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I'll Just Hold Onto That For You (Your Heart)

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Tony parks his bike out front, laying it gently on the bike rack. The sky is blue, the wind's on his face, his laptop's charged, Tony's in a good mood. It's Spring Break, and he's just been dying for a cozy, peaceful morning at his favorite cafe, the Lionsgate. The cafe's his favorite for a reason 

"Hey, Tony!" Clint calls as soon as Tony steps inside. The bells jingle softly above him, and he turns to the fellow brown-haired man with a smile on his face.

"Sup, Clint. How you doing?" Tony greets, nodding at the other waiters and walking over to the counter. Clint shoots him a friendly grin and cocks an eyebrow. 

"Same order?" Clint asks, taking a pen and flipping it, catching it deftly with one hand as Tony nods. Clint moves behind the counter, lithe and agile in his brown Lionsgate apron. "Your hoodie looks cute," he adds, pouring Tony a mug filled to the brim with his favorite, black, black coffee. Black like scorched earth is how he likes it. He hands the mug over to Tony, who takes it and sips the liquid, closes his eyes like he's having a religious experience, and sighs in contentment.

Clint snorts. "Jesus, Tones, at least try to hide the boner." Pauses, then tells Tony, "You're burning your tastebuds right off."

Tony takes another long sip and feels the magic happening. "Sorry. I sometimes forget how distracting I can be for you." 

Clint scoffs, rolls his eyes, ignores the suggestive comment with practiced ease. "I forget you've probably burned the nerves off your poor tongue since you were around four."

"Aw thanks," Tony replies with a teasing smirk. "Might wanna reign in the crush you obviously have going for me there. Why are you so concerned about my tongue, Barton?" He asks, waggling his eyebrows suggestively.

Clint holds a hand to his heart, looking offended. "Excuse you, you'd be lucky to have me. And kindly fuck off about the tongue. I don't need any more nightmares featuring you."

"I've already got you, sweetcheeks." Tony stares back for a moment, then turns on his heel and sways his hips, glancing back and being absolutely smug as fuck about it when Clint's dark eyes go predatory. "You make me coffee. I've dated for less," he says, smiling with his teeth. "You dream about me, snuggle muffin?"

Clint laughs, flips him off, and turns to serve another customer who's currently eyeing them with a lot of uncomfortable confusion. Tony notices it right away, of course, the spark of interest in the eyes as the stranger clears his throat and turns his body away to the counter, shoulders stiff. Well. Someone needs to release some sexual tension.

The cafe's almost empty this early in the morning, and Tony loves it that way. All he needs is some AC/DC blasting through the speakers but Clint will probably asphyxiate him for that, so he refrains from upsetting the man who makes him coffee. Clint's been his friend ever since he started the semester at MIT, and found the gem that is the Lionsgate cafe. On the first day, Tony accidentally ordered a latte, tasted absolutely no coffee, demanded coffee, Clint argued there in fact was coffee, and no he was not about to give Tony a refund, and Tony declaring he would not leave the premises without coffee, and that resulted in Clint making a furious bet with Tony that if the security cameras were to show Clint pouring him the fucking coffee Tony would have buy Clint's pizzas for eight consecutive days. 

They became friends right away. As soon as Tony finished buying eight pizzas, lectured Clint about the dangers of eating so many pizzas and Clint threatened to poison every cup of coffee he would ever make for Tony in the future. 

Tony makes himself comfortable in his favorite corner, at the back of the cafe, surrounds himself with large windows that let through rays of soft sunshine. He takes out his laptop, fires it up and immediately starts working on the prototype for body armor that's light, compact, thick enough to endure multiple bullets but without restricting mobility or speed. While making it look good as hell. Which, Tony thinks with a satisfied smile, is definitely one of his fortes. His professor's gonna lose his mind when he launches the prototype. Tony's been aching to finally get through the droning seminars and pass over to the part where he actually gets to build things. He takes another long gulp of the sweet, black coffee, actually feels the neurons and synapses in his brain firing (yeah, he learned some shit from Bio class) and the mitochondria powering up for his cells. 

Tony takes the mug, tells it in a soft whisper that he'll remember it forever, and downs the rest of it.

A disgusted noise from across the room makes him look up. 

Clint rolls his eyes (the guy does it so much Tony's worried it'll roll right back into his skull one day) and holds up a freshly brewed coffee pot. "Come get your fucking refill," he yells. "I can see the empty cup from here."

Tony jumps to his feet, joy in his heart and grins wide and happy. "You're a goddamn national treasure," he tells Clint, greedily pouring the black liquid into his now empty mug. Clint sighs, loud and exaggerated. 

"I know. The plan is to have you die in two years when the caffeine spreads to your heart," Clint says with a shrug and takes the pot.

Tony makes a low, mournful noise in his throat, gazes up at Clint through his thick eyelashes and makes grabby hands at the pot. Clint pauses, narrows his eyes like he doesn't trust Tony to touch the coffee pot with a ten-foot pole.

"Fuck," Clint grumbles and glares at him. There's no real heat in it though, so Tony doesn't worry and instead takes the pot, blowing a kiss and a wink in response and carefully makes his way back to his table with the pot in one hand, and the refilled mug in the other. "At least take a muffin so your stomach doesn't commit suicide." Clint says grudgingly. 

Tony turns, beams. "I never knew you cared," He saunters over to the counter, gets himself a boxfull of muffins thrown at his chest for his trouble. 

"Asshole." Clint mutters after him.

Tony flips him off without looking and plops himself down on his favorite plushie chair, slinging the laptop towards his knees and hunching down to do some work. He's in the middle of explaining how long strands of fiber made of a super mindblowing metal shit can interlace to form a thick net that's enough to stop a bullet from a game rifle when in his peripheral vision, a low, steady thrum of energy tingles in the back of his neck.

Tony glances up, barely in time to leap out of the way when a motorcycle crashes through the window, shattering glass with the kind of noise that should be illegal this early in the morning, and tumbles across the cafe's previously white tiles, ending up near the door in a whir of spinning tires and machinery that Tony's hands itches to fix. Clint stands, uncertain and lost in the middle of the destruction, apron untangled and towel in hand, mouth agape.

The previous occupant of the motorcycle lies a meter away from Tony, clad in black combat gear and Tony can see the sleek outline of a Ruger poking out from a sheath on the guy's hip. Then, the guy shifts, and Tony's about halfway there to fainting and screaming because he has a metal fucking arm, glinting and looking all kinds of badass. Tony can't look away from the absolute beast. The guy looks up, dazed, blood trickling down the side of his face. He looks out of it, and completely wrecked and when the guy sees his motorcycle strewn on its side with half the gears hanging out, he looks fucking pissed about it and Tony decides then and there he's got a thing for angry, pretty brunets with blood on their faces, a metal goddamn arm, and molten fire in their blue eyes. 

"Fuck," Tony says, casually, like this is an absolutely mundane sight to see on a Saturday morning. 

 

 

 

 

A/N: Next chapter will be up soon