It's only when Natasha is sitting on the laundry room's bench that she realises that the book she brought with her is not a study of phonology, but a Louis L'Armour. One of Clint's, obviously. As is the button-down shirt she'd thrown on before leaving his apartment, and frankly her daisy dukes are getting far too threadbare to be worn outside her front door.
It's a spark of irritation she doesn't need, but she swallows her anger (and the frustration, and the hurt underneath it). Tries to swallow it, but it disperses, ends up settling in her jaw and muscles. Clint is driving her to distraction, which is far more aggravating than driving her to lose her temper.
He's on edge, constantly. Inner-canal hearing aids on always, for combat readiness, and if she's not around, he doesn't sleep. She knows he doesn't sleep. But god forbid she point any of that out as symptoms that he might, maybe, just maybe, need some professional help with.
(She can't relax, not fully, because she's too keyed into him, and she feels like she's on a mission when all she wants is to be home.
It doesn't help, and she knows it.)
(Her therapist will be thrilled with that bit of unprompted self-awareness.)
Natasha remembers the way his mouth twisted as he interrupted her, the way his voice rose and then cut off as he stopped, turned on his heel, so very carefully didn't slam the bedroom door behind him. She remembers, and she still has their argument continuing in her head, so she grabs the stupid book and starts to read.
The washing cycle is three-quarters done when Clint walks in. She glances at him over the book, then arches her eyebrows and tilts her head slightly to the space beside her. He nods, drops onto the bench, and then says nothing.
She'll give him three minutes before she makes the first move, but at one minute, fifteen seconds, he says,
“Enjoying the book, Nat?”
“It's not half bad.”
Clint nods again, studies his hands for a moment. “I was thinking Thai for dinner. We could go out. If you wanted.”
Natasha lowers the book fully and just looks at him. It's an apology, a sorry I lost my temper. It's not a and I will go to the counsellor's, but...
“I'd love that,” she says, and he smiles back at her.