They meet on a rainy night in autumn, everything around them colored in shades of red by the season. Natasha is there to eliminate her target and retrieve certain data. Clint’s job is she, to stop her at all costs. Nothing goes as planned, fate has its own plans, and they end up in a tangled web, both caught by the other, by feelings they thought long dead. It’s not love but it still runs deep and it scares them, especially Natasha.
The next morning, Clint wakes up alone in the abandon motel, her file strewn across the floor and a notebook tucked under his head. It’s dripping with red, her life, her kills - she’s written down everything and it ends with two words on the last page: ‘be happy’. Something twists inside him, tighter and tighter, and when Coulson calls, Clint has already made his decision.
Natasha’s hiding among pretty clothes and false smiles, trying to forget the man who turned her world upside down but he’s haunting her, she can’t escape his presence and she knows it will only a matter of time before he finds her again. Then, one morning, something draws her outside. There, under the old tree, she finds a box, painted in the colors of the Black Widow, and when she opens it, her breath catches. Inside is the last page she left Clint, a red leaf pinned to it and three words added to hers: ‘not without you’.
When she looks up, she isn’t surprised to see him leaning against the tree. For a moment they regard each other in silence but then Clint slowly steps forward and offers her his hand. Warm skin brushes hers as she takes it and somewhere, the red on a page starts to fade.