"Rainy," she says, voice dry as the pavement as she steps out from the corner. Avoiding the open gaze of the window, she moves around his coffee table, eyes sweeping over him as she says, "we shouldn’t stay here."
Not with SHIELD fallen, their locations and secrets splayed across every corner of the internet. They needed to get somewhere safe, somewhere they could think, and hopefully regroup.
But as her mind races miles ahead of them—wondering which safe houses would be compromised and which were secure, pondering the possibilities of who was still on there side—he’s there and he looks like hell, and she has to take a minute to stop.
"How are you?" she asks, brows pinching in the middle of her forehead. How are you holding up?
"Y’know," he drawls, "I’m me."
Clint meanders into the kitchen as if he doesn’t have a time constraint, as if she hasn’t told him we shouldn’t stay here and as if he didn’t know that before she walked in and told him.
He did. He does.
The only reason he stayed is, well, this: this stupid, foolish hoping that someone (she) would show up and say anything but mean you have a friend, still, i promise.
By showing up, she’s already done that.
He pulls out two glasses, kicks open the fridge, grabs orange juice, and pours them both a glass.
"Op in Amsterdam went south. Managed to save it. If you’re askin’, broken ribs, concussion, nasty cut. All taken care of." By him, but she didn’t need to know that. Probably already guesses. "Nothin’ worse than you, superstar."
He’s talking about D.C.
He’s talking about too many things.
How she always shows up when he really, really needs a friend.
(He’d needed a friend.)
Clint passes her the glass.
"You look exhausted, Tasha." An audible sigh. "Take the bed. Twenty four hours here isn’t gonna kill us. You look like you could use a good night’s sleep."
she’s gone ——
but at least the war is over.
I’m going to duck now, and you’re going to shoot.
Then we’ll see who fun and freaky is.
[And duck she does, as quick as she can.
The Silence reaches out for her, closing in quickly.]
[ And he shoots. Grins, too. Never misses, that’s him, Clint Barton to a T, but it doesn’t fail to make him smile when he gets something trying to kill someone dead center. Straight to the ground it drops, falling behind the curly haired woman. ]
[ And then - ]
[ Weird. Okay, maybe not weird. People stare at him every day, these days. Okay, not every day. Certainly people don’t stare at him like they stare at Captain America, but sometimes, once in awhile, someone recognizes him and -
He’s holding the bow. Oh. Of course she’s staring at him. Never mind, then. Not just a sudden Hawkeye fan. He’s mildly disappointed. ]
don’t mind the bow.
[ It happens? ]
She will heal. This is a fact: she will heal, and at worst, she’ll have a couple more scars to add to the collection. She doesn’t think anything’s broken - not more than a couple of cracked ribs, anyway - but even if it were, Natasha would avoid hospitals. She’s lived through worse, is the most important thing. She’s broken her ankle and kept running, kept fighting. She’s been tortured to the point of death seeming welcome, and continued on. Natasha is not scared of a little pain.
She doesn’t want Clint to fuss over her; she’d suspected he might find her, eventually, but she’d hoped that she would be able to clean herself up before he arrived. He’s too fast for that. It’s not a bad thing that he’s here, it never is, especially when he has seen her at her worst, but she can read the concern in his face. It’s unnecessary—and yet she knows that were he the injured one, she’d be trying to help, too.
"That doesn’t sound like an actual choice," she comments, managing to keep her tone light; Clint might have decided to help her, but that doesn’t mean she’s going to admit to the amount of pain she’s in. Please. "You know I’m stubborn, Barton."
"Looks like it hurts."
It’s not a question, and not remotely an accusation. It’s a statement: nothing more, nothing less, but said with the softness of a man who has seen her in pain before. One who, if given the choice, would rather not have seen it again.
(It’s not the seeing it that bothers him; it’s the fact that it has happened at all. Tell him what you like, and he’ll know it’s true: it’s a job requirement, it happens all the time, etc, etc, etc. Doesn’t mean he’s not going to feel the same damn way.)
"If you’re not gonna let me touch you, at least let me help. C’mon, Tasha." His voice dips. He considers plucking the antiseptic from her fingers and reconsiders with the knowledge that she’ll only tense up if he tries to grab something from her. "Couple’a those look bad."
He swallows. Regret sticks to his ribs like the blood on her skin.
"I didn’t have your back up there. Not like I should of. Not like I was supposed to." If she’d managed to get hurt, he didn’t have her back: as simple as that. "Let me have it now."
Threatening a girl now?
that’s not very nice.
[Nonetheless, her hands rested at the gun on her thigh, just in case.]
Threatening what’s behind you.
But if you wanna take your chances with fun and freaky over there, be my guest.
[ No, please don’t.
He’s enjoying his day of Not Dying.
It’s super awesome.]
Sam knew that he should’ve stretched after running those ten miles. Getting a proper stretch after a run was always necessary in order to prevent cramping, but he had made the mistake of sitting down next to a tree, completely skipping that crucial step. This left him all cramped up with nowhere to go. Literally.
Lucky for him, a stranger walked by and gave him that crucial second of eye contact. Maybe Sam wasn’t as screwed as he thought.
“D’ya think you could help me up?”
He’s in N.Y.C.
It’s nothing close to a smart decision. In fact, it’s most likely a terrible, no good, very bad decision. Clint’s entire life has been spilled onto the internet, and while it’s not as terrible as the lives of some of his friends, there are things, missions, information that in the wrong hands -
Well, he’s just had to watch his back a little more closely, these days.
It’s difficult to find somewhere to go. Several of the safe houses have been ransacked, and he’s bounced between a few others around the United States in the past few weeks. As long as he keeps moving, he should be fine.
Keep moving and keep out of eyesight of anyone who wants to kill him. For the most part, that’s been the past decade of his life. And he’s good at it.
He’s in NYC because he’s looking for people. Survivors of the aftermath of D.C., friends, agents, someone and anyone he can try to trust. The question comes from behind him, and he turns, half expecting to see a more familiar face -
The man is mildly familiar; a ‘seen a picture, know the face’ kind of familiar - and if Clint didn’t have an exceptionally good memory for faces and where he’s seen them, he’d be wondering whether he saw this guy in an informercial or on the streets of NYC.
But no, he’s seen this face in connection with SHIELD - or whatever was left of it. A gut instinct, a tug, this man is on your side.
He holds out a hand.