AUTHOR'S NOTE: Where have I been?! Well the answer is boarding school, weirdly enough! But I'm back now, with a brand new one shot! Well, it's a one shot now, depending on views and reviews... let me know if you want a second chapter!

If you haven't read my first story, please go check that out as well, it's called Under Fire and follows Natasha's and Wanda's relationship.

This is a Clintasha fic, as I just can't decide who I ship her with! It's set in the past, pre-Avengers. Natasha has just joined SHIELD, and Clint has been here for a couple of years now. First mission gone wrong... you might just have to read it to find out, and please don't forget to review!

Enjoy ;D


Coulson was waiting for them on the other side of the bridge. Natasha watched as Clint walked in front of her, bow in his hand, a strange feeling in her chest. Her first mission as a proper SHIELD agent after her initiation. After Budapest. And there had been no casualties in this mission, and she felt... good. Good. Like she was finally doing good. And she was doing good with Clint by her side. She's never felt this way about anyone ever. She'd kissed and killed hundreds of men without feeling anything. But when Clint caught her eye and smiled, or when he put his arm around her shoulders, she didn't feel the urgent need to throw-up. And the slow lazy way he talked, and reassured her that soon she'd be settled into SHIELD life while she assured him she didn't need reassurance because she didn't care. She did. She cared about what he thought. If he found her repulsive, a monster, a killer, worthless and hopeless, well, he hid it better than everyone else.

That didn't mean she could tell him how she felt. Not yet. She needed to wait. After all, she wasn't sure what she felt exactly. She didn't want to mess up this fragile balance that they'd established.

"Natasha! C'mon!"

She jogged up to his side. "That's not possible is it?! You're smiling!" he teased her, "You did good, it's true." She put a hand up to her face. She was smiling! She couldn't be, Madame B would... oh wait.

"Hey, I didn't mean that badly Tash, I'm sorry. It's just..."

"Weird." She was here. She was free. Dreykov was dead. The Red Room was gone.

He shot her a strange look. "It's not weird to be happy." And he smiled to make his point. A big bright brilliant smile, that displayed his very American smile. Natasha grinned again briefly at the ridiculous sight, and he laughed. "When you smile, you look so, so," and then there was an ear-splitting whine and a boom and he was thrown back over the bridge's walls, several feet into the frigid water below.


Coulson watched with smug satisfaction as Romanoff and Barton made their way over to him. They worked so efficiently together. The mission had been quick and clean, and it was nice to see them trusting each other more and more. He had Fury on the line, and was just updating him when a commotion caught his attention. He looked up in time just to see Barton collapsing off the bridge, and Romanoff's horrified facial expression before her professionalism took control and she leaped over the wall into the river after him.

"Hold that thought Fury," and he started to run down the grassy hill that bordered this side of the bridge. The river was wide and deep, with a blessed weak current. His heart thumped in his chest, but outside he kept his composure. Maybe it was just Barton messing around.

At the riverbank, he waited with baited breath for Romanoff's red curls to resurface.


Natasha jumped into the freezing water after him without a second thought. She dived and on contact the water stung her and she felt her body seize with the cold, but she kept going after... after Clint... after her friend. Her arms ached as she barrelled through the murky water, faster, faster, and she was stretching out her hand, and she was nearly there, and yes, near the bottom, sinking like an ethereal rag-doll framed in a greenish glow was Clint. She pushed the water quicker and quicker and she caught hold of Clint's t-shirt before he hit the bottom, and now she was swimming up and up but the water was so cold and she was so tired and she needed air and her eyes were closing and just let her breathe, and then her head was breaking the surface with a monstrous splash, and she was gasping for air, the water trickling down her throat. Clint was a dead weight in her hand, but with the last of her willpower she waded through the water and then she was crawling on the shore, still gripping Clint's t-shirt in a frozen hand, dragging him along, out of the water.

She was shivering uncontrollably, her teeth chattering almost comically in her mouth and she frantically blinked, trying to clear her waterlogged eyes and pushing her hair out of her face with sluggish, uncoordinated hands. Her fingers weren't bending which made it harder as she desperately turned to Clint's still form, her brain still on auto-pilot as she fumbled to find a pulse on his blue-tinged hands.

Please, please, please, she whispered under her breath, please, please, please.

But now strong, dry hands were helping her trembling ones and they listened to Clint's pulse, and Natasha was shaking so hard water was spraying off her, and she looked up into Coulson's grey face as he bent over Clint's inanimate form, water dripping off Natasha's hair, her clothes, her lungs still gasping for air, and waiting and watching as Coulson bent down to listen to Clint's mouth and tried to find a pulse in his neck.

Natasha heard through clogged ears, "We need medical assistance, Agent Barton down, he's not breathing," as he spoke quickly into his comms.

"Natasha." She whipped her head up and met his eyes. "We need to perform CPR," and then her own heart was leaping in her throat and her mind was leaping to all the what ifs possible, as the shock of the cold wore off, she was leaping to her feet, stumbling to Clint's side on jellylike legs, and slumping down and hearing Agent Monroe's voice from a couple weeks ago:

"You need to start with placing the person on their back. Put the heel of one hand in the center of the chest. You can also push with one hand on top of the other, and press down at least 2 inches. Make sure not to press on ribs. Do chest compressions only, at the rate of 100-120 per minute or more. Let the chest rise completely between pushes."

And she was, maniacally, frantically, with her frozen hands, summoning energy she didn't know she had.

"S-ss-sorry if I break... if I break a rib, BarTON," she muttered from quivering lips. Coulson heard, and his heart sunk. Broken ribs looked like they wouldn't matter soon.

Natasha was breathing in small desperate shudders, unable to exhale and inhale properly, but Clint was still still.

"ARGHH!" She screamed in anguish, and tilted his head back and lifted his chin. With Monroe's voice in her head "Pinch the nose of the victim closed. Take a normal breath, cover the victim's mouth with yours to create an airtight seal, and then give 2 one-second breaths as you watch for the chest to rise," she lowered her lips to his.

Two breaths.

30 compressions.

Two breaths.

30 compressions.

And she was crying now, wishing this wasn't the way their first kiss went, wishing there would be more kisses, and then Clint was choking, an awful, AMAZING sound because that meant he wasn't, he wasn't, he wasn't. And Coulson was helping to manoeuvre him into the recovery position, his hands holding her convulsing shoulders steady and she shook and cried, holding Clint's hand and watched as he breathed. He was breathing. He was breathing.


Well, well we love some angst right! Please do leave a review with thoughts, ideas and if you want a next chapter!