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We're Both Worth It

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When Clint had moved into the tower, he'd been afraid to touch anything because it was all shiny and new, and every single thing looked like it was worth more than he'd made in his whole life. He'd only really agreed because Natasha had won the sparring match and held him down until he gave in.

Now he was glad for it, because when Bucky had agreed to date him, he had the coolest place for them to go to, and Bucky didn't have to even go out in public to do it. They could have dinner in Clint's gorgeous apartment, watch a TV that was as big as some movie theaters, and sit on the softest, most comfortable sofa anywhere.

And sometimes, like today, they took advantage of the bathtub.

It was practically big enough to be a swimming pool, because Tony had no idea of proportion or of how normal people lived. This meant that it was big enough for both of them to lie, almost completely submerged, and touching along the whole length of their bodies.

With the water buoying them up, Bucky was even willing to lie on top of Clint and let him wrap him up tight, floating in the warm water. As Clint felt the water and the warmth relax Bucky's strung tight muscles, he rubbed small circles on his chest, his stomach, his thighs, encouraging him to relax and let go.

Only when Bucky was a limp, warm weight on top of him, did Clint stretch out an arm to grab the soap and shampoo, slowing shifting Bucky around so that he could wash every inch, shampoo and condition his long hair. As his fingers kneaded Bucky's scalp, Bucky let out a low groan. "Oh, I'm keeping you," he murmured.

Clint's stomach did strange things at those words. He wanted that. Oh, he wanted that. He wanted nothing more than to be kept by Bucky, but he knew that he'd always have to share him - with Steve, with the team, with the world.

But right here, right now, it was just them, warm water, and getting clean.

As he slowly untangled Bucky's hair from his fingers, he whispered, "Okay, let's get you into bed."

Bucky raised his head, his eyebrows pulled together and a frown on his face. "But you need to get washed too?" he said, his voice uncertain. "Isn't it your turn now?"

"It's fine, Buck. I'll take a shower after I get you tucked in. You had a hard day today."

Bucky's expression turned mulish. "So did you. Why do I deserve to be coddled but you don't?"

Clint didn't have the words to explain that Bucky just deserved all the good things, all of them. He didn't know how to put it in words that Bucky would understand. He just shook his head and tried to ease away so that he could stand up,

Clutching at Clint's arm, Bucky refused to let him. "FRIDAY, drain the tub and refill it," he said. The water level started to drop immediately and Clint tried to stand again, only to once again be stopped by Bucky.

"If you tell me you really don't want me to wash you, I'll let you go," Bucky said, his voice soft but steady. "But if you're just trying to be a self-sacrificing idiot who doesn't think he deserves to be taken care of, I'm going to show you just how wrong you are."

Clint bit down on the words that wanted to fly. The one thing that Bucky had made him promise was that he'd never lie about how he was feeling or what he wanted. He could sometimes get away with just not saying something, but Bucky was asking him for words, and if he said he didn't want to be washed and taken care of by Bucky, it would be a lie. And Bucky knew it, the bastard.

He couldn't say out loud that he wanted it. He couldn't. But he couldn't lie and say he didn't, either. So he just stayed still as the last of the water drained away, and the tub started to refill again. He moved as Bucky directed, allowing his skin to be soothed with soft touches, and his hair to be washed with strong fingers, and by the time Bucky was done, he felt like melted jell-o.

"That's better," Bucky said, letting the water out for a second time. This time, when Clint stood up, Bucky did as well. Wordlessly, they haphazardly dried off, and then clinging to each other, they wobbled to the bedroom, collapsing together into the bed.

"I don't know who taught you that you're not worthy of good things," Bucky said softly, his face buried in Clint's hair. "But if I ever get my hands on them, they're dead."

Clint didn't argue. He just slid up next to Bucky, nuzzling into his neck. "You make me feel good," he said, his words slurring a little from exhaustion and how relaxed he was. "That's what's important, right?"

"Yeah, Clint," Bucky said, pressing a kiss on Clint's forehead. "That's what's important."

With that, Clint closed his eyes and let sleep claim him.

That tub was the best thing, though, seriously.