“I had that Reed Richards in my car once,” says the driver, looking at Clint in the rear view mirror. “He was giving a lecture in Trinity.” There’s a pause as he pulls into the outside lane and then, muttered under his breath. “He was a dry shite and all.”
Clint can feel the waves of smugness rolling off Tony. He’s probably already imaging this driver’s future fares. I had that Tony Stark in my car once. It was everything I’d ever dreamed.
Clint’s a little grumpy. This happy trio has been expanded to include Steve and it’s not that Clint doesn’t like Steve. He adores Steve. Steve is amazing and wonderful and who doesn’t love Captain America? It’s just that, right now, Clint is wedged in the back seat between Tony and Steve because Darcy called shotgun before they’d even cleared Customs.
“No one ever answered the damn question,” he says, jerking a thumb at Steve. “Why’s Cap with us?”
“He’s never been to Ireland,” says Tony but if that’s the only prerequisite for coming, the Stark jet wouldn’t have gotten off the ground; most of SHIELD would have been clamouring to get on. They’d’ve been hanging off the damned wings.
“You know the rules, man,” says Clint. “Bros before-“ He pauses. “Other less platonic bros.”
“You know that we could be less platonic,” says Tony, clasping his hands over his heart with all due drama. “But Coulson would have my balls.”
“But Steve’s our boss.” Clint is aware that he’s whining. He’s also aware that he’s mostly jealous that Tony gets some while they’re away.
“Coulson’s not here.” Clint folds his arms, inadvertently elbowing both Tony and Steve in the process.
“Be more of a bitch, Hawkeye, please.”
“Tony, stop escalating. Clint, don’t be more of a bitch. I think we’ve reached critical mass,” says Darcy, twisting around in her seat to give them both the sternest expressions she can muster.
“What Darcy said. Don’t make us turn this car around,” says Steve, his voice mild as he looks out the window. He doesn’t seem remotely perturbed that they’re on an unauthorized trip to Europe and breaking any number of SHIELD codes of conduct, most of which start and finish with don’t embarrass us or it’s latrine duties for a year. SHIELD doesn’t even have latrines, not since the 1940s before it was even SHIELD, but Clint is pretty sure that they’d find the space, just for him and Tony.
Tony sighs heavily and Clint would bet that he's not even considered latrines.. “You guys are so mean to me.”
They go the Guinness Storehouse because they are tourists in Dublin and that’s what tourists do. Tony walks around and wonders aloud if he should just buy it.
“All of it, Darcy.”
“All of Guinness?”
“Yes.” Tony pauses for effect. “And rebrand it as ‘Stark’.”
“I think you’d have a fight on your hands,” says Clint. “The slogans would be, like, weird.”
Tony will not admit defeat because he thinks Stark is good for you is the best advertising slogan ever. There’s a free pint of Guinness at the end of the tour and everyone wants to have their photograph taken with Steve and Tony wonders what would happen if Guinness was rebranded as Rogers. He thinks that would be awesome. My goodness, my Rogers.
Clint’s head is a little fuzzy. He’s just learned that the whole purpose of this venture was to get Steve drunk. Tony’s trying to explain the part where Steve’s super-serum-ified body metabolises alcohol into harmlessness extremely quickly. He’s got figures to back up these statements. He actually pulls out Stark Industries’ answer to the iPad to show Clint the graphs that demonstrate how much alcohol Steve would need to get drunk. Tony is ranting because it’s just not fair that Steve’s being deprived of one of life’s luxuries.
“Can I just ask-“ Clint begins. He frowns. “Why’re you trying to get Steve drunk? I mean. I mean. You’re already in his pants on a nightly basis.” Clint might be drunk. It’s a distinct possibility. His glass is half-empty and he means that in the least pessimistic, thirstiest sense of the phrase.
“Daily, too,” says Tony. Oh, he’s smug. Steve just looks embarrassed but it doesn’t seem to stop him from curling his fingers around Tony’s wrist and telling him that he doesn’t mind, so much.
“Beer still tastes the same,” he says. “It just doesn’t do the same.” His smile is guileless and Clint’s a little jealous of the man. Optimism becomes Steve. “Anyway, before this-“ Steve indicates his undeniably perfect physique like he’s totally unaware of the effect this has on mere mortals (and Tony Stark). “-the smell of beer was almost enough to knock me on my ass.”
“I’ll drink to that,” says Tony and suddenly, all the glasses have been refilled and Clint has no idea how Tony does it but it happens in Moscow and in New York and in any bar Tony chooses.
“Darcy, what are you-?” Clint blinks owlishly in Darcy’s direction. “Who’re you texting?”
“Oh, I’m Facebooking.”
“Hey,” says Clint. “There are rules. The rule. What goes on tour, stays on tour.”
“I know that.” Darcy sounds wounded but then she grins and holds up her phone for Clint to see the photograph of Steve and Tony all but holding hands in an Irish pub (though, Clint supposes, in Ireland, they probably just call them pubs). “The photo album’s called On Tour.”
It should be noted that Darcy’s Facebook profile is engineered in such a secure manner that only Avengers, Jane Foster and Phil Coulson can see these overseas shenanigans. It’s a little redundant, given that Thor hasn’t mastered the use of computers yet and Bruce has no desire to be on Facebook but Darcy kind of gets that; she wouldn’t want the Hulk being able to access her profile, either. In any cases, if there was some glitch in security, she’s fairly sure that Tony would institute some kind of failsafe that’d bring Facebook down to its knees. She enjoys keeping a record of her continuing adventures with Iron Man and Hawkeye. If nothing else, it makes debriefing a lot easier.
“Who’re you texting now?” demands Clint. They’re walking along a pedestrianised street because apparently there is such a thing as closing time.
“Your boyfriend.” She says it so offhandedly that it seems to take Clint a few footsteps to realise what she’s said. “He says the papers have designated me the Avengers Number One Fag Hag.” Darcy really hates that term. “So I’m just texting him to let him know that you guys are my wingmen.” She shrugs. “And to let him know that Tony’s not broken any indecency laws and that you’ve not caused any diplomatic incidents. He sends his love, by the way, and says you’re in so much trouble when you get home.”
“Wait – what?” Clint scowls. “Why aren’t you going to be in trouble?”
Darcy waves her phone. “Diplomatic immunity for selling you guys out. It’s win-win.”
Clint does not look happy. “So, Tony gets to bring his boyfriend and you’re texting my – my – Phil and what do I get out of this?”
Darcy steps over to him and curls a hand around his arm. “The pleasure of our company.”
“Free booze?” offers Tony. “Even if it’s not Stark brand-“
“A chance to see the world?” says Steve and he looks so relaxed that Clint’s expression softens with obvious fondness. He tries to look disappointed but he presses a kiss to Darcy’s temple and there’s nothing grudging about it.
They spend three nights in Dublin until Darcy rounds them up. She doesn’t even work for SHIELD yet and she’s already got the hero-wrangling down to an art. Clint wonders if she’s been taking lessons from Coulson.
He sighs heavily and she pats his leg. “We’ll be home soon. Did you buy him something nice this time?”
Fuck. She’s obviously been taking psychic-lessons from Coulson, too. They’re in Tony’s jet and Tony’s sprawled out, head pillowed on Steve’s lap and Steve’s fingers are idling through Tony’s hair. Clint thinks Tony’s a bit disappointed that the Irish couldn’t get Steve drunk but apparently he has plenty of data to work with.
Clint sometimes wonders what would happen if Tony expended his brain power on something useful, instead. It’s possible he’d run the world or run it into ruin, but he’d probably get bored soon enough and leave it in Pepper’s capable hands. Either way, it doesn’t bear thinking about so Clint closes his eyes and contemplates instead the inevitable sanctions that await when they touch down in New York.
He contemplates the inevitable making-up, too, and that’s not so bad.