This came into my mind when Ward asked if Romanoff could beat the lie detector, and Eric Koenig responded with "Like Fury Would Tell."

"Are you sure this is such a good idea, Fury? I mean, I don't want to ruin your year-long project in a matter of minutes."

"Stop being so sure of yourself, and get in there, alright? God you're acting more like Barton every minute."

"That's my girl." Clint gave Natasha a high-five, before she turned, and entered the room.

They were in Fury's secret base, Providence, located somewhere in the Canadian wilderness. Natasha was there to test the lie detector that Fury had helped develop, to see, if by S.H.I.E.L.D.'s standards, it was beatable. Eric Koenig waited patiently as Natasha situated herself into the chair, looking rather smug. Fury and Clint hung in the back, excited to see how their best assassin would do against the state of the art lie detector.

"I'm going to start with a few warm up questions, alright? What is your full name?"

Natasha sneered. "Which one?"

Fury rolled his eyes, and Clint let out a laugh, which he hastily turned into a cough. Koenig cleared his throat, and moved on as though nothing had happened.

"What is your eye color?"

"With or without contacts?" She shot Clint a look, who had burst out laughing. "Green."

"Have you ever been married?"

"Shouldn't you be asking if I am married?"

"Your file says that you're not."

"Like I would tell anyone."

Fury shot a look at Clint, but his face was closed off.

"Do you have any immediate family?"

"Is that including my husband?"

"Romanoff," Fury growled.

"The closest thing I've got to a family is Clint, Coulson, and Fury."

"What is the difference between an egg, and a rock?"

"What does the egg look like? What type of mineral is the rock made of? How large is the rock?"

"Just answer the question Agent Romanoff."

"An egg is edible, and a rock is too, just not as tasty."

Clint smiled and flashed back to a mission where they had eaten pebbles to fool their empty stomachs.

"You're on a deserted island, and a box washes up on shore. What is in the box?"

Natasha narrowed her eyes in concentration. "I would ask how big the box is, but I'm pretty sure that we're not going for that, right?" Koenig smiled. "Clint, with a lifeboat, pistol, and food. Preferably not rocks."

Fury smirked, while Clint doubled up with laughter.

"What if S.H.I.E.L.D. had been infiltrated at it's highest levels, and no longer existed? What would you do?"

The room fell silent, except for the occasional beeping of the machine. Something stirred in Natasha's eyes, confusion, and she looked at Fury.

"I would... try to help S.H.I.E.L.D., or whatever is left of it, to the best of my abilities."


Natasha paused at the question, contemplating the answer. "Because... It's what we live for, right? Someone once told me that loyalty isn't enough; you have to believe." Natasha flickered her eyes over to Clint, who was avoiding her gaze. "I believe in S.H.I.E.L.D. It's my life. It's the people I care about. It's... home."

Clint looked up, straight into Natasha's eyes.

"Okay. Very good Miss Romanoff. Now, for the next few questions, I want you to lie, okay?"

Natasha nodded, tearing her eyes away from Clint.

"What is your weapon of choice?"

"Bow and arrow."

Clint smirked. Definitely a lie.

Fury stood next to Koenig, and when Clint moved forward to see if she was beating the machine, Fury blocked him.

"My eyes only Barton."

"Don't you mean eye?"

Fury turned his back on the agent, shaking his head.

"Who is your best friend in the entire world?"

"Tony Stark."

Clint gasped. "Tasha, I'm hurt!"

"Barton, if I wasn't supposed to stay in this seat, I come over there and kick you."

Eric stepped in. "Romanoff, just a couple more questions. Do you know any type of fighting, such as martial arts, or kick boxing?"

"No, in fact, I've never even thrown a punch before."

"Obviously. You prefer to kick people."



Clint and Natasha glared at each other.

"Last question. Have you-"

"Sorry Koenig. Do you mind if I ask one?"Director Fury interrupted.

Eric looked at him, but held back his questions. "Have at it, sir."

Fury looked up into Natasha's blank eyes. "Are you in love with Clinton Francis Barton?"

Clint and Natasha simultaneously burst out laughing. Clint fell to the floor, unable to hold himself up. Fury, however, did not find it funny.

"Answer the question, Romanoff."

Natasha took a deep breath, then looked up at Fury, tears of laughter in her eyes.

"You're joking, right?"

"No, Romanoff, I'm not. Answer the question."

Natasha glanced at Clint, who was shaking with silent laughter after picking himself up off of the floor. "No. I'm not in love with Clinton Francis Barton. Love is for children."

Fury looked down at the control panel, making sure to block Clint's view. Clint, however, wasn't paying attention. He pulled on a hurt face, his bottom lip trembling.

"You don't... love me, but you love Stark?"

Natasha narrowed her eyes at him. "Director Fury? Permission to leave this chair?"

"Permission granted."

"Seriously? Not funny Nicky!" Clint yelled as he busted open the door and took off running, Natasha in hot pursuit.

Director Fury turned to Eric. "How'd she do Koenig?"

"Well," Eric said, swiping Natasha's results onto the screen. "She successfully beat the machine on every question, except for the one that you asked. The very last one."

Fury smiled as he heard Clint yelling in the hallway, trying to prevent his Russian Redhead partner from killing him.

"It's obviously a love/hate relationship," commented Eric, slightly amused.

Director Fury shook his head. "They're something else, aren't they? I can't wait to give them back to Coulson."

"You aren't going to comment on the fact that they might be compromised by their feelings?"

"There is nothing to say, because officially, this never happened. Officially, this was a standard debriefing mission handled off base. Romanoff agreed to take this test if her answers were kept secret, and as I too wanted to keep this whole base a secret, this will never show up on record." Fury sighed, and leaned back. "I can't believe she beat it."

"Did she sir? She didn't beat the last question."

"Yeah, well, that one doesn't count. Barton was in the room. Plus, I don't think Romanoff has ever loved someone. She probably doesn't know how to hide it, other than to keep up her 'Love is for children' mess. It was worth a try though, Koenig. Thanks for everything. Send me the results, via the Providence link, but delete all other evidence of it. You know the drill. Tell no one about this, you got that? No one can know that she beat the detector. We spent a quarter of our funding on this machine, and it's been wasted in a day."

He sighed, just as the sound of something very big crashed nearby. Intense quarreling could be heard seconds later.

"Let me go get them out of here before they destroy the place. It's been a pleasure Koenig. Keep up the good work."

Director Fury left the room, setting off to find his two agents, who were obviously adult on the outside, and all child on the inside.