The day the news came, Clint had honestly been expecting a lot worse.
An “ I’m leaving, we’re done” instead of a “ we’re going to have a kid” , for example.
And really, what the everloving futz kind of news was that? How was he supposed to react to that, coming home to news that he was going to be a dad .
Panic, right, that was a reaction.
A very, very valid reaction that he hoped Bobbi didn’t take to heart because really that was great news but he was so not meant to be a father.
Seriously, it wasn’t like he had anything to base that off of - his own dad had been the exact opposite of what a kid deserved and - oh. Right.
He could see Bobbi shifting uncertainly at the length his silence had lasted, so he moved forward to plant a kiss to her forehead, fingers on his left hand immediately going to tangle in her hair as he wrapped around her in a hug.
God, they were having a kid .
A shaky laugh escaped him, followed by what sounded to his own ears like a choked off sob.
Clint pulled back, catching Bobbi’s eyes, his wide smile counterbalancing the noise. “I love you,”
And wow, those words felt right. Why’d he wait so long to say that?
Neither of them really slept that night, Clint too wide awake and full to the brim of emotion to try and Bobbi too amused by his babbling and affection to feel really notice until both of their alarms went off not long after they’d both managed to doze off.
She lifted her head to stare at the offending noise before glancing over her shoulder at Clint - still sound asleep despite the noise, arm thrown protectively around her middle and fingers just brushing her stomach.
Okay, that was kind of cute. And an improvement from his usual tendencies.
From the time the news came, Clint was on board 100-percent. And he took any spare time he had around Bobbi to talk about it.
Plans to baby-proof. Stuff they needed to start looking at soon. Names.
Bobbi started to tune it out after week one, but it did still bring a smile forward when he started in after a particularly rough day, starry eyed and content in a way that he had never been before. Hopeful.
On nights where it got to be too much, all it took to silence him was a stolen kiss, a fondly exasperated look.
The first doctor’s appointment after Clint found out, he’d argued on the phone for two hours to get off from SHIELD just to come with her.
She’d insisted he didn’t have to be there, but he was stubborn on the best days. This was definitely not one of his better days if the icy “ you’ll give me today off or you’ll find an arrow somewhere you really won’t like” was any indication.
He’d stared at everything in wary concern, like any of it was going to be something harmful, only calming down when Bobbi grabbed his hand and squeezed it gently just before the doctor came in.
He answered it with a kiss to her forehead, then one to her stomach, followed by a soft grin the likes of which she’d only seen the first time he woke up to her right next to him.
Even better was the look on his face when he saw the ultrasound. She almost wished she had a picture of it - wide-eyed wonder and something that she could only describe as pure love took over his entire expression even though she knew better than assume he knew how to actually understand it.
His grip on her hand was bordering on painful, but she didn’t say anything. Just squeezed his hand back and returned to her appointment without so much as missing a beat.
Two months into the pregnancy, the wonder settled out into actual nervousness.
Clint spent a lot of nights awake watching Bobbi sleep worriedly, or staring at the ceiling with his traitorous thoughts telling him every possible way this could end badly.
It wasn’t like the two of them had been on the best footing when Bobbi got pregnant - it was hard to tell sometimes, but Clint knew .
And what if his want to be a good man didn’t outweigh the bad blood he had running through his veins?
It was terrifying, but he never mentioned it to her.
He wasn’t going to screw this up. He refused to.
He was at work when he got the call, a post-op debrief with Coulson that he’d ducked out on with the promise he’d be right back .
He never made it back to the meeting, falling apart right there in the hall in front of the meeting room door.
“We lost the baby, Clint. I’m so sorry.”
And god, if Bobbi had sounded less together, Clint probably would have thrown his phone at the nearest wall. But she had and that just wasn’t fair.
He stuck his head into the meeting room once he was sure he was done with his immediate meltdown, locking eyes with Coulson and ignoring the worried look he got. “I gotta go, I’ll email you everything,”
No argument came, and god if it wasn’t such a shitty situation, it’d be something to marvel at.
At the hospital - futz, he hated hospitals, they took everything good - he immediately kissed her forehead, arms wrapping around her as he climbed onto the bed with her and let her break the same way he’d done.
Clint didn’t ask what had happened. Even if they could somehow know, he didn’t want to know.
And suddenly, the rush he’d felt faded away and he pressed another soft kiss to the top of Bobbi’s head.
This was better, anyway. They weren’t ready to be parents.
But god, it hurt. Why did it have to hurt ?
He didn’t say anything. He couldn’t.
For all that it hurt him, it had to hurt her worse. She’d been way more attached to the kid - it had been actually growing in her, he couldn’t even begin to imagine how awful she felt.
And so, he stayed there, glaring daggers at anyone who came near them as she fell asleep on his chest, cried out and exhausted.
Would they be okay after this? God he hoped so, he didn’t want her to deal with this alone.
He didn’t want to deal with this alone either, but she didn’t deserve to.
He marked the day the kid would have been born on his phone’s calendar anyway.
And if she saw him, she didn’t say anything about it, for all that it almost sent her crying again.
They would’ve been great parents, he thought that first night at home. The universe just had to take that away, but they would have done so futzing good .
Too late now.
Clint, for the first night since he found out, slept with his back to Bobbi instead of wrapped around her. He didn’t want her to wake up to him falling apart silently beside her when she needed her rest.
She deserved that much.