The Sound of Silence (9114 words) by NyxEtoile [AO3]

Chapters: 3/?
Fandom: The Avengers (Marvel Movies), Marvel Cinematic Universe
Rating: Mature
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Clint Barton/Natasha Romanov
Characters: Clint Barton, Natasha Romanov
Additional Tags: Post-Avengers (2012), PTSD, POV Alternating, Psychological Trauma, Stand Alone

Silence stretched between them. Most of their relationship was forged in silence. They both tended to live there, in the pause between breaths. It was when the silences had become unbearable that he’d known he had to go. “You out for good?” Nat did not believe in polite small talk.

He wished he knew. “If I say yes, will I never see you again?”

Her shoulders tightened, then relaxed. She half turned, the fire painting her in harsh light and dark shadow. She studied him a moment, then the corner of her mouth tilted up, ever so slightly. “Of course not. How would I convince you to change your mind?”