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Flirting in Formal Wear

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Bucky reaches up and grabs the knot of his tie and then stops. He wants to tug it lose, make it one less thing that’s pulling at his attention. He wants to be here, at an award ceremony for Rhodey, but standing at the table their group is assigned to is making him regret that want. Steve is with Tony, trying to get them the table in the corner they’d been promised. Pepper and Darcy are scouting out the table they’re supposed to be at and are talking to the people sitting there. Bucky gives in and tugs on his tie, trying not to focus on the stage at his back or the crowd in front of him. He tries to focus on Sam standing just to the left of him. He takes a deep breath. Clint drops into a chair near him and grimaces. Bucky manages a tight-lipped smile, at least he’s not the only one feeling overwhelmed.

Clint points at the door as he tilts his head and raises his eyebrows. Bucky glances at the door then back to Clint. “Please.”

Clint says something with his hands quickly to Natasha, then sticks close to him as the two make their way to the door. Sam trails behind them, following close enough to watch their back, but not so close as to be on top of them. Bucky tries to distract himself by thinking of a way to tease Sam for watching his back, except as soon as they’re out on the sidewalk he notices how tight Sam’s shoulders are. Clint slips into a nearby alcove and they follow him. Bucky leans against the building next to Clint, watches silently as Clint pulls out his hearing aids and sighs in relief. Bucky feels his tension start to ease, it’s easier here with a wall at his back and knowing he wasn’t the only one feeling overwhelmed.

“It was too loud in there,” Clint explains.

Bucky finishes tugging his tie loose as Clint smiles at him. Sam pulls out his phone. “I’m going to text Steve we’re outside.”

Bucky glares. Sam rolls his eyes. Bucky sighs, “You’re right, he’ll worry less if he knows where we are.”

Clint laughs, then teases. “And people think you don’t like each other.”

“Who says we like each other?” they both mock.

Clint smirks. Bucky feels himself starting to relax even more. Sam leans against the brick next to him. Clint frowns at him, Bucky frowns back. Clint wrinkles his nose. Bucky raises his eyebrows.

“Did Tony give you that tie?” Clint asks, still wrinkling his nose.

Sam leans around Bucky to get a look at his it. Bucky finishes pulling the tie off and frowns at it. He looks back up at Clint and nods. He glances at Sam.

He’s about to ask what’s wrong with his tie when Clint continues, “It’s very red. Is it the one with the outline of Iron Man’s helmet stitched in rows on it?”

Bucky stares at the tie a moment before admitting to Clint. “I thought it was War Machine.”

Sam starts laughing. Bucky gives him a glare.

“It’s Rhodes ceremony and their helmets are similar,” Clint agrees as he pulls out his phone. “Going to suggest to Tony that get those ties remade in grey.”

“I’d want one,” Bucky nods.

“Don’t tell me you’re going to build up a collection of Avengers merchandise to rival Clint’s collection,” Sam teases.

“You have an Avengers collection?” Bucky asks looking at Clint as he indicates the tie.

“Best clothes I own,” Clint smiles. “Don’t have that one though, it’s not gaudy enough.”

Bucky grins.

“This looks like a nice spot,” Steve comments as he joins them.

“Hey Cap,” Clint greets. “We get our table?”

Steve nods. “After Pepper reminded them we prearranged our seats.”

“Oh no.” Sam grimaces. “What did you and Tony do this time?”

“He might have loudly been suggesting we get Rhodey involved,” Steve says with a mildly abashed look.

“So Colonel Rhodes could give them that why do I put up with this face?” Sam guess, then shakes his head. “And I bet you were behind Tony giving them your disappointed face. Yeah, I thought so.”

“It was a plan,” Steve protests.

“It was a ‘you and Tony thought it up together’ plan,” Sam criticizes.

“Our plans works,” Steve defends.

Sam raises his eyebrows and crosses his arms, his face clearly convening his skepticism.

Steve smiles and shakes his head. Clint pokes Bucky and raises his eyebrows. Bucky shrugs. Sam smirks. Clint winkles his nose. Bucky sighs and nods towards the door while looking at Clint, who sighs and puts his hearing aids back in. He winces when one of them whines briefly. Bucky forces himself not to grumble as he puts his tie back around his neck. Clint frowns at him, then says. “I’ve got you.”

Bucky stills as Clint fixes his tie for him, knotting it efficiently and smoothing it into place. It’s not as tight or constricting as before and it’s in place. Bucky smiles his thanks. Clint echoes that smile back, then stays close to him for the rest of the evening. He sits next to Bucky and cracks jokes, while leaning his chair against the wall behind him. He’s distracting, but in a way that never leaves Bucky feeling as though he isn’t aware of his surroundings.

Afterwards he seeks Clint out, finds him playing a video game in the common room. Bucky stalls. He’s not sure how to proceed. Steve is his friend, they’ve always been friends, except when they were forced to be enemies. Sam is his friend through Steve. He isn’t sure he remembers how to make a friend anymore, even if he wants to. He hasn’t even interacted with anyone in the tower without Steve or Sam already there. He’s already been looming behind Clint for several awkward seconds. Maybe he isn’t looming? Bucky’s on the verge of turning around and going back to his room when Clint turns to look at him and ask, “Want me to teach you how play this?”

Bucky realizes Clint paused his game somehow. “What’s it for?”

Clint shrugs. “Distraction. Fun.”

Bucky nods and takes a place on the couch next to him. Video games segues into Clint starting to teach him ASL, which segues into dinner. Bucky finds himself seeking out Clint’s company as much as he seeks out Steve’s or Sam’s. He’s findings himself looking forward to spending the evening with Clint when Tony arranges for all of them to go out of Pepper’s birthday. He even volunteers to let Clint and Natasha know that everyone is wondering where they are. He pauses outside Clint’s open door when he hears raised voiced.

“You aren’t skipping this to go be screwed over by your brother,” Natasha’s voice is commanding, brokering no arguments.

Clint groans. “Maybe I just don’t want to wear a monkey suit? Tony has us basically taking over that whole restaurant, why do we have to dress up?”

“You know why,” Natasha’s tells him, voice full of gravel and accusations.

Clint sighs. “Pepper likes us fancy and it’s her birthday, and she’s amazing.”

Natasha makes a considering noise.

“I’m dressed,” Clint complains. “I just have to put on a tie.”

“You haven’t told Barney to fuck off,” Natasha accuses.

“He’s my brother. Hey, hey, no, don’t do that. Come here. You’re still my sister, you’re always going to be my sister.”

“We chose that,” she tells him, “We chose not to kill each other.”

Clint’s laugh is hollow. “He was being manipulated the first time.”

“So were you.”

Clint’s answer is too low for Bucky to hear and he knows he should let them know he’s there, but for a moment he doesn’t know how to move. He’s only just starting to get to know Clint, but the thought that Clint might knowing fling himself into danger gives him pause, makes him feel cold in a way he doesn’t like. Bucky shakes his head.

“Do I need to call Kate?” Natasha asks.

“No, she’s on vacation, with Lucky. Don’t call Kate. I can’t, when the two of you decide something for me it’s impossible to tell you two no.”

“Then stop doing stupid things that could get you hurt.”

“Half the time you’re right there next to me doing them! I know this is different. Nat, it’s our mom.”

Bucky frowns, he thought Clint’s parents both died when he was young.

“You already bought her a headstone,” Natasha counters.

“He doesn’t like it and wants to figure out something else,” Clint explains.

“Is he going to help pay for it or try and get you involved in something you’ll have to firmly tell him ‘no’ about?” Natasha pushes.

“You already know the answer to that. He’s probably just trying to get my attention,” Clint admits.

“Sometimes you have to let people go.”

“Can’t we argue about cuff links instead? I would really rather wear a suit that doesn’t need them.”

“We are being fancy for Pepper,” Natasha tempers. “Also buy new cuff links.”

“It’d be like admitting he’s gone.”

“Phil would want you to buy your own. He’d tell you that you can’t have just one pair,” Natasha encourages.

“He did like being dapper.”

Bucky misses Natasha’s response. Before they can continue Bucky knocks on the doorframe so that they’ll know he’s there. Natasha doesn’t look surprised to see him. Clint turns and stills as he takes Bucky in slowly. He starts to smile, before he presses his lips together and baits, “Really? You’re still letting Tony pick your ties?”

“Have you seen the way his bowtie matches Pepper’s dress?” Bucky asks as he wonders if they’re flirting.

Clint turns towards Natasha and raises his eyebrows. She gestures at her form fitting green dress that flares out at the bottom of her thighs. Black flowers surround the collar, looking like a necklace, but they’re also sewn around the sleeves, spiraling out over the top, as well as accentuating her waist. The flowers also surround the bottom, sewn in a way that makes them look like they’re growing up the gown to draw attention to the flare. The sides of her hair is held back in by two black jeweled flower clips. “Pepper’s dress is light blue, without the flare, but just as form fitting. It also has tea rose and peach colored flowers from the slit to the top on the left side. His tie is the same blue and has matching flowers. He had it specially made to match her dress.”

Clint looks from Bucky to Natasha, then asks, “Should my tie be green?”

Natasha touches her dress. “Do you have one in this color?”

“I think so.”

“Find Bucky something that isn’t red and gold stripes. It looks like Tony is marking his territory. It’s not cute.”

Clint grins.

“No.” Natasha tells him.

“But…”

“He is not wearing a red star or the Captain’s shield,” Natasha tells Clint firmly raising her eyebrows.

“Light purple?” Clint suggests.

Natasha considers Bucky for a moment, then turns to Clint. “A Hawkeye tie might be appropriate.”

Clint nods and heads into his bedroom.

“Steve sent me up,” Bucky explains. “We’re leaving soon.”

Natasha smiles at him briefly, then suggests, “We should buy you your own ties.”

Bucky pulls up his tie, frowning down at the large gold and red diagonal stripes. “Yeah, I could use my own. I don’t think Tony was being mean.”

“Not mean-spirited, no,” Natasha tempers. “Though teasing Steve by putting his best friend in Iron Man colors; that I wouldn’t put past him.”

“True,” Bucky agrees, shifting his weight as he forces himself not to shuffle his feet. He’s not sure how to arrange the three of them going shopping.

“I’ll talks to Tony and Happy, see if we can borrow Happy for an afternoon,” Natasha suggests.

Bucky smiles. “I’d appreciate that. Thank you.”

“You’re welcome,” Natasha agrees with an understanding smile. A month prior Sam had talked him into stopping for lunch after therapy with Natasha joining them. Sam had just stepped out of the car when Happy demanded Bucky shut the door and took off, with a reassurance that both Sam and Natasha would notice the car trailing them. Happy’s quick thinking and ability to know who to trust and who to call for help had kept them both safe that day. Bucky knows he’ll feel better about being away from the tower with less back-up if Happy is there.

Clint returns holding four ties. He puts a shiny lavender one over his shoulder and then passes the two green ones to Natasha. She compares them to her dress, before setting one down and taking the other purple tie from Clint. It’s the same color as the highlights in his uniform. Bucky steps closer to get a better look at it. A pattern is sewn in, similar to the way the Iron Man helmets were sewn into the tie he’d worn for Rhodey’s ceremony.

“Why is there a man in a cowl with the letter H on it all over your tie?” Bucky asks.

Clint smiles fondly. “Cause Tony wants to show he cares and has too much money.”

Natasha hums in agreement.

“He’s mocking me in a fun way,” Clint amends. “He found pictures of me in my circus costume and made me a Hawkeye tie based on it.”

“I like it,” Bucky smiles.

“Me too,” Clint agrees.

Natasha points to the green tie and Clint puts it on before offering Bucky both his custom tie and the plain lavender one.

“Really?” Bucky asks as he points to the custom tie.

“Really,” Clint agrees as he reaches forwards slowly. Bucky tilts his head to give Clint access. Clint removes Tony’s tie in quick precise movements, before taking his time as he puts his tie into place. Bucky watches his face as he does so. Clint’s eyes concentrate only on Bucky, and his tongue peeks out from the side of his lips as he makes sure the tie looks just right. Beside them Natasha’s lips quirk into a smirk.

“Usually you’re more subtle,” Clint chides.

“You don’t tend to do well with subtle,” Natasha points out.

“I know when to just agree with her,” Clint tells Bucky, meeting his eyes briefly, before he finishes smoothing the tie into place. Bucky resists the urge to catch his hands as Clint steps away. Their eyes catch again and Bucky isn’t sure what to say, he’s already missing the closeness of the moment before.

“We’re almost running late,” Natasha reminds as she picks up her heels from where she left them by Clint’s door.

At dinner Bucky sits with Clint on one side and Steve on the other. The staff have put together several smaller tables for their large group. Darcy sits across from him near Thor and Jane. As the appetizers are served she tells him, “Switch with me, then Clint won’t have to turn to talk to you and I can text Kate so Clint and I can both tease her for not being able to make it.”

“I haven’t met her,” Bucky admits, grateful that Darcy is suggesting he move. Clint turns to look at him when they’re talking, but they’re sitting so close the angle is awkward.

After they’ve switched seats and Thor finishes giving Bucky a shoulder jarring clap on the back Darcy explains, “She’s the other Hawkeye. Clint’s training her to work with the Avengers in case he’s not available. She also happens to be my gorgeous girlfriend.”

Bucky isn’t sure how to express the relief that Kate isn’t Clint’s girlfriend. He raises his eyebrows at Clint, who shakes his head and wrinkles his nose. “Friends. Very much just friends. She’s a lot younger than me.”

“She had this vacation planned before we got together,” Darcy shrugs. “I couldn’t get out of work. We’ll take one together in a few months.”

“Does she like purple as much as Clint?” Bucky asks.

“It’s her signature color too,” Clint nods.

Sitting across from Clint allows their conversation to flow more easily. It also allows Darcy and Clint to easy pass Darcy’s phone between them as they text with Kate.

Bucky is feeling regretful that the evening is over and they’re about to head back to the tower, until he sees the crowd waiting outside. He backs into Clint without thinking about it and is grateful when Steve steps in front of him. He glances back at Clint who’s standing with his body angled so that Bruce isn’t visible. People are asking questions rapidly, between that and the rapidly flashing cameras, Bucky quickly feels overwhelmed. Bruce swears softly.

“I know Doc,” Clint reassures. “We’ll get you out of here.”

Tony is already stepping forward, pulling the focus towards him and Pepper. He wraps an arm around Peppers waist and angles himself towards her as he announces, “I think the focus should be on the CEO of Stark Industries since it happens to be her birthday. We all just happened to be lucky enough to help her celebrate.”

“She should be,” Natasha agrees as moves to Pepper’s free side, draping herself elegantly on Pepper. “Tonight we’re just the accessories.”

“You’re never just an accessory,” Pepper reassures Natasha with a tilt of her head, before she shifts her gaze to Tony and teases. “You on the other hand…”

“It is your birthday,” Tony grins.

While Tony, Pepper, and Natasha distract the crowd Happy, with Clint’s help, ushers Bucky and Bruce to the car. As Bucky closes the door he watches as Natasha draws Rhodey forwards to Pepper’s side and steps back to help Sam ease Steve into taking pictures for the crowd. Thor of course has attracted his own small crowd and is laughing joyfully as he gestures to both Jane and Darcy. Bucky shuts the door firmly and feels himself relax as he watches Bruce lean his head back into the seat and close his eyes. Clint is a reassuring presence pressing against his side. Bucky glances at him. Clint smiles at him, reaches down and gives his hand a squeeze. Bucky squeezes back, and leans in, letting Clint takes his weight. He sighs in relief and closes his eyes as Clint lets go of his hand to wrap an arm around Bucky’s shoulder, holding onto him firmly.

Natasha arranges an afternoon for them to go shopping swiftly. Steve offers to go with them.

Bucky frowns at Steve, then Sam, before shaking his head. “You’ve been looking forward to going to the art museum since you guys decided to go.”

Sam starts to open his mouth and Bucky knows he’s about to offer himself.

“No,” Bucky cuts Sam off before he can start. “You watch Steve’s back. Clint, Natasha, and Happy will watch mine.”

Steve nods, before ducking his head, shifting forward then raising his eyebrows. Bucky pulls him into the hug he’s asking for.

“They’ve got me,” he reassures.

“I know,” Steve agrees.

“We’re shopping for ties. I’ll be okay,” Bucky reminds.

He believes it until he sees the enormous selection of ties and bowties that the store Natasha asked Happy take them to has. For one brief moment he can’t move as he stares at them, then Clint wraps an arm around his shoulder, rests his chin on Bucky’s shoulder, and encourages, “Pick a color and start there."

“Purple.”

“My favorite color,” Clint agrees. “Or we can give in and just defer to Natasha.”

She already has several ties in her hand. She looks back at them and raises an eyebrow. “If you didn’t only wear Avengers T-shirts and worn jeans I might allow you more of an opinion.”

“You mean I’d be less comfortable,” Clint volleys back.

“One cannot seduce in comfort,” she counters.

“I’m not trying to seduce anyone,” Clint tells her.

Her eyes run up and down both of them slowly. “I don’t believe you.”

Clint steps back. Bucky’s eyes meet Clint’s as he realizes Natasha meant the two of them.

“How do you feel about bowties?” Natasha asks when Bucky turns back to look at her.

“Favorably,” Bucky hazards a guess. “I think.”

Natasha takes Clint by the shoulders, turns him towards the purple ties, then pats him on the back. She takes Bucky’s hand and leads him over to the bowties. She gives him a conspiratorial smile, then asks softly, “And how do you feel about poorly dressed archers?”

“I only know the one,” Bucky whispers back.

She arches her eyebrows again.

“Favorably.”

She pats his shoulder, nods sharply, then starts holding bowties up as she studies him critically. He knows he can trust her judgement and situational awareness. He watches Clint studying different ties a few feet away, before he looks at a nearby display of Avengers themed ties and bowties. Bucky finds his eyes drawn to a dark purple bowtie with a small arrow charm available in both silver and gold that’s meant to be tied in with the tie.

“He did not offer me that,” Bucky comments to Natasha.

Her eyes shift over. “That’s new. He’s going to want it. The Captain American one is new too. This is the first time I’ve seen one for Falcon.”

The bowtie themed for Sam is black with red in it that feathers out from the center. The one for Steve is a dark blue with small Captain America shields scatter all over it.

“Steve’s is gaudy. Sam’s would look good on me. I like Clint’s and yours,” he decides.

The Black Widow bowtie is two ties, the larger one black, and then the smaller front one red tied to look like an hourglass.

“You should get the Falcon one and see how long it takes Sam to notice,” she suggests.

Bucky smiles at the thought. “That’ll be fun.”

Clint walks over holding several ties. He hands Natasha a black one and a silver one. She nods then holds them up towards Bucky. Clint’s eyes drift over to the Avengers display.

“Focus,” Natasha chides as she drapes the silver tie over Bucky’s shoulder.

“New selection,” Clint protests.

“Bucky is getting Falcon, mine, and yours,” Natasha informs him.

“Hulk’s color is purple too, so without the arrow that could represent him too,” Clint muses. “He’ll like that.”

“He will,” Natasha agrees, “What else do you have?”

Clint holds out a lavender tie and a silky red one, then he holds up a black one with a dark blue design on it as he explains, “I didn’t take Bucky for a paisley kinda guy, but this one looked cool.”

“It does look good,” Natasha agrees as she takes her time holding them up and looking at Bucky. Clint begins making funny faces at him over Natasha’s shoulder. Bucky bites his lip to keep from laughing. Natasha arches an eyebrow, then turns to look at Clint, “Which did you like best?”

“Mine.”

“I gave you yours back,” Bucky points out.

Clint wets his lips. “If he’s getting my bowtie which one do I get?”

“Not Captain America,” Natasha tells him.

“Don’t tempt me,” Clint laughs.

“Don’t tempt him,” Bucky agrees, it really is gaudy.

“Let’s find a mirror,” she suggests as she points one out and begins to head over.

Bucky starts to follow then pauses as he takes in a new bowtie. It is several shades of blue, the background a navy with lighter swirls throughout and it has a blue police box floating on one side. Clint stops next to him. Bucky looks at him, “Isn’t that the show Bruce and Tony like?”

“It’s fun,” Clint agrees. “They’re more into it than me though.”

Bucky pulls down two.

“They are going to love that you got them matching ties.”

Bucky smiles at him. For himself Bucky ends up getting the silver tie, the black with the dark blue paisley, the plain black, and the three bowties he’s already picked out. Natasha makes Clint buy new jeans before they head to lunch. They convince Happy to join them with the promise of showing off Bucky’s purchases.

Tony loves his tie, even goes on for a moment about how it’s worth giving up Happy for an afternoon. Then Bucky tells him he got one for Bruce too and Tony is hugging him tightly. Bucky hugs him back.

“He’s won an award, for science, because he’s awesome. The ceremony isn’t as big as Rhodey’s was, but maybe I can talk him into us wearing these,” Tony grins then heads off to get Bruce to agree.

Bucky finds himself looking forward to spending another night with Clint, both of them dressed up. Then Clint leaves with Natasha for a mission and he finds himself on edge and worrying the whole time they’re gone.

After he’s snapped at Steve and Sam for the umpteenth time that day Tony tells him to follow him down to his workshop. Bucky manages to bite back his surly response, give a clipped apology to his friends, and follow Tony down to his sanctum. Tony calls out a greeting as soon as they’re through the door, then picks a ball up off a workstation and tosses it to him. Bucky catches it.

Bucky watches silently as Tony’s bots roll over and he greets them. “Now I got the impression that Bucky is well liked down here. Anyone want to play catch with him?”

Butterfingers rolls back and away, heading towards a work bench where he begins to sort the things laid out there.

“Fine,” Tony calls after him. “We’ll be over here pretending to have fun and having an uncomfortable conversation!”

“I don’t want to have an uncomfortable conversation,” Bucky tells him as he eyes the ball in his hand.

“It’s going to be uncomfortable because I’m bad at this, but you need a break from your friends and your friends need a break from you,” Tony explains as he goes to a cabinet and pulls out a box of different sized bouncy balls. He tosses one out and You catches it.

“You’re my friend too,” Bucky reminds tossing the ball in his hand towards Dummy who catches it and volleys it back.

“Aw, I’m touched,” Tony mocks before he tosses out another ball to You, who drops the first ball to catch the next one. Dummy rolls over, picks up the ball off the floor and tosses that one towards Bucky too. You toss his ball back at Tony.

“I’m being a punk,” Bucky admits. Then he frowns. “I’m not sure that’s the right word.”

“So which one are you into?” Tony changes the subject.

“What?”

“Natasha?” Tony plows ahead. “She’s just as scary as you, has similar experiences.”

“There’s history there, we still haven’t figured it all out,” Bucky admits slowly, still unsure what Tony is getting at.

Tony lobs another ball out to You and Dummy clacks at Bucky, who responds by tossing one of the balls out for him.

“So Clint then. Is it the arms? Tell me it’s the arms.”

Bucky catches the ball Dummy tosses at him and frowns. He’s beginning to think he knows what Tony is implying. “Am I that obvious?”

“More that you have a limited supply of social networking,” Tony shrugs as You drops the ball he’s caught and clacks at Tony for another one. “It’s on the ground, send it back.”

Tony grins when You listens. He catches the ball and sends it back. Bucky sends one of the bouncy balls he’s got back to Dummy, who catches it easy and tosses it back. As he sets down the spare bouncy ball in his hand Bucky admits, “I didn’t realize I’d be this worried.”

“They’re gone. We know they’re in a dangerous situation, but don’t need our backup right now, but we’re all still on edge,” Tony agrees. “Are you sure you want to date the human disaster that is Clint?”

“Date?” Bucky blinks.

“Is this a lust thing?” Tony asks. “That might not go as well, though it might be good to get it out of your systems.”

Bucky tosses the ball to Dummy and turns to stare at Tony. He catches the ball easily when Dummy sends it back.

“Like I said, human disaster,” Tony defends.

“I’m the disaster,” Bucky counters.

“No, you’re the guy that got fuck with and deserves a break,” Tony contradicts as You decides he’s done with playing catch and moves to help Butterfingers. When Bucky tosses the ball to Dummy, he tosses it to Tony.

“That could be anyone on the team.”

“You get extra bonus points in that department. Clint has brainwashing too, but he had days, you’ve got decades.”

“Brainwashing?” Bucky stills, watches as Tony toss the ball back to Dummy. Dummy swirls back and forth between both of them for a moment, then tosses the ball to Tony.

“He’s fine. He’s Clint. It’s not my story to tell.”

“I’ll ask Steve or Clint,” Bucky pushes at the same times he decides that he’s not going to ask.

Tony nods before tossing the ball to him. Bucky catches it and passes it onto Dummy, who decides to lobe it back at him. Bucky catches it and sends it back.

Tony shakes his head. “Good. I’d probably not tell it right and then you’d both be upset with me.”

“I’m not upset,” Bucky reassures.

Tony catches the ball as Dummy sends it to him, then tosses it to Bucky, who sends it back to Dummy.

“For now,” Tony grumbles as he catches the ball.

“I’m not,” Bucky insists.

Tony tosses the ball to Bucky, then frowns. “I’m supposed to be mocking you about your infatuation with our resident archer, not being morose. No one wants to be morose right now Barnes.”

Between Tony’s tone and facial expression Bucky can’t help but give in and laugh. Tony smiles. Dummy makes a clacking noise and Bucky tosses him the ball.

“Hey this is me being supportive, but this is as far as that goes,” Tony continues as he catches the ball. “You don’t want relationship advice from me, trust me, but I can be a supportive friend.”

Bucky stares, tilts his head.

“What?” Tony asks as he tosses the ball back to Dummy.

Bucky catches the ball. “You’ve never call me your friend before.”

“Like I said, bad at this.”

“I can think of several people who’d disagree,” Bucky offers. “Can I ask you something personal?”

“You were waiting for me to say we’re friends,” Tony narrows his eyes, but his tone is teasing. “This is a trap, isn’t it?”

“I don’t think so,” Bucky says slowly as he tosses the ball back to Dummy.

“Okay shoot,” Tony agrees as he catches the ball that Dummy tosses to him.

“I know I have a shared history with Natasha. I only remember bits and pieces. Do we have a shared history too?”

Tony stills, shoulders going tense. He stares down and sighs. “I’m not…Steve and I…”

Bucky waits for Tony to find his words. It’s disconcerting. Tony always has words.

Tony takes a deep breath, squares his shoulders and turns towards him. Dummy rolls over and nudges him with the ball. Tony reaches up and pets Dummy briefly before he meets Bucky’s eyes. “It boils down to we got used by the same person.”

“What did HYDRA do?”

Tony shakes his head. “A person, he used me and later I found out that he’d used you too, but we’re not going to talk about it right now.”

“Why not? You and Steve, does he need to be here before you’ll tell me?”

Tony shakes his head and sighs. “No, it’s more that sometimes you wait till someone is strong enough before you deal them an emotional blow. We’re going to make sure you have a support system in place that isn’t just us before we say anything. It’s what Steve did for me before he said anything.”

“I can respect that.” Bucky realizes.

“Knew you would.” Tony’s smile is a little too sharp, a little too full of teeth.

“I have Steve,” Bucky points out, then says suspiciously. “You think I’ll be upset with him too.”

“I think we’re all going to need so much therapy and like I said, I’m not very good at this.” Tony explains.

“No, you really are.” Bucky reassures.

“When we do end up talking about it,” Tony continues slowly. “I want you to remember that I don’t blame you for anything. You were being used, you didn’t have any control.”

“And we’re friends?” Bucky ventures.

“And I want us to stay friends,” Tony reassures.

Bucky nods, not liking how tense Tony looks. To lighten the mood he asks, “Is this one of those hugging situations?”

“It could be,” Tony teases, shoulders starting to uncoil as he shifts forward. Bucky closes the distance between them slowly, incase Tony changes his mind or Dummy gets uncomfortable. All the bots can be protective of Tony, but Dummy even more so. Bucky has seen Dummy put himself between Tony and Steve when the two were bickering. Tony pulls him in and Bucky wraps himself around the smaller man gratefully. As they start to part Tony says, “Are you ready to go back upstairs and not gripe at your friends, cause I’ve had enough emotional content for today, and I think I need to throw myself into a new project.”

“I’m going to go apologize to Steve or Sam, whichever one I find first,” Bucky agrees. “Thanks Tony. Thanks Dummy.”

Dummy rolls over and nudges him. Bucky give him a quick pet. He says goodbye to Tony and the other bots and then heads back to the common area. He finds Steve drawing on the couch. He drops down onto the floor by the couch and sighs. “I’m sorry.”

“Bad day?” Steve asks still sketching.

“I miss Clint,” Bucky admits.

“You have been spending a lot of time with him lately,” Steve says neutrally.

“Jealous?” Bucky asks as he tilts his head back.

“Have I ever been jealous of anyone you’ve dated?” Steve jokes.

“You’ve never been shy about letting me know your opinion if you didn’t approve,” Bucky volley’s back, then grins when Steve laughs. He sighs, he’s not sure what to say next.

Steve sets his pencil down and wraps an arm around him. “We’re friends. We’re always going to be friends. You still get to have a love life.”

“First Tony, now you. Does Clint know?”

“That you’re interested in him?”

Bucky makes an affirmative noise.

“He tends to be oblivious about this, you’ll have to say something. Be clear.”

“I’m not sure I want to know how you know that,” Bucky teases.

“I’ve known him for a few years,” Steve tempers.

Bucky makes a considering noise, as he reaches up to grip the arm Steve has around him. He sighs, leaning his head back against the couch and closing his eyes. Then he asks, “Sam?”

“He had work, he’s running a group.”

“I need to apologize to him too,”

“He knows you didn’t mean to snap at him,” Steve reassures.

“He still deserves an apology.”

“We could take him out to dinner when he’s done,” Steve suggests hesitantly.

Bucky tilts his head back further and opens his eyes so he can take Steve in.

“I know you’re still uncomfortable leaving the tower,” Steve tempers.

Bucky gives him a brief smile. “I feel safe with the two of you too. I don’t always trust myself, but I trust you to bring me home. I trust the team to look out for me too.”

Steve smiles at him sadly.

Bucky groans. “We’re getting sappy, stop. Video games until we go get Sam?”

Steve shuts his sketch book as he agrees. Sam gives him a hug, no apology needed. Bucky apologize anyway and they have a nice dinner. When they get home Tony is helping Bruce make hot chocolate in the kitchen. Rhodey is curled up asleep in a recliner. Natasha and Clint are on the couch. Natasha is yawning, but tense, with a movie playing in the back ground. Clint is hugging his knees and also tense. Neither Rhodey or Natasha look injured, Clint has a bruise darkening his cheek, but that’s the only visible injury. Sam moves to help Tony and Bruce. Steve goes to Natasha and Clint asking how they are. Bucky stills, not sure what to do. He’s not even sure if he can be any help.

“We’re fine,” Natasha reassures Steve. “Rhodes was closer when it became apparent we needed back up. We’re all fine, just tired.”

Bucky watches as she reaches out and touches Clint, who picks up her hand and squeezes it. He says something soft to her and she nods, before getting up and walking to Bucky. She pauses to squeeze his arm. She tilts her head when their eyes meet. “We’re fine. Go sit with him. Clint doesn’t like to be alone after a mission. I need some space.”

He nods, then watches as she heads to the kitchen for tea. He joins Clint on the couch, greets him quietly as he watches Steve cover Rhodey with a blanket. Clint turns so that his back is against the couch. He taps Bucky’s thigh with his toes. “Hey, I missed you.”

Bucky rests his hand on Clint’s ankle, “I missed you too.”

“Don’t look at me like that, I’m fine. Just tired. Rhodes had our back.”

Bucky nods, then catches the blanket that Steve chucks at him. Sam comes in and hands Clint a cup of hot chocolate.

“Oh yeah,” Clint grins as he wraps his hands around the mug, “Thank you.”

Bucky starts covering him with the blanket. Clint smiles at him over the lip of his mug. Bucky drops back down onto the couch, not ready to be away from him yet. Clint tucks his feet under Bucky’s thigh. Bucky’s eyes rove over him again, accessing for injuries. Clint raises his eyebrows as he sips at his hot chocolate. Sam shoves a mug in Bucky’s hand. “Don’t be morose.”

“I’m not,” Bucky grouches at him before taking a sip of his drink. He pauses to savor the flavor and then stares at the mug.

“Bruce is the best,” Clint tells him before Bucky can ask why it tastes so good.

“He is,” Sam agrees as he finds a chair. Steve accepts a mug from Bruce and settles in a chair next to Sam. Bruce sits on the other side of Steve. Tony puts the mugs he was carrying on a side table near the recliner Rhodey is sleeping in, before crawling into the recliner and snuggling up to his friend. Tony tells Rhodey he has hot chocolate, Rhodey wakes up long enough to tell Tony he’s sleeping.

“Suit yourself,” Tony tells him, before reaching over and getting a mug. He shifts so he’s not in danger of spilling on Rhodey.

Bucky settles into the cushions, enjoying his cocoa and the closeness of Clint as the conversation ebbs and flows around them. When Clint eyes start to droop everyone encourages him to get some sleep and Bucky goes up to his room with him. He talks to Clint as he brushes his teeth, then accepts a hug before Clint heads to his bedroom. Bucky head back to his room wanting more, wishing he could’ve spent the night. He knows Clint is safe, he knows, but it’s easier to believe that when Clint is right there in front of him.

Clint spends most of the next morning sleeping. When he joins Bucky for lunch, he tells him, “I have to head to my apartment for a few days, but I’ll be back in time for Bruce’s ceremony.”

Bucky frowns, trying not to feel disappointed.

“I’ve talked to Tony, I’m planning to bring Lucky back with me.”

“Why do you have to talk to Tony about your dog?” Bucky wonders as he realizes he’s never even met Lucky. He’s heard about Clint’s dog and seen pictures, but he’s never actually met him.

Clint shrugs. “To be polite? I usually say at my apartment when I have Lucky. Kate and I share him so we trade off. She’s had him more lately because of my being busy with Avengers business.”

“Your apartment?” Bucky asks.

Clint looks abashed for a quick moment, his cheeks going pink. “I kinda own an apartment building.”

“Kind of?” Bucky pushes.

“Okay, I do own an apartment building. It’s a long story, but things worked out and I have someone I hired who helps manage it for me since I’m away so much and I spend a lot of time here, at the tower, but I have to check in with him and so I’m going to go do that today.”

Bucky nods. “Do I get that story sometime?”

“Yeah,” Clint smiles. “If you promise not to tease me after.”

Bucky smiles back. “No promises.”

Clint gives him an overly dramatic sigh and raises his eyebrows.

Bucky laughs.

“I’ll be back in time for Bruce’s thing,” Clint promises again, before giving him a hug goodbye. He sends Bucky a picture of his dog and they text. Bucky’s is anticipating seeing Clint again, then he can’t sleep the night before Bruce’s award ceremony. It leaves him on edge all day and he’s not sure what to say when Sam and Steve encourage him to stay home when he’s already mostly dressed to go.

“You think I’m going to hurt someone?” Bucky asks, trying to not let the words stick in his throat.

“I don’t want anyone to hurt you,” Steve shakes his head and gives him a pleading look.

“I’m not frail,” Bucky tells him firmly as he ties his bowtie. He glances up to see Sam pressing his lips together.

“No one is say you are,” Steve tries.

“That is my tie,” Sam distracts. “Sure you don’t want me to wear that?”

“You can’t wear your own tie,” Bucky teases, gratefully latching onto the subject change. “That’s just egotistical.”

Sam laughs. Steve sighs and pulls Bucky into a hug.

“You could wear a Cap tie instead,” Bucky suggests to Sam. “It’s gaudy, but I think you could pull it off.”

Sam shakes his head as Bucky pat Steve on the back and steps away.

“Clint will be there, I’ll be fine,” Bucky reassure, hoping he’s right.

When they get to the common area Clint is sitting next to Bruce on the couch. He’s in his suit, but his tie is loose. Tony is piling blankets on top of Bruce, while rapidly offering reassurances and alternative plans.

“What happened?” Steve demands, already on alert.

Clint shrugs. “Bruce is having a bad day.”

“So is Bucky,” Steve lets them know.

Bucky glares at Steve, who shrugs at him. Sam pats him on the back. Bucky’s eyes meet Clint, when Clint tilts his head, eyes following the movement of Sam’s hand. Clint looks good, the darkness of the suit bringing out the lightness of his eyes, which is highlighted by a tie of a similar color.

Bruce sighs and pulls a blanket around himself. They all knew today would be difficult for Bruce, he doesn’t like crowds, but he wanted to go.

“Bruce?” Steve prompts as he goes to sit on the couch and offer comfort.

Bruce shrugs. “Honestly I can’t tell if Hulk is putting his foot down about us going because I’m so on edge about it or if he’s seeing something I’m not.”

“It wouldn’t be the first time he was the first to spot a threat,” Steve says neutrally.

“Which is why Pepper, Natasha, and Happy are making sure our gear goes with us,” Tony reassures.

“I can help,” Sam volunteers.

Steve glances up at Sam, then at Tony. “What’s the plan?”

“Right now Barton and maybe Barnes stay with Bruce. I or Pepper, probably Pepper, go accept the award on his behalf. We bring our gear in case it’s a thing we need super suits for,” Tony explains.

“Good plan,” Steve nods, before he looks at Clint, then Sam and Bucky. “Anything to add?”

Bucky shakes his head, his shoulders are already starting to relax at the thought of staying at the tower tonight. He’s been wanting to spend time with Clint, but he’s really not feeling up to going out. Clint and Sam both agree with the plan and Steve asks Tony if he thinks Natasha, Pepper, or Happy would have anything to add.

Tony shrugs. “We’ll ask when we get down there.”

Steve nods.

Tony crouches so he can look at Bruce. “You need anything else?”

“I feel stupid,” Bruce sighs.

Sam steps forwards and squeezes Bruce’s shoulder, offering a reassurance. Bucky hesitates for a moment, then Clint glances at him, face worried. Bucky steps forwards, switches places with Steve on the couch. He sinks into the cushions and angles himself so he can look at Bruce. “I could stay at home too. I was trying to make myself go, but I didn’t get much sleep and have been on edge all day.”

“I know the feeling,” Bruce sighs, rubbing at the bridge of his nose.

“I think we all know the feeling,” Tony adds. “So rest and let us take care of this for you.”

“Thanks Tony,” Bruce agrees, before pulling him into a brief hug. Goodbyes are quick after that and soon it’s just Bucky sitting on the couch with Bruce and Clint.

“Movie?” Clint prompts.

Bruce glances down at himself, he’s still in loose fitting jeans and a worn t-shirt. “Pajamas first?”

Bucky raises his eyebrows.

Clint smirks. “Pajama party? Let me guess I should make popcorn?”

Both he and Bruce agree enthusiastically enough that Clint laughs and shoves at Bruce. “Okay, okay. Popcorn it is, after I get out of this suit. Any objects to Lucky joining us?”

When they agree Clint encourages him and Bruce to go change while he makes popcorn, reminding them that it’s loud. Bucky follows Bruce up to his room, finally managing to ask him, “Are you okay?”

Bruce sighs. “Getting there. Grateful to have good friends. You?”

Bucky nods. “Agreeing with you.”

Bruce offers him a small sad smile, gives his shoulder a squeeze and agrees to see him in the common room. Bucky goes to his room, taking his time changing his clothes before heading downstairs. Clint is at the stove. His jacket is hung on a chair, his sleeves rolled up. He’s also barefoot, his shoes and socks under the chair his jacket is on. He dumps popcorn in a bowl. Bucky’s eyes track him and he makes himself sit down in a chair at the counter instead of closing the distance between the two of them. Clint smiles at him, slides a bowl of popcorn in front of him. Bucky smiles back, then ducks his head against Clint’s shoulder when Clint steps around the counter and pulls him into a hug.

“Missed you,” Clint tells him softly.

Bucky pulls back enough so he can look at Clint and say he’s been missing Clint too. Clint touches Bucky’s chin. The elevator doors open.

“Would you pick out a movie with Bruce while I go change and get Lucky?”

Bucky nods. They part slowly. Bucky watches Clint gather his things and walk away as Bruce walks in. He and Bruce share popcorn as they get JARVIS to help them pick a movie that Clint will like too. Lucky greets Bruce enthusiastically. Bucky doesn’t even have time to get nervous that Lucky won’t like him before Lucky is wagging his tail and sniffing at him. Then Lucky sits down and gives him pleading look. Bucky glances at Bruce who laughs. Lucky whines and lifts a paw, then wiggles in place. Bucky looks back at Lucky not sure how to react. Lucky stills.

Clint laughs as he walks in. “That’s his ‘you’re a new person who has food and I’m a good boy so you should give me all your food look’. Lucky no.”

Lucky huffs in frustration before settling down on Bucky’s feet.

“Hi,” Bucky ventures.

Lucky covers his snout with his paws and sighs loudly.

“No,” Clint reiterates.

Lucky whines and rolls on his back.

“You already ate, spoiled,” Clint laughs as he joins them. “What are we watching?”

The night settles into them occasionally watching TV, in case a news story of the Avengers comes up, playing with Lucky, and just talking. It’s relaxing. Bucky manages to sleep well after heading to bed, all of them reassured when the team comes back safe. Tony tells Bruce that Hulk was right to worry, but that they headed off the problem with words and it didn’t dissolve into a fight. Tony also comes back with cake for the three of them.

Bucky and Clint eat their pieces the next morning as Clint tries to convince Darcy she can come back to New York early and go with her girlfriend to an event.

“It’s work Clint,” Darcy tells him. “Jane needs me. Want me to try and convince Thor to accompany Kate?”

Clint groans. “No, I told her I would.”

“Yeah, but Thor loves fancy parties, you just find them exhausting and uncomfortable.”

Clint rests his hand in his chin. “I should be a supportive friend here. I can be a supportive friend.”

“You’re a very good friend,” Darcy agrees.

Clint sighs, but says his goodbyes, before he takes another bite of cake and gives Bucky a pouting face. Bucky shrugs and laughs, pushing a napkin at Clint so he can wipe the frosting off of his face. Clint licks his lips, then swipes at his face with the napkin.

“Fancy party?” Bucky asks when Clint is look at him again.

“Me, hanging out with a whole group of people who are all at least ten years younger than me,” Clint groans. “Don’t get me wrong, Kate’s awesome. Her friends are just exhausting and then I have to dress up and everyone’s all fancy and I have to be polite.”

“You’re not polite?”

“There’s a difference between me being polite and me being customer service Avengers polite,” Clint explains.

They spend the rest of the day together. They walk Lucky, get lunch, and play video games until Clint needs to get ready. Lucky jumps up onto the couch after Clint leaves. He rests his head on Bucky’s thigh and huffs. Bucky pets him with a smile, “I know, but he’ll be back.”

Lucky sighs, but he barks happily when Clint comes back into the room, leaping off the couch and knocking Clint over to lick his face. Bucky heads over, sits down, and pulls Lucky into his lap, petting him as Lucky licks his face too. Clint laughs.

“Now your suit is all mess up,” Natasha chides as she walks in.

Clint laughs again, then tilts his head back to look at her. She leans the doorway as she tosses Clint a lint brush and then holds up a treat for Lucky. He bounds over and sits in front of her.

“I didn’t ask yet,” she chides.

“Make him do something other than sit,” Clint teases as he stands, then reaches down a hand to help Bucky up. He starts rolling the dog fur off his suit as Bucky starts smoothing out the suit. Lucky whines. They turn to look at Natasha, who’s watching them with a smirk on her face.

“What?” Clint asks.

Natasha widens her eyes, giving them a brief faux innocent look before turning back to Lucky and having him sit. “Do you want Bucky or I to keep him company?”

Clint glances at him.

“I don’t mind,” Bucky tells him.

Both he and Natasha agree to spend time with Lucky, then finish making sure Clint looks presentable.

“I’m going to have to introduce you to Kate,” Clint muses as he’s heading down to the garage to meet Happy.

“What’s she like?”

Clint pauses and thinks for a moment before he says, “A lot like Darcy. She says what’s on her mind, and she’s an amazing archer too.”

“She wouldn’t be Hawkeye too if she wasn’t,” Natasha comments before she snaps her fingers as Lucky and he follows her as she leaves the room.

“She is not subtle,” Clint comments as he walks over and gives Bucky a hug goodbye. “There are some things she’s just not subtle about.”

“I was advised you don’t like subtle,” Bucky says as their hug lingers.

Clint pulls back just enough to look at him. “About most things. Natasha is just trying to…I’ll explain later. I have to go.”

They part slowly. Bucky waits until Clint is out the door before heading to the common room to see if Natasha still has Lucky. She turns and raises an eyebrow when he walks in. “Well?”

“Well what?” Bucky attempts to clarify. He glances over to where Steve’s making himself a sandwich.

“He can’t help you,” Natasha advises. Steve laughs.

“I think I did good on my own,” Steve tells her as he ties the bread closed.

“Would you have even flirted with Sam had I not been pushing you to flirt with anyone?” Natasha asks with a smile.

Bucky laughs. “It’s a lot of work to get him to flirt.”

“Really?” Steve asks. “I’m over here defending myself and you just agree with her?”

“I remember that much, you weren’t great at flirting,” Bucky counters, then tempers. “Of course I’m not good at it now.”

“Don’t be subtle,” Steve tells him.

“He’s not,” Natasha informs Steve as she joins him in the kitchen and pulls a plate down. “Neither of them are.”

Steve smiles, shakes his head, then reopens the bread.

“Movie?” Bucky suggests, hoping to change the subject and not have a full discussion on the merits of him dating Clint, they’re getting there, at least he thinks they are, and he’s not sure he needs interfering friends.

“Popcorn?” Steve puts in. “I know I don’t make it as good as Clint does, but it’s still good.”

Natasha agrees to pick a movie, then find Bruce, if Steve makes her a sandwich and popcorn. She ends up splitting her sandwich with Bruce. They’re only just past the credits when Tony joins them and they convince him to settle in with a bowl of popcorn. Sam comes in just as they’re picking out a second movie and Tony is ordering pizza. Bucky ends up taking Lucky back to his room after and the two of them settle in for the night.

The light of his phone receiving a text wakes Bucky up. He glances at the message from JARVIS that Clint is home. He pushes himself out of bed, then shakes his head when Lucky whines about being jostled, but follows him out of bed.

He finds Clint in the common room kitchen staring at the coffee pot.

“Maybe coffee after you get some sleep,” Bucky suggests.

Clint sighs, then reaches down to scratch at Lucky’s ears when Lucky leans into his legs.

“I think I need some to wake me up enough to change my clothes and head to bed,” Clint groans. “Me, chaperoning a bunch of barely twenty-somethings, who thought that was a good idea?”

“Did something happen?” Bucky asks as he crosses the room.

Clint leans into him, resting his forehead on Bucky’s shoulder as he sighs. Bucky wraps his arms around Clint, holding him tightly. Clint sighs. “I had Kate and Happy, and Kate’s friend can handle themselves.”

“What happened?”

“Trouble?” Clint groans. “Have I warned you I attract trouble yet?”

“Isn’t that why we’re friends?” Bucky tries. “We both have that happen.”

“Friends?”

Bucky reaches up and cups the back of Clint’s head. “Aren’t we?”

Clint makes a sleepy noise and Bucky isn’t sure if Clint is agreeing, disagreeing, or if he didn’t hear. He pulls back, waits until Clint is looking at him before suggesting that they get Clint up to his room and to bed.

“Best idea all night,” Clint agrees with a yawn.

Bucky wraps an arm around Clint and leads him to the elevator, Lucky following. When they get to Clint’s floor Lucky trots on ahead to Clint’s room. Clint pulls away, attempting to undo one of his shoes and sways. Bucky wraps an arm around Clint again and coaxes him into his bathroom and gets him to brush his teeth. After he gets Clint to sit on his bed, Bucky bends down and takes off Clint’s shoes and socks.

“I can do this,” Clint yawns.

“I’ve got you,” Bucky reassures, before he eased off Clint’s jacket and lays it on the bed. He undoes Clint’s bowtie and put it in the pocket of the jacket, before he starts unbuttoning Clint’s shirt.

“I feel like I should point out I’m not useless, but I’m not going to stop you,” Clint comments as Bucky finishes unbuttoning his shirt and slides it off Clint’s shoulders. Clint eases the shirt off his arms and lets Bucky take it and set it with his jacket.

Bucky slides a finger under Clint’s undershirt, waits until Clint is looking at him before asking, “Sleep in this or something else?”

“This is fine.”

Bucky nods before getting Clint to stand and undoing his pants and sliding them down past his thighs. He gets Clint to sit before crouching down and removing his pants. He finds a hanger in Clint’s closet and put the clothes away. He turns back to the room to find Clint pushing half-heartily at Lucky so he can pull the covers back. Lucky huffs, stands, turns in a circle and then collapses on the bed in the same spot he’d just been laying in. Clint laughs. Bucky shakes his head.

Bucky walks over and smiles when Clint leans in against him. He wraps an arm around Clint, hooking his chin over Clint’s shoulder. Clint grips his arm. “Stay?”

Bucky nods. When Clint turns to smile at him slowly Bucky teases him, “I suspect this is so that I’ll turn off the light for you and get Lucky to move over.”

Clint yawns and nods. Bucky shakes his head laughing slightly as Clint stumbles the few steps to his bed, drops down onto it then takes his hearing aids out, putting them in a container by his bed. Lucky groans as Clint gets under the covers and his feet disrupt where Lucky is sleeping.

“I tried to get you to move over,” Clint grumbles. “You only have yourself to blame.”

Bucky smiles as Lucky huffs and moves to a new spot before he turns off the light and joins Clint under the covers. He falls asleep to Lucky settling in the gap between his and Clint’s legs. He wakes on his side facing Clint, with Clint’s arm around his waist. Lucky is curled up against his back, a steady warm presence.

“Morning,” Clint whispers at him.

Bucky smiles and repeats the sentiment.

Clint presses a thumb against Bucky’s chin. “I had this whole thing planned out where I asked you on a date before I got you into bed and if you don’t mind still doing this a little backwards I’d really like to kiss you right now.”

Bucky leans in, closes the distance between them. Clint’s lips brush his. Bucky presses closer as their lips move in tandem. Clint’s fingers gripping the front of Bucky’s t-shirt, pulling slightly as he shifts onto his back, changing the angle and letting Bucky kiss down into his mouth. They part slowly. Clint licks his lips, reaches up and cups Bucky’s face, then asks, “Breakfast as a first date?”

“Will there be more kissing?”

“So much more kissing,” Clint promises.

Bucky grins, then pauses. “Do we have to dress up?”

Clint wrinkles his nose. “You look good all dressed up, but I’m thinking more we figure out I probably only have cereal up here and then head down to the common room.”

Bucky laughs, leans in, and gives Clint another kiss.