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New Fic: Need to Know

Need to Know

Fandom: Avengers
Rated: PG
Category: Humor. Movieverse. Natasha and Clint friendship.
Spoilers: None.
Summary: Some things are on a need-to-know basis, and most people don’t need to know.
Word Count: 681
Note: Thank you, Chris Hemsworth. I needed the smile, and the muse.

---

Nick Fury looked around as if he could extend his field of view past the edges of the camera frame.

"Where's Barton?" he asked.

Natasha shrugged. "Said he had some errands to run," she mumbled, munching on a granola bar.

"Errands?" asked Fury, leveling his good eye on Natasha. "On a mission? What kind of errands?"

"I didn't ask."

Fury looked like he wanted to say more, but then just snorted. "Well, he'd better be done before the extraction or there'll be hell to pay."

"He'll be there," said Natasha, still chewing.

"See that he is," answered Fury.

Then he disconnected the call without further ceremony, as was his way.

Natasha sighed into the empty safe house. She knew exactly where Clint was, and it wasn't on any errand. But that information was classified as need to know as far as she was concerned, and Nick Fury certainly didn't need to know. Not this time.

So Natasha had made an excuse. Again. Like she always did when this came up. It's what partners did, right?

Right, she thought, stretching and standing up. And since Clint's not here, I may as well use the time to my advantage.

So she settled in and read a few chapters of an actual book. Then she took a bath. A nice, long one. After that, she fell asleep, curled up in the soft blanket so graciously provided in this most posh of hideouts.

Four hours later, she heard it. She was a light sleeper, after all. Years on the job had made her that way.

So when the door clicked open, then shut, she knew it right away. She listened, tensed for a threat. But as she cracked one eye open and saw the time, she very nearly rolled her eyes. When the footstep that followed confirmed her theory, she groaned.

Why? she thought. Why does he have to do this every time we’re here?

A moment later, Clint Barton stumbled into the room, reeking of beer and sweat, and flopped down on the bed beside her.

"Hey, Nat," he drawled. "You awake?"

Natasha sighed. "No."

"I know that trick," said Clint.

"Go away."

"Can't."

"Why not?"

"Only one bed, remember?"

"There's a couch."

"Awww, Nat," whined Clint.

Natasha sighed again. "Fine," she conceded. "You can stay. But shut up and go to sleep."

"Okay," mumbled Clint, already sounding sleepy.

He burrowed into the covers and after only a minimum of restless shifting, he was out like a light.

Natasha stared at him for a minute, then shook her head, rolled over, and went back to sleep as quickly as she'd woken.

Another four hours later, thumping bass pounded through the room. It shook the windows and startled a still-sleeping Clint Barton from bed in a tangle of limbs and sheets.

He floundered for only a minute, then glared at his partner, who was completely dressed, with a packed duffle bag at her feet and a calm expression on her face.

"Extraction's in thirty," she said, chewing daintily on one nail.

Clint opened his mouth as if to respond, then shut it again without speaking.

Natasha smirked.

Clint glared.

But twenty minutes later they were both at the rendezvous point like nothing happened.

It was almost as if Hawkeye hadn't been out at a techno rave until 3AM and hadn't woken his partner with his return.

Almost as if Black Widow hadn't returned the favor by waking him with a taste of his own medicine a few short hours later.

Almost.

But not quite.

It was never quite business as usual in this city. It was always a bit rushed, due to the standing request by Agent Romanoff for the earliest possible pick up.

And if any member of the extraction team noticed that Natasha looked a bit more smug than usual and Clint looked a bit more miserable than usual, no one said anything.

The reputations of Black Widow and Hawkeye were enough to keep them silent.

Not that asking would’ve done them any good.

After all, what happens in Berlin stays in Berlin.

---

A/N: Google "Chris Hemsworth smashes Marvel toys" if you want to see the inspiration for this fic. :)

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