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Domestic Life (Was Never Quite My Style)

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Dear Mr. Stark,

Please find attached the video and full written transcript from Mr. Barton’s self-hosted Avengers@Home footage taken last week. Per Agent Coulson’s standing orders, several scenes have been edited or redacted entirely to comply with security requirements. While his candor and spontaneity are always charming, we would also urge you to remind Agent Barton that he can, at any time, consult the numerous documents we have supplied detailing best practices for producing these types of informal promotional materials. We would also be happy to meet with Agent Barton in person to discuss his plans for future installments. (The editorial staff will not be permitted to sit in on these meetings, for reasons that will likely become evident once you review the footage.)

I would also like to apologize for any extraneous commentary you may find in the transcript; our most recent hire, while exceedingly competent, is a fan, and this occasionally results in descriptions that are rather more detailed and colourful than necessary. Rest assured we will continue to work on strategies for concision and objectivity with this employee.

Best wishes,
Heather Smythe
Director: Stark Industries Public Relations, New York City Division

PS: I realize that Agent Barton was frustrated that his fan base has thus far been less inclined to provide food than the Hulk’s was after his first PR video aired, but perhaps you could speak to him about a more appropriate hashtag? We are having to divert truly distressing amounts of french fries from the Tower on a daily basis; even the city’s food banks and shelters, while of course expressing their thanks, have begged us to make it stop.

 

AVENGERS TOWER-MORNING

Clint Barton, holding a cell phone camera facing himself: And welcome back to another installment of Avengers Penthouse—

Phil Coulson [offscreen]: Agent Barton, I will confiscate that selfie stick so help me—

[Footage becomes blurry as Agent Barton rapidly departs the room, clearing up again when he has entered an elevator, apparently alone]

Barton: Sorry about that brief delay folks. Now you’re checking in with us on a very important day: it’s Cap’s first day of school!

[Elevator door opens to reveal Captain America pacing the living room of his floor. He is wearing dark wash jeans, a grey t-shirt and hoody, and a bright red backpack. It is a rather adorable and attractive sight.]

Barton: Oh em gee, are you actually wearing the backpack Tony got you? I’m pretty sure that was a prank you know. [The Captain’s face, full of nervous anticipation, falls. He begins to remove the bag from his shoulders.] Aww Cap, no, I was just messing with you. We all love that you’re a dork. Now say hi to the nice people at home and tell them what classes you have today! [The Captain rubs his neck, clearly still nervous, but leaves the backpack where it is and smiles.]

Rogers: Well I’m not actually supposed to say, for security reasons. But I’m real excited. I stayed up all night looking at the syllabi and trying to get some of the readings finished ahead of time. And Natasha took me all around the campus last week to help me scout out the best routes around so I won’t be late—

Barton: And so you wouldn’t be shot or stabbed or mobbed by fans. [The Captain looks disappointed again] Err, no, nevermind. Natasha definitely trusts the legions of security people we’ve had scope the place out. She only wanted to help make sure you got to class on time. Timeliness is next to godliness after all.

Rogers: I think that’s cleanliness.

Barton: See, people? Not even one day of higher learnin’ down and he’s a know-it-all already. Gotta go see the others, but Steve, make sure to come by the penthouse for breakfast before you take off to get to your classes three hours early okay?

[CUT TO: Footage of what can only be described as a chaotic breakfast scene. The entire team, with the exception of Prince Thor Odinson, is present, and having multiple loud and difficult-to-follow conversations. Captain Rogers appears to be struggling to make a dent in the pile of waffles and fruit in front of him. ZOOM IN ON: Tony Stark, placing a hand on the Captain’s back]

Stark: Somethin’ wrong with your breakfast there soldier? Should I fire the help? Full disclosure, by the help I mean Bruce, and I’m not entirely sure that firing him would be in any of our best interests.

Rogers: Just…not hungry.

[Stark moves in closer to Captain Rogers, whispering something that Barton, despite numerous attempts, cannot seem to pick up. After Mr. Stark bats at the selfie stick with a wooden spoon, all while still speaking quietly to Captain Rogers Agent Barton begins supplying his own dialogue in a voice that is intended to mimic that of Mr. Stark]

Barton: Oh Steve, my dearest Cap, thy blondest and fairest of all, I—

[Scene ends abruptly, having apparently been edited to exclude Barton’s no-doubt amusing commentary. Cut to: Agent Barton following Agent Romanov toward the elevator.]

Barton: Wait, wait! I forgot, it’s not just Cap’s first day, is it?

[Agent Romanov, dressed in a tailored black suit with red accents,turns slowly toward Barton. Her expression is unreadable.]

[Their conversation continues, and they are eventually joined by Agent Coulson. However, the entire exchange is sadly inaudible as the theme song from Mission Impossible has been inexplicably overlaid on the footage at a blaring volume. When we regain ambient sound, we are in Mr. Stark’s workshop, where Stark is watching high-resolution footage of what appears to be Captain Rogers.]

Barton: Dude, is that Cap? [Stark blushes, a seriously dark red basically indistinguishable from the Iron Man suits behind him. It is rather cute, and honestly, dear readers, I’ve always been more of a Cap kind of guy.]

Stark: Uh—well, yes, technically.

Barton: [in a tone that conveys pure, almost exultant, delight] Are you spying on Cap’s first day of school?

Stark: [now indignant] Well he wouldn’t let me enroll in his classes with him, and he found the trackers and cameras I had installed in his backpack. What else was I supposed to do but send a tiny, unobtrusive drone to keep an eye on him?

[Stark stops speaking, suddenly zooming in on the footage he’s reviewing to reveal a tall dark-haired man following several paces behind Captain Rogers.]

Barton: Is that—

Stark: [Appearing far more relaxed, throws a handful of dried blueberries into his mouth] Yep.

Barton: You gonna tell him?

Stark: Nope.

[CUT TO: A bedroom. Though it’s not immediately obvious that there is a bed, because nearly every inch of it is covered in clothing. Eventually a frazzled looking Bruce Banner emerges from the adjoining closet, groaning when he appears to see Agent Barton]

Banner: Now? Really?

Barton: Uh, well I’m sure the viewers at home, like me, would be curious as to why every item of clothing you own, including several things I’m damn sure I’ve never seen you wear—

[Barton’s hand darts out, reaching for what looks to be a pair of leather pants, but Banner snatches the item away and tosses it under his bed]

Barton: Hey, I’m just trying to do my due diligence as an investigative journalist. The people need to know, Bruce! [delighted gasp] Wait, is it tonight? [Doctor Banner groans] It IS! You’re picking out date clothes at 10:30 in the morning? I can’t even with how cute this is. Yo, video editing people whose names I don't know but are undoubtedly gorgeous and wise, when you edit this can you add in some heart eye emojis and kissing sounds?

[The requested effects appear on screen for a frankly absurd amount of time. Seriously it’s a good twenty or thirty seconds. This humble transcriber feels the editorial staff may harbour romantic sentiments toward Hawkeye.]

Banner: Look, I’m sure this is hilarious, but it’s—been a while, alright? I don’t even know what fits anymore, and—ugh. This is stupid. I should just cancel.

Barton: Hey, Bruce, no…

[Camera is turned off; when we return, Dr. Banner is standing in front of a mirror in a pair of jeans and a chocolate brown button-down. There is a low wolf-whistle from offscreen.]

Barton: Damn, Banner. Just…damn.

[CUT TO: Agent Barton’s floor; camera is pointed at a television screen, which is congratulating him on having successfully completed the perfect game in the video game Until Dawn]

Barton: So glad you all were around to see this, yet another victory in the life of Clint Barton. Stay tuned for next week, when one of my best pranks will finally reach its much-anticipated conclusion. Also Thor should be back by then, and he is never not cinematic gold. Hawkeye out.

[Screen turns black]

Barton: [voice over] Hey tech gods and goddesses, can you throw the hashtag we talked about up?

[A white hashtag reading #Hawkfries flashes across the screen]