1. Wedding: Barney Barton and Jodie Forrest
“You may kiss the bride.”
Clint tries not to wince as his brother shoves what looks like half his tongue down Jodie’s throat. The whole thing is over the top (and more than just a little voyeuristic on his part), but he’s trying for his brother’s sake. Jodie seems like a nice enough girl; she’s shorter than average and bottle blonde, but at least she has all her teeth, which is more than he can say about Barney’s last girlfriend.
Offhand, he supposes this is what prompted Barney to marry this one.
Which is when it hits him.
His brother is a married man now.
Oh, man. He’s going to have to find a new place to live.
They’ve made it to a little bar across the street from the courthouse, and Barney is knocking back shots like they’re going out of style. He’s already made friends with half a dozen of the bar’s more regular patrons, men with beer guts, flannel shirts, and cowboy hats.
Clint sits off to the side a bit; he really isn’t the kind of guy for crowds, but he does what he can.
He spots Jodie on her way back from the bathroom. She makes a stop at the bar to grab another drink, spending just a little too long giggling with the bartender.
Barney sure can pick ‘em.
Speaking of which . . .
“ . . . have to meet my brother! He’s my best man!” Barney’s really drunk, and Clint has a feeling that he’ll be responsible for getting his brother home tonight, wedding night or no.
The locals start clamoring for a speech. Clint’s not precisely the most loquacious of fellows, but given that Barney’s his brother and all, it looks like he’s going to have to pretend.
Clint stands and raises his glass.
“When I met Jodie two weeks ago, I never thought I would be calling her sister.” He doesn’t add the part where Barney also met her two weeks ago. Or that Jodie has only stopped flirting with the bartender now that she’s heard her name dropped. Or how his brother has gone and married some girl from Podunk nowhere and now he has to go find a new place to sleep, since he’s getting kicked out of the trailer that he paid for.
Clint ends it before he actually says any of those things.
“Here’s to the best brother a guy could have! To Barney!”
The rednecks cheer.
2. Wedding: Clint Barton and Barbara Morse
He meets Bobbi through work, the same way that he meets everyone these days. SHEILD kind of takes over your life when you let it.
He swore until he was blue in the face that he would never end up marrying some girl he’d just met like his brother had. He was the smarter one. The one who thought things through.
Obviously that worked.
He’s not quite sure how he got to this point, standing at his own wedding, giving a speech. He remembers something about fighting William Cross, followed by a half-serious proposal made while hopped up on painkillers in the quinjet.
Even if he was shocked that she accepted him, and even more shocked that they were actually going through with the whole thing, Clint Barton was not a coward.
He opens his mouth to speak, but nothing comes out. So he takes a drink, and laughter rumbles around the room. At least he’s only embarrassing himself in front of her friends and family. Who the hell was he going to invite? Fury?
“They say you don’t marry the person you can’t live without, but the person you can live with . . .”
As it turns out, Bobbi Morse is neither of those things.
3. Wedding: Natasha Romanov and Sergei Soon-To-Be-Deadinov
Clint’s not sure how he ended up on this particular detail. He and Natasha have been paired together frequently, and they work together well (best partner he’s ever had, if he’s being honest) but there’s nothing about this job that requires two of SHEILD’s deadliest.
Her mark is Sergei Something-Russian-Sounding, but Clint never bothered to memorize the name. She’s only marrying him to get close, and they don’t call her the Black Widow for nothing.
Clint’s play acting at being Natasha’s brother (Older, of course, darling, she’d whispered in that soft cadence that was so uniquely hers), and he’d even received the bride ransom the day before, so when he’s asked to stand up and give a speech, he isn’t surprised.
He’s prepared this time; he’s given a couple of these things in his day, after all, even if this will be the first he’s given in Russian.
It’s a good speech, he thinks. He hits all the right notes – funny, but not too funny, sweet, but not too sweet, and all of it false.
Natasha gives an Oscar worthy performance the whole way through, simpering and sobbing prettily into her napkin as he recounts all the ways that she’s touched his life.
At some point, he probably gets too honest, judging from the peculiar looks on some of the faces of the guests.
It’s not until after the shooting starts and he sees Natasha take out six of Sergei’s bodyguards in that lacy white monstrosity that Clint realizes he’s probably in love with her.
4. Wedding: Hank Pym and Janet van Dyne
Out of the blue, Hank asks him to be his best man. Clint hadn’t even known that he and Jan were dating.
It probably says something bad about the two of them that Clint is still the best choice for the role.
They make it through the ceremony without a hitch, and they’re on to the reception, which is filled with a lot of people that Clint should know better than he does. It’s something of a side effect of hanging out in high places, he thinks.
Clint’s almost ready to go in search of one of those high places when he catches sight of Natasha. She’s a vision in a black and nude lace number, her hair curling softly around her shoulders. She smiles when she catches sight of him, and he can feel his heart in his throat.
“Fancy meeting you at a place like this, Barton.” She speaks in a tone that she’s only ever used with him, and it never fails to make him feel special.
“Hey, Tash.” He sips on his champagne, then gestures at all the people crowded in the ball room. “Were you aware that Hank and Jan knew this many people?”
She snorts. “I’m pretty sure most of the SHEILD guys are here for the open bar.” She raises one perfectly manicured eyebrow. “I certainly am.”
“What? Me in a tux not enough for you?” He says it flippantly, even if he is fishing for compliments, if only a little.
Natasha knows him too well not to recognize his ploy, but she plays along anyway. Hank must have splurged on the good vodka, he thinks.
“I’d much prefer you out of the tux.” There’s no mistaking her meaning, and Clint nearly chokes on his drink.
He’s about to respond when the guests start tapping on the edges of their glasses, and now it’s time to give his speech.
Natasha gives him a look, and he knows that she timed her declaration on purpose, just like she does everything.
“Don’t be long, Hawk.” She turns and slinks away, and Clint is left with 200 of the Pym’s nearest and dearest looking at him.
“When I met Hank all those years ago, I never imagined that I’d live to see the day when he’d settle down . . .”
5. Funeral: Phil Coulson
It’s a terrible, grey day when they bury their handler, a man they’d come to know as a friend in the near decade they’ve worked together.
The funeral parlor is packed, and the rest of the team is there as well, even Thor, but no one (except maybe Fury) can really understand how Clint and Natasha are feeling right now.
Clint’s giving the eulogy, but he isn’t really paying attention to what he’s saying, and he’s gladder than ever that Natasha made him write it all down.
There really isn’t much to say, when all it comes down to it. Coulson is dead. They are alive. The world didn’t end.
It just feels emptier now.
The drive to the cemetery is both too long and not long enough, but they get out of the car anyway and join the other pall bearers.
The casket feels too light to hold such a man.
The priest says some kind, comforting words over the body, and a woman Clint later identifies as Coulson’s sister starts to sob audibly.
Natasha and Clint don’t cry, they just hold hands while Coulson’s body is lowered into the cold earth.