Actions

Work Header

What Makes Us Family pt3

Chapter Text

Clint woke in Medical, letting out a groan and alerting Phil to his consciousness. He tried not to startle when Phil’s face suddenly appeared in front of him, he still couldn’t hear anything and was barely aware that he’d even made a noise at all.

Phil looked haggard, worse than he usually would after a hellfire fight. His red eyes suggested he hadn’t slept in a while, making Clint wonder how long he had been out.

His last memory was being in the suite; he’d just laid Lila down for a much-needed nap and then everything started to go foggy. He sat up suddenly, startling Phil into catching him thinking he was trying to get off the bed; he wouldn’t have been able to due to the straps around his wrists and ankles though but Phil hadn’t considered that.

“Where’s Lila?” he asked, not hearing his own voice.

Phil just sighed at him and sat on the side of the bed, taking Clint’s hand and undoing the strap around his right wrist; not answering. Clint tensed when another set of hands were on him, carefully putting a new set of hearing aids into his ears. He turned to see Natasha. She looked unusually exhausted; he could tell it was more mental exhaustion than physical. Her eyes betraying her stone mask.

“Seriously, someone best answer me. Where is my daughter?”

Fear erupted when he saw Natasha’s face crumple just a little bit; grief and heartache painfully obvious.

Phil let out another slow sigh, clenching his eyes shut for a moment, forcing away his own pain. “We don’t know who but they used too much Chloroform and suffocated her. Stark’s still working to get everything from JARVIS pieced together. We know Pepper was involved though.”

Clint shook his head, huffing a punched-out breath. “What?”

“Barney’s dead, if that helps.” Natasha tried uselessly, knowing it wouldn’t.

Clint tried to get off the bed, but the strap on his left wrist stopped him. Phil stood to subdue him but Clint shoved his hands off and yanked at the strap, pulling his arm free. He knocked into Natasha as he tried to stand, stopping short and falling half into the floor with a grunt. His ankles were still secured by straps.

Phil just sighed again and rounded the bed to pick him up; ignoring Clint’s attempts at pushing him off. He laid Clint down and caught his fist as it flew at his face, expecting Clint’s anger to the devastating news. He held Clint to the mattress, letting him yell and curse at him and struggle against him until he ran out of steam.

When he was limp, Phil released him and took his hand again. “The ME’s report said that she was gone for a while before the physical abuse started, so it wasn’t painful at least. Can’t say I will give them the same privilege.”

“How about letting me up so I can go find them?”

“If Stark hasn’t found them yet, what makes you think we can?”

Clint huffed at Natasha, making another feeble attempt at sitting up. Phil pinned him with a hand in the middle of his chest and a stern eye. He groaned as he surrendered again, going limp. He knew she was right; he had no way of knowing how to find anyone and he couldn’t very well do anything still strapped to a hospital bed.

“Anyone else I love die?”

“Lucky was suffocated as well. I’m absolutely certain he tried to protect her.”

Clint just sighed, feeling hopeless. Phil moved and laid down beside him as Natasha unstrapped his ankles, helping him roll over onto his side and hugging him tight. Clint burrowed himself against Phil, hoping desperately that everything was a dream and that he would wake up to his daughter safely in his arms again.

####################################################

He was released from Medical the following morning. Phil and Natasha escorted him back home, neither willing to leave his side for very long and never at the same time. They bundled him between them in bed, Phil was glad that Tony ordered them a new bed. He wasn’t fond of the fact that Phil and Clint would return home to the bed their daughter was murdered in; let alone the fact that Sam discovered Lucky two days after they returned.

It just had to be replaced and Tony was quick to do the job. He could do that much since he wasn’t able to do anything to bring their daughter back to them alive.

Clint didn’t speak for three days, even when forcing himself to attend the funeral with Phil. He was too devastated to grieve openly, surprising everyone when he stayed so stone faced during the funeral.

Sometimes S.H.I.E.L.D. training was a blessing; most of the time it was a curse because it made him seem heartless and uncaring about losing her. But Phil and Natasha knew the truth. Clint punished himself, falling back to his self-harm. After discovering the fresh cuts, Natasha hid every razor, knife, and dagger she found in the suite. Phil hid all the lighters and the blow-torch, just in case Clint found them and burned himself again.

Natasha wouldn’t have thought about hiding anything that produced a flame, but after Phil told her the horror stories, she understood his actions.

Phil came home after a long work day full of phone calls and emails, he ignored the mountain of paperwork on his desk telling Agent Hill he would get to them when he felt like looking at them. He sighed as he stepped into the suite, the too quiet space almost deafening despite the lack of the happy laughter Phil had become so accustomed to when he came through the door. But at least it looked like Natasha managed to get Clint into the shower and Bucky had come to keep Clint company.

He let his briefcase thump to the floor carelessly; taking off his suit jacket and considering putting it on the chair before letting it drop to the floor as well. He toed off his shoes next, leaving them in the middle of the walkway, and rolled up his sleeves as he made his way into the living room. Before he sat down, he took off his belt and let it clatter to the coffee table.

When he sat, Clint leaned stiffly into his side; curling around him. Phil felt the drumming nerves in his love calm and slip away slowly as Clint let himself go limp against him.

“Any improvement today?”

Natasha shrugged, hand rubbing Clint’s hip slowly. “If you consider Barnes literally poking at him until he was annoyed enough to yell at him, yeah.”

“I forgot about his ears,” Bucky huffed a laugh, moving his hand and showing Phil the impressive bruise still on his jaw. “If you’ve never had a broken mandible, you’re fucking lucky. It actually hurts.”

“In his defense, Clint did sneak brass knuckles.”

Phil chuckled into Clint’s hair, landing a soft kiss. “He’s socked me a few times. Always check him for weapons when he’s quiet. Silence equals danger with him.”

Bucky just shrugged and held his jaw again. “He’s snapping out of it at least though.”

Phil adjusted his hold, helping Natasha put a blanket over Clint; squirming ticklish as Clint untucked his shirt from his pants and snaked his hand under the fabric slowly. He knew Clint was just looking for comfort, not attempting to get a rise out of him. Natasha had already put Clint in Phil’s hoodie despite the hot summer day; she just cranked up the air and found herself a jacket to battle the chill she knew would soothe him.

An hour later Natasha ordered dinner for them. She easily took on responsibilities of caretaker, especially with Clint, but she was glad to have Bucky’s help knowing she couldn’t do everything on her own.

Phil had to coax Clint to eat, feeding him easily. Usually it was a romantic notion between them, but for now; Phil just had to make sure food actually got put into Clint because he knew Clint wouldn’t eat on his own while he grieved so hard. He grieved as well, but in private away from the others; his mind telling him he needed to be seen as the strong one of the team. That he wasn’t allowed to grieve openly, he had to suffer quietly and alone.

In reality, Phil knew his mind was lying to him; that the voices were just a product of his intensive training and he could seek comfort with someone, Clint especially, but the years of pushing away emotions kept him from finding anyone’s shoulder to lean onto.

Natasha knew every time he hid away but also knew never to call attention to it; doing so would only make Phil close off completely. She just had to be around for him, letting him see she was there for everything they would need.

Sure, sleeping on the couch was uncomfortable, but losing a child hurt so much worse. Her physical aches were nothing compared to their pain. She could deal with a few kinks in her back to help them through the darkness.

Chapter Text

Phil would be lying if he claimed he met with Nick having peaceful intentions. He lost all trust in his long-time friend after finding out he was involved in everything that was happening. Nick was the one who allowed Barney to escape, ordering his guard to leave long enough to let the man out of his cell. He was the one who opened Steve’s cell door, giving him the materials to finish his task.

Alexander Pierce wanted Clint out of S.H.I.E.L.D. but knew if he tried to terminate him from the agency, someone would shout discrimination and Clint would be prompted to sue. But, pushing the man to his death; nobody would suspect anything involved him.

He ordered the multiple hits for Clint’s life, each failure angering him and driving him to push harder.

Thanks to Tony’s habit of hacking, Phil found more information and their plans for more attacks. It seemed Pierce didn’t take into consideration that Clint now had a family and they would fight to keep him alive.

Phil stepped into Nick’s office, greeting Agent Hill amicably despite his worry that she was in on everything, and sat down in the empty chair in front of Nick’s desk.

“Do make this quick, I need to get back to Clint; he’s still not functioning well.”

Nick just smiled at him. “I have information.”

He sighed and shook his head. “The only information I’m interested in right now is where to find the rest of the bastards who murdered my daughter; the child you once swore to protect.”

“I mean, if you don’t want to know about the strange signals we’ve received from NASA, then why come at all?”

That sounded too much like a trap to Phil. He shrugged, inconspicuously clicking a cufflink that was fitted with a comm and camera linked to the tower. “Because you told me you knew where I could find Rogers. I’m sure you’ve found Mr. Barton?”

Nick shrugged, leaning his chair back and putting his feet up on the desk. “I’m always impressed by the Blood Eagle; very Viking of you. Reminds me of our days in the Rangers.”

Back in Manhattan Tony and the others gathered in his lab huddled around a set of monitors; listening to the exchange. Clint concentrated on the slightly grainy video, looking for anything that would hint to Steve’s location.

Natasha crouched at Clint’s feet, watching the screen and mumbling quietly to Phil in Russian; telling him which questions to ask.

“So, Rogers,” Phil pressed again. “I’m not leaving until you tell me where to find him.”

The leather clad director just smiled at him letting out a little chuckle as he pressed a button on his intercom. Phil almost lost his bland mask, not expecting that, but managed to get to his feet as the chair he sat in suddenly fell into a trap door.

“I’m the one who told you to install that there, Nick,” he laughed. “You really think I’d have forgotten you have traps everywhere in here?”

The distraction of the trap door worked though. Phil didn’t see the tranquilizer dart gun Agent Hill had hidden. He felt a sudden pinch on his neck and snatched the dart, immediately realizing he’d made a mistake.

“Well shit,” he slurred before he was crumpled on the floor unconscious.

His team moved quickly when the video cut out; the camera darkened with Phil’s wrist pinned under his body; rushing to the armory to dress and load up on weapons. Clint didn’t care that he was officially no longer an Avenger, he was going to rescue Phil and bring at least one of his loves home alive.

In the jet, nobody argued when he claimed the pilot seat and took off following the signal beacon provided by JARVIS.

########################

Phil woke with a groan and a pounding headache, finding himself strapped to a cold table. He recognized the antiseptic smell in the air and assumed he was in a hospital. He let his head fall back again, grunting when the ache deepened.

“Whoever’s listening, let’s just get this over with so I can escape and massacre all of you,” he taunted, rolling his strapped wrists to test the strength.

Whoever had him, they were severely uneducated in the art of captivity. The straps were just thin, weak leather that Phil could snap with just a flex of muscle.

But he decided to let them think they had him good. It would make beating them more fun for him.

A door opened to his right, blinding him momentarily with the light in a hallway. He groaned as the light shot more pain through his head, blinking to clear his vision of the splotches he saw.

“Jesus, talk about 1,000-watt bulbs. Fuck, where’d you get those; I don’t think the Walmart local to me has any.”

He grunted when the woman slapped him hard, his cheek stinging from the harsh swat.

“Please, sir, I’d like some more,” he taunted, almost making himself laugh. His laughter died when she suddenly jabbed him hard in his eyes. “Oh, you bitch! Cheap shot.”

She let herself give a little bit of a laugh. “See, I can hurt him without physically touching him,” she told someone over her shoulder. Phil honed in on her Slavic accent, filing it away for later information.

“Okay, so this is Helga’s House of Pain then.”

He earned another hard slap for his taunts, realizing that time he didn’t feel a physical hand. That meant whoever this woman was, she had some inhuman abilities. He didn’t expect his mouth to be taped for his troubles, steeling the panic that filled him when she blindfolded him next.

All he could do now was hope that Clint and Natasha were on their way and that they would arrive before he was tortured too severely. Sure, he could handle a metric fuckton of torture, but even he had his limits and he was sure this woman, whoever she was, wouldn’t listen to his safeword tap out.

His breath hitched inadvertently when plugs were placed inside his ears, deafening him as well. He tried to control his breathing, desperately not wanting to show his fears rising quickly.

Clint needed to hurry his toned little ass up and rescue him before he crumpled. He had a reputation of being fearless, he had to keep it like that.

He let out a muffled shout when hot water dumped over his body unexpectedly; almost choking when freezing water fell on his head. He had experience being waterboarded and he hated it severely; but the mix of freezing and hot water was a new shock he wasn’t prepared for.

He didn’t know what their plans were, but he was going to happily murder everyone he came across when he was finally free and had his gun again.

Chapter Text

Phil survived the waterboarding without his resolve crumbling, but just barely. He had a very little-known fear of drowning, only three people in the world knew about it. Three he never would expect to use it against him. Clint, Nick, and Natasha. He was almost certain Nick was working with the enemy after he woke up in the darkness, now he was absolutely sure. Clint and Natasha would never use his one fear against him, never in a million years. Nick, the deceptive bastard, apparently couldn’t be given that same trust.

After two hours of the torture, it finally stopped; but then the shock treatment started. Being wet head to toe made the electric jolts hurt ten times worse, but Phil managed to get through it with only a few audible grunts; calling on his extensive training to zone out and ignore the pain.

Again, he survived, thankful that was only an hour session of pain.

When the shocking stopped, he could hear scuffling outside the dark room and the woman disappeared toward the noise. He sighed and broke the straps, sitting up to unbind his ankles; almost laughing at the weak leather used. He took a moment to let the blood flow to his limbs again before standing carefully; groaning at the crick in his knees. Getting old sucked but he knew Clint would make him feel better.

The thought of Clint made him smile again as he went to find the door, feeling around the dark until he felt the knob. The bright light in the hallway was thankfully dimmer now, he didn’t want to be blinded again. He could still hear rumblings of the fight in the distance and headed toward the noise, expecting to find a few goons along the way. He attacked silently, downing and disarming them almost effortlessly.

Having a gun, he felt better about creeping along the unfamiliar halls.

Clint sprang around a corner unexpectedly, jolting Phil enough that both men raised their weapons instinctively. Recognition hit them at the same time, making them groan and drop their aim; Phil would have laughed at the arrow aimed directly for his head, but the relief of seeing Clint again overpowered him. Clint let out a grunt at the unexpected, tight embrace but went into Phil’s arms easily, chuckling softly into his shoulder.

“Told you not to trust him.”

Phil huffed, clinging to Clint a little longer than necessary given the fact that they were in the middle of a fire fight, landing a soft kiss on Clint’s neck before pulling away. Clint just smiled and followed Phil down another hall with a flickering light overhead, both easily falling into their S.T.R.I.K.E. team mentality. Phil always led; Clint followed ready to take out the enemy; neither having to speak to know how the other would move. Clint went high, Phil low. Both merciless.

Bucky surprised them when he fell out of the ceiling, landing in a crumpled heap on the floor with a young woman on top of him; clawing and punching at him wildly. Bucky pushed her off, sending her barreling into Phil; the move unexpected but Phil caught her without having time to think.

“I told you I’m trying to help you!” he hissed at her, his Russian thick and livid. He let out a huff as he got back to his feet, thankful that Clint secured the woman’s arms behind her; her sharp fingernails hurt against his unprotected face and he’d lost his face guard somewhere.

“She was being kept chained, just get her somewhere she can’t get those claws on anyone else.”

Phil holstered his gun and surprised the woman grabbing up her legs; following after Clint this time, not knowing where to go to find their jet. She continued to curse at them, spewing in languages neither were totally fluent in but both getting the gist of her words. They would be angry too if they were being carted away by strangers after being hurt for so long.

When they finally made it safely to the jet, they were surprised by an EMP burst. Phil risked a glance back seeing a few of their team retreating; Hulk busy destroying the stone structure. He helped Clint sit the woman down and get her buckled into the seat, surprised when she snapped at him trying to bite. He didn’t expect Clint to flick her forehead, directly between her eyes, and get her attention though.

He almost laughed but the stern look Clint gave the woman silenced him; she just glared up at Clint, baring her teeth wildly in a hiss.

“Stoppit,” Clint told her stern, his parental voice thick. “We’re not gonna hurt you so you gotta behave.”

She struggled against the seat belt until Clint snugged a blanket around her; making her still and look up at him surprised by his gentleness toward her.

“Do you speak English as well as every known language?” Phil asked, unbinding her wrists.

She looked between them for a long minute, all three ignoring the team scurrying around them preparing to leave.

“Yes?” she replied unsure.

Phil nodded and disappeared around a corner for a minute; bringing back a cup of microwaved soup and putting it carefully into her trembling hands. Clint dug into the overhead storage and found another blanket for Phil, making him sit down as well. He collected another cup of soup, not letting Phil protest.

“You’re still soaking wet and we were just in the damn snow, take it,” he grumped, finding a clipboard next. He pulled it out of Phil’s reach when he made to grab for it, shaking his head. “I can handle the refugee paperwork this time, chill; just not so literally this time.”

Phil rolled his eyes fondly and smiled at him, settling into the warm blanket. He wanted to take the paperwork, it was his job, but he could let Clint take over just this once.

While Clint filled out the usual incidentals of the paperwork, Phil took his chance.

“So, what’s your name?”

“Wanda,” she replied, sipping at the soup timidly; she expected someone to snatch it away at any time. “That’s what they told me.”

“How long have you been captive there?” Clint asked, pen ready to take down information. “Where were you taken from?”

“I don’t know anywhere else; I was raised here. The doctor said I was abandoned as a baby in North Dakota.”

Phil frowned at the momentary flash of anguish that shot across Clint’s face, filing that away to ask about later.

“Age?”

She shrugged, trembling slowing to a stop as she warmed up. “Seventeen.”

Phil saw the sudden stop of the pen in Clint’s hand and knew something more than struggling with spelling was going on now.

“Do you think maybe you were kidnapped as a baby and they’ve been just lying to you then?” he asked. “Maybe if we did a DNA test, we could find your parents and get you back home?”

Wanda surprised them with a harsh snort. “What if they don’t want me?”

“Then we could possibly find you a place with the team,” he replied easily. “But, I’ve never met a true parent who didn’t want their child, even an unexpected surprise kid.”

“They told me I was abandoned in the trash.”

Phil sighed when Clint gave him the clipboard and stood, walking away; frowning as he turned back to Wanda, letting Natasha go after Clint. She found him in a bunk room and sat down with him, taking his hand.

“Sorry, just reminded me of everything. I mean, other than the trash part, it’s really familiar. She’s even the right age. Just caught me off guard.”

“Well then, if we can’t find her family you know we’ll keep her. Maybe you’ll get a chance to redeem yourself?”

He shrugged. “Don’t think life works like that.”

She sighed, rubbing his back soothingly, letting his head fall to her shoulder. They stayed leaned onto each other for half an hour before Clint was able to go back to the team.

Clint went back to Phil’s side, seeing Wanda curled up beside him; hiding herself under the blanket. Phil just gave him a weak grin, inviting him into the blanket around him. Clint went to his side without hesitation, thankful that he was found and relatively unharmed. He knew the multiple burns littered across Phil’s body had to ache but with care he would heal again.

Despite the burns, he enjoyed the sight of Phil shirtless still; he always would no matter the circumstances.

##################################

Back home, Phil’s wounds were treated. Wanda was kept in Medical for three days before being released. Natasha was quick to welcome the girl into her suite figuring she wouldn’t be too comfortable around a bunch of men yet. Tony collected a sample from her for a DNA test and awaited the results. Clint set to work looking through missing children reports from the time Wanda told them she’d been found.

Phil made plans for taking down S.H.I.E.L.D., enlisting Jasper’s help so he had eyes in D.C., not trusting Nick anymore. As far as he was concerned, that friendship was dead in the water now.

The rest of the team resumed their daily activities, each waiting for the next clue to Steve’s whereabouts.

Chapter Text

Clint snorted awake, unaware that he had even fallen asleep in the main lounge; looking around for whatever it was that roused him. Tony laid unconscious on a couch; tablet dropped in the floor barely brushing his fingertips. Rhodey sat at the other end of the couch, Tony’s feet propped in his lap, snoring deeply.

He sat up with a groan, rubbing the crick in his neck, looking around for the others. The sound that woke him echoed again, a little giggle coming from the hallway. It was frighteningly familiar to him. He stood slowly and went to investigate, heart hammering.

Realistically he knew he couldn’t be hearing Lila, but his heart told him it was her.

A flash of yellow made him turn and look down the hallway, the edges of his vision fuzzy. The laugh echoed again from one of the many little dens down the hall. As he stood watching he spotted the familiar little yellow sundress fluttering, the long brown hair and the face of his deceased daughter turning circles playfully, happily, in the hall.

Pain hit his heart, almost dropping him to his knees.

The illusion of Lila stopped just a foot away from Clint and grinned at him; but her smile was wrong. Lila was still missing her two front bottom teeth; this Lila had all teeth; perfectly straight and clearly adult set.

She raised her hand and shot red tendrils out of her fingers with another delighted laugh; startling Clint back a step.

“You’re it, Mama!” she shouted then took off running.

He turned and looked behind him before he could stop himself, expecting to see the woman the child called out for. When nobody appeared after a minute, Clint went further down the hall after Lila; calling to her as he searched each den.

“Who’s Lila?” she asked, poking her head through a doorway to his left; startling him with her sudden appearance. She looked older now, possibly twelve or thirteen. She still had that long brown hair and now he could see braces on her teeth as she spoke.

“Nobody,” he replied, heart breaking a little more. “Who are you?”

She just giggled at him. “You know me, Mama, duh. I’m Wanda, remember?”

“Mama?” he asked, trying not to sound incredulous.

She smiled, rolling her eyes; looking so much like Phil with that look. “Yes, and I’m the only one allowed to call you that. You said so; even Daddy can’t do it even if he’s just playing.”

Clint shook his head, following her into the den; mind reeling and grasping for anything that would tell him what was going on. He stopped short when the den suddenly turned into the old Carson’s Circus tent and he spotted Trickshot in the shadows. The man stepped forward, a whip clutched in his hand and a disgusting grin on his face. Wanda stood frozen, too terrified to move.

Clint put himself between the two, snarling at Trickshot.

Out of nowhere Clint heard Phil shouting for him and the room shook. He let out a harsh breath as the room changed, he was back in his and Phil’s suite where he’d been watching a basketball game and had fallen asleep on the couch.

“Whoa, hey,” Phil soothed, catching Clint before he could take off running. “It was just another nightmare, you’re fine.”

Clint groaned loud and fell back, hiding behind his hands. “Fuck,” he huffed, relieved to be away from the bad dream. “Weren’t you down with Stark in his lab?”

Phil grinned and shrugged, reaching a hand up under Clint’s shirt and rubbing his chest soothingly; feeling his heart hammering against his chest quickly. “JARVIS alerted me when your vitals spiked. Wanna talk about it?”

He sighed, dropping his hands from his face. “Not yet,” he mumbled, reaching for Phil’s hand and holding tight. “Come cuddle?”

Phil nodded and stood, letting Clint turn over onto his side before lying down behind him on the couch and spooning up to him; wrapping his arms tight around Clint and landing a kiss on Clint’s shoulder. Clint let out a slow breath, his mind calming and the nightmare fleeing, and closed his eyes again.

He wouldn’t rest for a while, but having Phil’s arms around him always soothed him.

He stirred enough to peek when the door opened again and he saw Natasha coming into the suite with Bucky; closing his eyes again when they both claimed an armchair each and settled to spend some much-needed quiet time with them. Even with the constant clicking of Natasha’s phone as she texted with someone soothed Clint’s nerves, the normalcy of the action giving him the routine he needed.

Two days after Clint had the nightmare about Trickshot, Tony called him and Phil down to his lab. He had the results of Wanda’s DNA test. They were curious when they came in and didn’t see Wanda anywhere though; she was the one who would benefit from the results after all.

Tony turned around in his chair when they came in, sighing at them. “So, as you know, I tested the sample against everyone in every known database; criminal, civilian, alphabet agency. All of them.”

“Stark, please, no bravado.” Phil told him, sounding exhausted already.

Tony just sighed and gave Clint the envelope he received. “Buzzkill,” he grumped playfully.

Clint, still confused, took the letter out of the envelope; blinking to clear his vision and try to read the legal jargon. After a minute though he groaned and gave it to Phil to read, giving up when he got to all the numbers and percent signs.

Phil just smiled at him and read quietly, smile falling slowly as he read. “Wait, Stark, are you completely sure these results are right?” he asked. “You’re not just shooting the shit fucking around again, are you?”

“I sent the tests off-site,” he replied. “Wanted to take out any chance of it being tampered with by anyone here.”

Phil frowned at Clint, taking his hand. “Do you know Buck Chisholm?”

“Yeah?” he replied cautiously, frowning.

“Well, he’s responsible for at least half of Wanda’s DNA.”

Clint felt like running away, his mind going back to the Trickshot nightmare. “Fuck,” he huffed weakly; shaking his head to clear away the memory. “Wait, half? Who’s the other half then?”

Tony reached for an empty chair and pulled it over under Clint, sure that his knees were about to collapse under him.

Phil sighed slowly, tightening his hold on Clint’s hand; ready to catch him knowing he would fall. “Well, according to this, it’s either you or Barney and considering Barney can’t-”

Clint fell into the chair before Phil could finish speaking, letting out a breath that felt like it was punched out of his chest. Tony caught the chair so it wouldn’t roll out from under Clint, steadying him with a hand on his shoulder. He looked up at Phil helplessly when the color drained from Clint’s face.

Chapter Text

The results of the DNA test surprised the rest of the team. Phil, still wanting to believe something had contaminated the results, took both Clint and Wanda away from the tower to a state facility to have the test redone. He used his S.H.I.E.L.D. credentials to push the tests to be done faster than the few days wait.

Again, the test results came back saying Clint and Trickshot were Wanda’s parents.

Nobody was surprised when Clint hid from everyone for a week. He wouldn’t talk to the others and barely spoke to Phil the entire week. He wasn’t ready to face Wanda knowing how she felt about being abandoned.

Wanda took the news better than expected though; glad to finally be free from the pain she was subjected to with the underground HYDRA group. But she took Clint’s avoidance to mean he wanted nothing to do with her so she didn’t approach him.

Phil tried to explain to her that Clint usually closed himself off when he was rattled but it seemed she got Clint’s stubbornness and wouldn’t listen.

Tony called a team dinner in an effort to get the two in the same room for more than two minutes. Despite them being as far away from each other as possible, Clint at one corner between Phil and Bruce and Wanda at another between Bucky and Natasha, the others still felt the tension bleeding off both of them. Usually Clint would be talking to Natasha and ignoring the distance between them but now he wouldn’t even look over in her direction when he responded to her.

Nobody expected him and Wanda to just suddenly become the best of friends and knew it would take some time for both of them to adjust and accept things.

Phil was the mutual party between the two, not pushing either to each other knowing they wouldn’t eventually warm up to each other if they were forced together. He asked Wanda questions Clint wanted to ask but was too afraid to do himself. He found out that there was another teenager that was kept captive with Wanda, but he didn’t survive an ambush. They had been raised together; being told they were siblings; twins despite not even looking alike enough to be fraternal twins.

Wanda still spoke about him as her brother though.

After dinner, Tony made everyone come into the lounge for a few movies. Clint simply walked away and ignored Tony calling after him to stay for at least one movie. Phil went after him worried, cornering him in the elevator.

“So, you’re unusually flighty tonight,” he said, leaning into the wall across from Clint. “Anything I should be concerned about?”

Clint just shook his head, blowing out a harsh breath. “No, but since I’m not technically part of the team anymore, it doesn’t make much sense for me to participate in team activity. Besides, me not being around will give Wanda a chance to get to know everyone and get comfortable with them.”

Phil crossed the elevator, tucking Clint into his arms. “If they didn’t see you as part of the team, we wouldn’t be here still. You should at least try with Wanda though; she wants to know what happened; she keeps asking me but it’s not my place to tell her about your past.”

He shrugged, tucking into Phil’s side when the elevator stopped on their floor and followed him to the hallway.

“She’s made it pretty damn clear she hates me, even before we knew anything. She’d just tell me to fuck off and shut a door in my face.”

Inside their suite, Phil put Clint on the couch; going to the kitchen and getting a beer for both of them before sitting down with him. Clint shook away the memory of the last time he accepted a beer from someone else with a sigh, opening the bottle.

“Nothing I wouldn’t deserve either. I mean, I fucking abandoned her to HYDRA. How shitty is that? She’d have had a better chance if I’d left her in the middle of a rattle snake den in the desert.”

“Yeah, you totally knew it was a HYDRA den; let alone knew what HYDRA even was back then. You totally did it with full intent for her to be tortured her entire life.”

Clint snorted at him, rolling his eyes. “You can sit here and tell me that it wasn’t my fault all you want, but in reality, it is because I did abandon her in the first place. If I’d just taken her instead.”

“Fifteen and homeless,” Phil told him. “You’ve said yourself it would’ve been worse if you did keep her under those circumstances. Anyone else would tell you that you should have made sure it was an actual hospital, but I know how you grew up never being taught jack shit so I’m not gonna let them say that. You’re still learning how shit works and so what you’re not the perfect parent; nobody’s perfect.”

He turned to face Clint directly, taking his hand tight. “I just wish you’d at least try talking to her. I’m not gonna force you to do it when it’s obvious you can’t, but please consider trying.”

Clint snorted again, moving to lie down on the couch with his head comfortably in Phil’s lap; grabbing the remote to find something to watch for a while. He let out a sigh, stopping on a random movie; mostly needing the background noise; closing his eyes against the lights that seemed to brighten around him.

Phil let him alone, knowing not to pressure him, feeling him calming slowly as he raked his fingers through Clint’s hair.

An hour later Tony finally managed to annoy Clint enough that he came downstairs to join the others. Phil would have gotten annoyed with Tony for his antics, but he was just glad that something worked. They made a blanket nest in the floor and piled in together, Clint lounged comfortably against Phil, and was soon joined by Natasha and a large bowl of popcorn.

Clint noticed she had her phone and was texting again. He subtly read over her shoulder seeing she was texting back and forth with Wanda; trying to get the girl to gather enough courage and talk to Clint.

A ping from Phil’s phone caught his attention next, making him peek over. For a couple of trained spies, those two did not do a good job of hiding secret texts. Now Wanda was texting Phil and asking him for advice on how to approach Clint. He let out a slow breath, willing away the annoyance he felt toward the three trying to be so secretive, and stood; going to the kitchen for another beer from the team fridge.

He grabbed one for Phil and Natasha as well, choosing to just ignore the fact that he saw the texts. It was what he got for snooping anyways, even though they didn’t try to hide anything from him in the first place.

He took a moment to gather himself again before returning to the nest, passing his companions a beer before planting himself between Phil’s knees again and leaning comfortably back into Phil’s chest; absently landing a kiss on Phil’s arm when it wrapped around him.

It took an effort but Clint managed to not look at either phone as they continued to ping and beep repeatedly. He was tempted to take both and toss them out the window though, the constant noise distracting and irritating.

#################################

Clint escaped to the range, needing to get away from everyone constantly urging him to try and talk to Wanda. He could brush off Phil and Natasha’s attempts, knowing they wouldn’t press too much after he said no the first time, but they seemed to be the only two who listened to him about it.

He shot arrow after arrow for hours, making his arms feel like jelly by the time he finally calmed enough to stop. He gathered the arrows out of the target and started putting everything away again. When he turned to leave he was startled, Wanda had come into the range and was just standing there watching him without making a sound.

“Kinda not a good idea to sneak up on anyone here,” he advised, stepping past her to go to the elevator. “Never know when someone has a knife hidden that they’ll throw on instinct.”

“Natasha told me I could find you here.” She followed him, though kept a few paces behind to give him space. “I had a few questions for you.”

Clint let out a slow sigh, closing his eyes for a moment to push away impatience, and held the button down to keep the elevator open long enough for her to catch up and get inside.

“I believe it’s already all been explained. I ran, didn’t expect you, didn’t make sure you were in a safe place before I ran again. I was fifteen and irresponsible. What else is there to know?”

She shrugged, tucking into the opposite corner across from him knowing he was big on personal space. “I just want to know if you hate me and if there’s a chance for us to have something.”

Clint was quiet, his mind muddled, until the elevator stopped on his and Phil’s floor.

“No and yes,” he told her then stepped out, letting the doors close before she could follow farther. He didn’t tell her which answer belonged to which question though. He wasn’t sure himself at that point.

Wanda sighed at the doors, looking down at the floor when the elevator moved again; stifling a sniffle at the unexpected heartache she felt at his assumed rejection toward her. Sure, she was prepared for it, expected it even, but it still stung a little bit.

Natasha and Phil both made it seem like she had even a slight chance at having something with Clint, but he’d made it a little more than obvious that he didn’t want anything to do with her now. She returned to the suite she shared with Natasha and went for her bedroom, needing to isolate herself for a while and get herself over the pain.

Natasha watched her rush through and sighed, already knowing talking to Clint had gone sour. She found her phone and stood, leaving the suite to go find Phil and get everything sorted so Clint and Wanda could sit and actually have a real discussion together.

Chapter Text

It’s funny how two little blue lines could throw someone’s life into either a whirlwind of happy or a spiral of hellfire. For Clint and Phil, it was a mix of both. Clint told Natasha first, needing his best friend’s advice, and almost let his fears overwhelm him again. Phil was worried but he couldn’t help being happy.

Sure, they’d planned on having a surrogate for another kid, but that’s life for you. It comes unexpectedly and fucks you; only sometimes nice enough to use enough lube.

Clint left Dr. Teller’s office after getting the confirmation that he was indeed expecting again, feeling a mixture of dazed happiness and heart wrenching grief; it was so soon after they lost Lila and he again felt guilty for his happiness. He knew he should have spent more time grieving, but like his other pregnancies this one wasn’t planned.

He found Phil in the jet hangar with Tony, both arms deep in the engine of the Quinjet trying to repair everything that had taken too many hits during their last fight. He paused when he spotted Phil shirtless again, his old faded work jeans still tight in all the right places covered in oil and engine muck.

Tony was almost ass over end leaning into the engine; leg muscles working to keep him balanced on the thin edge.

Clint walked over, standing under where the jet was raised high, and nudged the oil pan just a smidge; seeing that it was off center just enough to spill oil everywhere when Phil finally got the tank open.

Phil smiled when he spotted the blonde through an open space. “Head’s up,” he warned before releasing the old oil to drain out. Clint stepped aside, lip curling at the sight of the dark stuff draining into the pan.

“I’ll lick that for fifty bucks,” he joked, grinning up at Phil.

He just rolled his eyes and smiled fondly, shaking his head. Clint snickered, catching the wrench that slipped out of Tony’s hand and passed it back up through an open space.

Phil climbed down, wiping his grimy face on the oil rag hanging from his back pocket, and let out a tired breath. “So, how’d it go?”

Clint shrugged, following him out from under the jet; eyes roaming over Phil’s messy chest. “Six weeks, like we figured. Seriously, we gotta stop with the vodka. They should at least put a warning on the bottle stating that it could lead to pregnancy.”

He smiled when Phil leaned in for a careful kiss; Phil not wanting to get him dirty with grim. “I mean, the IUD did slip and it had to be removed ‘cause it was positioned totally wrong; but maybe this time we’ll get lucky.”

Tony came out of the engine with a sigh, plunking the wrench to the pile of tools on the floor. “I’m just gonna design a damn engine with the arc tech. This piece of shit isn’t gonna last another fight.”

He turned and finally realized Clint was there, always being lost in his head and not paying attention to anything. “You know, there are ways around S.H.I.E.L.D. knowing you’re piloting for us if you don’t wanna rogue it on the team. You’re the only one who can navigate through heavy artillery fire without getting shot all to hell.”

Clint just shrugged and shook his head. “Well it’s gonna havta wait now for sure.”

“Well if someone would keep his dick in his pants,” he laughed at Phil, snorting when Phil flipped him off with a grin before leaving the hangar with Clint following happily.

Clint let Phil alone long enough to let him go take a shower, making himself comfortable on the couch to wait.

While Phil worked at getting clean, taking time to get all the gunk and grime washed away, Natasha strolled into their suite; sliding herself backward over the back of the couch beside Clint, smiling at him upside down. Clint just sighed at her and moved to lie down, putting his head on her stomach and legs laid over the far end of the couch.

He didn’t know she had her phone on a conference call with Wanda and Bucky listening to the other end.

“So, remind me after this one to definitely get everything taken out.”

She smiled at him; her fingers gentle in his hair. “Gotta get married for that, remember?”

He groaned and scoffed. “Fuck that noise. They won’t even let me get that tubal burning thing, huh?”

“I’ve heard that hurts like fuck and they do it right after if you have a c-section.”

Clint shuddered at that thought, pushing away the consideration quickly. “Okay, birth control implant in my arm then? That way I don’t have to worry about getting an IUD switched out and then fucking forgetting about the out time they make me go through.”

They were interrupted when Phil came out of the bedroom, freshly showered and dressed comfortably again. Clint lifted his legs to let him sit down then draped over his lap with a smile. Phil just grinned and reached to hold Clint’s hand, rubbing his shin slowly.

“So now that I got both of you here,” Natasha started, laying her free arm over Clint’s chest and placing her hand on his stomach. “Have you and Wanda tried talking again?”

Clint frowned and fidgeted, glad to have Phil to hang onto. “I’m too much of a pussy to try. Every time I start to go to her, I chicken out ‘cause I’m sure she hates me and she definitely has the power to destroy me if she wanted.”

“What if you both met on mutual ground and with us there?”

Clint almost whined helplessly, going limp against the two. Phil settled her with a look, side eye meaning he was displeased with her trickery. They knew what she was planning but didn’t know when she would strike. Clint wanted to disappear into the couch cushions when the door opened again and Bucky came in with Wanda behind him.

“Someone’s getting habanero oil in her damn cat suit crotch,” he grumbled at her as they sat up to talk. She just smiled and took his hand again, nudging him to lean comfortably against Phil.

He sighed, clinging to Phil terrified, and held his breath for a moment in a desperate attempt to gather his courage again. He wasn’t ready to face Wanda yet, knowing she would turn him down if he tried to have even a friendship with her.

“I just want to know, flat out tell the truth. Do you hate me or something?”

“No,” he snorted a little startled. “You’re the one who should hate me. I mean, ‘cause of me you went through hell. I hate myself for what happened to you.”

“Honestly, I did hate you before,” she admitted, relaxing when Bucky placed a comforting hand on her arm. “But I can understand why you left me. You thought you were doing what was right; and in a way yeah you did ‘cause being on the street isn’t the place to have a baby. I mean, we can at least be friends, right?”

Clint shrugged, squeezing Phil’s hand desperately. “Yeah. It’s not like I haven’t been wondering about you all these years. I’ll tell you now, you really don’t want to go find your biological father; I don’t want him anywhere near you. He’s dangerous, all of them are and nothing good will happen.”

The assemble alarm interrupted them blaring loud. Clint watched the four hurry off to the armory together, feeling worse because he couldn’t go with them again.

The team met in the armory to dress and gear up for battle. Phil saw Wanda heading for Clint’s locker and stopped her before she grabbed the bow and quiver stored safely inside.

“I can handle them, trust me,” she told him, calm despite the hurried need to get out and find the threat. “This way he’s in a way part of the team again.”

Phil just sighed and let her arm herself with Clint’s weapons as he loaded his own guns and donned his Kevlar gear.

He led them to the garage, having to take a van equipped for battle until the jet was repaired, letting Bucky take the driver seat so he could get to the surveillance cameras.

High up in the tower Clint stood at a window overlooking the city, seeing the coming threat. He wanted to be with his family fighting, but being on probation and now expecting again he was benched and unable to fight the decision. He couldn’t look away from the attacking force, waiting anxiously to see signs of the team defending the city.

Chapter Text

After another battle with the villain of the month, the team returned home to find Clint in the main lounge surrounded by unconscious, heavily armed men. He sat coolly on the couch with a book open in his lap; a cheeky little grin on his face; as if fighting hadn’t even ruffled him in the slightest. Phil could see he was just a little breathless from the fight but eight against one and Clint defeated them all; it was expected.

“So, how’d ya’ll do?” he asked closing the book and setting it aside.

“What the hell happened?” Tony replied looking around at the damage done to the lounge.

The smartass that was Clint, the one that made Phil want to laugh at his antics, looked around at the bodies littering everywhere. “Well, they did start it. It was like they were waiting for all of you to go out; jumped me as soon as ya’ll were off the property.”

Phil rolled one man over onto his back, frowning when he recognized one of Brock Rumlow’s S.T.R.I.K.E. members though he couldn’t recall a name for the unconscious man. He looked around at the other men and finally spotted Rumlow draped over the coffee table; his head bashed through the glass top; Clint’s feet propped up on his back.

“Fury or Pierce sent them,” he surmised, pushing back up to his feet. He shook his head, turning back to Clint. “You alright?”

Clint shrugged carefully, trying to hide the pain in his back. “Eh, nothing a heating pad won’t fix. “

Phil sighed at him, stepping out of the way as tower security came to collect the men; offering a hand to Clint. “Everything else good?” he asked, brushing his hand over Clint’s stomach slowly.

He nodded, unable to resist curling up to Phil with a little grin. Phil pulled him in close and turned to go back upstairs to change out of his battle garb. In their suite Clint laid down in bed, toeing off his boots before making himself comfortable under the blankets; getting a kiss from Phil on his way to take a shower before setting up the heating pad against his back and relaxing to rest a while.

Phil was quick in the shower, dressing in a pair of lounge pants, and got in the bed beside Clint; letting out a sigh as he let his muscles go lax.

“So, it’s pretty obvious that Pierce and Fury kinda really want me dead.”

Phil huffed, pecking a kiss onto Clint’s shoulder. “Well, they aren’t gonna get what they want ‘cause I want you here with me a lot more than they want to hurt you. I love your goofy little ass too much.”

Clint moved the heating pad and pressed it into Phil’s abdomen, feeling his muscles spasming, then turned and spooned back into him, his back against the pad between them. Phil huffed another laugh, kissing Clint’s neck.

The heat soothed both, allowing Clint to relax enough to doze lightly. Phil found his phone again and went snooping around through more hacked files, hoping to find clues to Steve’s hiding spot and find out why Alexander Pierce seemed so hellbent on killing Clint.

###############################

Tony called another team dinner. This time everyone was happy to see Wanda sitting beside Clint. They were trying to get to know each other better and trying to form at least a friendship. Neither were sure if they would eventually have a father/daughter relationship but both hoped something would form there.

Phil was still the mutual go-to between them; asking Wanda the questions Clint was afraid to ask her and answering questions she had about Clint that he knew he could discuss. She did come to Clint herself for the deeply personal stuff, mostly curious about his transition from female to male and when he started the processes.

She was confused that he didn’t feel the need for GRS or even heavy dose hormone replacements; his easy acceptance of multiple pregnancies confused her as well, naturally assuming they would have triggered his dysphoria.

He was fine as long as he didn’t stare too long at his naked body, having accepted long ago that he wouldn’t have an outwardly male body. Phil tried to talk to him about bottom surgery, but Clint’s habit of self deprecation made him believe he didn’t deserve to go that far.

Clint and Wanda bonded over their shared interest in weapons; Clint almost giddy when she expressed interest in his bow. Everyone was happy to see that common ground for the two of them, always gathering in the range to watch Clint train Wanda; his happiness infecting them quickly.

After dinner everyone disappeared to their own doings. Tony took off to his lab to tinker and do another search for Steve. Bruce returned to his lab to test various chemicals. Sam and Bucky went to the range for target practice. Rhodey tried to get interested in a movie but quickly got bored and went to bother Tony. Natasha disappeared in the time it took Clint to put something in the fridge; leaving him alone in the main kitchen with Phil and Wanda

He schooled his face when he realized he was suddenly nervous, an automatic reaction to Natasha disappearing into thin air; she was dangerous when she disappeared and he wasn’t totally positive he hadn’t pissed her off somehow recently.

Sure, he threatened to put hot pepper oil in her catsuit but she had to know he wouldn’t actually go through with it, right?

He brought Phil another beer as he returned to the table with a glass of juice for himself, still looking around for Natasha’s sneak attack.

“I really hate when she does that,” he huffed, fighting away a shudder.

Phil smiled at him. “I was thinking tomorrow we should go down to the shelter. It might not be a legal service animal but you’ll have the companionship again and won’t be alone when we go off. Can’t see Fury approving the insurance claims for another service animal for you since he’s being an asshole.”

He shrugged, fidgeting with the placemat nervously. He still grieved for Lucky, surprising even himself how attached he’d become to the dog. “Yeah alright.”

“Ever consider getting a cat?”

Clint smiled at Wanda, snorting quietly. “Cats are assholes, and we’re both allergic. Dogs are so much better anyways.”

Phil’s phone pinged. He pulled it from his pocket and sighed at the text message from Tony; still nothing about Steve but he did find another hive in the Middle East. It would take a couple days to prepare and he wanted to send a scout first, to make sure any of their targets were there or if it would be another waste of their time to attack.

Clint was the best at scouting but he was off the team and physically unfit right now.

He frowned as he replied, telling Tony to send Bucky to scout; he was their second-best sniper and he knew just as well as Clint how to not be seen. If luck was on their side this time, if Bucky spotted either of their targets, he might take them out himself and save the others an unnecessary fight.

Clint reached over and took Phil’s phone with a grin, setting it out of his reach not wanting him to worry about work so late in the evening. Phil just huffed a laugh and smiled at him.

“Let’s go on upstairs, more comfortable than these chairs.”

Clint stood, snagging the phone before Phil could reach it; shoving it into his own pocket with a grin. Phil snorted, rolling his eyes, and kissed him; following after Wanda to the elevator. Clint was too slow to prevent Phil from getting into his pocket and snatching the phone back, but laughed when Wanda spun around and took it from him next; grinning at them.

“You work way too much,” she told him, pressing the button in the elevator for their floor. She would return to the suite she shared with Natasha later. “Just one night without constantly being on this thing.”

“Okay, fine,” he surrendered with a laugh. “It only affects Bucky right now anyways.”

In their suite the three piled onto the couch together; Phil making a mental note to ask Tony about the bedlike couch he and Clint saw browsing online. Sure it would take up most of their living room but it was big enough for the entire team if they wanted to come up and be lazy for a while, and it would be comfortable for Clint which was most important to Phil.

Chapter Text

Clint hated watching the team go out without him to fight, but he would have gladly stayed home alone to skip the press conference scheduled. Being taken off the team meant he wouldn’t be out in front of the cameras, he would be watching from the wings with Phil, but he still had to make an appearance. They were only announcing that Bucky was officially on the team and answering questions so he didn’t understand why Phil made him tag along.

Phil didn’t want a repeat of Clint being attacked again so he brought him with the team.

It helped that Wanda didn’t want to be there either and was also brought along. Phil ignored her glare and Clint’s pout, watching the team gathered around a table with numerous microphones and cameras pointed at them. He had to watch Tony specifically, trusting Rhodey to his word that he would knock Tony upside his head if he misbehaved but needing to watch all the same.

He fought a smile when he felt little paper balls pinging his neck and shoulder; Clint was bored and shot paper wads at him with a rubber band trying to distract him. Soon Wanda joined in his games. Phil lost the battle with smiling when he heard them snickering quietly together and Clint helping Wanda train her aim better.

One wad went too high and zipped past Phil, to the table where the others sat. The two dissolved into muffled snickering and snorting, trying to hide themselves behind Phil, when Natasha turned and looked back; the paper pinged her cheek getting her attention. Phil just smiled at her glare and dipped his head toward the two behind his shoulder, shrugging.

Natasha just shook her head, planning her revenge on Clint but glad to see he and Wanda getting a little closer to each other.

The next wad purposely went wide, pinging off Bucky’s metal arm and ricocheting against Sam’s temple. Phil had to cover a laugh feigning a cough when Sam looked over, looking away trying to seem innocent of their antics.

“Behave,” he huffed over his shoulder smiling.

Behaving lasted all of a single minute before Clint was purposely hitting the team with little wads of paper; distracting them from their task in front of the press. Phil moved aside when it was clear he had no intention of behaving until he was allowed to leave, letting him have an unobstructed view of the others and they him.

Bucky put a little blade in front of him on the table, subtly moving it to aim for his target; smiling when Natasha took her arms off the table to be out of his way; and shot it forward sharply. Phil coolly reached out and caught the blade out of the air before it could hit the distracted archer’s gut. Bucky, seemingly out of nowhere, let his head bang onto the table with a quiet groan. He never thought Phil would be able to catch a blade bare handed and so effortlessly.

Natasha just smiled and rubbed his back in feigned sympathy.

Finally, the questions came to an end, Happy took over addressing the press as the team stood to go back to their private floors. Everyone looked after them curious when Clint’s loud laugh echoed from behind the curtain they disappeared through.

Natasha had given him a sharp pinch as she walked by, making him nearly cackle gleefully as they went to the elevator.

“You’re both terrible,” she snickered, linking her arm around Clint’s.

“We were bored since neither of us are officially on the team. I’ll be the only one bugging you soon though so we gotta get as much as we can ‘til then.”

Phil sighed, pecking a kiss on Clint’s head absently, tucking him to his side. He knew Clint was still sour at being taken off the team and knowing nothing would change Nick’s mind on the matter.

They went up to the main lounge, piling around on the furniture. Clint draped himself over Phil with a sigh, putting his hand over Phil’s on his just barely pudge of a stomach. Natasha tangled herself in Clint’s legs; leaning over him with her head on his hip.

“You have an appointment at three.” Phil reminded him tiredly, hand not on Clint’s stomach busy in Clint’s hair.

Clint snorted quietly. “Thought it was two.”

“Actually, it’s tomorrow at one.” Natasha put in.

Clint took out his phone and checked his calendar; thankful that Phil taught him how to use it for his reminders long ago. “Two-forty, today.”

Natasha took out her own phone, confused; usually she kept up with Clint’s appointments just in case either of them forgot. The three-way system usually worked flawlessly.

“I’m the one for tomorrow,” Wanda spoke up, curled up in an armchair with a blanket. “Ridiculous pelvic exam. Those are so weird and god, uncomfortable.”

“You can always have someone come with you,” Phil suggested, giving her a pointed look toward Clint. “If you want.”

She nodded thoughtfully, going back to fiddling with her phone.

They stayed with the others until Clint’s appointment time. Clint didn’t want to get up and get poked and prodded again, scheduled for his own pelvic exam. He was just glad that Phil wouldn’t leave his side and wouldn’t let Dr. Teller do anything he wasn’t supposed to already do to Clint.

Dr. Teller was required by law to have a nurse chaperone in the room during the exam, but Phil was the one who stood watch over his shoulder; metaphorical gun at Dr. Teller’s back as if daring him to do something inappropriate to Clint when he was most vulnerable.

The nurse still watched from the sidelines, keeping as still and quiet as possible to not rattle Clint’s already thin nerves.

Dr. Teller worked quietly, finishing his task and moving over to his laptop. Phil held the blanket up while Clint shimmied his shorts back on and sat down again, taking Phil’s hand tight.

“Any nausea or weird side effects?”

Clint shook his head, shrugging. “I usually don’t start feeling sick ‘til the fifth month. Just a little sore from expanding, feet hurt some but not horrible. I smell copper a lot, never had that before.”

He nodded slightly. “We’ll check your iron levels if it continues or becomes bothersome. Anything else new?”

Clint shrugged, rubbing Phil’s hand as his nerves started to thin. “What are the chances of losing this one, too?”

Dr. Teller turned to him with a soft sigh. “Well, you’re healthy and not so dangerously active now. For now, I’ll say the usual fifty-fifty as with any pregnancy. If we see any issues we’ll take care of it; but since your last was medically terminated I would be ready for bed rest eventually.”

Phil frowned at him. “Medically terminated?” he asked.

He nodded. “Says here late term abort of viable fetus.”

“We were told the baby was dead as a result of an unexpected explosion knocking the shit outta both of us.”

Dr. Teller shrugged, gesturing at the laptop showing Clint’s medical records. “Dr. Rice reported that the fetus was terminated just before removing it, that you both agreed to the procedure.”

Phil shook his head, confused and a little bit angry. “Wait, we didn’t agree to terminate a viable anything. I even saw myself on the sonogram that there wasn’t a heartbeat before it was removed. We saw ourselves, held our dead baby. He was gone already.”

“I’ll investigate,” he told Phil as he stood; gathering everything to leave. “I’ll let you know as soon as I know something, alright? You can trust me on this?”

He sighed but nodded, running a hand down his face feeling helpless. He turned and gathered Clint, expecting him to be too confused and worried to do much on his own, holding him close as they went back home.

“So, he means Dr. Rice lied to us?”

Phil let out a slow breath, holding Clint tight. “That’s what it looks like right now but if she did, she was really good at fixing the equipment to reflect it. I don’t know but we’ll figure it out. I’ll have Tony look at everything and he’ll definitely figure something out.”

He pressed the button to go down to Tony’s lab, telling JARVIS to have Natasha come down and not be slow about it. In the lab he rattled orders off to Tony, going to a monitor to find the surveillance footage of that horrible day knowing it was still stored in JARVIS’ files somewhere because Tony didn’t delete security camera footage.

When Natasha came in he practically barked orders at her, his nerves thinning, telling her to find footage of the emergency c-section and examine it. She obeyed without question but wondered why he seemed so frazzled.

She knew not to question when Phil bit out orders at her, he wasn’t angry with her; whatever situation was affecting him. He would always apologize when he wasn’t so frazzled.

The three worked quietly, quickly, searching for answers. Clint stood with Phil trying to not panic and lose his nerve, clinging desperately to Phil’s shirt to keep his hands from trembling.

Chapter Text

Clint wasn’t totally ready for the trip down to the local animal shelter. But looking at the website he saw a one-year-old Rottweiler that was scheduled to be put down to free up room for dogs that weren’t automatically seen as a dangerous breed. He went by himself; Phil was caught up in Avengers business and he had to hurry to get the dog before the deadline.

So, Clint now had another dog to keep him company while Phil was away from home. The dog quickly took to Clint, as if she knew he saved her life and was hellbent on repaying the debt, and wouldn’t leave his side for longer than it took to get a bite to eat or a drink; he had to accompany her to the patch out on the balcony to relieve herself though. She seemed to not be a fan of heights and wouldn’t step out unless he stepped out first.

She wasn’t yet a huge dog, but she was definitely not the puppy she acted like she was. Still, Clint let her lounge in his lap when he planted himself to the couch. He didn’t even realize he’d laid down and curled up with her; his head on her back and hers on his hip; and fallen asleep with her until he heard Phil’s quiet chuckle.

When a camera flash lit up the room, Clint snorted and looked up seeing Phil had come home finally and had found the two curled up around each other. He would have been ashamed of having a picture of himself sleeping on a dog like a child, but he knew Phil wouldn’t use it maliciously against him.

He sat up and scooted to make room for Phil; making the dog squirm but stay in his lap.

“I know I said I’d wait but the deadline for her was today at five. They were gonna euthanize her even though she’s totally healthy and not at all vicious.”

Phil smiled, petting the dog’s head when she turned and looked up at him almost pitifully. “She’s so pretty.”

Clint nodded, rubbing the dog’s ear slowly; unable to keep from grinning as she reacted to the sweet spot and her eyes drooped, mouth opening in a contented pant.

“She’s really sweet, too,” he replied. “Well behaved, already knows some commands so I think she was an owner surrender fairly recently. She doesn’t look malnourished or anything like that.”

“Still, we should try and see how she is around babies and small kids. Owner surrender happens for many reasons, most common is because they’re moving and chose a place they couldn’t have pet but some are because they’re not kid friendly.”

“She seemed alright when we stopped at the park on the way home, let school age kids pet her but I dunno about little babies. Maybe if we got a doll or something.”

Phil took Clint’s hand when his eyes turned glazy with sorrow again, remembering the day they had to force themselves to pack up Lila’s room to make room for a nursery. Clint let out a sigh and burrowed into Phil’s side, closing his eyes against the memories. Phil held him tighter, surprised when the dog whined softly and nudged at Clint until he pet her again as if his sorrow affected her and she needed to make him feel better.

“I’ll go pick up a random doll at the store later,” Phil sighed, absently kissing Clint’s head. “I’d feel bad if we tried on an actual baby.” He couldn’t help smiling when Clint snorted softly against his shoulder. Clint knew he would never seriously suggest putting a baby in that kind of danger, he just had a wicked sense of humor sometimes and that was just one of the many reasons why he loved Phil so dearly.

“What did you want for dinner?”

Phil shrugged, pulling out his phone to look through his delivery apps. “I dunno, whatever you’re craving.”

Clint snorted at him, nerve calming slowly. “Yeah, but I can’t do seafood right now and I want coconut shrimp and clams. Probably a good thing that I can’t stand the smell of fish for a while ‘cause fried catfish sounds really good, too.”

“It really does,” he sighed thoughtfully. “I think I’ve seen that Crab Fest commercial five thousand times this week, too.” He laughed when Clint huffed and pouted at him helplessly.

“That sounds better than catfish ‘cause at least that’d come with a baked potato loaded with everything and cheese,” he sat up and dug around for his phone, finding it wedged in the cushion under the dog and then typing quickly.

“What are you doing?” Phil chuckled.

Clint shrugged. “Seeing if at least lobster or crab is safe ‘cause I really fucking want it now,” he replied. He read slowly, still having some trouble but understanding most of the results. “Says here in moderation is fine. That means yeah, right?”

“And that we get to actually leave here to go eat finally ‘cause Red Lobster doesn’t deliver.”

He stood, stretching. “Do you need a shower, too?”

Clint looked himself over; he was visibly clean but probably smelled like the dog in his lap. “I could use a hose down.” Phil smiled as he stood, going through their bedroom to their bathroom together.

They both were surprised to see that the dog followed after Clint and curled herself up on his discarded shirt. Phil snapped a picture of her then turned on the water in the tub while Clint took off his shorts then piled their clothes so the dog could stretch out a bit.

They were quick to shower together, only stopping for a few kisses, wanting to get out on their unscheduled date night. Clint dressed in a pair of decent pants, hating that he was already in elastic waisted pants, and one of Phil’s less threadbare t-shirts. He had to sit down to put his shoes on, but found out he couldn’t lift his leg up onto his knee anymore without his hip pulling hard.

Phil came out of the closet when he heard Clint huffing and puffing breathless. “What do you need help with?” he asked, tucking in his shirt; a true nerd he was wearing a button up dress shirt with a pair of black jeans and a leather belt; and buttoning his jeans.

Clint sighed at the ceiling, laid out on the bed breathless from exertion. “Officially can’t bend to tie my boots or drag my leg up.” Phil smiled and crouched, tying Clint’s boots for him; landing a kiss on Clint’s knee, getting a snort from Clint as he looked down at him.

“Did you just kiss my damn knee?” Phil shrugged and stood, bending over Clint and giving him a proper kiss. “That’s better,” he said smiling, grunting as Phil helped him sit up again. Phil turned to their dresser to find cologne, looking for the one Clint liked best on him; smiling at Clint through the mirror when he caught Clint staring unashamed at his ass in the snug jeans.

He let out a laugh when the dog jumped up beside Clint and looked as well, her head dipped. He knew the dog wasn’t staring at his ass, she was being a dog, but it was still humorous. He found the cologne finally, also spotting a dog toy up on the dresser.

“Whose steak toy is this?” he asked. If it had belonged to Lucky it would be safe to assume Clint wanted it kept where it was and wouldn’t want the new dog playing with it.

“Hers,” he replied, looking through his night stand drawer while he waited. He sneered at the folded-up piece of paper he tucked under everything. It was a still unused glasses prescription he had no intention of filling, despite his vision having gone blurry after the bazooka incident.

Phil tossed the toy at the dog, smiling when she caught it easily then laid down and chewed it contentedly. So, she was just waiting for someone to get her toy down; she was not staring at Phil’s ass along with Clint. The thought still made him laugh.

When he was ready and the dog settled with fresh food and water, they left the suite together and headed for their car in the garage. Clint leaned over the center console and grabbed Phil for a kiss before they left the garage, both smiling when they separated and Phil drove; reaching for Clint’s hand when they were out in traffic.

Fifteen minutes into the drive, Clint’s phone pinged with a text.

‘There’s a new mutt on your bed,’ followed by a picture of the dog curled up with Natasha now; looking like she was smiling from the attention she got from the red head.

He chuckled at the message, showing Phil the picture at a red light. “We still need to name her; the people at the shelter only had an ID number,” he told Phil as he typed back to Natasha.

“Well, we should let her personality come out a little more so we pick a good name. Don’t want something lame like Bitsy or Daisy.”

Clint nodded, laughing at the next picture; the dog surprised Natasha with a lick to the mouth right as she took the picture. Natasha laughed, trying to dodge the dog tongue, blurring both subjects in the picture.

“She seems to like Nat,” he told Phil, putting his phone away again. “I refuse to automatically assume she’s gonna be dangerous and you know she ain’t gonna learn that shit from us ‘cause we ain’t gonna mistreat her.”

Phil nodded, turning to go over the bridge out of Manhattan. “I think everyone knows you’ll kick their ass if they even look at an animal harsh. I love how they just pull to you, too. It’s cute but it also tells that you’re truly a gentle soul.”

Clint shrugged, tightening his grip on Phil’s hand as they rode over the bridge, having to look down at their joined hands so he wouldn’t stare at the bridge and see it crumbling. Phil tightened his grip, feeling Clint’s nervousness.

They made it safely over the bridge and on their way to Long Island. Clint calmed being off the bridge and settled back in his seat, smiling at the pleasing view outside his window.

Chapter Text

The rest of the team welcomed Clint’s new furry friend. Bucky surprised everyone when he melted for the dog, dissolving into ridiculous baby talk and fawning; effectively killing his murderous image for the team. Nobody who gets that ridiculous for a dog could be a bad person.

Still, Clint was her human and she followed him everywhere, even without a leash. She was stuck to him like Krazy Glue. They all felt better knowing Clint would be protected in their absence while he was so vulnerable being pregnant.

It took almost a week before Clint finally named her. He chose the name Juno, after the goddess of love.

Phil came home after another team mission, still unable to locate Steve Rogers, and found Clint kicked back in the recliner in their suite with Juno tangled in his legs and her head on his rounder stomach. Clint was barely asleep, having just started to drift off, but still jerked back to awareness with a jolt; feeling Phil’s hand on his shoulder.

Phil stilled him, reaching and petting Juno’s head when she buffed at him quietly in warning; always guarding Clint.

“You wanna come see who we found?” he asked grinning deviously.

“Who?” Clint asked, putting the foot rest down; sending Juno springing to her feet to keep from falling. “Steve?”

“No, not yet,” he replied, tucking Clint to his side as they left the suite; Juno hot on Clint’s heels. “But maybe we can get info outta her.”

Clint snorted startled, stiffening in the corner of the elevator for a moment, his eyes wide. “Fucking Pepper.”

Phil smiled, landing a kiss on Clint’s head. “Bruce has her strapped up in his lab waiting for us. Tony brought out all kinds of neat toys for us to play with, too.”

Clint’s grin turned absolutely evil, which should have concerned Phil but he was too ready to make the woman suffer. She took their child’s life; she was going to die painfully.

They came into Bruce’s lab finding Pepper Potts, one half of the duo they despised more than either could explain, strapped to a metal slab of a table. It was appropriate that it looked much like a slab in a morgue because Clint was going to make certain that she died. Bruce stood a little away from the table, smiling eerily at her, beside a small display of what Clint could only hope was torture devices.

Now Phil would never go out of his way to harm anyone, man or woman; he wasn’t naturally violent. He preferred talking things out. But, seeing the woman who was responsible for his daughter’s death; he turned murderous.

Without preamble, Clint stepped up to the table of tools and picked up a sharp knife and stood beside Pepper; that manic smile still on his face as he took her hand. She panted, breathless from spewing threats at Bruce for the last half hour, and stared at him wide eyed before she let out a scream. Clint took her fingers and bent her ring finger back as hard as he could, breaking the bones causing one to pierce through her skin.

He chuckled when the digit detached in his hand and held it up for her to see. “I think I’ll keep this,” he told her; surprising even Phil when he gave the bloody end a crazed lick before putting it on the table until he was done with her.

“What the fuck.” Phil heard Bruce huff quietly. They would have never expected that kind of maniac move from Clint; he seemed too much of a fluffball to be that insane.

Clint smiled at Pepper’s fear, mockingly running a soothing hand through her hair; giving her a feigned sympathetic frown.

“I’m sure that hurt, didn’t it?” he mocked, even his tone sounded insane. “Aw well, that’s the least of your pains, you worthless cunt. You’re gonna wish hell was real for all the pain I’ma give you.”

Phil huffed softly, putting his own weapon down again and stepped back to stand with Bruce; morbidly wanting to watch Clint torture the woman. Sure, he wanted to inflict his pains onto her, but he had a feeling watching Clint give her punishment for her crime would be more satisfying.

###############################

Two hours later they were back upstairs and Clint in the shower; happily washing away Pepper’s blood that covered his body. Phil found himself strangely terrified of Clint after witnessing his level of grief torture. He was sure Clint wouldn’t have stopped if he hadn’t stepped up after the heart monitor attached to Pepper gave a flatline beep.

He no longer had to wonder what it would look like to have acid touch flesh. He knew that with some effort and patience, you could indeed start to peel skin off another human being with a potato peeler. He knew what exploding eyeballs sounded like, and he hoped to never have to hear it again. He’d already known what disembowelment looked like but watching Clint do it, another thing he never wanted to witness again.

Natasha had been impressed by Clint’s handiwork, she came down to watch after she showered and dressed; drawn to the lab by Pepper’s screams that JARVIS helpfully played over his systems.

Sam had to leave the tower for a while, unable to hear the screams, and could only hope he never found out what exactly happened to Pepper to cause that kind of noise.

Tony held himself up in his lab, music blaring to drown out the screams, and tried to detach his emotional hold for Pepper; knowing what she had done warranted her punishment but unable to stop the happy memories they had together.

Bucky watched over surveillance cameras in his suite, happy to see such a dark side of Clint and knowing their friendship would only get better.

Wanda hid in her closet, terrified of seeing that level of anger in someone who was supposed to be her parent. She didn’t want Clint to eventually get so angry with her he turned on her like that.

When Clint came out of the shower, naked but dry, Phil let out a slow breath; watching Clint rummage through the dresser for clothes. Of course, Clint’s go-to was Phil’s hoodie but pants were a little difficult, even their elastic waisted pajama pants were starting to get tight on him.

He huffed when he couldn’t find a pair that was stretchy enough to fit, snapping the drawer shut moodily before opening another and finding one of his makeshift maternity shirts; a 5-XL t-shirt. He had to go without pants and didn’t want his ass hanging out for the world to see, despite knowing how it got its own attention from everyone who looked at it.

When he turned around, he jolted startled; without his hearing aids he didn’t hear Phil in the room, lounged on the bed with a book and the blankets pulled down waiting for Clint to come curl up beside him. Juno laid at the foot of the bed snoring loud.

He sighed and got into bed with Phil, reaching for the right hearing aid before lying down with his head in the middle of Phil’s chest. Phil laid his arm around Clint automatically, landing a kiss on Clint’s head before he resumed reading; this time aloud knowing it would soothe Clint and get him out of the seemingly demonic mindset he’d been in while taking his grief out on Pepper.

Phil told himself he wasn’t feeling the detached finger against his side; hanging from a chain around Clint’s neck now as a terrible keepsake. But he knew and tried desperately not to react to it and make Clint feel bad. He just kept his voice steady as he read, telling himself it was a bullet necklace that was sometimes popular with S.H.I.E.L.D. agents. Clint even had quite a collection of them hanging on a little necklace tree on their dresser.

The gods help his resolve and nerve when that thing started to decompose and stink though.

Chapter Text

Clint still missed being a part of the team, he hated watching everyone leave without him; especially watching Phil leave. He wanted to go with them so he could make sure his new family got home safe and unhurt. He wanted to be there the moment Steve was caught and end the monster. He wanted to hunt down Alexander Pierce and end him as well; also giving Nick a good ass kicking while he was at Pierce.

But he was stuck home. It was easier with Juno keeping him company, he just wanted to be with Phil; hating that he was missing so much of the progress their growing baby had each day.

Happy came out onto the roof when JARVIS alerted him that Clint was sitting on the edge with Juno; sighing when he spotted the despairing pair and sitting down beside Clint carefully. He didn’t want to take a header off the edge and he knew Phil would massacre him if he knocked Clint off.

“So, what’s your poison?” he asked, holding out bottles of Coca-Cola and Pepsi.

“Isn’t that usually an offer for alcohol?” he asked taking the coke.

Happy chuckled, giving Juno a treat out of his pocket. “Yeah, but since you have a bun in the oven; Tony would kick my ass and Coulson would kill me.” He was interrupted when Juno put her head down on his shoulder, begging for another treat. He snorted and gave in to her pleading eyes.

Clint sighed at the Manhattan skyscrapers, feeling Juno making herself comfortable behind him and away from the edge of the roof, free hand rubbing his stomach slowly trying to calm the baby kicking and pushing at him.

“Can I ask a kinda personal question?” Happy asked after a few minutes of quiet gazing. Clint just shrugged, sighing again and looking down at the buzzing city below his feet. “You’re living as a guy, but you don’t seem to freak out about having kids. How does that not mess with your head?”

“Phil wants a family,” he replied, shrugging like it was the most obvious reason. “I’m supposed to be submissive and not go against what he wants, right?”

Happy snorted surprised. “This isn’t biblical times. You’re allowed to think for yourself and do what you want.”

Clint nodded slightly. “Well, I want to give Phil a family and be happy. It’s easier than adoption or finding a surrogate; faster and we don’t have to go through all that paperwork and red tape bullshit. Even though I don’t particularly like going through with being pregnant, it feels like it’s my responsibility.”

Happy stared at him bewildered, snorting again. “Well, as long as it’s what you wanna do. Don’t let assholes get to you, Tony has enough money to make them disappear.”

“I’ve been ordered around my whole life, and got hurt if I didn’t listen. When I first joined S.H.I.E.L.D., I went through fourteen handlers before Fury threw me at Phil and told him to fix my ass. I was a punk for two straight weeks, all the others tossed me after two weeks and I didn’t want to be tamed by them. He let me bitch and moan, never once telling me to suck it up. He let me get angry when I needed to, never said I had issues that needed dealing with. He was the first one since Mama died who was nice to me. Gave me a mindfuck at first ‘cause I thought he was tricking me or some shit, everyone had before.”

“He sees potential in people nobody would ever consider looking for. He’s probably the best guy to be in a leading position ‘cause he handles shit so well.”

Clint sighed, surprising Happy when he lifted a hand and a pigeon came and landed on his wrist. He let the pigeon wander up his arm and onto his shoulder, unfazed at the curious pecking the bird gave his head. He smiled when he heard Juno buff at the bird, looking back at her when she sat up to sniff the bird.

“Call me Cinderella, I’m stabbing you.”

Happy chuckled and shook his head, leaning back onto his hands; sighing. “It’s a neat trick.”

They stayed on the roof talking about this and that well into sunset and nightfall; both perking when the Quinjet came into view and landed in the hangar below them. Clint got to his feet, struggling with his large stomach and having to get Happy to help him get off his knees, and rushed downstairs to the hangar.

The team rushed around as they exited the jet, Tony already barking orders at JARVIS and Sam and Bruce throwing crates out of the ramp at a couple unknown men. Clint nearly fell when Bucky and Natasha brought out a gurney with Phil strapped in carefully; shirtless and a blood-soaked bunch of bandages wrapped around his chest. Clint’s heart dropped out of his ass. He wanted to scream but couldn’t find the breath as he followed the gurney.

“Nat, what happened?”

Natasha looked back at him, not seeing him until he spoke up. “He was shot, he’ll be alright but we gotta get the bullet out before it goes in any further.”

Clint stumbled a step before Tony caught up to him and kept him on his feet; helping him hurry after the two. “Don’t worry, we have the best surgical team.”

Somehow that didn’t comfort Clint at all. Tony took him to a private waiting room as Phil was taken into the OR, he was unconscious so he wouldn’t even know where he was let alone that Clint was even there so Tony saw no point in the tearful pleadings common in situations like Clint’s. Clint just followed, too dazed and scared to argue.

Natasha and the others joined them after a little while, everyone gathering around to comfort Clint.

#########################

Phil woke with a groan, brain hazy from the high-powered pain killers coursing through his veins. Clint was up and in his line of sight moments later, startling him a little bit in his dazed state.

“Don’t you ever scare me like that again, Phillip,” he said sternly, holding Phil’s cheek gently despite his tone. “I swear I’ll revive your ass and then kill you again myself. Nat said you fucking died twice; don’t fucking ever do that shit again.”

Phil blinked at him dumbly, the words slowly absorbing into realization. “Fuck,” he huffed.

“I swear to all fucktitude, Phillip Jonathon, don’t fucking ever pull that shit again. Nat told me what you did before you got shot. I’m fucking serious; you can’t beat thirty guys on your own and you’re on a team for a fucking reason, to let them fucking help you.”

“I don’t remember anything but getting caught.”

Clint shook his head, sitting on the side of the bed. “Well, don’t do it again. You fucking died; twice. Next time you might not make it back here in time.”

He sighed and laid Phil’s hand on his stomach, letting him feel the baby moving about. Phil let out a slow breath and rubbed gently, tugging on Clint until he laid down beside him and curled up to him. He held Clint as tight as he could, heart aching again when he felt Clint trembling and wet tears soaking into the thin hospital gown.

He had to do something to make sure he wasn’t in this position ever again.

Chapter Text

Phil spent a week and a half stuck in Medical; Clint spent the entire time with him ignoring the way the uncomfortable furniture ached his back, he wasn’t going to leave Phil’s bedside for anything short of Armageddon.

Back home Natasha confined both in bed, Phil for his injury and Clint because Dr. Teller had already told him a few days prior to Phil’s release that the baby was showing signs of stress so he needed to try and go easy on himself. He was dancing around saying the stress Clint felt over what happened to Phil was affecting their baby.

So, Natasha took up their couch again and mother henned them; cooking their meals and making sure both took their medications, which was easier with Phil than Clint but she did keep Clint from flushing his pills.

Phil and Clint laid together, Clint’s head carefully on Phil’s chest, reading together. Clint listened to Phil reading rather than he try to read himself; his vision getting worse still but he was too afraid to admit. He didn’t want to admit that the one thing S.H.I.E.L.D. kept him around for was failing, it would make the higher ups terminate him from the agency and take Phil away from him.

He let Phil believe he still had trouble knowing how to read despite the years he worked at teaching Clint.

Wanda came into the room, peeking around the door to make sure they were awake before she stepped in fully, and sat down carefully not wanting to jostle the bed and hurt either of them. Clint stirred after a moment, nearly asleep on Phil, turning to look up at her over his shoulder.

“What’s wrong?” he asked, sleep heavy in his voice.

She sighed and shrugged, playing with her nails. “Just got lonely, everyone but Nat’s down at that lame party.”

“You didn’t want to go?” Phil asked, putting the book aside to listen to her.

She shrugged again. “I tried, it’s invite only and JARVIS wouldn’t take me down in the elevator.”

Phil frowned and called for Natasha, sighing when the red head came into the bedroom; looking more like a domestic than the deadly assassin with her hair held up by a bandana and wearing comfortable shorts and a t-shirt.

“What kind of party is Stark doing?”

She shrugged, looking down at her watch; seeing it was nearly time for their medicine again. “He said it was a team thing but invited a bunch of rich white people, bunch of snobs who hate everyone. Why?”

Phil nodded, ignoring Clint as he got out of bed carefully. Wanda and Clint got up to stop him, both recognizing that angry look in his eyes and knowing they had to do something to prevent him hurting himself more. The three followed Phil, all trying to stop him but he ignored them and went out to the elevator.

Clint got in and held the doors open, preventing JARVIS from moving the elevator. “Phil, can’t this be handled with a phone call instead of going down and decking Stark?”

He shrugged, tugging Clint out of the way of the doors when Wanda and Natasha came in. “JARVIS, take us down to Stark’s party, please.”

“I’m sorry, sir. Miss. Maximoff does not have access to that floor right now.”

“Is it just Wanda or all of us?” Natasha asked crossing her arms.

“Just Miss. Maximoff, Agent Romanoff.”

“Why?” Clint asked annoyed, hands on his hips moodily.

“Nevermind, we’ll go through the stairwell,” Natasha told him, taking Wanda’s wrist carefully, not wanting the girl to think she was angry with her. “Let us catch up before you go in.”

Clint sighed slowly but nodded, pacing after they stepped out of the elevator and it moved down. Phil took his hand and stepped out after it stopped, going to wait by the door to the stairwell for Natasha and Wanda; ignoring Clint’s huffing and puffing as his anger and annoyance rose.

Natasha opened the stairwell door a minute later, still annoyed but her touch gentle to Wanda. She dropped her hold as they approached the doors leading to Tony’s party, letting her anger take hold as she barreled through; just short of kicking the door open dramatically.

Music blared, completely silencing their entrance; making Clint stumble back a step to turn down his hearing aids as they screeched in his ears. He rejoined the group weaving through the crowd searching for Tony or any of their team mates. He and Natasha stepped away to the right, Clint held Wanda’s hand this time leading her along with them. Phil went to the left of the large group, smiling when he spotted his prey in the crowd in a lowered section of the floor. He stepped down and stood behind Tony, smiling at the man Tony was talking to; giving a polite nod to him and waiting.

Tony turned when the man walked away, jolting when he saw Phil finally. “Jeez, way to give a guy a heart attack.”

Phil just shrugged, directing Tony to a quieter spot away from the crowd. “So, team party, huh?” he asked. “Aside from Clint, Nat, and myself, of course. Everyone having a good time?”

Tony nodded nervously, knowing that when Phil pulled this move and that tone; someone had done something completely wrong. “Everything alright up there?”

“It was for a while.”

“Until…?”

“Until Wanda came in and told us she had gotten lonely being by herself and denied access to a team function.”

Tony swallowed thickly, fidgeting with his drink. “Well, I just figured she might not want to come down since she’s only seventeen and there’s some majorly adult things going on in here.”

An unexpected fist knocked Tony backward against the window hard. Phil reached out on reflex to keep him from going through the glass; turning to see an ungodly vicious Clint standing beside him, eyes wild with anger he had never seen in his love before.

Clint moved to attack Tony, but Phil got in his way and stopped him; seeing both Natasha and Wanda behind him and both just as pissed off as Clint, worried to see Wanda with her red tendrils inching around her hands.

Tony recovered, shaking his head to clear the haze away. “Ow, what the fuck?”

“This motherfucker has all those fuckers from Carson’s here,” Clint spat to Phil, trying to push Phil’s hands off. “Trick and all them fuckers.”

Phil pinned Clint to his side and turned to glare at Tony. Tony sighed, hands up in surrender. “I had a reason,” he replied, pulling a remote out of his pocket. “You may want to duck down a little bit.”

He pressed a button on the remote. The solid portions of the walls opened up; revealing robotic guards with weapons. Phil hit the floor with Clint as Natasha and Wanda bailed to hide. The party guests took notice of the guards, but nobody other than the rest of the team scattered around took cover before gunfire rang out deafeningly loud.

When the gunfire went quiet, everyone uninjured got to their feet. Phil stared dumbly at the guests; all of them aside from the Carson group had been robots and slumped over sparking and twitching from the bullets. Trickshot and the rest of Carson’s Circus laid in a pile, all riddled with bullets and all now dead.

“JARVIS, incinerator please,” Tony said. JARVIS opened the wider part of the floor and dumped Trickshot and the others into the incinerator, taking a few of the robotic guests with them.

“For future reference, Stark,” Phil sighed, taking Clint to his side again; rubbing Clint’s back knowing he was hurting from having to hit the floor. “At least inform me when you’re pulling a stunt like this. I’m not gonna question the results, believe me we definitely appreciate it, but making anyone on your team feel excluded isn’t right.”

“Well, I figured since they’ve caused so much pain and the fact that just the sight of them can cause fear, that maybe none of you wanted to actually know they’d be here, even just to be killed.”

Clint huffed at him arms crossed, burrowed to Phil’s side and gripping Phil’s shirt tight in his fist. “What would you have done if any of them got away from in here?”

Tony shrugged. “JARVIS had all possible exits and escape routes armed to them specifically as soon as they came in; they would have been killed the second they got over a doorway or in any walls or the vents.”

Clint sighed, trying to calm his anger and fear away knowing that Trickshot and his crew definitely had no way of finding and hurting him ever again now. He turned and started away when he felt the baby kicking at him, affected by the adrenaline coursing through him. Wanda turned and followed him, curious to know more about the people who were just massacred.

“Next time, please let me know when you’re gonna pull a stunt like this. We thought you were keeping Wanda away to be a jerk since we wouldn’t have been around to stop you.”

“She’s a kid, I can’t purposely be mean to a kid.”

Phil nodded then went after Clint and Wanda, finding them waiting for him at the elevator. Natasha joined them soon after with Bucky following her.

In the elevator Clint noticed the way the two seemed to cozy up to each other. Bucky stood against the wall, arm draped over Natasha’s shoulder, a relaxed lean to him that Natasha tucked into comfortably.

“You two are fucking, aren’t you?” he asked.

Everyone turned to him surprised, Bucky looking incredibly guilty. Natasha recovered her shock after a moment and smiled, a little too innocently. “What?” she replied, getting a disbelieving snort from both Clint and Phil; they knew her feigned innocent face too well and they immediately saw through it.

“When did this start happening?” Phil chuckled.

She just sighed at them, knowing that they knew the truth. “It’s only been a couple months.”

Clint snorted dumbly, shaking his head. “Why didn’t you tell me you total asshole?”

Natasha smiled and shrugged. “I don’t fuck and tell,” she replied simply as they stepped off the elevator together. “At least when it’s not for a mission.”

Clint just rolled his eyes fondly and shook his head, letting Phil take him back to their bedroom and snuggled back to him; his nerves still ringing and vibrating but calming slowly. Wanda joined them, bringing drinks and medication, making herself comfortable beside Clint. She didn’t even know she had fears of Trickshot until she witnessed his murder; she needed to stay close to Clint for a while and let herself realize she was safe again.

Chapter Text

Everyone enjoyed watching sparring matches between each other. Now the team gathered in the gym to watch Natasha and Bucky fight each other. Usually they would all sit around in the floor but with Clint big and pregnant, ready to pop at any time, they decided to bring in a set of comfortable furniture. Clint claimed a puffy recliner, feet up on the foot rest and a tray of refreshments and snacks beside him.

Wanda balanced herself on his thigh, laying between his legs with her feet up on the foot rest between his. It wasn’t exactly comfortable but with her powers she could keep herself levitated and keep a lot of her weight off him. Everyone was glad to see they were getting closer together, spending more of their free time with each other.

More than once Phil came home and found them snuggled together on the couch watching tv; as always Juno would be laying on Clint’s lap keeping him safe.

While they watched Natasha and Bucky pummeling each other, both now using non-lethal weapons, Clint felt a sharp jab in his abdomen. His sudden grunt got Phil’s attention instantly; he was on his feet quickly and beside Clint, hand going to Clint’s massive stomach.

“I’m fine,” he groused, nudging Phil’s hand off. He felt another pain and couldn’t keep from grunting again. “He’s just being a turd ‘cause he’s running out of room.”

Phil ignored his protests and crouched, feeling low on Clint’s stomach. He felt the baby give a sharp kick before he felt the head in his hand. “He’s probably just turning down.”

Clint sighed, squirming when the baby’s movement put pressure on his bladder. “Goddammit, let me up; he’s gonna make me piss myself one of these days.”

Wanda sat up quickly and turned to help Phil get Clint up to his feet and helping Phil get him to the gym locker room to the toilets. Tony wandered in curiously, frowning when Phil turned and gave him a worried look. He sighed and pulled out his phone, having JARVIS send notification to Dr. Teller that Clint could be coming up soon. This way the medical staff would have plenty of time to prep the OR just in case Clint needed an emergency c-section.

Clint groaned as he was lifted back to his feet and Phil tugged his shorts back up; leaning heavily onto him as Phil and Wanda got him out of the locker room and back to his chair. When he was settled and comfortable again, Wanda reclaimed her spot in his knees and got comfortable to watch Sam and Bucky now in the ring together.

Phil sat in his lounge chair beside Clint’s, reclining back with a sigh; the tight muscles in his back screaming again from the strain of supporting Clint’s extra weight so much. He would never say anything about his pains, never wanting Clint to feel guilty about anything.

They had anti-inflammatory meds and heating pads at home for a reason.

“Ow, Jesus fuck,” Clint grunted after a few minutes of watching.

Phil looked over, seeing Clint rubbing his stomach again. “Are you alright?”

He sighed, forcing his tense body to relax; grunting after another sharp kick. “Get outta my ribs. Fuck,” he said, not hearing Phil’s question. Another kick responded. “Stoppit. I really don’t like my organs up in my throat, thank you very much.”

After another few minutes of Clint’s grumbles and squirming, he let out a huff. “Fuck me,” he mumbled, nudging Wanda to sit up. “Lemme up. Phil I kinda need help here.”

Wanda and Phil were up on their feet quickly and helped Clint get up, leaning him onto Phil again as they started out of the gym. “Where are we going?” Phil asked.

Clint huffed and rolled his eyes, hand rubbing his stomach stilling as another sharp pain kicked him. “Hopefully it’s just those fake contractions, but I should go get looked at just in case.”

An hour later Clint was admitted to the maternity ward; annoyed and waiting for an epidural to help with the contraction pains. The rest of the team milled around Medical knowing labor and child birth would take a while; Phil and Wanda were the only two Clint could tolerate being in the room. Natasha wasn’t upset that he didn’t want her in the room, she knew he was in too much pain to have a lot of people around. She would have plenty of time with the new baby whether or not she was in the room.

She just had to keep from stabbing Sam while he annoyingly bounced a ball against the wall beside her from the other wall. He was only fidgeting to keep his hands busy; she could try to tolerate it and tune it out.

#################################

Nathaniel Pietro Barton-Coulson

Born 7/13/18 @ 12:02 A.M.

Weight 8lbs 0oz

Length 20 in

Clint endured twelve hours of labor all together but now he and Phil had their baby. The rest of the world slipped away for those quiet few hours they spent alone with the baby. Phil ignored his phone, eventually giving it to Sam to keep away from him so he wouldn’t be tempted to answer any work business.

The rest of the team came in one by one to see the baby but nobody elected to hold him yet, feeling like he should stay in Clint or Phil’s arms as much as possible so they could bond with their son.

Wanda stayed with them to help. She pushed the supply cart after Clint was discharged so Phil could push the wheelchair with Clint and Nathaniel. When they got back home, they found their suite freshly cleaned, Juno obediently off the couch and on her own pillow, and their bed ready for Clint to come rest and recover.

A little bassinet was a new addition to the room, complete with a mobile featuring the two little dolls MaJo crocheted.

Clint let Phil take Nathaniel and put him in the small bed. Phil and Wanda worked together to get Clint from the wheelchair and into bed, fluffing the few extra pillows around him comfortably.

“Need anything before I come cuddle with you?” Phil asked, caressing Clint’s face.

He sighed, leaning into Phil’s touch. “Ice pack for inside my pants would be nice,” he mumbled. “Or something to drink. Either one, I’m not picky right now.”

Phil smiled and went to the kitchen, fixing a glass of ice water for Clint and getting an ice pack out of the freezer. When he came back to the bedroom, he helped Clint put the ice pack against his pelvis, figuring the freezing cold would be far too painful between Clint’s legs just a few hours after giving birth, and helped him take a drink before getting him settled again. Clint sighed when Phil tucked him in close and closed his eyes, hoping to get some rest before the baby woke and the endless loop of taking care of a newborn started.

He had to push away the realization that Nathaniel was born on what would have been Lila’s ninth birthday. He couldn’t think about it and he couldn’t wonder if Phil realized what day it was. Of course Phil knew. He too had to push it away though and focus on taking care of his family.

Chapter Text

At Nathaniel’s two-week checkup, Dr. Teller convinced Clint to consider getting a birth control implant. It would be easier and more stress free than having to keep up with an IUD. Clint was of course interested, but wanted to talk to Phil first.

Phil didn’t expect Clint to come to him and ask for his permission to get the implant and after his shock passed, he tried to explain to Clint that he didn’t need permission from anyone to get it. But then Clint showed him the paperwork Dr. Teller gave him, having underlined the requirements Clint had to meet before he would do the procedure.

The resulting knock-out punch caused Clint to need a new doctor; a broken nose tended to do that to a person and Phil would never feel guilty about punching someone who was being an asshole to Clint. The rest of the medical staff was quick to agree for someone to do the procedure after the rumor mill ran rampant.

Tony found the files for Clint’s medical history while he was in the process of terminating Dr. Teller from his employ and took another look at the security footage from the day Clint and Phil were told their baby was stillborn. His loud curse prompted JARVIS to alert the team to come hurrying to his lab thinking he was hurt and needed help somehow.

“J, find all the info you can on Kimberly Rice. Make it snappy,” he ordered, working fervently as the others came into the lab. “Agent, sit.”

Phil scoffed at him, hands on his hips. “Not a dog, Stark,” he replied; surprised when Tony just nudged him down onto a chair and pointed to the security screens. “Watch when she takes out the baby, look at the arm.”

Everyone gathered to watch the screen closely, nobody expecting to see the baby’s little arm jerk with life. Dr. Rice passed the baby to a nurse, without clearing the airways so the baby could breathe and cry, and the nurse hurried off with the little bundle.

JARVIS put the search results up on the screen, stirring Phil out of his stupor. When an address showed up, the team was quick to jump to action but the others agreed Phil needed to stay home and take care of Clint and Nathaniel.

Phil wanted to argue but knew they were right, those two needed him more than anyone. He returned upstairs, calming his screaming nerves before he stepped into the suite; smiling when he saw Clint and Nathaniel on the couch together with a bottle and Juno.

“So, Stark finally get his dick caught in something?”

He smiled, snickering, and gave Clint a kiss before sitting down. “No, but we found out more on Dr. Rice. Everyone’s going now to find her, seems she did lie to us. They’re gonna go find her and check things out.”

Clint’s smile fell hard. “So, she did take our baby.”

Phil nodded, rubbing Clint’s thigh slowly. “Nat’ll get answers and then make the bitch suffer.” Clint let out a slow sigh, absently pressing a kiss to Nathaniel’s head when the baby stirred against his chest. Phil nudged Clint into his arms and held tight, trying to soothe Clint to relax again not wanting him stressed out again knowing his mood would affect the baby still.

Juno scooted and laid on Clint’s hip, letting out a quiet buff against his leg.

##############################

Two days passed before the team returned home. Wanda surprised them when she came in with a baby perched on her hip. Phil turned with a mug of coffee when the door opened as she came in, snorting when he realized she indeed held a kid.

“Nope, definitely not a good look for you. You’re far too young for that accessory.”

She rolled her eyes at him smiling and followed him to the living room seeing Clint coming out of the nursery. He stuttered a step when he saw the baby, immediately seeing Phil from the baby pictures he’d seen over the years.

He saw a little bit of Nathaniel in the baby as well, not recognizing that the resemblance came from him. Phil put his coffee down and took the baby, sitting down to look him over closely.

“Stark wants both of you to come down to do a DNA test. I’ll stay with Babybutt.”

Phil looked up at her then at Clint, seeing the fear deep in Clint’s eyes again. “We can wait if you want.”

Clint sighed and shook his head, fidgeting. “No, if I wait, I’ll get attached and want to keep him more.”

“Well, I’m totally sure he’s yours so I don’t think that’ll be a problem,” Wanda told him, rounding to sit in an armchair. “The test is just to be positive in the eyes of the law.”

Another minute passed before Clint and Phil stood and left the suite to go down to Tony’s lab; finding the rest of the team standing around waiting for them. Tony picked up a fresh test kit and sat on the edge of a table. They gave their sample, Natasha working with Clint when he looked like he would bite Tony if he came at him with the cotton swab, and had to work together to help get a sample from the baby. Clint instinctively took him when he fussed and cried, working to soothe him.

“It’ll take a few days for the results since I can’t test them here yet.”

Clint turned back to him when the baby in his arms was quiet again. “What do we do ‘til then?” he asked. “What if he isn’t ours?”

“Then we’ll find his parents and give their baby back to them.”

“And if they’re horrible people?”

Phil sighed at him, soothing him with a kiss. “We won’t have to worry ‘cause I think Wanda’s right; he’s probably definitely ours and we’ll take him back home and make sure he’s happy and has the best life we can give him.”

Clint looked down at the baby clinging to his shirt in one little fist and the other in his mouth; leaning into Phil when he gave him another kiss. After a few minutes he was able to stand and follow Phil back home, smiling when he saw Wanda now in the recliner with Nathaniel sleeping against her chest. He chuckled when Juno popped into view on the couch and buffed quietly, glad that she never had a harsh sounding bark that would wake or scare the sleeping infant.

When he sat down, she curled up beside him with her head in his lap, groaning a yawn as Clint pet her slowly. Phil reheated his coffee and joined them, smiling at the baby falling asleep on Clint’s shoulder.

They both knew he was their son; they just didn’t realize they’d already accepted the new addition to their family so easily.

Nearly a week passed before Tony came in with the test results, smiling when he spotted three deadly assassins in the floor with both babies; Clint with Nathaniel in a sling on his chest sleeping peacefully. He and Bucky were holding Robbie’s little legs while Natasha pressed his glue covered feet to a sheet of construction paper.

Robbie squirmed and giggled when Bucky reached for a wet cloth to wash the glue off while Natasha carefully dusted the glue footprints with glitter.

“Holy domestic assassins, Batman.” He snorted a laugh at the three middle fingers that shot up at him. “Results are in if anyone’s interested.”

He didn’t see Phil come out of the kitchen until he was over his shoulder and snagging the results out of his hand. Clint passed Robbie to Bucky then stood to read the results with Phil.

“So, this means we can get the bitch with kidnapping charges?”

Tony nodded. “Already got my team working on it and police will send someone out here. I’ll give my guys the videos and all that after we show the cop. We just have to worry about the fact that we kinda broke the law when we barely abducted her and took the baby. But we’ll be alright; I’ll sweet talk the courts like I always do.”

Clint was already back in the floor by the time he finished talking, only needing to know without doubt that Robbie was his baby and Dr. Rice would be charged for taking him. The only good the woman did for Robbie was naming him; unknowingly choosing Phil’s father’s name Robert.

Robbie laughed when Natasha brushed glue onto his hands then gave him a Christmas ornament to clutch for a moment before putting glitter on the glue prints; they had already made an ornament with Nathaniel’s little foot print, also getting one on paper to put in a frame when everything dried.

Phil put the test results with his important paperwork to keep up with it for the impending court doings before sitting on the couch with Wanda and the dog, letting Wanda put her head back on a pillow in his lap. She felt like hell and clinged to him feeling horrible. It was just a seasonal allergy but she still avoided holding onto Nathaniel while she felt so bad. If she’d been contagious, she would have stayed in the suite she shared with Natasha bundled in her bed.

Tony made himself comfortable and watched the group, glad that he extended the invite for everyone to join him and live in the tower. Sure, there were times they bickered, but every family bickered sometimes. He had the family he lost so long ago.

Chapter Text

Having a newborn and a nearly two-year-old could put stress on even the best of S.H.I.E.L.D. agents but Phil took on the extra duties easily. They had plenty of help with their family, Natasha surprised everyone with how well she took to the new children. She was known for not particularly liking kids but it seemed if the kid came from Clint, she adored and loved them dearly. They even helped calm Bucky enough that he lost all image of the manic murderbot HYDRA made him.

Tony extended their suite into the neighboring one on their floor; combining the two kitchens and converting their original living room into two bedrooms; one for Robbie and one to move the nursery and let Wanda take the bigger second original bedroom.

He managed to make Phil and Clint’s bedroom twice its original size, something both of them tried to talk him out of but he wouldn’t listen. He bribed Phil with the larger couch Phil had been looking at eventually buying. Five minutes on the new couch, which was as big and wide as two queen size beds, and Clint was willing to let Tony do whatever he wanted.

Phil came home, happy to hear the delightful laughter in their home again, rounding the corner into the dumbly enormous living room and found Clint on the couch with Nathaniel in his sling and Robbie fighting a diaper change. Clint didn’t seem too worried that he wanted to go without anything, not making an actual effort to catch Robbie when he stumble ran past him. Juno ran around the outer edge of the couch chasing the balloon Robbie teased her with, making him squeal happily when she sprang up at the balloon.

Clint smiled when he spotted Phil; chuckling when he reached and caught the running runt into a hug.

“So, is this a no pants day again?”

Clint shrugged, moving a section of couch to get to his feet. “Actually, just waiting for Wanda and Nat to get back from the store with the diaper rash cream; the one we had went bad and he acted like it hurt when I put it on him.”

“Yeah, I didn’t think about that stuff expiring,” Phil sighed, gently tugging his tie out of Robbie’s grasp when he put it in his mouth; trading it for a cookie so the silk wasn’t ruined. “How’d he do with trying the toilet thing?”

“He was fine until we flushed; he even went to the bathroom without being prompted so that’s good, right?”

Phil nodded, laying Robbie down to check the rash in the bend of his chubby little leg. It wasn’t horrible but it looked uncomfortable. “Some kids are just easy.”

Clint disappeared into the nursery to put Nathaniel down, hoping he would sleep for longer than a couple hours. Even with the extra help meaning he had a chance to nap, he was exhausted. His hope was crushed as soon as he got to the doorway and Nathaniel cried out from his crib. Phil came out of their room and heard him fussing, seeing the exhaustion and stress on Clint’s face. He stepped past Clint into the nursery and collected the fussing baby, cradling him close.

He tried not to laugh when he turned and saw Clint now sprawled in the nursery doorway and Robbie smacking his head with a little rubber hammer toy, and sat in the nursery rocker hoping to soothe Nathaniel back to sleep.

“He only cries any time I put him down,” Clint huffed softly, looking up at Phil with a pout. “Every single time, no matter what.” His expression changed to one of disbelief and he huffed into the carpet. “And this little turd just pissed on me.” Phil quickly stifled a snort, turning to look at the far wall in an attempt to hide his grin.

Thankfully Wanda and Natasha returned soon after, rescuing Clint from further urinating toddler. Wanda took Robbie up to get him in a fresh diaper, stifling a laugh when she spotted the wet spot on the collar of Clint’s t-shirt. Natasha made no attempt to hide her glee but muffled herself when she saw Phil trying to get Nathaniel back to sleep; stepping over Clint’s prone self. He groaned as he got back up to his feet, peeling off the wet shirt carefully on his way to the bedroom to change again.

He went through to the kitchen, making Phil a cold drink as Wanda and Natasha started dinner for the four of them. Phil met him as he turned to take the drink to him in the nursery, smiling as he gave Phil the glass and stole a quick kiss.

“Need help?”

Clint shook his head, hands roaming over Phil’s hips under his t-shirt. “We’re just gonna put that frozen lasagna thing in and throw a salad together; go sit and relax.”

He expected Phil to go back to the living room and make himself comfortable in his recliner, but Phil sat on a barstool at the breakfast bar and reached to help chop salad fixings. Clint just rolled his eyes and shook his head fondly, getting a drink for himself before sitting at the bar with him; grabbing the bell peppers off the counter.

Robbie babbled at them from his highchair, munching happily on puffy bites; smiling and laughing when Wanda used her powers to pour a few more pieces on the tray for him.

Nobody in the tower was aware of a secretly laid surveillance feed showing their daily lives to Steve and his still expanding HYDRA team. With the feed he was able to know their plans and make his escapes long before they arrived at his door, always staying three steps ahead of them.

He had numerous plans for attacking and taking out the team, stupidly bitter about how they reacted to his treatment of Clint.

When dinner was ready everyone sat at the kitchen table together; Robbie’s highchair placed between Clint and Phil’s chairs, both tag team feeding him a toddler microwave meal. Bucky joined them after a little while, pulling up a chair beside Natasha, coming from another training session with Tony and Rhodey.

After dinner, with Robbie successfully put down for the night, the group piled onto the couch together. Natasha and Bucky snugged together under a blanket. Wanda and Clint laid together, waiting for Phil to finish in the shower, with Juno on their feet. Clint hooked the baby monitor on the edge of the couch, listening for any noise from the nursery and trying to stay awake long enough for Phil to come lay beside him and keep him warm.

He couldn’t help the dopey little grin that spread on his face as he dozed lightly, feeling the couch dip and move as Phil got comfortable beside him; letting out a contented sigh when he felt a kiss land on his neck.

The exhausted parents were both snoring together just a half hour later.