Title: Drenched

Fandom: Marvel MCU-ish

Pairing: none?
Rating: R

Summary: Hawkeye’s out in the cold rain, providing backup on a mission.

Notes: Written for day 7 of my 23 Ficlets project to celebrate my 23rd anniversary in the community




“Maybe we should go somewhere a little more private?”


“What did you have in mind?”


“My penthouse has a fully stocked bar.”


“Lead the way.


Damn it, the timetable was accelerating. Agent Clint Barton burst through the door to the roof and slid into place.


“I like a woman who knows what she wants.”


“As long as that’s you, right?”


“It… helps, yes, indeed it does.”


Now that everything was in motion, Clint would only get one chance to shoot with the element of surprise. Once he broke the glass in the window, Nat was a sitting duck unless he got his second arrow off just as quickly. Everything had to go smoothly, perfectly.


Damn it, he had to sneeze. The cold water running down Clint’s face, dripping off the end of his nose was absolutely not helping. Wiping it away was pointless. For one thing, it was pouring rain, and any water he wiped away would be replaced instantly. For another thing, he had an arrow notched with the bowstring pulled back, ready to fire at any second. Between listening in on the com via his earpiece for the signal word and making sure his aim was true, he had far more important things to worry about than a little tickle in his nose.


And, yet, there it was. He sniffed, hoping that would take care of it. It didn’t.


“Agent Barton, are you all right?”


Damn it, Coulson had heard that. Of course he had. Agent Phil Coulson didn’t miss anything.


“I’m still in position,” Clint replied.


“That wasn’t what I asked.”


“Eyes on Agent Romanov and the diplomat. Looks like he’s got two bodyguards with him. They’re casing the room, but they don’t see me.” Of course they didn’t. He was on a rooftop impossibly far away, kneeling behind a wall ledge as a barrier. They’d have to expect him in order to even look for him, and they don’t. All the clever misdirection. All the false leads. All the deep covers. This was what S.H.I.E.L.D. was best at: knowing when to lie and how to make it convincing. It was why Clint excelled in its ranks.


“Agent Barton—“


But Coulson broke off as they heard Natasha speak through the com.


Fancy place. Your decorator must have had me in mind.”


Clint saw her stretch out on a couch, chest up, head back, one leg bent—her come hither wanton pose. Even he had fallen for that one once or twice. The diplomat didn’t stand a chance. The man probably knew that the moment he turned around with two brandy glasses and saw her there in that dazzling gown of black and red sequins.


See something you like?”


“I see something I want.”


Oh, it was all so cheesy, but somehow Nat made it sound genuine.


Damn it, the urge to sneeze was getting worse now. The raindrops ran down his face, tickling his nose. He flared his nostrils with deeper breaths and wiggled his nose as much as he could, trying to drive the urge away. It only grew. “hih!” His breathing hitched.


“Agent Barton, are you—”


Damn it, he was definitely going to sneeze, and he couldn’t stop it. He broke eye contact and buried his nose in his shoulder. “hihh-IHHXXXXshhhh!


For a moment, there was silence on the coms. Then the word came through loud and clear.




Everything happened at once. To the diplomat, it might seem, like she’d just seen a spider and jumped off the couch, backing away from it. But Clint knew better. He loosed the arrow which sailed true, taking into account the rain pattern and wind velocity. It smashed the window, the sound loud like an explosion of glass through his com, and it lodged itself in one of the security guy’s chests. The guy went down without getting a single shot off.


Clint pulled two arrows from his quiver, notched them, and released them just as something hit his shoulder. The trajectory changed at that last second, and the arrows went wide, hitting the side of the building instead of the diplomat and other security guy.


Damn it, and after all the time it took to line that shot up. As he pulled out another arrow, he heard the shot come for him and felt the burn in his shoulders as it knocked him back. At least he was down below the wall for cover now. But the arrow went skittering across the wet rooftop. He pulled out another one.


Damn it, but that had been his shooting arm. Switching sides, he gritted his teeth, forced himself up, and cried out in pain as he pulled back on the string and let the arrow fly. It hit the security guard exactly where it was supposed to. But that still left the diplomat alive.


Damn it, Clint wasn’t sure he had the strength for another shot. The pain was too great. Through his com, he could hear no more conversations, only the sounds of fighting. And though he knew Agent Romanov could hold her own in a fight, he felt shitty and responsible for making her fight. This hadn’t been the plan.


He reached for his shoulder, seeing nothing but crimson blood and skin and rain. He crumpled onto his side, taking cover behind the wall in case the diplomat was a better shot than his dossier said he was. “I’m hit!” he confessed over the line


“Hit? But the guy only got one shot off!” Agent Coulson protested.


“That was the one,” Clint replied, wincing. He’d faced dozens of gunmen at once who were armed with multiple rounds of automatic weapons and made it through unscathed. In the end, apparently it only took one. “I’m down.” He lay there, drenched in the rain, bleeding out from a gunshot wound, and started laughing when he realized he had to sneeze again.


He heard. “Backup’s coming, Agent Barton.” And then. “You hang on. That’s an order.”


Clint had always followed orders. Ever since the circus, he recognized the importance of movement being executed smoothly, of the timing being perfect, of every player doing just what was expected of them. But he couldn’t help laughing. And shivering. Maybe it was the ice cold rain. Maybe it was the blood loss. But all this suddenly seemed hilarious.


He was about to die drenched and sneezing. This had to be an all-time low for a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent. “Hihhh… Ihhh H’NXxxxshhh!” The door to the roof banged open and there was Natasha.


Damn it, the work wife looked angry.


ihhh HIHXxxxshhh!


“Agent Barton!”


Damn it, the work husband sounded angry.


And Clint couldn’t stop laughing.


“I’ve got eyes on him, Sir.” Her voice was choppy as she ran across the roof in bare feet. Apparently she’d left her five-inch heels behind.


“Sit. rep.” Coulson demanded. It wasn’t a question.


“Give me sixty while I evaluate.” She slid through a puddle on her knees to get to his side. Then she reached back and unzipped her dress. It wasn’t long, but it still took some time to pull it over her head. Then she started unzipping his flack jacket.


“Hey, now,” Clint said weakly, still shaking with laughter. Or cold. Or both. “M’glad you’re excited to see me… but wait until… we get back to the safe house.” 


She cursed at him in Russian, knowing full well that was one of the many languages in which he was fluent. Then she ripped up her dress and tied a strip unbearably tight around his upper arm, acting as a tourniquet. She ripped more, fashioning it into a sling.


The sixty seconds were up. “Agent Romanov, report!”


“Have a car meet us outside the building. Clint’s lost a lot of blood. He’s delirious.”


Clint laughed, “I’m not delirious, I am!


Damn it, he’d messed up the joke. “You’re not delirious, I am!” he tried again, but that still didn’t seem right somehow. She ignored him anyway.


“The streets are being closed off. It’s going to be impossible for a car to get to you and out again.”


She took a deep breath and hauled Clint to his feet, slinging his good arm over her bare shoulder and one of her arms around his bare waist. “Then I’ll get him out myself.”


“Out,” he laughed. “Yeah, I’ve been meaning to be that for some time…”


Damn it, had he just told his handler and anyone else from S.H.I.E.L.D. who might be monitoring that he was bi?


“Nat…” he started, resting his heavy head on her shoulder as she pulled him forward. His boots skidded and slipped in the puddles on the flat roof, and keeping up with her pace was taking nearly all the energy he had left. “Nat!”


“What?” she asked, reaching out and yanking at the door to the roof. Which didn’t open. It was locked. She swore again.


“Nat, m’prolly gonna sn-sneeze on you.”


She sighed and aimed a strong side kick at the door. It burst inward, hinges screaming in protest. “Fine, whatever, I’m already drenched,” she told him, pulling him in out of the rain and toward the elevator.




She punched the elevator call button with her elbow and pulled him closer against her, supporting as much of his weight as she could. “Don’t you dare pass out on me, Clint. You keep laughing and sneezing and whatever else you need to do to keep yourself awake.”


Stretching his neck, he kissed her where the strap of her black brassiere met her pale skin. She just hauled him onto the elevator when the doors opened for them.


Damn it, she never would have allowed that unless she was genuine scared he was going to die. He felt tired of moving, tired of walking, tired of standing up. He wanted so badly to give in and go to sleep. But he kissed her shoulder instead.


“That’s it. Stay with us, Clint,” he heard Natasha say.


“Stay with us, Clint,” he heard Phil repeat in his ear.


Damn it, it wasn’t going to be easy, but he decided he would.