kawuli (kawuli) wrote,

Natasha/Clint, pre-Avengers random

For those of you who know [personal profile] recessional 's MCU fic (and if you don't you should, this is one good place to start: [to see you there]), this characterization is straight-up stolen from her, as is most of the concept. Inspired by, idk, the world is terrible and I have been unable to make words lately so when this popped up I needed to write it.

They’re not usually those people. Natalia finds “those people” ridiculous in a television show, but today, well. Today they fought back to back with bullets flying, hid in basements and bombed-out buildings and finally made it out of the city with the intel on a flash drive Natalia still has in her bra because they never stopped long enough for her to put it somewhere that didn’t keep stabbing at her.

They almost died again, and…not like it’s new territory but it was a close fucking call and it’s been a long week in a long month in a long year, and Natalia feels like she’s edging close to some dropoffs she’d really, really like to avoid, where she loses track of the part of her that’s a person with feelings and a body that’s for more than the purpose she can’t remember not having and with needs beyond the bare minimum for survival. And it’s hard to pull back from the edges out here, no hot water in their just-barely-safe house, just the pump in the back room, the gas stove and MREs and jugs of clean lukewarm water to drink.

Clint is sitting on the floor, leaning against the wall with his head tipped up, face slack with exhaustion and tentative relief. Natalia’s way too keyed up for that, closest she’s managed to get is crouched with her back against the opposite wall, guns on the ground by her feet. There’s a knife she could reach almost without moving, and she itches for it, but Clint’s already stealing glances at her, the kind that aren’t concerned yet but could get there pretty quick.

They should clean up. The pump water’s probably okay for broken skin, so they could actually get clean instead of just getting enough grit away from wounds that they won’t get infected. They should clean up and find the clothes that’ll be stashed somewhere and get moving again, except Clint’ll want to rest first because who knows how long it’ll take to actually get out, and if he’s that tired she ought to be too.

Ought to be, but isn’t, because of those edges, the ones where nothing matters except the mission, getting what they came for and getting out and picking up the next job, just keep moving and it won’t catch up. For a while, anyway.

Clint looks at her again, and she looks back, meets his eyes. He doesn’t say anything, but he raises one eyebrow in a question he doesn’t need to ask and she doesn’t need to answer, because both of them know—no, she isn’t okay, yes, she’ll figure out how to be eventually.

Her fingers slide toward a knife again and she snarls out loud, stands up and stalks over to where Clint’s sitting, holds out a hand and yanks him to his feet, then shoves his shoulders back into the wall and kisses him.

He lets her, for a second, then reaches his hands to her waist and pushes her back just a little.

“Really?” His mouth’s curling into a sardonic smile and now that she’s started, the adrenaline’s shunting onto another track and makes her want to wipe that smile right off his fucking face, pin him to the wall and take him apart and roll around on the gritty floor like…like people.

She shoves at him again in answer and he shrugs, kisses her back, and she can feel him smiling against her, at first.

They do finally clean up with the pump water, check each other over for anything that needs more care, make plans. But they make plans while Clint curls around her on one of the dusty twin beds, his hand flat over her stomach, and the plan starts with sleep and ends with a flight home and Clint’s perfect welcome-home dinner, which he describes drowsily into her hair before rolling away as he drifts off to sleep.

Natalia doesn’t really sleep, even now, but she drifts, more-or-less comfortably, and she mostly doesn’t worry if Fury’ll think they were too sloppy, she just plans escape routes, alternatives for alternatives that all end up at home.
Tags: mcu
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