“Can we keep it?”
“Keep your ill-gotten gains?”
“C’mon, Coulson. Those games are rigged, anyway.” Clint holds up the water-filled plastic bag, in which a perturbed-looking goldfish is lurching about. Phil idly wonders if fish can get seasick and, for the sake of Clint’s new friend, he rather hopes not (Clint is swinging his arms back and forth as he walks triumphantly away from the coconut stand).
“It still smacks of –“ Phil pauses. “Lack of sportsmanship.”
“How?” Clint looks faintly appalled.
“The greatest marksman in the world versus a coconut shy?” Phil taps his own temple. “Think about it.”
“We could keep it in your office.” Clint is warming to the subject. “Like a mascot.”
“Do you really think we need a mascot?”
“No, you’re right. Bruce is sometimes so cuddly. He might get jealous.” Clint lifts up the poor fish again to peer at it. “I’m going to call her Natasha.”
Instead of drawing immediate attention to Clint’s evident death-wish, Phil asks the other obvious question. “So it’s a girl. Dare I ask how you know that?”
Clint shrugs. Natasha the fish looks queasy. “Circus?” It’s his default explanation for any unexpected information he has acquired.
“It gave you a thorough grounding in animal husbandry, hm?”
Clint’s free hand finds Phil’s. Just briefly. Just long enough to brush his knuckles over the back of Phil’s hand. “You know you love my animal husbandry.”
Phil is aware that there is no response, in any language, that will do anything other than encourage Clint. They’re back at the car before he relents.
“Fine. But it’s your responsibility, Barton. I’m not flushing the damn thing down the toilet when you forget to feed it.”
Clint clutches Natasha the fish to his chest. “I would never.”
Phil rolls his eyes (and knows full well that when Natasha the fish meets her inevitable demise, he’ll be the one who’ll replace her with an identical fish until, quite probably, the end of time).