The first text comes right on schedule, just as Phil arrives at work.
She wants to get her hair cut help.
He smiles a little, only because he knows that there aren’t any junior agents around, and replies.
What kind of haircut? Unless she wants to dye it a weird color, go ahead and let her. –P
Her hair is already a weird color.
Her hair is perfectly fine. Take her to that place across the street from where we go, they’ll be able to help. –P
Less than an hour passes before Clint texts him again.
So her friend came to school with blue nails and ororo saw the nail polish at the salon and she kind of wants all the colors.
Phil sighs, because he knows that if he leaves it up to Clint, Ororo will get all the colors, and most of them will dry out or separate from their base long before she gets around to using them up.
Tell her she can pick five. Maybe you can help her paint her nails later. –P
Oh my god are you insane. I will destroy her childhood or something.
I’m sure you’ll do perfectly fine. –P
This time Clint lasts nearly two hours before he sends a picture of Ororo with newly-short hair (and thank god, Phil had been preparing himself for all sorts of disasters) and bright green nails. It’s accompanied by:
Going to central park for the afternoon, love you.
He smiles, and glances up at the clock. Time for his lunch break, barring the sudden occurrence of world-threatening disaster. He gets the next text just as he’s coming back.
Ororo just zapped a duck am i supposed to scold her or something?
Phil tries, unsuccessfully, to hide his laugh. Judging by the terrified look one of the interns gives him, he definitely does not succeed.
Tell her to be nice to the ducks, because they have feelings too. I’ll drive it home with a bedtime story about ducks or something tonight. –P
Fifteen more minutes pass.
Okay so the paparazzi kind of found us and she’s telling them to leave us alone because it’s her time with daddy and i kind of want to hug her but it’s going to end up on the front page tomorrow if i do.
Hug her, and then get out of there. SHIELD can make sure that the picture doesn’t go to print. –P
Okay. Didnt want enemies finding out about her that way.
I know. Stop pestering me now, I’m one text short of an email from Fury telling me to get my ass in gear and stop texting my husband. –P
Do you think he reads these? Because sexting has always seemed like a really good prank…
Phil locks his personal phone, the one Clint always uses unless they’re on an op together, in the drawer after that. By the time he removes it before heading home, there are six more texts.
So there was maybe a small hurricane and a duck sort of ended up at our house.
How do you feel about pets?
Phil she wants to know if we can keep it i dont know what to do.
Okay well we have a pet duck now. This is your fault for not texting me back.
She named it ducky. I tried to convince her that duckeye was more appropriate but she wouldnt go for it.
What do you feed ducks anyway?
Phil sighs, and prepares himself for a long, heartbreaking conversation with Ororo on just why ducks make poor pets and why Ducky needs to go back to the park. There are going to be tears, he just knows it. He spends the drive home considering all the ways he could possibly break the news gently to her, and somehow the thought of her heartbroken face completely derails him every time he starts getting anyway.
It’s possible that they do, indeed, have a new pet duck. He tries not to think too hard about that.
He remembers to text Clint before he gets home (Almost there, bringing Chinese, please steam some broccoli for everyone and get the carrots out. I know you know how. –P) and when he finally, finally pulls into the driveway, he’s disappointed to see that all the lights are out and there is no readily apparently movement in or outside except for a duck wandering across the lawn. Clint spends more time at home than him, and he usually has Ororo outside for playtime when Phil gets home. At the very least, something is usually going on inside.
He enters the quiet house. No vegetables are in evidence on the table; in fact, it’s not even set, which is surprising because Ororo usually loves that part of every evening. Instead of stopping to take his shoes off and lock his gun in the safe, he creeps further into the house.
He finds them in the living room. Relief jolts down his spine first, too intense, and then he realizes what they’re doing. Clint has fallen asleep with Ororo curled on top of him. Clint must have woken at some point, because they’ve got Ororo’s massive purple snuggie draped over them and he is snoring, very softly, which means he’s warm enough. For a boy who spent a lot of winters out of doors in Iowa, Clint gets cold very easily.
This is his family.
The thought makes him catch his breath, and maybe makes his eyes water just a little. He creeps over to press a kiss against Clint’s forehead, and Clint opens a bleary eye to stare up at him, smiles, and goes back to sleep.
Phil puts the takeout in the fridge. It can wait.