It’s Darcy’s look of utter disbelief that makes Clint think that maybe he should have said things a little more clearly before she left this morning for work. Because that face she’s pulling is starting to scare him.
As soon as she left for the office, umpteen odd floors down, he had corralled Thor and Steve to come help him tear down a wall. The wall that separated his apartment from hers to be precise, it wasn’t really doing anything other than being a bother anyway, they’ve been practically living together for months now, and this would just make things easier. Now every time they have coffee at his place in the morning he doesn’t have to go through the hall to get his lucky mug, (which always wound up in her sink anyhow) or she won’t have to scurry half-dressed through the halls at the end of the day looking for one of his clean tee shirts to steal (that he was particularly happy to put an end to). But with all the drywall and framing cleared and this BIG open space between where her bedroom ended and his began was apparently freaking her out.
Thor looks mighty pleased with the work that they’d done in the short amount of time, because while there are only a few wires hanging down from the ceiling and his kitchen is no longer operational, they can now live in a giant apartment, similar to the one that he shares with “his” Jane.
Steve takes one look at Darcy’s less than enthused face; gives Clint a look, and fidgets like he wants to build the wall back up to wipe that expression off of Darcy’s face.
Which, dude, my girl.
Clint throws a glare back at Steve with equal snark, who sighs, and mumbles about going to tell Tony, while making a slow retreat towards the door.
Thor claps a drywall dust covered hand on Clint’s back and offers up good cheer before leaving Darcy pale faced after a quiet word that even Clint can’t hear. And when the door shuts behind him they are left in silence, Darcy’s mouth working like a fish, but no coherent words coming out. Just flabbergasted noises.
The awkward lasts for five minutes, and Darcy hasn’t been able to say anything before the door swings open and Tony enters followed by a triumphant looking Steve.
“What did you do to my baby?” Tony questions rather loudly.
At this both Darcy and Clint look at him with equal parts oh my god and what the fuck.
Tony is already over at the wiring checking to see the damage, and he mumbles to himself, and sometimes to JARVIS about structural stability, and electrical damage.
In the end he claps his hands together and declares, “right! I can work with this. JARVIS, call Pepper, I’m going to need her to help draft the new floor plans.”
“Ms. Potts is in flight at the moment, currently descending over Dulles International Airport, would you like me to have the video conference set up for when she arrives in the vehicle, sir?”
“Excellent, you know what, I’ll meet her there,” he says already making a beeline for the door. “Any more additions I can add for you crazy kids or was tearing down my wall enough to satisfy your rebellious needs?”
“I want a see-through bookshelf!” Finally, she speaks! And points to the space where the wall used to be, near the windows. “Right there.”
Tony looks over her shoulder then to her and nods once, “Right, JARVIS, add it to the new layout plan, similar to..” his voice trails off as he moves down the hall and is blocked by the sound of the elevator announcement.
Steve’s look of victory disappears and he quietly scurries out of the room and after Tony.
Who is zipping passed the buildings down the block and hitting supersonic just as he passes the city limits.
They get moved for a week, while the renovations get completed, but Clint has lurked around the air ducts when Tony isn’t around and Pepper left plans out, and JARVIS may just be getting to finally like him, but the new layout looks awesome. His room becomes the master suite, with a massive bathroom, and his kitchen goes away and her kitchenette goes full on Iron Chef size, with a range hood and double sink, and an actual dishwasher. Her bedroom walls are replaced with glass walls around an office, which almost looks like it doubles as a panic room, making Clint’s inner soldier cheer. Her bathroom becomes a laundry room (which fuck yeah! No more service washers) and the living room looks the same, just with a wee bit more space.
In this week though, he hardly sees Darcy. She gets up at the ass crack of dawn, way earlier than she needs to be to get to the office from the Hilton across the street, and doesn’t come back to the hotel until around midnight. Clint goes to the office every day as well, still spars with Natasha, gets glared at by Steve, annoys Tony (now more with the prospects of their room being finished), and sits in the air duct above Coulson’s office and watches Darcy bury herself in her work. By the fourth day Clint is beginning to think that he did something wrong.
“Did you ask her?” Natasha asks that same day as she stands over his prone form. She’s been thoroughly kicking his ass all afternoon and he’s been using his recovery time to work through Darcy’s distance.
“Well,” he begins, taking her proffered hand. “Not in so many words.”
Natasha lets out a bitter laugh and flips him again, sending him sprawling to the mat in a heap and an “oomph.”
“You probably should have mentioned that you wanted to move in with her, instead of just ripping down a wall,” Natasha tells him.
“What should I have asked? We’ve been sleeping in the same bed for months!”
“Well, yes. How do you know if she wants to live with you, maybe she’s just using you for your body, I know I did,” Natasha gives him a wink while putting him into a headlock with her thighs.
At that Clint taps out and stalks off to the shower to think.
That night Clint actually attempts conversation with Darcy since the day that she couldn’t find her words.
She had just closed the door, and threw the chain lock and door stopper over, because she knows how he prefers it, and moves to kick off her shoes and remove her pencil skirt, and he can’t help but like that she doesn’t always wear tights with them, like Natasha always would, because when she drops the skirt and moves to unbutton her collared shirt he just rests his head in his hand and watches. Her bra doesn’t match her panties, and his tee shirt is on over it before he can really get any good time gazing at her chest.
“I’m sorry,” he blurts out.
She pauses while she works out of her bra from underneath his shirt. “About?” she replies, the icy tone of her voice making Clint flinch.
“Assuming that you wanted to move in with me. I should have,” he shakes his head and blows a raspberry to the air.
Darcy tosses the bra with the pile of clothes on the floor, and raises her eyebrow for him to continue.
“Not assumed?” he staggers.
She scoffs and rolls her eyes, “no, really, ya think?” her sarcasm burning him.
Immediately his walls rise, “Well what would you like me to do, tell Tony to put the wall back up? Steve would love that,” he bites defensively.
“What the hell does Steve have to do with this?” Darcy asks, irritation radiating off of her.
“Nothing,” Clint barks.
“There’s no use putting the wall back up, everything’s almost done,” she snaps.
“Well, fine,” Clint blusters.
“Fine,” Darcy spits harshly.
That night Darcy sprawls like a hellion. Even in sleep she won’t let him hold her. She kicks at his shins when she shifts the pillow between her legs. She punches him in the face more than once when she turns sides. Clint gives up on sleep pretty quickly after he thinks that she might actually hit his nose again, and knows that he really did do something wrong.
Clint was sulking in the ducts for the better part of the day, right in Coulson’s office, having arrived two hours before he did, and three before Darcy, who looked exhausted and was yawning every few minutes.
When she left for lunch he trailed her silently through the halls to the stairwell heading down. He hazarded a guess and shimmied as quickly and as quietly as he dared to the vents above the lab, and he found Darcy physically dragging Dr. Foster from the facilities for lunch.
So he waited, and an hour and a half later, after watching assistants and techs come and go, he finally saw Dr. Foster re-enter the lab with her nose in a manila folder and stop to check some equipment being tinkered on by a nearby engineer.
He took the opportunity to drop into her office and had just finished putting the vent cover back in place when she entered the room, still not looking up.
Clint figured she would see him. He waited five whole minutes sitting in the chair across from her, and cleared his throat twice before she looked up.
“What do you want?” she leveled him a glare that startled him.
“I fucked up.”
“Obviously,” she snorted and returned to her research. “Shouldn’t you be having this conversation with Darcy; not that she’s talking to you at this point.”
“Tried that. It didn’t end well, as she obviously told you,” he sighed.
Five more minutes of Jane Foster ignoring Clint went past before he finally spoke up.
“How should I fix it?” he asked, because Dr. Foster was his only option for making this right.
“Knowing what you’re actually apologizing for will probably help,” Jane conceded. “And forget flowers, they remind Darcy of her grandfather’s funeral,” she added with a wave of her hand.
Clint was taking mental notes.
Jane opened her mouth to continue, but then snapped it shut and muttered something along the lines of “aiding the enemy” and turned back to her research before slamming her tiny fists down on the desk in a move that looked entirely too much like her boyfriend. “What are you doing moving with Darcy anyway?”
Clint looked at her funny, still trying to process the similarity, “What do you mean?”
“What are you getting out it? I mean, you two aren’t dating, you’re certainly not fucking-“
“Jesus!” Clint released in a guffaw. “Is that what you people think? That I’m using Darcy? For fucking what? I’m her god-damn body pillow! ‘What do you get out of it!?’” he mocked her. “I get Darcy, just seeing her happy, and healthy and getting what she needs. Is that a good enough fucking answer for you?” He was halfway out of his chair and turned towards the partially opened door to see all of the lab techs turn and scurry about their day like they all hadn’t been listening, well fuck me.
Jane’s quiet response stopped him at the door. “Maybe you should go tell that to Thor, I think it would make him feel better to think that you came to him about making your intentions known instead of me.”
And when he looked back, her face was buried in a stream of data and Clint couldn’t believe his ears. But left through the door and tried to sort through what the hell he just said.
Clint makes it back to the hotel late to find Darcy’s clothes strewn across the floor instead of in their neat pile near her suitcase. The conversation with Thor had gone better than he had expected it to go, and had involved several boiler makers in celebration of Clint’s decision to wed Darcy until Clint had to clarify that he said that he was going to make his intentions known about living together in a manner other than roommates. Which Thor took in stride too, though slightly disappointed, because in all reality the Norse god had already asked for his Jane’s hand who had politely refused saying that she intended to wait many more years until she settled down to begin a family, not that she wanted to stop courting him, just that she wasn’t ready for that next step just yet. And Clint had the idea that Thor would do everything in his power to wait for her to be ready, however long it took.
And Clint finally can understand that. He has made many mistakes when it comes to his heart, one turned out to be his best friend and partner, the other is an ex-wife that lives on the other side of the country because it just hadn’t worked out. And now here he is again, ready to make that jump into the deep end once more, and it hits him. He would wait. He’d give Darcy everything that he can, anything that she wants, whenever she needs it. If it makes her happy then it makes him happy. So if she isn’t ready for this, then she can keep it all, and he would move somewhere else until she is ready. The thought, as he stands outside of the bathroom door is oddly sobering. Regardless, the need to empty his bladder of whiskey and beer still remains. But the door appears to be locked.
“Darce?” he calls out and knocks loudly.
There is a strangled noise and a cry from the other side, and all sobriety has returned, his shoulder mashing against the door until the lock breaks and he skids into the steamed white bathroom. “Darce!” mild panic seeping into his voice, reaching and tugging open the shower curtain.
There Darcy stands in all of her glory, leg propped up against a wall, the detachable shower head buried between her thighs, her lower lip caught in her teeth and her free hand pulling on one taut nipple. Her teeth release her lip and her eyes pop open at the cold intrusion. Gooseflesh erupts across her skin. “Dude what the FUCK!” she shouts and reaches to wrap the shower curtain around her exposed body and the only thing that Clint could articulate is “amazing tits.”
Which only seems to set Darcy off and she screeches at him to get out. The water turns off and a blind hand reaches out for a towel.
With the distractions once again hidden he spares a glance to the door, and then to the toilet and turns, unzipping his fly and releasing his original needs to enter the bathroom.
Not a moment later Darcy speaks again, “Are you seriously pissing right now?!”
“Yep,” Clint says.
“Gross,” she hisses as he finishes and flushes.
“I talked to Thor. He offers his congratulations.”
“For what?” Darcy growls and snaps the curtain to the side, revealing her barely contained assets beneath a flimsy hotel towel, and he thinks that she has never looked prettier.
“I’ll move my shit, if you want the rooms. As long as you still spend the nights with me I don’t care where the fuck I live, or you live. I just,” he takes a breath. “I’m sorry I didn’t ask. I’ll do whatever you want.”
Darcy stands there for a moment looking at him through squinty eyes and he realizes that her glasses are next to his hip on the counter, and he hands them over to her.
They fog on her face but she still gives him squinty eyes. “Anything?”
“Yeah. Within reason,” he amends holding up his hands.
She gives him a stern face and holds her towel tighter, “ask me.”
“Move in?” he asks without even blinking.
“Sure,” she nods with a smile growing across her face and leaving the bathroom.
He can hear her riffling around in his bag for a fresh shirt and he smirks to himself, “wanna go out on a date?”
“Yes,” is her immediate and muffled response, followed soon by the towel launched in the direction of the bathroom and accompanied by the sound of drawing back bedding.
“Will you hold it against me that I asked permission from your friends before I did this?” He asks deeming it kosher for him to leave the bathroom and not see her naked again. He pulls off his shirt, and toes off his boots.
Darcy hums and rings her soaking hair off of the side of the bed, “depends, who was first?”
“Jane,” Clint scoffs remembering that awkward exchange as he shucks his pants and flops back down on the bed next to her, wrestling under the covers.
“Then no,” Darcy laughs, “who was worse though?”
“She was,” he answers easily because the bond between the two women was deeper seeded than that between the Norse god and his girlfriend’s bestie. “He thought I was making my intentions known.”
Darcy lays her glasses next to the bed and furrows her brows “Oh? Intentions? Like what, courtship?” Because she apparently knew about Thor wanting to make Jane his Queen, and by extension, one day Queen of Asgard, but Jane wasn’t having any of that before she was 35 and had at least one more doctorate and something named after her.
Clint snorts, “yeah, we had boiler makers; he had little wedding bells ringing in his eyes,” he turns to his side and opens his arm for her to maneuver under.
Darcy outright laughs.“Haha, no, not before I’ve tested the merchandise,” she snuggles up to his chest for the first time.
He waits a beat while she settles, and helps move her damp hair across the pillow. He swallows heavily and thinks about the pair of abandoned dog tags and an old wedding band at the bottom of his bag, “will you?”
Darcy inhales, half on her way to unconsciousness, “what test your rocking bod? I’ve got some pretty good ideas for those sexy-“
Clint cuts her off gruffly, “No, marry me.”
Her sharp inhalation and increased heart rate hurry him into continuing that thought, now that he has her attention, “not right now, or anytime soon,” he begins tracing the length of her spine, “but sometime, when you want, if you even want,” he feels her shiver under his fingertips.
There is a long pause from her, while her heart beat slows back to normal and she can breathe without choking, “maybe,” she says in her softest voice ever.
Clint smiles above her head, “Ok,” and nestles his leg between hers, discovering warm, damp curls instead of a cotton barrier. His grin turns wicked feral, “can I lend you a hand there?” his fingers dance down her spine to pull her tighter against his growing erection.
“Ok, you can stop asking me now,” she says a little breathlessly as she presses herself harder against his thigh.
He barks a small laugh and begins to move against her, sliding down the bed a fraction to get to the perfect friction spot between them. “Fine then,” her leg hooks over his, “tell me what you want,” her own fingers dig into his back and his ass, pulling his erection flush against her steaming hot core. “Whatever makes you happy Darce.”
“Well, you can start with kissing me for fuck’s sake.”
And kiss her he does.