“Only you, Barton,” Natasha sighs, but it’s pretty indulgent, so Clint doesn’t argue.
Also, he’s tired and aching, and Katie’s crashed across his lap; there’s no need to start anything with Nat.
Especially since she’s mostly right. Nobody else ever gets mixed up with time/reality-traveling art thieves, and even if they do (Wade), Clint’s pretty sure they hadn't ever ended up trapped for decades in an actual painting, let alone a Picasso.
Yeah, no, that is absolutely a Hawkeye Special.
“Do I even want to know how you got Strange to help?” Clint tips his head back and shifts Kate onto his other leg. She sleep-grumbles, but moves after a second nudge; Clint bites back a groan as the blood starts flowing back down to his foot
“No, you probably don’t.” Natasha smiles her most enigmatic, self-satisfied smile. Even as exhausted as Clint is, his own mouth curves up to match. Fuck, but he'd missed her while he'd been Picasso-ing around. “At least not now. I’ll tell you sometime.”
“You do that,” Clint mumbles, which apparently satisfies some baseline as to him being him and let her be okay with leaving. “Nat,” he adds as she stands up. “Thanks. Knew you’d figure it out.”
“Anytime.” Natasha touches Clint’s face with careful hands, smoothes a strand of Kate’s hair over her shoulder, and is off, leaving Clint to blink blearily at the early morning sun slanting down from the loft window, dust motes dancing in the air currents. The place is messy and half-falling down, but it’s home, and Clint appreciates that more than ever now. He’d kinda known about Picasso, how the dude had a freaky vision of the world before all this, but… Looking at it is one thing; trying to survive in it is a whole other deal.
“You didn’t tell her,” Kate mumbles into his shoulder, evidently not as asleep as Clint’d thought.
“I will,” Clint sighs. “Later.”
“Y’better.” Kate lifts her head up, yawning. She drags herself to her feet, tugging Clint along with her and gets them stumbling toward the bathroom and the--oh*fuck*yeah, his brain says--shower. Nakedness manages to happen without anyone face-planting, which Clint's pretty sure is mostly due to Kate. He goes obediently when she pushes him under the hot water, bracing himself against the wall as she slips in behind him, curling into him like she had on the couch, never mind them both being vertical and wet. “’m not giving this up, not after how long it took to get here.”
When Clint turns to look at her, he sees the Kate of here-and-now (and the then, from Before), young and pretty, overlaid with the Kate of the painting, older and careworn, beautiful in a way that reached beyond the surfaces they’d learned not to trust. Her eyes had always been the same, though.
“So I’m a little slow on the uptake,” he mock-grumbles. “You knew that going in.”
“I did.” Kate reaches past him for the shampoo, the same bottle that had been there the morning they got wrenched sideways, which Clint is pretty sure is only a couple of days in this time. His brain is too tired to figure it out, though. “Doesn’t mean you didn’t exceed all expectations.”
“It only took me, like, a… decade?” Clint groans as Kate gets soapy hands on him, aware that he’s not really helping his case even before she snorts and tugs on his (weirdly short, now) hair. “You know why.”
“Yeah, yeah,” Kate scoffs. “Like I was going to let a little sex mess stuff up between us.”
Clint shrugs, because as stubborn as Kate is, his ability to fuck things up isn’t legendary for nothing. Taking a little (okay, a lot) of time, especially given the weird-ass situation they’d found themselves in is not something he regrets (though sometimes he thinks about how much better those first years might have been if he could’ve trusted in that stubbornness.)
“We got there, girlie,” he says, ignoring her muttered finally to shake the water out of his eyes and return the hair- and body-washing favor. He thinks they might have had the time and safety to do this once or twice in the painting, but now the water is hot and no one is actively hunting them, so he can take his time, smooth his hands over her breasts and belly and thighs.
Not surprisingly, they end up in a half-wet tangle on Clint’s (still) unmade bed.
Kate mmm’s, low and lazy, as Clint works his way down her throat and across collarbones that are smooth and soft under his mouth. He doesn’t miss the scars or the sharper cut from years of semi-starvation and malnutrition, but he doesn’t want to forget them either. If he throws those memories away, it’ll be like trashing the Kate and Clint who found each other, too.
“No stubble,” Kate sighs, arching into Clint as he mouths along the curve of her breast. "Awesome." She rakes her (not ragged and bitten-off) nails down Clint's back and he agrees.
They can take their time here, too, but it’s too good, seeing Kate spread out on his bed, watching her play with her nipples, tease at her clit. Clint’s barely inside her before he’s coming, his hips snapping forward to push his cock deeper, wanting more and more. Kate wants it, too, her legs wrapping around his waist to pull him closer, nails digging into his shoulders, cunt tightening around him until neither of them can breathe.
Clint knows there are debriefings and team meetings and a million why?-how?-WTFyouweretherefor*how*long?s in their future--not to mention how he’s going to be looking Captain America in the eye and telling him that yes, Clint is sleeping with his barely-twenty-year-old (in this world) partner--but Kate’s tugged him down to lie in the sun; and better, she's draped herself over him.
He’ll worry about all the unimportant stuff later.