Hello! So this is the first part in a series of drabbles that I write on my phone when inspiration strikes. This one was inspired by sgtwilliamjames' tags on a gifset of Clint and Natasha sitting on the medical bed, when he whispers her name. If you don't know about the talented people of tumblr, check them out!

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She unstraps the cuffs tying him to the medical bed, and he sits up slowly whilst accepting the cup of ice water she hands him. The circles under her eyes and the tense purse of her mouth betray her steady hands as their fingers brush, and he swings his legs down so she can sit beside him.

They are two halves of a whole.

They sit in the steel room in silence, waiting for the other to state the inevitable. It's clear as fucking crystal they are compromised. He's been better (or perhaps worse?) at showing it, and she has always been resolute in the mask swallowing her feelings about him.

The cracks have been showing recently.

His arms glisten from the perspiration of his exertion at freeing his mind and his heart, of taking them back from an intruder and giving them back to the person they really belong to.

He belongs to her, but she's never demonstrated she belongs to him.

Until that fateful night, with her vulnerability laid bare, that one line over the phone she could not bear to think about before.

"Natasha. Barton's been compromised."

All of a sudden, the red in her ledger is put on hold, because without him there would be no black in her ledger, and yes she owes him a debt but it's so much more than that. How do you describe their partnership when they crossed boundaries a long time ago. Fucking is a poor speculation that their fellow SHIELD agents seem to think makes them close. They haven't gone there, held onto that last bit of denial because once that line is crossed there is nothing that will come between them. But even without that final line crossed, she has surprised them all with her single-minded determination to bring him back. To her. He is hers, and no-one else's.

He whispers her name under his breath, just a hint of his emotions running through them and she wants to bury herself in his skin and tell him that he is never leaving her again.


She looks down instead, lips pulling together tightly as she restrains her feelings. There will be time for this, all the time in the world. But after. He is the one with red in his ledger now, and she is going to be the one to make sure he wipes it out.

So when Rogers gives her a questioning look, she doesn't hesitate. He is loyal. To her. And that is all they need to know.