They’re grown ass adults who have been in the middle of fights most people would be entirely incapable of handling, who work closely with gods and monsters and tell them flat-out when they’re full of shit, so why exactly it is that being around her makes his pulse quicken is something he has no supernatural excuse for. No, Clint Barton’s attraction to Natasha Romanoff is entirely human, a foible their enemies desire to exploit — and with reason, really. Relationships are blackmail fodder. The suits, the superpowers, the alter-egos, all that bullshit practically demands weapons technology be improved to counteract it, but simple human fondness?
That’s easy. That’s a story as old as time.
And yeah, okay, he’s fond of her. He’s not ashamed of this fact. He likes when she’s around, he’s happier when she’s around, and he gets a kick out of the way she always turns her chair just that little bit towards him when they’re sitting together at one meeting or another so he can sling his leg up onto the seat. It’s one of those habits of hers that shows the human side of the woman with as many names as smiles. Every once in awhile people think they get to see the truth of her, but really she’s just doing her job, just wearing another mask.
Nat doesn’t have to do that with him. Maybe she does it anyway. Even he couldn’t say. That’s part of what makes their friendship so damned solid: he doesn’t question her actions, and she doesn’t question his motives.
Because this is what friends do for each other, isn’t it?
“Clint?” Her voice is always so smoky and deep, as though she’s just woken up. It echoes oddly off the tiled walls of the washroom. “Did you find my soap yet?”
It’s in his hand, and with the other he pulls the glass door of the shower open a few inches. Steam rolls out, but he can’t solely blame that for the sudden heat rising in his chest. As far as they tell anyone in SHIELD, they’re friends. Natasha pulls it off with an aplomb that makes him look graceless and clumsy, but then, she doesn’t know how good she looks when the steam escapes and rivulets of water roll over her bared body. Sure, she’s phenomenal in black kevlar, and he’ll never complain about seeing her that way, but here — au naturel, undone, her brows arched not with the Black Widow’s manipulations but a woman’s amusement — he finds her simply breath-taking.
“Here.” He lifts his hand, gives the bar a little shake. There’s some shitty hotel brand that smells as much like plastic as cleaner sitting alongside the sink, but this is the stuff she keeps in her bag. And what does it say about him, that he knows which pocket of her suitcase she keeps her toiletries in?
Her arms fold under her breasts. It’s probably intended to distract him, which is sort of a given when the water begins to pool at the top of her cleavage. “You don’t look like you’re planning on passing it over.”
He glances down at himself. “Did the birthday suit give it away?”
Before she’s even said “come here”, he has. The shower door is drawn shut behind him. His skin is cool from the air outside, and she is small and hot against him when he wraps her in his arms. For a moment, her cheek turns to rest on his chest; water beats his back and spills over his shoulders to stream between them, but he’s broad and tall enough that when she lifts her chin and meets his eyes, none of the droplets reach her face. The smile she offers is faint, more of a wry tug of her lips than anything. There are so many words held behind the expression, and whether she’ll ever say them is her choice; he won’t ask. Because to ask invites reciprocation, and they are people who operate better when truths are left to implication and imagination rather than forced awkwardly into words.
He could look at her forever, and he’s still holding her gaze when he rolls the bar of soap between his palms to build a fragrant lather. His hands are leathery. Callouses harden his fingers. He’s a marksman, a fighter, and right now, with her, as her body arches beneath his touch, a man driven by simple needs. Her muscles, normally so taut, ease as he caresses them. Soap suds drift down the channel of her spine and slither over the curve of her ass, and his fingertips follow. He knows the air is cool against her because of how he blocks the showerhead, so when her back is clean he turns them around and lets her be the one standing beneath the fall of hot water.
He rolls the soap in his hands again before setting the bar aside. It smells of chypre and jasmine, wood and moss, nothing sweet and floral. She has a scrape on her collarbone which he smooths over carefully, and even though he knows it’s raw and the soap must sting the wound, her expression never changes.
It does when his hands slip lower and his thumbs circle her nipples. A slow, steadying exhale betrays her as much as the momentary twitch of her brows, and his body responds in turn. His cock aches, throbs, grows heavier.
They treat speech carefully in moments like these. So many times, Natasha has been in a position to speak dusky, sultry words to potential lovers, ensuring they are wrapped in the myth she creates for them: that is to say, she makes her targets believe that behind all the attitude and confidence, the Black Widow is just a woman looking to be validated and desired. She isn’t. She isn’t some wounded, pretty little thing who needs reassurance, and maybe it’s that which makes Clint want her so damned much. She’s strong. She’s powerful. She’s certain. She has vulnerabilities (do you know what it’s like to be unmade? you know that I do) and she has regrets, but she doesn’t need him in her life to erase those things or make her feel whole. This is a partnership built on respect, not a storybook romance built on dependency.
“I like when you wash me,” she murmurs, hooking an arm over his shoulders.
Of course, washing her is hardly a concern right now, and his hands slip around her back so the water can cleanse the last of the suds away. How sleek her body is beneath his touch, how muscled and strong; she embodies traditional femininity, her curves flagrant and full, but he never forgets what a warrior she is. She could break him. Hell. She very nearly has, and he bore a welt on his head for weeks proving it.
Down his hands go now, to grab beneath her ass and tug her up towards him. Bowing his head, Clint takes her nipple between his lips, and water slides over his tongue as easily as her flesh, dribbling down his chin to meet her body again. She tastes clean, soapy, none of the sweat of their last assignment yet salting her body, although he loves her just as well like that. Her head dips so her face is pressed into his damp hair, and against his ear her breath is hot and warm.
Natasha is never a passive lover, though, and when her free hand wraps about his cock he groans against her breast. Her skin is hotter than the water, her touch more silken than his own, and even if he were dying he would stiffen beneath this stroking. The quiet sound of approval she grants him is encouragement and benediction both, but that’s not satisfying enough and so his teeth close about her nipple because nothing is quite so lovely as the sharp, pleasured cry she tries to swallow back at that.
Manoeuvring in a shower is never exactly graceful, but they’re in pursuit of the same goal. Clint draws away from her breast, and her eyes are glistening, pupils large and dark, full lips parted as they study one another. So help him but even now, even knowing how much sweeter this will feel in a few moments, he hardly wants her to let him go, so when he says “Put your hands on the wall, Nat,” there’s a rumble in his voice. She steps around him, and he turns his back to the showerhead.
How it is the woman manages to look absolutely in control with her hands pale stars splayed against dark tiles, red hair slicked flat against her head, back arched and ass lifted, he’ll never know. Maybe it’s the way she looks sidelong back at him and says, just as she did mere minutes ago, “Come here.”
His hand on the small of her back angles her hips as he needs, and he wraps his strong arm about the front of her thighs so his fingers can play over her clit. The blunt head of his cock nudges at her pussy, and as beautiful as her face is, with eyes slipping closed and lips parting in anticipation, this sight is moreso. This sight, her body welcoming his, is his alone. He can’t share this with her. He would never share it with anyone.
No, Natasha’s not a woman to equate sex with validation, but neither of them are ignorant enough to colour their sex as meaningless. There is something here between them. Something beyond a thick cock and a velvety cunt and her fingers tightening against the wall and his hips pressing flush against her ass. For a long moment he remains like this, the water beating incessantly down upon his lower back and streaming over his ass and legs. It isn’t just his grip keeping her shoved up against him. It’s her strength. Her forearms brace against the wall and her spine curls just so, pale and gorgeous.
They are both determinedly quiet when he begins to thrust. His weight balanced carefully on the slippery floor, the only sounds are the messy slap of wet bodies meeting and the steady drumming of water, the insistent hiss of the shower’s spray. But he knows how to use his fingers, and when Natasha’s breath catches in her throat to be exhaled with a rough, “Dammit, Clint,” he can’t help but to smile.
“Feels good, does it?”
“Mmmm.” There isn’t a word, not in English nor Russian nor any of the myriad of languages she speaks, which could provide a better answer than that singular sound. And sure, he has to adjust his footing to keep from falling, and there’s one point at which he jolts her body so heavily that her forehead taps the wall because shower sex isn’t always the most comfortable thing in the world, but the fact that both of them can laugh it off and still keep fucking is part of what makes their relationship solid. They might be partners on the most elite fighting force in the world, but when they are alone, a man and a woman indulging in one another, they are grounded and grateful for it.
Just as he is grateful when he groans something about cumming and Nat shoves her ass back against him, purring encouragements: “Do it then, cum for me, in me, I want it. I need it. I need you.”
And maybe right now that’s true. Maybe right now they need one another, they need this, to be abandoned and raw and sensual. How the hell it is that she’s still keeping herself together despite how thick and wet she is beneath his fingers is a mystery, but she is Natasha Romanoff and she is the epitome of control and deliberation, and she’ll damned well cum when she wants to, not when he wants her to.
Clint Barton is just a man.
There are no declarations of love, no snarled words of possession, only his hips slapping her ass and his grip capturing her against his body as his cock throbs and spits within her. Panting breaths cool her shoulder when he leans forward, his strong arms framing hers on the wall. She tilts her head so her temple presses to his cheek, and there’s a smile in her voice when she asks, “You alright?”
He’d like to say yes. He’d like to say a lot of things. Instead he grunts, and gives a quiet chuckle. “Uh-huh.”
“Good,” Nat says. “Now take me to bed.”