be hilarious to switch those roles. Awesome.

It didn’t matter, though; none of it mattered because he knew, he knew, that if there was anyone in the world he could count on, no matter what, it was Natasha. She would never betray him, and while a niggling voice liked to taunt him that it was because she felt indebted to him, he ignored it. It was more than that, they were more than that. Sometime over the years she had gone from being his partner to also his best friend. She had his back. Always.

Looking up at her when she approached, he grinned when she handed him the food. “You’re a lifesaver,” he chuckled. Opening the container he took a deep breath and let out a loud, happy sound. Something else he had missed the past couple of weeks.

Stuffing a forkful into his mouth (no way he was going to attempt chopsticks right now), he chewed quickly a moment before her question made him pause. “Much worse,” he eventually settled on as an answer. He wasn’t sure if he wanted to tell her, not wanting to give her something else to feel guilty about.
broken_arrow: (Chewing Renner)

[personal profile] broken_arrow 2014-07-20 02:57 am (UTC)(link)
Clint was grateful that she didn’t push him to talk, but then he hadn’t expected her to. It was how they worked, they never pushed each other, but they were there for each other when needed.

Swallowing the mouthful he slowed down a little for the next one, his ever watchful eyes studying Natasha. Maybe he would tell her one day, but not now, not so soon. She already knew, though, he could tell by her expression. She knew these weren’t injuries from a mission gone bad; these were injuries from his team turning on him.

Tucking the food container between his knees, Clint struggled a little with his shirt but managed to pull it off over his head without too much trouble. He had dug the bullet out of his shoulder himself, leaving the wound rather inflamed and aggravated, and though he had been keeping it as clean as he could in the days since it still wasn’t healing as quickly as he’d hoped.

“Yeah, I found a computer a couple days after. Looked up some stuff,” he said, balling the shirt up in his lap and retrieving his food. Before he could take another bite, though, Natasha felt the need to explain, and he felt some tension he hadn’t even known he was holding fade away. He had wondered, of course, if she had been looking for him, but he always reasoned that she wouldn’t know where to look, wouldn’t know how to contact him. Even so, there were nights he wondered if she was even trying. It was a relief to hear that she had wanted to.

It was that last line, though, that stuck with him.

“I thought you gave them everything?” he asked. “That’s what I read. All SHIELD’s secrets for everyone to see, yours included.”
broken_arrow: (closeup cute Renner)

[personal profile] broken_arrow 2014-07-20 01:45 pm (UTC)(link)
They were partners, best friends, and sometimes something else, so Clint knew she cared about him, but it was one thing to know it and another to hear her say it. Natasha wasn’t normally very forthcoming about her thoughts and feelings so to have her admit it aloud that she cared made his heart beat a little harder for a moment. He didn’t make a big deal out of it, though, not wanting to weird her out so he just nodded and took the pill she gave him. Downing half the bottle of water he sucked in a sharp breath when she removed that final bit of bandage that had stuck to the wound.

She paused or a moment and he met her eyes when she looked at him. The question was clearly important to her and he offered a faint smile in return. “Nah,” he said. “You’ve always done right by me, Tash.”

And he meant it. He knew he wouldn’t even be here if not for her, that the only reason he’d made it out of Loki’s mind control was because she fought so hard to get him back. Anyone else would have taken a kill shot, would have taken him down by whatever means necessary, but she had held back and made sure she only subdued him. After all their years of saving each other’s asses he had long since lost count of who owed whom.

To distract himself from the pain and the heaviness of the moment he loaded another forkful of food and had it halfway to his mouth before realising something. Changing trajectory, he held the fork out to Natasha instead. “I’m eating all your dinner.”
broken_arrow: (chuckle Renner)

[personal profile] broken_arrow 2014-07-22 10:20 pm (UTC)(link)
Clint smiled a little when she took the fork instead of refusing. She did proceed to tell him after that she had more food waiting for her, but there was just something in that moment that he liked. Best not to think about it too hard.

Of course it all only got better when she proceeded to laugh. He had always loved her laugh, and it was something she just didn’t do enough, so he had made it his job over the years to make her laugh, no matter how stupid he had to act to accomplish it. This time he didn’t have to do anything, and found himself laughing along with her as he recalled the incident she was speaking of.

“Come on, can you blame me?” he replied, retrieving his fork. “If it had been an all you can eat thing you woulda ate ‘em right out of business!”

Okay, so it hadn’t been that bad, but for someone as small as Natasha she sure could eat.

Poking around in the container of food again, Clint considered her question before reluctantly setting it aside for a moment. Leaning forward, he pulled up one pant leg to the knee to reveal another bandage underneath. “It’s not so bad. Bullet went through,” he explained. It was healing up nicely, but it wouldn’t hurt to get a clean dressing on it.
broken_arrow: (Chewing Renner)

[personal profile] broken_arrow 2014-07-23 12:57 am (UTC)(link)
“Yeah, but when they say ‘all day breakfast’ they mean that it’s available all day, not that you should sit there all day and eat everything,” Clint tried to chide her, but he was still grinning. It had been like a trainwreck watching her shovel that much food into her tiny body, a horrifying experience but one he hadn’t been able to look away from. “I swear you got a hollow leg or something to store all that in.”

Unfortunately the mirth couldn’t really last when he revealed his other injury. The shoulder was the worst, having had to dig the bullet out with his bare fingers having no equipment or anything to use the first night until he had braved going to the safehouse. The bullet through his calve had passed through; a much cleaner shot.

He probably should have argued his independence or competency or something, but her tone left no room for that. Besides, now that he was with her again he didn’t really want to go anywhere any time soon. Deciding not to say anything at all, he just returned to his dinner while she redressed his wound.

Settling back in the chair with a sigh of relief, he propped his foot up on the coffee table beside her when she returned, stretching his leg out. “Traveling always gives me an appetite,” he said, stuffing what looked to be a quarter of his container’s contents into his mouth at once. Bad idea, since he proceeded to almost choke on it when she mentioned the bedroom.

To sleep, you idiot, he reminded himself. It wasn’t like he was in much shape for anything else, but he had just assumed she would patch him up, fill him in, and then send him off to his room. Maybe that was what she meant, but it sounded like she was talking about her bedroom, and if she was inviting him to stay he wasn’t going to argue. He should probably say something, though.

“Bathroom would probably be good to know too,” he said around the half chewed food before wincing at how completely lame that sounded.
broken_arrow: (Clint Nat sexual tension)

[personal profile] broken_arrow 2014-07-24 07:08 pm (UTC)(link)
It wasn’t like they hadn’t shared a bed before; they had done so both before and after their relationship had turned more physical. Usually during missions they would sleep so neither of them had to have their back exposed, or they shared warmth or just because. It didn’t matter, he just hadn’t been expecting it after so long, and his mind had jumped to other conclusions as well.

Inwardly kicking himself for embarrassing her (though, honestly, the Black Widow? Embarrassed?), he was glad when she just moved on without explaining herself or, worse, taking the offer back.

“Could always steal some clothes from Tony. He’s about my size,” Clint suggested. “Minus all the muscles.”

The silence that settled wasn’t exactly the most comfortable in the world, and he set about finishing off his container of food. Just as he swallowed the last mouthful Natasha spoke again and he found his gaze locked on hers as he processed her words.

She wanted him to stay. She didn’t explain why, didn’t say it was because he was hurt and she should watch him or because his room wasn’t ready or many other reasons she could use. She simply wanted him to.

It was about the best thing he had heard in weeks.

The truth was that he didn’t want to be alone tonight either. He had spent enough time alone, wondering if he would ever see her again, wondering what the hell he was supposed to do now that everything he had known had been torn to the ground. But he still had her, they still had each other, and more than anything he wanted to stay here, with her. Maybe he would even get some decent sleep by her side.

“Not too much of a lady, I hope,” he teased, but there was sincerity in his eyes. “I don’t wanna leave,” he finally admitted, figuring she deserved to hear it.
broken_arrow: (bright eyes Renner)

[personal profile] broken_arrow 2014-07-26 01:15 pm (UTC)(link)
Clint chuckled at Natasha’s shot at Tony. He knew she got along with the guy now, but she still didn’t particularly like him. In fact, Clint had the feeling she would enjoy finding a way to beat security and break into Tony’s room, more for bragging rights than to actually steal the clothes. Sure, they could probably just ask for some, but where was the fun in that?

The smile she gave him when he admitted he wanted to stay simply lit up the room, and definitely lightened his heart. Seems he still could say the right thing once in a while, though he had to remind himself not to read too much into it. Everything had changed and they were both pretty vulnerable right now; he just had to be careful.

Downing the rest of his water, Clint set the bottle aside and reached out to take her hand. Getting to his feet he wavered slightly before steadying himself, the painkillers and exhaustion making him lightheaded for a moment. He probably could have eaten more but sleep seemed more appetizing at the moment.

“Stark probably already knows I’m here,” Clint said as he looked around the room. Whether JARVIS would alert Tony to Clint’s presence or not he didn’t know, but he was pretty sure his presence had been logged if nothing else. He matched her smirk “A little sleep before having to face him would definitely be good, though. Or drugs. Lots of drugs.”
broken_arrow: (Default)

[personal profile] broken_arrow 2014-07-28 10:12 pm (UTC)(link)
The kiss caught him by surprise, but luckily he didn’t do anything stupid like talk or sputter or grab her and kiss her back. The longer she lingered the stronger the urge to do that last one grew, but he just kept his eyes on her face and squeezed her hand.

“Me too,” he said, his answer applying to every instance she could be referring to. He was glad to be here with her, glad to be reunited again after so long, but when it came to their first meeting, the first time he had tracked her down... ignoring his orders and bringing her in was the best decision he had ever made in his life. Had it been someone else who found her he may never have known her, wouldn’t have known what he was missing, but he was sure there would have always been something missing in his life, some hole he couldn’t quite fill. Saying he was glad he found her was an understatement.

Allowing himself to breathe when she pulled away, Clint followed carefully after her as she led him through her living space. The pills were making him drowsy, and now that he was back, now that he didn’t have to stay alert and keep constantly fighting, he was having a hard time keeping up. His legs felt weak, his head foggy, but he forced himself to listen to her and memorize the space.

“Probably the latter,” he replied. He had to admit, it was pretty grand, and damn if that bathtub didn’t look inviting right then, but Natasha had just treated him with fresh bandages he didn’t want to get wet, and he would only fall asleep in it anyway. Maybe tomorrow. “I’m just gonna make a pitstop here,” he said. “I’ll be out in a second.” Better to go now so he could hopefully pass out for the night and not have to wake up for anything.
broken_arrow: (knowing grin Renner)

[personal profile] broken_arrow 2014-07-28 10:38 pm (UTC)(link)
He had to lean against the wall to keep himself upright while he used the bathroom, and while splashing a little water on his face at the sink helped a little it didn’t go very far in reviving him.

“This place is so clean and fancy I don’t know whether I want to stand in the middle and not touch anything, or just mess it all up,” he said when he emerged again to find Natasha just outside waiting for him. Although he didn’t say it he was grateful when she wrapped her arm around him for support even though he didn’t ask. That was one of the great things about their relationship: they rarely had to ask for help, the other usually just knew.

Leaning into her he let her help him to the bedroom. “Maybe not tonight, but I’m sure you’ll save it for ammo later if you need it.”
broken_arrow: (shirtless in bed Renner)

[personal profile] broken_arrow 2014-07-28 11:27 pm (UTC)(link)
Even though they were joking Clint could hear the sincerity in her words and it made him smile warmly at her. She had been waiting for him, hoping for him to return, and now that he was back she could finally let herself relax; it was the exact same feeling he’d had since stepping foot in her room. It was how he had been able to sleep so soundly that he hadn’t even heard her enter the room. This place certainly didn’t feel like him, but being here, with Natasha, was as close to home as he ever got.

Stripping off his pants so he was left only in his underwear, Clint let Natasha help him into bed, a silly smile on his face the whole time. He so rarely got to see her like this, and he loved ever second of her fussing over him though he would probably never admit it aloud. “Oh man, I think this is the most comfortable bed I’ve ever been in,” he moaned, snuggling down in it before looking up at her where she loomed over him.

He couldn’t help but take her words the wrong way, because what if the only thing he wanted to touch in the room was her? He loved getting her all messy, and he definitely had no qualms cleaning her up afterwards either.

Cool it, Barton.

The short time she took to change gave him enough of a reprieve to get his mind back on track, and when she returned he was barely keeping his eyes open. “Thanks, Tash,” he murmured, squeezing her fingers lightly.