Challenge #00841-B110: When Clint Met Natasha

Some men get so nervous if a lady shows up at the restaurant with a box of explosives.

Budapest. Some years ago.

He thought he had been discretely
following her, right up until the moment she sat down opposite him at the cafe. She gave him a winning smile and a, “Sorry I’m late, darling.
Caught up in shopping.”

Quick handsigns. Three bogies. Armed. Target you. No look.

“That’s okay, sweetie,” he said, making sure the nearby shrubbery blocked him from any sniper. “You’re worth the wait.“

leaned forward. Held his hand. “Whatever I’m going to say is hilarious. Then we’re going to go inside for cake,” she murmured. “Hydra’s targeting you just like they’re targeting me. The enemy of my enemy is
my friend, yes?”

Clint laughed on cue. “That’s exactly right. They’ve got some lovely miniature Kuglóf, here. Let’s go get some.”

in arm, he walked with his target into a crowded, public area. “This isn’t going to stop them for long. Hydra’s not known for its

“Don’t worry. I know a guy.” She signalled a man
behind the counter and showed Clint the contents of her gift bag. There
was enough C4 in there to blow up the entire cafe and its immediate

It took every atom of his training to avoid going weak at the knees. “You brought a bomb to a cafe?”

one of the few places anonymous enough to meet with allies.” She handed the bag over and neatly switched to Russian. “[Here’s the parcel. Make sure my friends across the street are distracted. You never saw me, you
don’t know who I am.]”

“This will get to your friend,” said the guy who worked there.

lead Clint after him, and through a maze of alleyways and finally, down into a network of tunnels. She didn’t even flinch when the sound of the bomb reached them.

“That takes care of those three. Now, we need to sweep up the rest of the cell.”

“And what makes you think that I won’t just drag you in for questioning?”

“Because Hydra has to be stopped. Because I know this town better than you. Because although you’re good with a bow and arrow, you’re lousy at close
combat. And because I poisoned your coffee and I know where the antidote is.”

Nick Fury had been right. Clint really was a trouble magnet. “Just so you know, I’d have agreed to take down hydra without the poison.”

“I call it insurance. Let’s go.”

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