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A Supporting Part In Someone Else's Play

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Clint doesn't like fanfare, and is grateful that his new teammates seem to have picked up on that. It means that when he comes out to them, it's a non-issue and a non-event, just the way Clint likes it.

"But I don't understand," wails Tony, who really likes fanfare, "She's the CEO of a Fortune 500 company, she's a goddess, she's a queen, how can she not want all of this?"

Clint looks around at the ice sculptures and the color swatches and the fifty food samples and shrugs. "It seems a little over the top, doesn't it?" he asks, and swipes a few hor d'oeuvres for when Natasha comes back from her mission in Busan; she loves shit like that.

"White doves?" Steve asks with disbelief from the far side of the banquet hall, where he's standing next to three large cages. He has to raise his voice to be heard, and the words echo.

"It's classy!" Tony grits out.

Bruce just chuckles and shakes his head. "This is not good, Tony."

"Just take her down to the courthouse," Clint shrugs, shamelessly sampling the wedding cake pieces as well. "Bam, in and out in a minute."

"That's how you usually operate, isn't it?" Steve snickers from where he's approaching them, and despite the burn, Clint has to high-five him for that one. The more Steve adjusts, the better Clint likes him.

"Ha ha," Tony says to Clint, grimacing. "Just because it'd be good enough for anybody dumb enough to marry you--"

"It was good enough for Phil, and he ain't so dumb," Clint says with a shrug, drawing an arrow in the frosting of another cake sample and keeping his eyes averted.

There's stunned silence for a second, then a sharp intake of breath nearby, as if Tony wants to say something. The tirade never comes though, someone presumably having shut Tony up with a look.

(Clint's money is on Steve.)

"Well, I'm Tony goddamn Stark!" Tony says after a few moments, and Clint looks up again, sucking frosting off his index finger. Nobody's looking at him weirdly, and he's grateful. "I demand this be the grandest wedding in history!"

"I thought it was supposed to be about the bride?" Steve asks, and Tony looks about two seconds away from stomping his feet like a petulant child.

"But why doesn't she li-i-ike it?" he whines, and drags Steve over to show him the red and gold center pieces he's considering.

"Hey man, congrats," Bruce says casually as he moves to follow Tony, clapping Clint's shoulder as he goes.

Clint nods. His entire team is pretty stellar, but there's a reason Bruce is his favorite (apart from Natasha, of course). "Thanks."

Bruce grins. "When did this happen? I thought we'd be invited." There's no hurt in his voice though, just curiosity.

"A while back. Wasn't a big deal," Clint says, because it wasn't. "In and out in a minute, you know?"

Besides, Director Fury had been their witness and that had been traumatizing enough, thank you.


"So I came out to the guys today and told them we're married," Clint tells Phil later that day, when they're both bent over Chinese takeout cartons in Phil's apartment.

"How'd that go?" Phil asks.

"Was a non-issue," Clint says. "Pass me the duck sauce?"


The wedding is two weeks off when Tony is starting to look a little frayed around the edges. He keeps showing up at the tower in an increasingly rumpled state, and the rings under his eyes grow. Clint's a little worried--they all are--but he's trying to stay out of it for the most part. He likes his team, but he's not their personal therapist, and he's definitely not a wedding planner, thanks.

It works out well for him until he's in the common area kitchen one day, grabbing a cup (pot) of coffee, when Tony literally runs in and practically throws himself at Clint.

"Help!" Tony gasps, voice raspy.

Clint is immediately on alert, wishing he had his bow with him. "Threat alarm?"

"No!" Tony wails, and Clint relaxes--then instantly tenses again, realizing just in time for Tony to say, "It's Pepper!"

"I really don't think I'm the right person for this conversation," Clint says, trying to inch away from Tony, but Tony's so close their chests are practically touching and it's difficult.

"But she hates it!" Tony almost sobs. "She hates it, and I don't know what to do!"

Clint doesn't know what it Pepper hates, and doesn't really care. "If she hates something, take it out of the wedding," he says, finally resorting to physically moving Tony aside. He thinks that next time he'll just do his damn dishes so he doesn't have to come out here for a clean pot again.

"But it's already planned, paid for, and--hold on, are you taking the entire coffee pot?" Tony interrupts himself.

"I don't know what you want me to say," Clint shrugs. "I'm not a relationship expert."

"Fine!" Tony snaps, skidding across the floor to stop Clint in his tracks. "Then you get to be the distraction! You're coming with me to test a new bow prototype."

Clint eyes Tony suspiciously. "Compound or recurve?"

"Recurve, of course!" Tony says, with an outraged look on his face. "What the fuck do you take me for? I know you by now, Barton."

Sipping coffee from the pot and ignoring how Tony wrinkles his nose at him, Clint considers for a moment before nodding. "Fine," he agrees. "But no more wedding stuff, I'm tired of hearing about it. You're making it needlessly complicated."

"Am not!" Tony responds indignantly.

"If she hates something, take it out of the wedding," Clint repeats, clipping his words. "Now show me this bow."


Thor comes back into town a week later, and laughs heartily when he sees Tony's disheveled state. "My brothers," he laughs, clapping one hand on Tony's shoulder and one hand on Steve's. Tony wobbles under the weight; Steve does not. "Is not a bonding of souls a joyous occasion in this realm? Is not love a thing to be celebrated rather than feared?"

Clint snorts into his beer and exchanges an amused glance with Natasha.

"For some, maybe," she says with a little smile.

"You mock my pain," Tony groans.

"Are we mocking Stark? Did I miss it? Am I too late?" Phil says, walking up behind Clint and pressing a quick kiss to the back of his neck.

"You're all fired," Tony snaps, which makes Natasha laugh outright.

"None of us work for you," Steve points out.

"Bruce does."

"You love Bruce too much to ever fire him," Natasha says, and Bruce gives a fucking adorable grin in Tony's direction. Clint snorts into his beer again as Phil sits down next to him, leaning their shoulders together. Tony doesn't protest to Natasha's words, just stands up and runs both hands through his hair.

"I'm going to go bald over this," he complains.

"Why would your commitment to love be accompanied by a loss of hair?" Thor asks, sounding puzzled, and Tony sighs in defeat.

"Someone explain it to him, please. I'm going to go get another drink."

"Bring me a beer," Phil says.

Tony scowls. "Fuck you, make your husband do it."

Phil just smiles blandly as Tony walks away, so Clint leans over and pecks him on the lips. "I'll get you one."

"Anything they have on tap," Phil says, then immediately gets drawn into a conversation about security protocols with Natasha.

Clint ends up standing next to Tony at the bar, and Tony puts his head down against the surface. "This is seriously spazzing me out," he says, and he sounds strained. Clint's regretting coming over here.

"Only because you let it," he points out.

Tony's head shoots back up and he looks like he might actually cry. "I'm not letting anything!"

Clint shrugs. "I fail to see the problem. If you don't want the big spectacle, don't have the big spectacle."

"You make it sound so easy," Tony grumbles.

Clint frowns, because it is that easy, but what does he know? He's never been a billionaire, and he married Phil, not Pepper Potts. It's probably different for Tony.


Two days before the wedding, Clint and Phil are sitting on the roof terrace and watching the city. Neither of them are big on PDAs so they rarely snuggle publically at the Avengers Tower, but it's 4 a.m. and they're indulging. Clint is sitting between Phil's legs, leaning back against Phil's chest, and he's pretty damn content with life. Under his ear, he faintly hears the muted thumps of Phil's heart, and he can feel his scars through the thin t-shirt he's wearing.

"Hey," he says, "I'm glad you're still here."

"You know, me too," Phil muses, leaning down to kiss the top of Clint's head.

Tilting his head back, Clint smiles and gives Phil access to his lips instead. Their kisses are deepening and heat is just starting to blossom in the pit of Clint's stomach, when the door suddenly bursts open and Tony storms out on the terrace.

"Oh my God," he shrieks, arms flailing, and Clint frowns as Phil pulls away--all the way away, moving away from Clint's body to stand up.

"I'm going to go downstairs," Phil says, stroking one finger down Clint's arm. "I'll see you later."

"Wait, don't leave me with him!" Clint complains, but Phil's already gone.

"Oh my God!" Tony repeats, flinging himself dramatically down in the spot Phil vacated. Clint moves over a little. He has zero desire to snuggle with Tony.

"Now what?" he asks, because he's an awesome friend, thank you.

"She's crying!" Tony declares, and he sounds both confused and frustrated. "I don't even know what I did!"

Clint shakes his head. "You have the most drama filled relationship, I swear."

"I just want to give her a good wedding!" Tony moans. "The best wedding! I don't even know why we're going through all this chaotic--chaos!"

"So don't," Clint sighs. "If you don't know why you're doing it, then don't do it!"

"It's not that easy," Tony pouts, and Clint about loses it.

"Yes! Yes it goddamn is!" he says, and he's not shouting--he's not. He's just raising his voice slightly, is all. "If you want to marry her and she wants to marry you, that's all you gotta do! You have your marriage license, so you fucking take her to the courthouse or to a minister or to any goddamn asshole who got ordained via the internet and you marry the hell out of that woman!"

Tony stares at the ground for a long time. "You haven't regretted it?" he asks eventually, quietly.

"Not for a single second," Clint immediately responds, knowing exactly what Tony's asking about. "Not ever, not even once."

Tony stares some more, before straightening and pulling Clint into an awkward hug. Clint's not a hugger--he's never been one--and he doesn't really know where to look or where to put his hands. Before he can think too much about it however, Tony's already moving away again.

"Thanks, Clint," he says earnestly, then disappears back inside.

Clint sighs and wonders if someone was lying to him when they told him Tony's a certified genius, and then goes downstairs to join Phil in bed.


Two days later, Tony Stark throws a massive wedding reception that neither he or his new wife attends.

"Pepper sent me a photo," Natasha says leaning over the table and the massive amount of glasses she's got in front of her, hoarding drinks like an alcoholic hamster, to show her phone to everyone. The photo shows Tony and Pepper lounging on the beach somewhere tropical. The rings under Tony's eyes are gone and Pepper's smile is wide and genuine. Identical gold bands glint on their hands.

"Did the paparazzi find them?" Steve asks curiously. He's always interested in the paparazzi. Clint doesn't know if its because he hates them so much or because he's fascinated by the concept of them.

"Nah," Clint says, sipping his champagne. "I don't even think they know that they eloped two days ago."

"I wish he'd done it sooner," Bruce sighs. "Coulda saved us all the hassle."

"But then we wouldn't have this awesome reception," Natasha says, toasting Bruce with a glass of something that could be wine of some sort. "Free booze!"

Thor laughs and joins in on the toast, which then turns into an impromptu table-wide toast and cheer.

"To Tony and Pepper," Thor says, then smiles warmly at Jane who blushes furiously. "To love."

"Ugh," Natasha says, not all that serious, and slams back a shot of something. "Feelings."

Next to Clint, Phil smiles at him and nudges his arm. "Dance with me?"

Clint makes a face. "You know I'm not much of a dancer."

"I don't care," Phil says. "I'll lead. It's a wedding reception. There should be dancing."

Leading him out onto the floor amongst the scattered couples already there, Phil guides Clint into a gentle sway that's not hard to follow. They dance in silence for a while, just listening to the jazz and moving with the music, and Clint thinks about Tony and Pepper and their not-wedding.

"Hey," he says, because he has to ask, "Do you ever--"

"Fuck that," Phil interrupts him immediately, firmly, and Clint laughs. Phil's not much for fanfare, either.

"Yeah," Clint agrees. "Me neither."

They sway to the music and laugh together when red and gold confetti starts falling from the ceiling.