(This is the only chapter)
"DOUBLE AGENT?" screeched Natasha, dropping the folder on the floor. "What's that supposed to mean?"
Clint glared. "You know what that means. You of all people know what that means!"
"But--b-but--you never told me!" Natasha, usually, cold and reserved, was close to her breaking point. Clint was trying to be indifferent, but deep down, he was scared. What he had just told her pushed her to the edge.
"I'm not working AGAINST SHIELD, and you know it," he told her. "I'm working for SHIELD in another organization. Two other organizations."
"A TRIPLE AGENT?!" Natasha's voice echoed across the sleek white walls of the debriefing room they were in, and Clint winced at the sharp noise. "But--how? And why are you telling me this now? Why are you telling me at all?"
"Because I--" Clint frowned. "I just want you to know where I go when we're not working together. And I don't want you to worry! I have allies in both organizations."
"But what do you do?"said Natasha, now a little calmed down.
"I follow orders, try not to make mistakes, kick ass and pretend that my eyesight is just as bad as everyone else's," said Clint seriously. "It's difficult because it's not who I am, but I get by. I learned from the best." He directed an uncertain smile at her.
A flicker of amusement crossed Natasha's troubled features. "I still don't see why you have to do this. We have other agents. You're valuable to SHIELD. Doing this just complicates everything."
"Naw, don't say that," said Clint. "You do it all the time. You do your job; I do mine. We both help save the world."
Natasha sniffed, but deep down she was still worried. She trusted Hawkeye, but was he as good at this whole concealment and multiple-identity thing as she was? Natasha Romanov, the Black Widow, could operate as several different women at the same time, no problem. She was confident about that. But could Clint do the same? Her anxiety was so great that it was almost alien.
And Clint, meanwhile, was at an emotional crossroads--okay, maybe not that dramatically, but lately, he found himself caring more and more about the woman who was just supposed to be his colleague. He knew her more than anyone, but he always was resigned to the fact that he could never know everything. There were things even his Tasha couldn't tell him. Whether she did or not, Clint believed it was his duty to tell her what he was up to, even if he wasn't supposed to. Just to keep her from worrying and show that even if she had secrets from him, Clint would never have secrets from her.
Natasha sniffed again. "Okay. That makes sense. I trust you." Clint nodded.
"Just--just tell me one last thing though. I need to know your aliases in both organizations."
Clint stared. "Why?"
So that if wanted posters start popping up, I know who save. So that if any obituaries come out, I know who to mourn for. "So, you know, I can monitor you and stuff," she said with a mischievous grin. "Keep an eye out for Hawkeye even when he's not Hawkeye..."
"Hah," said Clint. "Okay well, when I'm in the Impossible Missions Force branch of the Government, I'm known as Agent Will Brandt." Natasha nodded.
"And when I'm in this organization known as Treadstone, I'm called Aaron Cross. They're basically trying to create super-soldiers, and Fury wants me to keep an eye on their progress."
Now Natasha made a small jumpstart. "Treadstone. Same as Jason Bourne?"
"Yeah, why? Do you know him?"
Natasha shook her head. "Not really. Actually, I was just sent to monitor and get info from him. He's in hiding right now and SHIELD knows where he is, but no one else does. Our intel says that he, um, bought a zoo?" Nat frowned. "Hope that's incorrect, because in that case I have to go undercover as a zookeeper."
"Are you laughing at me, Clinton Francis Barton?" said Natasha in mock outrage.
He shook his head, then started giggling.
Natasha started giggling too, forgetting all about her past worries. Eventually, they both started laughing full-blast.
Because double agents or not, when they were together, Hawkeye and Black Widow were still people.