If someone had asked Clint ten years ago if he ever expected he would find true love; he would have laughed at them. He didn’t expect anything good to happen in his life; being an orphan since age seven and having a life filled with torture, he expected the pain and hell to continue and eventually kill him.
But, now at age 30, he had love and a family. He had a husband who he loved dearly, someone who saved him from pain so many times he lost count. Working with S.H.I.E.L.D. danger was around every corner. Together, they had their seven-year-old daughter; though she wasn’t Phil’s biologically he loved her all the same.
One hurdle Clint didn’t think he would ever completely get past; being transgender and having all the discrimination and trouble involved. Despite his high-end occupation, he still couldn’t find a doctor who would one: agree to let him start HRT and two: agree to clear him for at least top surgery. Which resulted in his current situation, mixed with the vicious assault that resulted in Lila’s birth. S.H.I.E.L.D. doctors also refused birth control to all agents despite their reasons for requesting it.
Phil had offered when they first got together to get a vasectomy to prevent another unexpected child; but Clint declined; not feeling it was necessary. Three months into his second pregnancy, he didn’t regret declining. Sure, he had some dysphoria about his biologically female body but keeping it covered and wearing the admittedly awful binder helped slightly. He was surprised that being pregnant didn’t affect him negatively like it had the first time, but figured since this time he was with someone he loved and it wasn’t the result of a violent rape, he didn’t feel awful about it.
Just before six they woke with the alarm clock. Clint felt the hard vibration coming from the alarm, going through his nightstand and to the mattress, rather than heard it. He slept easier without his hearing aids and felt safer without them when Phil was home.
Phil reached over him and turned it off then pulled Clint to him as he stretched out; hugging him firmly and landing a tired kiss on his neck. The only advantage to waking up with the sunrise; being safe and snug in loving arms.
They laid together for a little while before getting out of bed to start their day. Clint started maternity leave, thanks to still improving policies at S.H.I.E.L.D., the week before but he still came in with Phil and lounged around his office. While Phil showered, Clint put on one of Phil’s old Rangers shirts and his Rangers hoodie; shoving his already achy feet into his boots so he could walk Lucky before they left home.
He wanted to take the elevator but the OUT OF ORDER: DANGER sign met him. Letting out a sigh he turned to use the fire escape stairwell. The alarm was disabled while the elevator was broke, putting the apartment complex residents in potential danger but he was sure the building owners didn’t care all that much.
The walk took a little longer than Clint wanted, but his beloved mutt habitually collected sticks whenever they went outside and he didn’t have the heart to get mad at him. When he returned home, he saw that Phil had woken and dressed Lila for school and was busy helping her with her shoes while she nibbled on a pop tart.
They would be leaving to drop her off and get to work soon, but he had to sit a minute and catch his breath again. Going up and down stairs to their fifteenth-floor apartment just twice a day wore on him with the growing baby he carried. Thankfully when they got home after their workday ended, Phil took Lucky out to pee so Clint didn’t have to trek up and down so much. He just had to take Lucky out in the mornings while Phil showered and then make it back upstairs when they got home in the evening.
When Phil was ready, they left; Clint hugged to Phil’s side clutching Lucky’s leash in one hand and Phil’s side in the other, leaning onto him so Phil could help support him going downstairs again. Lila walked ahead of them nibbling on her food still. In the parking garage Phil helped her get up into her booster seat while Clint loaded Lucky in his harness and buckled him in securely. Clint sat in his seat, buckling in as Phil got behind the wheel to drive; catching Phil’s hand when they were on the road and on the way to Lila’s school.
Dropping Lila off was thankfully uneventful. Clint walked her into the school, a security requirement even though he would prefer doing it regardless, and take her to her classroom. She was generally happy when he left her, sometimes when she had a rough night, she had a hard time letting him leave, but Clint hated not having her with him. He went back to Phil, sighing as he sat down and buckled up; grabbing Phil’s hand again.
Going from their home in Virginia to S.H.I.E.L.D. in D.C. wasn’t too much of a hardship, unless there was heavy traffic; usually on Monday mornings especially. Phil preferred to make the sometimes long drive because it meant his family was away from danger mostly.
When they arrived at S.H.I.E.L.D. HQ, Phil parked in their usual spot in the lower garage and got out after shutting off the engine. Clint tucked into him again, letting Lucky hold onto his own leash knowing the dog would go directly for the elevators; smiling when Phil leaned in for a quick kiss. They weren’t too openly affectionate at work, despite just about everyone knowing they were together and only close friends knowing Clint’s current condition, but sometimes they just wanted to kiss or hold hands while they went about tasks together.
Lucky led them out of the elevator and around a few turns to Phil’s office; sounding like he groaned annoyed when they spotted Nick waiting for them in the hallway. Clint had to stifle a laugh behind his fist, feigning a cough and hiding his grin.
“So, here’s the updated guidelines and policies for those LG whatever is happening now,” Nick said, waiting for Phil to unlock the office door so he could intrude. Clint took the thick stack of files, being one of the few semi-out agents he was tasked with asking those who weren’t what they would like to see included in the changes.
Phil took time to make sure Clint was comfortable lounging on the couch before he woke up his workspace, ignoring Nick’s watchful eye until he was ready to acknowledge him, and called down to the cafeteria for breakfast for him and Clint.
He knew what to order for Clint; he got the same thing every morning since the weird cravings hit: biscuits and sausage gravy with a couple drizzles of mustard. It was definitely an odd combination, but Phil had tried it and it wasn’t inedible and he genuinely liked it. It just wasn’t something he could eat every day.
The human vacuum that was the love of his life however would happily eat anything no matter how often.
Finally, Phil turned his attention to Nick, giving him a smile in response to the impatient and annoyed glare from that one good eye. “So, how can I help you?”
“You both know Barton can’t be hopping around here while he’s on leave acting like a jack rabbit on speed, right?”
On the couch, Clint snorted a laugh making Phil’s smile widen. “Yes, we’re aware and he’s promised me he’ll behave and be in here most of the time. He’s still allowed in the range and the gym, but Natasha and myself will be there with him as a safety precaution; especially in the gym.”
“Well, I’m still clear for my bow but Medical doesn’t want me messing with guns right now. I don’t really care as long as I get to use my bow for at least practice so I don’t lose my skills.”
Nick turned back to Phil with a nod. “Sounds good. Just both of you look over that shit and let me know if things need to change again. Pierce is riding my ass about it ‘cause higher ups are on him to do it.”
Phil at least waited to roll his eyes until after Nick was gone and the door was shut again. He stood and went to Clint, sitting on the little coffee table and laying a gentle hand on Clint’s rounding abdomen. Clint couldn’t help smiling and laid his hand over Phil’s, rubbing slowly; prompting Phil to rub on his abdomen.
While they enjoyed the quiet peace of the morning, a cafeteria worker delivered their breakfast. Phil sat again on the coffee table so Clint could lounge on the couch while they ate together talking about the files Nick gave them going over things they knew had to change.
The day was filled with paperwork and AAR’s, keeping Phil busy at his desk through lunch. Natasha brought food and joined them for a while before she had to go help Melinda work baby agents on the training courses. She spent most of lunch with Clint on the couch, letting him lay with his legs draped in her lap; rubbing his achy legs while they ate listening to the clicking of Phil’s keyboard and the scratch of his pen.
Lucky laid snoring under Phil’s desk, keeping Phil’s feet warm.
“What’s your plan for this weekend?” Natasha asked, putting hers and Clint’s food containers on the coffee table. “I had planned to go out for a show with someone but they bailed out and I already bought the tickets.”
“Which one?” Phil replied looking up at her for a moment before turning back to his tasks.
Both men groaned slightly and Clint shook his head. “Pass. I hated Wizard of Oz so that’ll be equally terrible.”
“Sitwell might enjoy it, pretty sure Junie will.”
Natasha nodded, easing out from under Clint’s legs carefully; snugging the blanket around him again. “So, you wouldn’t mind if I camp out with you then?”
“You’re always welcome, Nat.” Phil told her with a grin. “Guest room is still set up with your stuff anyways.”
She smiled, giving both a peck, then left to find Melinda so they could get to work with the baby agents.
Clint stifled a yawn, rolling onto his side slowly, and burrowed tiredly into the blanket closing his eyes. His smile was covered by the blanket but Phil knew it was there when he lowered the office lights so Clint could doze. Phil took out his keyboard cover so the clicks would be muffled and slowed his writing to not disturb Clint.
Soon the only noise was Clint and Lucky’s combined snoring, putting Phil at peace.
Friday, finally. Clint was exhausted by the end of the week even though he barely did much of anything outside Phil’s office. He was ready to spend the weekend in the tub soaking his sore body; forgetting how achy being pregnant made him. If it wasn’t for the full body massages Phil gave him nightly, he wouldn’t be able to move at all.
It was the least Phil could do seeing as he was the one who got Clint pregnant in the first place.
But first, Clint had to give Fury the policy files he read through every day and still found things that needed to change. It was almost like the bosses didn’t actually care about their LGBT+ agents.
At least Fury agreed to take out the names to protect the identities of the agents who weren’t out so publicly.
In the elevator up to Fury’s office, with Phil and Lucky keeping Clint from falling over exhausted, Phil carried the files under one arm, hugging Clint with the other. He didn’t know why Clint hadn’t just let him run the files upstairs and waited in the office; but Phil knew he was stubborn and probably didn’t want him to get too far away.
Clint had times where he was clingy and Phil would never deny him.
Finally, free to go home, Phil loaded Clint and Lucky; taking Clint’s boots when he took them off and laid them in the back floorboard. Lucky obediently sat patiently while Phil secured him into the pet harness then laid down when he was secured.
Getting upstairs was a task for Clint, but with Phil’s help he made it to their apartment and to the couch before his exhausted legs gave out. Phil made sure he was comfortable before turning to dismiss Lila’s afternoon sitter, the sixteen-year-old waiting politely for her weekly payment.
“Do you need a ride home?” he asked, getting his wallet from his coat pocket. “It looks like it’s gonna try to rain soon.”
She sighed thoughtfully, looking out the living room window at the darkening sky. She wouldn’t make it home before nightfall and she didn’t particularly feel safe walking alone at night.
“If it’s no trouble, I’d appreciate it.”
He smiled and nodded. “Lemme change right quick. Lila behave?”
“Oh yeah,” Trish replied with her own smile. “She wanted chicken tenders for dinner, took her bath without me having to even remind her this time ‘cause she’s excited for her auntie coming over. She was a little upset after school but since I’m not a parent I can threaten to kick those little shits’ asses when they start in on her.”
Phil just sighed then went to change into comfortable lounge clothes, bringing Clint the soft throw blanket off their bed and fussing over him for a minute before leaving to take Trish home.
On the drive across town they talked about Lila’s classmates and their teasing. Phil made sure Trish was inside the house and the door shut before he took off to go back home. When he arrived, he found Natasha had made it and she was cuddled with Clint on the couch under the blanket; Lila tucked into her side. Phil grabbed Clint’s empty glass to refill and make himself something to drink before he sat in his recliner, huffing a laugh when he got settled and noticed that Clint stood waiting for him to still before he put himself between Phil’s legs comfortably with the throw blanket. Natasha and Lila laid together on the couch after he moved seats, snugging under Natasha’s blanket.
“Thought you’d be in the tub for a couple hours?”
Clint shrugged, snorting. “Wanted to, but hot water’s out again. I called Travers but of course he didn’t answer. Took a PTVA bath from the sink.”
Phil just shook his head chuckling softly and kissed him. Clint snugged closer, taking one of Phil’s hands and putting it on his stomach. Phil rubbed slowly and closed his eyes content to sit and hold onto him while the movie played. Clint would probably be asleep before Lila’s weekend bed time tonight.
The weekend came and went too quickly for everyone’s liking. Clint was restless all morning, making Phil call Natasha to come take Clint to the gym for a couple hours so he could work without him constantly pacing the office or anxiously clicking pens.
When that didn’t calm him, she took him to the range; but something had him too antsy. Phil called them at lunch to meet them in the cafeteria. They came into the almost packed room and found Phil and Jasper in the line for trays. The other agents protesting their cutting in line to wait with the two did make Clint smile but he still felt something was slowly creeping up to make his life hell. Again, he let Phil choose food for him; keeping tucked to Phil’s side as they went through the ‘Slop Line’ for hot lunches.
Phil knew what he would and wouldn’t eat when he wasn’t particularly hungry but had to eat to keep their growing baby safe. Natasha and Jasper chose from another line and got to a table before Phil and Clint, she shooed a couple baby agents taking up the last mostly empty table big enough for four and all of Jasper’s work.
As Clint sat down, he looked around the dining room, seeing more than a few glares directed at him from the agents he talked to about the LGBT+ policies. He didn’t know what to think about that though and turned his attention back to his food, nibbling on the greasy pizza slices and ignoring the salad Phil put down in front of him. He would eventually eat at it, but he wanted his junk food first and Phil wouldn’t complain as long as he ate something.
Jasper took a little gift bag out of his satchel and passed it to Clint before he took out his work. “Mom sent you something.”
Clint grabbed the bag cautiously, leaning it to open toward Jasper; expecting something to spring out at him because Jasper was an asshole like him and he rarely passed up an opportunity to prank someone. He just didn’t want a face full of whip cream or something sticky today. Satisfied that it wasn’t a trap, he reached into the bag and pulled out two little crocheted dolls; one an archer in bright purple and one wearing a suit and sunglasses. The receding hairline told Clint that doll was supposed to represent Phil and the other himself.
“Oh, they’re so cute!” he gushed. “Did she make them?” Phil reached and took the archer doll to look at, smiling happily.
“Yeah,” Jasper nodded smiling. “It’s for a mobile for the baby.”
“Why does a baby need a phone?”
Phil and Natasha smiled at each other for a moment, Clint was too innocent for his own good sometimes. “No, mobill,” Phil told him, using the proper pronunciation. “Those little spinny things that you hang on a baby’s crib; they play music and the dolls hang and spin around.”
“Oh yeah, we get to have a real nursery this time,” Clint nodded, putting the dolls away so they wouldn’t get dirty with food stains. He leaned in for a quick kiss, thankful that Phil had a way of explaining things to him in a way that didn’t make him feel stupid for not knowing. “Still gonna let me paint the walls purple?”
Phil chuckled and nodded. “Yes, you can have your precious purple.”
Wednesday morning Clint’s peace came to an abrupt end when they made it to S.H.I.E.L.D. and he was immediately accosted by their fellow agents. Apparently, Nick kept their names public in the released policies and now everyone was unfairly outed. Phil had to forcefully get more than a few agents away from Clint when they came in for an attack, not wanting Clint hurt. Lucky got a few warning bites in protecting the unborn baby. They got to the nearest elevator and ducked inside, Phil deflecting a thrown knife with his briefcase and shoving an agent that tried to rush them in the elevator.
Clint pressed the button to close the doors frantically, heart pounding as the doors couldn’t respond due to agent after agent trying to attack him.
Finally, shots rang out, making him more frantic, and agents started dropping before Natasha sprang into the elevator, shoving a fallen agent out of the way of the doors and letting them close at last.
Clint let out a loud breath, panting, his eyes wide; keeping himself tucked into the corner. Phil took him into his arms tight to calm him again, feeling Clint’s heart pounding against his chest.
“Hey, come on; catch your breath. Calm down and we’ll go to Medical if you’re hurt.”
He shook his head, gulping in a lungful of air and letting it out slowly; clinging to Phil so tight he was sure there would be holes in Phil’s suit jacket when he let go. Natasha stuck her head out of the elevator when it stopped, making sure they had a clear path. Phil led Clint after her and Lucky, listening for anyone approaching from behind, relieved to be in his office. Natasha shut and locked the door as he took Clint to the couch to get him to calm down enough so Phil could call Fury and find out what happened with the policies.
Two days after the policies went public around S.H.I.E.L.D., Phil and Clint had to stay away from HQ. Phil tried to convince himself it was mostly for Clint’s safety, being attacked was not good for him or their baby, but he knew it was to keep Clint from fighting back and killing someone. The threats Clint spat at both Fury and Pierce didn’t help their situation either.
So, in an attempt to help them get away from the danger; Jasper’s mother invited everyone to come out for a visit. Phil was quick to take the offer and called in a favor to an acquaintance for a secured flight. Natasha would tag along to help watch over Clint and Lila.
The four met up with Jasper and his wife Junie at the airport and everyone followed Phil through security, all a little confused when they didn’t stop at the ticket counters first, and to the private pilot lounge area. Phil made sure Clint was settled and as comfortable as he could get in an almost overstuffed chair before going to speak to the attendant behind the desk. Lila sat on Clint’s knee, waiting for Phil to come sit down so she could sit on his lap and not hurt Clint trying to sit on his; looking around the lounge.
She spotted a familiar face and, as a child was prone to do when excited, hopped off Clint’s knee to run to greet the man. Clint instinctively reached for her, instantly feeling something in his back pull hard. Jasper stood and went after her while Natasha tended to Clint; surprised when he came up and heard the man and Phil talking like they already knew each other. Phil was not at all concerned that the man had scooped up his daughter and put her on his hip.
Phil noticed him, still smiling. “Happy, this is Jasper; it’s his mother’s place we’re flying out to today. Jas, Happy Hogan; Mr. Stark’s personal assistant.”
Jasper eyed Happy critically for a moment before he remembered vaguely that he had come across the man when he was in Manhattan helping set Phil up to watch over Tony Stark.
Natasha and Junie brought Clint over, Natasha recognized Happy and he smartly gave Lila over to her when he saw the glare in Clint’s eyes. After introducing Clint and Junie to him, Phil stepped away to grab his family’s bags. Jasper collected his and Junie’s bags, grabbing Natasha’s knowing she wouldn’t step away from Clint and Lila with someone they had just met and didn’t know from a rock in a riverbed.
Happy led the group outside and to Tony’s private plane, waiting on a runway lane out of the way of regular airline traffic. Tony greeted his guests happily, welcoming them aboard his plane. Again, Phil made introductions for the three who Tony didn’t know, grinning when Tony seemed a little nervous as Lila gave his waist a hug.
Clint was nervous as well, Lila was naturally a friendly child and would talk to anyone and everyone if they allowed her; and reminded himself that if Phil felt comfortable with an adult being around their daughter and the fact that Lucky turned to mush around Tony immediately, he shouldn’t be so quick to worry.
The group settled after letting Tony’s personal attendants take their luggage and boarded the plane so Happy could get off the runway. Phil again made sure Clint was comfortable lounging on a long bench with a few fluffy pillows and a little lap blanket out of his carry-on before sitting with him and hugging him close. Lila and Natasha sat together at a little table, playing a game on a holo-screen. Jasper and Junie settled into a seat, planning to sleep the duration of the flight.
Phil and Tony talked about what had happened at S.H.I.E.L.D. and the deception from Fury and Pierce. Clint just leaned into Phil and stayed quiet, upset that he had unknowingly had a hand in outing and putting his fellow agents in danger from bigots and hateful agents.
So much blame was thrown onto his shoulders, nobody cared that he too had been lied to; they wanted to believe he outed them purposely. He felt like it was no longer safe for him to keep his job but he couldn’t just up and quit; he had a family he had to help support. It couldn’t be placed solely on Phil’s shoulders to support their growing family. It wouldn’t be fair.
A few hours later they were in Washington state and on the way to MaJo’s house to hopefully have a chance to relax and come up with a plan of how to handle what happened. Jasper’s little sister met them at the airport to drive them to the house. She was only sixteen and she was their mother’s primary caregiver; MaJo didn’t want a stranger coming in to take care of her and wouldn’t let Jasper quit his important job to do it either. But she showed more maturity than most adults and they trusted her to be responsible about her life choices.
Still, Jasper took over driving when they got to the van; the big brother taking over. Bev didn’t mind letting him step in, glad to have help for a couple weeks.
Finally at the house, everyone unloaded to go inside. Lila took her little backpack of toys from Phil before hurrying inside to greet her MaJo; the only grandmother figure she had in her life. Phil wouldn’t let Clint carry anything heavier than Lucky’s leash, following Bev upstairs to the guest room he and Clint would use; hearing Lila and MaJo in the kitchen already talking about baking goodies together. Clint sat down on the bed and started unloading their carry-on, putting a few things in the nightstand that they would need at hand. Bev took their toiletries to their guest bathroom so he wouldn’t have to get back up, knowing his feet and back had to be hurting from the flight.
Phil set to unpacking their suitcase into the dresser and closet, not wanting his suits to wrinkle.
When they were settled, Bev left the room to let them rest for a while. Phil helped Clint remove his shoes and pants so he could lie down comfortably. Clint didn’t feel the need to hide much being around MaJo and Bev, they accepted him lovingly even if MaJo didn’t fully understand what transgender meant. He let out a relieved groan when he was free of the tight binder, chest aching with the progression of pregnancy. He kept it off any time he could. Phil stripped down to just his boxers before lying down with Clint and holding him close, ready to sleep for a couple hours.
When everyone woke again, they gathered in the den. Phil offered to help Bev and Junie with dinner but they shooed him out of the kitchen with drinks for him and Clint. He had just chuckled and went back to Clint, sitting together in a recliner.
Lila sat in the other recliner on MaJo’s lap, watching as MaJo showed her how to knit and crochet. She listened intently, trying to copy the actions needed to knit properly. Natasha took up a corner of the couch with her own crochet work; MaJo taught her years ago and she kept the hobby to help her relax when she had down time. Jasper sat in the other corner with his laptop, always working.
If Clint hadn’t taken up Phil’s lap, he would be hard at work as well; neither knew how to take time off work seriously. Clint had to stop Phil and make him go home too many times a month.
For now though, Phil was happy to relax and hold onto his love; one hand on Clint’s abdomen, comfortingly rubbing slowly. Clint was more than happy to sit quietly and be held.
At dinner, everyone went to MaJo’s large dining room after pitching in to help set the table. Phil and Clint worked together putting a bit of food on Lila’s plate, everything too heavy for her to lift and pass herself. She sneered a little bit at the two roasted brussel sprouts Phil put beside her orange chicken, poking it distastefully with her fork.
Clint didn’t like brussel sprouts either but he took four for himself hoping to encourage her to at least take a little bite of one of hers. He also needed to eat some healthy foods for the growing baby.
While they ate, they talked about what work happenings they could discuss with civilians. MaJo was not pleased about what Fury and Pierce had done and Bev promised to hex the two later that night; making the agents laugh at her seriousness of the promise.
Nobody noticed that both Clint and Lila discreetly fed Lucky their brussel sprouts under the table. Phil happily thought both had eaten the vegetable themselves and neither knew the other had done it.
A couple days into their unplanned vacation, Clint still felt unsettled. He received a slew of threatening texts and phone calls from the outed agents and felt even guiltier for his unwitting involvement in everything. Phil had to take the phone and destroy it completely so Clint wasn’t stressing on it obsessively and stressing the baby.
He wanted Clint to enjoy the downtime and to focus on their family.
In an attempt to distract everyone from what happened, Natasha and Junie made everyone go into town for a shopping day. Clint wanted to stab his loving best friend, he despised shopping, but went along to stay with Phil. Lila’s excitement was a little contagious and he did find a few things to finally smile about.
At lunch they stopped at the town square and got food to go from a little diner; taking the food to eat in a little garden park shaded by a few trees and buildings. Being the typical seven-year-old child, Lila bounced between eating her sandwich and going to a fountain to play with the ducks swimming around. Clint and Phil didn’t stress on her going back and forth, the only other person in the park was an elderly man snoozing on another bench, but they both kept a close eye on her.
Clint’s attention went to his left when Lucky boofed from his spot on the ground, sighing and chuckling when he saw a little raccoon had climbed up onto the bench beside him, feigning disinterest in Clint’s sandwich. Animals followed him regularly and often came up on him in a sniper nest. He took sympathy on the hungry creature and gave it a bit of his food, chuckling when it scurried off under a tulip bush.
He snorted when he turned back to watch Lila and saw Phil smiling at him. “Don’t even say it,” he chuckled, stealing a quick kiss before Phil could get his jab in on him. “I’m not pretty enough for a Disney princess.”
Phil smiled, considering for a moment. “No, but definitely handsome enough for a Disney prince.”
Clint shook his head and rolled his eyes, getting another kiss, then went back to eating and watching Lila play. Phil put the rest of his fries in Clint’s food container almost too full from just a sandwich. He laughed when Natasha passed the rest of hers to Clint as well, prompting Jasper and Junie to do it, too.
“Ya’ll are gonna make me fat!” he feigned protesting, chuckling as he finished the last bite of sandwich and closed the container before Phil could add Lila’s into the bunch. He put his and Lila’s leftovers in a shopping bag and stood, putting the bag up on his shoulder and grabbing Lucky’s leash while Phil and Jasper took care of throwing away trash.
Natasha spotted a watcher and stopped Clint from turning to the side so his stomach wouldn’t be obvious. “Hold on a sec, civilian with a camera,” she told him softly.
Phil went to collect Lila when he realized the watcher was going to take her picture as she played with the ducks. Clint sighed annoyed and rolled his eyes again, putting Lila in front of him when Phil brought her over. Natasha wiped Lila’s messy face, watching the woman with the camera discreetly.
Phil didn’t hide his watchful glaring, staring at her until she put her camera away and started walking again; looking annoyed that she couldn’t take a picture of a child without parental permission. When he determined it was safe, he put Lila up on his shoulders and led the group away from the park. He ignored his phone buzzing repeatedly in his pocket, Fury would survive a couple weeks without him and he preferred to talk to the director away from Clint knowing how awful Fury could be when he was on a tangent.
They shopped for a couple more hours before returning to MaJo’s house. Clint was exhausted but glad that Phil made him go out for the day, he had fun and he spent the day with his family instead of keeping holed up in the house hiding. For now though, he wanted to go lie down for a while and rest his aching feet.
Downstairs Phil finally checked his phone, seeing that the outed agents had turned to threatening Clint on his number. He sighed and called Nick, starting to feel defeated about the situation.
Soon the conversation turned into a yelling match, bringing Natasha and Jasper hurrying to shut him up before Clint came downstairs; both hoping he didn’t have his hearing aids in while he laid down. Natasha snatched the phone, surprising Phil and ducking his automatic swing. He stopped when he spotted Jasper in the doorway leading to the den, hands on his hips and dish rag on his shoulder. Next he realized Natasha was the one who took his phone away from him and shoved it into her pocket to keep it away; matching Jasper’s stance.
“Fuck,” he huffed, realizing he had definitely been heard by everyone in the house. “Sorry, but that asshole fucking deserved it for what he said about Clint. I mean, I’m used to being called horrible shit but I’m not gonna let people start in on him. Almost flat out quit but he’s assigned us to fucking Manhattan with Stark.”
He sighed and left the den, going upstairs to Clint; frowning when he found him awake and knew he heard him yelling. “No, I’m not gonna repeat what that asshole said so don’t ask.” He huffed again as he took off his shoes and stripped down to lay with Clint, holding Clint to him tight.
“It’s alright, I can probably guess. No doubt he went on about how I’m a tranny freak and that you fucked up getting with me.”
“More or less,” he mumbled into Clint’s shoulder. “Threw a few fags in there against me for good measure. Still, he wants us in Manhattan by next week.”
Clint just grumbled, snuggling closer and putting Phil’s hand on his stomach. Both hoped he could rest at least a little bit before they had to go to New York.
Tony again welcomed Clint and Phil to use his plane to come into Manhattan and to Stark Tower. Happy flew them again, then drove them to the tower they would be calling home for a while.
Tony and Pepper met them when they came off the elevator into one of the many lounges, Pepper hesitated a step when Lucky growled deeply at her for getting a little too close to Lila for his liking. Clint gave him the quiet command and Lila nervously hid behind Phil’s leg, clinging to his pants and eyeing the two strangers cautiously while Tony spoke to Clint and Phil about everything and led them to another elevator to take them up to the resident floors.
“So, you’ll have the whole floor to yourselves, medical facilities are on 35 and I’ve already given them a heads up from what I know on your situation; I do not tolerate discrimination of any kind so if you have trouble with anyone, let me or JARVIS know and they’ll be taken care of promptly. I’ve never put up with it and won’t start.”
He led them to their enormous suite, snorting when Clint let out a stunned curse seeing how big it was. Phil just smiled and followed Tony to inspect the suite as Clint went to the windows to look out at the sights below; knowing the height of their floor would soothe Clint. He preferred being up high so he could keep a better eye on things.
After making sure things were in place as needed and their luggage delivered, Tony left to let them get settled before Clint’s first appointment with the new medical team.
Adjusting to the new living arrangements took some time. Clint was used to bouncing around from place to place. Phil didn’t have too much trouble, though he felt slightly nervous about having so many new people around. Lila though, hated it. She had to start a new school again, which was usually hard on children so they were prepared to help her with that, and was enrolled in a Manhattan private school. Tony offered to help Clint and Phil with the tuition costs, having already researched the best schools that would be better for them.
He didn’t have family, but he was more caring than the public gave him credit for. He had already put Phil in his pool of close friends so he wanted to help any way he could. They were grateful for Tony’s help. Clint was judgmental of newcomers, cautious to an almost extreme when his child was involved, but it only took a few days for Tony to gain his trust.
That didn’t happen often.
Since they didn’t have access to their vehicle anymore, Tony gave them a car so they could get Lila back and forth to school. Fury was often a petty man and took their S.H.I.E.L.D. issued SUV away after the phone call in Washington state.
Knowing their involvement with the agency would now be limited, Phil decided to get a civilian job. He had a teaching degree in high school history, always having a back up plan just in case things went south too deep, and was quickly hired on at a school in Queens.
Seeing Phil in what Clint called Professor Coulson clothes, Clint ogled him unashamed. The attention made Phil laugh, he often felt out of place looking like a normal civilian, but he appreciated Clint’s interest.
After a long day of teaching, Phil came home finally; taking the elevators upstairs to his family. When he came in, he found Clint and Lila at the kitchen table doing homework together. It looked like Lila was having trouble understanding the assignment and how Clint tried to explain it to her. He struggled to understand it as well, his reading skills still not where they should be for an adult, but he tried regardless.
Clint looked up when he heard the door click shut, letting out a relieved groan as Phil came into the dining room. “Oh, thank fuck,” he huffed, shoving Lila’s workbook across the table toward Phil. “Help, it’s second grade science.”
He just smiled, putting his bag in a chair as he sat with them, and grabbed the workbook to read over the assignment. “Okay, so what’s it not doing?”
Clint shrugged, passing Phil the little ball of aluminum foil, a hearing aid battery and a double A, and a paper clip. “The paper clip is supposed to spin around the batteries but it won’t.”
Phil nodded, looking at the items. After a moment he saw that the paper clip was rubber instead of metal like the experiment needed. He put it aside and dug into his bag for one of the many he had floating around; bending and shaping it to fit the double A.
“Alright, try that.” He gave the materials to Lila, telling her how to set everything up properly. Lila giggled happily when the paper clip finally moved around the batteries like it was supposed to do; picking up her pencil and writing out the process and results of the experiment in the workbook.
Clint just sighed, again feeling stupid because he couldn’t figure out a second-grade science experiment. Phil reached across the table and took Clint’s hand, stroking soothingly and giving him a little smile. Sure, Clint couldn’t get the experiment to work, but at least he took an active role in helping their child despite being sorely uneducated.
He would never make Clint feel bad for not knowing something other people took for granted.
Clint tried to smile but it came out as more of a huff and grimace, disappointed in himself. “Stark ordered dinner, should be here any time; he scheduled it to come around the time you’d get home so it’d still be hot for you. Told him I could cook, but he wouldn’t let me say no. Insistent little asshole.”
The doorbell rang then, making Clint sigh. Phil got to his feet first though and went to answer; putting on a polite smile for the tower worker who was tasked with bringing their dinner upstairs. He gave a tip to the woman then shut the door and took the food back to the dining room seeing Clint already had plates and silverware set out.
He had to stop Clint from finishing making drinks when he saw he was in pain and had him sit back down. “Sure you’re alright?” he asked, giving Clint’s back a firm rub.
“Yeah, just been up and on my feet a lot; had to go to Medical for an appointment. Babybutt still didn’t behave so still dunno what we’re growing but he’s healthy and everything looks normal, aside from being just a little bigger than normal. Dr. Day said more discomfort was normal for a bigger bean.”
“Later you should soak in the tub for a little bit with some of that Epsom salt.”
Clint shrugged, helping Lila cut into the meat on her plate. “I never can get the water hot enough to dissolve anything. It’s like the tub is plotting against me to never get another hot bath ever again.”
“Alright, I’ll set it up for you,” he replied with a smile. “Put in some of those oil beads and bubbles; make it so you can relax.”
Clint smiled truly, snickering. He didn’t feel pampering was necessary but Phil genuinely enjoyed pampering him whenever possible and he couldn’t turn down something that made Phil so happy. Getting a hot bath finally did sound like heaven, too.
After dinner and Lila’s bath, Phil helped her finish her homework; always disappointed that even in second grade she had hours of homework every night. They worked together on her nightly bedtime routine after letting her watch a movie for doing her homework without too much protest. Clint supervised teeth brushing while Phil set up Lila’s bed; pulling down her blankets and making sure her stuffed animals were correctly placed. Then, after she was settled and Clint lounged beside her, Phil sat in the floor beside the bed to read a bedtime story to her.
Both always stayed until she was asleep and snoring quietly, needing to have the quiet family time with her. Giving her the last kiss of the night, they crept out of her bedroom silently and Phil went to the bedroom to change into pajama pants and an old t-shirt before he set to drawing a bath for Clint in their huge tub.
Clint came in to use the toilet and undress, concerning Phil when he laid a small blanket over the bathroom mirror before taking off his clothes; keeping his back to the mirror despite the blanket. Phil knew what that meant; dysphoria was rearing its ugly little head again.
He took Clint’s hand and tugged him to stand between his knees, planting a little kiss on Clint’s now rounder stomach. “What’s wrong, my love?” he asked, tone soft.
“Just don’t wanna see it right now.” Clint mumbled, eyes closed and head turned to the side so he wasn’t looking down his female body at Phil. His hands fidgeted in Phil’s anxiously. “Makes me feel gross.”
Phil sighed softly and stood, helping Clint; eyes still closed; into the tub. He was glad the thick layer of bubbles covered everything Clint didn’t want to see. Clint sighed as he leaned back, the mixed scent of the oils and the bath bombs Phil knew he liked helping to slow his racing mind, finally opening his eyes again and looking at him.
“I talked to Dr. Keller about having surgery up top. He said after Babybutt is born and if you agree, he’ll do it. Talked to Dr. Day about a hysterectomy and she said you need to agree to it and give your permission before she’ll do it.”
“That’s stupid. You shouldn’t need my permission to change your own body to what you want.”
Clint shrugged, calming more when Phil reached to rub on his abdomen again; both smiling when they felt the baby shifting. “Yeah. Right now, I’m just gonna say fuck it and keep shit like it is now. Pissed me off so much, made me not wanna fucking do it at all.”
“Well it’s your choice and you’ll never have to ask my permission to do anything to your own damn body; no matter what. If you want, we’ll keep on looking for doctors who aren’t gonna be assholes about it. If you wanna stop, we’ll get more binders.”
Clint sighed again thoughtfully, tugging on Phil’s hand until Phil understood Clint wanted him to get into the tub with him. He undressed and got in behind Clint, both smiling as they settled in the hot water. Phil wrapped his arms around Clint to cover his chest, the elevation raised him out of the water so the breasts he didn’t like weren’t covered by the bubbles, kissing and nuzzling on his neck and shoulder lovingly.
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Clint did not want to hire a nanny for Lila, even one so vouched for by Tony. He didn’t trust too many people with his daughter. But Phil was right; Clint needed the help while he was at work all day. Even though Lila would be at school for most of the day, Clint couldn’t take care of their home on his own anymore.
He progressed in pregnancy great; Phil made sure he remembered vitamins and all the prenatal essentials he needed for a healthy baby. The baby grew normally and so far, had no signs of defects or anything wrong with it.
They would undoubtedly love the baby no matter the condition it came in, but every parent hoped for a healthy baby.
Having help with the household chores was a blessing, despite Clint not trusting her alone with Lila. So far, the nanny only fouled up once; she tried to get Lila into the tub before dinner; disrupting her usual routine and scaring her a little bit. She was used to Clint or Phil giving her a bath, moreso Phil during Clint’s pregnancy, and the insistence of taking a bath before Phil got home had her going to Clint in tears.
After a brief back and forth with Bailey, Clint finally got her to drop the issue and calmed Lila down enough she could start her homework.
They didn’t have any other issues with Bailey overstepping boundaries.
Phil came home to dinner going into the oven, Clint and Lila together busy with homework, and Bailey setting the table around them; helping with a difficult word Clint couldn’t pronounce no matter how many times he was told. Hell, it shouldn’t have been in a second-grade book anyways; but the U.S. education system didn’t believe in giving kids a real chance at learning at the appropriate levels.
“Triskaidekaphobia.” Bailey’s nose scrunched at the word, like she had smelled something horrible. “They realize she’s only in second grade, right?”
“What’s that?” Phil asked, putting his bag on a chair and sitting down; taking Lila’s workbook to read over the assignment. “Oh god, syllables. Useful but at the same time, so evil. Half my students act like they don’t even know what they are.”
“And she’s given a word that has like ten million syllables.” Clint groaned, rubbing the headache threatening to put him down hard. “Fuck reading shit.”
Lila sat up on her knees, reaching across the table for her backpack to start getting ready for dinner. “Does trisketphobia mean you’re afraid of those hard little crackers?”
Both parents stifled a laugh, looking up at each other and smiling for a moment. “No, Butt, it means someone who doesn’t like the number thirteen,” Phil explained. “They get superstitious about it and it makes them afraid.”
She snorted, curling up her lip. “That’s silly, ‘stitions aren’t real; right, Daddy?”
Clint nodded, taking a glass of water and a low dose aspirin for his headache. He knew he had to be careful taking over the counter meds, especially while pregnant, but he only took anything when he absolutely had no other choice and he didn’t want to suffer in pain.
“I’ve come across many black cats that were luckier than most humans I’ve ever met. Actually had one follow me everywhere for about a year.”
Phil snorted, watching Lila apprehensively, expecting her to immediately hang onto the word CAT and beg for one. Clint realized what he said and cringed, eyeing her. Lila put her homework away then went to the kitchen to wash her hands to get the grit from the paper off. When she sat down without saying anything about wanting a cat, Phil and Clint sighed quietly; relieved.
They loved her unconditionally but she was just too young to realize the responsibility of having a pet. If they could keep her from asking for a couple more years, they would happily get her a pet of her own.
Phil opened his bag and set out his work, needing to finish grading test papers and return them to his students. “Round about how long before dinner?” he asked, quirking a brow at Clint when he smiled as he put on his reading glasses.
Clint made kissy faces at him, exaggeratingly fawning over him; happy when Phil laughed and shook his head, fidgeting with his nose in an attempt to cover the light blush that rosied his cheeks.
“Hour and a half, prep took longer than I expected.” Bailey replied, checking the timer display on the oven.
Lila left the table again, this time to go watch tv while dinner cooked. Clint stood and rounded the table to sit beside Phil and watch him work; getting another smile when he laid his swollen feet in Phil’s lap. He never had to worry about Phil getting mad or telling him to leave him alone when he was working on something.
Phil was a talented multitasker and could soothe Clint’s foot pain and work at the same time.
Bailey set to work tidying the kitchen, putting away the ingredients she used to put dinner together and making sure the clean dishes were taken out of the dishwasher and put away. After she was done, she moved to the living room to watch over Lila while they waited.
Phil woke to Clint tossing and turning uncomfortably beside him; unable to find a position that didn’t make his stomach feel like it weighed an extra one hundred pounds. It didn’t help that he was having issues with constipation and bloating from gas, had been for the past week.
He reached and stopped Clint from turning away from him again, putting a careful hand on Clint’s stomach. “Shhh,” he soothed quietly, seeing Clint put in his hearing aids again at some point. “What can I do, my love?”
Clint sighed, raising a leg and putting it on Phil’s hip. “I dunno. Dr. Day sent up those laxatives but I can’t take them orally and I can’t reach back that far.”
“Reach where?” he asked, moving his hand lower to rub in an attempt to help move the uncomfortable gas down further to escape.
“Suppositories. Up the butt.”
Phil nodded and moved to sit up so he could go get the suppositories and help Clint. He was ready and willing to do anything to help keep Clint comfortable. He grabbed the box and a pair of vinyl gloves then returned to Clint, finding him still curled on his side pouting painfully. He set to work quickly, having to take Clint by surprise to avoid him fighting back and hurting himself more, and had everything placed and Clint’s boxers back up before he could speak.
He went back to the bathroom to throw away the glove and put the unused meds back on the sink, then climbed into bed again; taking Clint into his arms. Clint sighed as Phil situated him, using himself to help support Clint’s round stomach.
“So, now we stay awake and wait for the shitshow,” Clint joked, grinning just a little bit. “You’ve got school tomorrow and need sleep though.”
“Three-day weekend. I can stay up as late as you need me.”
Clint knew it wasn’t a three-day weekend, but he wasn’t complaining. He got three full days of Phil being home with him all day. He wanted to cuddle as much as he could with Phil. He knew undoubtedly that Phil loved him dearly and honestly wanted to be with him for the rest of his life.
Knowing he would have relief from some of the pain soon, Clint was able to rest for a little while; soothed by Phil’s hand rubbing on his stomach and talking about his usual lesson plans for the next couple weeks.
Over the next few weeks Phil and Clint kept busy with Tony preparing for a few newcomers to the tower. Fury ordered the arrangement of a team of defenders and they would take up residence in the tower so Phil could oversee them and keep them in check.
It was a good thing that Phil was a multitasker and could balance his responsibilities and obligations almost effortlessly. With Clint promising to behave, his worry calmed.
But first, they had to get through meeting their new team mates and finding out if Clint’s status and current condition would get in the way of the team working together for the greater good of Earth.
Natasha and Bruce were first to arrive, finding everyone in the main lounge still setting up for everyone; of course, Tony planned a welcoming party. She was happy to be with Clint and Phil again, she missed them in their time apart and wasn’t satisfied with just phone and video calls from them.
She let a tower assistant take her duffel bag and hurried to Clint sitting on a couch mixing a bowl of snack mix; taking him into her arms tight. Clint let out a quiet chuckle and hugged her, letting her put a careful, hidden hand on his stomach. She knew he didn’t want to immediately broadcast everything.
After she introduced Bruce to everyone, and Tony quickly snagging the doctor for science talk, she settled beside Clint. Phil took a moment to greet Bruce personally before he went in search of Lila so she could come visit with Natasha for a little while.
He knew she was nervous around someone she didn’t know, but she would want to see Natasha. He found Lila in the tower library, climbing her way up a shelf ladder for a book up high.
“Oh shit, be careful, Butt,” he told her, hurrying to hold onto the ladder so it wouldn’t move on the track and make her fall off. “What are you after?”
“JARVIS said the bear book is up there,” she replied, pointing to the highest shelf.
Phil sighed and nodded. “Well next time JARVIS really should tell one of us to come help you. Climb on down and I’ll get it for you.” He nearly tripped on the ladder when he hurried to catch Lila as she leapt off instead of climbing down; catching her by her overalls straps before she hit the hard floor.
“You are certainly your daddy’s child,” he sighed, putting her to her feet. “I did say climb, not jump off.” She just smiled at him innocently as he went up the ladder to retrieve the book she wanted.
Book in hand, Lila followed Phil out of the library; immediately excited and rushing to Natasha when she spotted her with Clint, climbing up into her lap and hugging her. Phil smiled and sat beside Clint, letting him turn and lean back on his chest to relieve pressure on his back from the often too soft couch. Both smiled watching Natasha and Lila snuggled and reading together.
An hour later with Clint lightly dozing against Phil, a loud crash of thunder and a painfully bright light erupted on Tony’s landing pad outside the lounge. Had Phil not had his arm around Clint he would have thrown himself off the couch jerking so startled awake. Natasha was up on her feet with a weapon before the light faded to reveal Thor coming inside.
“Don’t fucking do that. Fuck.” Clint grumbled at him, heart thumping hard in his chest.
Thor just smiled and apologized, stepping up to greet Bruce; having already met the others.
While everyone talked together, being a little more comfortable with people they already knew for the most part, their last team mate arrived. Clint couldn’t help laughing at the look of absolute adoration on Phil’s face as Steve Rogers introduced himself to everyone, always teasing his loving husband for his love of all things Captain America.
Luckily Phil managed to not embarrass himself in front of his childhood hero but knew Clint was going to tease him later. Clint would probably encourage Natasha to tease him as well.
After a couple hours of getting to know each other, Phil, Natasha, and Tony subtly bringing up some of the LGBT issues to gauge reactions, Clint felt a little comfortable telling everyone else about himself.
Thor didn’t seem surprised to see a pregnant man, though he didn’t fully understand what transgender meant; apparently male pregnancy wasn’t unknown to Asgard. Bruce was naturally curious and approached his questions respectfully, which made Clint more comfortable.
Steve surprised everyone with his unexpected acceptance, though knowing how Steve grew up in such a homophobic era Clint stayed cautious about him. He didn’t want to hate the man without giving him a chance, but surviving so much hate and discrimination from all areas of supposed acceptance made him wary.
Being comfortable now, Clint could take off Phil’s hoodie; not feeling like he needed to hide anymore. Expectedly there was a couple initially uneasy stares but it quickly faded back to neutral expressions. Thor wanted to touch Clint’s rounded belly but refrained when Clint denied his request; only comfortable with his family touching him there.
Maybe, once Thor gained his trust Clint would consider letting him have a curious feel.
Sensing his unease, Lucky climbed up onto the couch and laid his head on Clint’s abdomen over Phil’s hand protectively; calming Clint again.
“So, when you find out what it is, we should do a gender reveal party,” Pepper suggested, sitting with Tony in an armchair. “If you wanna.”
Clint shrugged, reaching for Phil’s free hand. “I mean, I don’t really care what the sex is honestly; I just wanna make sure he gets here healthy. First two, I’m lucky they both survived.”
With that, he realized he revealed something he didn’t want everyone knowing and cringed knowing that they would ask so many questions now.
“This is your third child?” she asked. “I thought you only had Butt.”
He sighed and shrugged again. Now he had to tell them or risk rumors being started from the get go of the team. “I was fifteen, someone in the circus jumped me. Ran away when I found out about the baby, had her on the streets but left her at a hospital because I couldn’t take care of her being homeless with no job or any way to have money.” He calmed a little bit when Phil landed a kiss on his temple and rubbed his abdomen soothingly.
Pepper nodded, frowning sympathetically. “Sounds like you chose the best for her.”
Clint didn’t respond, lost again in memories he fought so hard to push out of his thoughts. Having Phil and Lucky holding onto him helped ground him so he wasn’t thrown back deeply into the horrors he survived.
“So, anyone up for a movie marathon?” Tony asked, feeling Clint’s unease hitting him hard. He had to distract everyone away from Clint so Phil could work on bringing him back to reality. He didn’t wait for answers and started the extended versions of Lord of the Rings trilogy.
Thor moved to lounge in the floor in front of the movie screen projected onto the wall; still excited about learning Midgard ways. Bruce settled comfortably in the other couch, Steve tucking into the opposite corner wanting to catch up on things he missed during his icy years. Lila and Natasha made a comfortable spot in the floor with a few blankets and pillows, grabbing a bowl of snacks off the coffee table to munch while watching the movies.
Listening to the movie play helped Clint more than watching sometimes. He lounged back against Phil, eyes closed, and worked to rid his mind of the horrible memories he left behind; concentrating on Phil’s loving, soft touch.
The first team mission was supposed to be a quick in and out raid of a suspected HYDRA hive. While the others roamed the hideout and took down HYDRA agents, Phil ran surveillance with Clint in the van with him; not letting him go with the others for the risk it posed for their baby.
Clint wanted to be in the middle of the action but agreed with Phil. Their baby wasn’t worth risking for fighting HYDRA on Fury’s orders. He could easily keep watch over his team mates from their hidden cameras on their uniforms and the comms linking everyone. He was quick to warn them about a hidden agents ready to ambush.
He sat watching Thor giving chase to a fleeing agent leaving the hideout, eyes constantly flicking between the multiple screens showing the others and where they were, reaching for a gun when he saw the agent make his way outside the hideout and moving to look out the open van door to take a shot.
The man running came into view through the thick trees, expression feral as he ran straight toward the van. Clint took aim, hearing Tony order evac finding a bomb, and shot at the man. The bullet hit on the man’s shoulder, making him stumble momentarily but he quickly regained footing and kept running. Clint took another shot, unable to get a clean shot to the head because the trees were too close together and the man weaved in and out like he had practiced the run many times before.
Another shot, another missed head shot, and he kept running; infuriating Clint.
He spotted something in the man’s hand but couldn’t recognize what it was, too intent on taking him down, and finally got a clear shot. Before the man fell though he tossed the unknown device at the van, sending it skirting between Clint’s feet.
Clint watched it roll across the van floor and now saw it was an IED. Phil was on his feet and grabbing Clint to bail out of the van before Clint could take his next breath, rolling to take the brunt of their fall and cushion Clint against the hard ground; then rolled and put himself over Clint seconds before an explosion erupted.
The shock wave moved them further along the ground, into a hard tree trunk, as shrapnel flew wildly around them. A few pieces dug deep into Phil’s body but he stayed over Clint; not concerned about his own self.
As the dust settled the others came up, not expecting to see the demolished van and to find Phil; bleeding nearly everywhere; trying desperately to rouse Clint lying unconscious on the ground.
Natasha called for S.H.I.E.L.D.’s med evac team to come in and get Clint back to the tower for medical care.
Too many minutes later, med evac arrived and loaded the team into a small carrier. Phil stayed at Clint’s side, helping the medics with the initial emergency procedures, refusing his own medical care in favor of staying with his love.
Hours later Clint finally woke, surviving the emergency surgery needed to stop the heavy internal bleeding he suffered. He felt dulled pain and knew he was on high powered meds; his head felt cloudy and loose.
After a moment he was aware of Phil, bandaged and treated for his own wounds, sitting in a chair at the bedside. Phil seemed grateful that he was awake but Clint saw something deep and painful in his eyes.
“Hey, sleepyhead,” Phil teased weakly, reaching to brush Clint’s hair off his forehead gently. He took in a deep breath, the sound ragged, and let it out slowly; closing his eyes for a moment. “How do you feel?”
Clint took a minute to check over himself, cataloging every new injury. “I’m orbiting fucking Neptune.”
Phil chuckled, giving Clint a quick little grin. “You scared all of us, but doctors say you’ll be alright with rest. Bed rest, even if I have to cuff you to the headboard.”
Clint looked down at his body again, noticing frightened that his once round stomach was significantly smaller. “How long was I out?” he asked, gripping Phil’s hand almost too tight. “Where’s Babybutt?”
The anguish that darkened Phil’s eyes terrified Clint. Phil shook his head, letting out another ragged breath; Clint saw his throat hitch around the breath and tears welled. Phil rarely shed tears over anything. Seeing him on the verge now, Clint didn’t know what to think.
“It’s my fault. I didn’t catch you right before we fell. The impact,” he paused, shaking his head and taking in another harsh breath. “Dr. Day said his neck snapped and his back; she showed me the ultrasound picture. His spine was in three separate pieces.”
Seeing Phil fighting to keep his composure, unable to keep himself from shedding devastated tears and barely able to choke out a response; it almost broke Clint.
“No, you’re fucking lying to me,” he accused venomously, snatching his hand out of Phil’s and moving to get out of bed; snatching at the wires and tubes connected to him livid.
Phil quickly got up on the bed and grabbed Clint into a tight bear hug; pinning his arms. “No, you need to stay still.” Clint just let out a scream and struggled against him weakly.
A few nurses came running into the room, the rest of the team following scared, and gathered to help Phil subdue Clint as he fought to get out of bed. Clint lifted both legs and kicked one nurse in his chest, knocking him away hard into the windowsill, then flailed at the three others; knocking over an I.V. and causing the needle to rip out of his arm. Next the heart monitor fell and broke into pieces, the wires ripping off the sticky pads on Clint’s chest. A couple tore off and quickly adhered to the hospital gown falling down off Clint’s shoulders.
Natasha squeezed her way into the bunch, planting herself on Clint’s lap and grabbing his face in her hands; despite the anger in her eyes her touch stayed gentle to her best friend.
“Stop,” she demanded, tone firm. “They’re gonna sedate you if you keep up.”
Clint gave another weak attempt at knocking Phil off but then surrendered to them; leaning his head on Natasha’s chest when he finally realized the reality of what happened to them. Natasha and Phil held Clint in their arms, smushing him between them almost, as he broke down helplessly. Phil leaned carefully against Clint’s back now completely unable to stop his tears as devastation hit him again.
Natasha reached and held Phil as well, trying desperately to comfort both; telling the only nurse who made it through the scuffle without getting hurt to ready a light sedative for Clint, just in case he couldn’t calm down.
She and Phil, still holding onto Clint, squished together to lie down with him on the small bed. Tony laid the thin blankets over the three while Steve and Thor started cleaning the mess made. Bruce left the room to calm himself, feeling Hulk scratching the surface.
Clint laid sobbing helplessly, clinging desperately to the two, unable to keep in his grief. Phil gave in to his devastation, not caring that nearly the entire team would witness him at the lowest point of his life and not caring that someone would definitely see him as weak for letting his emotions come to the surface with so many others there to see.
After the room was cleaned and new machines brought in and hooked up to Clint again, the others gathered around to keep watch of their friends, all vowing to bring down HYDRA and destroy everyone and everything involved in the horrible agency.
Clint came home after two days stuck downstairs in Medical. Phil wanted him back home sooner but knew Clint had to stay and get used to a medication schedule. Being the stubborn ass that Phil loved dearly, Clint refused a high dose pain med; only accepting a slightly higher dose of Tylenol.
Yes, Phil had a fleeting moment of considering getting better meds and slipping it to Clint in his food; but quickly refused that thought. He would never betray Clint’s trust that way, ever. Clint just didn’t want to risk following in his father’s footsteps and become a drug addict. Phil tried explaining to him that not all pain medication patients fall into that lifestyle, but Clint just didn’t fully understand him.
After getting Clint in bed and settled, the nurses left him in Phil’s care. Phil took a moment to fuss over him then went to the kitchen to get some iced tea so Clint could take his first pill of the day. He made a fresh cup of coffee knowing Clint missed it terribly, Medical coffee just wasn’t the same as their brand.
Despite the pain, Clint perked up seeing his favorite mug; a cheesy little thing he had made at a shop. It had a picture of Phil holding Lila as an infant and Lucky leaning up on Phil’s lap to look at her printed around it.
It was Clint’s favorite picture of the three.
“Where is Butt?” he asked, grumbling as he swallowed the pill and grabbing for his coffee.
“In the lab with Stark. I swear she’s learning more from him and Banner than she is at school. She’s gonna be staying with Nat until you’re healed enough to get on your feet again. Bailey will watch her up there while Nat’s down here helping with you during the day.”
He just sighed and nodded, knowing it would be useless to argue with Phil and Natasha. Phil set up Clint’s meds on his nightstand so Clint wouldn’t stress on seeing the bottles so close then, taking the mug for a refill, he returned to the kitchen to make them something to eat. He knew Clint had to eat light but didn’t want him surviving on crackers and peanut butter.
He made simple finger foods and a little bit of shredded chicken with chili and cheese. It was a risky move but they had trash cans in their room, both sides of the bed, just in case nausea hit suddenly. It was a must when Clint was pregnant.
When he came back to the bedroom, he found Clint thankfully still sitting up against the headboard with Lucky on his legs comfortingly, half asleep with Clint’s fingers in his fur. He chuckled at the happy little grin Clint gave him seeing the food on the tray. Lucky moved to lie down out of the way so he could sleep undisturbed when Phil put the tray over Clint’s lap, groaning a yawn and stretching before lying down in the floor. Phil moved to sit on his side with his own food and drink, reaching under the tray and putting his hand on Clint’s thigh; rubbing slowly.
“So, I know you probably don’t wanna talk about it,” Clint sighed, eyes on the tv while Phil searched for something to watch. “But something Stark said the other day about the security footage from JARVIS?”
Phil nodded, taking Clint’s hand when he stopped his. “Do you feel like you need to see it?”
Clint could only scoff and snort. “Fuck no. I just wanna know why he wants to see it.”
“A couple nurses say they heard an infant that night. They of course believe it’s a ghost infant but Stark, he’s going for something based in reality. Not sure what he means by that, but whatever gets his goat.”
Clint nodded slightly; mind still cloudy a little bit. He let out a slow breath and turned his attention to the tv, eating carefully and keeping Phil’s hand tight. Phil lifted their joined hands and kissed Clint’s lovingly, smiling at the little grin his love couldn’t hold back, then held it to his chest.
After eating and Clint taking a short break from coffee, they laid down together. Phil made sure a long body pillow was tucked comfortably against Clint’s back, not surprised when Clint used his chest as a pillow for his head.
It had been three long months since they could snuggle without Clint's round stomach between them. Phil missed having him so snug and close, but would give anything to feel their baby squirming again.
Clint kept his hand tucked up under Phil’s shirt and rubbed on his stomach slowly. The light touch made Phil twitch and squirm ticklish. Clint’s eyes were glued to the tv screen watching his favorite basketball team playing a championship game. Phil wouldn’t complain about the tickling, he knew it was only Clint drawing out imaginary game plays; this time he just didn’t have a pen and notepad.
During an unnecessary commercial break, Clint rolled over onto his stomach carefully; resting his chin on his arms across Phil’s chest. “So, what happens now?”
Phil frowned at him slightly and shook his head. “What do you mean?”
“I mean, if we could, would you do it again?”
“That’s up to you, my love,” he replied, letting his hand rub slowly over Clint’s back. Again, Clint couldn’t help grinning at the pet name. “If you’re up to it and you want to,”
“You mean need to,” Clint interjected. “Isn’t that why I was given this body, to pop out kids and all that?”
Phil shook his head. “No, you do not need to; it’s if you want to do it. I don’t give one fuck what people say. You should get to choose if you have kids or not. I know you didn’t have a choice before, but with me you most certainly do. If you want to try again, we will. I’m not going to influence you either way. If you want to see if the doctors here will eventually help you, I’ll help you through every step.”
“But, do you want another kid?”
He shrugged. “I’ve always wanted a big family, growing up with just my brother and Mom wasn’t always fun and kinda lonely. But, do not think you have to for me. If Butt’s the only one we get, then that’s what we’re gonna do. Your choice, not mine. I shouldn’t even get to have an opinion on whether you do or not.”
Clint nodded. “I’m not sure yet, but I don’t see a point in taking the chance away right now. But maybe Dr. Day would agree to birth control. I’m not even sure I want top surgery anymore ‘cause I’ve been told no so many times. I dunno but, maybe.”
“Well if she doesn’t, we’ll have Stark pull his rank over them and demand at least birth control. I mean, would she deny Nat if she went to her for it? Probably not. I don’t want to instantly start thinking discrimination, but it’s certainly starting to seem that way.”
Clint shrugged and tugged on the hem of Phil’s shirt. “Off, it smells like that room still.”
Phil just smiled as Clint rolled so he could sit up and take off his shirt, getting comfortable before Clint laid down on his chest again. Clint shifted uncomfortably before he could get settled and tried to sit up and take off his own shirt, uncomfortably hot with it on covering the bandages littering his chest and back. Phil never once complained about seeing him without a shirt and a binder so he knew Phil wouldn’t turn him away now. Phil sat up again and helped Clint remove his shirt, tossing it toward the bathroom to put in the hamper later, then laid down again and let Clint snuggle up beside him.
He kept his hand careful but knew if he barely touched Clint, it would trigger his dysphoria and he never wanted that for his love. His fingers danced around the bandages, definitely not wanting to hurt Clint’s new wounds, but he didn’t shy away from a few grazes.
Clint turned his attention back to the tv, fingers again drawing imaginary game plays against Phil’s skin. For now, he pushed thoughts of more children away, wanting to concentrate on healing before he considered anything else.
Nobody expected the events that led to Clint and Phil losing their unborn child. Nobody planned for that possibility, though they probably should have considered every pregnancy had the possibility of miscarriage or still birth.
So, when Clint came down to the lounge with Natasha and saw Tony, Bruce, and Steve all looking in delivery boxes that came with the daily mail, a couple boxes had blue and pink streamers hanging out, it made Clint pause nervously.
Natasha held in a sigh seeing decorations for a baby shower and remembered that Tony wanted to have a surprise baby shower for Clint and Phil. She hadn’t thought about it after hitting the HYDRA hideout.
Clint stepped up carefully, still sore but needing to get out of bed for a little while, and sat on the couch beside Steve; unable to look away from the baby themed party decorations in the boxes.
In Tony’s defense, he did instinctively try to push away a couple of the boxes when they came off the elevator but knew he moved too slow. Clint saw everything and it tore Tony’s heart immediately. He let out a slow breath and started closing the boxes to seal up and send back.
“How you feeling?” he asked, probably already knowing the answer but feeling like he had to say something.
He just shrugged and shook his head, watching the three put everything out of his sight. Natasha sat down beside him, putting a comforting hand on his back and rubbing slowly. He took out his phone, hand moving almost too slow; mind reeling, and stiffly sent Phil a text. He usually wouldn’t interrupt Phil at school, knowing he would be busy with his students, but this floored him again.
Phil, in the middle of prepping his classes for midterm tests, heard his phone buzz on his desk but had to ignore it at the moment. Fury had been bugging him all morning and assumed the man had started up again.
‘Phil please answer. It’s bad.’
At the same time, Tony was busy sending Phil texts. ‘I fucked up really bad. Clint’s gone scary quiet. Help.’
Still, Phil had to ignore his phone.
‘Phil seriously. I’m losing it.’
After a few minutes without a response, Clint stood to leave the lounge; feeling like he was on the verge of losing his mind, trying desperately to hold himself together and not lose his nerve in front of everyone. Natasha and Tony were quick to follow him into the elevator. Tony caught Clint, seeing him about to fall, and held him on his feet; apologizing profusely for him seeing the decorations.
Devastation hit Clint hard. He shoved Tony off and went into Natasha’s arms, letting out a choked breath; sounding like he was being strangled. Tony sighed and took out his phone again, calling the high school.
“Yeah, I need to get a message to Phil Coulson that he needs to call home immediately. There’s an emergency,” he told the secretary who answered the phone. “No, don’t wait until he has a free period. He needs to get ahold of us now.”
Again, the secretary tried to dismiss him; angering him.
“Listen bitch, send someone to his classroom and tell him to fucking call home now!” he yelled, following Natasha taking Clint to the suite.
He groaned when she hung up on him. “Fuck me!” His voice rang out throughout the halls of the residential floors.
“What happened?” Steve called up.
Tony went to the safety railing and looked down into the lounge. “Bitch at the school hung up and won’t take a message to Coulson.”
Steve nodded, taking a set of keys off the wall leading down to the garage and hurried to get to a vehicle. He would go down to the school and get in touch with Phil himself. Tony went into the suite and found Natasha with Clint on the couch, trying to comfort him as he sobbed helplessly. He didn’t know what he could do to right the egregious wrong he inadvertently did.
Finally, in Queens and at the high school, Steve parked and strode with intent into the building; passing the front office and then ignoring the useless secretary calling for him to check in as a visitor.
He passed students flooding the halls, weaving in and out as he made his way to the history classes.
He found Phil’s class and went inside, interrupting Phil in between classes. “Phil, you need to come home.”
Phil looked up startled, eyes wide. “What happened?” he asked, already reaching for his bag and suit jacket.
Steve huffed a breath, leading Phil out so he could lock up. Phil paused at the door when he realized a few students had already come into the classroom. Frazzled he went across the hall to speak with another teacher and ask her if she could take his classes for the rest of the day.
With his students settled and a note on the door telling them where to go for class, Phil hurried to get outside to his car, impressing Steve with the speed he had despite his age. Steve watched him for a moment before rushing to the car he drove to get back to the tower.
He did not expect to see Phil’s car suddenly lift off the pavement and take off flying through the air.
Luckily Tony was able to get Phil’s beloved Lola shipped to Manhattan.
Phil sped home, almost colliding with a few buildings in his panic, landing a little harsh into the tower’s hangar. He didn’t even take a moment to look over Lola for damage before running for an elevator, having to run through the lounge to the residential elevator to get upstairs to Clint.
He barged into the suite panting, finding Clint still in Natasha’s arms. He went to his love, going to his knees in front of him. “What’s wrong, what happened?” he asked breathless.
Before Natasha or Tony could speak, Clint unburied his head and looked at Phil; face stone and his eyes colder than the Arctic.
“Why the fuck wouldn’t you pick up your goddamn phone?!” he shouted, voice breaking with his grief and rage. “I fucking needed you to answer and you fucking ignored me!”
Phil stared gob smacked, never expecting the fury. He shook his head for a moment helplessly before his brain caught up with his mouth. “I’m so sorry, my love,” he replied calmly, carefully putting his hands on Clint’s lap and rubbing slowly. “Fury had been sending me messages all morning and I assumed it was him again. Please tell me what happened. I’ll fix it, I swear.”
Clint surprised everyone when he shoved Phil away and stood, storming off to the bedroom; slamming and locking the door then falling into bed and sobbing helplessly again.
“It’s my fault,” Tony spoke up, frowning guiltily. “I wanted to surprise you guys with a baby shower and all the supplies came today; of course, we had to be looking at the shit when he came down to the lounge to hang out. I’m gonna send everything back so it’s not here as a reminder, or burn it; whichever is faster. I didn’t mean for him to see anything.”
Phil nodded and stood. “Burning it would be best. Just get everything gone and I’ll try to get in and talk to Clint.” He went to the bedroom door with a sigh, running a hand down his face to calm his nerve before he spoke to Clint again. “JARVIS, unlock the door please.”
“I’m sorry Agent Coulson, Agent Barton has requested nobody be permitted to see him at the moment,” the A.I. replied.
“Override it, JARVIS.” Tony ordered. “Agent needs to get in there.” He turned and left the suite to get rid of the baby shower items as Phil was finally allowed into the bedroom.
Phil went to Clint, lying down behind him on their bed and pulling Clint into his arms. Clint let out another strangled noise and tried to push Phil away again but was too weak from pain and grief to budge him.
“I’m so sorry, my love,” he said softly. “What can I do?”
Clint laid stiff in Phil’s hold, snuffling. “Go to hell if you’re gonna fucking ignore me when I fucking need you. Just leave me the fuck alone like you ignored me.”
That made Phil hurt bad. “Is that really what you want?” he asked, hoping Clint wasn’t telling him to leave forever. He understood Clint’s anger, but still. The thought of not being with him hurt worse than any injury he ever had.
When Clint didn’t respond, Phil let out a sigh and stood; leaving the bedroom. Natasha looked up when he came back to the living room and sighed at him, putting an arm around him as he sat down beside her and leaned into her.
“I can’t believe I fucked up this bad,” he mumbled, holding his head in his hand, hunched over slightly into himself. “What am I gonna do, Nat? He told me to leave him alone and I don’t know if he means forever or what. What can I do to fix this?”
Natasha shrugged and shook her head. “Let him be angry right now, you’ve both been through hell and he feels like it was his fault you lost the baby. He’s gonna be emotional and unreasonable for at least a little while. I don’t think he means forever though. We’ll just stay right here for when he’s ready to let you back in with him.”
She leaned back with Phil hugged firm in her arms, working to soothe him while he grieved the potential end to everything good he had in his life. She could only hope Clint came back around eventually.
self-harm mentioned in this chapter. heads up.
Phil spent two nights on the couch and didn’t see Clint before he left for work or after he got home. The one team mission they had, Clint stayed out of sight in his perch and nearly silent on comms; only answering to his team mates, ignoring Phil’s attempts at talking to him.
But when Phil woke that Saturday morning and found Clint in a recliner, his hopes perked up slightly. He sat up, running a hand down his tired face, and sighed before turning to speak to him.
“Are you past your anger now?”
Clint watched him for a minute, his eyes almost hard but Phil could easily pass that off as exhaustion, then looked down at his arm; turning to look at the inside of his wrist. He didn’t want to anger Phil having new self-harm marks, but he was in a mindset he couldn’t fight the urges.
“I know I reacted wrong and part of me wants to blame it on being suddenly hit by all the damn baby shit downstairs, but I know it was me overreacting and being dumb again.”
Phil shook his head, going to Clint and dropping to his knees in front of him; taking Clint’s hands tight. “That was not an overreaction. An overreaction would be if I packed up my shit and walked away when you said to leave you alone for a while. I really thought you wanted me to go but then Nat told me you said no, that you just needed a couple days to be pissed off. You’re still grieving and I fucking dare anyone try to say any way you act in grief is an overreaction. I’ll end them.”
Clint shrugged, a part of him hoping Phil didn’t see the marks on his arms and another part wanted to show him what he had done to himself. “You and Nat are the only ones who will leave me alone when I’m mad. I don’t do it to be an ass to you, I don’t want to risk saying shit I don’t mean ‘cause I’m pissed off.”
“I know, my love,” Phil soothed. He felt Clint relax slightly with the pet name but this time there wasn’t a smile. “How long have you been up? Have you taken your morning meds yet?”
He shook his head, letting Phil pull him up to his feet. Phil tugged Clint into his arms and held him tight, feeling him relax a little more. Clint wrapped his arms around Phil’s waist and tucked into him, pressing his face into Phil’s neck.
After a few minutes of holding onto each other, Phil took Clint into the kitchen to make a light breakfast; having Clint sit up on a chair from the breakfast bar while he cooked. Clint put the chair at the sink so he could hear Phil, keeping his arms turned inward so Phil wouldn’t see the marks.
Phil set up to make fried eggs but quickly changed his mind and started to make omelets when he remembered Clint couldn’t handle a lot of greasy foods yet. Clint almost protested the change but kept it to himself when Phil put bacon and small slices of ham in another skillet.
“Still no onions?” he asked going to the fridge to get a few vegetables for the omelets.
Clint cringed and shook his head. “S’ew no,” he replied, reaching into a cabinet for their coffee mugs. He could at least get that while Phil cooked and he was sitting. “I think I’ll never have one again after the rat tail incident.”
“Fuckballs I forgot about that.” Phil scrunched his nose, working on chopping a crisp bell pepper into pieces. He cut a few little strips and put them on the counter in front of Clint knowing raw bell pepper was one of his favorite snacks, then started cutting mushrooms.
“I think that’s the first time since I was seventeen that I’ve gone a full twenty-four hours without eating. Probably shoulda notices a thin ass onion ring wasn’t how it was supposed to look.”
“Good thing you didn’t swallow.” Phil paused a moment later when he realized what he said and to who. He snorted and shook his head, looking back over his shoulder at Clint; not surprised to see him bent onto the counter laughing helplessly at the unintentional innuendo. He couldn’t help chuckling when Clint took a breath and promptly snorted loud. It only made Clint laugh harder and spill coffee grounds on the floor.
Clint calmed after a minute and wiped his face on his shirt, forgetting about the cuts he made on his stomach. Phil didn’t see anything, his back to Clint as he cooked. He sighed and resumed the mission for coffee, getting a can of the darker roast to have more caffeine.
“Put it back,” Phil told him without turning around. Clint smiled and put the can back, getting the medium roast down.
While the coffee percolated and food sizzled on the stove, Clint sat slouched a little bit in the chair watching Phil work. When Phil’s cup was full he put it where Phil could see it easily then started his cup after cleaning out the refillable pod. With his mug in hand, he moved the chair closer to Phil, wanting to be near him. Clint let out a sigh and laid his head on Phil’s arm, not wanting to be in the way but needing to have contact with him.
Phil landed a kiss on Clint’s head then fed him a bell pepper piece.
When the food was cooked and plated, Phil helped Clint over to the kitchen table before bringing over their coffee and plates; sitting down with him. Clint made sure to keep his wrist pointed toward the table. He knew he should tell Phil what he had done, but he also knew that would disappoint him.
A few hours later Clint disappeared to the bathroom to take a shower. He didn’t expect Phil to come in to use the toilet and reacted quickly, covering himself with a towel. Phil frowned worriedly and washed his hands before stepping up to him.
“Why are you hiding?” he asked, stroking down Clint’s side gently. “What’s wrong?”
Clint shrugged. “Thought you were Butt for a second.”
Phil frowned concerned. “How many times has she seen you butt naked and not said anything bad?”
“Maybe I meant Bailey, just used to saying Butt. She doesn’t know anything, does she?”
He shook his head, discreetly moving his hands to check Clint’s healing wound going across his lower abdomen. Clint tensed when he felt Phil’s fingers skirt along a new cut mark, heart pounding. Phil definitely felt the difference in the emergency c-section scar and one he wasn’t familiar with. He tugged on the towel, having to tug a little hard to get it out of Clint’s clenched fists, seeing the fresh marks.
“Did Lucky get too hyper and scratch you?” he asked, turning Clint to see better in the brighter lights around the mirror; reaching into a drawer for antiseptic ointment and fresh bandages to put on after Clint took a shower.
“No,” he mumbled fidgeting. He tried to step away and escape into the tub but Phil caught his wrist and turned him back around; finally seeing the marks on both arms.
“No,” he told Clint, tone heartbroken but caring. “When did you do this?”
Clint shook his head and shrugged. He couldn’t lie to Phil about something so big. “Wednesday night after Nat went to bed. Felt like a fuck-up so I treated myself like one.”
Phil sighed and hugged Clint close, again feeling guilty for not checking his phone when he heard it buzzing so much. “You’re not a fuck-up, my love,” he said softly, nuzzling at Clint’s neck gently. “Look at all of this around you, all that you’ve done to get to this point. A fuck-up wouldn’t have accomplished anything you have.”
“I couldn’t even keep our baby alive.”
“HYDRA caused that, not you. I’m still willing if you choose to try again.”
“Still learning and improving every day.”
“Was just a hurdle you got over.”
“We were all drunk, they caught us off guard.”
“I drove you to sleeping with someone else.”
“No, that’s all on me. I was stupid and angry. I shouldn’t have left the apartment that night at all. Shoulda just slept on the couch until I calmed down.”
Clint tried to down himself again but Phil kissed him instead. Clint sighed, chewing nervously at his lip. “I just don’t want you pissed at me.”
Phil just shook his head and held Clint tighter. “I’m not mad. A little hurt to see them again and know that I couldn’t stop it this time either, but now I need to help you get through this storm. So, what can I do? Wanna take a shower, let me doctor you up, and we’ll go snuggle on the couch.”
“I’m still too weak to shower on my own.”
He nodded and stepped over to start the shower and make sure Clint’s shower chair was set up and secure, helping Clint stay balanced as he stepped over the edge into the tub; making sure the shower chair stayed still as he sat down. Clint helped where he could but Phil took most of the work and helped him.
After Clint was clean again, Phil dried him; dressed his wounds and then him. He made fresh coffee before settling with Clint on the couch to relax and snuggle together for a while.
Clint left another appointment with Dr. Day. She again denied his request for birth control, telling him to either use condoms or to just not have sex; suggesting he talk to Phil about vasectomies. He didn’t want the permanent form of birth control vasectomies brought; he wasn’t ready for another baby at the moment but he still wanted the chance for the future.
He found the others in the lounge, everyone talking with Tony about remodeling the team suites, and let out a sigh as he plopped down beside Bruce; holding his chin in his hand. His eyes scanned the blueprints, seeing his and Phil’s suite would be made bigger and a fourth bedroom added.
He could easily guess what Tony had planned for the addition.
While the others discussed everything, Clint sitting and just listening; not in the mood to talk about remodeling but not wanting to be alone; Phil finally arrived home. He looked exhausted; tie hanging loose around his neck, suit jacket missing, and sleeves rolled up to his elbows. He would have been dragging his bag but it was a little expensive and he didn’t want the ground to rub a hole in it and ruin the leather.
He trudged out of the elevator and made his way to sit when he saw Clint; hitting down into a chair with a tired huff. Clint gave Phil a moment to catch his breath and take off his tie completely before moving over and planting himself in Phil’s lap; feeling him go limp as he relaxed finally.
Phil wrapped his arms around Clint, tiredly nuzzling and kissing him. Clint smiled a little bit, snugging comfortably against him.
“How’d your appointment go?”
“Denied again. She told me I could just stop having sex or use condoms, still believes they’re fool proof. Twitch.”
“What’s wrong?” Tony asked, hearing a little bit of their conversation.
Clint shrugged, fidgeting with Phil’s hand. “Dr. Day won’t let me get on birth control.”
“I even tried to ask for me, I don’t need it but I had planned to give it to you.” Natasha put in with a sigh.
Tony took out his phone and called down to medical to speak with Dr. Day. Phil stood with Clint, taking him to talk to her personally. Natasha followed quickly, hoping she didn’t have to break up a fight between Phil and Dr. Day. Tony trailed along when he didn’t get an answer on the phone.
They followed Phil, worried when he shoved her office door open hard; startling her hard at work at her desk. “Do you have some fucking problem giving treatment your patients need?” he spat. “Why are you denying medication to anyone?”
Dr. Day looked around at the four; knowing what he was mad about when she spotted Clint. She sighed and shook her head. “My religion forbids any form of birth control; I’ll never prescribe it.”
Before Phil could reach to strangle the woman, Tony stepped up. “Alright then get off my medical staff. I will not tolerate discrimination, especially from you religious fucks. Don’t expect your last paycheck. If you’re not gone in forty-five minutes, I will get the police involved.”
She huffed and shoved away from the desk to stand up. “Fine. I didn’t want to treat a tranny fuck-up anyways.”
Clint and Tony had to grab onto Phil to stop him from pouncing on her violently. Natasha managed to give her a kick on her ass as she stormed away, making her stumble and fall hard. Tony grabbed around her waist to stop her from following as Dr. Day left.
When he was sure Dr. Day was far enough away Phil wouldn’t find her, he herded everyone out of the office. He made them get back on the elevator so he could talk to medical staff, telling them to go home and wait for him to come tell them what would be happening for Clint’s medical care.
Phil sat in the armchair again with Clint back in his lap, calming down holding his love. Clint laid against Phil worried that someone would blame him for Dr. Day losing her high paying job in the tower.
Friday evening Phil and Clint got a chance for a rare date night; Tony started remodeling on their suite first and shooed them away for a few days, giving them a credit card, so he could bring in a crew to work.
Neither wanted to go anywhere fancy, that wasn’t how they were together. They got a pizza, sodas, and found a quiet place in Central Park away from the crowds. Neither noticed the few people roaming about their business, too busy enjoying being together somewhere quiet.
Clint sat lounged against Phil under a tree, hands idly rubbing Phil’s thighs. Phil peppered Clint’s neck with little kisses, hugging him close.
Far off hidden in a group of thick bushes, paparazzi hid with their cameras taking pictures of the two. Getting a chance to photograph any of the new Avengers team paid highly but photographing the most elusive member was considered pay dirt; especially with the circulating rumors about Clint’s status.
When the park started to close for the night, they gathered everything to leave and go to the hotel Tony arranged for them during the remodel. They threw away their trash and headed for the street, quickly getting a cab; unaware they were being trailed. Phil paid the cab fare with his own money and kept Clint close as they went into the hotel to go up to their room.
Clint felt completely out of place in the extravagant hotel, catching a few snoody stares from other guests, but the tension eased when they got to the room. Now he could finally take off the uncomfortable binder and change into pajama pants and one of Phil’s old t-shirts. Phil laughed as Clint undressed almost as soon as he was through the room door, leaving a trail of clothes leading to the bedroom, picking up the garments as he followed to change as well.
He didn’t expect to see Clint laid out on the bed completely naked, pajama pants clutched in his hand and t-shirt under his stomach.
“Need some help?”
“No, just taking the opportunity to lie here butt naked ‘cause it’s hard to do at home with a kid. You should join me.”
Phil shrugged, seeing no point in not being naked while Lila wasn’t around, and started to undress. Clint rolled onto his back, tossing the pants and shirt to the floor, and watched Phil; making Phil laugh when he wolf whistled as he lost his pants and boxers.
He slid into bed beside Clint, pulling him close and tangling their legs together, assuming the flashes he noticed outside were just lights from traffic and the city life.
“Sleep or mess around?” he asked, stroking Clint’s back slowly.
Clint smiled, hands busy roaming Phil’s chest. “I’m not tired yet, but what did you have in mind for messing around?”
“Well, I could get some massage oil, give you a good rub down; see if I have you squirming for me. Maybe make you go boneless again.”
Clint leaned up and kissed Phil, sitting up and going to the window to close the curtains, unknowingly giving the paparazzi a clear view of himself naked. He laughed when Phil scooped him up and hauled him playfully over his shoulder, carrying him caveman style back to the bed. He was careful about depositing Clint onto the bed though. Clint got comfortable as Phil gathered their massage oils and a few of the toys he put in their bag.
Phil straddled Clint’s waist, pouring a bit of oil out onto his hand and warming it up before he started on Clint’s chest; keeping his touch light on the breasts Clint despised so much and a little more firm on Clint’s shoulders and arms.
Clint was already squirming under him, his mind finally shutting off from all of his usual stresses and troubles.
Natasha called the next morning, waking Phil. The tabloids printed the pictures of him and Clint, including the ones of Clint nude in their hotel room, and started slandering him viciously. Phil started packing their bags immediately knowing they had to get back home quickly, waking Clint when he put the duffel on the bed a little rougher than he intended.
Clint looked up at Phil blurry eyed, squinting against the bright light. When he saw Phil packing, he almost panicked; sitting up quickly and inadvertently startling Phil back a step with the unexpected movement.
“Where are you going?”
Phil shook his head, sighing to calm his nerves. “We are,” he signed as he spoke. “Bad news articles are going around.”
He frowned worriedly but took the clothes Phil gave him to put on, putting in his hearing aids when he was dressed. Thankfully Phil let him down a quick cup of coffee, knowing he would not be able to function without at least one, before they left the room hoping to sneak away from the hotel.
As soon as they got off the elevator in the lobby, Phil saw more paparazzi waiting and hotel staff trying to corral and get them outside. He grabbed Clint and hid his face in his shoulder, guiding him along so he wouldn’t trip and he could get Clint outside without being recognized. Once outside they were met by more paparazzi.
Luckily Happy was already waiting at the curb for them with a car. Phil hurried to get Clint out of sight, shielding him against everyone while Clint hurried into the back seat; ducking inside just as he was recognized and called out.
Happy sped away from the hotel as the paparazzi rushed to chase them, taking a sharp turn onto a side street and into an alley. “Get in the floor,” he told them over his shoulder, pressing buttons on a control pad in the dashboard.
Phil and Clint got down without protest, Clint hid; starting to feel the guilt and stress of being outed and having Phil caught up in everything. Phil again shielded Clint, covering him and holding him close; listening for any threat from the paparazzi. Happy finished disguising the car to blend in with the alley then laid down in the front seats, watching out the windows and windshield; armed with a weapon just in case.
He was certain Phil was armed but he had a duty to protect them.
They waited an hour before feeling like it was safe to move again. Phil sat up, pulling Clint up into his arms and holding him tight. Clint snuffled quietly into his chest, keeping his face hidden against his shoulder.
“I’ll get this fixed, my love,” Phil told him softly. “I’m not gonna let anyone hurt you. I swear I’ll keep you safe. I swear it.”
“I’m so sorry,” he croaked, voice breaking with the effort to keep in his tears. “Please don’t be mad at me for this.”
“No,” Phil soothed, tone calm despite the hurt he felt at the moment. This wasn’t Clint’s fault and he wouldn’t let him be blamed; even from himself. “There’s no reason for anyone to be mad at you. Why would I be mad over something you didn’t do or can’t control?”
Clint shrugged. “It’s like what happened at S.H.I.E.L.D., I outed you to everyone but didn’t know anything. Everyone’s still pissed off at me for that. Figured you’d be kinda mad, too.”
Phil shook his head, holding Clint tighter, and kissed him. “No, my love. The only time I’ll ever get mad at you is when you don’t listen to me when I tell you quit jumping off shit unless you have no choice. And even then, I’m not really mad; more of a grateful panic that you didn’t get hurt.”
They stayed in the floor until they were safely back home at the tower. It took some convincing to get Clint out of the car, Phil had to get Lucky to come to the garage and pester Clint until he moved. As they came through to the lounge, they heard Tony yelling about something. Clint stopped in his tracks, catching Phil’s hand, dreading to turn the corner and be faced with Tony furious with him.
Phil hugged him again, shushing him gently. Happy stepped into the lounge to try and quiet Tony, knowing he was running damage control with Pepper and yelling at the tabloid people. He caught Tony’s attention, giving him a stern look; one finger up in a slight warning, telling him he needed to pause and pay attention.
“They’re here but you need to stop yelling, got Barton going through some PTSD right now and yelling isn’t helping him.”
Tony sighed but nodded, sucking in a deep breath and letting it out slowly to calm himself down again; making a conscious effort to change his tone while speaking with the man on the phone. Happy gave him a moment to gather himself before telling Phil it was alright to bring Clint into the lounge.
They found everyone scattered around the lounge. Natasha stood at a window looking out over the buzzing city below, watching for potential threats. Steve stood at the bar, phone in hand, speaking with another of the tabloids. Pepper and Tony sat on a couch together, he still on the phone and Pepper busy on a tablet and her phone simultaneously.
Bruce sat in an armchair with Lila on his lap. Phil was relieved to see she had a set of headphones on while she watched a movie on Bruce’s tablet so she wouldn’t hear anything negative people were saying against Clint.
Phil sat with Clint on the other couch, not surprised when Clint took out his hearing aids and hid himself under a blanket against Phil.
“What happened out there?” Tony asked when he was put on hold.
He shrugged and shook his head. “I let my guard down; got used to a slight civilian life and he’s never been publicly known before the team so he isn’t used to watching out for cameras. I should have been more careful.”
“Well nobody’s really at fault but we should all try to be on the lookout when we go anywhere. But I’m getting ready to bring up lawsuits on all those vultures so maybe that’ll make them see they need to leave you the fuck alone.”
Phil knew he shouldn’t look for the tabloid stories but he needed to know what he was up against so he could plan the best defense to keep his love safe. The headlines disgusted and angered him; all were degrading Clint’s status and physical body, which he should have expected but it still caught him slightly off guard and hurt.
When he felt Clint stirring under the blanket, he tried to put his phone away but moved too slow and he let out a breath when Clint’s head poked up out of the blanket; he had given up his attempt at calming down staying hidden. He needed to know what was being said about him and how he needed to know what to do now that he was outed to the entire country.
He read the headlines, immediately devastated. Many were full of civilian comments calling for his death. Another gave personal information that should have only been known to the team and Nick Fury. He had no idea where the photograph of him in the middle of labor with Lila in a S.H.I.E.L.D. issued housing complex came from. Phil could be seen working to deliver Lila with Natasha and Jasper assisting.
More death condoning and more than a few outright threats on his life littered the articles.
Phil almost growled and closed the internet browser, livid about the horrible things he read, holding Clint tighter as he started making calls ready for bloodshed and hellfire.
Everyone worked late into the night trying to get the articles taking out of print, each attempt unsuccessful. Tony had a growing list of people to bring into a massive lawsuit, having to call on extra security around the tower when the paparazzi finally arrived and tried to invade.
The articles emboldened a few SI employees working out of the tower and they let their opinions on the LGBT+ community be known. Many quit their jobs before Tony had a chance to terminate them from the company.
Frustrated with everything going on and unable to hide away from it, Clint neared a mental breakdown. The only one keeping him from leaping over the edge was Phil and his constant calm and reassurances. Phil wanted to be angry but he knew it wouldn’t help anything; it would only stress and scare Clint more.
Everyone was exhausted but nobody wanted to go off to their suites and leave Clint suffering, so they arranged a few mattresses and more pillows and blankets than necessary so they could all stay in the lounge together and try to rest.
Clint laid between Phil and Natasha, with Lila tucked protectively and sleeping peacefully between himself and Natasha. Lucky laid at the foot of the mattress, head on Natasha’s feet, snoring and twitching in his sleep.
The adults couldn’t sleep, despite the lights being off and no unnecessary noises. Of course, Tony and Pepper were still busy with their tablets but the volume was muted so they didn’t wake Lila.
Bruce and Steve abandoned sleep and moved to a quiet corner with a chessboard, both too distracted to sleep.
Lila let out a little whine, having a nightmare again, and startled to struggle where she laid; pushing on Natasha slightly. Clint came back out of his head and immediately tightened his hold again, shushing her and trying to gently wake her. Natasha caught Lila’s hands when she flailed, not wanting her to hit herself and get hurt, and held them carefully.
“Hey, shhh,” Clint soothed. “Come on back up, Babygirl. It’s just a dream, you’re safe here with me, Dede, and Nat. Come on back.”
Lila struggled a little firmer, whining loud, before she went still again and started crying, calling out for Clint. He continued to soothe her, calling her through the nightmare and fear. He learned years ago waking her suddenly out of a nightmare was not the right thing to do, he had to be patient and gentle despite his worry for her.
“I’m here, Babygirl,” he told her softly. “Wake up for me, alright? It’s just a bad dream, it’s not real.”
Finally, after nearly ten minutes, Lila came out of the nightmare and woke up; immediately sobbing and pushing into Clint’s chest. Clint and Phil wrapped their arms around her, Clint rolled over to put her between him and Phil so she would be able to feel safe again. Lila caught Clint’s shirt in her mouth, too panicked and afraid to have much control over herself, and bit down on the fabric hard.
Clint was just glad she hadn’t bit him again and let her have the fabric.
She calmed slowly but still clinged to Clint trying to catch her breath again. Natasha got up and went to the kitchen to get a cloth to clean the sweat and tears off Lila’s face, giving it to Clint as she laid down with them again.
“What happened, Butt?” Phil asked, snugging the blanket around her when she shivered.
Lila snuffled and shook her head, pressing into Clint’s chest again. “I don’t remember,” she mumbled then bit at his shirt. Phil let out a sigh and landed a kiss on her head, curling protectively around her while Clint worked to soothe her back to sleep.
“Is she OK?” Tony asked.
Phil nodded, hand roaming Clint’s back. “She’ll be fine, she just sometimes has bad dreams.”
Tony nodded, still worried, and went back to his task on the tablet.
Press conferences were planned for the coming days. Clint didn’t want to take part in them but knew he had to be involved and show people he wasn’t a danger to anyone or their lifestyle. He didn’t want to risk being assaulted for going out in public and he couldn’t hide anymore.
Phil joined the team in front of the cameras, ready to defend Clint. He still couldn’t find the source of the private family pictures that were given and printed, but knowing when and where the pictures were taken; he had a few suspicions. He just couldn’t undoubtedly prove it yet.
Many of the questions were directed at Clint, asking for too personal information. He refused to discuss Lila, she wasn’t going to be brought into the mix of everything, but he took the opportunity to speak out for LGBT+ rights.
“So how does it feel knowing you bring zero talent and use to a team tasked with defending the country?”
Clint rolled his eyes, scoffing. “If that was true, I wouldn’t be here. How do you feel knowing you’re a worthless cunt who will never amount to anything more than being a two-bit wannabe reporter for a magazine for thirteen-year-old girls?”
“My occupation at least proves I’m highly educated; your supposed occupation clearly requires none.”
“Try going through half the shit I survived then you can have an opinion on my education level, sweetie. By the time I was ten I was an orphan, homeless and got picked up by a fucking circus, and had been going through abuse you could never imagine. Have you ever had a red-hot poker shoved half way down your throat, after it’d been shoved up your pussy?”
She smiled snidely. “No, my parents loved me so I was allowed to stay home and not become a freak of nature.”
Phil reached and held Clint in place, putting a firm hand on Clint’s thigh. Clint stopped trembling with the touch and sighed again. Phil rubbed slowly hoping he didn’t have to catch Clint and stop him from attacking anyone.
“Good for you,” he replied, tone drenched with sarcasm. “You’re still delusional and blind to real world tragedies. Go back to Mama’s basement and live in your fantasy world.”
Another spoke up, interrupting the arguments. “At the end of the day you’re still a tranny ass freak who can’t make up her mind if she wants a dick or a vagina.”
Before he could respond the other man spurted blood from his forehead and went down dead with a gunshot wound bleeding heavily. Natasha put her gun away and stood, leaving the conference. The others followed quickly. Phil would have admonished her but he just didn’t care to do it; the man deserved to die.
Clint let out a frustrated groan, crouching against a wall holding his head in his hands when he realized what he had told everyone listening. “Fuck.” He expected the others to hate him because of what happened to him as a child.
Phil and Natasha sat beside him, bracketing him safely between them. Phil wanted to take Clint into his arms but knew he couldn’t at the moment; Clint was being thrown back into memories he fought hard to put behind him and forget.
Slowly Tony, Bruce, and Steve sat down with them.
Clint let out a huff and sat up, his head thunking back against the wall. “So, let’s hear it. Start in about how y’all don’t need me around with all my bullshit dragging you down to hell with me.”
“So you have baggage, who doesn’t?” Tony snorted. “Fuck knows I have my own past with a shitty father and getting abused. Wasn’t ever to that extent but I’m not in any position to judge. You’re still welcome and safe here, your past just shows how strong you really are, even when you can’t see it yourself.”
“Can I stay out of the rest of the shit?”
Phil nodded, hugging Clint when he leaned into his side. “We’ll handle everything, don’t worry my love. This will eventually pass and everything will go back to normal.”
“We should probably get outta sight, sounds like another PR nightmare ‘cause someone got trigger happy.” Bruce put in, getting to his feet. Phil and Natasha got Clint up, holding onto him as they left the floor to go up to the residential floors.
Phil took Clint to their temporary suite, helping him out of the tight binder and giving him his hoodie so he could get comfortable and warm again; holding him snuggled together on the couch. Clint picked up his phone and turned off his med reminder alarm, taking the time to take his medicines; thankful that he finally had a doctor who agreed to put him on birth control. Dr. Williams cared more about his patients’ needs than his family’s beliefs, taking his oath to serve the public to heart.
He hugged back to Phil, sighing. Phil picked up the remote to look for something to watch that would help Clint feel better, stopping when he found one of their favorite movies; smiling when he felt Clint’s grin spread against his shoulder.
“Only chick flick we can actually sit and watch,” Clint chuckled, snaking his hands under Phil’s shirt; hands chilly. “It’s good to see such an abusive fucker get what he deserves and then buried in the yard by witches.”
“You just have a crush on Nicole Kidman,” he teased. “And the guy that plays Hallet.”
Clint leaned up and kissed him. “You’re so much hotter though. You aren’t all dolled up Hollywood style. And your two blue eyes are so much sexier than one blue and one green.”
“He does have a better head of hair and fewer wrinkles though.”
“This came out in what, ’98? It’s twenty-one years later, he’s probably bald and his face is probably all saggy like melted goop. You, however, are goddamn sexy; teeny wrinkles and receding hairline and all.”
Phil smiled, bopping their noses together and kissing Clint. “I’m actually not, but thanks for the confidence boost.”
Clint moved and straddled Phil’s lap, pinning him to the couch, laying his arms over the back of the couch hugging Phil’s neck. “You are though,” he whispered, landing a gentle kiss on Phil’s jawline; trailing a line of kisses to the beginnings of crow’s feet at Phil’s eyes. “Wanna know my favorite part of you?”
“What, my dick?”
He snorted a laugh and shook his head, kissing the bridge of Phil’s slightly crooked nose; putting a hand on Phil’s chest over his heart and pressing their foreheads together closing his eyes. “This,” he replied softly, hand rubbing slowly. “Every time you show your heart to me, it just shows everything so good about you.
He moved his hand, grazing over Phil’s crotch playfully. “This is a really good bonus but not the main focus.”
“Anymore.” Phil smiled, getting a chuckle.
“Anymore,” he agreed with a nod, smiling wide. “Still kinda jealous of it though. You coulda been a nude model instead of a government agent.”
Phil just rolled his eyes and shook his head, hugging Clint tight and kissing him again.
Another day, another press conference. Clint hid in the wings, watching Phil and the team fielding question after question; glad that he didn’t have to be out there with them and arguing with anyone again. He couldn’t risk revealing more of his childhood trauma to the public so they could use it against him later.
Happy stood close to Clint, keeping watch for a sneak attack but staying far enough away he wasn’t making Clint uncomfortable. Pepper stood against the wall across from Clint, watching to make sure Tony didn’t misbehave, looking like she was annoyed with everything going on with the team.
Phil had to get up and leave after a barrage of filth came from the reporters. He had to walk away before he shot someone. Clint knew he was livid when he stalked past without stopping. He sighed and turned to follow, finding Phil as he punched the wall.
The anger made him hesitate a step, stopping him a ways away from him. Phil let out a slow, deep breath to calm himself again; eyes closed; then with his forehead on the wall, held out a hand to Clint knowing he was close.
Clint went to him, wedging himself between Phil and the wall, hugging to him tight. Phil let out another calming breath before holding onto him, nuzzling and kissing at his neck.
“Sorry. Had to hit something before I took heads. They’re all so vicious.”
“Do you have to go back out there?”
Phil shook his head, rubbing Clint’s back. “Can’t handle it right now. Rather be with you at home.”
They ignored Pepper calling for Phil to go back to the interview, annoying her, and went up to their remodeled suite. Phil went to shower and change clothes, frowning at the emptiness he felt not having Clint in his arms. Clint went to the kitchen to get food and drinks so they could settle on the couch while waiting for time to pick Lila up from school.
As he sat down with everything, shooing Lucky to move over and make room for Phil, his phone rang. He just groaned, not recognizing the number, and let it go to voicemail as he got comfortable. Phil came out of their bedroom as he was busy searching for a movie, plopping down beside him; lifting an arm automatically as Clint leaned into his side. He couldn’t stop the grin that spread across his face.
Phil came home late, exhausted, with an armload of paperwork and tests to grade. He dumped everything on the kitchen table, groaning. Clint came into the dining room, hearing the clatter; apron covered in flour and home-made marinara sauce; wiping his hands on the hem of the apron.
“Rough day?” he asked.
Phil nodded, leaning on his hands at the table, head ducked. “Had an active shooter alert. Those kids, gods it was awful; they were so scared. Some of the guys were ready to put themselves in the way of any potential danger. Fucking shouldn’t be like this. It’s just insanity.”
Clint sat against the edge beside him, giving him time to catch his breath and come down from the stress of the day. “Butt’s school had a drill. I had to get her early because she had a bad panic attack. Tried to get her to bed but she just couldn’t calm down enough, barely ate her dinner. She’s in Nat’s room with her.”
Phil let out another breath before standing straight, tugging Clint into his arms; glad to finally be home with his family. “I love you,” he mumbled into Clint’s shoulder, rubbing his hips. “I don’t tell you that enough, but that’s gonna change. I’m gonna tell you every chance I get. I love you.”
“Love you more,” he replied smiling.
After a few minutes of holding onto his love, thankful that he made it back home to his family, Phil pulled away to go check on Lila. Clint followed despite looking in on her and Natasha just a few minutes before Phil walked through the door. Phil eased the door open slowly and peeked inside, sighing when he spotted Lila tucked to Natasha, half buried under Lucky; eyes heavy as she fought sleep.
He put on a smile as he came into the room. Lila sat up and crawled to the end of the bed, hugging her arms tight around his neck when he scooped her up into his arms and held her close, sitting down.
“Why can’t you sleep, Butt?”
Lila sniffled and shrugged, eyes getting heavier still.
Phil took Lila’s little blanket and wrapped her up snug, standing and carrying her out to the living room; sitting in a recliner to hold and rock her until she finally fell asleep. Clint and Natasha watched from the hallway, both smiling when they heard Phil singing softly to Lila as he rocked her.
He was the only one who could soothe Lila when she had a bad day. It helped calm himself as well.
Clint stepped up when Lila’s eyes finally closed, kissing her forehead gently then giving Phil another kiss. “I’ll have our dinner done shortly. Made one of your favorites; just gotta let the cheese crisp up a smidge more.”
That made Phil want to groan hungrily, but he stayed quiet for Lila; letting out a muffled chuckle. “Thank you, my love.”
Clint gave him another kiss before going back to the kitchen, having to again shoo Lucky away from the stove; giving him a little bit of leftover meat in a bowl so he wasn’t begging and getting in the way.
By the time Clint had the lasagna on the table, Phil put Lila to bed and came into the dining room; moving his school work off the table and sitting down. Clint brought a drink over for him, surprising him with the good liquor. Phil was not a heavy drinker but he enjoyed the occasional whiskey sour.
Having Clint give it to him already made up told him he definitely needed it. With the day he had, he wasn’t going to refuse.
Natasha brought out a chilled bottle of wine for herself and Clint, picking up the silverware and utensils Clint forgot on the counter, then took her usual place at the table.
“I do believe I wanna get in that new hot tub and mess around,” Phil announced, taking a good helping of lasagna; smiling when he saw Clint made sure he had a piece with the cheese burnt just right and crispy the way he liked it most.
“That is a very good idea,” Clint replied grinning. “I think I’ve got enough meds in my system, and since the hot tub will kaput a rubber.”
Natasha almost lost a bite of food laughing, covering her mouth with a napkin and taking a drink after swallowing. “You’re the only one who will talk about raw dogging in a flirty way. I’ll keep an eye on Butt so you don’t have to rush anything.”
She laughed again when Clint leaned over and kissed her cheek, shaking her head at him.
Phil hoped he could let go of the day’s stress and finally relax with Clint. He needed the chance to go easy for a while.
last chapter of part one! I'll start pt. 2 either tonight or tomorrow!
please, leave some comment love!