Chapter 1: "Good morning beautiful" - Clint Barton/Bucky Barnes
“Good morning, beautiful,” Clint smiled and hunkered down. The kitten looked up at him, yawned and stretched. And after a moment it rose and yawned again. “You hungry?”
He lifted the small animal, placed it on his chest and walked to the kitchen with it. “Aww, don’t struggle, little one,” he chuckled when the kitten started to move.
The kitten meowed and touched Clint’s face with his paw. “Yeah, pretty, I get it. You’re so very, very hungry,” he said and placed the animal on the counter. Before he went to fetch it, he had prepared the milk for it and now he took the feeding bottle and touched the kitten’s mouth. The young cat had learned to drink from the bottle and so it started to suck immediately and tread on Clint’s hand.
“Yeah, that’s it, baby,” he praised the cat when he heard another chuckle behind him.
“Should I get jealous?” Bucky asked and came closer. He touched Clint’s waist and Clint turned his head and smiled.
“No,” he smiled. “You’ll always be my favorite.” The smile turned to a smirk and Bucky kissed his cheek.
“That’s good, because you’re my favorite, too.”
Chapter 2: "I've missed you" - Clint Barton & Natasha Romanov
“I’ve missed you,” Clint grinned and leaned himself against the doorjamb to the infirmary. Natasha, who lay in the bed, rolled her eyes and tried to sit up. She came back from her three months undercover mission badly hurt only this morning.
“None of that,” the nurse said, put a hand on her shoulder and shoved her back onto the mattress. Natasha glared at her and Clint raised a brow. This woman had balls, so to speak. Not many people would’ve dared to do what she had done.
“I’m okay,” Natasha grouched, and Clint chuckled quietly, unfolded his arms and came closer.
“No, Ms. Romanoff, you’re not okay. You have two broken ribs, a broken wrist, a ruptured spleen and a contused kidney,” the nurse told her and glared back. “You can’t get up in this condition.”
“I was in an even worse condition when I had to get out of Budapest and I had to carry Barton on my shoulder,” she grumbled.
“Yes, I know, you’re really tough. But now you stay in this bed until the doctor says you can get up,” the nurse said with a really patient voice. “Otherwise I’m obliged to call Director Fury.”
If looks could kill, Natasha’s glare would’ve killed the poor nurse in an instant, but she only smiled, patted Nat’s shoulder and turned to leave the room.
“If you help her disappear, I promise, the next time you’re here I’ll schedule you for the biggest enema available, Agent Barton,” she smiled sweetly. Clint raised both hands in surrender, leaned down to kiss her forehead before he sat down beside Natasha.
“Yeah, I really missed you.”
Chapter 3: “Are you flirting with me?” - Clint Barton/Steve Rogers
“Are you flirting with me?” Clint asked, his head cocked… and Steve turned beet-red.
“I… ah… I… uhm…” He stammered and managed to become even redder.
“Because…” Clint smiled, “I’d like that.”
Clint used to say that he saw better from a distance and he meant it. His vision allowed him to see things in a distance not many people could, but when it was right in front of him, then he was blind sometimes. Only when Natasha slapped him on the head he started to look closer and he realized that Steve had tried to flirt with him and he had rebuffed him every time. But that didn’t mean Steve had stopped, no, quite the contrary and now… now Clint had to know, because he really liked Steve.
And when Steve complimented him on his pancakes with a cute smile, Clint couldn’t activate his brain-to-mouth filter fast enough.
“You… you like that?” Steve asked, his eyes comically wide. And when he smiled, too, the butterflies in his stomach started to flutter again, like they always did when Steve smiled.
“Yes,” Clint blurted. “I… I’m just… I don’t always see what’s right in front of me,” he admitted. Steve rose, came around the table and when he stood in front of Clint, he could smell him, his shower-gel and his cologne and his Steve-ness. He swallowed hard, when Steve reached out for him and cupped his cheek with his hand.
“Then you don’t mind?” Steve asked with a smile. Clint shook his head and Steve closed the distance, put one hand on his waist and pulled him closer with the other, touched Clint’s lips with his… and Clint opened his mouth and kissed him back. And it was perfect.
Chapter 4: “Was that an insult?” - Clint Barton/Tony Stark
“Was that an insult?” Clint asked, his brows furrowed and his head tilted.
Tony looked up at him, “Huh?”
“You know what you said,” Clint said. Tony removed his goggles and turned around to look at him.
“What? To call your bow ‘stick and string from the paleolithic era’?” He wanted to know and Clint nodded.
“It’s not an insult,” Tony sighed, and pinched the bridge of his nose. “Quite the contrary.”
“What do you mean?” Clint asked.
“I mean, do you know how long people use bows and arrows?” Tony said and turned around to him now. “For thousands and thousands of years. And do you know why people still use it? Because it’s effective, silent and deadly in an expert's hand.”
“So, it was not an insult?” Clint asked now, his lips pursed. Tony smiled and made a step in Clint’s direction.
“No, like I said, quite the contrary. It’s a compliment. Maybe the materials changed, maybe the shooting techniques changed, but it still needs a lot of skill to use a bow and not many people can master this weapon like you did,” he said. And Clint blushed violently. Tony made another step in his direction.
“So you… you think I’m… competent?” Clint said and he shifted from one foot to the other.
“No, I know you’re competent. I think you’re the most capable of all of us, Clint. You’re a human, plain and simple. No serum, no suit, no green rage monster, no demi-god. Yet you can keep up with all of us and that… that makes me…” Tony closed the distance between the two of them and stood very, very close to Clint now.
“What?” Clint asked. And Tony smiled once more, placed a hand on his cheek and brushed his lips against Clint’s. He never told Clint what it made him.
Chapter 5: "Where are you?" - Clint Barton/Maria Hill
“Where are you?” Maria asked when she entered the gym. She knew he had to be here but she couldn’t see him.
She looked around, went over to the equipment room but he wasn’t there either.
“Barton!” She called again and then softer, “Clint, come on!”
“What?” He finally said and Maria looked up, saw him in the rafters. Why didn’t she think about the rafters earlier. She knew him for years now. Maria sighed.
“Would you please come down?”
“Why?” Clint asked and moved so she could see his face.
“Because I want to talk to you,” she said. Clint looked up at the ceiling and then back to her.
“Why?” He asked again. “Why should I want to talk to you?”
“Clint, please,” she said and folded her arms over her chest, realized how dismissively this had to appear and she unfolded them again. “Please,” she repeated.
“I’ve seen you,” he said, rose slowly and jumped down in a fluid motion. He landed as silent as a cat. But now he stood in front of her, his arms folded, and glared at her. “I’ve seen you and… and him,” he spat.
“It… it wasn’t what it looked like,” Maria said and made a step in Clint’s direction but he moved back, kept the distance between them.
“Oh, then you didn’t kiss Phil?” He asked. His expression became murderous and disappointed at the same moment.
“Clint, that… you have to understand… It wasn’t…” She started but he shook his head, interrupted her.
“Don’t… don’t lie to me. But you know what? We’re done! You can keep him,” he snapped. Maria paled and tried to make another step in his direction. “Don’t touch me ever again,” he hissed. “It’s over.”
“Clint, please, let me explain…” Maria tried again but he shook his head again, turned around and left the gym. After all, he didn’t need her to see him cry.
Chapter 6: "It's not my blood." - Clint Barton/Phil Coulson
“It’s not my blood,” Clint said as soon as he saw Phil getting ready to give him a major dressing-down. He had left the quinjet and Phil waited for him in the hangar but when he saw him covered in blood he paled for a moment before he turned red.
“Proof it,” Phil said brusquely and Clint raised a brow.
“What? Do you want me to strip right here? In front of all the junior agents?” Clint asked. But he didn’t wait for Phil to answer, he put his bowcase down and started to unbuckle his tac vest.
“What are you doing?” Phil stopped his hands and looked around. Sitwell, who was there to take the baby agents to debriefing, started to giggle. Apparently he had heard them.
“You wanted me to prove I’m unharmed and… well… that’s what I’m doing,” Clint said, a smirk on his lips. Phil turned beet red again and Clint’s smirk went broader. After all, not many people could manage to turn Phil red.
“Whose blood is it then?” Phil asked. “You didn’t report an incident.”
“We couldn’t report anything because - as you may have noticed - our quinjet is a little… banged up,” he said and gestured over his shoulder and the still slightly smoldering vehicle. “No, the blood is from one of those creatures we had to kill. Jameson hit it and it burst and… maybe I’ve been a little too close,” Clint admitted. Phil squinted his eyes and pressed his lips together.
“Sitwell,” he turned to Jasper, “You take over the debriefing and I…” he grabbed Clint’s arm, “I’ll make sure that our Specialist is unharmed.”
“In your quarter?” Sitwell asked and Clint winked in his direction.
“Shut up, Jasper,” Phil snapped and dragged Clint out of the hangar. They could hear him laugh loud and resoundingly when the door fell shut behind them.
Chapter 7: "You're mad." - Clint Barton/Bucky Barnes
“You’re mad,” Clint stated as soon as he saw Bucky. He sat on the couch in their living room and glared at the wall as if it had personally offended him.
“Oh, really?” He snapped, and turned to look at Clint. “How did you notice?” He asked, his voice full of sarcasm.
“I don’t know, maybe because you glare at the wall as if you’re not sure which way to kill it?” Clint said, but he moved closer and flopped down beside him. “So, wanna talk about it?”
“Not really,” Bucky said, and folded his arms over his chest.
“Okay, then let’s glare at the wall. Maybe we can make it crumble when we both glare,” Clint shrugged, folded his arms, too, and started to mimic Bucky’s murder glare.
Bucky kept quiet for a very long moment, just grunted every now and then until he finally broke the silence. “Steve was here,” he said after a while.
“Oh,” Clint unfolded his arms, turned on the couch to look at his boyfriend. “And that’s why you’re so hopping mad?”
“He brought plums!” Bucky hissed and pointed with his head at the bag with fruit on the dining table. “Plums!”
“So, the plums offended you then?” Clint asked, his brows furrowed.
“He, of all people, should know that I hate plums. They are disgusting and… everyone knows I hate them. Even Stark knows I hate them!. But Steve… He always brings me plums!”
“Did you ask him why?” Clint asked.
“He said because I had plums with me when he found my Bucharest. Do you know how many times I’ve told him that they were for my neighbor? I hate plums! Stop laughing,” Bucky glared now at Clint who couldn’t hold back a chuckle.
“Tell you what,” Clint said and cocked his head slightly. He knew this would distract Bucky, it always did. “I’ll remove those offending fruits, then we go to the bedroom where I give you one of my famous massages and when you’re still mad afterwards, I promise to help you getting revenge,” he suggested.
Bucky glared for a few more moments before he deflated. “Sounds like a plan.”
Chapter 8: “I’m sorry, we can’t be friends anymore.” - Clint Barton/Tony Stark
“I’m sorry, we can’t be friends anymore.” Clint entered Tony’s workshop and the door hit the wall behind him. Tony startled violently, turned around and removed his goggles.
“What?” He said and Clint could see him pale a little.
“We can’t be friends anymore,” Clint repeated.
“Why? I mean… because I… is it because of Saturday?” Tony asked and licked his lips nervously.
“Yes,” Clint said slowly and then he nodded, “and no.”
“Clint, I… I didn’t want to… you know… to ruin everything between us… damn, that was… that came out wrong. You know… I enjoy our friendship, I really do and… can’t you just pretend I didn’t say what I said?” Tony made a step in Clint’s direction, stopped himself and went back to lean against the table he just worked at.
“Tony…” Clint tried to interrupt him, but Tony just moved on.
“I know it may surprise you but I don’t have many people I can call friend… Rhodey, Happy, Pepper… and you and… if my dumb crush has ruined that… you know… please… can’t we…”
“... just continue our… damn… I almost said relationship but you clearly… our not-relationship… our friendship… you know… just continue our friendship?”
“Tony,” Clint finally decided he wouldn’t stop rambling and so he just went over to Tony, put both his hands on Tony’s cheeks… and kissed him.
Tony stilled immediately, went stiff as a poker for a few seconds but then he put his hands on Clint’s waist and kissed him back, opened his mouth and let Clint’s tongue in, explored his mouth hungrily.
“What the fuck was that?” He panted when they eventually parted. They still stood very close and Clint saw Tony swallow.
“Can I finish my sentence now?” Clint asked with a smile now. And when Tony nodded, he said, “We can’t be friends anymore, Tony, because you’re right. I want more, too. I don’t want to be just your friend, you know? I want all of you. Everything.”
Tony looked at him for a very long moment, but then - with a relieved smile - he leaned in and kissed Clint again.
Chapter 9: “Who did this?” - Clint Barton/Pietro Maximoff
“Who did this?” Steve bellowed as soon as Clint and Pietr had entered the communal living room. Clint immediately pointed at Pietro, and Pietro at Clint.
“You think this is funny?” He snapped, placed himself in front of the two of them and folded his arms threateningly.
“No,” Clint said and shook his head.
“Nope,” Pietro said the same moment, but he looked at his own feet when he said it.
“I know it’s been one of you,” Steve hissed. But the men in front of him just shared a glance, a smirk and then Clint pretended to lock his mouth, gave the imaginary key to Pietro who put it in his pocket. Steve raised a brow.
“Who said that?” Pietro eventually asked and Steve took a deep breath.
“Tell me, who else would paint my bike red, blue and white?” He asked and glared at the two men in front of him again.
“Someone... patriotic?” Clint asked now. But when Steve turned to face him, he slapped a hand over his mouth. After all, he had locked it earlier. Pietro giggled beside him.
“That’s! Not! Funny!” Steve hissed.
“It suits you,” Pietro said now. “I mean… with the uniform and the Shield and all that…”
“Tomorrow!” Steve snapped now and pointed his finger in their faces. “Tomorrow my bike is black again, or…” he didn’t finish his sentence. He just spun on his heel and stormed out of the room.
Pietro looked at Clint, a grin on his lips. “Why didn’t we tell him that it was Natasha?”
“First, we’re no tattletales and second, do you really think he would’ve believed us?” Clint turned to him now.
“Probably not. Our reputation is really…” Pietro mused, stopped, frowned and cocked his head. “He didn’t say what would happen if his bike was still colored tomorrow.”
“Yeah, well… guess we have to find out the hard way,” Clint grinned, leaned over, kissed his boyfriend and sent a text to Natasha to warn her that Steve was on his warpath.
“Oh… I like the hard way,” Pietro giggled… and kissed Clint again.
Chapter 10: “Why do you even care?” - Clint Barton/Steve Rogers
“Why do you even care?” Clint snapped and folded his arms over his chest. He glared at Natasha murderous but she only rolled her eyes at him.
“I care, you idiot, because you’re my best friend. That’s why I care,” she said.
“I said, I don’t need…” he started again, but this time she interrupted him earlier, before he could get in another rant.
“Will you shut up already?” Clint closed his mouth with an audible click.
“Fine,” he grumbled. “See if I care.”
“God, you’re impossible. I know that you care about him, asshat. You couldn’t move your eyes away from him since the first moment you met him and…”
“Did not,” Clint interrupted her with a pout.
“... you’ve been on your own for way too long,” she continued without a glimpse at his comment.
“Maybe I want to be alone?” He asked when she stopped.
“Yeah, sure! You keep telling yourself,” she mocked. “We both know what happens when you’re on your own for too long.”
“That was one time, Tasha. One time!” Clint threw his arms in the air in frustration. Why couldn’t she let go of this damn topic.
“One time? You didn’t leave your bed for four days and the only reason you didn’t dehydrate was because Kate supplied you with coffee. And that happened more than just one time.”
“Yeah, Katie-Kate is the best,” he suddenly beamed.
“I know, that’s why she told me that you refuse to go on this date,” Natasha smirked now evilly.
“She did that? Damn traitor,” Clint muttered.
“Okay, what’s your damn problem? I mean, he likes you, you like him… why do you…”
“Because he’s futzing Captain America,” he interrupted her. “And I? I’m a mess and you know it!” Clint slumped down on his dirty couch, shoved away a few empty beer bottles and sighed.
“But for some reason he loves you and…” She sat down beside him when he interrupted her once again.
“Whoa, whoa, whoa! We don’t use the L-word in this house!” He glared at her. Natasha pursed her lips, rolled her eyes and slapped the back of his head.
“Man up, Barton, put on that one fucking suit you own and go on that fucking date with Steve or I swear to god I will deprive you of your caffeine!” She hissed. Clint’s eyes went wide with horror.
“You wouldn’t…” he started but when she looked at him, he finally deflated. “You totally would.”
“I totally would,” she confirmed. “And now, get dressed. Steve’s waiting for you.”
Chapter 11: “You didn’t break me.” - Clint Barton/Bruce Banner
“You didn’t break me,” Clint said, a lopsided grin on his lips. Bruce, who stood beside the hospital bed and fiddled with his glasses, looked him up and down.
“I… I didn’t? I mean…” he gestured at the casts on both of Clint’s arms, his left leg and his right ankle. “It looks like it.”
“No, that… that happened earlier,” Clint said, “when the house collapsed with me on the roof.”
“Oh…” Bruce managed. He looked him over again.
“But I… he… the other guy… Steve said he threw you onto the ground,” Bruce said and sounded so vulnerable right now.
“Bruce, the Hulk… no, you… you saved me. But Hulk had to jump and had a hard landing. He fell and dropped me,” Clint explained.
“He… he saved you?” Bruce sat down on the chair beside him and put on his glasses.
“Hulk would never hurt me. Hulk likes me,” Clint grinned cheekily and he watched Bruce turn red.
“He… he’s not the only one,” he said then, barely audible. But fortunately Clint wore his hearing aids and he heard him.
“I know,” Clint smirked again. “I like him, too.” And when Bruce’s head snapped up, his brows furrowed, he added, “But I like his alter ego better.”
“Really?” His voice hitched and he cleared his throat. “I mean, really?” He said again.
With his bandaged hand he tried to reach out for Bruce’s hand but it wasn’t as easy. But at least Bruce got it and took Clint’s hand.
“Yes, really,” Clint confirmed. “And that’s why I know that Hulk would never hurt me intentionally. This?” He gestured at his fractured ankle. “This was an accident.” When Hulk fell he tried to stop himself but unfortunately for Clint his ankle was exactly where Hulk’s hand landed.
“So… you’re not mad?” Bruce asked and Clint shook his head.
“No, I’m not mad and when I’m out of here I would love to show you how not-mad I really am,” he smiled. Bruce’s eyes met Clint’s and eventually a smile appeared on his lips.
“I’d like that.”
Chapter 12: "I can't breathe." - Clint Barton/Thor
“I can’t breathe, Thor!” Clint wheezed. As soon as the Asgardian saw him, he almost ran to him and crushed him in a bear hug.
“I heard tales of you passing away,” Thor whispered in his ear. But he let go of him and Clint sucked in the air greedily.
“I’m not that easy to kill,” he smiled after a moment of just breathing.
“And I am glad you’re not,” Thor said. He pulled him in another hug, but this time not as bone crushing as the one before.
“Who said I’m dead by the way?” Clint asked when Thor let go of him.
“Lady Jane,” Thor admitted. “She said she saw you going down and the creatures sweeping over you.”
“J-Jane said that?” Clint frowned. “But… she was with me all the time? How could she…” Clint stopped, furrowed his brows and cocked his head. “Do you think…”
“That she is jealous?” Thor finished his sentence and Clint nodded. “But I don’t understand why? It was her decision to end our relationship. Why would she say something like that?”
“Maybe she broke up with you but she doesn’t want you to move on?” Clint asked. Thor took a deep breath and sat down beside Clint on the couch.
“It is possible,” he admitted. “She did not like when I spoke to other people for too long. She yelled at me every time then.”
“Wow,” Clint said and blinked a few times. “I never thought…” he stopped and pursed his lips. “But let’s not talk about your ex. I’m not dead and I think that counts, right?”
“Yes, indeed,” Thor smiled and he leaned over to Clint, put a hand on his cheek and kissed him.
Chapter 13: “I don’t have anywhere else to go.” - Clint Barton/Natasha Romanoff
“I don’t have anywhere else to go,” Clint shrugged and leaned against the wall.
Natasha whirled around, was on him in an instant and pressed her forearm against his throat. She hissed and glared angrily at him.
“Maybe I have anywhere else to go,” she snapped.
“Well,” Clint said and - completely unfazed by her outbreak - gestured with his free hand at the door. “You can leave whenever you want.”
Natasha held his eyes for a long moment but then she stepped back. She took a deep breath. Clint worked his jaw for a second before he closed the distance between them.
“Nat,” he said quietly. “You know that it wasn’t your fault.”
“Yeah? Do I know that?” She spat but without the anger in her eyes anymore.
“Yeah, you know that,” Clint said and turned her around.
“But I recruited him, Clint. I brought him in, I trained him and now he’s dead,” she whispered.
“He knew the risk. He knew it and he signed nevertheless,” Clint said quietly.
“But…” She started again but Clint cupped her cheek and put a finger over her mouth.
“No,” he shook his head. “It is not your fault! You trained him good and he saved hundreds of lives. He’s been one of our best agents, a hero, thanks to you!”
“He’s a dead hero. Don’t you think he would rather be an ordinary man but still alive?” She asked. Her shoulders slumped down and Clint reached out for her and pulled her to him. He wrapped his arms around her shoulders and just stood there and held her. And after a while she put her arms around him, too.
“Thank you,” she whispered.
“For being you.”
Chapter 14: “I failed you." - Clint Barton & Pietro Maximoff & Wanda Maximoff
“I failed you,” Clint whispered. He put his hand on the headstone and hunkered down. “I failed you and there’s nothing I can do to make up for it.”
He couldn’t forget the moment in Sokovia, where he grabbed the boy, turned him around to shield him with his body, expecting to get shredded each moment. But instead the damn speedster saved him, shoved a car in front of him. And when Clint turned around, Pietro looked at him, swayed, whispered his, “You didn’t see that coming,” before he fell down, bathed in blood.
Someone came, carried him away and Clint brought the boy to the shuttle, where his mom took him out of Clint’s hands.
“I shouldn’t have… I should’ve brought you and your sister away,” he said and leaned his back against the headstone. “You are kids, for crying out loud.”
He looked up at the sky above him and sighed.
“Wanda misses you, you know,” he said then. “I mean, I knew her only for a few moments but after… you know… she was different. Something in her died with you.”
Clint reached for a stone and fiddled around with it. He took another deep breath. “Damn idiot! Why… why did you do it? Why couldn’t you just stay on the shuttle?”
“Because he had to do it,” a voice said behind him. He looked up to see Wanda. “Vision told me where I would find you.”
“I’m sorry, Wanda,” he whispered. “I failed him. And I failed you, too.”
“No, Clint. You didn’t. Maybe I was angry but never at you. Never at you,” she said. “It wasn’t your fault, it was Ultron’s and Pietro… he knew what he did.”
“He was a kid,” Clint said, tears in his eyes. “You… you’re a kid, too.”
“We stopped being children when the bomb killed our parents,” Wanda said quietly. “But with you, with the Avengers, I can do something good. I can help other children to be able to be children, do you know what I mean?”
“I know,” Clint said. Wanda smiled at him, held her hand out and when Clint took it, she pulled. He rose and wiped the grass off of his pants.
“Come on, let’s go back to the mansion. Pietro always said to move on, not to look back. Can you do that for him?”
“Yes,” Clint nodded and smiled. “For Pietro.”
Chapter 15: “Please tell me he will stay dead.” - Clint Barton/Tony Stark
“Please tell me he will stay dead,” Tony breathed when he finally hobbled over to Clint. He held himself upright on Clint’s shoulder and looked at the Zombie on the ground in front of them.
“His head is gone,” Clint said, but he didn’t move his gun away. “I’d say this time he stays down.”
“Yeah?” Tony glared at the remains of the former Agent Sitwell. “He was pretty insistent to get up again the last time.”
“Last time he still had a brain. Well, so to speak. This time we separated it from his body,” Clint said. But then he made a step forward and touched the body with his boot. It stayed where it was.
“Guess we should burn him… it… whatever,” Tony suggested.
“We don’t have the time, Tony,” Clint said. His eyes were better than Tony’s, he could see them, the others. Hill, Fury, Coulson, Rumlow, Pierce… Natasha. They were there, and they would come.
“What do you mean?” Tony looked around, his eyes wide. Clint pointed with his gun at the former SHIELD HQ.
“They’re coming,” he said. “We have to move.”
“We still need to get into the labs,” Tony hissed and held his side. He was injured, but fortunately not by one of them.
“I know,” Clint said. “But we have to find a way around them. I don’t want to kill more of them as necessary. They’re still my friends, after all.”
“I’m not sure if we can safe them,” Tony looked at him. “Bruce’s not sure either.”
“But if there’s a chance then we have to try it,” Clint looked at Tony.
“I know. I don’t have so many friends that I could lose a few,” Tony thought about Pepper and Rhodey, who were locked in the basement of his house in Malibu. And Happy was there with a shotgun in case they could escape.
“Okay,” Clint breathed and watched the gate to the HQ. One of them tried to climb over it. “Fortunately, babe, I’m with you. And if there’s one person in the world who knows the damn vents like the back of their hand, then it’s me,” he grinned. “Let’s get in, find the damn data and then you and Brucie find a cure.”
“Good plan,” Tony grinned, leaned over to Clint and pressed a small kiss on his cheek. “Let’s go.”
Chapter 16: ”Is your plan to talk me to death?” - Clint Barton/Scott Lang
“Is your plan to talk me to death?” Clint huffed frustrated and threw his arms in the air.
“Does it work?” Scott asked and cocked his head.
“Well,” Clint said and looked at himself, “it seems as if I’m still alive.”
“Hmm...” Scott pursed his lips. “Then I have to try something else,” he said and made a step in his direction.
“What? Are you trying to intimidate me?” Clint asked, a brow raised. After all, he was a trained SHIELD agent and assassin and Scott was a thief. It wasn’t so easy to intimidate him.
“No,” Scott shook his head, made another step in his direction till he stood very close to him. “Please don’t kill me,” he whispered.
“Wha…” Clint barely managed before Scott reached out for him, put both his hands on Clint’s cheeks, leaned in and kissed him. It was just a tiny, chaste brush of lips on lips but Clint froze nevertheless. He didn’t expect that.
Scott made a step back and looked at him. “Fuck,” he muttered. “I… I… I’m sorry, I… I read the signs wrong… apparently and…”
He couldn’t say more because he got effectively shut up by Clint kissing him. He had pushed Scott against the wall, placed both his hands beside his head and pressed him in the wall with his body. Clint touched Scott’s lips with his tongue until he opened his mouth and then he started to thoroughly explore the moist cavity, struggled for dominance with his tongue and after a long moment his hands started to move, too. He touched Scott’s shoulders, let them run over his form to his waist and held him until Scott’s hands were on him as well.
When they broke the kiss after a long moment to breathe Clint saw the other man swallow nervously.
“That… that was your plan?” He asked.
“I… no?” Scott said and licked his lips. “I.. I… wanted to ask you out but then…”
“Why didn’t you?” Clint needed to know.
“Why?” Scott’s eyes went wide. “I mean… you’re Clint Barton, for crying out loud. You’re…”
“What?” Clint whispered huskily but didn’t move back.
“Amazing,” Scott breathed and let a hand run over Clint’s arm, trailed along the veins lightly. “And then look at me…”
“I look at you,” Clint said. Scott blushed and tried to move away, but Clint didn’t let him. “And I like what I see.”
“Really…” Clint said, and then he grinned. “And you’re not a bad kisser.”
Scott started to grin but instead of an answer he leaned over and kissed him again, after all, he was not a bad kisser.
Chapter 17: "Shit!" - Clint Barton/Steve Rogers
“Shit!” Clint cursed silently over the comms.
“Status, Hawkeye,” Steve snapped immediately and dodged a flying piece of concrete. He rolled over his shoulder, using his shield for protection and hit the indefinable creature in the face with it.
“Hawkeye, status!” He said again the moment he got up. But once again, Clint didn’t respond.
“Cap, we have a problem,” Tony answered instead. Steve jumped onto one of the wrecked cars and threw his shield. It hit another creature in the… well… head, and it dropped down.
“Status, Iron Man,” Steve breathed as soon as he was back on the remains of the street.
“I can’t see Hawkeye,” Tony said. He swooped down and killed two more of the creatures with his repulsors.
Steve ducked behind a column when another piece of rubble flew in his direction. “Falcon,” was everything he said.
“Sorry, Cap,” Sam answered the next moment. “I’m a little busy.” Steve tried to focus on him and saw two flying creatures following him while Sam shot at them to no avail.
“Shit!” Steve swore now, grabbed his shield and threw it to behead the creature trying to kill Natasha. He heard the Hulk howl behind him and knew he would take over.
“I have him,” they heard Rhodey’s voice only a moment later. “Empire State Building!”
“You gotta be fucking kidding me!” Blurted Tony. One of the creatures had grabbed Clint and - with him over his shoulder - climbed up the building. “You can see this, too, right?” Tony added.
“Report, Iron Man,” Steve demanded to know and started running to the building. Behind him he could hear Hulk smash the creatures and he knew he would take care of them.
“Did you ever see King Kong?” Sam asked instead of Tony and Steve could hear the laugh in his voice.
“This is not a laughing matter,” Steve hissed. After all, the creature had grabbed his, Steve’s, boyfriend and not Sam’s.
“Oh, it totally is,” Tony chuckled now as well and flew in to shoot at the creature, who screamed and waved threateningly at him. Thor, who landed on top of the Empire State Building, rose his hammer, called the lightning and pointed at the creature. The lightning hit it, it screamed and fell backwards.
“Clint!” Steve breathed but Tony swooped in and grabbed him mid-flight. Together Sam, Rhodey and Thor destroyed the creature while Tony brought Clint to the ground. The archer was pale and had a few scratches but was unharmed otherwise.
“Fuck,” he cursed again. “They will never let me live that down.”
“Are you okay?” Steve asked and when Clint nodded, he squeezed his hand for a moment and the two of them went back into the fight.
Half an hour later they had killed all the creatures and were on their way to the quinjet, when Tony suddenly grinned at Clint. “So, how about we watch King Kong tonight? Steve apparently doesn’t know it,” he said. And the rest of the team agreed in an instant and with a lot of giggling. Only Clint glared at Tony.
“I hate you, Stark.”
Chapter 18: “Get out." - Clint Barton/Natasha Romanov
“Get out!” Natasha hissed angrily and both, Steve and Tony retreated, carefully watching the woman beside Clint's hospital bed.
When the door fell shut behind them, she turned back to Clint. “I’m sorry,” she said but Clint shook his head.
“Not your fault,” he said. He leaned back against the headboard of the bed and sighed. “If there’s someone to blame then…”
“Nope!” She interrupted him. “You only tried to help.”
“Yeah?” He looked at her and then at his broken clavicle. “It… worked well.”
“Because you’re an idiot,” she smirked. “Only you would try to stop Captain America and Iron Man in his armor from beating each other up.”
“I’m fed up with their fighting all the time,” Clint huffed. “Every time they’re in the same room they start to bicker and to fight.”
“I know, it’s exhausting,” she said. Clint looked at his fingers for a long moment before he shrugged… and winced in pain.
“It’s not that,” he admitted. “It’s…” he bit his lips. “I can’t stand it anymore, you know? When I was a kid my mom and my dad always fought, when I was in foster care, my foster parents fought all the time, in the circus Buck and Jacques started to quarrel constantly,” he said. “And then, Phil and Maria in Shield.”
“And now these two morons,” Natasha concluded.
“It’s exhausting,” Clint sighed.
“You know what? Doc Cho said you’re grounded for at least four weeks. What do you think about Hawaii?”
“Sand, ocean, pineapples and weird people? I’m in,” Clint said and his face lit up.
“Yes,” Natasha smiled and leaned over to kiss his nose. “And I’ll go surfing while you can sit on the beach and watch me.”
“You’re an evil, evil woman,” he said but when Natasha winked he reached out with his non-injured arm, pulled her to him and kissed her.
“And that’s why you love me.”
Chapter 19: “Sorry isn’t enough.” - Clint Barton/Bucky Barnes
“Sorry isn’t enough,” Bucky hissed, turned on his heels and stormed out of the room. He slammed the door shut behind himself. The other Avengers followed him with his eyes and only Clint shook his head after a moment.
“Good job, Steve,” he said and rose from the armchair where he sat. “Really, really good job.”
He was so angry at Cap, he had to concentrate not to strangle him.
“But…” Steve started, but Tony interrupted him.
“It wasn’t… the smartest move, I have to admit,” he said. Clint glared at him, too, but when Tony raised both his hands in a defensive gesture he sighed and pinched the bridge of his nose.
“No, it wasn’t the smartest move. You of all people here know him longest, you should’ve known, that…” he said but Steve interrupted him.
“I know… and… and I’m really sorry and…” he said again, but Clint shook his head.
“I’ll talk to him. And you think about how to make up for it,” he pointed at Cap before he followed Bucky.
He found him on the roof deck, Friday had told him. Bucky sat cross-legged on the balustrade, watching the agents training in the grounds around the new Avengers facility.
“Hey,” Clint said but he knew that Bucky had heard him the moment when he entered the roof deck.
“Hey,” Bucky said after a very long moment. He didn’t turn around but Clint saw his shoulders slump and he moved closer, sat down on the balustrade beside him. He kept quiet until Bucky finally looked at him.
“He didn’t mean it,” Clint said. “And he’s really sorry.”
“I… I know,” Bucky said. “But…” he turned to look at Clint. “It hurt,” he said and pointed at his chest. “Here, you know. You have no idea how much it hurt to hear it from him?”
“I understand, believe me, I totally understand,” he said. He didn’t touch Bucky, not now, he wasn’t ready yet. “And Steve? Steve’s an idiot, fuck Steve!”
“You can’t say something like that about Captain America,” Bucky muttered and Clint couldn’t hold back a small laugh. He nudged Bucky’s shoulder with his own.
“I didn’t say it about Captain America, I said it about Steve,” Clint grinned.
“Steve’s a punk,” Bucky said and this time he looked up.
“He is,” Clint confirmed. Bucky pursed his lips. “And… about the idiotic stuff that punk said, I’m happy with you, you know?”
“I know,” Clint smiled. And this time he leaned over to him, smiled and kissed Bucky.
Chapter 20: “I’m trapped.” - Clint Barton/Bucky Barnes
“I’m trapped!” Bucky called. “Need a little help.” Clint had searched him for half an hour until he found him in the garage. He was on the ground with a car - Clint’s car - lying on his artificial arm.
“What the fuck…” Clint muttered and hunkered down beside him. He cocked his head and raised a brow.
“Hey,” Bucky grinned sheepishly.
“What are you doing here?” Clint asked, gesturing at the car.
Bucky scratched the back of his neck with his flesh and blood hand. “Dunno… lying around?”
“Funny, Barnes,” Clint sighed. “I mean… what are you doing with my car.”
“Well… apparently I’m trapped under it,” Bucky said. Clint smacked his forehead.
“I’m pretty sure the car didn’t hop down from the car lift on its own,” Clint said.
“Uh…” Bucky said and looked at the car as if he’d seen it for the first time. “Maybe I tried to… to repair it?”
“Is that a question or your answer?” Clint asked.
“Maybe I tried to repair it,” Bucky repeated. He gestured at the Challenger. “I thought I could… surprise you,” he sighed.
“By letting the car fall from the lift?” Clint asked, his brow raised again.
“No, but… I couldn’t get the tire off and maybe I pulled a little too hard,” he said. “And the damn car fell.”
“First, don’t call my baby ‘the damn car’,” he said with air-quotes, “and second, you definitely pulled too hard.” Clint sat down beside Bucky.
“I thought I’m your baby,” Bucky muttered.
“You’re my babe, the car is my baby,” Clint said, took his phone and started to type.
“What are you doing?” Bucky asked.
“What do you think? I’m calling Tony,” he said.
“What? No, not Tony! I…” Bucky started but when Clint looked at him he said, “Can’t you…”
“Babe, I can’t get the car off of your arm, you can’t get it off or you would’ve done it already. I can’t ask Hulk, he would throw my baby through the wall and then demolish the whole garage and I’m pretty sure you don’t want Steve or Sam to see you like this. And Natasha…”
“Yeah, yeah, yeah, I get it,” Bucky huffed. “So…” Clint’s phone beeped, he grinned, turned, took a photo and sent it to Tony. And a few moments later it beeped again.
“He’ll be here in half an hour,” Clint said. He sat down, reached in his pocket and pulled out a small paper bag. “Licorice?”
Bucky glared at him and the bag murderous. “I hate you,” he said. Clint grinned, threw a piece of licorice in the air and caught it with his mouth.
“I know, I love you, too, babe.”
Chapter 21: “Is this legal? Wait, don’t tell me. I don’t want to know.” - Clint Barton/Scott Lang
“Is this legal? Wait, don’t tell me. I don’t want to know,” Steve said, his hands raised in a defensive gesture.
“Why… it’s absolutely legal and…” Tony snapped, but Steve interrupted him.
“Then why didn’t you tell…” He hissed.
“Because people like you wouldn’t understand…”
“Yeah, because I’m dumb like a brick and…”
“No one said that, for crying out loud, it’s just…”
“You are a selfish prick! You can’t…”
“I do what I fucking want, I don’t need to ask you…”
Steve and Tony yelled at each other for half an hour now. Clint came back from the kitchen, a bowl with popcorn in his hand. He sat down beside Scott and held it out for the other man to take some.
“What did I miss?” He asked. Scott grabbed a handful of popcorn and stuffed it in his mouth.
“Stark’s up three points. Steve hit below the belt two times now, and one time he tried emotional manipulation,” he said.
“Dammit, I missed that,” Clint sighed. He took some popcorn and threw the flakes at the two fighting men in the middle of the living room. Steve just started to pace and the flake hit him at the back of his head. It didn’t stop him to yell at Tony, though.
The next flake hit Tony in the cheek and the genius indignantly wiped it away. He just called Steve a stubborn ass.
“Uhh, point for Steve,” Scott grinned and shoved more popcorn in his mouth.
“What do you think how much longer they will need?” Clint asked.
“Dunno,” Scott shrugged. “They’re usually done in about ten minutes.”
“Yeah,” Clint said. He took the bowl, placed it on the coffee table and slid closer to Scott. “You know, it’s almost fifty minutes now,” he whispered.
“Don’t remind me of that,” Scott huffed and Clint’s grin broadened.
“A whole day where you have to do whatever I say,” he said, very close to Scott’s lips. “And I intend to enjoy this day.”
“Yeah, yeah, yeah,” Scott muttered. He reached for the popcorn and ate another handful of it, still not turning his eyes away from Steve and Tony who now both circled the dining table and yelled at each other.
“Wait!” Clint sat up straight when the two men stopped to look at each other. “No! No, no, no, no, no.” Tony looked down and then started to laugh and Steve joined in only a moment later. “No, you can’t…”
“FRIDAY, how many minutes do we have?” Scott asked, a broad grin on his lips.
“Fifty-eight,” the AI said.
“Two fucking minutes!” Clint yelled now at Steve and Tony, but the two men only looked at him confused. And with a shake of his head Steve grabbed Tony’s hand and dragged the man out of the room. “Fuck you!” he called after them.
“Sooo,” Scott turned to him now. “What was that about enjoying the day?”
Chapter 22: “Stay there, I’m coming to get you.” - Clint Barton/Steve Rogers
“Stay there, I’m coming to get you,” Steve said in his commanding Captain America voice. Clint had called him to tell him that he would be late because he had a flat tire. And Steve almost flipped out.
“How could you leave without telling me!” He had snapped.
“What? Do I need to ask for your permission to leave now?” Clint hissed. He just went to the next coffee shop to get his fix and on his way back the tire of his car burst. Someone had thrown a bottle onto the street and a shard killed the tire.
“But?” Clint interrupted him.
“But you are…” Steve started again but he stopped himself when Clint snorted.
“Oh, because I’m the frail and inept omega you need to come and save me?”
“That… that was not what I said…” Steve started.
“But it was what you meant,” Clint said frustrated. “Listen, Steve, I know this may be new to you but omegas have rights nowadays.”
“Clint, I… I know that. I… I know that. And that wasn’t what I meant, really,” Steve huffed. “Let me get you and we can talk.”
“I can change my tire myself. I just called to let you know that I’m late,” Clint said. He was tired. He loved Steve, he really did, but a relationship with him was tiring. Every time he paraded his Alpha superiority, even if Clint was more than capable to keep up with a whole team of enhanced alphas and demigods. Sure, he loved to be cared for like any omega would, but he also loved to be accepted as the capable human being he was.
“I… I understand,” Steve said after a long moment. “And… I’m sorry,” he added then.
“You don’t have to be sorry, Steve,” Clint huffed. “Just…” he stopped. “I’ll be there in half an hour.”
“Okay,” Steve said. He sounded miserable and now Clint felt like an ass.
“We talk when I’m back,” he said. “And Steve…”
“I love you.” Nevertheless.
Chapter 23: “I don’t know if I can do this.” - Clint Barton/Tony Stark
“I don’t know if I can do this,” Tony said and pinched the bridge of his nose. He looked at Clint who smiled at him reassuringly.
“Really, the great Tony Stark wants to duck out?”
“I don’t want to duck out, I just don’t want to see her,” Tony said. He reached for his cufflinks and added them to his shirt.
Clint raised a brow. “It’s Pepper. You see her every day at work, babe,” he said, sighed, took the cufflinks out of Tony’s fumbling fingers and added them himself.
“It’s… different,” Tony said. “It’s… the first time in public since…”
“Since the press conference?” Clint finished his sentence. Three days ago he and Tony had announced their engagement to the world.
“It’s… we never talked about it,” Tony admitted. “I mean, of course Pepper knows about us, but it never became topic that we wanted to marry. We just…” He stopped and looked at Clint.
“She’ll be okay with it,” Clint said and took Tony’s hands. He smiled and when Tony looked at him, a smile appeared on his lips, too. “And by the way, she is a new relationship, too, so… you have every right to move on,” Clint added then.
“I know…” Tony took a deep breath. “Everyone thought I would marry her.”
“Tony,” Clint put his index finger under Tony’s chin and moved his head so he had to look at him. “It’s none of everyone’s business whom you’re together with an whom you’re going to marry, okay?” Clint said and when Tony didn’t react, Clint used his finger to nod Tony’s head. “Okay?” He repeated.
“Yeah, okay,” Tony eventually smiled. Clint leaned over and brushed his lips against Tony’s, took both his hands on his cheeks and deepened the kiss after a moment and when Tony moaned in his mouth, Clint grinned.
“Everything fine?” He asked then and this time Tony nodded himself.
“Yeah, everything fine. Let’s go and face the hyenas.”
“That’s the spirit.”
Chapter 24: “You like me.” “I tolerate you.” - Clint Barton & Natasha Romanov
“You like me,” Clint stated and hopped onto the counter beside Natasha. She turned to look at him and raised her brow.
“I tolerate you,” she sighed and put her knife onto the cutting board.
“I know you like me,” Clint repeated and a grin appeared on his face. Natasha took a deep breath and turned around.
“First, get off of my counter, second, I didn’t hire you, Nick did, and thirdly, if it were me, I wouldn’t have hired you,” she counted on her fingers.
“First, chef de cuisine,” Clint said and hopped down from his perch, “Nick told me you needed a new patissier in your kitchen, second, he also told me you were supposed to pick someone and you picked me,” he said with his patented smirk, “and thirdly,” he leaned very close to place a plate in front of her. “You’ll love my mousse au chocolat.”
It was beautifully decorated. In the middle of the plate was a small dot of panna cotta and draped around it like a flower were three kinds of mousse. Sweet mint pesto, mint leaves and raspberries rounded up the composition.
Natasha looked at the plate and sighed. It was really beautiful and lots of the guests waxed lyrical about it. Steve, Bucky and Thor told them what the guests said and even Nick was pleased, not only with this dessert but with the others as well. When Clint handed her a spoon she took it but not without one of her deadly glares.
And then she took a bite, tasted it, closed her eyes and hummed. It was amazing, not too sweet, perfectly creamy and fluffy. Clint’s grin became smug, he folded his arms over his chest and leaned over again. There was a reason why Clint was considered the best patissier in town but the problem was, he knew how good he was.
“You love it, don’t you?” He whispered.
“I hate you,” Natasha said and Clint started to laugh good-humored.
“Yeah, I knew you’d like me.”
Chapter 25: “You’re eyes are glowing.” - Clint Barton/Bruce Banner
“You’re eyes are glowing,” Clint said.
“What?” Bruce asked and moved back from him, panic in his face.
“You’re eyes, they are glowing,” Clint repeated. Bruce paled a bit.
“No,” Clint shook his head and slid closer to Bruce again. “Not really, just… glowing.”
“Is that… good?” Bruce asked and relaxed a bit. Clint smiled and let his hand run through his thick chest hair.
“It’s definitely good,” he said. “I like it.”
“My glowing eyes?” Bruce said dryly and cocked his head, as far as possible with him lying on his side.
“It’s… I don’t know how to describe it, babe,” Clint said. “It’s just… it looks good. It suits you.”
“Did someone ever tell you that you’re weird?” Bruce asked now, but with a smile on his lips.
“Yeah, you do it all the time,” Clint chuckled. But when Bruce gave him his ‘who-me’ expression, Clint couldn’t resist, he leaned over and kissed him.
“Did said someone ever tell you that he loves you?” Bruce smiled and cupped Clint’s cheek.
“Yeah, he does,” Clint whispered, very close to Bruce’s ear. “And I tell him every time but sometimes he doesn’t believe me.”
“I do believe you, Clint, I just can’t…” his smile turned a little sad, “I just can’t believe my luck.”
“Then you better start to believe it because you’re stuck with me,” Clint let his hand run through Bruce’s hair.
“That’s good.” Bruce said and he leaned over to kiss Clint again. “Really good.”
Chapter 26: “Please, let me at least drive you home.” - Clint Barton/Bucky Barnes
“Please, let me at least drive you home,” Clint said and opened the passenger’s door of his car.
“Vattene! Cazzo!” Elenora screamed and gestured wildly with her hands.
“Come on, I said that I’m sorry,” Clint tried again and the smaller woman stormed over to him, bore her finger in his chest and glared.
“Non me ne frega un cazzo!” She screamed and people start to look at them.
“Elenora, please…” Clint tried again, but the woman started to curse him in Italian, him, his family, his offspring, even his cow, not that Clint had a cow.
“Fai quello che vuoi,” he said, when she stormed away in the different direction. He took a deep breath, closed the door and leaned against the car.
“Did she just curse your cow?” An amused voice asked. Clint looked up and saw Bucky Barnes of all people.
“Shit,” he cursed. Bucky looked at him, his brows furrowed. “Sorry.”
“For… having to see that,” Clint sighed. He felt the heat in his cheeks. Bucky came over to him, leaned against the car beside Clint and his shoulder brushed Clint’s.
“Wanna talk?” He asked and Clint shook his head, then shrugged.
“It was Nat’s idea,” he admitted. “She set me up with her friend... from accounting.”
“Uh-huh,” Bucky said. “A blind date?”
“Well… yeah,” Clint shrugged again. “She… is Italian.”
“Yeah,” he grinned. “I could hear that.”
“Everyone could hear that,” Clint sighed and gestured at the people walking along the boardwalk. “I guess she didn’t like me.” Bucky chuckled and turned to him.
“You look like you need a drink,” he said. And there it was again, the fluttering in his stomach, that was always there when he was close to Steve’s best friend.
“I…” he started, but Bucky just cocked his head and walked around the car.
“Come on, get in,” he said and opened the passenger’s door. Clint raised a brow.
“Really?” He blurted.
“Only if you want,” Bucky said and he almost looked hopeful. Clint stared at him for a moment till Bucky licked his lips and blushed. “I understand…” he started.
“No, let’s get a drink,” he interrupted him before he could say more… or walk away. And when Bucky smiled the fluttering was back and he hurried to the driver's door. Maybe the evening wasn’t that bad after all.
Chapter 27: “You realise that kidnapping is an offence, right?” - Clint Barton/Tony Stark
“You realise that kidnapping is an offence, right?” Tony asked and glared at the man in front of him.
The man ignored him and continued to clean one of his two guns. The other one lay beside him on the table, easily to reach.
“And you know who I am, right?” Tony said again. The man still ignored him. “Of course you know that, otherwise you wouldn’t have kidnapped me.”
He tugged at the ropes that held him tied to the chair he sat on. But they were solid, they didn’t gave in.
“I mean, you know that I’m an Avenger and that people will come for me,” Tony continued. The man looked up for a second, smiled and reassembled his gun before he took the second one and started to disassemble it.
“You could at least tell me what you want from me,” Tony huffed frustrated. The man pursed his lips for a second, but didn’t look up again, just continued to clean his weapon.
“Do you want money? I have money. I won’t give you my tech, though,” he said. “Or weapons. No weapons.”
The man took a deep breath, pinched the bridge of his nose, opened the box he had on the table beside him, took out duct tape and went over to Tony with it.
“Hey! You’re not gonna use this on me!” He yelled and the man coldly tore off a piece of it and grabbed Tony’s face.
“Shut up!” He hissed and tried to put it over his mouth. “No one will come for you. Your Avenger friends are all busy saving Los Angeles. And you? You’re gonna…”
He could never finish his sentence. One moment he hissed at Tony, the next moment an arrow through his throat prevented him from talking. For the rest of his life.
“Hey, babe,” another person said, stepped over the dead guy and pulled out the arrow. “Having fun?” Clint looked at the arrow disgustedly and threw it onto the table with the guns.
“Not really,” Tony complained. “The chair is rock hard and the company sucks.”
Clint pressed a hand on his chest as if he was offended.
“Not you,” Tony said. “This asshat. What about LA?”
“Everything under control,” Clint cut off his ties. “Ready to go home?”
“Yes,” Tony nodded. “I have everything I need - thanks to Natasha.” He patted the pocket of his pants where he had the flash drive.
“She’s a damn good spy,” Clint confirmed. “Let’s go home.”
“Good idea,” Tony said and rose. But before he followed Clint out of his prison, he held him for a moment and kissed him.
Chapter 28: “Sharing is caring.” - Clint Barton/Natasha Romanov
“Sharing is caring,” Clint said, reached over Natasha, snatched her mug and took a long sip before she could stop him. But only a second later he regretted it already. For a moment he stood there, the liquid in his mouth and considered spitting it back, then he thought about spitting it in the sink but he knew, if he did that, Natasha would kill him.
It wasn’t coffee as he’d expected, it was some sort of tea and he was pretty sure it tasted like horse piss.
Natasha’s lips twitched amused when she tried to hide a grin and Clint forced himself to swallow the liquid.
“Good?” She asked sweetly and Clint glared at her, but he sat down opposite of her on the kitchen table.
“What the heck is that? It tastes like…” he didn’t say horse piss, but Natasha knew exactly what he thought because her grin became broader.
“Bruce brought it from his trip to Malaysia. He said it’s very popular there,” she said.
Clint raised a brow, looked at the mug and shoved it back to her. “Yeah, I’ll stay with coffee.”
“It couldn’t hurt to expand your horizons,” she shrugged.
“Nope. Coffee is the poison of my choice. It smells like freshly ground heaven and it tastes like a smile from you,” he said with a wink.
“Nice try, Barton,” she sighed. She took her mug, emptied it and put it in the sink. “Luckily I love you.” He smiled, reached out and grabbed her hand when she tried to pass him to leave the kitchen. She raised her brow again, but leaned in and kissed Clint.
His smile broadened. “Love you, too.”
Chapter 29: “Why are you avoiding me?” - Clint Barton/Phil Coulson
“Why are you avoiding me?” Clint asked when he entered Phil’s office. The man sat behind his desk and looked up.
“Excuse me?” Phil asked and put his pen aside.
“You’re avoiding me. And I want to know why,” Clint said, turned the visitor’s chair around and sat down back to front.
“I’m not avoiding you,” Phil said and leaned back. He folded his hands over his stomach. “I’m just very busy.”
“Yeah? With what?” Clint read the head of the paper in front of Phil upside down. “Material requisition? Yeah, really busy.”
“Clint, I…” he started.
“Did I say something? Did I do something? What? What’s wrong?” He threw his arms up in frustration.
“No, that’s… that’s not it,” Phil sighed. “I just… I just don’t want to interfere with…” He pinched the bridge of his nose.
“With what?” Clint asked but then he squinted his eyes and glared at him. “Or with whom?”
“Clint…” Phil said again and looked away. Clint had never seen him so miserable.
“Natasha,” Phil finally admitted. “You and Natasha…” he shook his head.
Clint couldn’t hold back a bitter snort. “You really think... me and Nat?”
“Well, it came to my mind. I mean… you always hang around and all that…” he waved his hand vaguely.
“You… you’re an idiot, Phil,” Clint hissed and rose from his chair.
“Careful, specialist,” Phil said and looked at him. “You’re overstepping…”
“Phil,” Clint interrupted him, “Natasha’s like a sister to me. We’re close, I’ll admit that, but we never… that would be… I mean…” He shook his head.
“You slept with her,” Phil rose, too, and glared now at Clint, “I’ve seen the footage from the safe house!”
“We shared a bed because it was futzing cold and the heating didn’t work,” he hissed. “And…” Clint glared, but then he shook his head, closed the distance between him and Phil, grabbed his arm and spun him around so he had to face him. And then he kissed him. Phil was stiff at first but after the initial shock was over, he kissed him back. “And - just so you know - I’m in love with someone else!”
“I…” Phil shook his head disbelievingly. “I…” he started again, but then he stopped, wrapped his arm around Clint’s waist and kissed him again. “I’m glad you are.”
Chapter 30: “I made a mistake.” - Clint Barton/Bucky Barnes
“I made a mistake,” Clint said. He flopped down on his couch and stared at the ceiling.
“Yeah?” Bucky looked at him, “What kind of mistake?”
“Remember when Fury asked me to do the archery lessons for children in orphanages and I agreed?” He asked and looked up and Bucky now.
“Sure,” he said and sat down, too. He folded his legs and waited for Clint to tell him what’s wrong. He knew it wouldn’t work if he pestered him. Clint glared at the ceiling for a while.
“I can’t do that,” he eventually huffed. “I… I just can’t.”
“Why not?” Bucky had an idea, but he needed Clint to say it.
“Why? You know why,” he sighed. “You know that…” he stopped and pressed his lips together. “You know why.”
“I have an idea,” Bucky shrugged. He leaned back and folded his hands over his stomach.
“No… no, you have no idea,” Clint said tiredly. “You have no idea what it was like in the orphanage. And now he wants me to go back to… to one of them. I… I just can’t.”
“You’re right, Clint,” Bucky sat up again, put both his elbows on his knees. “And I know that I have no idea, but you know what it was like. Don’t you think these kids deserve a little fun?”
Clint huffed but after a few moments he turned to Bucky and glared at him now. “Don’t try your logic with me,” he said.
“What? Would you rather Fury sends someone else to teach them?” Bucky asked and cocked his head. “Someone who has no idea what it means to be in an orphanage?”
Clint glared at him even harder. “I hate you,” he stated after a long moment.
Bucky rose, smiled and leaned over Clint. He cupped his cheek and slowly kissed him. “I love you, too.”
Chapter 31: “Why are you looking at me like that?” - Clint Barton/Steve Rogers
“Why are you looking at me like that?” Clint frowned. He put away his bow and turned to Steve.
“You’re an archer?” Steve asked, his eyes wide as saucers. He went around the big top as the carnie at the entrance had told him and saw him shooting at a target.
“Yes,” Clint said, looking at the bow in his hand as if he’d just noticed it was there.
“I… I had no idea,” Steve breathed. He looked at Clint in awe and then at the bow in his hand.
He put the arrow back into the quiver and unstrung the bow. “What did you think I do?”
“I… I’m not sure,” Steve admitted. “Maybe some… some artistic number or… or a clown?”
“A clown? You really thought I’m a clown?” Clint cocked his head. “Do I look like a clown to you?”
“Uhm… no?” Steve ducked his head and scratched the back of his head. “But… I’ve never been to the circus.” he admitted. “I have no idea what they have there.
“You’ve never been in the circus?” Clint blurted now. “What… how?”
“It’s the first time a circus stops here,” Steve said. “A few years ago there was one in the next town but…” he stopped and looked at his feet.
“No time?” Clint asked but Steve shook his head.
“No money, no car to get there,” he said so quietly, Clint almost couldn’t hear it.
“Hey,” he shook his head. “That’s okay.” He made a step in Steve’s direction. “I’ll show you around. Then you can decide if you really want to have the job.” A few days ago Steve had seen Clint in the town, hanging up leaflets, offering a job at ‘Carson’s carnival of traveling wonders’. Steve, who was alone since his mother died and his best friend left to go to the army, approached him, asked about the job and they talked for a long time. And when Clint had to leave, he had said they would go for a coffee some day.
“And… what about the date you promised me?” Steve asked, a smile now on his lips.
Clint cocked his head again, and he smiled, too. “Let me show you the kitchen tent. We have coffee and at the moment it should be empty,” he grinned. Steve chuckled and once again scratched the back of his neck.
“Lead the way.”
Chapter 32: “He doesn’t deserve you.” - Clint Barton/Thor, Clint Barton/Loki
“He doesn’t deserve you,” Thor said, astoundingly quiet, and sat down beside Clint on the floor. Clint looked up at him through tear-filled eyes. He had wrapped his arms around his knees and sat, as small as possible, in a corner in his small room. “Loki, he…” Thor shook his head. “He doesn’t deserve you.”
Clint put his head back onto his knees. Tears ran over his face.
“He said it’s my fault,” Clint said after a very long moment. Thor took a deep breath and it sounded angry somehow. He turned a bit, reached over and put his finger against Clint’s cheek, forced his head around so he could see the other side of his face. He saw a huge, purple bruise, his eye was swollen shut and the blood on his lips.
“He beat you?” Thor asked threateningly. Clint turned his face away.
“I lost his unborn child,” he murmured quietly. “It’s his right to punish me.”
Thor snorted angrily again. “Father should have given you to me, not to him. I wouldn’t have treated you like this,” he said. “Loki… he is not… he…” Clint had never seen the crown prince of Asgard at a loss for words.
“You should’ve left me on Earth,” Clint mumbled quietly, and swallowed, when Thor turned fully to him now.
“If it were about me, I would abolish the annual tribute in an instant,” he said. “But it is not my decision.”
“What happens now?” Clint asked and swallowed again. Thor put an arm around his shoulders and pulled him closer. And after a moment, Clint let his head drop against Thor’s broad chest.
“I will offer Loki my tribute,” he said. “My tribute in exchange for you.”
“Steve’s a perfectly, healthy, valuable omega. And you would change him for me? I’m… broken,” Clint said.
“You are not broken,” Thor sighed. “Just a little dented. Nothing we can not fix,” he smiled and tucked a strand of his hair behind his ear. “And I am pretty sure that Steve does not like me anyway.”
“What does it matter if he likes you? He’s your tribute, your father gave him to you,” Clint said.
“It does matter to me,” Thor told him. “And to you. Because you deserve better, Clint.”
“Why?” Clint asked now. “Why me?”
Thor smiled and kissed his forehead. “Because you are amazing, funny, sexy and because I like you.”
Chapter 33: “No, you do not get to break other people's things when you're pissed off." - Clint Barton/Laura Barton (implied) & Cooper
“No, you do not get to break other people's things when you're pissed off,” Clint said, maybe a little louder than usual, and glared angrily at the little boy. Cooper held the vase over his head, glaring back at Clint defiantly.
“Put it back!” Clint demanded when his son pursed his lips and lifted the vase a little higher.
“No!” he called and stomped his foot.
“Cooper,” Clint made a step in his direction but the boy stepped back again and missed a shard only by a millimeter. “Cooper, stop.” He wasn’t wearing shoes and he would cut his feet if he made another step back.
“No!” The boy called again and stuck out his tongue at Clint, his tantrum in full swing.
“Give me the vase,” Clint demanded and held out his hand.
“No!” Cooper called once more and stomped his foot again.
“Cooper!” Clint hissed now. He slowly ran short of patience.
“No!” And this time he threw the vase in Clint’s direction.
“Futz!” Clint cursed, jumped and barely caught it, but Cooper went back and finally stepped at one of the shards of the broken plate. He stared at Clint disbelievingly, before his mouth twisted and he started to bawl, tears running over his face.
Clint put the vase beside him, and hurried over to his son. He swept him off and hugged him tightly. “I have you, buddy,” he murmured and stroked the boy’s head on their way to the bathroom. “Everything’s going to be fine.”
From one moment to the next the boy’s tantrum was forgotten and he clutched Clint’s neck and cried onto his shoulder.
Clint put him down on the closed toilet bowl, sat down on the rim of the bathtub and looked at the boy’s foot. He had a tiny graze in the sole, nothing deep and nothing he needed a doctor for.
“Dad?” Cooper asked, while Clint cleaned the wound.
“Yeah, buddy?” Clint looked up.
“Are you mad at me?” He asked now, his eyes wide and teary.
“No, Cooper. But you can’t just throw around stuff,” he said. “You’re going to hurt yourself,” he added and pointed at Cooper’s foot. Clint applied some ointment and then a band aid before he put on his socks again.
“So, and now you go to your room and stay there until I’ve swept up all the shards, okay?” Clint said, and Cooper nodded earnestly.
“I love you, Daddy,” he said. Clint took a deep breath to not roll his eyes at the sudden mood swing, but the he kissed his forehead and ruffled his hair.
“Love you, too, Coop.”
Chapter 34: “I’m a nobody, I’ll always will be.” - Clint Barton/Bucky Barnes, past Clint Barton/Tony Stark
“I’m a nobody, I’ll always will be,” Clint slurred and slammed the empty glass onto the bar. He waved Bucky, the bartender, over to refill his glass.
The man sauntered over to him, a brow raised. “Are you sure this is a good idea?” He asked. His voice was a deep rumble and it ran like a shiver over Clint’s skin.
“Sure it’s a good idea,” Clint sighed and pointed at the empty glass. The barman looked at him for a long moment, but then he took the bottle with whisky and refilled the glass.
“Girlfriend?” He asked, looked over the almost empty room and leaned against the bar when no one seemed to need him. Clint snorted.
“Something like that,” he mumbled.
“Oh, that sounds ominous,” Bucky smiled. And Clint’s eyes were literally glued to that smile. He swallowed hard.
“It’s…” he started, cleared his throat and started again. “It’s my… my ex… my ex-boyfriend. .. so to speak… because twelve years old have boyfriends and… and I…” he lost the train of thought, grabbed the glass in front of him and downed it in one big gulp, coughed and almost spat it back onto the bar.
“Easy, buddy,” Bucky said and slapped his back a few times.
“And he’s right…” Clint slurred and pointed at his empty glass again. “I am a nobody. Not like the infamous Tony Stark,” he hissed.
“Your ex is Tony Stark?” Bucky raised his brow again and leaned back a bit.
“Fuck him!” Clint took his glass and found it still empty. “He’s a nobody! He’s a lying and betraying asshole! And I want more booze.”
“Buddy, you’ve had enough,” Bucky decided and took the glass out of Clint’s hand.
“Hey!” Clint protested and wanted to snatch it but Bucky was faster than him.
“You should go home,” he suggested but at that Clint only snorted.
“I don’t have a home anymore,” he said and started to laugh, but tears ran over his face as well. “He locked me out. I don’t have a home anymore.”
“Okay,” Bucky looked up again - the only other patron was gone - then took a deep breath. “It’s late and you’re my last customer… I’m going to call it a day. You can crash on my couch and tomorrow we’ll talk,” he said.
“My savior in shining armor.”
“I’m pretty sure it should be a knight in shining armor,” Bucky muttered and went to the door to lock it. He went back to Clint, put his arm around his shoulders. “And tomorrow we’re going to Tony Stark and clock him.”
Chapter 35: “You don’t belong here.” - Clint Barton/Steve Rogers
“You don’t belong here,” Schmid said. He stood very close to Clint, pressed his finger in his chest and glared at him. “Nobody wants you here.” Clint just came from his session with Dr. Voight when a few SHIELD agents cornered him.
Clint looked around and many eyes stared at him, people whispered, some pointed but all of them looked at him.
“I… I’ve been here for…”
“You’re a murderer, Barton,” Schmid hissed. “And a traitor!”
“It… it wasn’t me…” Clint shook his head and stepped back. “It.. it was…"
“What?” Winston hissed. “Sarah died with an arrow in her throat and as far as I know the bow is your weapon, not Loki’s!”
Clint made a step back and shook his head. “I… I tried… I…” he stammered. He had just talked to Dr. Voight about Loki and he had told him that there wasn’t anything Clint could’ve done. But apparently his colleagues - his friends - disagreed.
“Oh, he tried,” Sanders mocked. She turned to her friends. “Did you hear that? He tried not to kill Alex.” Her brother, he remembered.
Clint hit the wall behind him and he shook his head. “I didn’t want to… to kill anyone but…” he defended himself and this time he got interrupted by another angry voice. But this voice wasn’t angry at him, Clint.
“What’s going on here?” Steve bellowed.
“Nothing, just a friendly chat,” Schmid said now, trying to look casual.
“Really? Because I thought I heard you bullying my friend,” he snapped angrily and made a step in his direction.
“It’s okay, Steve,” Clint tried to stop him but Steve only raised his hand and turned back to the agents in front of him.
“No, it’s not okay,” he hissed. “But you are right. Clint doesn’t belong here. He belongs to us, to the Avengers because he’s a hero!” He folded his arms over his chest. The agents ducked their heads, scratched the backs of their necks and mumbled quietly while walking away.
“That… wasn’t necessary,” Clint said. He just realized he had wrapped his arms around himself.
“Yes, it was,” Steve said. “I hate bullies,” he said.
“Thanks, I guess,” Clint said then and took a deep breath. Steve turned to him, smiled, patted his shoulder and nodded with his head to follow him.
“Come on, you look like you need a coffee,” he said.
“Coffee sounds good,” Clint smiled. And he blushed a tiny bit when Steve put his arm around his shoulders.
Chapter 36: "You’re my anchor.” - Clint Barton/Tony Stark
“You’re my anchor,” Clint said with a smile. He held the hand of the man in front of him. “You keep me grounded when I lose the faith in myself. You’re my best friend.” His smile broadened. “And you’re the love of my life.”
He couldn’t believe that he was here. Here, in this chapel, with Tony Stark.
When he was a teenager and in the circus he used every chance to get his hands on some newspapers and magazines. And there he often read about the young genius, who built his own robot, and later about the young man who inherited one of the biggest companies in the world. Tony Stark was his first crush and he cut out the pictures and kept them. No one knew about them, not even his brother. Especially not his brother. Barney would’ve beaten him up if he knew about this.
Twenty five years ago, this scrawny teenager who collected those pictures, would’ve laughed in his face if he’d told him, that - one day - he would get married to no one else than Tony Stark.
“I respect you as a person, a partner, and an equal. There is little to say that you haven’t already heard, and little to give that is not already freely given,” he said and Tony ducked his head for a moment.
He remembered the day Coulson told him that Tony was missing in Afghanistan, that he was probably dead. Clint was devastated and drunk for three days straight. And when Tony was back, alive, with an armor he did something he hasn’t done in years. He thanked god.
“Today, surrounded by our friends, I choose you, Tony, to be my partner. I am proud to be your husband and to join my life with yours. I will support you, push you, inspire you, and above all love you, for better or worse, in sickness and health, for richer or poorer, as long as we both shall live.”
A tear ran over Tony’s face, and he swallowed hard, but Clint could see nothing but joy in them. None of them would’ve expected to be here today, not after Loki, not after the wormhole, not after all the shit that happened to them in the last years, but yet, here they were. Both were dressed in pretty suits and held their hands.
Clearing his throat Steve stepped forward and looked at both of them.
“Tony, will you take Clint to be your husband? Will you love him, comfort him, honour and protect him, and be faithful to him as long as you both shall live?” Tony squeezed Clint’s hand and smiled.
Chapter 37: “I need you to breathe.” - Clint Barton/Natasha Romanoff
“I need you to breathe,” Clint hissed in Natasha’s ear, while Steve continued to massage her heart. She lay still, so fucking still. “Do you hear me?”
When she got hit by one of the blasts Clint ran over to her. She was unconscious and didn’t move and she bled from a nasty looking wound in her side. He dragged her behind a car to safety. He had called for a medic, but they couldn’t come to him, not as long as Hydra’s goons were in the area.
Clint started immediately with CPR and fought for her life with everything he had. And only a few seconds later Steve appeared beside him.
“What happened,” he asked and went down beside Natasha, felt for her pulse.
“What about Hydra?” Clint breathed hard. He didn’t stop press her chest rhythmically.
“All dead,” Steve said. And then he gestured for Clint to switch places. He would massage her heart and Clint should perform mouth-to-mouth respiration.
“Medic is on their way,” they heard Tony’s voice over the comms.
“Don’t give up, Nat,” he hissed. “You can’t give up. You can’t leave me alone.”
“Clint,” Steve said and stepped back. Two SHIELD medics took over and they started to babble things Clint didn’t understand, gave her shots, massaged her heart, gave her oxygen. Steve pulled at his arm to make room for the medics. He wiped his face nervously and watched them.
“We have a pulse,” one of them suddenly said and Clint released the breath he didn’t realize he held in his lungs. “We have to get her to a hospital.”
With practiced motions they put Nat on a stretcher and brought her to a quinjet and Clint wanted to follow them.
“Wait,” Steve held him back. “There’s not enough space in the jet.”
“But…” he started to protest, but Tony landed behind him.
“Don’t worry, Clint,” he said. “I’ll bring you there.”
“She’ll be okay,” Steve said when Clint nodded reluctantly.
“Yeah,” Tony confirmed. “She’s Natasha. She’s the most stubborn bastard I’ve ever met and I know Nick Fury. She’ll be okay.”
“You think?” Clint looked at them and Tony patted his shoulder.
“Come on, Birdbrain,” he grinned. “Let me get you to your love bird.”
“Yeah,” Steve said. “She’ll be angry at us when she wakes up and you’re not there.”
Chapter 38: “Wait, are you jealous?” - Clint Barton/Scott Lang
“Wait, are you jealous?” Clint asked, his brows raised confused. Scott looked at him, his arms folded over his chest.
“No, why would I be jealous? Just because my boyfriend flirts with everyone with a pulse?” He retorted. The sarcasm was almost palpable. They were at one of Stark Industries charity events and Tony had even invited Scott’s ex-wife and her fiancé because Scott had said that Cassie wanted to see the Avengers Tower. But then, halfway through the evening Scott had grabbed Clint’s arm and dragged him to the restroom.
“Hey, it wasn’t me who wanted to keep our relationship secret,” Clint hissed. “But one of us said he doesn’t want his ex to know that he has a boyfriend now.”
“She wouldn’t let me see Cassie anymore,” Scott gave back angrily. Clint swirled around, pressed him against the toilet door.
“You don’t know that, because you never tried,” he snapped. “And I met your ex, remember? She seemed pretty reasonable.”
“Oh, no, no, no, no, no,” Scott shook his head and freed himself out of Clint’s grip. “You don’t know Maggie. She’s…”
“What?” Clint started to pace.
“She’s together with a cop. And he’s…”
“Scott, stop. Okay, stop it,” Clint interrupted him. “Are you ashamed of me? Of our relationship?”
“What? No,” he turned to look at Clint. “No, you know that. I love you and…”
“I said I have no problem with us keeping it secret, right? Then you either let me do it my way or you talk to you wife and tell her about us,” Clint said.
“Are you threatening me?” Scott asked. He cocked his head and squinted his eyes.
“No, I just sum up our options,” Clint huffed frustrated. “Because these are the only two options unless you want to break up with me.”
Scott swallowed, shook his head and looked at his shoes as if they had all the answers. “No, I… I don’t want to break up with you.”
“I’m glad to hear that,” Clint smiled. “So, what are we going to do about the situation?” He went close to him and put his finger under Scott’s chin.
“I… I will talk to Maggie,” Scott said. “Until then...” he gestured helplessly with his hand.
“I promise I’ll keep the flirting to a minimum,” Clint finished his sentence.
“God,” Scott dropped his forehead to Clint’s. “You have no idea how much I love you.”
Clint smiled, he leaned in and brushed his lips against Scott’s when they got interrupted. Both men jumped away from each other.
“There you are, Scott,” Jim Paxton, Maggie’s almost husband, said. He stood in the door to the restroom and looked at the two of them. “When you’re finished kissing, Maggie would like to talk to you about the summer camp Cassie wants to go to.”
“Uhm… yeah…” Scott stammered but Paxton started to smirk.
“And don’t forget to bring him, too. Maggie would love to finally meet him.”
Chapter 39: “Kiss me.” - Clint Barton/Phil Coulson
“Kiss me,” Clint purred and pulled at Thor’s arm. The Asgardian raised a brow and turned to him again.
“No,” Thor said and made a step back, out of Clint’s reach.
“Please, Thor,” Clint almost whined. “Please, I need you!”
“I know, but I also know that it is not you speaking right now,” Thor said and tried to free his arm out of Clint’s grip.
He looked around, clearly confused. “But we’re alone here?” He said.
Thor sighed, went to the other side of the room and leaned against the wall. “Clint, it is the pollen you have breathed in speaking,” Thor said. He folded his arms over his chest.
“But I need you!” This time Clint whined. He rose from the hospital bed and wanted to go over to him but the cuff around his right wrist held him back. “Please, Thor! I need you!”
“No, Clint,” Thor shook his head.
Clint’s expression darkened, he pulled at the cuff that held him. “Then call Phil! Call Natasha! Call Tony! Someone!”
“No, Clint,” Thor repeated. “They cannot come, it would affect them, too. And by the way, it is almost over. The pollen will wear off soon and then you will feel better.”
“It hurts,” Clint whined and slumped down to his knees. He pressed his free hand over his stomach and doubled over. Thor took a deep breath, went over to him and helped him back into the bed again.
“Please, Thor,” Clint gasped. “Only a kiss. A kiss would help,” he breathed. “Please!”
“Clint, I cannot do it,” Thor said and shook his head. “It will wear off soon.”
Clint tried to get out of the bed again.
“If you do not stay in the bed I will have to cuff your other hand, too,” Thor said now.
“But it hurts so much! So much!”
“I know that, but when I touch you, it will only last longer,” Thor sighed. He went back to the wall, as far away from Clint as possible when the archer in the bed doubled over again. He screamed, cried and lost consciousness. Thor tapped his earpiece.
“He is unconscious now,” he told the rest of the team. “The effect should wear off within minutes.”
“How’s he doing?” Phil asked. He sounded worried. His husband was hit by some alien pollen and he couldn’t help him.
“He is fine, Son of Coul. When the cramps are over the pollen has left him, then you can come in,” Thor explained.
“Thank you, Thor,” Phil sighed.
“He is my friend. And you are my friend,” Thor said. He went closer to Clint when the cramps got worse but only when he slumped down and didn’t move anymore Thor touched him. He opened one of Clint’s eyes and nodded when it looked normal again. The silvery shine was gone.
“It is over,” Thor said after tapping his earpiece again. “You can come in, Son of Coul.”
Only a minute later Phil came in and he looked relieved. “Thank you, Thor,” he said. “Thank you, so much,” he repeated himself. Thor smiled and patted his shoulder.
“You are welcome.”
Chapter 40: “You should smile more, you look beautiful when you do.” - Clint Barton/Bucky Barnes
“You should smile more,” Clint slurred. “You look beautiful when you do.” He leaned against the backrest of the couch, barely awake and tried not to spill his coffee.
“You’re drunk, Barton,” Bucky said. He rubbed the back of his neck with his flesh and blood hand.
“Not so drunk,” Clint mumbled again. He managed to take a sip from his mug without wetting himself or the couch.
“Drink your coffee,” Bucky said. He couldn’t help but blush a tiny bit. And Clint took another sip from his mug.
“Why do you always scowl?” He asked after a long moment. When Bucky saw him struggling with the cup, the cushions and trying to sit up, he reached over and took the cup to place it on the end table beside him. And he carefully avoided to look at the small strip of skin when Clint’s shirt rode up on his left side.
“I’m not scowling,” Bucky said. “It’s just… my face.”
Clint looked at him for a long moment and nodded then. “Resting bitch face,” he said, turned around to fumble for his mug and that let his shirt ride up even more. Bucky could see a scar on his back, running over his kidney to the waistband of his pants. It looked old and Bucky wondered, what he did to get it.
Clint found his mug and emptied it in one long gulp, burped, grinned and slumped back against the cushions. And then he started to giggle.
Bucky frowned at him and went over to take the empty mug out of his hands. He would be unhappy if he broke it. It was his favorite arrow-mug. But Clint used the moment when Bucky reached for it to grab his belt and pull him over. Bucky didn’t expected it, lost his balance and landed on Clint.
“Ouch,” he giggled, but suddenly they were really close and Bucky could see his eyes widen a bit. And then Clint’s lips were on Bucky’s. For a moment he was shocked, had no idea what to do but when Clint’s arm went around his waist and his other hand landed on his neck, he opened his mouth and kissed him back, their tongues touched, struggled for dominance and explored each other thoroughly. When they had to part to breathe Bucky couldn’t hold back the smile and Clint winked at him.
“See? That’s what I meant.”
Chapter 41: “You don’t get to decide how I live my life. I make my own choices.” - Clint Barton & Kate Bishop
“You don’t get to decide how I live my life,” Kate glared at Clint. “I make my own choices.” She pointed at him with her kitchen knife.
Clint only raised a brow and took a breath. “True,” he said, reached for his mug and took a long sip, “But this is bullshit.” He gestured at all the vegetables on the counter between them.
“What? Because I want to eat healthy?” She snapped. “Since when is that bullshit? Not all of us can and want to live solely on pizza and coffee!”
“Hey, my pizza is more healthy than that… rabbit food,” he said. He pointedly took another sip of his coffee.
“It’s not rabbit food. It’s the ingredients of a tasty vegan Lasagna,” Kate said.
“Yeah, you keep telling yourself,” Clint huffed. He reached for the vegan cheese she had on the counter, turned the package around and began to read, “Non-GMO expeller pressed safflower oil, annatto, titanium dioxide.” He looked up. “Yeah, sounds really healthy.”
“You’re an idiot, Clint. You have no idea of a healthy diet,” she muttered and took the cheese out of his hand to slam it back on the counter.
“And that’s where you’re wrong, Katie-Kate,” Clint grinned. “Since I became a SHIELD agent I had to keep in good shape and a healthy diet is basic requirement to do this job. I’m pretty sure I know a lot more of a healthy diet then all those chicks in those model-shows you’re watching all the time. For once,” he put his mug aside to count on his fingers, “did you ever look at your teeth? What do you think your canines are for? Tearing apart carrots? Second, your colon is too short for a solely plant based diet. Third, you can’t get vitamins A, D, K2, B12 and iron from your food, and that’s not the only nutrients you’re lacking. Fourth, you get a carbohydrate overload and…”
“Okay, okay, okay, I get it! My life choices are bullshit and you’re the king of healthy food,” he yelled and slammed her knife down on the cutting board.
“Sorry, Kate, I didn’t want to pick on you. I worry about you, you know?” He reached over the counter and took her hand and squeezed it. “If you want to go vegan, then do it. It’s your choice. But if you want to eat healthy, then let me help you. I know a lot about food,” he smiled. And when Kate looked up, his smile broadened. “And for a start, I can introduce you to the healthiest vegetarian, original Italian Pizza Margherita in town, made with San Marzano tomatoes, mozzarella fior di latte, fresh basil and extra-virgin olive oil.”
Kate looked at him, a brow raised and shook her head with a slight chuckle. “Of course you can.”
Chapter 42: “Couldn’t sleep?” - Clint Barton/Tony Stark
“Couldn’t sleep?” Tony asked when Clint shuffled into his workshop. He stood in front of one his cars, the hood open and worked on the engine. He only realized that someone entered the shop when the music became quiet and he could hear the familiar footfall.
“Mhm,” Clint hummed, stepped behind him and wrapped his arms around him. He placed his head against Tony’s back and took a deep breath. Tony was alarmed immediately. He rose with Clint still clinging to him and turned around in his grip.
“Nightmares?” He asked and placed a hand on the back of Clint’s head and he didn’t care that they were grease stained. Clint nodded but he still didn’t say a word.
Tony stroked his back and slowly led him over to the battered couch in the corner, sat down and pulled him in his lap. Clint wrapped both arms around him again and breathed into his neck.
“Wanna talk about it?” He asked after a while. Clint kept quiet but a few moments later he shrugged.
“Loki?” Tony asked when Clint still refused to talk and this time he nodded. “How bad?”
“He made me kill you,” Clint eventually whispered. Tony waited for him to continue and so he just caressed his back. It took some time but then Clint said, “He made me torture you to death, slow and as painful as possible.”
“I’m here, babe,” Tony said quietly. When Clint sniffed he kissed his forehead.
“It was so… so real,” Clint said. “I could feel you, smell the blood and… and hear you crying in agony and...” he stopped.
“I’m here,” Tony repeated. He stroked Clint’s back and kissed his cheek. “I’m here.”
“But what if…” Clint started but Tony stopped him.
“No,” he whispered. “Don’t. He can’t get to you anymore. Thor promised it and the team’s here, too. He will not get you again.”
“I hate that,” Clint sighed after a long moment. “I hate that even if he’s not here…”
“Clint,” Tony interrupted him again. “It’s okay to have nightmares. What he did to you, what he made you do…” he shook his head. “We will not let him get to you again.”
“Promise?” Clint moved to look at Tony now and he hated the broken look in his eyes.
“Promise,” Tony said. He kissed his forehead again and Clint snuggled up to him once more. He held onto him as if he was his lifeline.
“I love you, Tony,” he said after a while.
“Love you, too.”
Chapter 43: "I love you." - Clint Barton/Natasha Romanov
“I love you,” Clint said. He took a deep breath and looked at Natasha, who lay beside him in the bed. They had amazing sex just an hour ago and after a shower they fell into the small bed. To sit around in a safe house to wait for extraction was boring and so they had to kill time.
It wasn’t the first time they had had sex, they’re partners for years after all and they got along like house on fire from the very first moment.
But today, today something was different. Natasha was upset. They had smashed a child trafficking ring and rescued seventeen little kids. But when they brought them back to their parents and she had to see all those happy faces and people crying in happiness, she had to go away.
Clint found her in their safe house, sitting at the couch and staring into space. Clint went to the kitchen and made her a cup of tea. She took it with a small smile and took a sip before she put it aside.
“Wanna talk about it?” Clint had asked, but Natasha had shaken her head, had looked at him for a long moment before she climbed into his lap. She had placed both her hands beside his head and had started to kiss him and only a few moments later they went to the bedroom.
Some time later they had fucked it out, had taken a shower and fell back into the bed, where Natasha fell asleep not long after. But Clint lay awake beside her, watched her sleep.
And when he thought she couldn’t hear it, he said it, like every time. He knew she didn’t share his feelings but when she was asleep he had to tell her that he loved her.
But just when he wanted to lie back to get some sleep himself he heard his phone. It was still in the living room and with a curse he rose and hurried out of the bedroom. He didn’t want to wake Nat. It was quiet for a moment when the door fell shut behind him and Natasha opened her eyes, looked at the door and took a deep breath.
“I love you, too, Clint.”
Chapter 44: “You don’t get to say stuff like that anymore, you don’t get to have an opinion or judgement about what I do or who I hang out with.” - Clint Barton/Bucky Barnes
“You don’t get to say stuff like that anymore,” Clint yelled and threw his arms in the air. “You don’t get to have an opinion or judgement about what I do or who I hang out with.”
“Clint, I…” Phil started. But when Clint spun around and glared at him he took a deep breath. “I’m just saying you should consider this relationship…”
“Stop! Stop right now or I can’t guarantee anything!” Clint growled.
“Bucky Barnes is…” Phil said and Clint slammed his hand onto his desk.
“Careful what you’re going to say!” He glared at his ex-husband, his former handler.
“I worry about you,” he eventually said.
“You? You worry about me?” Clint put both his fists onto the table and leaned over to him. “You’re such a hypocrite, Phil!”
“Clint, I’ve read his psych evals,” Phil said, reached for one of the folders on the desk and shoved it over to him. “He’s unstable.”
“He got tortured and brainwashed for seventy fucking years!! Seventy years, you ass!! Loki had me for three days and I’m still not over it and he was in their hands for seventy years! What do you expect? That he’s the guy you know from your comic books again in half a year?”
“No, that wasn’t…” he stopped himself when he saw Clint’s darkened expression. “What if he hurts you?”
“He… he hurts me?” Clint echoed. “Yes, sometimes it happens that he flails around when he has nightmares. But he doesn’t hurt me,” Clint said and then, after a moment, he added, “Unlike certain people.”
“I’ve told you it wasn’t my idea,” Phil said. “But Clint, Barnes is not good for you, he’s…”
“Shut up, Phil! Not a word anymore. Bucky understands me on a level no one else can and I can understand him on the same level and you fucking know that!” Clint went back to pace in Phil’s office.
“Barnes is not stable, Clint,” Phil said again. “He’s…”
Clint spun around, his brows furrowed and he placed his hands on the desk again. “Are you telling me they want to get rid of him?”
“Do they want to kick him out?” Clint asked again, slowly, emphasizing every word. Phil’s lip twitched a tiny bit and no one would’ve noticed it. But Clint knew him, knew him better than most people here and he understood.
“You can tell them, if they throw Bucky out, I’ll go with him,” he said.
“You would leave SHIELD, the Avengers… for Barnes?” He asked and Clint snorted angrily.
“If you force me to choose between him and SHIELD, then… bye bye SHIELD,” he said easily.”
“SHIELD is your life, Clint! Why would you give up everything for someone like Barnes?”
“Because I love him. And I trust him.”
Chapter 45: “I don’t bite. Well, unless you want me to.” - Clint Barton/Steve Rogers
“I don’t bite,” Clint smirked, and with a wink he added, “Well, unless you want me to.”
The guy in front of the counter blushed violently and Natasha threw a glance in his direction. But then big and blond went over to him. Clint had seen him before, he was a regular but he usually went to Nat’s line.
“Hi,” Clint smiled. “What can I get you?”
“Uhm…” Big, blond and cute said. “Uhm…”
“Coffee?” Clint suggested and the cute guy nodded and looked up at the digital menu board again.
“Yes… uhm… with… with vanilla,” he said and looked over his shoulder at a dark haired guy who stood in Natasha’s line who nodded at him. “And…” He looked at the guy again before he added quietly, “... and your phone number.”
Clint raised his brow and cocked his head. “Come again?”
Cute, blond guy was so red now, Clint was sure he would implode every moment.
“A… a vanilla latte please,” he mumbled then and didn’t dare to look up again.
“Was this a bet?” Clint asked, a small smirk on his lips.
Blondie shook his head and looked at the dark haired guy who waited for him, a paper cup with coffee in his hand, and pinched the bridge of his nose.
“What’s your name?” Clint asked Cutie now and when he looked up, he held the paper cup and a pen in his hand.
“Ste--Steve,” he said then. Clint nodded and wrote on the cup. And with a smirk he gave it to Kate who prepared Steve’s coffee. When Steve shoved a bill over the counter, Clint took it and gave him his change. The poor guy didn’t dare to look at him anymore. He just moved to the side and the next customer came to him to order coffee.
“Vanilla latte for Steve,” Kate said only a few moments later and with beet red ears Steve went to her and took his cup. With his head bowed he walked to his friend who waited for him beside the door. Clint watched him talk to him, he shook his head. But then he wanted to take a sip of his coffee, stopped dead in his tracks, stared at the paper cup until his head snapped around to look at him. Clint didn’t only write Steve’s order onto the cup but also his number.
He winked at him, mimicked a phone receiver with his thumb and pinkie and mouthed ‘Call me’. Steve nodded enthusiastically and left the coffee shop together with his friend, who rolled his eyes when he punched the air as soon as they were out of the door.
Nat came over to him, a smirk on her lips. “About damn time,” she said and patted his shoulder. “About damn time.”
Chapter 46: “I needed you and you weren’t there.” - Clint Barton/Laura Barton
“I needed you and you weren’t there,” Laura said quietly. She didn’t yell at him. It would be easier if she would yell at him but Laura only looked at him and shook her head.
“Please, Laura,” Clint said and stepped between her and the door. “Don’t go.”
“Get out of my way,” she said and looked up at him.
“I… I had to go,” Clint said. He shook his head and raised his hands. “Steve… the team… they needed me.”
“Yes, I know,” Laura said and put her hand on Clint’s arm to shove him out of her way. “But I needed you, too. I needed you, Clint. And you… you were with Steve in Germany and then they sent you to the pen.”
“We… we had to make sure that Steve could get away. It was necessary,” he said.
“Clint! We’re your family! Cooper got hurt and was in the hospital. We thought he wouldn’t make it!” Laura hissed. “We needed you here! With us!”
“He’s okay, babe. He survived and…” Clint started but Laura’s fist on his chest stopped him.
“Never! Call! Me! Babe! Again!” She snapped. “He survived by sheer luck! If the car would’ve been a little faster he’d be dead, asshole!”
“I… I’m sorry, ba… Laura. I really am and if there’s something I can do…”
“You can go out of my way,” Laura said.
“Please… don’t go. I… I’m sorry, and…”
“Clint, stop!” Laura sighed. “I… I need time. Alone. And we’re leaving the farm. I don’t know when - or if - we come back,” she explained matter-of-factly.
“No, please. Don’t do that to me,” he pleaded. “Don’t take away the children.”
“They’re better off without you. They need stability, someone who’s there when they need them. Not like you,” she said. Clint opened his mouth, closed it, opened it again and stared at her.
Laura shook her head again, shouldered him out of her way and left the house with her bag in her hand. She went to the car in front of the house where Cooper, Lila and Nate waited for her, threw the bag in the trunk and went to the driver’s door. But before she climbed behind the wheel she looked at him again. He had left the house, too, and gritted his teeth.
“I’ll call you,” she said, went into the car and started it. Lila waved at him and he saw tears in her eyes. He smiled and waved back and when Laura drove away with his kids he wiped the tears out of his eyes.
Chapter 47: “I hated being alone, so I figured maybe you would like some company.” - Clint Barton & Bucky Barnes
“I hated being alone,” Clint admitted. He looked around and scratched the back of his neck. “So… I figured maybe you would like some company.”
Bucky looked at him for a very long moment, but then he stepped aside and let Clint in. He had talked to Bucky so often since he moved in the same apartment building and they were out for coffee sometimes but he’s never been in his apartment. His shadow, Steve, wasn’t here this time.
“Want some coffee?” Bucky said, way too close behind him, and he jumped a tiny bit. He looked over his shoulder and nodded.
“Sure,” he smiled. “Coffee is perfect.”
Bucky went to the kitchen and started to fill water in the tank. It was amazing how good he made do already with only one arm. After all, he was back only half a year.
Clint watched him fetch mugs and carry them to the coffee table in the living room. “You don’t have to stand around,” Bucky said. “The couch is not for decoration.”
“Uhm… thanks,” Clint said. He sat down and looked around. On the wall was a picture of Bucky from his time in the army. He, his buddy Steve and a few other guys, wearing uniforms and grinning into the camera.
“That was in Afghanistan,” Bucky said when he filled one of the mugs. He put the carafe down and handed Clint the mug before he took it again and filled the second one. “Three weeks before…” he didn’t finish but Clint understood. “We lost Hill, Deck and Martensen. Williams lost both legs and his right hand and me…”
“Sorry,” Clint mumbled. He took a long sip and scratched the back of his neck again. “Steve was the only one who was too far away, he only had scratches,” Bucky put his mug down to fetch the photo. “He saved us, me and Williams,” he said and pointed at a black guy with a mustache.
Clint nodded. “My whole unit got killed by an IED,” he said. He had told Bucky before but he said it again. “I was the sniper and was on my perch, but…” he pointed at his ears. “It killed my ears.”
Bucky looked at the photo in his hand for another long moment. “Thank you,” he said then quietly.
“What for?” Clint asked. Bucky leaned back and sighed.
“For coming over.”
Clint smiled at him. “You’re welcome.”
Chapter 48: “He never misses, he never quits, and never loses. If you’re alive, it’s because he wants you alive.” - Clint Barton/Steve Rogers
“He never misses, he never quits, and never loses,” Coulson said. He sat down at the table in the conference room with a sigh. “If you’re alive, it’s because he wants you alive.”
“But why did he want me alive while he killed everyone else?” Steve asked. He held a ice bag to his bruised face and propped his foot with the cast on the chair beside him. “I mean, he killed the whole STRIKE team, pointed an arrow at me before he jumped off of the roof.”
“He jumped off of the roof?” Hill asked and furrowed her brows.
Steve turned around, winced and nodded. “Yeah,” he said, “He pulled an arrow out and then he jumped.”
“We found some hook in the wall of the opposite skyscraper. R&D’s taking a look at it at the moment,” Maria said.
“That still doesn’t explain why he let me live,” Steve huffed.
Phil took a deep breath and gave him the file he had had in front of him. “I think we have an idea,” he said. “All the members of this STRIKE team seemed to be involved with HYDRA.”
“HYDRA?” Steve’s eyes went wide. He knew this terrorist group had their fingers everywhere but within SHIELD? He couldn't believe it.
“Why would SHIELD agents collaborate with terrorists?” He asked and tried to frown but his face hurt like a motherfucker.
“Maybe they are HYDRA agents who are sent to spy on us?” Maria suggested.
“Steve, you know that Hawkeye is known to pick his own jobs. Yes, he’s an assassin for hire but he… we looked over all his assassinations and every single one of them deserved to die, so to speak,” Phil said.
“So, you want to tell me he’s a good guy? Like Robin Hood?” Steve asked incredulously.
“No, of course not. He’s still an assassin and we want to arrest him,” Maria sighed. “Even if he took lots of bad guys off of the streets.”
“Don’t remind me,” Steve sighed. After all, it was his job to find and arrest Hawkeye. But for the next weeks he was on sick leave till his broken ankle was healed. He just opened his mouth to say something when they heard a knock at the door
“Come in,” Phil said and the door went open. Outside were a junior agent and a man with dirty blond hair.
“Oh my god, Steve!” The guy said as soon as he laid eyes on Steve, hurried around the junior agent and went to Steve.
“I’m sorry, sir, he insisted to bring him to Agent Rogers,” the young man said.
“It’s okay, Agent Rand, he’s his husband,” Phil said and dismissed the junior agent.
“I’m fine, Clint,” Steve just reassured the man beside him, who looked over his injuries and was really upset. “It’s… it was just an accident.”
“He’s on sick leave for the next weeks, Mr. Barton-Rogers,” Phil said with a smile. “And I expect him to stay at home.”
“Don’t worry, I’ll take good care of him,” Clint smiled.
Chapter 49: “Something’s wrong.” - Clint Barton/Peter Jason Quill
“Something’s wrong,” Peter said and sat up. He looked around his cabin and frowned.
“You mean, aside from the fact that we’re in space and I’m tied to your bed?” Clint asked and scowled at him.
“Yeah… no,” Peter reached for his pants. “That’s…” he put on the pants, buttoned them and closed the zipper.
“What’s wrong,” Clint asked and tugged at the ties that held him to the bed. “And could you finally untie me?”
“Nope,” Peter winked. “I like you where you are.” He pulled his shirt over his head and went to the door without bothering with shoes.
“Come on, Peter, the fun is over. Untie me!” Clint pulled at the ties again.
Peter stopped in the doorway, took a deep breath and turned around. “I can’t let you out of here… Gamora… and Drax…”
“They don’t know I’m here?” Clint asked and tried to sit up. His eyes were comically wide. “When did you want to tell them you kidnapped me and brought me here?”
“Well… kidnapped is a little…” He pinched the bridge of his nose.
“What would you call it then? I took you to my apartment and I woke up in your spaceship!” Clint snapped.
“I… need your help,” Peter admitted and looked over his shoulder where they could hear something like shots and other people yell and the spaceship shook and vibrated.
“You need my help? What for?” Clint frowned again. Quill looked out of the door again and someone called for him but he ran his hands through his hair and turned back to Clint.
“I need you to… to shoot something?” He said then.
“Someone,” Peter admitted.
“You want me to shoot someone?” Clint tried to sit up but the ties held him in this awkward position in Peter’s bed. “Why? And why me?”
“Why? Because she’s a really, really, really, really evil person and the galaxy would be better off without her. And why you? Because I’ve heard you’re the best,” Peter shrugged.
“The best?” Clint echoed and then his eyes widened again. “In the whole galaxy?”
“There are rumors some Kree twins are almost as good as you, but…”
“The best shooter in the whole galaxy?” Clint repeated once more.
“Yep, that’s what I’ve heard,” Peter smirked. “And to save the galaxy - for the third time I may add - I want you to shoot her.” Clint frowned once again.
“And why am I then still tied to your bed?” He wanted to know. Peters grin broadened.
“Oh, uhm… that… apparently we have to get rid of a few assholes first and then we can continue where we stopped before I brought you here.”
Chapter 50: "It’s going to be okay.” - Clint Barton/Steve Rogers
Continued from Chapter 48
“It’s going to be okay,” Clint said and sat down beside Steve. He handed him a mug with tea and slid up to him to lean against his shoulder.
“You can say that,” Steve grumbled. He glared at the cast around his ankle, “You’re not the one who has to hobble around on crutches for weeks.”
“It will heal,” Clint put his feet onto the coffee table beside Steve’s cast. “And in a few weeks you’re going to chase your evil guy again.”
“And in the meantime this fucker will kill more…” Steve shut his mouth and took a long sip of his tea. He knew he shouldn’t talk about his case, it was classified after all.
“Soon you’re back and then you will get whomever you’re looking for,” Clint said. He looked at him through his lashes and Steve couldn’t resist, he had to lean over and kiss him.
“I don’t want to go,” Clint murmured after a long moment, just sitting beside Steve.
“You have to go, Clint,” Steve sighed. “This job is too profitable to let it go.”
“It’s just a renovation, babe,” Clint said and pursed his lips. “And I don’t want to leave you alone for so long.”
“Don’t worry, Bucky and Sam will come over to help me if necessary,” Steve said. “And by the way, you said it’s going to be okay.”
“Don’t use my own words against me,” Clint smacked his arm with a grin. “But honestly, will you manage?”
“Clint, I only broke my ankle. You prepared enough food for three weeks and I know how to use a microwave. If I need help I can call Bucky and Sam and you’re only gone for a week.”
“Fortunately they don’t want me to renovate a whole house, just the attic,” Clint sighed. “If I go the extra mile I’ll be back in five days.”
“You do your job, and I promise to sit on the couch and prop up my leg,” Steve smiled. “And after all, I have a score to settle with an assassin, and I need both my legs to hunt him down.”
“That’s the spirit, honey,” Clint said and kissed his nose. “I bet, next time you’ll get your evil guy.”
“I sure as hell will,” Steve grumbled. “And then he’ll be in for a nasty surprise.” Clint patted his arm.
“That’s for sure.”
Chapter 51: “Were you checking me out?” - Clint Barton/Tony Stark
“Were you checking me out?” Clint asked and turned around to the black haired guy with the goatee.
Natasha had dragged him out of his apartment two hours ago, she had forced him to dress up and to accompany her to a new club. She said she knows the owner and he had invited her and she didn’t want to go alone. But Clint knew it was just to get him out of his bed.
Since Bobbi had left him three weeks ago he hasn’t left his apartment. He had called in sick (thanks, Bruce!) and stayed in his bed most of the time. Every now and then he went to the bathroom to pee and to the kitchen to get more coffee but the rest of the time he stayed in his bed, watched TV and petted his dog.
But then Natasha came over, threw a bucket of water over him and told him to go with her. And while he had spluttered and cursed she had shoved him in the bathroom where he showered and shaved. Natasha had picked some clothes for him, he had put them on with lots of grumbling on his side and now he was here, in the club, sitting at the bar and moping into his drink until the black haired guy had taken the seat beside him. And after getting his drink he had let his eyes roam over Clint.
“Were you checking me out?” He asked and the guy started to grin.
“I’m just admiring a piece of art,” the guy said and gestured with his drink at Clint’s arms. He frowned, looked at them - bare in his sleeveless shirt - and then back at the guy.
“What?” Clint asked. Maybe he had a drink too much already.
“Tony,” the guy said instead of an answer and held his hand out. Clint looked at it for a long moment but eventually he took it and shook it.
“Clint,” he introduced himself.
“Can I get you a drink?” Tony asked and gestured at Clint’s almost empty glass.
“I…” he started but Tony turned to the bartender, gestured at Clint’s glass and said he should get him a new drink.
“What?” Clint asked again. The bartender came back with another Vodka Martini.
“Cheers,” Tony smiled and raised his glass to take a sip.
“I don’t know you,” Clint said to him. Tony cocked his head and raised his brow.
“Are you sure you’re okay?” He wanted to know and Clint nodded, shrugged, nodded again.
“Had a few tough weeks,” Clint lied and took a sip from his drink. Tony nodded slowly, rose and held his hand out for Clint.
“Dance with me, pretty?” He asked and Clint frowned.
“Did Natasha send you?” He asked. But Tony shook his head.
“I don’t know no Natasha, but I would really love to dance with you,” he said, still smiling. Clint deliberated for a few moments - he was single now, he had nothing to lose and the guy was cute, even with his ridiculous goatee - but then he shrugged, emptied his glass and took Tony’s hand.
“Okay,” he smiled. “Why not.” Tony chuckled and led him onto the dancefloor.
“That’s the spirit.”
Chapter 52: “I’m sorry, I’ve never seen you before. Who are you?” - Clint Barton/Bucky Barnes
“I’m sorry, I’ve never seen you before,” Bucky said and smiled at the man in front of him. “Who are you?”
“Uhm… I… I’m Clint,” the guy said. He scratched the back of his neck and blushed. And Bucky had to admit it was kinda cute. Okay, scratch that, it was extremely cute.
“Oh! Yes, Natasha’s friend, right?” He beamed at the guy when he nodded. But then he stepped aside and let him in. “They’re not here at the moment but they will be back in a few.”
“They?” Clint frowned and looked around curiously. Bucky literally shoved him to the couch and sat him down.
“Yeah, Nat and Steve,” Bucky explained. “Guess she didn’t tell you about him?”
“No,” Clint shook his head and nodded thankfully when Bucky handed him a mug with coffee. “No, she just said I should come and… well…. here I am.”
“Yes, here you are,” Bucky said. “So, it’s better I keep my trap shut.”
“Huh?” Clint was confused. He had no idea what he was talking about.
“No, they definitely want to tell you themselves,” Bucky said. He sat down opposite of him. “So, why did she keep you hidden?”
“What?” Clint spluttered and wiped the coffee off of his chin. Bucky sat there, his legs folded and winked. “She… I don’t know… I’ve been away for some time.”
“Away? Sounds ominous,” Bucky said, put his mug down and leaned forward.
“It’s… not… it’s…” Clint blushed again. “I’ve been abroad… in Europe.”
“Yeah? Why?” Bucky asked and Clint blushed again.
“She… really didn’t mention me?” He asked and Bucky shrugged.
“Well, Nat told us about her best friend Clint but she didn’t tell us why you’ve been away.”
“Uhm… I’ve been on tour… with…” he took a deep breath. “With the circus.”
“Yeah,” Clint admitted. “I know it’s… weird…”
“What? No! No, it… it sounds interesting,” Bucky said.
“Uh huh,” Clint made now and took a sip from his mug.
“No, really,” Bucky said. “I love the circus. When I was a kid there was this one circus that came through our town every year and I went there as often as I could.”
“You… think it’s cool?” Clint asked, but before Bucky could answer the door went open and Natasha came in, followed by a huge, blond guy.
“Clint!” She hurried over to him and hugged him. “Oh god, it’s so good to see you again.”
“Yeah,” Clint admitted. “Carson’s wasn’t the same anymore when you left,” he said.
“Wait,” Bucky sat up straight, “You’ve been in the circus, too?”
Nat turned to Bucky and raised her brow. “I’ve told you I’ve been a dancer. I just didn’t tell you where I learned to dance.”
“On the high wire,” Clint grinned, but Bucky interrupted them again.
“Wait, wait, wait,” he shook his head. “Did you just say Carson’s? As in Carson’s Carnival of traveling wonders?” He gaped at Clint, who nodded slowly.
“Yeah, that’s where we started, but now…” Clint said, but this time Natasha interrupted him.
“Okay, now that we’re at the topic already,” she sighed, “Clint, Bucky’s been at our circus every time we came through their town and he had a huge crush on one of the artists, and Bucky, Clint’s ring name is ‘The Amazing Hawkeye’, and yes, he’s been the first guy you kissed,” she said then.
“Y-you…” Clint stammered and Bucky stared at him open-mouthed.
“Y-you…” he said at the same moment.
“And we’re going to marry,” Steve added.
Chapter 53: “You’re adorable.” Clint Barton/Natasha Romanov
“You’re adorable,” Clint said quietly and looked down at Natasha, who was curled up on the couch beside him. She smiled happily up at him, a heart shaped cushion in her arms, and started to giggle, when he pushed some hair out of her face.
“‘M not,” she slurred and tried to swat his arm but missed it by a mile.
“No, you are,” Clint said. And he knew he could say things like that, she would probably have forgotten them, when she was sober again.
He watched her and couldn’t hold back a smile. She was really cute when she was cuddly. But she only was like that when she was drunk.
In his life Clint had experienced lots of encounters with drunk people and he found that there were three types of drunk people. The mean drunk, like his father had been, who would snarl at everyone and everything and use their fists instead of arguments, the sleepy drunk, like his mother had been, who go to their bed and sleep it off and the happy drunk, like Natasha, who loves to cuddle and to tell bad jokes when she had had too much.
Clint himself had no idea what kind of drunk he was, he didn’t like alcohol, never drank more than a glass. When he was fourteen Trick Shot thought it would be funny to give him a glass of Carson’s moonshine. He didn’t want to be a spoilsport and tried it… and almost choked. He swallowed most of it but some landed on his shirt and Buck, Jacques and Carson laughed their asses off. And since then he rarely drank, he hated the taste of alcohol, hated how it burned in his mouth and his throat and what it did to his head.
And so he just accompanied Natasha when she went out, when she drank, when she needed someone to drive her home safely and listened to her bad jokes. And of course who lent her a shoulder she could cuddle against.
“Come on, babe,” he said, rose, and helped her up. “Let’s go to bed.”
Chapter 54: “I almost killed you.” - Clint Barton/Phil Coulson
“I almost killed you.” Clint wiped his face and leaned back against the wall. He looked at Phil, who stood in front of the cell. “I’m dangerous, Phil.”
“It was one incident,” Phil said. His face was his usual blank mask but Clint could see through it, could see the concern.
“Did you just listen to me? Are you just hit by a sudden outburst of dementia? I almost killed you, Phil!”
“It wasn’t you, it was Loki,” Phil said and shrugged.
“I aimed at you, I released an arrow, and only the fact that Thor has really fast reflexes ensured that you’re still alive,” Clint hissed. He rose from his bunk and came over to the bars that separated him and Phil. “I’m a danger to you!”
“No, you’re not,” Phil shook his head. “You can leave the cell.”
“No,” Clint said and folded his arms over his chest.
“No, Phil!” He went back to the bunk to flop down on it again.
“Loki won’t do something like this again,” Phil said and Clint saw that he suppressed a sigh.
“How can you be sure?” He sat up again.
“Because Thor made Loki give his word to not harm us again,” Phil said. Clint snorted and threw his arms in the air.
“Yeah, because we can trust the God of Lies!” Clint sneered. “The most trustworthy person in the world!”
“Clint,” Phil said, his voice very calm. “Loki gave his word. I have no idea how he managed it but Loki gave his word. Do you know what that means?”
“That he’s going to play nice for a few days and tries to kill one of us next week?” He snorted.
“No, it means that he has to keep it,” Phil said. “Like I said, I have no idea how Thor managed it, but he said in this case he can’t break his word. He has to keep it.”
“He’ll find a way and…” Clint started again and this time Phil threw his hands in the air.
“Then we’ll handle it together,” Phil said. He grabbed the bars that separated them and looked at Clint. “Come on, get out.”
Clint licked his lips and sat down again. “But what if…”
“No,” Phil shook his head. “No, what if’s.” He turned around and gestured at someone Clint couldn’t see from his position and a few seconds later the door to his cell went open. Phil stayed where he was but he held his hand out for Clint to take it. “It’s going to be okay, Clint.”
It took another few moment but eventually Clint rose from his bunk, went to the door and took Phil’s hands. And Phil pulled him in a hug, wrapped his arms around him, held him and kissed his cheek.
“Let’s go home, baby,” he whispered and Clint nodded.
“I love you, Phil.”
“I love you, too.”
Chapter 55: “I’m not afraid of you.” - Clint Barton/Bucky Barnes
“I’m not afraid of you,” a voice suddenly said behind Bucky. He sat down on the bleachers a few minutes ago, eating his sandwich and minding his own business. He hated this school, his parents had to move a month ago and now he was stuck in this new school where he knew no one aside from Steve, but Steve had class at the moment.
He turned around to look at the owner of the voice. Behind him, three rows up and slightly to the right, sat a cute guy with dirty blond, spiky hair, a purple shirt and green Chucks. As far as he knew he was in his English class and apparently the star of the school’s archery team. And right now the guy looked in his direction.
“What?” He asked. He wasn’t sure if it was him who said it but then the guy shrugged.
“Just saying,” he said. He leaned back, his feet folded and on the seat in front of him. He just bit into an apple and smirked.
Bucky shook his head. “What?” He asked again. The guy sighed theatrically, sat up and put his forearms on his knees.
“Look, I know that everyone here’s afraid of you, that they think you’ve been in juvie or something like that,” he said slowly as if Bucky was a little slow on the uptake. “But I’m not.”
“Juvie?” He echoed and stared at him incredulously.
“Yeah, you know… there are rumors you’ve killed someone. And with that murder expression of yours...” he said, a shit eating grin on his lips. Bucky couldn’t stop staring at those lips moving. They were… incredible.
“I didn’t kill someone,” Bucky said lamely. He looked at his sandwich. “I… just like to be alone.”
“Uh-huh,” cute guy said, flicked the core of his apple into one of the bins beside the bleachers without even looking, and rose. He went down to him and sat down without invitation.
“Clint,” he said and held his hand out. Bucky stared at it for a long moment. “That’s the moment where you take my hand, shake it and tell me your name,” he supplied.
Bucky took Clint’s hand, shook it and said, “Bucky.”
“Bucky?” Clint asked, a smile on his lips. “Interesting name.”
“Well, actually it’s James but friends call me Bucky,” he said and winced inwardly, when Clint’s eyes sparkled with glee.
“So, you do have friends?”
“Well, not many here in this school. We just moved here last month,” he said and Clint nodded.
“I know, that sucks,” he said. “Me and my brother moved here a year ago, but he finished school already.”
“Oh,” Bucky said. He was unsure what to say now.
“So…” Clint smikred. “What do you say, you come to the cafeteria tomorrow and I’ll introduce you to a few guys?”
“Why?” Bucky blurted.
“Maybe because it sucks to sit alone on the bleachers?” Clint said. And then he smirked. “Or maybe I want to spend some time with you and your murder bitch face.”
“What?” he spluttered but Clint only winked and rose with a grin.
“See you tomorrow in the cafeteria.”
Chapter 56: “I don’t care what anyone else thinks, your opinion is the only one that matters to me.” - Clint Barton/Natasha Romanov
“I don’t care what anyone else thinks,” Clint shrugged. “Your opinion is the only one that matters to me.”
“Clint, you’re an idiot,” Natasha sighed.
“What? Why?” He frowned.
Natasha looked at him for a very long moment before she shook her head. “I love you, and you know that,” she said. Clint nodded slowly. “But you just can’t walk around like this outside because I said it looked sexy.”
“Why not?” Clint looked down at himself and apparently couldn’t see something wrong.
“Did you even look in a mirror?” She asked and incredulously.
“Of course I did,” Clint said with a leer and waggled the mid-section of his body. This time Natasha had to roll her eyes.
“It’s purple and glittery,” she said and pointed at his tights.
“I wore it in the ring,” Clint said. “Thousands of people saw me in it walking around.”
“But…” Natasha started and pinched the bridge of her nose. “When I said it’s sexy it was… you know…”
“So… you don’t like it?” Clint asked and he sounded hurt. He turned around and wanted to leave the living room. And now Natasha felt like a bitch.
“Clint, wait,” she followed him and held him at his arm. “Wait,” she repeated.”
“What? You don’t like it and…” He said and wanted to continue his way, but Natasha still held his arm.
“I do like it, I really do, but it’s not… you just can’t walk around avenging in a glittery, purple circus costume, Clint.”
“Did you ever look at the thing Cap wears? I mean, tight tights and the stars and stripes thing… that’s really ridiculous if you’d ask me,” he said but he didn’t try to walk away from her. “Why can’t I have something that doesn’t look a little more superhero-y?” He almost pouted. “And you said I look sexy in it.”
“You look sexy in it,” Natasha said. “But the black Kevlar is more resistant than purple lycra.”
“With sequins,” Clint added with a tiny smile.
“Yeah, because the sequins cut the mustard,” she snorted.
“Hey, they are bullet resistant,” he grinned eventually.
“Wear the black Kevlar when you’re avenging and the purple tights here in the HQ,” she suggested. “And if anyone makes fun of you, I’m going to cut them. How does that sound?”
“As if you’d like me,” he said and scratched the back of his head sheepishly.
“Yeah,” Natasha nodded. “Because I do.”
Chapter 57: “To quote Hamlet act III scene iii line 87,“no”” - Clint Barton/Steve Rogers
Continued from Chapter 50
“To quote Hamlet, act three, scene three, line 87,” Clint said and leaned back, put a smile on his face and scrutinized his opponent. “No!”
“No,” Clint repeated. “I won’t do it.”
“I pay you,” the man said and his face turned red. “You do what I want.”
“Yeah, no,” Clint shook his head and rose, “And that’s the moment where I say adieu.”
“You can’t leave just like that,” the man hissed. He reached out and grabbed Clint’s arm, spun him around and glared at him.
Clint moved on instinct, he put his arm over the guys, took his hand, then his thumb and twisted him around painfully. The man yelped and tried to rise but he realized if he would do that, he’d dislocate his shoulder. “Do not! Ever! Touch! Me! Again!” Clint said slowly. He pronounced every word very carefully to make his point. “Do you understand me?”
“Yes, yes, yes!! I’m sorry, I won’t do it again,” the guy said. Clint smirked evilly and let go of the man’s arm.
“So, and now that we’ve settled that, back to business,” he said. “Still, no. And it doesn’t matter what amount of money you offer me, I won’t kill Tony Stark.”
“You’re an assassin,” the man hissed and rubbed his shoulder. “It’s your job.”
“Yes, it’s my job. But I won’t kill someone who doesn’t deserve to die,” Clint said. “Maybe Stark isn’t a nice person, but he definitely doesn’t deserve to die.”
“And you think you’re predestined to decide that?” the man asked with a sneer. Clint took a deep breath. He wouldn’t tell the man that his husband was friends with Tony, that Steve worked together with him every now and then, that Tony had invited the two of them to more than one of his legendary parties, that he even invited them to stay at his holiday lodge on Aruba whenever they needed a vacation.
“It doesn’t matter to you,” Clint just shrugged. “I won’t kill him and that’s that.”
“This is your last word?” The guy snapped. Clint took a deep breath and folded his arms over his chest.
“This is my last word,” he confirmed.
“You will regret that, mark my words!” He snarled. Clint turned around and cocked his head.
“You know what I do for a living,” he said with his murder grin. “Do you really think it’s a good idea to threaten me?” The man shut his mouth and paled a bit. “Good that we’re on the same page.”
He left the old warehouse, walked a few minutes before he stopped in a back alley. He reached for his phone, searched for a number, dialed and waited for a few seconds.
“Hey, Ashwath,” he said as soon as he heard the click. “I have to call in a chip. Let SHIELD know that someone put a hit on Tony Stark.”
Chapter 58: “She was broken in a lot of ways, but there was a brilliance in her that he wanted to know all about.” - Clint Barton & Natasha Romanov
“She was broken in a lot of ways, but there was a brilliance in her that he wanted to know all about,” Clint read aloud and looked up from his laptop, pleased with himself. He smiled at Natasha who leaned back in her armchair, her legs folded and her brow raised.
“Are you serious?” She asked. Clint’s smile faltered and he looked back at the screen.
“Wha… yes?” He said but it sounded like a question.
“You can’t write that,” she said. She unfolded her legs and folded them the other way round.
“Why not?” Clint looked from his screen to Nat and back.
“Because it sounds overblown and cheesy, that’s why,” she told him.
“It’s not overblown,” Clint said. He folded his arms over his chest.
“Clint, this is supposed to be something new, not one of your cheesy romance novels,” Natasha sighed. “And you can’t write something like that in a spy novel.”
“Why not?” Clint asked again. Natasha cocked her head.
“Did you really just ask me why you can’t write that in a spy novel?” She asked.
“Okay, okay, okay, I get it,” Clint said. “It’s bad style. But super-spy and former circus kid Jeremy really wants to know more about Scarlett,” he added. “So…”
“Super-spy Jeremy? Don’t you think that sounds too much like Bond, James Bond?”
“What? No! Renner, Jeremy Renner? Not anywhere close.”
“And what was that about this Scarlett character? Why is she broken?” Natasha asked.
“Oh, Scarlett is interesting. She’s been kidnapped as a child and raised by an evil organisation to become their killer,” he explained.
“Oh my god,” Natasha sighed. “And you really think someone would want to read that?”
“You’re my agent, Nat,” Clint huffed. “You’re supposed to support me.”
“I am, Clint, but don’t you think it’s too… cribbed?”
“No,” he said. “You didn’t let me tell you how I want to finish it.”
“Tell me,” she said.
“Okay, super-spy Jeremy works for this intelligence service and they send him to kill her, but he’s going to make a different call, and then…”
Chapter 59: "I’m not going to kill you. That would be too easy.” - Clint Barton/Steve Rogers
Continued from Chapter 57
“I’m not going to kill you,” Clint hissed quietly. “That would be too easy.”
The man moved back a few more steps until he felt the balustrade at his knees. He stopped nervously, turned around and looked down to the street, fifteen storeys below them. But he turned only for the fraction of a second because he wouldn’t want to leave Clint out of his eyes for too long. He stood there, an arrow nocked and aimed at his heart.
“Please,” he started to beg but when Clint snorted he swallowed hard. “Don’t kill me.”
Clint couldn’t help himself, he had to cock his head and squint his eyes. “Are you stupid? What did I just say?”
“That… that you’re not going to kill me?” The man stammered.
“That’s right,” Clint said, moved his hand a bit, released the arrow and shot him in the foot, nailed it to the roof. The man started to scream.
“You said you wouldn’t shoot me!” he cried when he went down on his knee to reach for the arrow.
“I said I wouldn’t kill you,” Clint said, nocked another arrow and nailed the man’s hand to the roof, too. “That’s a difference.”
“I’ve never done anything to you,” the guy sobbed, fat tears running over his face.
Clint went to him, took a deep breath and hunkered down beside him. “That’s true,” Clint said and touched the arrow and the guy cried out even more. “But I know what you’ve done to the children you’ve been responsible for.” Clint reached into his quiver, pulled out another arrow and slammed it through the man’s other hand and nailed it to his knee. He screamed out but Clint grabbed his hair and forced him to look at him.
“You’re a teacher! It’s your job to teach kids, to inspire them, to encourage them,” he spat in his face. “Not to force them to suck this shriveled excuse for a dick you call your own!”
“Please,” the guy begged. “I will not do it again! I’ll turn myself in to the police!”
“Don’t worry, they’re already on their way,” Clint said. “I’ve called them myself.”
“Why? Aren’t you an assassin, hired to kill me?” The man pressed through his teeth.
“Like I’ve said, to kill you would be too easy. But when they put you in jail - and they will do that - then you’ll get lots of new friends who would love to teach you a thing or two about touching children in an inappropriate way,” Clint told him. The guy paled but when Clint reached out and patted his cheek, he almost got a heart attack.
They heard police sirens coming close and Clint took a deep breath. “So, that’s my call. I’ll leave you here,” he said and rose. “And this…” he put a flash drive onto the balustrade, “is for them.”
Clint folded his bow, put it in his quiver and waited till he could hear the cops run into the house before he took a running jump to the next roof. He went to the door into the building removed his his mask and his equipment, went down the stairs and left through the front door. He saw the cops dragging out the man to a cop car and they weren’t very gentle with him.
Clint smirked and walked to his truck, threw his stuff into the toolbox he had on the bed and drove away. Twenty minutes later he stopped in front of another building, where he saw Steve waiting for him. He left the car, opened the door and helped him inside.
“How was your physiotherapy, babe?” He asked when Steve sat down, heavily breathing.
“Straining,” Steve admitted. When Clint climbed back behind the wheel he smiled. “Thank you for picking me up.”
“No problem,” Clint smiled. He leaned over and pressed a quick kiss onto his cheek. “Got the job finished early and have the weekend off.”
“Oh?” Steve raised his brow. “That’s good to hear.”
“Yeah,” Clint nodded. “How does breakfast in bed sound to you?”
Chapter 60: “I’m not a hero.” - Clint Barton/Bruce Banner
“I’m not a hero,” Clint said. “I’m… I’m just a guy who tags along with super-soldiers and geniuses and…”
“Stop right here and now,” Bruce growled. He sat up and forced Clint, who was sprawled across his chest, to sit up with him. “I will not put up with you disparage my boyfriend.”
Clint furrowed his brows. “I’m your boyfriend, and…”
“Yes, you are. But even you’re not allowed to say things like that about yourself,” Bruce said. He turned Clint around and forced him to look at him. “Because my boyfriend is a hero, he even is a superhero!”
“No, I…” Clint shook his head but Bruce shushed him immediately.
“My boyfriend is a superhero, who saved many, many lives and just because he had to make a horrible decision, he’s a hero nevertheless,” Bruce said. Clint looked at his fingers.
“People died because of me, Bruce, and…” he started but Bruce stopped him with a finger over his lips.
“People die every day, Clint. When people leave their house they have to be aware that they could be run over by a car or they could fall out of their bed and break their necks or… or eat too many burgers and get a heart attack,” he said. “This guy was a monster, he forced you to choose between a bus full of children and a bus full of seniors.”
“I let them die, Bruce, I…”
“You couldn’t have saved both of them and we both know that. And you made the right decision,” he said. “Did you see the parents of the kids when you brought them back?”
“I saw them,” Clint nodded. “But I also saw the relatives of the people in the other bus and the way they looked at me!”
“Of course they were upset, babe,” Bruce stroked Clint’s cheek, wiped away a tear who started to pool in the corner of his eye. “They just lost their relatives.”
“Yeah, and it’s my fault,” Clint said. Bruce shook his head and pulled him in an embrace.
“No, it’s not. It’s that asshat’s fault, not yours,” he said. “And do you know how I know that you’re a hero? Because you risked your life to save the children and because you’re here and blame yourself.”
He just opened his mouth and wanted to say something when FRIDAY interrupted him.
“Agent Barton,” the AI said. “There’s someone waiting outside to speak with you.”
“Who is it?” He asked. But Bruce rose already and held his hand out for Clint to take. Together they went to the door and Bruce opened it. Outside was a man neither of them knew.
“Are you Hawkeye?” He asked and looked at Clint. He swallowed hard but nodded.
“Yes, I am,” he confirmed. The man took a breath, looked at his feet for a moment and then at Clint.
“My name is Jonathan Morgan, my mom was in the second bus,” he said. When Clint opened his mouth he raised a hand, stopped him. “I’m here to tell you, you’ve made the right decision. I’ve talked to the others, you know, and… maybe we were angry at first when we blamed you, but… you’ve made the right decision. My mom was 87 years old, she suffered from dementia and even if I’m going to miss her, these children… it was the right choice. We just… we wanted to let you know that we don’t blame you.”
“Thank you,” Clint said. His voice sounded strangled and he wiped away a tear. Bruce, who was beside him, squeezed his hand slightly and stroked his knuckles with his thumb.
“You’re a hero, Hawkeye.”
Chapter 61: "Shut up." - Clint Barton/Tony Stark
“Shut up!” Clint said as soon as he slammed the door shut behind himself. “Don’t say a word.” He brushed past a gaping Tony and flopped onto the couch, face first, and pulled a cushion over his head.
“I didn’t say a word,” Tony said and sat down in an armchair.
“I can hear you think!” Clint grouched from under his cover.
“Natasha?” Tony asked, an amused smirk on his lips. But he still could hold in the laughter.
“Why didn’t you stop me?” Clint grumbled.
“Well… I actually tried to. But you know you can’t resist a bet with her and…”
“Shut up,” Clint repeated. Tony’s grin turned devilish when he lifted the cushion a few inches.
“Looking good, babe,” he said. Clint glared at him and Tony was sure, if looks could kill he’d burn to ash in a few seconds. “Purple is your color.”
“I look like an idiot!” He snapped and put the cushion back.
“Let me see it,” Tony said. Clint raised his hand and flipped him off. “I mean it,” Tony insisted. “Let me see it.”
“So you can make fun of me?” Clint grumbled.
“I would never make fun of you, babe,” Tony said, rose and went over to him to sit on the armrest. “Come on, let me see it.”
“No,” Clint huffed. Tony rose and went over to him, tugged at the cushion.
“Come on, Clint,” he said again.
“Okay,” Tony said and walked around the couch and over to the bar. He poured himself a coke and sat down on one of the bar stools. It didn’t take too long.
“But you mustn’t laugh,” Clint said, his head still under his cushion.
“I promise,” Tony said and after a long moment Clint sat up. And Tony pressed his nails into the soft spot in his hand to keep a straight face. He had an undercut and the back and sides, where the hair were very short, were dyed purple.
“Looking good,” he said again.
“Okay, get over it,” Clint huffed and gestured with his hand to go on. “Laugh.”
“No,” Tony shook his head, but he couldn’t hold back the smile. He went over to Clint, sat down beside him and put an arm around his shoulder. He pressed a kiss to his temple.
“I’ve also lost bets, babe,” he said. “And you’re really looking good.”
“You’re kidding,” Clint looked at him, a brow raised.
“Nope,” Tony smiled. “Not even a bad haircut can disfigure you.”
“You’re an idiot,” Clint muttered and this time Tony couldn’t hold back the chuckle.
“Yes, but I’m your idiot,” Tony nodded and kissed his cheek.
“And I’m yours.”
Chapter 62: "Teach me to fight." - Clint Barton & Pietro Maximoff
“Teach me to fight,” Pietro asked. Clint closed his eyes. He knew, sooner or later the fledgeling would ask him. But he had hoped he would ask him later. In a few years.
“Are you sure?” He asked.
“Yes,” Pietro said. “I’m ready.”
Clint rose from his seat and nodded. He walked to the door without looking if Pietro would follow him. He knew that he did. He led him through the passages to the huge cavern in the middle of the mountain. Pietro looked around curiously. Only the warriors and the aspirants were allowed to enter it. It was mostly empty, only a few straw mats were in the middle of it and a chest at one wall.
Clint turned around to look at Pietro who seemed eager to start. He rolled his shoulders and his neck and waited for Pietro to do the same.
“Change,” Clint ordered him and Pietro’s eyes went wide.
“You… you want me to change?”
“That was, what I said, right?” Clint asked. He didn’t wait for the fledgeling, he let the magic run through his body and forced it to change his form, to shrink. His wings turned to arms, his long neck shortened and his purple scales turned to soft, light pink human skin. His claws morphed into legs and in a few seconds a naked man with dirty blond hair stood in the middle of the cave.
“Change,” Clint said again and looked up at the huge creature that was his fledgeling.
“I don’t know how. And I don’t know why,” the dragon said. Clint winced. His voice was too loud for his human hearing.
“Use your magic,” he said. The dragon nodded and it took some time, but eventually he managed to shrink a bit. “More,” Clint ordered. “Concentrate on your wings.”
A few seconds later his wings started to turn into arms and the rest of his body followed. A young man stood opposite of Clint, naked as himself. He had almost white hair and looked curious at his hands.
“It feels weird,” he said.
“I know,” Clint smiled. Pietro cocked his head.
“Why do I have to do this?” He asked then. Clint walked around him.
“Before I can teach you to fight in your true form, you have to learn to fight in this form. You have to learn how humans move, how they attack, how they defend themselves. You have to learn the weaknesses of their pathetic bodies and you have to learn how to use their weapons. Only when you know everything about humans you can defend our kin against them.”
“But why? They are puny and weak. We can just…” Pietro started but Clint raised a hand and stopped him.
“Because despite their weaknesses, they manage to kill us. And they killed lots of us,” Clint said. “Not many of us are left and the reason is that those puny creatures manage to kill us. And so we have to learn what makes them tick,” Clint lectured. Pietro nodded slowly.
Clint walked to the chest, opened it and took two quarterstaffs out of it, threw one in Pietro’s direction and went back to the straw mats.
“And now, get ready to fight.”
Chapter 63: “I can’t tell you that.” - Clint Barton/Bucky Barnes
“I can’t tell you that,” Steve sighed. He pinched the bridge of his nose and tried to ignore Bucky, which wasn’t as easy as it sounded. The man stood opposite of him, his arms folded over his chest and glared at him. “Come on, Buck! Don’t look at me like that. I really can’t tell you,” he eventually snapped.
“Why not,” Bucky asked.
“Because it’s need to know and… well… you don’t,” he said.
“Clint’s my boyfriend and I’m pretty sure that I need to know why he doesn’t answer my calls,” Bucky hissed.
“Clint is also a SHIELD agent and he’s on a mission,” Steve sighed again. “And I can’t tell you anything about it because…”
“... it’s need to know,” Bucky finished his sentence. “I get that. I just want to know if he’s okay or not. Since he left he has sent me a message every day and I haven’t heard from him in two days. He wouldn’t ignore me and you know that.”
“I know, Buck, and I would tell you, but…” Steve reached out for him but Bucky shrugged out of his reach.
“Need to know, I got it!” He spat. But then he squinted his eyes. “You know if he’s okay, are you?”
“Bucky…” Steve looked pained.
“Just… just tell me if he’s alright,” he almost pleaded. “I only want to know if he’s okay.”
“Bucky…” Steve said again. And in an instant Bucky’s mouth was painfully dry.
“He’s not, right? He’s hurt, right? Or…” He paled. “Or worse?”
“I can’t tell you that,” Steve said again.
“The fuck, Steve!” He grabbed his shoulders and literally shook him. “Speak out, man! Or I’ll punch you!”
“Come on, Buck…” Steve said again. “It is…”
“If you say need to know one more time you’ll lose some teeth,” he growled.
“Okay, I won’t. But please, calm down, Buck. He’s going to be okay,” Steve said. “I can promise you that.”
Bucky just looked at him for a very long moment before he shook his head, turned around and left the room. He couldn’t look at Steve any longer or he really would punch him. He went to the elevator and rode the the floor he shared with Clint. But when the doors opened again, he found the living room dark. “What the…” he said when he sensed someone behind himself and spun around.
“Happy Birthday, babe,” Clint grinned and the light went on. He wore one of those ridiculous party hats and held a cake in his hand. Bucky stood there and gaped at him for almost a full minute before he realized that Clint wasn’t hurt or dead or worse, the asshat had just wanted to surprise him.
“You bloody idiot!!” He couldn’t hold back. “I thought you’re dead!” He closed the distance, reached for the cake, put it on the counter beside the elevator and pressed Clint against the wall. “I almost punched Steve because he refused to tell me why you didn’t answer my calls!”
“Oh,” Clint managed before Bucky shut him with a brutal kiss.
“Happy birthday,” Clint repeated when they parted. “I missed you.”
“I missed you, too,” Bucky whispered. And Clint started to leer.
“So… and now that we’re settled I’m alive and well… what do you think about hot and steamy birthday sex?”
Chapter 64: "I don’t need you. To save me, to fix me, to make me a complete..." - Clint Barton/Steve Rogers
The complete prompt was: "I don’t need you. To save me, to fix me, to make me a complete. You need me to feed your hero complex, trying to fix everyone else. Save someone else, I don’t want it, and I don’t need it."
“I don’t need you to save me, to fix me, to make me a complete!” Clint yelled. He threw his arms in the air and glared at Steve. “You need me to feed your hero complex, trying to fix everyone else. But I don’t want it and I don’t need it, so go and save someone else!”
“Clint, please…” Steve started but he couldn’t finish, Clint spun on his heel, left the apartment and slammed the door shut behind himself.
“Fuck,” he cursed and punched the couch beside him.
“Good job, punk,” someone muttered and Steve looked over his shoulder. Bucky stood in the doorway and clapped his hands. “Really, good job.”
“Shut up,” Steve snapped. He glared at the cushion and punched it after a few moments.
“Yeah,” Bucky snorted. “Because it’s the cushion’s fault.”
“I’m an idiot,” Steve flopped down on the couch, face first. “I’m such an idiotic idiot.”
“Yes,” Bucky sat down beside him. “Yes, you are.”
Steve didn’t move, he just raised his hand and flipped him off.
“Very mature, punk,” Bucky mocked.
“Why can’t I just do one thing right?” he whined in the couch.
“Maybe because you’re an idiotic idiot?” Bucky suggested and Steve flipped him off again.
“He hates me,” Steve said and turned his head to eventually look at Bucky.
“No, he doesn’t,” Bucky sighed. “Maybe he’s pissed off, but he doesn’t hate you. He can’t hate you.”
“You should go to him and apologize,” Bucky said, but when Steve opened his mouth, he stopped him. “And I mean apologize! Don’t just tell him again that everything is for his best. You knew him before you started this relationship. You can’t just try to change him all the time. That’s… that’s not how Clint works.”
“I know!” Steve whined. “I know, I know, I know!”
“Go to him, grovel in the dust and…”
“... apologize. I know,” Steve said and he eventually managed to rise. “But why am I just such an idiot?”
“Oh, I don’t know. Maybe you’re born that way?”
“Punk!” Steve growled.
“Go, get your man,” Bucky rose, grabbed Steve’s shoulders and turned him around. He shoved him over to the door and opened it. “And this time don’t fuck it up again, or I’ll help him to kick your sorry ass six ways from sunday.”
Chapter 65: “I’m not leaving you.” - Clint Barton/Natasha Romanov
“I’m not leaving you,” Natasha said. She pinched the bridge of her nose and sighed.
“Really?” Clint slurred and tried to sit up.
“Yes, really,” she said. Clint’s head lolled in her direction and he grinned. But in a few seconds his mood turned back to whiney.
“No,” he sniveled, “you’re leaving me alone, too.”
“Clint,” Natasha said and tried to soothe him. “I said that I would stay with you, right?”
“Why?” He asked and tried to focus his eyes on her.
“Because I love you,” she said patiently. She tried to reassure him and patted his shoulder.
“You love me?” he tried to reach out for her but he missed her and he was on the verge to bawl again.
“I’m not sure anymore why, but yes…” Natasha sighed. When Clint tried to reach for her, she took his hand and squeezed it. But then she had to put it back onto the steering wheel and Clint started to cry once more.
“No,” he shook his head and it lolled around again. “You’re going to leave me… everyone leaves me…” Fat tears ran over Clint’s face. Natasha sighed and stopped at the side. She turned to Clint and stopped him from leaving the car.
“You don’t love me anymore,” he whined and his word were barely intelligible. Natasha cursed silently in Russian, hurried around the car and shoved him back in. Clint cried even more.
“Stay in the car,” she snapped now. “I do love you, but only when you stay in the car.” Clint nodded, but while Natasha went back to the driver’s seat he had opened the door again.
Natasha glared at him, cursed once more and went around again.
“Come on, get back in the car,” she snarled.
“You hate me!” Clint cried and slumped down beside the car. People started to look at them and Natasha cursed even more.
“Clint, I don’t hate you,” she said and tried to help him to his feet but that wasn’t as easy since he was pretty uncoordinated. “Please get back in the car.”
“Why?” He asked and wanted to bat her hands away.
“When you get in the car I can drive you home,” she said. “And then you can go to your bed and…”
“I don’t want to go to bed,” he whined. Natasha pinched the bridge of her nose again.
“Clint, come on…”
She eventually managed to get him into the car and buckled him in before he could scramble out of it again. As fast as possible she hurried around, went in, started the engine and merged back in the traffic.
“Where’re we going?” Clint asked. His voice was teary and she knew he would start to cry every moment.
“We’re going home,” she said for the umpteenth time. And in fact, only a few moments later she saw the entrance to the Avengers Tower and drove into the underground carpark. Clint was quiet - finally - and followed her to the elevator but on their way upwards he sat down in one corner and started to cry again.
“Someone get him out of it!” She snarled as soon as the doors opened again. Steve was there and he looked up at her, then at Clint, then back at her.
“What’s wrong with him?” He wanted to know but he went already to fetch Clint.
“Dentist gave him nitrous oxide,” she sighed when Clint cried against Steve’s shoulder. “Can you help me get him in his bed?” She asked and Steve nodded. He followed her to their shared apartment and together he and Nat wrestled Clint into the bed.
On their way out of the room, she heard his voice again. “Nat, do you love me?”
“Yes, Clint, I love you,” she said. “And now you need to sleep.”
“Okay,” he said quietly. And when the door closed, he added, “I love you, too.”
Chapter 66: “I could never hate you, that’s the frustrating part. Because I’ve tried, but I can’t do it.” - Clint Barton/Tony Stark, past Clint Barton/Phil Coulson
“I could never hate you, that’s the frustrating part,” Clint admitted. He took a sip from his coffee and looked at Phil, who sat opposite of him. “Because I’ve tried, but I can’t do it.”
“Clint…” Phil started, but Clint stopped him.
“Wait,” he said. Phil nodded and Clint took a deep breath.
“But the fact that I cannot hate you doesn’t mean we can pretend nothing has happened.”
“I was dead,” Phil said. “And they brought me back. It wasn’t…”
“That was two years ago,” Clint interrupted him. “Two years!”
“I know… and I’m sorry, Clint,” Phil said. He looked at the mug in front of him, reached for the spoon and started to stir in it just to do something with his hands.
“I know you are. And I know it wasn’t your idea,” Clint nodded. “Nick told me.”
“I’m not mad at you.” Clint shook his head. “And I also know that your job was the most important part in your life. I knew that from the moment you recruited me.”
“That’s not true,” Phil said quietly. “You’ve always been the most important thing in my life.”
“You hid two years… okay, a year and seven months to let me know you’re still alive. I admit the first few months you couldn’t call but then…” he shook his head again. “I griefed for you, Phil. You should’ve told me.”
“I’ve seen you,” Phil said. He looked up and swallowed hard. “I saw you with Stark and… you were happy.”
“The way you looked at him and… the way he looked at you,” he said. He stopped and took a sip from his coffee. “He adores you, Clint. I knew Stark before you met him and when he looks at you his eyes light up in a way they never have before. He stopped drinking, just for you,” he said.
Clint frowned. “How do you know all that?”
“I… kept my eyes on you,” Phil admitted. His lips twitched slightly and Clint knew this was Phil’s equivalent to blushing.
“So, you know I’m with Tony now,” Clint stated.
“Yes,” Phil almost whispered.
“Then… then why…”
“I just thought you should know,” he said and looked up again. “I know you’re happy with Tony, happier probably than you’ve ever been with me and I won’t… I just thought you should know now. And… and I’m okay with us just being friends, you know.”
Clint scrutinized him for a very long moment before he shook his head. “I have to… give me some time, okay?” He rose and Phil nodded at him.
“All the time you need,” Phil said. Clint smiled and patted his shoulder on his way out of Phil’s office.
Phil waited, till the door fell shut behind Clint before he leaned back in his chair. “I’ll always love you.”
Chapter 67: “I’m not planning on ever letting you go.” - Clint Barton/Bucky Barnes
“I’m not planning on ever letting you go,” Clint said. He lay on Bucky’s bed in Bucky’s dorm room and looked up at him, his eyes sparkling happily.
“Is that so?” Bucky asked, a brow raised.
“Yes,” Clint said. He reached out and managed to get Bucky’s hand and pulled him onto the bed beside him. “That’s how it is.”
“You’re drunk, Barton,” Bucky laughed but he turned his face to look at Clint.
“Not that drunk,” Clint smiled. He shifted to lie on his right side so he could look at Bucky without turning his head.
“I mean, ever is a really long time, don’t you think?” Bucky asked and swallowed hard. Because, if he was honest, he wouldn’t mind to be with Clint for the rest of his life.
“Not long enough,” Clint sighed. He reached out and cupped Bucky’s cheek, stroked it with his thumb and smiled. “I knew that from the very first moment I saw you.”
Bucky frowned. That was on Stark’s party and he was drunk as fuck. He had to ask Steve the next day if he had really met ‘that cute guy with the messy hair’ or if he was just an imagination. Steve had laughed at him and told him that he was Stark’s roommate and that he, Bucky, had a class with him.
“That’s... “ he had no idea how to finish this and so he just smiled and kissed Clint’s hand. Clint’s smile broadened and he leaned in and kissed him. It was an almost chaste kiss, only lips on lips, but it was so intimate, Bucky actually whined when they broke it.
“You’re amazing,” Clint whispered and kissed his nose.
“You know what? I think I won’t ever let you go, too.”
Chapter 68: ”For once, could you please stop pretending everything is peachy and actually talk to me?” - Clint Barton/Steve Rogers
Continued from Chapter 59
“For once, could you please stop pretending everything is peachy and actually talk to me?” Steve hissed and glared at Clint, who was lying on a creeper under his car. He dropped whatever tool he had just used and cursed silently.
“There’s nothing to talk about, Steve,” he said then but he stayed where he was, hidden under his car.
“Is that so?” Steve asked. “And why did I just get a call from your doctor who said you missed an appointment?”
Clint cursed again, but this time hands appeared at the body of the car and he pulled himself out. He just looked at Steve and sighed.
“What’s wrong, Clint?” Steve asked. “Why did you have a doctor’s appointment and why did you miss it?”
“I injured myself when I renovated the last house,” Clint said. He turned around and collected the tools lying around the car but Steve knew he just didn’t want to look at him. “Nothing serious, just a scratch that needed stitches.”
“Why didn’t you tell me?” Steve asked incredulously. He reached for Clint’s shoulder and spun him around.
“Why? Maybe because you’ve been on a mission for the last weeks and I just forgot when you came back,” Clint said. “And I didn’t go to the follow-up because it’s futile. The doctor’s going to look at the stitches and then tell me that everything is okay.”
“Let me see it,” Steve said. Clint’s brows hit his hairline.
“What?” He asked.
“The stitches,” Steve said. “Let me see them.”
“Why?” Clint frowned. He licked his lips and went to his toolbox to put his tools away. Steve followed him.
“Clint,” he reached for his shoulder and turned him around. “Please.”
Clint licked his lips again and cast his eyes down for a second before he nodded. He shrugged out of his pants and Steve saw it, a circular wound in his thigh.
“That…” Steve stopped, closed his mouth, opened it again and then looked up at Clint. “It looks like a gunshot,” he said.
“Yeah. Or like someone failed to use the nailgun,” Clint sighed. He hated to have to lie to Steve but he couldn’t tell him that his SHIELD colleagues got too close and one of them managed to hit him.
“The nailgun?” Steve echoed and Clint was thankful he didn’t look up that moment.
“Yes,” he lied. “Gary shot a nail in my thigh and the doctor removed it and stitched it up.”
“Gary? Who’s this Gary-guy?” Steve asked and glared at him in righteous indignation.
“Calm down, honey,” he smiled. “Gary’s someone who works as carpenter and sometimes I meet him on sites.” Somehow it was cute that Steve was so angry at someone he had just made up.
“Tell him if he injures you again he’ll have to talk to me!” Steve said. “And tomorrow we’ll go to your doctor for your checkup.”
Clint chuckled and kissed his cheek. “Yes, mom.”
“Screw you!” The man screamed angrily and tried to shove Clint away. But Clint was adamant, he was grinding up on the guy on the dance floor till he yelled at him and literally ran off and out of the club. Clint stopped dancing with a smirk on his face, he shook his head and turned around to the girl, the guy had just harassed.
“You okay?” he called over the loud music.
The girl, a cute strawberry blonde with freckles, nodded thankfully at him.
“I owe you a drink,” she called back and her companion nodded enthusiastically.
“No need to,” he smiled but the girl insisted to meet her in a few at the bar. Clint looked around, but everything seemed alright and he left the dance floor back to his spot at one of the pillars.
“Hey,” a voice suddenly said beside him and Clint moved his eyes away for a second… to see the cutest guy he’d seen in awhile. Tall, dark haired with a man bun, stubbly chin and blue eyes. He wore a tight black shirt and leather pants had a red star tattooed on his left arm. Clint’s mouth went dry. Fuck, this guy was his wet dream come true.
“Hey,” he managed and forced himself to tear away his eyes to look at the dance floor beneath him.
“I’ve just seen what you did over there,” the guy leaned very close to him so he could understand him better.
“Yeah… uhm…” Clint started. “That was…”
“Awesome,” cute guy said and smiled.
“Too many straight douchebags here,” Clint said. “They are here to harass the girls because they think they are just accompanying their gay male friends. Don’t realize that there are gay girls, too.”
“And you scare them away?” Cute guy asked and Clint shrugged.
“It’s my friends club,” he said and nodded at Natasha behind one of the bars. She still loved to bartend herself. “I… help out, so to speak.”
“So, you’re what? A gay avenger?” Cute guy asked, a sparkling smile on his lips and Clint had to laugh. No one had ever called him gay avenger.
“Gayvenger,” Clint beamed. “Should get myself a shirt with it.”
Cute guy laughed, too, and leaned over to him. “Let me buy you a drink,” he said and not only did he look good, he smelled irresistible, like oranges and machine oil. Clint deliberated for a few seconds, but when no one was on the dance floor to harass the girls, he eventually nodded.
“Clint,” he introduced himself and the guy held out his hand for him to shake it.
“Bucky,” he smiled. “And let me tell you, I’m delighted to meet you.”
Chapter 70: “I need you to run.” - Clint Barton/Scott Lang
“I need you to run,” Clint breathed, when he ran into Scott. He just sped around a corner and ran into him and knocked him down.
“What?” The other boy said and looked confused when Clint scrambled back on his feet, grabbed his hand and pulled him up. He looked around the corner, and paled.
“Run!” He snapped and dragged him along with him. And only a few seconds later more feet came around.
“Why are we running?” Scott panted, while they hurried around a corner.
“They’re that way,” one of their followers called and Clint sped up again, dragged Scott with him.
“Come on, Lang, faster!” Clint hissed, dragged them around another corner and tried the first door. It was locked. They ran again, heard their followers call for them and Clint cursed silently.
When they slithered around a corner again Clinit tried the doorknob of the first door and it was unlocked. He shoved Scott in and shut the door as quietly as possible only to hear feet outside of the door.
“Where are they?” One of them called and another one said, “They have to be in one of the classrooms.”
“Shit!” Clint hissed, grabbed Scott’s hand and pulled him over to the teacher’s desk. “Get under it.”
“What? Why?” Scott asked again. He hadn’t done anything, he just minded his own business and then Clint crashed into him and now he should hide under a teacher’s desk. But Clint just shoved him in and squeezed himself into the small gap, too.
“The fuck!” Scott hissed, when Clint’s knee pressed into his side. Clint shushed him and pressed his hand over his mouth. Someone opened the door, it was quiet for few moments and then it fell shut again. Clint waited before he removed his hand from Scott’s mouth and let out a breath.
“What the fuck!” Scott hissed and glared at Clint from under the desk. Clint sneaked to the door and looked out into the corridor but the boys who were following them were gone. He slid along the wall to the floor and let his head drop against the door.
“What was that?” Scott asked again and came over to him.
“That was my brother and his gang,” Clint said. He pinched the bridge of his nose “I may or may not have said something about the size of his dick in front of them.”
“You what? Your brother wanted to beat you to a pulp?”
“Well… he’s a little… mean,” Clint shrugged. “And his dick is really tiny.”
“You’re an ass, Barton,” Scott sighed. “And now they’ve seen me with you and they will beat me up, too, and…”
“Come on, calm down,” Clint looked up and smirked evilly. “They already think that you’re my lover and they haven’t beaten you up for that.”
“What?” Scott squawked. “Why?”
“I may or may not have told him that you’re cute as fuck,” Clint shrugged again. And now Scott paled.
“You… you said that?” He slumped down beside Clint. “We… we never even went out or… anything…” he dropped his head against the wall. Clint turned to look at him and a shit eating grin appeared on his face.
“Wanna go out with me, Lang?” he asked and Scott sighed.
“Well, if I have to die because your brother beats me to death because of your stupidity, the least you can do is buy me a burger.”
“Yeah?” Clint grinned and when Scott nodded, he added, “That’s a date, Lang.”
Chapter 71: “I will hurt you, supernatural creature or not, I will find a way to hurt you.” - Clint Barton & Loki
TW: character death
“I will hurt you,” Clint spat in Loki’s face. “Supernatural creature or not, I will find a way to hurt you!”
Loki smirked and tightened his grip around Clint’s throat. “You have the cheek to call me supernatural creature?”
“I call you… whatever I want… you lying bastard…” Clint gasped. The grip was so tight now that he could barely breathe.
“I didn’t lie to you, Agent Barton,” Loki hissed. His face was really close to Clint’s now.
“You said you would let Natasha go,” Clint screamed. He and Natasha were surrounded by Loki’s henchmen when the man himself made his appearance. He told Clint that - if he would surrender himself to him - he wouldn’t kill Nat. But when Clint agreed and put his bow down one of the henchmen shot Natasha. Clint had screamed and struggled against the grip they held him in while she lay bleeding on the ground.
“Bring him to our base,” Loki had ordered and the goons dragged Clint away. The last he could see was Loki hunkering down beside Natasha. And now he was visiting Clint in his cell.
“You killed her,” Clint spat. “You promised you wouldn’t harm her and when I did what you wanted you killed her.”
“Agent Barton,” Loki sighed. “I did - in fact - not kill her. That was this man,” he said and pointed at one of the goons standing beside door, guarding him.
Clint lashed out but Loki held him in his grip easily and after long moments of struggling he slumped down. “Why? Why did you have to do this? You had me, you didn’t have to kill her.”
“Again,” Loki said, “I didn’t kill her. And then, the last time it was her who freed you. Now she won’t be able to do that again.”
“And why me?” Clint needed to ask. “Why me? Why not her? She’s the better agent.”
“I don’t need an agent, I need a marksman and master tactician. You’ve been very useful the last time I had you, and you can be of use again,” Loki shrugged.
“I won’t help you, bastard!” Clint spat. “I will never help you!!” But Loki only smirked.
“We’ll see, Agent Barton. We’ll see.”
Chapter 72: "Don't lie to me." - Clint Barton/Bucky Barnes
"Don’t lie to me. You don’t wanna talk, that’s fine, just tell me it’s none of my fucking business or that you don’t want to talk to me. But don’t lie to me, ever."
“Don’t lie to me,” Clint said. He sat on a bench in the park and looked at his feet. “You don’t wanna talk? That’s fine. Just tell me it’s none of my fucking business or that you don’t want to talk to me.” He looked up at Bucky who swallowed hard. “But don’t lie to me. Ever.”
“Clint,” Bucky said, his voice strangled and barely audible.
“Everyone lied to me,” Clint continued. “My dad, my mom, my brother, Buck, Jacques, Carson,” he ran a hand through his hair, “Phil and Fury.” He shook his head.
“I…” Bucky started, but Clint interrupted him again.
“If you want this - us - to work,” he gestured with his finger between the two of them, “then don’t lie to me. I… I can’t…”
Bucky looked at his feet. He knew he had made a mistake, when Clint squinted his eyes and left the room without a word.
“Did you just lie to him?” Steve had asked. He had seen it and followed Clint with his eyes before he went to Bucky, grabbed his arm and dragged him to the couch, where he sat him down.
“It was… just… I couldn’t…” Bucky started. He had no idea what he should tell Steve.
“Do you know why Clint divorced Phil?” Steve had asked, sat down opposite of him and folded his legs. Bucky shook his head. He knew that Clint was married before and he knew that he got divorced a year ago. But when it became serious between the two of them, he had asked and Clint had said he didn’t want to talk about it, that he wasn’t ready yet and Bucky had said that it was okay, that he should take all the time he need.
“Phil survived and he didn’t tell Clint immediately, he kept it secret for more than a year,” Steve had explained.
“He just didn’t tell him, that’s not…”
“A lie? In Clint’s eyes it is,” Steve had said. Bucky had nodded. He understood.
And then he had left the living room to search for Clint and he had found him in the park with his dog, sitting on a bench and watching Lucky run around happily and playing with other dogs.
“I didn’t want to lie to you, Clint,” he eventually said. “I just wanted to find a way to tell you without hurting you.”
“You want to break up?” He looked up at him and swallowed nervously.
“What? Bucky blurted. “No, Clint! No, god, no. That’s the last thing I want.”
“Then what? What is so bad you can’t tell me?” he wanted to know now.
“You remember the files we stole from the Hydra base last month?” Bucky asked instead of an answer and when Clint nodded, he said, “SHIELD found something in them. Apparently Hydra did more to me than just make me their pet assassin.” He sat down on the bench beside Clint. “Apparently…” he stopped for a moment. “It seems as if I have a child.”
“A… a child?” Clint’s eyes went wide. “How? When?”
“Six years ago,” Bucky said. “And how? They examined me every time after a mission and sampled all kinds of body fluids. As it seems, they used it to impregnate a woman who got a child six years ago.”
“Oh my god, Bucky!” Clint gaped at him. “Where is it? Is it a girl or a boy?”
“I don’t know. SHIELD couldn’t find more about it yet, but Stark is on it already.”
“We have to find it,” Clint stated. “We… you want to find it, right?” Bucky nodded and Clint smiled. “Then we’ll find it. I’ll help you.”
“I’m glad you’re not angry,” Bucky sighed relieved.
“Why would I be angry? Because you have a child? That was not your fault nor the child’s and you two should get a chance to meet.” Bucky shook his head slightly, but he smiled.
“You have no idea how much I love you.”
Chapter 73: “What are you doing here? How did you get in?” - Clint Barton/Tony Stark
“What are you doing here?” Tony asked. “How did you get in?” He startled violently when he looked up and saw Clint in his workshop. He hadn’t heard him but then a mug appeared in front of him.
“I bring you coffee,” Clint said, a small smirk around his lips. “And how I got in? I used the door.” He pointed at the open door behind him.
“I locked it,” Tony frowned and stared at the door. Clint snorted and leaned over to him.
“Yeah, as if a locked door would keep me out,” he said. He put the mug onto the table when Tony didn't take it.
“Thanks for the coffee,” Tony said and after a long moment he took the mug and drank. “God, I love your coffee,” he groaned, his eyes closed. “I have no idea what you do with it but it’s amazing.”
Clint’s grin broadened. “If I would tell you, you would leave me,” he joked.
And now Tony snorted. “If you really think I’m with you just for you coffee, then…” He put his hand on the back of Clint’s head and pulled him close so that he could kiss him.
“No? Why are you with me then?” He asked and smiled into the kiss.
“Oh, you have a sweet ass, too,” Tony grinned and kissed him again.
“So, you only keep me around for my ass and my coffee?” Clint smirked.
“Hmm,” Tony mused and took another sip from his mug, “And maybe because I love you.”
“Well, that’s a good reason,” Clint nodded. “There’s something I got to tell you.”
“Yeah? What is it?”
“I love you, too.”
Chapter 74: “I can take care of myself.” - Clint Barton/Sam Wilson
Of course inspired by this photo
“I can take care of myself,” Clint stated, his arms folded over his chest. He glared at Kate, who stood in his living room. Her lips twitched trying to hide a laugh, but she lost the fight.
“Yeah, that’s a good one,” she said when she could breathe again. “And now I’m going to call Sam.”
“No,” Clint whined. “He’ll laugh at me, too.”
“Oh, he definitely will,” Kate giggled.
“Then why do you have to call him?” Clint tried to rise but with his broken arms he couldn’t and he flailed a bit before he slumped back frustrated.
“I don’t know? Maybe because I have to go to class and you can’t even go to the bathroom to piss on your own. And maybe because he’s your boyfriend and he should know,” Kate mused.
“But I don’t want him to see me like that,” Clint whined again.
“Clint,” Kate sighed and sat down beside him. “You got hit by a car while saving a dog. You have two broken arms and a broken leg. You can’t stay at home alone and I can’t stay with you all the time, I have classes to go to.”
“But…” he started again and Kate pinched the bridge of her nose.
“This is nothing that will go away in half a day,” she said. “Do you really want to hide the next six weeks?”
“No,” Clint pursed his lips. “But… he’ll laugh at me.”
“Yeah, quite possible,” she shrugged. “But he’s your boyfriend and he’s more than predestined to hold your dick when you need to pee.” She patted Clint’s knee and he winced. It hurt a bit.
“Okay, fine,” he muttered. “Call him if you have to.” Right that moment the front door got unlocked.
“Oh, I already have called him because I need to go,” Kate grinned when Sam entered the living room. “Have fun, boys.”
“Uh… hey, babe,” Clint grinned sheepishly and would’ve scratched the back of his neck if the casts didn’t prevent it.
“What did you do this time?” Sam sighed and flopped down beside him. He glared at the three casts on Clint’s limbs and shook his head.
“Uhm… there was this dog… and… and the car didn’t stop and… I had to save him…”
“You definitely need to stop reading those Superman comics,” Sam huffed. “You’re human and not an unbreakable Kryptonian.”
“But… the dog, babe,” Clint whined.
“Did it survive?” Sam wanted to know. Clint nodded proudly.
“Sure did. Unharmed.” Sam shook his head again, a tiny smile on his lips.
“At least one of you,” he sighed once more. But then he leaned over and kissed him. “I’m glad you’re not dead, idiot.” He said then.
“Yeah? Me too,” Clint added and Sam sighed exasperated. “Love you, babe.”
“Love you, too.”
Chapter 75: “I’ll get the ice-cream.” - Clint Barton/Steve Rogers
“I’ll get the ice-cream,” Natasha sighed and left the room after taking a look at Clint. He lay in his bed, the cover over his head and he smelled as if he hadn’t showered in a week. She knew that he and Steve had had a huge fight last week and since then no one had seen Clint.
She went to his kitchen, opened the freezer compartment and found a container of peanut butter ice-cream. She also grabbed two spoons and went back to the bedroom but before she went to the bed, she opened the windows.
“Go away, Nat,” Clint muttered from under his covers.
“Nope,” she said, shoved him to the other side and sat down beside him. She put one of the cushions behind her back, folded her ankles and opened the container with ice cream. She lay one of the spoons on the bed beside Clint’s face so he could see it and started to eat the ice-cream. Peanut butter wasn’t her favorite, but Clint’s.
“Don’t wanna talk to you,” Clint mumbled, but Natasha only shrugged.
“Then don’t talk,” she said and put another spoonful of ice-cream in her mouth. Clint managed another few minutes before he couldn’t resist any longer, he sat up, put his cushion in his back and grabbed the second spoon. He took the container out of Natasha’s hand and started to eat his own ice-cream.
“He’s such an ass,” Clint snapped after another long moment. “He can’t even call and talk to me.”
“In his defence, you said you would ripp off his balls if he would come close to you ever again,” she said. Clint glared at her, the spoon in the air between the container and his mouth.
“I didn’t mean forever,” he hissed and finally shoved the ice-cream in his mouth.
“Clint,” Natasha sighed. “You two are grown up men. Well, at least physically…”
“What’s that supposed to mean?” He asked and furrowed his brows.
“Both of you act like little children. No one wants to make the first step but both of you are clearly hurting,” she said. “You hide here in your man cave, the other moron hasn’t left the gym in days and Stark plans to charge him for all the destroyed punching bags.”
“Stark’s an ass! He can’t charge him for a few destroyed punching bags! He knows that Steve needs a way to cope and this is… what? Why are you laughing?”
“You know that you’re defending Steve right now?” Natasha asked. She reached over with her spoon and scooped out some ice-cream.
“No, I’m not,” Clint glared at her. “I hate him! He’s an ass.”
“Yeah,” Natasha nodded, a faked serious expression on her face, “You keep telling yourself.” She rose from the bed, walked around it, took the empty container out of Clint’s hands. “Come on,” she said. “Get up.”
“Why?” Clint folded his arms over his chest.
“Because you stink and you need to shower,” she said. “And then we’re driving to the tower and you two are going to talk.”
“No,” Clint said. Natasha raised a brow and cocked her head. She drummed her fingers on her arm and the two of them glared at each other for long moments before Clint finally huffed.
“Fine,” he muttered. “Fine, have it your way!”
“You’ll see, you won’t regret it.”
Chapter 76: “I knew it was too good to be true.” - Clnt Barton/Bucky Barnes
“I knew it was too good to be true,” Clint hissed. He threw his jacket into the corner beside the door and flopped down on the couch, face first.
“What did you do this time?” Kate sighed and came over to the couch.
“Who said it was something I did?” He said, muffled by a cushion.
“I don’t know, maybe because I know you?” She said.
“Just to make it clear, it was nothing I did!” He raised his head for a moment and snapped at her.
“Then what did he do?” Kate sat down in the armchair and folded her hands over her stomach.
“He’s the biggest asshole walking on earth!” Clint hissed and let his head drop into the cushion again.
“Why?” Kate wanted to know.
“Because he talked and talked and talked about how great he is and what he had done and what he had achieved and…” Clint snapped and Kate stopped him mid-sentence.
“Okay, I get it, he’s an asshole. But why did you go out with him then?”
“Natasha insisted. She introduced us and at first he seemed like a nice guy, you know, good looking and smart and funny and all that but then…” he let his face drop into the cushion once again.
“Oh, Clint,” Kate rose, went to him, patted his shoulder and went to the kitchen. She opened the fridge to grab a beer, opened it and went back to the living room. “Here, take this,” she said. Clint glanced up, saw the beer, took it out of her hand and emptied it in two big gulps.
“I will never go out again!” Clint muttered and finally sat up.
“Uh huh,” Kate said and typed a text message.
“Whom did you text?” he asked. Kate looked up and frowned.
“Oh, uhm… Natasha. I just want to let her know that your date fell through,” she said.
“I was a happy man, living on my own, just me and my dog and you and then she had to drag me out and…”
“Clint,” Kate interrupted him. “You’ve been far from happy. You’ve been moping the whole time that your life sucked.”
“But I was happy moping,” he muttered. Kate snorted and when he looked at her she took a deep breath.
“You’ve been far from happy,” she repeated. Clint just opened his mouth to say something, when someone knocked at the door. Both looked at each other and after a duel with their eyes Clint huffed and went to the door. He opened it and saw a man outside, dark haired with a ponytail.
“Hi,” the man greeted and smiled at Cint. “I’m your new neighbor, I just moved in and…” he scratched the back of his neck, “I just want to assemble my furniture but I can’t find my cordless screwdriver and… and I wondered if you maybe have one I could borrow?”
“Oh, yes,” Kate answered instead of Clint when she saw him stare at the guy. He was exactly Clint’s type and it was better to intervene before he could make an ass out of himself. “Yes, he has one. And he’s pretty skilful with tools, I’m sure he wants to help you.” She smiled at the guy.
“Really?” He asked, looking unsure from her to Clint and back. “That would be awesome.” He smiled and Kate saw Clint literally melt at this smile.
“Uhm… yeah, sure,” he eventually managed. “Let me get my stuff,” he said.
“Thank you so much,” the cute guy said and beamed at Clint who blushed violently. “I’m Bucky, by the way.”
“Clint,” Clint said and Bucky held his hand out to shake Clint’s.
“It’s a pleasure to meet you, Clint.” He said. Kate nodded and went back to her phone. She had to send another text to Natasha.
Chapter 77: “I’m weak, that’s what you’re saying. I’m human, and pathetic, and weak. I’m a liability.” - Clint Barton & Loki
“I’m weak, that’s what you’re saying!” Clint hissed. “I’m human, and pathetic, and weak. I’m a liability.”
“Clint, I..” Steve started, but Clint shook his head, looked at the rest of his so called team-members.
“That’s what all of you think,” he said and made a step back. “That’s why…” he shook his head again, and made another step back. “That’s why you have agreed to this deal.”
“Please, Clint,” it was Nat now, “You have to understand…”
“I…” he searched for the door behind himself when he saw Thor making a few steps to the left, trying to block his path. He swallowed and made another step.
“Clint,” Steve said again, his voice soothing as if he was a scared animal. Only minutes ago the team had told him that they made a deal with Loki and the price for the bastard’s help was he, Clint. But when he told them they could fuck off, the said they would talk to him alone, without Loki. He said he would give them fifteen minutes, otherwise he would go back to Asgard.
“The world is burning,” Wanda said now and Clint licked his lips. She couldn’t look at him but she continued speaking. “People are dying and my magic is not strong enough to stop them.”
“Wanda is right,” Steve said now. “He’s the only one who can stop them.”
“What… what if the next one demands to get Steve? Or Tony?” Clint was almost at the door. Only a few steps. “What are you going to do then? Give them what they want?”
Tony looked at his watch, when Clint finally could feel the wall. A few steps to the right and…
“It’s time,” he said quietly. He hasn’t looked at him since they told him what they wanted from him. But now he raised his head. “We have to go back to Loki.”
Clint shook his head. “I… I can’t… I just… I can’t,” he said, almost pleadingly. “You know what he did to me last time.”
“I’m sorry,” Steve said. But when Clint reached for the doorknob, he began to move.
“No,” Clint yelped and tried to open the door, but Steve and Thor were fast, they reached for him and Clint barely managed to duck. He tried to get out of their reach, when Natasha came over, too. And that hurt the most, even if she just blocked his way. Wanda moved her hands and red mist appeared, stopped Clint from getting away.
“No, please,” he literally begged the people he had considered friends mere minutes ago when they grabbed his arms and held him. “No, guys, don’t!”
Natasha went to him and frisked him, took all of his weapons, really all of them. “I’m sorry, Clint,” she whispered. “But it’s the only way.”
He struggled, when they forced his hands on his back, he kicked, when they cuffed them and he pressed his feet against the doorjamb when they dragged him back to the room where Loki waited for them, for him.
“I’m so sorry,” Steve said again and Clint glared at him.
“Yeah,” he pressed through his teeth, “me too! I hope it’s worth it.”
Loki rose from the armchair when he saw them arrive and a smile appeared on his face when he saw Clint, tied and helpless, held by his teammates.
“Captain Rogers, it’s a pleasure doing business with you.”
“You have what you want and now do what you promised,” Steve hissed.
“With pleasure,” Loki grinned, “Let’s go, Agent Barton.”
Chapter 78: “You can’t fix everything.” - Clint Barton/Tony Stark
“You can’t fix everything,” Clint said and shook his head. Tony lifted his head and glared at him.
“I’m Anthony Edward Stark, I have four doctorates and a bunch of masters, if there’s one person on this planet who can fix it then it’s me,” he hissed.
“Come on, Tony,” Clint sighed. “Just… let me throw it away and…”
“No,” Tony persisted. He removed the magnifiers for a moment and rummaged in his toolbox. When he found a tiny screwdriver he put them back on and went back to work.
“Four doctorates, huh?” Clint suddenly asked. And Tony looked up once more.
“Yes, physics, mechanical engineering, electrical engineerings and medieval literature,” he said and shrugged.
“You have four doctorates and everyone calls you Mr. Stark?” Clint asked incredulously. He leaned over the workbench to look at Tony, who worked concentrated. But this made him look up again.
“How long do you know me?” He asked out of the blue. Clint shrugged.
“Since New York, six years,” he said then.
“And you still think I place any value on people telling me I’m smart?” A small mischievous smile was on his lips.
Clint chuckled and shook his head again and Tony went back to his work.
“So… uhm… medieval literature?” Clint asked after a few minutes and cocked his head.
Tony sat up and looked at him, a smirk on his lips.
“Yeah, knights and damsels in distress, baby,” he said.
“Seriously?” Clint blurted.
“Yeah,” Tony nodded and - with a tiny blush - he added, “and I was a huge fan of a certain archer who stole from the rich and gave it the poor.” He winked.
“That’s the reason for the armor?” Clint winked back. Tony cocked his head and looked at him, his brows furrowed.
“Huh,” he said, “I’ve never seen it from this point of view. But it makes sense. The armor was the first thing that came in my mind in that cave.”
“When I was a boy I waited for a knight in shining armor to save me from my dad,” Clint admitted. “But those fuckers always wanted to rescue damsels and not little boys.”
“Want me to put on the armor?” Tony asked and Clint shook his head, leaned over to him with a smile and kissed his cheek.
“No, not necessary,” he said. “I found my knight, and you know what? He already saved me.” He smiled and when Tony looked at him, he kissed him again. “So… uhm… I leave you to your… work,” he said and rose.
And halfway on his way to the door he heard Tony’s “HA!” behind himself and the typical Tetris music started to play, “I knew I wouldn’t be bested by a twenty-five years old Game Boy!”
Chapter 79: “Why are you all wet?” - Clint Barton/Steve Rogers
Continued from Chaper 68
“Why are you all wet?” Steve asked, his brows furrowed. Clint used his feet to pull off his shoes and kicked them into the bathroom before he started to undress.
“Because it’s raining outside?” He retorted. He threw his soaking wet clothes in the bathtub.
“I know,” Steve said. “But what I mean is, why didn’t you take cover? Or take a cab?”
Because I didn’t go for a run like I said to you but went out to kill someone and I couldn’t leave my perch, he thought. But he couldn’t say that to Steve. Instead he said, “Because it’s just water and a few drops won’t do me any harm.”
“You’re soaking wet, Clint,” Steve said.
“Yeah? I wouldn’t have noticed,” he snarked.
“Okay, sorry,” Steve said and looked at his feet for a moment.
“Wanna join me in the shower?” Clint suggested with a smirk. He wiggled his butt and grinned at his husband.
“I.. uhm… I have to… SHIELD called,” he said. “Work, you know.”
“Pity,” Clint said and came over to him, put his hands on Steve’s waist and pulled him close to kiss him. “You don’t know what you’re missing.”
Steve shuffled his feet, a tiny smirk on his lips. “Believe me, I know exactly what I’m missing,” he said. After all, it wouldn’t be their first time having sex in the shower.
“I know, I know, important work and stuff,” Clint sighed theatrically. “But don’t you think someone else could try to catch the evil guys?”
“Marco D’Andrea got killed,” he told him. D’Andrea was famous enough to be trending topic in all news shows in the meantime. And Clint wasn’t supposed to be discreet, his client wanted him to die in a public place so everyone could see him die. D’Andrea was the district attorney but he had also had a taste for little boys and unfortunately - for him - he touched the wrong boy, the son of someone who knew people and had the money to put a hit on him.
“Oh, that sounds like a lot of work,” Clint said. He took a deep breath and stroked Steve’s cheek.
“I know,” he said. “I really would love to shower with you.”
“But you have to go or Coulson’s going to arrest me for keeping you away,” he smirked. Steve sighed.
“Unfortunately,” he nodded. “I’ll call you later to let you know when I’m back.”
“Be careful,” Clint said, leaned in to kiss Steve again.
“Will do,” he said and caressed Clint’s cheek. “Love you, babe.”
“Love you, too.”
Chapter 80: "Shoot me." - Clint Barton/Pietro Maximoff
“Shoot me,” Clint groaned. He let his head drop onto the table in front of himself.
“Nah,” Natasha, who sat beside him, shook her head and grinned.
“He’s not doing that, does he?” He asked. Natasha chuckled.
“He’s doing it,” she said. Clint groaned again.
“Why? Why’s he always doing that to me!” He let his head drop onto the table a few times.
“I’d say because he loves you,” Natasha suggested.
Clint turned his head to glare at her. “If he’d love me he wouldn’t force me to sing karaoke,” he stated.
“At least he’s singing together with you,” she said. Clint glared even more.
“He can’t sing,” he sighed then and let his head drop back onto the table. “He sings even worse than me.”
“Don’t let him hear it,” Natasha said, then her lips turned into a broad smile, “Don’t let Wanda hear that.” Clint groaned once again.
“Oh no, she’ll encourage him and I can’t chicken out,” he searched for his beer.
“You can always chicken out, honey-boo,” Natasha smirked and gestured at the barkeeper for more beer. The man nodded and Natasha turned back to Clint.
“I love Pietro,” Clint said. “I really do. But I can’t understand his passion for karaoke. And I can’t understand why he always wants to sing duets with me.”
“Tell him,” Natasha shrugged. The waitress came and placed two bottles of beer between the two of them and removed the empty bottles.
“Yeah, sure,” Clint snorted. “I love sex and I don’t want to have to go without sex for the next few weeks.”
“So, you’re pussy-whipped by your dick?” Natasha asked and Clint scowled at her.
“I just don’t want to hurt him,” he said then and even in his own ears it sounded lame. He knew that Pietro would be crestfallen if he told him that he hated to sing karaoke.
“Pussy-whipped,” Natasha said again, and clinked her bottle to Clint’s before she took another sip. But then she nodded at someone behind Clint and he groaned once more.
“Hey, babe,” Pietro flopped down on the bench beside him, threw his arm around him and kissed his cheek with a broad, happy grin. “When these two are finished it’s our turn,” he said.
“Oh yeah,” Clint managed and Natasha snorted again.
“Which song did you pick?” She asked and Pietro turned to her.
“I got you babe,” he beamed. “Sonny and Cher.”
Clint bit his lips to not groan again and Natasha nodded earnestly but Clint knew, inwardly she laughed herself to tears right now.
“Oh, yeah!” Clint tried to sound as enthusiastic as Pietro… and failed miserable. But Pietro just sniggered.
“You know, I love that you sing with me even if you hate karaoke,” he smiled and nudged Clint.
“I don’t.. I mean… I’m not… Oh, they are through, it’s our turn, let’s go,” he grabbed Pietro’s hand and pulled him to the stage.
“I love you, old man,” the speedster grinned and Clint blushed.
“Love you, too, punk. And now let’s rock the house.”
Chapter 81: “What do we do now?” - Clint Barton/Phil Coulson
(See the end of the chapter for notes.)
“What do we do now?” Clint asked and licked his lips. Drops of rainwater ran over his face and he wiped it away. Phil, who was hunkered down beside the cliff to look at their car, turned his head and rose.
“I’d say we call for help, but…”
“... our phones are in the car,” Clint finished the sentence.
“Yep,” Phil said tersely. Clint could see that he was pissed off and tried not to show it. After all, he had gotten the car only three months ago. Fortunately it wasn’t Lola. Phil would’ve thrown him over the cliff as well. He wiped the rain out of his eyes again.
“Phil…” he started but Phil only raised his ‘finger of doom’ and looked around.
“That way,” he said then and - without waiting if Clint was following him - started to walk.
Clint let the air out of his lungs with a huff, looked over the cliff at the completely destroyed car and started to follow Phil. He kept his mouth shut because Phil was pissed and nothing he could say would make it better at the moment.
Fury had insisted that they’d take a few days off and Clint had persuaded Phil to go camping with him. But only two days after their arrival it started to rain and it didn’t stop and so they decided to pack up and drive home. Until Clint lost the control over the car on the wet, muddy dirt road and they barely managed to jump out of it while the car drove over the cliff.
Phil trudged along the muddy road and grumbling into his non-existing beard every now and then while Clint followed him quietly.
But an hour later - they were still somewhere out in the sticks - Clint couldn’t hold back any longer. “I’m sorry, Phil,” he said quietly. Phil didn’t turn around he just kept walking. “I know that you’re angry, but…”
Phil stopped and whirled around, a weird expression on his face. “I’m not angry at you,” he pressed through his teeth, wiped away the water and took a deep breath.
“You’re… not?” Clint frowned and Phil huffed.
“I’m angry at myself, it’s my fault,” he said then. “You almost got killed and it’s my fucking fault.” Clint’s eyes went wide as saucers. Phil never used the F-word.
“What?” He blurted.
“You said the brakes didn’t grip properly,” Phil hissed. “I knew that and I should’ve let it check out before we came here but I forgot it and you almost got killed because I’m a fucking idiot!”
“You’re…” Clint started but Phil turned around and stomped off again. But this time Clint stopped him, he hurried after him and grabbed his arm.
“It’s not your fault,” he said then. Phil’s expression darkened.
“Yes, it is, and…” he started to rant and Clint knew only one way to stop him, he grabbed his arms, pulled him close and kissed him. Phil was stiff as a poker at first but then he wrapped his arms around Clint and kissed him back.
“I’m sorry,” he whispered then. “I’m sorry I almost killed you and…”
“Don’t. We’re both alive and well and that’s what matters,” Clint said. Phil closed his eyes but when Clint kissed him again, he looked at him and shook his head.
“You have no idea how much I love you,” he said.
“Oh, I think I have a pretty good idea,” Clint smiled. “And now let’s find a dry place where I can rip off your clothes and ravish you, because you scared me to death.”
“Sounds like a plan.”
Chapter 82: “You look….beautiful.” - Clint Barton/Bucky Barnes
“You look… beautiful!” Bucky blurted. And then he almost slapped a hand over his mouth.
“What?” asked Clint the same moment Steve said, “Radio discipline!”
Bucky hadn’t meant to say it, It just slipped. They were in the middle of a fight, the third alien attack this month, and he just looked in Clint’s direction. The way the archer moved, gracefully, efficient and deadly, and Bucky’s brain short-circuited for a moment. And apparently it knocked out his brain-to-mouth filter. He and Clint were friends, nothing more, just friends and he hadn’t intended to ruin it. But then he made the mistake to look at Clint. He fought against a few of those fuckers in close combat while he still shot arrows at other aliens and it was so incredible. The fluid motions, the deadly precision and the strength in his body, Bucky couldn’t believe that he was pure human, no super-serum, no enhancements, no nothing.
“Sorry,” he muttered and slit open one of those orange bastards, and ducked out of the reach of another one. Something hissed past his ear and behind himself he heard the gurgling sound of an alien dying with an arrow in his throat.
“So, our Terminator has the hots for Merida,” Tony chuckled, flew in, grabbed two of the aliens by their white blond fur and hoisted them up, only to let them drop onto the asphalt moments later.
“Can we talk about this later?” Sam threw in, “Preferably when I’m far, far away.”
“Guys!” Steve skipped in again, “Radio discipline!” He added. They all knew what he really wanted to say, but didn’t dare anymore after Tony made fun of him for months.
They finished the fight halfway professional, only few snarky comments from Tony and Sam, but Clint kept unusually quiet.
Bucky took a deep breath and went over to him. In for a penny, in for a pound. Clint sat in an ambulance where an EMT just applied a bandage on his arm.
“I’m sorry,” he said as soon as he was close enough. “It… slipped.”
Clint looked at him, his damn unreadable expression on his face. “You didn’t mean it?”
“I…” he scratched the back of his neck, “... I did mean it.”
“Why?” Clint asked. Bucky’s brows hit his hairline.
“Are you kidding?” he blurted. Apparently his brain-to-mouth filter was still not working properly. “I mean, you own a mirror, right?”
“Yeah,” Clint said. “I just don’t use it very often,” he shrugged.
“You should do that,” Bucky said and he felt the heat rise in his cheeks. “It’s worth it.”
“I’d rather look at someone else’s face,” Clint said and held Bucky’s eyes with his own.
“You… you do?” He asked.
“Yeah,” he nodded. “At someone I always thought wasn’t interested.”
The EMT patted Clint’s arm and told him to take it slow the next few days. And Clint and Bucky stood there and looked at each other for a very long moment.
“Uhm… wanna go get some coffee?” Bucky eventually asked and Clint’s face lit up.
“I’d like that.”
Chapter 83: “Say something. Anything.” - Clint Barton/Laura Barton
“Say something,” she said. “Anything.”
“What do you want me to say?” Clint asked. He sat on the chair in the kitchen, a cup of coffee in front of him and looked at his wife, estranged wife, soon-to-be-ex-wife.
“Anything,” she said again. “I don’t know. Yell at me, insult me.”
“No,” Clint shook his head and looked at his hands. “No, it’s… it’s my fault.”
“Clint, please!” Laura almost pleaded.
“No, it’s… I’ve been away too often, too long,” he said. “I left you alone.”
“It didn’t mean anything,” she said. “It was just sex.”
“Yeah,” Clint nodded. “I understand.” He took the mug, took a sip of the coffee and almost winced. It was cold and tasted awful. But he couldn’t care less right now.
“Why are you not angry at me?” Laura yelled now. She threw her arms in the air when Clint just swallowed before he took a deep breath.
“What? What do you want? Want me to call you a stupid whore who fucks everything with a pulse? Want me to throw things at the wall?” He looked up, “Want me to hit you?”
“Everything is better than you just sitting there and… and acknowledge it!” She screamed and walked over to him, slammed her hands down onto the table in front of him and glared angrily.
“Laura, I know it’s my fault. So I have no right to be angry at you,” he said slowly. Laura threw her hands in the air again.
“You’re unbelievable!” She shouted exasperated.
Clint took another deep breath, emptied the mug with the disgusting brew and shoved the chair under the table. “I’ll go get my stuff,” he said then.
“What?” Laura asked high-pitched.
“Come on, we both know it’s been over for a long time. We just kept up appearances for the children,” he sighed. “But… it’s better to end this now.”
“Better? Are you kidding me?” She yelled. “Better for whom?”
“For both of us,” Clint said. “And if you’d be honest, for the children, too.”
“You don’t…” she started, but Clint interrupted her.
“You can stay in the house,” he said. “I’ll move to the HQ.”
“You’re such an ass!” Laura yelled and raised her hand to slap Clint’s face but he grabbed it before she could hit him.
“Stay with Barney, he’s the better choice,” Clint said and let go of her hand. Laura stared at him open-mouthed. “He can give you what I can’t.” He went upstairs into their shared bedroom, grabbed his duffel bag and threw his clothes and other belongings in it. He realized, he didn’t have too much of his stuff here anymore. Most of it was already in his quarter at HQ. And so it didn’t take much time until he came back to the living room, where he found Laura sitting on the couch crying.
“Clint, please… don’t…” she tried again but Clint shook his head, put his keys onto the coffee table and went to the door.
Chapter 84: “I can’t lose you.” - Clint Barton/Natasha Romanoff
“I can’t lose you,” Clint said. “I… I just can’t.” He reached for Natasha’s hand and held it.
Two weeks ago they had to fight against mutated creatures some asshat had created in their basement and Natasha got hit by one of them so hard, she was in a coma since then. They had barely managed to safe her and on the flight back she flatlined two times.
“Please, Nat,” Clint whispered. “Please, don’t leave me alone.”
The doctor had said the hit on her head had left a severe brain injury which caused the coma. She needed surgery to remove blood clots that formed and since then they waited - and hoped - that she would wake up soon. All the Avengers took their turns to sit beside her bed, but Clint was almost all the time here, only when Steve threw him out a few times to get a shower or something to eat. They all knew he wouldn’t leave to sleep and so they brought a second bed in.
Most of the time he read to her from her favorite books, sometimes he played her favorite pieces of music and sometimes he just talked to her.
“I know, I don’t say it often enough, Tasha, but I love you and I really need you,” he said. “We’re a team. You and me against the world,” he smiled.
Once again he remembered the day Fury had sent him to kill her, he remembered making a different call after a look in her eyes. He remembered their first mission together, the first time she saved his life, the first time he saved hers. He remembered the first time they shared a bed in a safe house, the first time they kissed, the first time she admitted, that there was more than just friendship between them.
And now, now she lay in a bed, with lots of wires and tubes attached to her body, and no one knew when - or if - she would wake up again.
“I love you, Tasha,” Clint said again. He had placed his forehead on the bed beside her and stroked her hand.
“I love you, too,” a voice said, very quiet, very slow, very weak. But it was enough to startle Clint, he bolted upright and stared at her.
“Tasha!” he breathed relieved when he saw her eyes open. “Tasha!”
“Hey,” she whispered. Clint sat down beside her again, a teary smile on his lips and he stroked her face.
“God, you’re awake,” he said, “You’re awake.”
Someone - probably FRIDAY - had alarmed Dr. Cho and she hurried into the room, together with Bruce.
“I need you to step back, Agent Barton,” she said and Clint nodded reluctantly but then he made room for the doctors. They swarmed around her, nurses came in, too, and they examined her, checked everything possible. And then, when they were sure she was okay so far, they let him in again.
“I’m glad you’re back,” he whispered.
“Couldn’t leave you alone,” she said. “You need me.”
“I do,” he nodded. “And I love you.”
Natasha smiled a tiny smile. “I know.”
Chapter 85: “I was trying to protect you!” - Clint Barton/Steve Rogers
Continued from chapter 79
“I was trying to protect you,” Clint said. He pulled at the cuffs that tied him to the table in front of him. Steve flinched and looked away for a moment but then he turned his face back to the man he thought he knew.
“To protect me?” He asked and shook his head, “Protect me from what? The truth?”
“Steve,” Clint said but Steve made a step back. He had had a contract this afternoon, when he was down on his luck. A car ignored his right of way and had hit his truck and he ended up in hospital. His injuries weren’t serious, but the cops had found his bow in his truck and could connect it to the assassination from earlier and before Clint managed to get away, SHIELD was there to arrest him. And now he sat in an interrogation room, together with Coulson and Steve.
“Was anything you ever said to me true, Clint? Is Clint even your name?” He leaned over the table and glared at him. Clint closed his eyes for a moment.
“Aside from my real job? I never lied to you,” he said. “My name is Clint Francis Rogers née Barton, born and raised in Waverly, Iowa. But you know that, because I told you. I have a brother, my parents died when I was six and I ran away to the circus.”
“I know those stories. But are they true?” Steve snapped.
“Like I said, I never lied to you,” Clint said. He tried to move his hands but got stopped from the cuffs again.
“Did you know that I was sent to hunt you?” Steve asked now and sat down beside Coulson, who kept quiet since Steve had entered the room. “Did you know that before…” he couldn’t say it, Clint saw that, but he didn’t need to say it aloud.
“No,” he shook his head. “That day in the coffee shop, that was sheer coincidence. I only learned who you were months later, when I saw you investigating one of my… clients.”
“Clients? That’s what you call them? You killed them in cold blood and…” Steve started but Clint interrupted him.
“Every single one of them deserved it!” He spat. “They were bastards and you fucking know that!”
“Language!” Steve hissed back, more a reflex than deliberate. And then he blushed.
“It’s true, Steve,” Coulson chimed in. “We’ve checked all of them and they were…”
“Not nice,” Clint added. After a long moment Coulson nodded.
“That would put it mildly but yes,” he confirmed.
“I don’t understand it, Clint,” Steve huffed and ran his hands through his hair. “Why did you do that? Why this way?”
“Because that’s what I do,” Clint said. “I’m a professional and they deserved it!” Steve just opened his mouth to say something when Coulson put a hand on his arm and nodded. After a short duel with their eyes Steve sighed and sat down.
“Mr. Barton,” he started, but again Clint interrupted him.
“Rogers,” he said and shrugged when Coulson cocked his head.
“Mr. Rogers,” he said then. “You have two options now. A, you go to jail where you have to stay for the rest of your life or b, you work for us.”
“Work for us?” said Steve the same moment Clint said, “Work for you?”
“Yes, work for us,” Coulson said. “Director Fury wants you to work for us and you can make up for everything you’ve done wrong.”
“Not everything,” Steve said toneless, rose and left the room.
“Give him time,” Coulson said. “He loves you.”
“I’m not sure,” Clint said and now Coulson smiled.
“But I am.” He rose from his chair and went over to Clint to open the cuffs. “Welcome to SHIELD, Agent Rogers.”
Chapter 86: “Is that my sweater?” - Clint Barton/Bruce Banner
“Is that my sweater?” Bruce asked and cocked his head, when Clint slinked into his lab. The sweater he wore was too big for Clint. Bruce loved his sweaters wide and comfortable, made of soft wool or fabric. And apparently, Clint liked them, too.
“No?” Clint said, but when he looked down at himself he blushed violently. “Okay, maybe.” He had a scarf around his neck as well and sniffled a bit.
“Are you okay?” Bruce wanted to know, removed his goggles and came over to him. Sweater, scarf and wool socks, that didn’t bode well. He placed the back of his hand against Clint’s forehead to feel his temperature. “Oh my god, you’re burning up!”
“No,” he shook his head. “No, I’m okay.”
“No, you’re not,” Bruce said. “You’re so not okay.”
“I’ve just a little cold,” Clint said. And as if to prove it he sneezed eleven times in a row.
“Come on,” Bruce said. He grabbed Clint’s arm and dragged him out of the lab, ignoring his indignant whine.
“I’m okay,” he sniffled.
Bruce shoved him into the elevator, a brow raised at his comment.
“Really, I’m okay,” Clint whined.
“Clint, you’re wearing my sweater and a scarf, not to mention the thick, knitted socks. You’re so not okay,” he said. The elevator stopped at their floor and Bruce led him to their apartment and to the bedroom.
“I like your sweater and my throat is a little sore,” he wailed.
“You only wear hand knitted socks when you’re sick,” Bruce said and pointed at Clint’s feet. Clint looked at them before he had to sneeze again, this time fourteen times.
“Yeah, you definitely sound okay,” Bruce huffed. “Come on.”
“Bruuuuce!!” Clint whined but followed him into the bedroom and when Bruce pointed at the bed he obeyed and lay down. Bruce tucked him in and went to the bathroom to get the medical thermometer and Tylenol.
“102,” Bruce said after taking his temperature. “You’re definitely staying in bed,” he said, gave him the Tylenol and some water. “Take that.” Clint opened his mouth as if he wanted to protest but a raised brow from Bruce stopped him and he took the pills, washed them down with the water and - with shaking hands - gave Bruce the empty glass.
“Are you going to stay?” he asked quietly and after a moment Bruce nodded. His work could wait till tomorrow and he knew, as long as he was away Clint wouldn’t stay in bed. He lay down beside Clint and wrapped his arm around him from behind. And when he kissed Clint’s temple the archer sighed and looked at him.
“Bruce?” he said quietly.
“Yes, Clint?” Bruce asked and Clint sighed again.
“I love you,” he murmured but when Bruce kissed him again, he was already drifted asleep.
“I love you, too, babe.”
Chapter 87: “First of all, this was your idea. Second, I didn’t agree to it, you did..." - Clint Barton/Bucky Barnes
“First of all, this was your idea. Second, I didn’t agree to it, you did. Third, someone had to come with you and make sure you didn’t get yourself killed.”
“First of all, this was your idea,” Clint hissed. “Second, I didn’t agree to it, you did!” He added then as quiet as possible and looked over his shoulder if the coast was clear. “And third, someone had to come with you and make sure you didn’t get yourself killed.”
“I don’t need a babysitter, I’ve told you,” Bucky whispered back and looked the other direction. “And no one asked you to come along.”
“Oh yeah?” Clint snapped. “And where would you be if I would've stayed at home?” Bucky glared at him, tried his best Winter Soldier expression but Clint was immune to it. Two days ago Bucky came into their apartment, told him that he found a lead on Hydra and that he would go to Esztergom in Hungary to find and kill them. Clint said it was a dumb idea, but Bucky said he would go nevertheless so Clint came with him. Of course everything went down the drain. And now they were stuck in the town while Hydra goons searched for them.
“You would lying in a plastic bag with a huge hole in your pretty head,” Clint answered his question himself.
“Really? You think I’d be that easy to kill?” Bucky hissed back.
“I’m pretty sure even a skull as thick as yours can be penetrated by a projectile,” he spat. “You’re not bulletproof, remember?” Clint nodded at his leg where he had gotten.
“I got along very well before I even knew you,” Bucky whispered angrily.
“Yeah? With…” Clint started, but before he could say it, his brain started to work and he closed his mouth before he said something about Bucky’s Hydra buddies. “Steve,” he said then lamely.
“Whatever,” Bucky hissed and then he straightened himself and pointed at the entrance opposite of the building they hid in. “He’s here.”
“Right,” Clint nodded, took an arrow out of his quiver, nocked it, aimed and took a deep breath.
“Come on, Clint, he’s almost in the car,” Bucky said. He’d rather killed him himself but it was a fact that Clint was the better shot. And he really, really wanted this man dead.
“Don’t push me,” Clint muttered, waited another two seconds before he finally released the arrow. It ended in the guy’s left eye and he dropped dead in an instant. “Sweet,” he looked at Bucky and grinned.
“Don’t get above yourself,” Bucky huffed, grabbed Clint’s bowcase and pressed it to his chest because the men who accompanied the Hydra leader they had just killed started to search for them again. “Come on, come on, let’s go.”
“See?” Clint’s mood has switched from pissed of to cheerful in an instant. “It was a good idea that I came with you.”
Bucky stopped for a moment, looked over Clint’s shoulder, pressed him against the wall and kissed him hard. “And now shut up and run!”
Chapter 88: ”I’m fine.” - Clint Barton/Scott Lang
“I’m fine,” Scott muttered. He sat on the couch, his feet on the seat beside him and clutched a cushion to his chest. “Really, I’m fine.”
“Yeah,” Natasha nodded earnestly. “You totally look fine.”
“No, everything is…” he shrugged. “Fine.”
“Okay,” Natasha said and nodded again. “You don’t have to tell me. You can stay there on the couch and wallow in self-pity.”
“What’s wrong with him?” Bucky asked from the doorway. He leaned against the doorjamb and had his arms folded.
“He’s fine,” Natasha said earnestly, the sarcasm almost palpable.
“Oh,” Bucky nodded slowly. “Well, then.” He moved away from the doorjamb and looked at Natasha, “Wanna grab some coffee?”
“Yeah,” she said. “Because he’s fine.”
“You two are not funny,” Scott grumbled into his not-existing beard. “So not funny.”
“I’ve asked you thrice what’s wrong but you always say you’re fine and so…” Natasha shrugged once more.
“Why? Can you tell me why this always happens to me?” Scott whined.
“I don’t know what happened to you, I’m not a clairvoyant,” Natasha sighed. “But since you said you’re fine…”
“Clint!” Scott hissed and threw the cushion into the corner of the living room. “That’s wrong.”
“Ah, okay,” Bucky nodded. “That explains everything.”
“What has he done?” Natasha asked and sat down again.
“He’s cheating on me,” Scott whined.
“Barton?” Bucky blurted. “Are we talking about the same person? The Clint Barton who needed more than half a year to finally ask you out?”
“No,” Natasha stated. “It has to be someone else.”
“I’ve seen him! He was in a cafe with another guy and they laughed!” Scott said.
“Oh, they laughed,” Natasha nodded once more.
“Yeah, he’s definitely cheating,” Bucky added. He didn’t roll his eyes but it was a close call.
“You two are assholes,” Scott muttered.
“Then speak, man!” Natasha huffed.
“He said he didn’t have time today and this morning I saw him in a cafe with another guy. And they laughed.”
Natasha closed her eyes and pinched the bridge of her nose before she reached for her phone, tapped on the screen before she showed him a picture. “This guy?” Scott looked up, his eyes went wide and he nodded.
“Yeah! That’s the bastard!” He pointed at the screen.
“That’s Barney Barton,” Natasha said. “That’s Clint’s brother. He said he’s in town for the weekend.”
“Clint’s… brother?” Scott stared at them for a long moment before he scrambled off of the couch.
“Where’re you going?” Bucky asked and Scott glared at him.
“What do you think? Getting to know my brother in law!” He hurried out of the living room and into the elevator.
“Should we warn them?” Bucky asked and cocked his head but Natasha only smirked.
“Nah,” she shook her head. “But… do you still want to grab a coffee?” Bucky’s eyes twinkled.
Chapter 89: "Stay." Clint Barton/Bucky Barnes
“Stay?” Clint said but if he was honest with himself, it sounded more like a question. Bucky looked at him for a very long moment, but then he nodded. Clint stepped aside, opened the door wider so he could step through it.
It was the first time Bucky was in his apartment. They were dating only for three weeks and so far Bucky has brought him to his door but then went home. The first time he hasn’t even kissed him. The second time Clint got a kiss on the cheek and only last time he kissed him properly.
“I know, it’s not much, but it’s mine,” Clint said apologetically and scratched the back of his neck. Bucky looked around curiously when Clint heard the scratching of dog-nails on the floor and he barely managed to warn him before Lucky raced around the corner and jumped at him.
“Oh my god!” Bucky blurted a second before he went down. Lucky stood at his chest and licked his face.
“Aw, dog, no!” Clint whined. “Lucky, down!” He commanded then, but the dog ignored him. And Bucky chuckled and petted the dog. “You know you’re undermining my authority.”
“Which authority?” Someone said and Clint’s head snapped up. Kate stood in the doorway and smirked at the two of them.
Bucky scrambled to his feet and blushed violently. “Bucky, that’s Kate,” Clint introduced her and only a second later his face lit up.
“Oh, I’ve heard a lot about you,” he said.
“Yeah?” Kate looked at Clint, her head cocked. “What did he tell you?”
“Uhm… Kate,” Clint butted in, “Why are you here?”
“I knew you had a date and I thought I should pick up Lucky,” she shrugged.
“You… did?” Clint asked, his ears beet red in an instant, while Bucky grinned and looked from him to Kate and back.
“Actually, I think that’s a good idea,” Bucky smirked and came over to wrap an arm around Clint’s waist. “Because Clint won’t have the time to let him pee.” Clint blushed even more.
“Gaahh!!” Kate pressed her hands over her ears. “Brain bleach! Need brain bleach! Come on, dog, let’s get outta here.”
She grabbed Lucky’s leash, attached it to his collar and in an instant they were gone.
“So,” Clint said then, “I won’t have time to go out with the dog?”
“That’s right, babe,” Bucky hummed. “Because the next few hours we’re going to spend in your bedroom.” He let his hand run over Clint’s cheek before he leaned in to kiss him.
“Sounds like a really, really good idea.”
Chapter 90: “Witches. Of course.” - Clint Barton/Tony Stark
“Witches!” Clint sighed. “Of course.”
“You gotta be kidding, right?” Tony huffed and went to stand beside Clint. “I mean it’s Halloween and all that, but… witches?”
“Nope,” Natasha said. “Unfortunately not.”
“Witches?” Steve asked now and walked around the three to get a look at the screen, too. “You mean, witches witches?”
“Yeah,” Natasha confirmed.
“Witches,” Steve repeated. “Like in Hansel and Gretel?”
“Yeah,” Natasha said again.
“And… and they’re in New York?” Steve stared at the screen.
“Yeah,” Natasha confirmed for the third time. She pointed at the screen at one of the red dots. “We’re assuming they’re here. All the missing children disappeared there.”
“Central Park,” Tony nodded. “Makes sense.”
“How?” Steve blurted. “How in Santa Monica does that make sense?” He stared at the screen again. And only a long moment later he realized that the others stared at him.
“What?” He asked and only when Tony shook his head, they turned back to the screen.
“Okay,” Clint said now. “Witches. Where are they from? What do they want? And how do we stop them?”
“As far as I know it’s generally agreed that burning them will do the trick,” Tony shrugged.
“Yeah,” Natasha agreed.
“You… you mean… you mean on a stake?” Steve’s eyes went wide.
“Well, that’s one option,” Tony said. “The other one would be a flamethrower or something like that.”
“Fuck, yeah! Flamethrower!” Clint grinned. “Let’s burn some witches!”
“Good idea, baby boy,” Tony smirked and went to the door when he heard Steve cough violently.
“Ba-baby boy?” He asked and stared at the two of them. Tony stopped, pinched the bridge of his nose and turned around again.
“Aww, Tony, no!” Clint whined and smacked Tony’s arm. “Didn’t we agree to maintain a low profile?”
“Oh, come on!” Natasha huffed. “Everyone knows it, don’t be ridiculous, Barton!”
“Everyone knows it? But…” Clint said the same time Steve’s eyes went even wider.
“I didn’t,” he said.
“Okay, Steven,” Tony sighed. “Yes, me and bird-boy are an item. For a while now.”
“Aww, futz,” Clint muttered.
“Yes, yes, yes, guys, that’s all fine and dandy, but now we have some witches to burn,” Natasha interrupted them. “You can have a heart to heart when they’re dead.”
“True,” Clint smirked. “You coming, honey-boo?” He walked to the door of the control room, together with Steve and Natasha.
“Right behind you, marshmallow.” And when Steve blushed again, they both giggled.
Chapter 91: “Use your words.” - Cint Barton & Natasha Romanoff
“Use your words!” Natasha eventually snapped. For weeks now Clint had locked himself in his apartment and only Natasha was allowed to enter. But he didn’t speak to her. If she talked to him, asked him something, he just gestured.
At first, Natasha was patient. She understood him, she really did. She even showed him sympathy, which was a rare treat. After some days Clint’s depression has turned into moping and he still refused to talk. He sat on his couch, watched trash-TV, and lived off canned food and coffee.
Kate had fetched Lucky some time ago but Natasha wasn’t sure he has noticed.
Natasha knew that Clint suffered from depressions and she also knew that it was a severe condition, but not many people could tell the difference between Clint having an episode and Clint moping.
But today her patience gave out when he had just gestured at his coffee maker and the empty ground coffee jar and she snapped at him.
Clint glared at her, grabbed the cushion, pressed it to his chest and lay down on the couch to mope even more.
“Goddammit, Clint! Get ahold of yourself! It’s three weeks now!”
“Fuck you,” Clint rasped after a long moment. He took his cushion, turned around and faced the backrest of the couch.
“Clint,” Natasha sighed, shoved his legs aside and sat down beside him. “I know that you don’t take it lightly, but Johnson knew what he got himself into.”
“He lost both his legs, an arm and his sight and it’s my fault!”
“He’s an Agent of SHIELD, we fight against aliens and monsters and we all know the dangers, Clint,” she said, this time more patiently.
“It was my mission, I was responsible for all my agents and…”
“He doesn’t blame you,” she interrupted him. “He blames himself. And he thinks his failure is the reason why you’re here.”
“What?” Clint eventually sat up to look at her, a deep frown on his face.
“He blames himself,” she repeated.
“But it’s not his fault,” Clint said. “It’s my fault.”
“Technically it’s Victor von Doom’s fault,” Natasha shrugged. “But Johnson…” she stopped herself and shook her head. “You should talk to him.”
“Why me?” Clint asked, sounding petulant.
“Because you’re the only one who can tell him that it’s okay, that it’s not his fault and that you don’t blame him, asshat!”
Clint let his head drop back onto the backrest of the couch.
“Fine,” he grumbled then. “Fine, let’s do this.” And Natasha sighed.
“It’s about damn time!”
Chapter 92: "You're leaving?" - Clint Barton/Thor
“You’re leaving?” Clint asked. He sat on a tree stump behind the new Avengers HQ.
Thor stopped and turned around. He took a deep breath and for a moment he looked away.
“I have to,” he said then. “I have been called home. Family business,” he added with a smile.
Clint snorted and looked at his hands.
“You didn’t say goodbye,” he said. Thor nodded.
“I do not intend to stay for long,” he said and Clint snorted again.
“The last time you left you’ve been away for two months,” he said. Thor came closer and put his finger under Clint’s chin and forced him to look up at him.
“Come with me,” he said.
“What?” Clint blurted. He rose and stood very close to Thor until the Asgardian made a step back to give him some space. “You… you want me to come with you?”
“Indeed,” Thor smiled. “I have never showed you my home, never introduced you to my family.”
“I know your brother,” Clint shrugged and Thor chuckled.
“True,” he said. “But not everyone in my family is like him.”
“You really mean it?” Clint asked and Thor nodded.
“Of course. You are an important part of my life and Asgard and my family is an important part of my life. Why not bring you two together?” Thor cocked his head and Clint stared at him open-mouthed.
“Wow, that’s… wow!”
“You do not have to come if you are not ready,” Thor said after a moment. “But I would love to show you my home.”
“I…” Clint stopped himself but then he smiled. “I’d love to come with you,” he said.
“But?” Thor asked and raised his brow questioningly. Clint looked at himself and gestured with his hands.
“I have nothing with me,” he said. Thor frowned for a moment but then he seemed to understand and took his hand.
“You do not need anything. In Asgard we have everything you need. Just…” he pursed his lips and thought for a second, then smiled. “Just take your phone and tell Natasha that you come with me.”
“You really mean it,” Clint asked again. He had to admit he loved the idea to see Asgard. He would be the first of the Avengers there.
“Yes, I mean it,” Thor repeated. And eventually Clint nodded. He sent a quick text to Natasha and put his phone onto the tree stump where she would fetch it later.
“Okay, let’s do this,” Clint grinned and Thor stepped up to him, put a hand on his cheek and kissed him before he placed his hand on his hip.
“Heimdall, open the Bifrost.”
Chapter 93: “I don’t deserve it.” - Clint Barton/Sam Wilson
“I don’t deserve it,” Clint huffed and threw the newspaper onto the table. He leaned back in his chair and pinched the bridge of his nose.
“Says who?” Sam asked. Clint raised a brow and looked at him.
“I say that,” Clint sighed. “I mean,” he gestured vaguely at the paper, “seriously?”
“I’d say, you definitely deserve it,” Sam said earnestly. “And believe me, I know what I’m talking about.”
“Seriously?” Clint asked again.
“I’m an expert, so to speak,” Sam grinned sly.
“Are you still talking about that article?” Steve suddenly asked and both men turned around, saw him in the doorway, his brows knitted.
“He thinks he doesn’t deserve it,” Sam said. And Steve’s expression became blank, a sure proof that the topic was too personal for him.
“I… don’t know,” he said lamely.
“You’re old, Rogers,” another voice said. And Tony, the owner of said voice, squeezed past him, entered the communal kitchen and went straight to the coffee maker. “And Barton, if you don’t want it, tell them they can give it to me,” he grinned.
“You wish!” Sam snorted.
“Well, if he doesn’t want it,” Tony shrugged.
“I’m still here,” Clint whined. “And it’s not that I don’t want it, it’s just… it’s embarrassing!”
“Why on Earth is that embarrassing?” Sam asked incredulously.
“It’s… why? I mean… best butt award? Seriously?” Clint threw his arms in the air.
“Hey! You have the best butt,” Sam said.
“Of all the Avengers? With Tony on the team and Thor and Steve?” Clint rose and started to pace.
“Yes, of all the Avengers,” Sam confirmed.
“You’re prejudiced, Wilson,” Tony said. “I’d say, Steven has the best butt.”
He grinned when Steve’s ears turned beet red.
“See, what I said,” Clint gestured at Tony.
“But the readers decided otherwise,” Sam said. “And they are damn right!” He rose, too, went to Clint and stopped his pacing. “And when you get the cup we set it out in the communal living room so all of them can see it every day.”
“And everyone will know that you’re the one who’s banging it?” Tony asked, an amused smirk on his face. Steve blushed again, Clint covered his face with both hands and Sam nodded.
Chapter 94: “You’re hurt.” - Clint Barton/Bucky Barnes
“You’re hurt,” Bucky breathed the moment he rushed into the hospital room, his eyes wide. Clint winced.
“No shit, Sherlock?” He hissed when he turned around.
“What happened?” Bucky demanded to know. He looked around, saw a chair and pulled it over to sit down beside Clint.
“Got stabbed,” Clint said and winced again. It hurt when he moved but he wanted to look at Bucky.
“Who and how?” Bucky snapped. He got this murderous expression and wanted to rise immediately but Clint reached out to grab his hand and hold him back. It hurt like a motherfucker and he winced again, groaned a little bit.
“Lie still,” Bucky commanded. “Don’t move around all the time.”
“I wouldn’t move around if you didn’t look as if you’re going to kill someone in the next few seconds,” Clint said.
“Okay,” Bucky said and flopped back onto the chair. “Sorry.”
“It was an accident,” Clint said after a few moments.
“An accident? A knife in your stomach is an accident?” Bucky burst out.
“He didn’t want to stab me,” Clint explained. “He wanted to stab his girlfriend, I just stopped him and…”
“Are you fucking kidding me?? You call this an accident?” This time Bucky couldn’t stay on the chair, he jumped up again and started to pace. “You’re going to tell me his name and I will remove his intestines through his nose!”
“First of all,” Clint wheezed, “he’s already in jail. Second, you’re not going to remove someone’s intestines through their nose, that won’t work and even if it would it would make a huge mess. And third,” he wheezed again, “I stepped between him and his girlfriend and…”
“Are you fucking kidding me?” Bucky snapped again. “Are you really defending the guy who wanted to kill his girlfriend?”
“No,” Clint said. “Believe me when I say he’s had enough. Natasha was there, too.”
Bucky sat down again, deflated. “Oh.”
Bucky was quiet for a long moment, then he took a deep breath and looked at Clint.
“Is it weird that I’m a little scared of Nat?” he asked then and Clint snorted, winced the next moment and hissed in pain.
“No,” he shook his head. “I’m really glad she’s my best friend.” And then, after a wink and a grin, he added. “And I’m glad I have a really scary boyfriend, too, who would remove other people’s intestines through their noses for me.”
“You’re impossible, Barton,” Bucky snorted but his rage was subsided and a smile appeared on his lips.
“But you love me,” Clint said and smiled, too. Bucky leaned over and kissed him.
Chapter 95: “Is this the part where I say I told you so?” - Clint Barton/Steve Rogers
“Is this the part where I say I told you so?” Natasha asked. Clint turned around to glare at her.
“Shut up,” he said.
“I mean, it’s not that I didn’t tell you quite a few times,” she said.
“Shut up,” Clint repeated.
“But hey, Barton, I told you so!” Natasha said.
“This is… not helpful!” Clint hissed. “This is so not helpful!”
“Oh, really?” Natasha leaned back, spun around with her chair and pointed with her lolly at him. “Then maybe you should listen to me sometimes.”
“Shut up,” Clint said for the third time. He looked around the corner but no one was to see. “They’re gone,” he whispered.
“And what now? Wanna run for the rest of your life?” She asked. Clint looked over his shoulder.
“Well, if I have to,” he shrugged and looked out of the door again. The coast was still clear.
“Clint, this is ridiculous! You can’t hide forever,” Nat sighed.
“Fine,” she huffed and rose. “I’m outta here.”
“What?” Clint’s head snapped around. “You can’t just leave me here alone!”
“I won’t hide in the conference room for the rest of my life just because you accidentally confessed your love to Steve.” She walked to the door. “And if you’d talked to him - like I told you weeks before - then we wouldn’t have to play hide and seek.”
“Aww, Naaaat,” he whined. “You just can’t leave me alone! I need you.” Natasha snorted, shoved him aside and opened the door. She passed him, cocked her head and then looked back at Clint, an evil smirk on her face.
“Steve?” She called. “Clint here wants to talk to you.”
“What? Are you nuts? I just try not to talk to him and…”
“Man up, Barton,” she said over her shoulder and then at someone outside. “He’s in there.”
Clint slid along the wall to sit on the floor and when Natasha stepped aside, Steve entered the room and looked around. And when his eyes fell on Clint, he came over to him, hunkered down in front of him, reached out to take his hand and smiled.
“I guess we have lots to talk about.”
Chapter 96: “Never mind, forget it.” - Clint Barton/Phil Coulson
“Never mind, forget it,” Clint said and closed the door behind himself. He took a deep breath and started walking. This was the sixth time he tried to tell Phil and the sixth time he got interrupted.
This time he went into Phil’s office, to tell him and just before he could say it his phone rang and two seconds later he ran out of it and to Fury. He sighed, and went to his old quarter and not home to their shared apartment. He knew Phil wasn’t there.
With another sigh he went to the bathroom to shower and flopped into his bed afterwards.
He thought about this morning, when he got the call. He was baffled at first, it was unbelievable and he wanted to tell Phil. He went to him, found him in the kitchen cooking breakfast. But just as he went over to him someone knocked at the door. It was Mrs. Parker from opposite of the floor. Her washing machine leaked and she asked Clint if he could help her. He was pretty handy and with a sigh he went to her apartment and when he came back Phil was gone. A piece of paper lay on the kitchen table, there was an emergency at SHIELD and he had to go.
Later, at SHIELD HQ he wanted to tell him, and he found Phil in the operations center. He went over to him, but a moment before he could tell him Jasper entered, grabbed Phil’s arm and dragged him away.
Clint sent him a message that he wanted to talk to him and went to the range to get his training done. An hour later Phil came to him, but once again, just before he could tell him, fate decided otherwise and one of the junior agents accidentally shot one of the instructors in the leg, Of course Phl went to help the woman, brought her to the infirmary. Clint went with them, wanted to tell him… but he got called to Maria, he should fly to Los Angeles with the quinjet, they needed Stark here in Washington. So Clint flew to LA, brought Tony here and was on his way to Phil’s office, when Jasper told him that Phil wasn’t here. He was in the conference room with a few of the higher ups and Clint didn’t have the clearance to know anything about it.
Clint went to the cafeteria to drink some coffee when he got a message from Phil, that the conference was over and that he had time now. He went to his office - again - only to be interrupted once more. This time it was Fury and apparently another catastrophe.
“I’m sorry, Clint,” he had said. “We’ll talk about it later.”
“Never mind,” Clint had answered. “Forget it.” And then he had watched Phil literally run along the corridor and to the elevator.
And now he lay on his bed and stared at the ceiling, wallowing in self-pity. Something awesome happened to him and the one person he wanted to share it with… wasn’t here. He just turned around to lay on his side when he heard a knock.
“Clint,” Phil called. “I know you’re here. Let me in.”
“Why? So you can run away again?” he muttered, but he rose nevertheless and opened the door. He didn’t step aside, he didn’t say a word, he just looked at him.
“Sorry,” Phil said and looked at his shoes for a second. “I told Fury if there was another catastrophe he should call Hill.”
“Fine,” Clint muttered and eventually stepped aside.
“You wanted to tell me something, something important, something awesome.”
“Yeah,” Clint nodded. “I… they want me to partake in the Olympic Games.” Phil stared at him for a very long moment, his mouth slightly agape but then he started to grin.
“Wow! Clint, wow! Congratulations,” he said and went over to him to hug him. Clint was stiff at the moment, but when Phil added, “I’m sorry for… you know,” he sighed and hugged him back.
“It’s… okay,” Clint said after a while. “This is SHIELD and…” he closed his mouth, just enjoyed Phil’s company.
“Olympic games, huh?” Phil said a few moments later. “That’s pretty awesome.”
“I know,” Clint smiled. “Wanna stay here?”
“You’re not angry anymore?” Phil asked and Clint shook his head.
“I wasn’t angry, just… disappointed that I couldn’t tell you,” he admitted.
“In this case,” Phil smiled. “I’d love to stay.”
Chapter 97: "You’re bleeding all over my carpet.” - Clint Barton/Tony Stark
“You’re bleeding all over my carpet,” Clint huffed. Tony turned to glare at him.
“I apologize for the inconvenience this may cause,” he snapped but he let Clint take his hand and look at it.
“Fuck,” Clint muttered. “That’s deep.” They were in the kitchen together and Tony had tried to cook for Clint. But then he had an accident with one if the extremely sharp knives.
“What does that mean?” Tony winced, clearly in pain.
“You need to go to a doctor, you need stitches and they need to check out the nerves and all that,” Clint said.
“No, that’s… it’s just a scratch,” Tony said and wanted to pull his hand back. But Clint held it and frowned.
“This is more than just a scratch. If you ever want to use that hand again you need a hand surgeon. I can see the tendons,” he told him. Tony paled a bit and looked, too, but then he wanted to pull his hand back.
“It’s.. nothing,” he stated.
“You’re kidding. You left a puddle of blood on my brand new carpet,” Clint snorted.
“Is that your only concern? That I ruin your carpet?” Tony hissed when Clint touched his hand.
“I like the carpet,” Clint shrugged. “It ties the room together.”
“Are you quoting The Big Lebowski on me?” Tony snapped, but he held his hand so Clint could wrap some gauze around it.
Clint shrugged again. “It’s true,” he said, and patted his jeans pockets for his car keys, then looked around, his brows furrowed and when he saw the keys of Tony’s car on the sideboard, his face lit up. “Come on, baby,” he grinned. “Let’s go for a ride.”
“I’m fine!” Tony whined. “And no one is allowed to drive the Bugatti!”
“You want me to call an ambulance? Or a taxi?”
“Fine!” Tony grumbled. He followed Clint to the door and held his hand close to his body. He pointedly didn’t look at the huge blood stain on the bandage.
“Come on, if you’re a good boy you’ll get a goodie when we’re back,” he winked and Tony threw a murderous glare in his direction.
“I’m not your dog,” he said.
But Clint only grinned, winked and went to him to whisper in his ear. Tony’s face lit up and - with his uninjured hand - slapped Clint’s chest.
“Come on, get a move on,” he said then. “I want to get my goodie!”
Clint locked the door behind them and followed Tony to the elevator. “Barton, one, Stark, zero!”
“Fuck you!” Tony grumbled and Clint chuckled.
“Yeah, love you too.”
Chapter 98: "Don't you dare leave me!" - Clint Barton/Steve Rogers, Tony Stark/Pepper Potts
“Don’t you dare leave me!” Pepper yelled and when Tony went to the door she threw a vase after him. He could barely manage to close the door to her office behind himself or it would’ve hit his head. They both could hear it shatter and then they heard her scream. “Tony!”
“Fuck!” Tony muttered. He looked at Clint, who grinned sheepishly and gestured at the elevator.
“Guess it’s over now?” He asked and pressed the button.
“Yeah,” Tony said slowly. “I mean… yeah.”
“What did you do?” Clint said when the car arrived. Tony pulled his glasses down a bit to glare at him over the rim.
“Who said it was something I did?” He asked and Clint snorted. He pressed the button for the parking garage and watched the doors close.
“You’re Tony Stark. It’s more than likely it was your fault,” he shrugged.
“I should be hurt,” Tony said and mockingly put his hand on his chest.
“I know you, Tony,” Clint said. “And on the other hand, I know Pepper. You two are…” he waggled his hand, “like fire and water.”
“Just because we share some genes doesn’t mean you know me, little brother” Tony snorted.
“Just because your father fucked my mother tells me that faithfulness in marriage is one of the Stark’s biggest strengths,” Clint shrugged. “Maria knew that, Bobbi and Laura found out the hard way and… well…” he looked at Tony.
“I didn’t cheat on her,” Tony said. “I would’ve never cheated on her.”
“Okay,” Clint nodded slowly. “What was it then?”
The elevator stopped and Clint walked, turned around to look at Tony when he didn’t follow him immediately. “You coming?”
“Where are we going?” Tony asked but when Clint grabbed his arm and dragged him to the car, he went with him. Clint brought him to one of his Audis, placed him on the passenger’s seat and went around to climb behind the wheel.
“Somewhere,” Clint said cryptically and Tony rolled his eyes, but he shoved his glasses up and folded his arms over his chest.
“Fine,” he sighed. “Don’t tell me.” Clint winked and led the car through the streets of New York and stopped it in front of a bar. “Seriously? Steve’s bar?”
“Hey, I know the owner, I get discount,” he winked and Tony groaned. But once again, he followed Clint out of the car and to the building. Steve was there - of course he was - and smiled when Clint went over to him to kiss him. Not many people were there at the moment. Tony groaned again and flopped down on a bar stool.
“What did he do this time?” Steve asked, walked around the bar, took three glasses and filled them with whiskey. He placed one in front of Tony, gave one to Clint and kept one for himself.
“I… I didn’t do anything… I…” he grabbed the glass and emptied it. “Maybe I said something dumb. Something really, really dumb.”
“She threw a vase after him,” Clint said and Tony glared once more.
“Uhh,” Steve scrunched up his nose. “That’s not good.”
“What can we do?” Clint asked and Steve refilled the glasses.
“Step one,” Bucky, Steve’s best friend and barkeeper, came over to them, too, “Stay away, let her cool down and get smashed.” He reached for a glass, filled it as well and emptied it.
“And step two?” Tony asked. Bucky started to grin, took the bottle out of Steve’s hand and refilled the glasses.
Chapter 99: “You will learn to love me one day, I can wait. I’m a patient man.” - Clint Barton/Loki
Continued from Chapter 77
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
“You will learn to love me one day,” Loki purred and circled Clint. “I’m a patient man.” He let his finger trail over Clint’s naked chest.
“Never,” Clint spat and tried to move out of his reach, but the chains held him in his place. Loki chuckled and walked around the column, let his finger trail over Clint’s shoulder only to appear on the other one a few seconds later. Clint shuddered and it wasn’t just because it was fricking cold in Loki’s dungeon.
“We have all the time in the world, my little hawk,” he whispered in his ear.
“You forget that I’m human,” Clint snarled. But Loki chuckled again.
“Yet,” he purred. “But this will change soon, my little hawk.”
“What?” Clint asked and pulled at the chains that held him. Loki once again circled him, touched his hip and let his hand roam over his stomach. Clint squeezed his eyes shut. It felt good and he knew it shouldn’t. He turned his head away to not have to look at Loki but the Asgardian grabbed his face and forced his head back.
“Did I allow you to look away?” He hissed close to Clint’s ear. And when Clint didn’t answer immediately, he pressed his fingers in the together and his jaw started to hurt. He knew he would break it every moment.
“No,” he pressed through his teeth and Loki let go of him. Clint worked his jaw and swallowed nervously.
“And I’m sorry,” he added after a long moment. Loki smiled and patted Clint’s cheek.
“Good,” he said. “I have a present for you,” he added then and pointed at the table in the middle of the room, where a golden apple sat on a plate. Clint closed his eyes and let his head drop against the column behind him.
“No,” he whispered and then, after a moment, he added, “please.”
“Yes, my little hawk,” Loki whispered in Clint’s ear again. He couldn’t resist and had to touch Clint’s hips. His hands were cold and Clint shivered.
“You can still let me go,” Clint said. He licked his lips again and forced himself to look at the Asgardian. “You’ve proved your point, my friends betrayed me. But…”
Loki grabbed his cheeks again. “You belong to me,” he said. “I saved your world and I earned my prize.”
“I’m not a prize!” Clint spat but Loki only started to laugh.
“But you are,” he said. “You are mine and I don’t want to you to die in a few years. I want you to be my companion for a long time and that’s why you will take my present.”
“I didn’t agree to this,” Clint said and he shuddered, when Loki’s hand moved over his stomach again.
“That doesn’t matter,” Loki sighed. “You will eat the apple or I will remove my spells, the spells that protects your world from these creatures. Then you can watch your friends, your family die and you will know it was your fault. Is it that what you want?”
“I… no, I don’t… I don’t want that,” Clint said quietly. He let his head drop against the column once again.
“For once, my little hawk, I will ask for your opinion,” Loki said and let a finger trail over Clint’s cheek. “Will you accept my present?” Clint’s hands trembled and dread settled in his stomach, but slowly he nodded.
Next part here
Chapter 100: “I came to say goodbye.” - Clint Barton/Bucky Barnes
(See the end of the chapter for notes.)
“I came to say goodbye,” Clint said. He looked at Bucky who sat on the couch in the Headquarters communal living room, his arms folded over his chest and pressed his lips tight together.
“Okay,” he pressed through his teeth.
“Bucky,” Clint started and shook his head. “Don’t… don’t be like that.”
“I hate it, okay?” Bucky snapped.
“It’s… it’s my job and you know it,” Clint sighed. He looked at his wristwatch, sighed again and went over to him to sit down beside him.
“I know,” Bucky said. “But that doesn’t mean that I have to like it.”
“I’m a professional, I know what I’m doing,” Clint said but Bucky turned to him and he couldn’t hold back a snort.
“I know you’re good, but Fury throws you to the wolves and…” he spat but didn’t finish his sentence, he just pressed his lips together again.
“Bucky, please,” Clint said, “Don’t make this harder than necessary.”
“He wants you to infiltrate Hydra!” Bucky snapped. “Hydra!”
“I know,” Clint confirmed. He put his hand on Bucky’s shoulder but he shook it off angrily.
“You have no idea what these assholes are capable of! If they doubt you for a second, then you’re dead!”
“I know what I’m doing,” Clint said again. He touched Bucky’s cheek and forced him to look at him. “I know what I’m doing,” he repeated.
“It’s not… it’s not that I don’t trust your abilities, Clint, it’s just… I know what they are capable of and… I’m scared that they’re going to hurt you,” Bucky admitted and then he added, “or worse.”
Clint closed the distance between the two of them and gently pressed his lips against Bucky’s. He was a little stiff at first but then he kissed him back, hungrily and desperate.
“I don’t want you to go,” he whispered when they parted.
“I don’t want to go either,” Clint said quietly. “But I have to. And you know that. We need those plans and this is the only option.”
Bucky closed his eyes and nodded before he cupped Clint’s cheek and kissed him again. “Promise me to stay safe,” he said.
“Always,” Clint smiled. “Because I have a very good reason to come back unharmed, you know?”
“Yeah?” Bucky looked up, a forced smile on his lips.
“Yeah,” Clint nodded. “I love you, Buck, and I promise to be back for our wedding anniversary.”
“I’ll take you up on that,” Bucky said. “Because I reserved a table in your favorite restaurant for us.”
“See? Another reason to come back unharmed,” Clint smiled but when his phone beeped he rose. “I love you, Buck,” he said again.
“I love you, too,” Bucky said and when Clint went to the door, he added, “See you in a month.” And when the door fell shut behind Clint, a tear ran over Bucky’s face.
So, it's done :D Thank you, folks, for reading, for commenting and for all the kudos!! :D