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The mission was over, the attack thwarted; race-baiting white supremacists, seriously? Idiots, yes, and worse, extremely well-armed and ambitious ones. With every three-letter agency desperate to avoid another Waco or Ruby Ridge, it'd been vital to get them disarmed and neutralized before the press went nuts, before things could escalate into more deaths on both sides. Serving an arrest warrant had snowballed into a 'tense-would-be-putting-it-mildly' 72-hour standoff, with Clint, already undercover, trapped inside with no way to get in touch. When the barely capable guards came in, victoriously dragging Natasha, it'd been all he could do not to grin; no way had these bozos gotten the drop on her. All of a sudden, resolving this mess with a minimum of bloodshed had looked a hell of a lot more likely.

Once he'd knocked out one guard and she'd taken care of the other and was free, it all fell like dominoes. They grabbed the leader and with him captured, the pathetic little group went to pieces, stunned at the thought that they'd been so quickly taken down - and so thoroughly fooled and betrayed by Clint, as well. There were some tense moments when the good guys swarmed in and the compound was taken over but with the head cut off, essentially, the followers quickly folded.

As the sun started to set, it was done, the scene a bustle of activity. The members were being taken off for booking and medical treatment, agents searching every inch of the compound to start what Clint knew would be a hugely complicated and involved process, one he was very glad he didn't have to worry about participating in until they got their day in court.


Clint stood at the line of parked vehicles, turning slowly to survey the scene and trying to find Natasha. The ambulances and paramedic teams were next to the parking lot exit, and he ambled over to check there. Annoying mistake, because while she was nowhere to be found, three different EMTs tried to set him down and check him out, and it cost valuable minutes refusing treatment and getting away.

Sitwell, nominally his point of contact, was neck-deep, coordinating with the locals and the FBI, but screw it, SHIELD first. So Clint interrupted, hiding a grin and surprised to see the flicker of mischievous amusement in Jasper's eyes at the chance to break off and answer, conveniently ignoring some sweaty, self-important deputy mid-bluster. He had lodging set up already, of course. and Clint grinned again when Sitwell pointed at another deputy and told-as-much-as-asked him to drive Clint to the hotel. No question there either, he wasn't going to ask about Natasha in front of strangers, she was big girl, she could take care of herself.

If he said it to himself enough times, he might start to believe it, too. She wasn't in the compound and she hadn't been taken to the hospital and she'd kick him in the 'nads if she thought he was trying to babysit, so he had to let go. Respect her boundaries. He had lots of practice at that by now.


The hotel turns out to be a decent place, new construction, bland and impersonal but clean, and Clint's pleased to see his gear laid out on the bed. A quick check shows no adjoining door, sealed windows, all good, someone was doing their job. He assumes the other SHIELD agents are nearby, it's an optimal position, end of the hall on the fourth and top floor; as good as you can get in such a small place in a small town. But good enough, safe enough with no expected threats; he flips the privacy latch on the door and checks his duffle, moving his bow in its case to prop it against the armoire hiding the tv, and starts to strip as he heads for the bathroom.

Oh nice: this is where they'd put in a few special touches, there's a corner jacuzzi tub with the shower over it, and he flips on the overhead heat lamp and starts the water, suddenly aching for the chance to get warm and clean. The water feels just as good as he imagined, almost too hot, and he reaches for the shampoo, his short hair lathered and done quickly, raising a hand to adjust the angle of the shower head to rinse.

Then he hears something. Clint couldn't say what, but it's definitely something when there's supposed to be nothing, and he's instantly tensed and ready.

Swift, silent, thanks to the water still going, the gun he'd left by the sink in his hand and ready. It's quiet out there again, and he strains to hear.

Nothing. Long, tense seconds, and still... nothing.

Then a creak, and he sees the almost infinitesimal movement of the bathroom door where he'd left it ajar.

Like that, in a blink Clint's in motion, reaching for the doorknob, the gun raised and ready, his heart pounding, realizing and discarding the idea that he's about to scare a hotel maid out of a year of her life. No, he'd flipped the latch, and besides, they'd have called out "housekeeping", and that's only if they were ignoring his request at the front desk not to be disturbed, as well as the sign he'd made sure to leave on the outside door knob.

Another creak, they're coming closer-- Clint whips the door open, every muscle tense, every bit of him concentrated and focused and ready---

It's Natasha.

Maybe a millisecond behind him, her gun flies up and they have a momentary standoff, frozen, tense. It's Clint who lowers his weapon first, laughing low in sudden relief.

"The fuck, Natasha, you don't knock?"

Natasha's response is a little weaker, she takes a few extra seconds to pull back and change gears, but then her gun is down, safety clicked on, her arm at her side. Held funny, Clint notes.

"Well I didn't expect you to come out of the shower with a weapon, Barton." Her tone is wry and teasing at once, and then her gaze flicks down his body. "Or should I say I didn't expect you to have a gun?"

He grins and feels his cheeks heat; he's stark naked and dripping wet, and well, yeah. Hard too, thank you adrenaline. "Nothing you haven't seen before."

"True, but I have to admit, you're particularly distracting like that..."

And her sweet, wicked mouth is curved in a way he recognizes; it's what had made him dare to kiss her the first time, long after he'd brought her in instead of taking her out, after she'd gone through months of training and was finally an official SHIELD agent. It'd been after they'd stumbled on a robbery and thwarted it together, when he'd been surprised first by how well they worked together, and then later again by how she was tingling with adrenaline just as much as he was, flush with heat and excitement.

He'd thought--hoped--it could be the start of something more. And it was, though not what he'd had in mind. She'd shot him down soundly, but then turned around and countered with the offer to keep on like the night they'd spent. Sex, with no strings, no relationship, no expectations. He's not embarrassed, really, to remember how he'd leapt at the chance, it was just the truth--who wouldn't have?

No different now, and he sets his gun back on the counter, starting to take a step toward her and frowns. "Nat, you're hurt. What the hell?"

Her shirtsleeve is torn and bloody, so he takes her other arm to bring her into the bathroom, into the bright light for a better look. Clint hisses sympathetically as he nudges the fabric out of the way. It's a nasty gash, and he shakes his head. "Shit, Natasha, you probably should have gotten stitches."

Natasha shrugs and tips her head to look. "It's fine. I-- " She starts to withdraw. "I'll take care of it. Don't worry about it."

"Nat. Come on." Clint frowns, nudging her to lean against the sink. "Here, let me."

Surprisingly, Natasha does, clicking the safety as she lays her gun next to his on the counter, standing quiet as Clint starts the hot water tap and giving a little surprised laugh when he just tears the rest of the sleeve off. She shakes her head with a wry smile, and he rolls his eyes.

"Bill me."

"Don't think I won't!" Natasha tells him, unbuttoning quickly, and she slips it off with a wince that Clint ignores, for now. She's wearing a black sports bra, and he can see a bruise coming up on her ribs on the side opposite him, but he doesn't say anything yet, just reaching for the soap, and then he stops, aware again of the sound of the still-running shower.

"You want to shower first?" Clint's hand is on the faucet, ready to turn it off depending on her answer.

Natasha pauses for a few beats, considering, then gives a nod. Her swallowed intake of air as she reaches to pull off the snug knit bra makes him grunt, mock-irritated, and Clint reaches to help as gently as he can.

Natasha doesn't meet his eyes, but she lets him.

Her fingers, though, are quick and busy, undoing her jeans as she kicks off her running shoes and toes out of her socks, and then she's naked, moving fast so he can't see her other injuries? Clint's not sure, but he turns off the running water and follows her into the shower, breathing deep in relief when the still-warm water hits them both.

They haven't done this before. Natasha never kicks him out after they fool around, though Clint doesn't always stay the night, but in the mornings after when he does, they're almost always too rushed to risk being late because of showering together. It's a distance thing too, switching back to professional mode, getting back to staying out of each other's personal space again. That makes this a first, but he tries not to focus on that, instead watching Natasha, and not just because her body's even more gorgeous wet and slippery.

The more Clint watches her, he can see she's hurt. The water dripping from her hair onto her shoulder is pink, and he doesn't wait for permission before he smooths her hair back. It's a small cut, not deep, so he doesn't worry about it, just sets about checking her over, and Natasha's quiet and acquiesces.

"Just bruises, I think, except your arm," Clint murmurs, low.

Natasha nods and reaches for the small hotel-provided shampoo bottle. When she raises her arm, she pauses mid-movement just for a bare second, and though she starts again, Clint stops her, reaching around to smooth the shampoo she'd squeezed into her palm into his. She's resting light against him, her back to his chest, and he has to lean his head back as he washes her hair.

It does something to her, Clint can feel it in her body, feel her relax, feel her almost seem to sag against him. He's still hard, his cock against her ass, but he's not doing anything else, willing her to ignore it, and Natasha's not saying anything either, so he'll leave it at that.

As he strokes and works the shampoo through her hair, she breathes slow and deep, and when his fingers scratch her scalp, a few inches above her hairline at the nape of her neck, he's pretty sure she's stifling a purr. It makes him grin.

Natasha turns on her own to rinse, and he reaches for the shower gel. Another thing Clint's learned with Natasha is that times like these, times when they're alone and more intimate than she wants to acknowledge, it's better not to ask permission. She'll stop anything she really doesn't want, but she'll also say no to things he'd never expect, anything she thinks might reveal weakness or even simple need. Though now, a couple months into this thing between them, Clint's noticed that more often than not, Natasha will accept those same things if he doesn't waste time asking first.

So it goes now, with him carefully, gently washing her, she doesn't meet his eyes but she tilts her head, allowing, giving access; she puts a hand on the wall so he can reach her sides, and he skims over her ass and between her legs, not taking advantage or teasing, and he strokes down her thighs but lets the soap that drips down take care of the rest on its own.

Natasha surprises him then. She turns around and Clint thinks at first she's done, ready to step out, but she leans back against him again, slipping her hand behind her to guide his cock to her. Not in her, but to that gap under her ass and between her thighs, deliciously tight and hot when she clenches. There's no hesitation in her movements, reaching to bring his hand around her, back to her vulva and at the same time bracing herself on the tile with her good arm. She moves her hips, sliding away and then back, evoking a groan and he's moving then too, almost against his will, it just feels too good. Natasha's wet and slippery against his fingertips and her ass is round and firm against his groin, and her legs and body make a perfect tight place for his cock to slide.

"Nat, you're bleeding--"

It's a half-hearted protest though, with her lithe and slick body against his, her palm against the head of his cock with every push between her tight thighs. Natasha gasps, shaking her head a little, uninjured arm out straight to keep them steady.

"C'mon then. Make a girl feel better, Barton?"

It makes Clint choke a laugh against her neck, and he wraps his other arm firmly around Natasha's waist, slowing his thrusts a little so he can think again, and he slips his fingers against her, cupping her mound and curling his wrist so his palm rubs as his fingers dip into her. He can't go deep, and his cock is in the way, though it feels so good he's certainly not thinking of it like that, so he rests his chin on her shoulder and brings his hand up again, fingers teasing and exploring til she curses and drops her head back, cheek sliding against his.

No words, but Natasha's panting and shoving back hard with every stroke around her clit and he holds her there as long as he can stand to. Panting and the water pouring down, it's perfect and making her come is an accident; he presses a little harder than he'd meant to and the callus on his finger slides against her, and Natasha inhales at the same time, swallowing a cry as she comes apart.

She's still together enough though, to clamp her thighs tight and rock her ass against him, panting out, "Come on, don't slack off now..."

Clint can't resist, his hands on her hips to hold her and he moves fast and hard and it's a gift, no waiting for her now, he doesn't have to think about anything but getting off. All Clint feels is slick tight wet and somehow the tantalizing tease of not being in her makes it hotter, hot enough to that it's too few thrusts and he's coming hard, his cock jerking against Natasha's body and making him shudder.

Natasha sags against him again, body draped against his, raising her good arm to cup her hand on his neck when she turns her head to kiss under his jaw. But it's just for a second, til the water rinses his release from her thighs, and she's smooth as ever, reaching for the shower gel and tossing it to him with a smirking grin.

"Clean up, Barton," is all she says, and then she straightens and finds her footing, reaching out for the wall to step out of the deep tub.

Clint's a little come-dumb, a smile on his face as he lathers up and quickly rinses, turning off the water and stepping out of tub as he rolls his neck to test a twinge from his part in the tussle to take down one particularly obstinate opponent; it's not bad and the hot water has already helped, he probably won't even notice it tomorrow.

Natasha's mildly reproving, "You're dripping all over the floor," surprises him, he hadn't heard her, didn't know she was still in here.

It makes him laugh as well; if it weren't for a bi-weekly cleaning service he shudders to think of what Natasha's place would look like, and the matching grin on her face tells him she knows it too. She doesn't try to be funny often, but Clint prides himself on getting it the rare times she does. She's at the sink, a first aid kit open and laid out on the counter, a towel wrapped around her body and she's combed out her hair, dark and smooth against her head now. Clint doesn't dry off, but he takes a towel from the stack on the shelf and wraps it around his hips and steps to her to check her arm again.

Clint shrugs. "It doesn't look quite as bad now that it's clean."

Natasha rolls her eyes. "See?"

"I didn't say it looks good, you should've gotten it stitched."

"Whatever, get on with it, you wanna play doctor, I know you do."

That makes him snort, and Clint gets to work. Antibiotic ointment and then careful application of butterfly bandages, and a gauze pad taped over to protect, and she helps smooth the tape with an approving small smile. Then it's his turn, he guesses, a little surprised, more pleased, as Natasha turns him to check his ribs, a scrape on his back he wasn't even aware of. There's a gash on the side of his hand that he'd missed but she hadn't, and Natasha's careful and gentle, washing it yet again and using the same antibiotic gel before bandaging him up. When she's done, she smiles, bringing his hand to her mouth to kiss just by his knuckles with a teasing smile.

His "Thank you, Doctor Romanoff," gets him a laugh.

Natasha shakes her head, bringing his fingers to her mouth with a wicked grin. "You wish for bedside manner like this, Barton," and he's nodding and chuckling when she sucks his index and middle finger into her mouth in a blatantly obvious tease, her eyes on his, the edges of her mouth still curved to suggest a smile. His laugh is caught in a moan, and that's some sort of sign for her, apparently, because before he knows what's happening, she's caught the towel he's wearing and tugged it off so it's under her knees as she drops before him.

His body had reacted as soon as his fingers had slid against her wet tongue, and now his response is escalated by the sight of her, wet and seal-sleek, towel slipping to show the curves of her breasts as he looks down, and she's cupping him and steadying his cock. He's noticed this before, Natasha likes to feel him get hard in her mouth, and now's no exception, she's sucking, easy, using her tongue, her neck bent back so she can watch him as she moves, having to draw back more when he stiffens under her attentions. It's enough to make Clint's knees weak and he hears her muffled chuckle when she notices him waver the slightest bit and then straighten, reaching for the counter both for balance and to keep from impulsively grabbing her head.

Her mouth, god, small and tight and wet, the mildest graze of her teeth against the underside, it's incredible, more so for how unexpected it is, and Clint is shuddering and fighting for control to keep watching her, keep meeting her liquid blue eyes. The flap of Natasha's towel is pushed back and open and he hisses when he sees her hand slide in, between her legs, the slight movements of her forearm telling him exactly what she's doing as she sucks him.

He's panting and oh god, that feeling; Clint's not ready to come yet, but Natasha's getting him there too fast, making his heart pound and sweat bloom across his belly and between his shoulder blades. She's moving faster, her fist stroking from the base to her mouth with a twist every few slides that she knows makes him crazy, and he's groaning, both hands on the counter edge behind her, his toes curling uselessly against the cool tile floor, his thighs tight, his stomach drawing in.

"Fuck, Natasha, Natasha..."

That must be another signal, because she pulls off with a wet slick pop.

Clint can't help making a noise - surprise and registering displeasure all at once, and it earns him a laugh as she rises to her feet, her towel staying on the floor. Natasha turns and pushes back against him, her hands finding grips on the counter edge just like his had been, and she looks at his face in the mirror.

"Come on, Clint, wasn't that enough practice? Fuck me for real this time."

She's moving, not quite writhing but the slide of her ass against him is a wicked, wicked tease, and he can't take it, not with his cock hard and straining and still wet from Natasha's mouth. They match perfectly for this too, and it just takes a dip of his knees and his hands on her hips and he's in her, a heated rushed thrust that pulls a gasp from him and a shout from her. Victory in that, Natasha's mostly quiet in bed, less so now than when they started, but still it's a surprise when she makes a sound other than when she comes, and more meaningful for it, at least to him. She's got leverage from the counter and she's pushing back, and it only takes a second for him to shift his feet and find the right position, thrusting as she rocks back.

"Fuck me hard , Clint, you know I like it," Natasha gasps, watching his face in the mirror, tightening her internal muscles in a grip that draws a groan from him.

Clint's more than happy to follow Natasha's lead, holding her still so she can feel it when he lets himself go, using his legs and back to put solid weight behind each deep drive into her.

"Yes, god, yes , yes..." Clint can barely groan out words, leaning forward now, his hands on either side of hers on the counter, their bodies thudding as he fucks her.

Natasha's making a little sound with each inhale, each time his cock drives deep into her, it's like in the shower but he can't decide if it's better for being in her or for simply being able to see her face in the mirror, the way her eyes widen and her cheeks flush and her lips are full and red.

There's no need to hold her in place now, Natasha's got a tight grasp on the counter and they're perfectly in sync, so their rhythm doesn't even stutter when Clint spans his hand on her belly and then down, his index finger slipping between her lips to work short firm circles against her clit. He's watching her though, avid, focused, a sharp grin when he can see her body respond, watch her drop her head back and close her eyes and lose herself in the building pleasure.

Her breasts are heavy and tight, just visible at the bottom of the mirror, bouncing with the force of their movements, and Clint can't resist, grinning at the sound Natasha makes when he covers them with his hands, their rocking together and apart pushing her into his hands and then back away, and he squeezes in time, feeling her hard nipples against his palms.

Natasha spits out, "Fucking - damn it, Barton, I need-- "

He knows what she needs, she's already let go of the counter with one hand when he leans forward and shakes his head, pushing deep without withdrawing, panting. "Nuh uh, don't you dare ."

It gets him a snarl and a flash of her eyes, but she goes along, her breath catching despite herself, her back arching when his fingers find her nipples and pluck and pull, rolling them between his fingers.

"What's your hurry, Tash? Come on, I could go all night."

Clint's smirking, slowing his pace just slightly, and he lets his nails skate over her nipples before cupping and squeezing her breasts firmly back against her body. Natasha snorts at that, and as he'd known she would, she takes it as a challenge, clenching down and using her hands to give her leverage to fuck herself on him. It takes a few seconds for their rhythms to match again, and then it's a furious desperate plummet. He's got to hold on again to match and meet her, and he can't look away, he can't stand it.

He's close too, Clint realizes with no small surprise, and that's what makes him cup Natasha's mound again and rub and stroke, flicking his fingertips light and fast like he knows she likes, making Natasha drop her head and close her eyes and moan. Then she loses her pace, just for a second and Clint thrusts so hard he's going up on his toes and back on his heels, and she's coming again, stumbling a step forward so her thighs are against the counter and her flailing arm comes out and hits the mirror to hold herself up. Her orgasm makes his inevitable, a sledgehammer of pleasure that whites everything out for long crazy seconds, til he's bowed over her, panting.

And then because he hasn't been able to, because he can't ever get enough of her, Clint pulls back and out and manhandles her in a way that she only takes in times like these. It's an earned trust, he guesses, but that's when he's got more functioning brain cells to devote to the subject, not now when all he can do is reach and touch and take everything Natasha will give.

Clint turns her around and lifts her onto the counter and it's hardly a breath before he's kissing her, one hand cradling her head with his fingers under her hair, at her nape. He's pushing her knees apart with the other, and then he's stroking into her, two fingers, deep, slick and wet and messy; he loves it, loves to feel her after he's come in her. It's something he doesn't get with anyone else, not that there are many--or to be honest--any others, now that they're doing whatever it is they're doing, but that's their agreement: no condoms together if they use them with anyone else, every time. It'd been Clint's suggestion and she'd accepted, and he's got no idea if she ever has call to follow the rule, and right now he doesn't care, plundering her mouth and swallowing her whimpers, feeling her reach for him, her fingernails scratching his wrist and shoulder.

Natasha's grabbing him so hard, but it's good, it's better than fine, working his thumb against her sensitive clit, and he can feel her body's wavering, she wants more, she's too sensitive and starts to pull back, but then she's coming again, or maybe it's coming still. Fuck if Clint doesn't like that thought, easing his touch and nuzzling as much as kissing along her jaw, under her ear, and Natasha pants, leaning forward like she'd fall if he weren't there, her arms loose and limp around his shoulders and resting on his back.

Natasha only gives herself a few deep breaths to get it together, and then she grabs Clint by the hair, her smile dazed and still somehow wry, and she lifts her head to kiss him, short and with a sharp sting where she nips his lower lip. A well aimed push to his mid-section and he's so wiped out, no resistance in him, it knocks him back on his heels, and that's enough room for her to slip off the counter and go back to the bedroom.

Clint kills the light and stands in the doorway a moment, watching her: she knows without looking what he's doing, so there's a swing in her hips, but there's the slightest wobble to her saunter, still, and that makes him smug too, with no attempt at all to hide it. She pulls the covers back and with a knee on the bed glances at him.

"Well? You going to stand there all night, or are you gonna join me?"

It's - he knows it doesn't mean to her what it means to him. But what it does mean is more trust than she gives anyone else, showing a side of her she doesn't give away easily, and while it'll never be all he wants, it'll always be a struggle to settle for what she'll allow him; for now, sliding into bed and feeling her curl against him and pull his arm around her proprietarily, hear the pleased little murmur as she closes her eyes and relaxes in his arms... for now, it's enough.