He swallowed. Hard. Licked his lips. Closed his eyes. Tried to will it away. He tried to…
Three weeks ago Clint had had an accident. It wasn’t work related. He just got his new bike, a Ducati, and he wanted to drive it, to test its limits. But a guy in a pick-up didn’t see him, ignored his right of way. Clint had to yank the bike around and ran into a tree.
The bike was totalled but Clint only had a few scratches, thanks to the combi suit and the helmet. But since then he had headaches every day.
He just got up from bed, went to the kitchen where Phil had made coffee. He reached for his favorite mug when he saw it again.
“Are you okay?” Phil asked and Clint startled. He pressed his hands onto the counter and nodded. Phi sat still at the table and ate but he sounded worried.
“Yes,” he lied. “Yes, I’m just… tired.”
Phil was quiet but Clint could literally feel his eyes on his back and he turned around, folded his arms and hid his hands in the armpits.
“It… it was… it was a…”
“Clint,” Phil said quietly and he closed his mouth immediately. “You know you can tell me everything, right?”
“It’s nothing, it’s just…”
“Clint,” Phil said again. He looked up and saw that his husband stood in front of him now. “Please tell me.”
“It’s…” he tried once again but when Phil cocked his head a bit he cast his eyes down. And then he showed him his hands. They shook. As much as he tried he couldn’t force them to stay steady.
“The accident?” Phil asked and Clint nodded. He still didn’t look up, couldn’t look up.
“I… I’ve been at the range yesterday,” Clint said. “I… I tried, Phil, but…”
Now he looked up and Phil saw tears in his eyes.
“I can’t… only one of five arrows hit its mark,” he said. “I’m… I’m useless.”
“No, you’re not,” Phil said and reached up to cup Clint’s cheek. “We know doctors and geniuses, we’ll find a solution.”
“And what if not?” Clint asked. He swallowed hard again. “I can’t be an Avenger - or an agent - if I can’t shoot straight. “What if…”
Phil took both of Clint’s hands and held them.
“Then we’ll find a solution for that, too,” he said. “But today we go to a doctor, okay?”
Slowly Clint nodded. “Okay.”
Phil took Clint’s mug, filled it with coffee and placed it on the table.
“I love you, Phil,” he said.
“I love you, too.”