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the eight of swords

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Because the enemy that they fought in Budapest weren't a shit ton of fucking aliens, mainly, is the difference. Because Tash killed seventeen men that day without even breathing hard, and no flying centipede lizard monster things were involved, and he'd had the flu, all right, no matter what Tash says about why his kill count was so low. Add in that he wasn't coming off having been brainwashed by a demigod (god? something) and she wasn't keeping an eye out for the rest of the team because, in Budapest, there was no team coming for them. There were no other people fighting in other areas, there were no superhumans raging in the skies above them. Just them, with guns, on the streets of a city they'd both loved once, shooting and shooting and shooting until Clint's hearing was just the low drone of bullets for a week afterwards.

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Because -- aw, fuck, broken glass, he hates broken glass so much it's ridiculous. It's like his least favorite thing, and it's stupid, he knows, but it is number one on an incredibly long list with items ranging from "being brainwashed in general" and "torture involving fingernails" to "lukewarm french fries" and "lavender laundry detergent" (it's an allergy, okay, and it makes his skin itch, and if Tash does it one more time just to fuck with him they will have words). Anyway, because they weren't really fighting anyone in Budapest, it was a training exercise, but whatever, broken glass and big ugly aliens are more important than sorting out who remembers what when.

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Because Fury had been with them in Budapest, on the ground, two-eyed and devastating with a pistol, and Coulson -- he stops himself before he finishes that thought, because it's not time yet. Mourning time is after the battle, over beers and just before sex. And then after sex, and before breakfast. After breakfast, mourning time is over. This is war time, time for the sweet singing of a perfect shot and the ungodly, unworldly shrieks of the things that want to kill them all.

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Because Budapest was a smash-and-grab job when they were both...not heroes, exactly, and this is the opposite of that. Well, no, it's still sort of a smash-and-grab job but they're not grabbing diamonds or launch codes this time, but instead the door to another world -- which happens to be blue and glowy and apparently deadly to the touch, and which is currently letting huge rotted-skin motherfuckers into the New York City skyline. Because the smashing is being done by a team of people he didn't even know existed then, including but in no way limited to a guy who was frozen for fifty-some years and now can't really be wounded, a guy in a flying red suit of armor, a guy with a big fucking hammer, and them. Oh, and the New York City cops, too. Whereas in Budapest the smashing was done by three interchangeable brothers whose names all had too many vowels, because that's how things go there. Incidentally, it's possible he remembers Budapest wrong because of aforementioned three interchangeable brothers, none of whom took kindly to his last-minute discovery that they were working for both sides at once. There's a lump of knit-together bone on one of his shins to remind him that it's not at all impossible he's forgotten some things about Budapest.

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Because Budapest was sex in a hostel and a weird-ass fountain Tash had found delightful and shitty food that only didn't give them the runs because they've both eaten worse a hundred times, and a relatively simple infiltration and takedown of one of the organized crime families in the area, which was practically a half-asleep job for them by that point. In fact, he has no idea what she means by comparing this intergalactic bullshit to Budapest, other than that it was the last time they both worked in the same place at the same time. 

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Because Budapest had been the two of them against someone Tash knew from before, from being someone else, and she wouldn't tell him anything except that the guy knew her strengths and weaknesses and that he had unreasonably good aim. She hadn't told him, for instance, that the guy had a fucking metal arm and by "unreasonably good aim" she meant "literally never misses a shot." Those are important aspects to a mission, which she knows but gets an earful about anyway as she's picking shell fragments out of his leg the next day. They didn't kill the guy, which was the mission, and when Fury turned a glare on them Tash had said something in Russian and Fury'd backed off and it wasn't the first time Clint wished like hell he could learn another language.

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Because Budapest is where they met, and Clint didn't kill her but they didn't fight side-by-side either. Because in Budapest she'd been compromised and nearly broken with it, and she'd fought through for just long enough to drop the knife she'd had on him. He hadn't realized it until then -- normal brainwashing doesn't change your eye color, and Tash is pretty fucking scary even when she's normal -- but that was wildly out of character for Black Widow. And Clint's not stupid, he worked it out, and he'd punched her once, hard, in the left temple and carried her out of the building before that last grenade took, and she'd woken up as no one but herself for the first time, she told him later, in a decade. She woke up and looked at him with steady, human eyes, the first time he'd seen her look anywhere close to normal. She'd stared at him, blood trickling down her face and the fire reflected in her eyes, and he'd never looked back. Well, there's fire here, too, he guesses, but it's not what he remembers. He never remembers the fire.

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Because neither of them thought they'd survive Budapest, and this? This is nothing  compared to that.