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14 July 2012 @ 02:14 pm
Fic: Accusation (2/30), Hawkeye/Black Widow, The Avengers  
Title: Accusation
Author: grimeysociety
Pairings: Hawkeye/Black Widow or Clint/Natasha
Rating: R
Warnings: violence
Summary: An assignment goes horribly wrong.
A/U: Day 2 of the 30 Day Drabble Challenge.



It was a pretty straightforward assignment.
Secure Bates and return to headquarters within 48 hours. Their only window of opportunity, as Bates was serving as a double-agent, and if the terrorist cell he was assigned to caught on to anything suspicious they wouldn't hesitate in killing him before he could divulge any further information to S.H.I.E.L.D.

Natasha should have known by now that no assignment ever ran that smoothly. All she thought of was the music Clint had chosen for the road trip back, as he was the one who chose to drive, and according to him, he therefore had rights to picking their soundtrack.
It wasn't that he chose anything Natasha didn't like; she just wasn't sure if Bates was so open-minded to new tastes as she was. He kept making odd faces when a track rolled onto another equally loud and obnoxious one. Later the agents would find out the faces he made were reflecting his own inner torment, a panic growing inside them the further they drove.

--

They stopped at a hotel for the night, though Natasha didn't count on sleeping. She rarely ever did during a mission unless she was exhausted from battle, and luckily nothing violent had been necessary so far. Everything was going to plan. She didn't think of Bates' sawn-off shotgun.

It was decided Bates would get his own room as long as he agreed to surveillance while he slept. Clint and Natasha would take turns during the night and then at first light they'd leave.

Clint lay on the bed as Natasha sat up beside him, the tiny laptop in her lap as she watched Bates pace before turning out the light. The green shape of his body in the night surveillance filter only stirred just slightly on his bed. Natasha expanded the second camera's view from outside Bates' hotel room. There was nothing there but a stain on the concrete, blood or otherwise, Natasha didn't know.

Clint was lying on his back with his hands behind his head, and Natasha turned and scowled at him.
“You're supposed to be sleeping.”

“You know I can't sleep, Nat. And I bet you won't later, either.”

Natasha smirked because he was right. “Never mind. Do you want some coffee?”

His face lit up at the suggestion of caffeine. “Sure. I'll give you some change for the machine.”

They reached at the same time for the night stand on Clint's side, Natasha's hair brushing his cheek. She pulled back too fast and too sudden for it not to be acknowledged.

“Nat...”

They stared at each other for a moment. Occasionally, this would happen. Clint would seem to get lost in her gaze, as if he was trying to read her. If he was going to make a pass at her now, this was the worst timing.

She snatched the change from his hand and leapt from the bed, crossing the tiny space to the door, feet light on the carpet.

She stalked halfway down the corridor before she remembered she left the laptop on the bed, but she knew Clint was smart enough to keep watch in the minute or so she was gone. Her boots stamped on the concrete as she jogged down the steps to the coffee machine outside the reception. She pulled the hood on her jacket over her head and pressed a few buttons. Clint liked coffee black, two sugars. He had a sweet tooth. Natasha liked white coffee, never any sugar. She hated the idea of mixing bitter with sweet unless it was coffee cake or a frappe.

When was the last time she had cake? Or something like a treat?

She sighed and waited as one paper cup flew down. Next came the stream of black water, then grains of sugar from another compartment hidden in the machine. She took out the mug and stirred it with the plastic stick, and sucked on it, before tossing it aside. She lifted a finger to make her selection, only to hear a bang from above, like a crack of thunder ringing out over the hotel.

She dropped Clint's coffee and sprinted upstairs, reaching for her two pistols in her belt. Heart pounding, she reached Bates' hotel door and slammed it open with her right boot. There was nothing inside but Bates' un-made bed and shoes beside it.

“In here, in here,” Clint's voice called her from next door, their room. His voice sounded strange, oddly quiet in an emergency.

Natasha bolted in to find Clint standing over Bates' body, brains and blood having painted the walls surrounding him. From the top of Bates' head to his teeth was completely gone.

“He's dead, he's dead,” Clint said, holding up a hand to block Natasha from inspecting Bates'.

“Shit. Clint, we have to go.”

Clint wiped his face, which had been sprayed in the blast.

Clint!

Natasha did not have time for boundaries, and tugged Clint's hand for him to run with her down the srairs to the car. They would have to ditch their belongings to avoid the hotel staff catching up to them. They had to disappear.

--

Natasha sped down the highway, the car silent. She hadn't thought to put music on. They would find somewhere safe to stay, call Fury, and explain the situation.

“What happened?”

It was the first thing either of them had said in the past twenty minutes. Clint's knuckles were white from gripping his knees.

“He came into the room, wanting to talk to us. He was all panicky and then... well, you know the rest.”

He closed his eyes for a moment and breathed deeply.

“He said something before he did it. About us killing him when we found out what he did.”

“We wouldn't have killed him,” Natasha said, though she wasn't so sure now. For someone to blow their own brains out like that, to destroy themselves in such a way, they must have had some kind of hefty motivation.

“He was a triple-agent. He thought by now that we were onto him.”

--

They took turns driving through the night. At some point while Natasha drove, she turned he head and watched Clint as his head lolled on the headrest, and she felt her stomach grow warm.

“Why are you looking at me like that?”

Clint's voice was a sleepy grunt. He opened his eyes and they smiled at one another. It was a tentative gesture when only hours ago they'd been in a full panic.