Template:Featured Articles/28-2016

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Moment of Awesome - Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow: Captured when her SHIELD cover is blown, Natasha is glad - but not surprised - to see her old friend Clinton Barton.

It'd been a rough several days, and it showed in the dried blood and bruises. Her head was dropped forward against her chest, and her eyes were closed in an attempt at rest. She'd probably been awake for somewhere north of 72 hours, none of them in silence. So when the music dropped in volume then disappeared altogether, the ringing in her ears wasn't unexpected.

She lifted her head and attempted a normal speech volume. "So you are good for something."

"Y'know," Clint said, automatically switching to Russian even as he kept his voice modulated and his words slow. "People keep being so surprised when I come up with a helpful suggestion or do something smart..." He holstered his gun, then stepped around the welded-together chair contraption, scanning the set-up as he went. An IV at her left elbow, some kind of hanging bag of fluid — they probably weren't letting her actually eat or anything, so intravenous nutrition it was. There was an IV catheter set up on her right arm, too, but nothing inserted.

Natasha was the calmest she'd ever been, yet his voice still settled her. She rolled her shoulders to ease some of the strain before replying in her native language. "You're a walking disaster, Barton. That's part and parcel of your package." She stretched and flexed her legs once they were free but the tingling was going to be a bitch.

"I brought some friends. Figured we could make this a party." Clint sat on his heels as he began untying the knots at her ankles to free her legs. Nodding toward her wrists, Clint asked very quietly, "What's up with the marks, Tasha?"

Natasha's eyes flicked toward her wrists and the hourglasses plainly visible in the overly bright light. "Evidently, I decided to join the mutant club while I wasn't looking. Poison prongs when I flex my wrists." She paused. "They had such fun with that and the hourglasses."

"Well," Clint muttered, getting to work on the bindings on her left arm. "I hope they enjoyed themselves."

"Not without a little pain," Natasha smirked.