hasthehighground: SHIELD logo (S.H.I.E.L.D.)
[personal profile] hasthehighground
Clint didn't sleep great last night. Natasha was jetlagged, so she claimed the couch, and he woke up a couple times wondering if that's really why she did it. If Natasha's uncomfortable sharing a bed, that should be fine -- she's full capable of making her own decisions. But... he didn't mean her to think she wasn't welcome.

("Do you want to see me?" she'd asked, as if he might actually say no.)

It's stupid. He gets over it.

-

Clint doesn't concentrate that well at work, either. The coffee doesn't seem to be helping as much as it should be, and what they're currently doing isn't strategy-oriented, it's just... the standard stuff.

Clint likes the standard stuff (when it's not expense reports), but it's not exactly engaging.

The intra-office chat client on his computer blinks after lunch (he didn't really eat lunch).

"Clint," Beamon writes. "I can hear you stressing."

Clint looks down at his hands, which are completely still, and can see what she means. Metaphorically.

"Take the lady to the zoo or something. We have three meetings Monday, and I need you on the ball."

He acknowledges the message, and packs up his stuff.

-

Clint has a cigarette in the area just outside the doors before he leaves, because these days in San Diego he can basically only smoke here and on the roof of his apartment, and he's pretty sure the last one might be illegal.

After that, he buys a hot dog, and sits on a bench as he thinks about whether or not he should head back. Natasha might not want him there.

It's his house.

He goes back for his car.

Date: 2013-09-16 11:20 am (UTC)
redintheledger: (want to start somewhere new)
From: [personal profile] redintheledger
Natasha spends half the night on the couch. Not really out of any sense of oooh, sleeping on the couch, eh?, but more common decency - just because she has insomnia doesn't mean Clint can't get some sleep.

Once he goes to work (earlier than he has to, but it's not as if she's going point it out), she crawls back into his bed, and falls into a fitful sleep until 10.

She dreams of trying to find pointe shoes in freezing water; when she wakes, she spends too long in the shower under slightly-too-hot water trying to warm up.

(At least Clint's not here. He'd be distinctly annoyed at how she's wasting water, and that's all she needs)

The last thing she wants to do is go anywhere. Sofia is dead, Sofia is so very dead, she made sure of that, but the thought of going outside without back-up makes her chest feel a little tight. On the other hand, she refuses to eat cereal for lunch, and Clint's fridge is looking distinctly bare of things she can use to make her own food. There are leftovers, but even if her clothes have their own space in his closet, she doesn't want to overstep whatever bounds are in play at the moment.

I hate everything, she thinks, and stomps back over to the bedroom closet to retrieve her San Diego handbag and some sandals.

Venturing to the local supermarket without anyone trying to kill her, and managing to acquire most of the things on her shopping list, makes her feel more like herself than she has in days. She puts her items away, and then goes to find the chopping board.

And if she takes her time chopping everything thoroughly, well, the only person waiting on her to finish is herself.

By the time she has her meat and mushrooms solyanka cooking on the stove, though, the restlessness has returned. Having nothing to clean, and disliking the directions her thoughts keep turning, Natasha boots up her laptop to catch up with her various forums and communities.

Reading arguments about how Latin's grammar changed over time is a far more pleasant exercise than contemplating how many hours of therapy the last mission (and her stalker) is going to cost her, the state of her career, and all questions pertaining to one Clinton F. Barton and herself.

She'll need to think about those things, and soon. But if Fury's given her a week off, the least she can do is at least try and relax for some of it.
Edited Date: 2013-09-17 05:53 am (UTC)

Date: 2013-09-17 07:32 am (UTC)
redintheledger: (blood ran cold)
From: [personal profile] redintheledger
The knocking makes her startle. Even if there is the sound of keys, it's too early for Clint to come back. But nothing's gone wrong, otherwise they would have called, but maybe it's Clint, and maybe it's someone else, she got followed for a week and-

"Hi," Natasha says, very carefully, when Clint walks in, as if she hadn't spent the last few seconds calculating the distance from table to door, and any weapons on hand.

(Spoon, mostly empty bowl, chair to distract until she got to the kitchen with those knives)

She frowns a little at him, but it's a calmer expression than her initial reaction.

"Not particularly," she says, putting her spoon down. "Do you have something in mind?"
Edited Date: 2013-09-17 07:46 am (UTC)

Date: 2013-09-17 08:59 pm (UTC)
redintheledger: (pause for effect)
From: [personal profile] redintheledger
Her expression lightens, a little cautiously, but there is even a faint (genuine) smile by the end.

"The zoo sounds good," she says, and then hesitates for a second. "I, uh. Also still owe you SeaWorld. But I'm happy with either."

Date: 2013-09-17 09:52 pm (UTC)
redintheledger: (my favourite sundress)
From: [personal profile] redintheledger
"Okay," she says, still with that smile, "just give me a few minutes." Soup bowl cover and placed in the fridge (she'll finish it later), a dress suitable for going out in (yellow, as it happens), an overshirt so her arms don't turn red, and a hat lightly clasped in her hand. She'd already applied a light dusting of eyeshadow when she went to the shops, and as she walks out of the bedroom, she's reapplying her lipgloss. Natasha hasn't even tried to break herself out of the habit of Looking Presentable, and she's not about to start in the 21st century.

(She does, though, only take a few minutes.)

"Ready when you are."
Edited Date: 2013-09-17 09:55 pm (UTC)

Date: 2013-09-17 11:08 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] redintheledger
She nods once, and puts her handbag and hat down before moving in and hugging him.

From the way her arms wind around him, head turning so she can settle herself comfortably, it's clear that she's not just embracing him because he asked, but because he's not the only who would really appreciate a hug right now.
Edited Date: 2013-09-17 11:51 pm (UTC)

Date: 2013-09-18 06:03 am (UTC)
redintheledger: ([Clint] two halves of a whole)
From: [personal profile] redintheledger
For a long moment, she just breathes him in, feeling her tension unwind. Not completely, because he was never the entirety of why she was tense in the first place, but enough.

She pulls back just enough to look up at him, not moving more than she has to.

"We're good," Natasha says, answering both his questions.

Date: 2013-09-20 05:25 am (UTC)
redintheledger: (half in light)
From: [personal profile] redintheledger
"Hi, yourself," Natasha says, eyes on the rays gliding through the water like they are flying. His chest is solid behind her, and she folds her arms over his, feeling...well, almost as secure as she feels in public.

She's still jumpy, still overly aware of everyone around them, but she's trying to damp it down.

"I'm glad you came back early," she says, half turning her head towards him.

Date: 2013-09-21 09:45 pm (UTC)
redintheledger: (party don't start till I get in)
From: [personal profile] redintheledger
"Ahhh." There is a quick flash of an answering smile before she turns her head back towards the tank.

"She's very wise."
Edited Date: 2013-09-23 05:00 am (UTC)

Date: 2013-09-24 07:32 am (UTC)
redintheledger: (the girl with the red hair)
From: [personal profile] redintheledger
"Oh, I think that is an excellent strategy," Natasha says with a wry smile, readjusting her handbag.

Then she hesitates, clearly thinks, fuck it, and steps close.

"If I'm jumpy with the crowds, I'll explain when we're home," she says, quietly.
Edited Date: 2013-09-24 11:21 am (UTC)

Date: 2013-09-26 09:48 am (UTC)
redintheledger: (distraction boobs: activate)
From: [personal profile] redintheledger
"They negotiate an additional alliance with the raccoons, based on the division of fishing rights and shiny bits of tinsel," Natasha says, serenely, as she slips off her sandals at the door.

She hangs up her hat, and makes her way over to the couch. Her normal spot happens to be the one furthest from the door anyway; it doesn't show any nerves.

Possibly, she's over-thinking this.

She's just...going to wait for him to join her. There's no point in stumbling over explanations when the man's just walked through the door. She can wait.

Wait, and absently rub the back of her wrists in one of the few nervous gestures she allows herself.
Edited Date: 2013-09-26 12:08 pm (UTC)

Date: 2013-09-26 09:14 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] redintheledger
"Thank you," she murmurs, accepting the glass of water. She sips it as he settles himself, and then puts it down on the coffee table to take his hand. Much like his hand on her back before, it's comforting.

"Before I start," Natasha says, "I just...The threat's over now. So you don't have to worry.

But, in Moscow, I...acquired a stalker. Not the 'we are destined to be together kind'. Um, but the 'I deeply admire you, so I'm going to test you, and then kill you and take over your life' kind."
Edited Date: 2013-09-26 09:15 pm (UTC)

Date: 2013-09-27 05:58 am (UTC)
redintheledger: (pause for effect)
From: [personal profile] redintheledger
Natasha snorts at his comment, but her mouth curves into a brief smile.

Brief, but there.

"Sure. I can completely see SHIELD respecting her wishes to be known as the Black Widow."
Edited Date: 2013-09-27 06:06 am (UTC)

Date: 2013-09-27 06:40 am (UTC)
redintheledger: (you know I do)
From: [personal profile] redintheledger
Natasha squeezes back, and looks down at their hands.

"She said she followed me for a week. I can't confirm that, but she knew where I was staying. I had Evenstar crash my hotel room."

A brief glance up, another quick smile - this one sharper.

"I kicked their asses, but, I didn't know until then. She was working for a man who was after the same thing I was, but for her it wasn't professional. And I didn't-" know, didn't see her, I had no fucking idea...

"I'll be okay. But I'm not okay just yet."

Natasha glances up to catch his gaze, and her expression turns faintly apologetic. "So, when you came back earlier, that's why I was acting weird. I'm a bit jumpy."

Date: 2013-10-02 05:30 am (UTC)
redintheledger: (that's where I'll be)
From: [personal profile] redintheledger
She rubs the base of her left thumb across the back of her right wrist, and half lifts a shoulder.

"The immediate danger? Yes. But if she had records somewhere, they haven't been found."

She's not too worried about that; not the first time someone's had records on her, nor will it be the last. Stalking aside, it's the price of having a reputation.

She's trying not to worry about it.

"If I'm told I need to worry about it, then I'll...let myself be rationally concerned," Natasha says, after a moment's pause.
Edited Date: 2013-10-02 05:41 am (UTC)

Date: 2013-10-03 05:56 am (UTC)
redintheledger: (appear as a balm)
From: [personal profile] redintheledger
She leans into him, tucking her head down a little to rest against his shoulder. For a moment, she just breathes; eyes closed, concentrating on relaxing what muscles she can.

"I, uh, went to Milliways yesterday," she says, shifting her head to look up at him.

"Got your keyring."

Date: 2013-10-03 06:18 am (UTC)
redintheledger: (grin at the world)
From: [personal profile] redintheledger
She grins at him. Partly, it's just due to too long spent nervous and stressed.

But mostly, well.

Dinosaur keyring.

"I am passably fond," she says with a certain degree of solemnity. "It's still in my wallet."

Clint looks pleased at that, in the way he gets when he's quietly yet genuinely happy at how things have turned out. Still smiling a little, she settles back against him, curling her fingers around his hand.

No matter what else is going on, they, at least, are okay again.
Edited Date: 2013-10-04 05:16 am (UTC)

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Clint Barton

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