Category: Gen. Movieverse, but fits in the Fractionverse, too. Clint focus with a side of Natasha.
Summary: For most people, it was an inconvenience. But for Clint Barton, it was far more than that.
Word Count: 300
She didn’t know how he did it, but magic had to be involved.
Because no matter how many scraps he got into, somehow that particular thing - something everyone else in their line of work practically lived with - was almost always avoided.
Almost was the key word, though.
And this time, he hadn’t been so lucky.
He’d gotten a doozy.
It had swelled right away.
Then it got much worse for a while, and it took ages before it went down.
He was jumpy and twitchy until it did, and even the greenest of agents quickly learned to avoid his left side.
But finally, it healed.
And today, his first day on the range since it happened, he looked like himself.
But she knew he wasn’t.
Because though his injury was minor, its location scared him to death – and she knew it.
So she reloaded calmly, pretending she didn’t know he was there (even though there was no way he’d believe that), as he carefully prepared to shoot.
She turned away when she was finished, aiming at her own target.
As she did, she took a deep breath and held it – not for her shot, but for him.
He did the same, for himself.
They fired at the same time - her with a barrage of noisy bullets; him with the silent strike of an arrow – then breathed out together.
A moment later, they inspected their work: hits dead center in both cases.
He hung a new target while she put her weapons away, then left the range.
As she did, she caught his eye.
She didn’t nod. Nor did she speak.
And neither did he.
But he did smirk.
And that’s how Natasha Romanoff knew that Clint Barton had recovered from the injury that bothered him more than most: a black eye.