Chapter 1: ~01~
I stare out of the small window in my cell. I've been here since I was six years old, i'm 18 now. It felt like it had been longer than twelve years. They started my training when I was six years old, they molded me into the perfect assassin, the perfect killer. People like to call me the Angel Of Death, they say that if i'm the one coming after you then you have no chance. I don't remember when I got the name, I started killing when I was 13 years old.
Today is the day. I'm finally getting out of here, though no one else knows that. I could have escaped when they sent me out on missions but I didn't have everything I needed until now, money, you can't get anywhere without money. I've spent years saving money in various banks ready to withdraw when I needed. I snap out of my thoughts when my door opens, it's time to train. Slowly, I stand up and walk towards the open door. The two guards grab my arms to escort me to the gym.
Finally we get to the main hallway, just in front of me is the door to freedom. Literally. I let out a breath and elbow one guard. Ducking blows from the guards, I grab the gun from one of them and shoot both of them. Alarms start going off. Quickly, I turn and run for the door.
Once i'm outside of the base I start running like my life depended on it. Well it did. I look up in front of me and see the one person I kinda wish I didn't. The Winter Soldier. Shit. I come to a sudden stop when he points his gun at me. For a second I think he's going to kill me but then I see a flicker of recognition in his eyes. He remembers me. Using his hesitation to my advantage I start running again.
I'll never be able to stop running, HYDRA will always find me.
Finally, i'm free. For now anyway. I wonder who they'll send after me, probably The Winter Soldier. I remember when he used to train me when I was younger. I smile, sometimes he'd remember who he was an tell me stories about his life, the war, of his best friend, Steve. I loved him when he was Bucky, when he was himself, he could always make me smile.
(Speech in Russian)
"Fight smarter, it's the only way you will survive," the Winter Soldier informs me. I've been training for hours, my twelve year old body can't keep going.
I launch into a flip to dodge a punch. I land and grab my opponent's arm, twisting it to an uncomfortable angle. He groans as I push him down onto his knees and wrap my arms around his neck. I squeeze tightly until he passes out and drop him carelessly on the floor.
"Very good, Hayley," the Winter Soldier compliments, I nod in thanks and recognition.
I've been in Russia for two weeks now, it's been too long. The base was in Russia, I need to leave. But where to? I can't decide, I could go to London or maybe Paris but i'm not sure. Los Angeles, seems like a nice place. Yeah, I think I might go there.
Later that day i'm boarding a plane bound for America, there's a layover in Detroit where i'll switch planes and head to Los Angeles. I just hope HYDRA doesn't find me. Although HYDRA seems to be busy preparing for when the time comes and they come out of the shadows. They're making sure that they are ready to take on SHIELD if need be. I know which side i'll be on. I wonder if SHIELD actually knows that HYDRA are back, surely they would have done something by now if they did know.
Chapter 2: ~02~
It's been five years since I escaped Hydra and became Hayley Jones, they've only caught up to me once since then. They found me three years ago in Los Angeles so I had to leave. I ended up in New York, I work in a bar a few blocks away from my apartment. A knock on my door snaps me out of my thoughts, I answer to see it is my friend, Mary Collins, she lives a couple blocks away. Mary and I met while I was working, we've been friends ever since. "Hey, Mary," I greet as she enters my apartment.
"Hey, can I ask you a favour?" she asks.
"I'm heading out of town for a few weeks to see some family and I was just wondering if you could keep an eye on my apartment while I was gone?" she questions.
"Of course, whereabouts are your family anyway?" of course I knew she wasn't actually seeing family, I knew she worked for Shield but as far as she knew I was oblivious Shield's existence.
"South Carolina, I don't get to visit them often so i'm going down for my dad's birthday," she replies. I nod, "look i've got to get to work so i'll see you later and thank you for doing this," she continues as she leaves.
"You'd like her, she's sweet," Mary tells her partner, Clint Barton.
He chuckles, "what was her name? Hayley?" Mary nods.
"Does she know you're Shield?" he asks.
Mary sighs sadly, she considers Hayley a best friend and hates keeping this from her, "she doesn't."
"Why don't you tell her?"
"She's a civilian and you know Fury won't allow it unless it is under extreme circumstances," she replies.
Before he can reply a shot goes off and Clint drops slightly. Mary grabs her partner, gets him to a car and starts driving.
"We're too far from base and we can't go to either of our apartments," Clint states wincing slightly.
Mary sighs knowing what she has to do, "extreme circumstance." Clint raises an eyebrow in surprise, he didn't think Mary would be willing to go to Hayley.
A knocking on my door interrupts my quiet reading, I get up to see who it is. I look through the peephole and notice it's Mary and some guy who's bleeding, their mission must have went wrong. Immediately, I open the door and let them in, Mary drags the guy to my sofa and drops him down as I shut the door and sigh quietly. "I'll explain later but have you got a first aid kit?" Mary asks quickly.
"Uh....yeah," I say grabbing a first aid kit from the kitchen, "here. Don't get blood on my couch."
The guy laughs as Mary takes the kit and taking some tweezers, extracts the bullet from his side and drops it into a glass. She then begins stitching the wound while I walk over to them and offer the guy a beer. He takes it and nods in thanks while I get myself a glass of whiskey.
"Uh....Clint this is Hayley, Hayley this is my friend Clint," Mary states as she works. I raise my glass slightly in greeting while he does the same with his beer.
Later that night Clint is passed out on my sofa so it's just me and Mary. She's just got done telling me about her job and Shield. I had just sat and listened, since I already knew I had to pretend to be shocked. "I'm sorry I kept this from you," she apologizes.
"It's fine, I get it, it's your job," I reply with understanding, "you look like shit, Mary. Get some sleep."
She chuckles tiredly as she heads towards the guest bedroom.
The next morning i'm the first one up so I head into the kitchen and start making some pancakes. I serve the pancakes onto a plate when Clint walks in yawning and shirtless. He looks great without a shirt. I smirk, "pancake?"
He looks at the pancakes and grabs one, eating it immediately, "my god, these are delicious."
I laugh as Mary walks in, "ohh, I thought I smelt pancakes," she says excitedly as she grabs one. "I have missed your pancakes," she adds. I laugh shaking my head.
It's been a few weeks since Mary and Clint showed up at my apartment, i've seen Clint a few times since. Right now i'm at work, pouring drinks for an annoying customer who keeps staring at my ass. I would refuse to serve him but he tips well so....
"Hey," a voice states, I look up to see it's Clint and smile.
"You look annoyed," he comments.
I sigh, "see that guy over there," I say as I point him out, "he won't stop staring at my ass, I could refuse to serve him but he tips pretty good so...."
Clint chuckles, "so what time do you get off tonight?"
"Not for another four hours but I am about to take my break."
He smirks and leans in to whisper in my ear, "and what will you be doing on your break?"
I smirk back at him and walk towards the back room, telling my boss i'm taking a break, as Clint follows.
He walks into the back room and immediately pushes me against a wall kissing me. We've been sleeping together for a little while now. I can imagine the smirk Mary will have is she finds out about this.
Chapter 3: ~03~
Sunlight beams through the curtains of my bedroom, I groan opening my eyes. I smile looking to my right to see Clint sleeping beside me, we’ve been together for four months now. At first it was just sex but then it evolved into more. I roll onto my right side and kiss Clint’s neck and chest to wake him up, he groans and opens his eyes. He smiles at me pulling my head down to his lips. “Good morning,” he whispers. I smirk as I climb on top of him and lean down kissing from his neck and down his chest. Before I can get any further the bedroom door opens and Mary walks in. I quickly pull the blanket to cover our naked bodies and sigh heavily looking to Mary who looks at us shocked. She smirks and backs out of the bedroom as Clint and I groan.
We both roll out of bed and pull some clothes on. I walk into the kitchen glaring at Mary for interrupting out morning, she smirks at me unable to hold it back, “so how long has that been going on?”
“The sex or the actual relationship?” I reply smirking.
Mary splutters the water that she had just drank, “holy shit. You two are actually together?”
I laugh as I grab the milk from the fridge and pour it into my coffee, “yep. But to answer your question, we started sleeping together not long after we first met. We’ve been together for about 4 months now.”
“And you didn’t tell me? Bitch.”
As Clint walks into the kitchen Mary throws an apple at his head which makes me laugh. He catches it and looks at her questionably, “what the fuck?”
“Dick. You didn’t tell me you were sleeping with my best friend,” she exclaims pouting. Clint and I laugh at her childishness. “Anyway, I was just here to tell you that I won’t be around for the next few days since i’ll be with my dad and brother.”
Clint sighs, “you okay?” Mary makes a small nod as I watch sadness fill her face, she stays for another 10 minutes before she leaves.
“What was that about?” I ask Clint after she’s gone.
He sighs sadly, “Mary’s family is a ‘shield family’, they’re all shield. When Mary was younger her mother was killed and her 6 year old sister was kidnapped, an enemy getting back at them it seems. A few weeks later her sister’s body was found in a burned out building, it’s the anniversary tomorrow.”
2 Years Later
“Ouch,” I mutter as mine, Clint and Mary’s best friend, Natasha Romanoff, does my hair.
“Don’t be such a baby,” she scolds, I childishly stick my tongue out at her, Mary laughs from her place on my bed.
“Come on we have to get you all pretty for your date,” Mary teases.
“Will you tell me where he’s taking me?”
“No!” they both exclaim, I sigh. “You know I hate surprises,” I complain.
“Tough luck, there all done,” Nat states moving away from me. I look at myself in the mirror, my hair is curled, i’m wearing a tight red dress and red heels.
“Hayley. You ready to go?” Clint shouts up the stairs of our small house.
Clint and I stroll through the park after our meal, he has his arm wrapped around my shoulders as i lean my head on him. “I love you,” I whisper to him. He leans down and kisses my head.
“I love you too.”
We come to a stop on the path, “you know, I don’t know what I would do without you. Weirdly, i’m glad I got shot that day and almost bled out on your couch. I’m glad I met you. I love more than anything in the world.” I smile wildly as he moves in front of me getting down on one knee and pulling out a box, “will you marry me?”
I smile happily as tears leak from my eyes, “yes.” He smiles as he slips the ring onto my left hand and pulls me in for a kiss.
“I love you.”
“I love you too.”
Chapter 4: ~04~
"Can you believe we've been married for two years?" I question Clint in disbelief, it still doesn't feel real. Clint smiles and pulls me in for a kiss.
"I got the girl of my dreams, it doesn't feel real," he replies smiling. "Come on, our reservation is in 30 minutes."
After our meal I notice Clint acting nervous, I have a good idea why but i'll wait for him to say it. "So....there's something i need to tell you," he states as he finishes his drink. I smile and nod for him to continue, "I got a call from my boss this morning, I have to go away for a while," he tells me nervously. I smile and grab his hand across the table in reassurance having already known it would be something like this.
"It's okay. I get it, it's your job. This just means we'll have to make the most of our time together before you leave," I tell him smirking near the end. He laughs quietly and smirks back.
"Then what are we waiting for?"
"Nat," Mary calls as she steps off the quinjet onto the helicarrier. "What do we know?"
"Nothing much, we still can't find him," Natasha Romanoff replies sadly. Mary sighs sadly thinking of her best friend, Hayley, back in New York.
"Does Hayley know anything?" Mary asks as they walk inside the carrier, Nat shakes her head.
"Collins, Romanoff," director Fury calls when he sees them, "Barton's wife, Hayley, has not been informed of the situation, however, I am giving the two of you the decision of what and when she is told. This is your choice now."
"What do we tell her?" Mary asks as Fury walks away leaving the two friends.
"What can we tell her? If we tell her that her husband's missing she's just going to worry and panic," Natasha retorts. "We should wait till we know more or until we find him."
"We don't know if we're going to find him anytime soon," Mary replied sadly. "We should just call her now, get it over with."
Natasha pulls out her phone and calls Hayley.
"It's Clint, he's missing."
There's a brief pause and intake of breath over the phone before Hayley answers shakily.
"I....uh....i've got to go. Can you keep me updated?"
Mary and Nat share a look after she's hung up, they sigh sadly as they can only imagine how Hayley feels right now.
I stare sadly down at my wedding ring as I sit with my coffee outside a local cafe. It's been two days since the call with Nat and I haven't heard from her since. What if he's hurt? What if he's dead? He can't be. I need him. I didn't even notice I was crying until a tear landed on my hand. Angrily, I wipe my eyes and look up to the sky breathing slowly.
My eyes widen as a hole opens in the sky and something flies out. I look around to see everyone in a state of panic as the creatures that landed start shooting. Quickly, I shoot up and head into an alley nearby. Suddenly, my phone rings, I answer instantly to silence the ring and avoid attention.
"Hayley, where are you?"
"Clint. I'm in an alley near the coffee shop."
"Hayley, listen to me, okay? You need to get somewhere safe, you need to get out of New York."
"Okay, okay i'll try."
"I love you."
"I love you too."
I let out a deep breath as I hang up the phone and head down the alley. I jump to the side as something shoots at me, I turn to see one of the creatures stalking towards me. Quickly, I pull out a gun and shoot it in, what I assume was its head. I sigh and run off to find a safer place to stay.
After helping as many people as possible without anyone seeing I wait in an abandoned station on the subway, it's relatively safe and I still have a signal. After another 10 minutes I check the news on my phone to see that the avengers have stopped the invasion and that it's over. Quickly, I head out of the subway looking for Clint.
As I walk the wrecked streets of New York I notice three people in an alley across the road. Three people I would recognise anywhere. I cross the street and as I get closer Clint notices me and breaks into a sprint with Nat and Mary not far behind. As soon as he reaches me he pulls me into a passionate kiss.
Chapter 5: ~05~
It's been a few months since the battle of New York and Clint and I are settled back into normal life. We moved from the city to a small house just outside of the city. Clint still blames himself for his friends death, he thinks he should have been able to stop Loki. Nat, Mary and I can't convince him that it wasn't his fault. Right now we are getting ready to go to Mary's for christmas, she invited us around for dinner since we have nowhere else to go.
"You ready?" Clint asks as he wraps his arms around my waist.
"Yeah," I reply leaning into him.
Once we arrive at Mary's we knock and wait. "Hey," Mary says happily as she opens the door and steps back to let us in.
"Hey," I reply as we hug, Clint smiles and kisses her cheek.
"Guys, you know Clint, this is his wife Hayley. Hayley this is my dad, William, and my brother, Ethan," Mary introduces as I smile and shake their hands. "Oh and this is Chloe, Ethan's fiance. Chloe this is Clint's wife Hayley," she adds as a blonde girl walks in from the kitchen.
Later that evening I stand with a drink looking at some family photos that are hanging on the wall. I notice photos of Ethan and Mary as they grew up. Further along the wall I notice photos of a girl whose photos don't go any further than when she was about 5 or 6, it must be Mary's younger sister. I look closer at the photos realising she looks a little familiar. "Hazel, her name was Hazel," Mary's father tells me as he walks into the room and notices me looking at her.
"She looks a lot like Mary," I reply.
He chuckles, "when they were younger they were pretty close, they were inseparable. Which caused quite the problem when going to school since Mary was a grade higher."
I laugh quietly, "I can imagine it would." We quickly fall into a comfortable silence.
"Clint, you okay?" I ask as he sits staring at the bedroom wall. He glances to me before putting his head in his hands and sighing. Soon I hear a quiet sniff as if he's been crying, I slowly sit down beside him and pull him into me. We sit for a few minutes as he cries onto my shoulder, soon I hear him stop, "you good?"
He sighs, "Yeah, I am now."
The next day I sit in the living room while Clint is still in bed, I sit thinking about my life. What happens if Hydra find me again? I should tell Clint the truth about who I am but i'm too afraid that he'd leave me when he finds out everything i've done. I can't keep it from him forever, can I? He'll find out eventually and then he'll hate me. "Hey, how long you been awake," Clint asks as he walks in and sits down beside me.
"Not long," I reply as I lean into him.
"Whatcha thinking about?" he asks.
I sigh, "life, where I would be if I had made different choices when I was younger."
"What do you mean?"
"When I was younger I was involved with some people who weren't very nice, when I was 18 I decided to change my life, I don't think I would be here if I had chosen differently."
He sighs and doesn't push the issue, "well i'm glad you did."
Chapter 6: ~06~
"No, Stark you are not setting me up on a date," Mary exclaims from the back of the quinjet as they return home from a mission.
"Ugh, fine. What about you Katniss?" Tony asks looking at him expectantly.
Mary, Nat and Clint all share a look being the only ones that know about Hayley, "no, i'm good Stark."
"Come on," Tony pleads.
"Try Cap, he's been in the ice for 70 years," Clint retorts, Tony gets a look on his face before walking to Cap. Clint, Tony and Nat laugh while Bruce cracks a smile in amusement. Suddenly, the low fuel warning flashes on the screen and in the cockpit. "Shit, bullet must have went through the fuel tanks."
Nat walks to the cockpit and curses, "we're not going to make it to the tower."
"We could land somewhere and patch up the jet or call another to pick us up," Bruce suggests.
"Yeah, but land where?" Steve asks. Suddenly a light bulb goes off in Clints head as he checks whereabouts they are.
"I know a place, we'll make it there in about two minutes," Clint states, Nat and Mary share a look as they realise where he is suggesting. Cap nods and Clint heads to the cockpit, he begins to steer the jet before shooting a warning text so they don't show up unannounced.
A couple minutes later the jet lands on a small field with only one small house to the right, "where is this?" Tony asks.
"My house," Clint replies smirking since no one is expecting Hayley.
"Wait, you live out here alone? You know I did offer you a place in the tower right?" Tony replies. Clint chuckles while Nat and Mary smirk as they get closer to the house.
"Make yourselves at home," Clint retorts as they enter the house. Cap and Tony take a seat one one sofa while Nat and Mary take the other. All heads snap up when Hayley enters and Clint approaches her.
"Who's this?" Tony asks bluntly.
"Cap, Stark, Banner meet Hayley, my wife," Clint replies before kissing his wife. Hayley makes a small wave and smiles at the guests.
"You're married?! Since when?" Tony asks shocked. Hayley and Clint laugh slightly.
"Two, getting closer to three, years now," Hayley replies. "I'm gonna get a drink, you guys want anything?"
"Coffee, please," Clint replies smiling. "I'll come help in a minute."
"Okay," Hayley states kissing her husband and walking to the kitchen.
Later that day the jet was fixed and the avengers were on their way back to shield, all except Clint who decided to stay with his wife.
"Do you ever feel like there's something you want to say but your too afraid?" Hayley asks as they sit on the sofa. Keeping her secret was getting to her, she wants to tell him but she's still too scared that he'll leave her. Clint looks to his wife and frowns.
"Sometimes. What's wrong?" he asks pulling her closer.
"It's just....uh....I want to tell you something....something about my past but I don't know how to tell you," she replies quietly.
"You know you can tell me anything, but if you can't say it now then wait until you're ready," he replies. Hayley leans up to kiss him.
"I love you."
Chapter 7: ~07~
"You ready to go?" Clint asks as I finish putting my mascara on. I turn to put my black heels on and stand up. I walk to Clint and kiss him.
"Yeah, i'm ready."
Clint and I walk to the car and head for Avengers tower. Tony is hosting a birthday party Steve even though i'm pretty sure he didn't want one. But that's Tony for you.
When we arrive we greet everyone before I escape to the bar, "hey Nat."
"Hayley. Want some shots?" she asks, I look down to see six shots lined up in front of her. I smile at her amused.
"Sure." I down all three shots quickly one after another. Nat looks at me impressed before doing the same with her three.
"I'm shocked, usually straight Russian vodka leaves people a coughing mess on the floor," she states, I smirk in reply. I lived in Russia for about 12 years and Hydra were not opposed to underage drinking. I smile fondly at the memories of drunk me, it was the only fun I ever had there.
"It's not that bad," I tell her smirking. She shakes her head amused as I order another drink at the bar, I grab my glass of whiskey and head back to Clint. "Happy Birthday," I tell Steve when I reach him and Clint.
"Thank you," he replies with a smile.
"I see Shield sent agents to watch over the party," Clint comments.
"Yeah, they sent them as extra security, just in case I guess," Steve replies looking around. I look around and instantly spot most of the Shield agent who are blended in with the other guests. I hold in a shocked gasp as I recognise one of the agents, I quickly excuse myself and head over to the agent who now has his back to me. I tap his back and he turns around.
"Look who finally got out," I say to him keeping my voice quiet.
"Holy shit, Hayley?" he replies shocked to see me here.
"What are you doing here?" he asks cautious and looking for a threat since he doesn't know I left Hydra.
"I could ask you the same thing but since I already know you turned on Hydra and you are now with Shield...." I tell him making sure to keep a low voice.
"How did you know?" he asks sounding slightly panicked.
"Remember that near miss you had a few years back in Vienna?" he nods, "you're welcome, I don't miss a shot on purpose for just anyone." I smirk at his shocked expression as he realises I saved his life.
He laughs slightly, "so what are you doing here?"
"Well my husband is an avenger," I reply casually, I try not to laugh at his shock. At that moment Clint interrupts as he put his hands around my waist, "hey," I say as I kiss him. "This is Jack, we knew each other when we were younger." They shake hands politely and then Clint whispers about going to the bar and walks away.
"Have you told anyone at Shield about Hydra?" I ask once everyone is out of range to listen which snaps Jack out of his shock. He hesitates in telling me, "i'm not with them anymore, you can trust me."
He sighs and answers, "I told Fury about them being inside Shield last year, he's been working to vet everyone and get rid of most of Hydra. He's vetting base to base now, he only has like two left to do then that should be all of them."
"Have you mentioned me or...." I trail off as he knows who i'm talking about.
He shakes his head, "I take it your husband doesn't know about your....colourful....history."
"Hey, did you just get back?" I ask Clint as he sits on the bed running his hands through his hair. He just got back from a meeting with Fury and the other Avengers. He sighs closing his eyes, the meeting must have had some bad news. "What's wrong?" I ask as i sit next to him. He turns to me and pulls me closer to him.
"Fury just informed us that shield had been compromised for years," he tells me. With those words my heart freezes knowing that he'll probably find out about me soon. "He's been able to get rid of most of them but there still could be some left."
"How did the others take it?" I ask softly.
"About as well as me. Steve took it worst. He thought he had defeated Hydra 70 years ago," he sighs sadly.
"I can imagine. That must suck," I reply quietly. Clint hums in agreement as lies down and pulls me to lie on his chest. He strokes my hair to comfort himself, it's something he's always done, for some reason he finds it relaxing to stroke through my hair. Soon I drift off into sleep as I think about how long I have before my secret comes out.
Chapter 8: ~08~
It's been a few months since the Avengers found out about Hydra and Clint is looking more and more stressed everyday. However, I am just as stressed, waiting for something to happen is killing me. It's only a matter of time before someone finds me and my secret comes out. I've been trying to gain the courage to tell Clint myself before her finds out from someone else but I can't bring myself to do it.
I curl into the corner of the sofa as I wonder about Clint's reaction to my past when it eventually comes out. Will he hate me? Will he leave me? Maybe he will be fine once he hears that I had no choice, maybe he'll listen.
"Who are you?" a six year old girl asks timidly afraid of what might happen to her. A tall middle aged man smirks down at the girl and grabs her face harshly pulling it up to look at him.
"We are Hydra," he states with a Russian accent. "And you are going to learn. Learn to be the best killer we have. Of course you are going to have to survive training first," he spits as he pulls her into a room with about ten other scared girls her age.
7 Years Later
Russian = Bold
A blonde twelve year old girl struggles in the hold she's in. Hayley looks at the girl that she has in her hold choking the life out of her and then looks to her teacher who nods. With that nod Hayley takes a deep breath and harshly snaps the blondes neck. "Congratulations Hayley, you have killed the last of your classmates and now it's time for your first mission," the teacher states as she hands Hayley a file. The now thirteen year old nods taking the file knowing that she has to do this.
"Failure to complete this mission will result in punishment. It would be wise to complete this mission," the teacher tells her and walks away leaving Hayley alone.
"Can you get that?" Clint asks from the kitchen when someone knocks on the door.
"Sure," I reply heading to the door. I open the door to find Mary waiting, I move to the side to let her in. "Hey."
"Hey, where's...." she asks but I cut her off by pointing at the kitchen door that Clint has just walked through. "Ah....you look as stressed as I do."
Clint rolls his eyes playfully, "thanks." I giggle in amusement, he shoots me a playful glare.
"What?" I ask innocently. He shakes his head in mock anger causing Mary and I to laugh.
"What's up Mary?" Clint asks getting back on topic. She sighs and hands Clint a folder, "we have a mission." he takes the folder, opens it and groans throwing his head back.
"I hate these types of missions, they're so boring," he exclaims as Mary and I watch him amused by his reaction.
"Anyway.... You heard anything more about Hydra?" Mary asks as we sit down in the living room.
"Nope, not much," he replies.
"You know I heard a rumour that the Winter Soldier and the Angel of Death are Hydra," she comments. I tense slightly at the mention of my old name.
Clint scoffs, "it would make sense that two of the most ruthless assassins were Hydra." Mary hums in agreement while sigh quietly. Judging by the way they talk about me they would definitely hate me if they found out who I am.
After Mary leaves Clint and I decide to settle down for the night. As I brush my hair I look in the mirror to see Clint looking even more stressed so I get up and go over to sit myself in his lap. He looks up at me and smiles as I lean in to kiss him. I quickly deepen the kiss and turn so i'm straddling him, I smirk and push him down so i'm still sitting on him. He smirks up at me as I take off my shirt and lean down for another kiss. Clint rolls us over so he's on top without breaking the kiss which leaves him smirking against my lips.
Chapter 9: ~09~
A now 16 year old Hayley lies on the top of a tall building in London, she looks down the scope of her sniper rifle and spots her target. She lines up her shot and does not hesitate to shoot. Down on the street people become terrified and hysteric as Hayley leaves the roof and heads to her extraction point. She sighs sadly, she hates what she does but she knows that if she refuses the consequences won't be worth it.
After a six hour flight she finally arrives back at the base and immediately heads to her room. Soon her door opens to reveal a blonde boy only three years older than her, "hey Jack."
"Hayley, I brought you something," he replies pulling a bottle of vodka from behind his back and heading to sit next to her. After missions Hayley and Jack would sit in one of their rooms drinking and dancing, it was a way for them to unwind and feel normal. Hayley smirks as she grabs a glass off him.
"You're a lifesaver," she tells him sarcastically, he chuckles and pours himself a drink.
After nearly two hours Jack and Hayley are completely drunk. They dance around the room laughing and having fun, something that they don't really do anymore.
"Hales do you ever think about getting out of this life, of being free?" Jack asks in a slurred voice.
"Of course I do. I want to be free more than anything," she replies sadly knowing that the chances of her freedom are slim.
"please, please don't. I swear I didn't mean to," Hayley begs as two guards handcuff her so she's bent forward on her knees. She bites her lip to keep her painful scream in as a whip comes down on her back. They repeatedly whip her pale back as she tries her best not to make a sound, that would only make it worse.
I shoot up in my bed covered in sweat breathing heavy. I close my eyes calming my breathing, I look over to Clint, seeing he is still asleep I lie back down and close my eyes again. I still have the scars from the whip on my back, when anyone asks about them I tell them the same thing, I had a bad experience in one of my foster homes, that it doesn't matter. Slowly, I drift off back into my sleep.
The next day Clint and I finish packing up the Kitchen, we're moving into Avengers tower since Clint was worried about Hydra finding us. A few weeks ago Hydra agents came out and took over quite a few Shield bases but Shield was able to take them back since they were more prepared. Ever since Hydra officially came back Clint has been worried for our safety even more than before. I can't say I blame him, all it takes is for the wrong person to find out where I am and come for me.
"Can you get that?" I call to Clint when someone knocks at the door. I hear the door open and then voices. I go to walk out to see who it is when something out the back window catches my eye. My eyes widen when I realise that there are two men in my garden, quickly I grab a kitchen knife that hadn't been packed yet and head into the living room where Clint is standing with two other men. Clint sees me and shakes his head, once I get a better look at the two in the living room I realise I recognise one of them as one of my former handlers from Hydra.
"Привет Hayley," he greets with a sadistic smirk. (Hi)
Chapter 10: ~10~
I walk forward slightly as I hear someone trying to get through the back door. Before I can say anything Clint disarms the two in the living room and a fight breaks out. Clint tries to keep them both busy but as he is occupied with one the other gets a hold of a gun and goes to shoot Clint. Without thinking I throw the knife into his back and he drops down as Clint knocks the other out. Clint looks to me and is about to say something when the back door opens so he grabs my hand and pulls me to the car outside. As we drive away I look back to see the two from the back watching us drive away.
Clint sighs in some relief, “dammit, looks like Hydra found us. You okay?”
I breath out, “yea.” I’m surprised he hasn’t asked about the knife, it is impossible for an untrained civilian to throw an unweighted knife with that much accuracy. I’m going to have to tell him soon.
We drive for about 15 minutes before Clint decides to change cars since this one can be tracked. He hotwires a silver BMW, we drive for another 15 minutes before Clint pull up a few blocks away from a motel. We get a room at the motel for the night before we can continue our drive to Avengers tower. “We should be fine here,” he states as he place two guns on the side table near the bed, I didn’t even notice him take the guns from the house.
“You sure you’re okay?” he asks as I sit on the bed with one of my legs pulled up so I can rest my chin on it.
“Yeah, i’m fine.”
“Okay. I have to ask,” I figured he would bring this up eventually, “how did you throw that knife?”
I look to him hesitating, I don’t really want to tell him, he might hate me, “I….I….uh haven’t exactly told you everything about me.”
He sits down next to me and grabs my hands so i’ll look at him, “you know you can tell me anything.”
“Not this, you’d hate me,” I reply as a tear slips out, he catches it and kisses me.
“Just tell me,” he states softly.
I take a deep breath and look at him, “before I met you and Mary….uh…. I worked for Hydra,” more tears flow out as I look at his expression, he goes to say something but I interrupt him, “if you’re going to hate me at least let me finish.” He nods for me to continue.
“I don’t really remember my family, I was six when I first got to Hydra. I was part of a program in Russia that was similar to the Red Room. There was a group of us, all around the same age, who were trained and at the end of training we had to fight against each other, one on one. Each of us fought to the death until there was only two left. The winner of the last fight would become one of Hydra’s assets, an assassin. And that was me,” by the end tears are fully streaming down my face and Clint’s expression holds some sympathy.
“Hayley…. I …. I could never hate you,” he whispers.
“After everything i’ve done you should,” I reply as I cry harder. Clint pulls me closer and holds me against him rubbing my back.
“The way I see it, you had no other choice,” he tells me and he’s not wrong but it doesn’t make what i’ve done right.
“I’ve killed so many people and I….” I choke on my sobs. Clint pulls me so we’re lying down and I have my head on his chest.
After my sobs stop I look up to Clint and sigh, “the Angel of Death.”
“That’s me. The assassin the Angel of Death. The rumours were right, the Angel of Death and the Winter Soldier are Hydra,” I tell him.
“I still love you.”
Chapter 11: ~11~
I groan opening my eyes to find Clint watching me as he tries to wake me. "Come on, we should leave now."
"What time is it?" I ask as I drag myself out of the bed.
"Just after six."
"Okay. Where are we going?" I ask as I put my hair into a braid and put my boots on.
"Well, I figured we should check in at Mary's since it's on the way before we head to the tower," he states pulling his jacket on. He grabs one of the guns putting it in his jeans, he grabs the other and holds it out for me to take, "how long has it been since you shot one?"
"Battle of New York," I reply taking the gun. He raises his eyebrows in curiosity, "long story."
"Shit," I curse as we get near Mary's, "there she is." Clint drives to meet her as she runs from five armed Hydra agents. He stops the car right beside her, "get in," I tell her through the window, she climbs in the back seat and Clint speeds away.
"Let me guess. Hydra," he states as we drive away.
"You too, huh?" she asks with a smile. Clint and I simultaneously nod our heads. "Shit, they're following us."
I look out the window to see a black SUV following us. Clint speeds up and loses them for a minute as we stop in a small industrial space and climb out the car. "Come on," Clint states leading us behind a wall, "we need to take out as many as we can."
Just as he finishes the SUV and more cars pull up totalling about ten agents all together, "looks like they called some friends," I comment.
Mary pulls out a gun looking to me and then Clint, "what about...."
Clint and I share a look, this probably isn't the best time to explain everything. I look to Mary pulling out a gun, "she'll be fine," Clint states as Mary looks to me confused and surprised.
"I'll explain later," I tell her, she nods and looks around the corner. I look up to see a fire escape that would give me a better visual of the Hydra agents who were now searching the area, "i'm gonna get up there so I can see better."
Clint nods and I start climbing, once further up I can see they're getting closer. I look to the right and see one agent sneaking up behind Mary and Clint so I make the quick decision to shoot. The bullet flies through his head but also alerts the others to our location so I drop down from the fire escape. Mary and Clint look to me, we all start running in the opposite direction to the agents who were now coming for us. We stop behind a small concrete barrier and start firing back. Eventually there's only two Hydra agents left, only problem is: we're out of bullets. I look to the two that are left and instantly recognise them from my time with Hydra. "Wait here," I mutter to Clint and Mary.
"What are you going to do," Clint mutters back, I sigh and look to the two approaching men. Clint instantly realises what i'm going to do but I shake my head, "they'll kill you two but they won't kill me."
Mary looks to me confused, "long story," I tell her. "Trust me?" I ask Clint who nods in return. I pull him closer to kiss him before standing up making sure I keep my hands visible to the two men.
"Well, well, look who we have here," one of them states in a Russian accent as I cautiously walk closer. Once I am close enough they reach out to grab me but I quickly grab one arm bending it so he's been held in a painful way before kicking the other in the stomach. While the other is on the ground I quickly grab a knife from the other shoving it in his throat. I turn to see the other standing up so I run over to him, jumping on his shoulders and bending backwards to flip him to the floor. Once on the floor I grab his head in a way so I can twist it and snap his neck. I sigh before looking to Mary and Clint who have shocked and impressed expressions.
"Damn," Mary mutters before curiously glancing to Clint who shakes his head.
Chapter 12: ~12~
"Where are we?" I ask as we enter a small house about a hour away from the area we were ambushed by Hydra.
"A shield safe house. We should be okay here for a while," Mary replies as we make our way to the living room. "I'm gonna call Fury, tell him what's going on."
"We're going to have to tell her," Clint tells me knowing what he's talking about. "I know," I reply softly. He takes my face in his hands gently making me look at him.
"It's gonna be okay."
"Fury's on his way here, said he needs to speak with us," Mary informs us as she walks back into the room.
"I'm gonna get some coffee. You two want anything?" Clint asks heading towards the kitchen. Mary and I shake our heads.
Later Clint and I are curled up together on the couch while Mary sits in the single chair as we watch a movie. "Okay, I have to ask, I can't keep it in any more," Mary states making Clint and I raise an eyebrow at her. We both know what she's going to ask and we have no idea how she'll take the news. "What the hell was that earlier Hayley? Where did you learn to fight like that?"
I sigh glancing to Clint who takes my hand and nods reassuringly. "Okay....i'll tell you but I need you to hear me out and let me tell the full story first before you do anything, okay?"
I sigh nervously, "gonna get it over with," I mutter. "This all goes back to Hydra."
Mary freezes looking up confused, "what do you mean?"
"I mean....that's where I learned to fight, where I learned to shoot, to kill."
"Wow....I uh...." Mary stutters out as she comes to grip i've just told her. I sigh waiting for her to form an actual sentence. "Just....wow."
"Wait, did you already know I was Shield when we became friends?" she asks in a curious manner. "Of course I did. I had to know who I was going to be friends with," I simply reply. She shrugs as if to say 'fair enough'.
"You took that well," Clint comments. Huh, i'd kinda forgot he was here. "I guess I understand. You didn't really have a choice," Mary replies shrugging.
"See, was that so hard?" Clint teases. I look over and raise my eyebrows, "we still gotta tell Nat and then the others. And Cap. God it's gonna be like kicking a puppy telling him."
Mary and Clint snort in laughter. "What about Fury? He's coming here, are we telling him?" Mary asks.
Clint and I share a look, we've already had this conversation. "It's probably best we tell him before he finds out from someone else," I inform her. She nods in agreement sipping her coffee.
"Hey, have you called your family?" Clint asks Mary, obviously worried about them. Mary nods putting her coffee down, "yeah, Dad's laying low in a safe house and Ethan and Chloe are too."
Later that night Clint and I are in the bedroom getting ready to go to bed. I brush out my hair and tie it back up in a messy bun. Sighing I turn around to see my perfect husband walking out of the bathroom without a shirt. Shamelessly I stare at his bare chest, "like what you see?" he asks teasingly with a smirk.
"Yes," I admit instantly without taking my eyes off him, he chuckles causing me to finally look up at his face. He smirks walking towards me, he pulls me closer holding me by my waist. He looks down at me with clear love in his eyes. Quickly I push my lips to meet his, he immediately responds, kissing me heatedly. We pull apart so I can look up at him with a smirk of my own. "Think we can be quiet enough so that we don't disturb Mary?" I ask mischievously.
"Well we can always try," he replies pushing me down on the bed, a smirk still embedded on his face.
Chapter 13: ~13~
I woke suddenly as someone banged on the front door. Looking to my right I notice my husband still sleeping peacefully like he hasn't heard a thing. Knowing him he probably hasn't. How he survived as a Shield agent is a mystery to me. Mary too apparently, she isn't awake either. I drag myself out of bed grabbing a knife from the kitchen bench and head for the door. Cautiously I look through the peephole. On the other side of the door a man resembling a pirate was waiting. Instantly I know who it is. I open the door after I put the knife down.
"Hayley, right? Director Fury. I'm sure your husband told you I was coming," he states as I move to let him in and close the door.
"Where is he?" He asks when he doesn't see Clint. I smirk and laugh, "still in bed."
"Of course he is. How has he survived this long?" He asks, more to himself.
"I was wondering the same thing," I reply amused. "I'll go wake him."
I head back into the bedroom where I find Clint still sleeping. Shaking my head I walk over to the bed climbing on. I lean down to kiss Clint hoping to wake him. After a few seconds he wakes smirking up at me. He instantly responds to the kiss pulling me down. I laugh sitting back up, "get up."
He groans before getting up and pulling a shirt on. He follows me to the living room where Fury was waiting. When we get there Mary is already up drinking some coffee.
"Director, when did you get here?" Clint asks when we enter the living room. "Not long ago. Hayley let me in," he replies.
"How did neither of you hear him banging on the door?" I ask with an amused smirk. Mary and Clint share a look between them and simultaneously shrug. "Anyway, I came here for a reason," Fury begins only to be interrupted by Clint. "There's something we need to tell you first," Clint states looking at me. Fury nods for him to continue. Clint then explains, with some input from me, the situation with me and Hydra.
"So let me get this straight," Fury begins pointing at me. "You were Hydra. You were raised to be a Hydra assassin along side the Winter Soldier until you escaped and you've spent these last few years in hiding."
"Yep," I simply reply.
"Right. Actually maybe you can help with this," he replies pulling out a tablet. "Twelve hours ago Cap and the team, with the exception of Thor and Banner, raided a Hydra base in Russia. As of 11:30 last night, they have been declared missing. We've had no contact with them, comms are dead and anything with a tracker is offline."
"So, let me get this straight. Hydra have managed to capture a super soldier, a billionaire in a metal suit and an ex-Russian spy all in one go?" I ask in disbelief.
"And you want us to go get them?" Mary asks.
"Yes. This has to play out as a stealth mission. You cannot get caught. And since Hayley has a pretty good idea of how Hydra work, this shouldn't be too hard," Fury states glancing at me. He flick to another page on the tablet, pulling up a map with the base marked out. Immediately I know exactly where the base is.
"That's the base they're at?" I exclaim. Fury raises his eyebrows, "that's their last known location. I'm guessing you know it."
"Yeah. That's where I grew up. It's where I was trained."
"Then you should know that base well then."
Chapter 14: ~14~
After Fury left we spent the rest of the day planning how we were going to extract the Avengers from Russia without getting caught. It's 10:30 when we decide to head to bed so we're well rested for tomorrow. Well Clint and Mary anyway. It was past midnight and I couldn't sleep.
I never wanted to go anywhere near that Hydra base but what choice did I have now?
Since I had nothing to do I decided to check an old communication network that I shared with an old friend in Hydra. At least we were friends at the time, it tends to change.
'Avengers captured. On site. Be waiting.' - WS
I smile when I see the message. At least we'll have help from the inside. "Hey, what are you doing up?" Clint's tired voice asks as he walks into the living room.
"Couldn't sleep," I admit. He sits down next to me wrapping an arm around my shoulder and pulling me to his chest, "what's wrong?"
I sigh looking up to him. "It's just....I never wanted to go back there and now....I have to."
"You don't have to do this," he replies gently.
"But I do. It's time for me to face my past."
He sighs kissing my head. "Okay. If you're sure about this...."
Both Clint and I shoot up in the bed. I glare at Mary who is standing at the bottom of the bed with a mug in her hand smiling amused at us. Glancing at the clock I notice it's 6:32am, I groan looking to Mary. "Seriously? 6:30am!" I ask Mary in no way amused at being woke up this early.
"Yep. Get up you two. We have things to be doing," she replies. "Oh, by the way, I called my Dad and Brother to help us out with this. They're in the living room. Oh, and I told them about you and Hydra, just a warning." She walks out leaving the door open.
Clint and I look at each other, we simultaneously groan and throw our heads back down on the pillows. Clint huffs and leans up over me before bringing his head down so his lips meet mine. "We should get up before she comes back," he comments. We both sit up throwing the covers back and drag ourselves out of bed and into the living room.
"I hate you so much right now," I grumble as I enter the living room seeing Mary. She laughs and walks past with her coffee which I take from her hands. "Hey," she complains.
"You woke me up this early, you gotta live with the consequences," I reply sitting down on a brown armchair.
Slowly I close my eyes and take a deep breath. I can't believe i'm actually doing this. I never once thought I would ever step foot in that base willingly, but now i'm doing exactly that. "You okay," Ethan, Mary's brother, asks from beside me. I open my eyes looking to him and sighing.
"Yep. Just never really wanted to go back there, like ever," I state. "But I got this."
Ethan laughs quietly, "good because you're kinda our tour guide."
"True," I state laughing slightly. "So, how's Chloe?"
"She good. I left her in a safe house with some agent watching over her so hopefully she isn't too worried." I hum in agreement as the jet begins to descend to the ground. "Here we go," I mumble.
Once the jet had landed all five occupants leave the jet as I glance down at my phone. Before we could start our walk closer to the base I stopped them, "wait, there's something I need to tell you all before we go."
"As you all know I grew up here, so I happen to know someone who is based here. They said they can get us inside undetected, we just need to meet him about five minutes west of here."
All four of them share a look, "do you trust him?" William asks. "With my life," I reply. They all nod in confirmation, "lead the way," Clint comments.
"So who exactly are we meeting?" Mary asks as we make our way through the trees.
"My old, occasional, partner. The Winter Soldier. AKA Bucky Barnes."
"Wait, I know that name," Ethan states. "Bucky Barnes. Isn't that the Captains old best friend from back in the day?"
"Yep. Long story short, when he fell from that train Hydra found him. They've been wiping his memories and controlling him ever since. But this time Hydra haven't found out that he has his memories so they haven't wiped him yet."
"Holy shit, this world is stranger than I thought," Clint whispers sarcastically which causes me to roll my eyes. Up ahead I see Bucky waiting for us so I speed up a little until I reach him. He spots me instantly and smiles. I run the last few steps and jump into a hug, "I've missed you," I whisper as he puts me back down.
"It's good to see you Hales."
"Okay, Bucky this is my husband Clint, my best friend Mary, her brother Ethan and her father Will. Guys this is Bucky," I quickly introduce.
"Alright so how are we doing this?" Clint asks as her wraps his arms around my waist.
"Okay so there's three entrances. We all split into twos and take one entrance. Will and Ethan can take the west entrance, Mary and Clint can take south and Bucky and I will take the main entrance at the north," I explain. Clint pouts playfully, "Why did I get stuck with Mary?" I laugh as Mary flips him off.
"Hayley and I will be the main distraction. Once we enter they'll pull the guards from the other doors so wait at a minute of two before entering," Bucky explains.
Before we all split Clint pulls me into a kiss, "be careful," he whispers as his forehead leans against mine.
"Everyone in position?" I ask through the comms. I get various replies saying that they were ready so I nod to Bucky moves forward. As we come up on the door I take out my knife and sneak up on the agent on patrol. I come up behind him clamping my hand over his mouth and quickly slitting his throat while Bucky works on the door. By the time i'm done Bucky has the door ready to open. I nod as he opens the door.
We both move quickly through the door as the first wave of guards spot us. I look to Bucky and smirk, "this should be fun."
Chapter 15: ~15~
Once the first wave of guards spot us they instantly advance on us, most recognising me as a threat. Not giving them a chance I run at one of them and jump onto his shoulders pulling them down and flipping them onto the ground. As he goes down I take his gun shooting him before turning to another guard and putting a bullet straight through their head.
I turn just in time to see Bucky taking down some of the others. I bend down picking up a knife and throw it at the last guard.
Bucky and I nod at each other before we split up. I make my way down a long corridor which I recognise to be same corridor that leads to the cells. Up ahead two guards turn into the corridor and spot me. Instantly I begin running, I drop to the floor once they start shooting before returning fire. I push myself up off the floor as the two drop down dead.
At the end of the corridor I find a room with a row of cells on the back wall which are currently being occupied by the Avengers. As I enter the room their attention is on the one guard that was left in the room. While he was distracted I pull out my knife and, again, come up behind him, cover his mouth and slit his throat before letting him drop to the floor. The Avengers stare at me in shock, "Hayley?" Nat questions.
"Nat," I reply moving to a computer so I can hack the cell doors and open them. She goes to say something but I cut her off, "i'll explain later."
I look into the reflection of the screen beside me and see someone coming up behind me but before I move I also notice Bucky sneaking in. As I finish and the cells open I hear the sound of a body dropping to the floor. I turn to see Bucky pulling a knife out of the body.
As Bucky stands he moves his long hair giving Steve the chance to see him. "Bucky?"
"Just can't keep yourself out of trouble, can you?" Bucky retorts with a smile.
"Sorry to interrupt but we need to go," I state before Steve can start asking questions. Just as we go to leave Mary, Will, Ethan and Clint enter the room. Instantly Clint is in front of me checking for injuries, I kiss him softly, "i'm okay."
"Oh by the way Tony, Steve this is my father Will and my brother Ethan," Mary introduces quickly. "We gotta go. I managed to get some files from the servers."
Buck and I lead everyone out of the room and back down the corridor. As we get near the end a team of Hydra agents appear in front of us. "Move," I command as we push our way into the nearest rooms. Since I was the last one in I moved just as they started shooting. A searing hot pain spreads through my left shoulder. I look down at it as blood soaks through my top. "Well shit. That hurts more than I remember," I mutter as I make my way to a table that, coincidentally, has medical supplies on.
"Hey Nat?" I call causing her to look in my direction and notice the blood. She moves to my side. "Can you....?"
"Yeah," she replies picking up a bottle and pouring it onto my shoulder. I hiss in pain as it makes contact with my open wound.
"You okay?" Clint asks coming to my side. It's just then I notice that Bucky and Steve have barricaded the door stopping anyone from getting in.
"Yep. Nothing life threatening," I tease causing him to smile and kiss my head lovingly as Nat pulls the bullet out my shoulder and covers it. "Thanks."
"Now if I remember correctly, that door leads directly to the corridor of the west entrance," I state earning confused looks from the three who don't know about my Hydra connection. I pull the door open to find an empty corridor, "this way."
Minutes later we all pile out of the west exit all relatively un-injured. We treck the two miles to the field we left the jet in before piling into the jet exhausted from the days events.
Chapter 16: ~16~
When we are finally back on the jet Clint decides to take a nap. He seems to sleep a lot. If I didn't know already I wouldn't guess Clint was former assassin and current Avenger.
Nat, Tony and Steve are now listening to how Bucky was....well alive. Will was flying and Ethan was also sleeping leaving me and Mary. I had just got done explaining my Hydra connection and Mary was sitting opposite me going through some of the files she stole from Hydra.
From what I could tell when I glanced over them briefly them were mostly personnel files. She gonna get one hell of a shock if she has mine. "Hey I think I found your file," Mary comment causing me to freeze for a second.
"Not a good read. Wouldn't recommend it," I comment casually even though I desperately want to rip the tablet away from her so she won't read it. Judging by her face I'd say she read the exact part I didn't want her to. Her eyes shoot to mine but before she can say anything I shake my head and whisper, "not now." I close my eyes when I see her holding back some tears as she glances to her father and brother.
After a five hour long trip from Russia to New York we were finally at the Avengers Tower. As we disembarked the jet Bruce was waiting for us to take care of anyone who was wounded. Just as we reached the tower doors blood started to soak through the bandage on my shoulder, "ah, perfect timing," I mutter. "Bruce," I call as I walk towards the living room area. He turns to look at me and immediately notices the blood on my shoulder.
"Come with me," he requests walking towards the elevator, I follow with Clint close behind me.
Once we reach the lab Bruce starts working on my shoulder as Clint sits so I can lean against his side. Ten minutes later we are walking back to the elevator while I have my arm up in a sling.
By the time we return to the main floor everyone else had already helped them selves to Tony's bar which is exactly what we did when we got back. I help myself to an expensive bottle of whiskey.
"Jeez Hayley, why do you always go for the expensive stuff," Tony mutters. I roll my eyes as I fall down beside Clint on the sofa, cuddling into him with my drink.
"Okay, I'm gonna go get some air," I state as I laugh. A few hours later and I'm little bit tipsy. Most of us are completely sober except, obviously, Tony. Though, Nat is sitting hugging a bottle of vodka so I'm pretty sure she's drunk too.
When I reach the balcony I take a deep breath hoping the fresh air will sober me up a little. As I stand with my eyes closed I hear the door slide open and closed again. I don't have to look to know who it is. She's been dying to say something ever since we got off the jet.
"I was wondering how long it would be before you said something," I comment as I open my eyes to look at Mary. She was standing beside me looking out over the city.
She takes a deep breath before turning to me, "how long have you known?" She asks swallowing her emotions.
"Not as long as you'd think. I've known since that Christmas Clint and I spent with you guys. I mean of course I'd recognise a photo of myself despite how young I was on it," I tell her softly. She looks at me with tears in her eyes taking another breath.
"Why didn't you say anything?" She asks quietly.
"Because saying something would mean admitting my past with Hydra. Something that I'm....ashamed of. I didn't know what to say," I explain.
She gulps before whispering, "now what?"
I sigh heavily, "what do you want to happen?"
"They need to know," she states looking directly at me. "You go tell them. I'm gonna find Clint, he needs to know too," I reply before we both head back inside. I take a deep calming breath before I head to get Clint.
Chapter 17: ~17~
Mary gulps as she picks up her tablet and heading to find her father and brother. When she first found out she almost cried, she'd been hoping to hear news like this forever. She finds her Dad and brother down on her floor, Ethan was lying on the sofa while her father was in the kitchen eating some of her food like he usually did.
"Ethan? Dad?" she calls out as she walks into the apartment.
"Yeah?" they chorus simultaneously. She smiles briefly as she sits down, taking a deep breath. "There's something you two need to know?"
They both look to her worried, her father makes his way to sit on the sofa as Ethan sits up. "What's wrong?" her Dad asks.
"Back at the base in Russia I managed to steal some files off their servers. It was mostly old personnel files, including Hayley's," she chokes out, she coughs before continuing. "And....well....I uh read something about....Hazel."
Both of them instantly completely snap their attention to Mary. "What do you mean?" Ethan whispers painfully, though there is an undertone of anger at the thought that Hydra had something to do with her death.
"Uh....see for yourselves."
She hands over the tablet with Hayley's file open on it. Tears rush to their eyes when they read it. Under personal history it read, 'Hayley Marks - Previously Hazel Collins. Taken at age six, survivor of the Asset Training Program in Russia. Further trained by the Winter Soldier post graduation.'
The unshed tears fall from their eyes. "She said she's only known since that Christmas that she and Clint joined us," Mary whispers.
"She was looking at the family photos on the wall. She recognised herself," Will realises thinking back to that day and how they had talked about Hazel.
"She was too scared to say anything. Given her history with Hydra...." Mary states softly.
"Where is she?" Ethan asks, speaking up for the first time. "She went to tell Clint. She'll be on their floor," his sister answers. The three share a look before standing and moving for the elevator.
Once they arrive on Hayley and Clint's floor they exit they elevator just as Clint passes and enters the elevator. "She's in the living room," her tells them softly as he passes.
The three enter the living room to find Hayley staring out of the large window that overlooks the city. They approach her slowly without saying a word.
Hayley sees their reflection as they approach and takes a deep breath. A hand on her shoulder snaps her attention to the room behind her. "Hazel," Will whispers as tears fall down his face. He had thought his youngest daughter was dead, that he'd never see her again, but there she was standing right in front of him. She looks to him as tears of her own fall down her cheeks. He instantly wraps her up in a hug as they both let their tears fall.
Mary and Ethan watch the reunion with their own tears. The couldn't believe that their little sister was standing right there.
Hayley smiles in relief of being in her father's arms again. She didn't think she could have this, have them.
She had everything she's ever wanted, a husband who loves her, her father and her siblings. Who knows? Maybe she'll have her own children soon.
Chapter 18: ~Epilogue~
10 Years later
"What?" Clint yells back from his position on the sofa beside his wife. Hayley....well Hazel now, look lovingly up at her husband as their seven year old daughter, Jasmine, runs in.
"Isaac knocked down my lego tower," she pouts. Clint smiles as she climbs into his lap. "It was an accident, I swear," Jasmine's twin brother, Isaac, tells them as he walks in and takes a place beside his mother.
"Okay, Jasmine it was an accident. And Isaac, be careful next time and say sorry to your sister," Hazel states gently.
"Sorry Jazzy," Isaac mumbles.
"Good. Now go play," Clint commands softly. The twins run off back to their rooms to play again. An adorable laugh makes them look over to their youngest son, Jay, who now has blue paint all over the floor. The five year old laughs as his parents sigh at the mess.
"Whoa, what happened there?" Ethan asks as he enters the room with his wife, Chloe, and two year old daughter, Charlotte.
"I have no idea. We looked away for a minute...." Hazel replies wondering, herself, how it happened. "Where did the blue paint even come from?" she mutters to herself as Clint stands up to move his son before he stepped in the paint.
"Holy...." Mary's voices as she and her father enter the room. Hazel sighs, "don't ask."
"Okay...." she replies. Will moves to his youngest daughter hugging her, "hey Dad."
"You okay?" he asks, Hazel smiles up at him. "Of course."
"Jaz! Isaac!" she shouts. The two eldest children run into the living room, "Grandpa," they scream when they see him. Will pulls his two eldest grandchildren into a hug before setting them back down and pulling two $10 notes handing it to each of them. He quickly turns to give Jay $5 who then gives it to his father.
"Where's our hug?" Mary asks with a smile as she stands beside her brother. The twins both seem to only just notice their Aunts and Uncle. The jump into the hug. They then move to say hello to their two year old cousin. Charlotte giggles at the faces they pull. Chloe smiles softly watching her daughter laugh.
Hazel pushes herself off the sofa and walks behind the kitchen counter, "you guys want anything to drink?" she asks. Before anyone answers Hazel freezes feeling something wet fall at her feet, "now, really?" she mutters bracing herself on the counter.
"You okay, Haze?" Mary asks noticing her sister.
Hazel looks up with a smile, "yeah, I'm fine. Aside from the fact my water has just broke."
Nine hours later Hazel sits in a hospital bed with her newborn daughter in her arms and her husband at her side. Clint smiles adoringly at his youngest daughter before looking up at his wife with that same smile. He looks down when his phone vibrates, "Mary finally got the kids to bed," he states with a small laugh knowing how hard it was to put them to bed.
"Bet that took a while," Hazel comments. Just then the door opens and her father walks in, he moves to stand next to his daughter so he can look down at his granddaughter. "Hey, Dad."
He kisses his daughter's head and smiles at Clint. "Hey sweetie. So, have you chose a name yet?"
Hazel and Clint share a smile, "Yeah, we have. Natalie Elizabeth Barton," Clint replies.
"Sounds beautiful," Will comments.
"You want to hold her," Hazel asks quietly. Will nods and takes Natalie into his arms sitting down by Hazel's bed. Hazel smiles, her eyes closing tiredly which both her father and husband notice.
"Go to sleep Haze. We'll watch her, don't worry," Clint tells her kissing her head softly. Hazel nods and drifts off knowing she had her family and everything she wanted in life.