Facing Your Own Demons

They Will Find You

Only a couple of hours later, Natasha and Bruce found themselves in a small, unnamed town. They both kept their faces mainly covered. Natasha was actually quite surprised on how Bruce knew exactly how to move through a crowd through completely undetected. Then again, she figured he would have had to in order to stay hidden. She couldn't help but wonder how much of a burden it would be to have to do that all the time. To never be able to show your face, to never be able to wear bright colors, or even use your real name. Although, in a way, that was just like her.

The life of a spy was dangerous. You had to be cunning and on your toes at all times. You had to always mind the target placed on your back. You had to always plan every move carefully, with in the span of maybe a few seconds. Stealth was your friend. It was easier to collect information standing in the shadows in the background. You could never draw attention, you could never stand out, if you did you were dead; Just like Banner.

"How's your Russian?" Natasha asked quietly in English. She didn't want to raise her voice, in fear that there could be people around, looking for them. Anyone who could have been a hired as a third party could have been told to look for a man and a woman speaking English. That would be the most basic tell without letting on too much of their identity's.

"Rusty," Banner answered in the same quiet tone "but I know enough."

"Good," Natasha muttered in flawless Russian "just let me do all the talking."

Talking with whom? Bruce wondered. He of course assumed that the red head had a plan, he just wished that she had let him in on it. Natasha casually led Bruce to a little pub. He couldn't help but grin a little. As cliche as it sounded, in a small town everyone knows everyone and with no real, big sources of entertainment the pub's the place to go. Genius.

Bruce followed Natasha in. He didn't make eye contact with anyone, he just walked right up to the bar, trailing only a few steps behind spy. There wasn't a problem until.

"Banner, nobody comes to a bar and doesn't buy a drink," Natasha whispered in English. Bruce hunched over a bit more.

"I don't drink," he said firmly right before Natasha pushed a glass in his hand. He glanced sourly up at her.

"What?" She asked with a seemingly innocent smirk. Banner sighed. "You don't have to drink it. Just carry it around and pretend to sip every so often," she explained, downing her own glass. Bruce's expression became wry as he watched. They ended up taking a table in the dead corner of the pub. A few minutes later Natasha went back up to the front asking for a refill and a few other things. The whole conversation was in rapidly spoken Russian.

Bruce didn't really catch most of it, but he had no doubt in the spy's ability to figure out whatever she wanted to know and by the looks of thing's, she seemed to be accomplishing just that.

"A few American men came into town. One of them said that he was looking for his girlfriend and friend. He was a military man I believe," explained the female bartender in Russian "he didn't say what it was about. I asked, but he was very hush hush about it." Natasha nodded. She gave a quick farewell to the woman and strut back over to the table.

"Well?" Asked Bruce quietly. Natasha leaned in close.

"Three guys, American, all military looking," Natasha relayed. Bruce looked down.

"It has to be S.H.I.E.L.D. I mean, the people we were with. Well-"

"Simon," Natasha interrupted, abruptly standing up. It was then that Bruce noticed that Agent Simon Pyke was standing in front of them and even more suspicious that the bartender had just slipped out the back. He too got to his feet.

"Agent Romanoff, Dr. Banner, thank god you're both okay," breathed Pyke, sounding relieved. Natasha's expression did not soften any. Pyke chewed his lower lip a little. "Look, I am really am immensely sorry about what happened. My co-pilot's informed me that someone hacked the system, before we knew it the back hatch flew open, we couldn't stop it in time," Pyke explained sheepishly, but also far too quickly and slurred.

"As much as I'd like to trust you, Simon, I don't." Pyke looked down at his feet. He tapped his finger's against the table.

"I didn't figure you would." In, what seemed like a split second, Pyke whipped out a weapon and fired it right at Banner. His whole body jolted right before he collapsed.

"Bruce!" Natasha exclaimed right before throwing a well-aimed kick right at Pyke's neck. He coughed and staggered back. Natasha whipped her leg at his head, effectively throwing his back into an occupied table. The ocupant's screamed and jumped back. The whole building seemed to be aware that something was going on and a lot of them had already made up their mind to not be a part of it, leaving Natasha to fend for herself. Three level six SHIELD agents she could handle.

One of them came at her. She altered the trajectory of the first blow, swung her leg at his back, throwing him at, the just now getting up, Agent Pyke. The second one came at Natasha with a tranq gun, She rolled to dodge the first two dart's, launched herself up on to her hands and knocked the gun away with her feet. Then she knocked the guy's face with her feet. The three agent's were down with in 30 seconds flat. Natasha ran over to the snoozing scientist.

"Bruce...Banner," Natasha called, lightly shaking his unconscious form. She tugged the dart out of his neck. The full contents of the sedative had already drained into his veins. "блин," she cursed in fluent Russian.

Natasha let out a short, surprised cry when she felt a prick on the back of her own neck. She reached back and yanked out a half drained dart, but it was enough. The spy collapsed on the floor next to Banner. The last thing she remembered seeing was two men drag Banner up off the ground. And the last thing she remembered hearing was a woman's voice say "Time to bring the Widow home."


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