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The first time Clint’s life was saved by the Winter Soldier he only had one working arm.

It was really just a slip up, Clint fell off of things a lot and he usually caught himself, hard to do that when you’re nearly unconscious though.

They had somehow managed to join up, Clint really wasn’t sure how, feed the guy breakfast once and he suddenly followed you around like a lost puppy. Though it seemed to be helping, he told Clint to call him James, Clint could do that. He actually liked the guy to be honest, even though it was obvious he had some serious issues to be working through.

It wasn’t like Clint didn’t know who he was, metal arm, skilled beyond reason, pretty obvious working in the intelligence community for more than twenty years like he had, also the guy who’d shot up Natasha.

But…Clint knew that he was having a hell of a time working through the fuckery in his head. He could tell from the insecurity and the way he always had to second guess himself. He knew what that was like, he still occasionally had blue tinted nightmares.

So they had been meticulously taking out Hydra bases, James knew where almost all of them were, or the general area if he’d been there before.

Clint was actually looking for something. The scepter. IT had been taken from SHIELD custody at some point in the last two years and Hydra had it somewhere. Clint was going to find the damn thing and throw it in a fucking volcano. He first had to find it.

That’s why they were at the Hydra base. Turns out they had been expected.

It was a difficult fight, Clint got hit but kept fighting until the blood loss got to his head, and he almost fell from his perch, he’d seen James fighting taking out agents one after the other, probably enjoying it a little too much, but who could really blame the guy?

He’b been hit with something, an EMP of some kind Clint thought, they would have something to disable their soldier, sounded like hydra, and his metal arm hung limp at his side, but he was still taking them out as if it didn’t even register. But then Clint slipped from the ledge he’d found, taking agents out systematically with his pistols and arrows until he was down to knives as the gash in his side let a steady steam of blood soak into his kevlar.

He must have lost it for a moment, because the next thing he knew he was being pulled back onto the ledge by James, his flesh hand gripped tightly on his collar, Clint blinked.

The place was quiet, all of the agents were down.

"Huh…" he muttered, "If I’m ever in an arm wrestling tournament…wanna be on your team," he said muzzily flinching when there was a firm hand on his side, covering the gash.

James gave him an odd look, “You’re strange.”

Clint laughed, “You’ll get used to it.”

"You think?"

"Mmm, you might even grow to like it."

"We’ll see."

~

The first time Bucky noticed Clint was deaf was a long time after he’d met him, which was both a shock and a feat. Bucky was’t exactly lost on noticing details, but Clint just didn’t act deaf, or even hard of hearing.

Clint knew how to talk, he was actually a very good listener and it didn’t look like he wore hearing aids, but apparently he did. After they shorted out during an attack and Clint yanked them from his ears cursing did Bucky actually notice.

But not from that, everyone had done the same thing because the comms had shorted out too and there was no way to really communicate, they still managed to take down the attacking army of bug bots (Pym had been very offended), on the way back to Avengers Tower, Bucky noticed how stiff he stood at Natasha’s side, so clearly she knew. How he would look at people’s lips when they spoke not their eyes.

He waited until after the debrief and on their floor before he confronted him about it though.

He placed his flesh hand on Clint’s shoulder, and felt him tense before turning around and looking at his face.

"You’re deaf," Bucky said and then realized that might be a bit insensitive, "I mean…crap."

Clint sighed, “Yes, I’m deaf, I have been for about seven years, too close to an explosion, but I was also as a kid from…rough handling.” he ran a hand through his hair. “I’m sorry-“

Bucky took the restless hand in his metal one and waited for Clint to look at his lips, “I’m not angry or upset, just kinda curious.”

"What about?" Clint asked cautiously, and Bucky could tell that he was really self conscious about it.

Bucky wasn’t self conscious about his arm, the Winter Soldier knew it was an extension of himself and he himself was a weapon and accepted it after a hell of a lot of programming. So Bucky never really thougt about it, he’d been a little worried when he and Clint had started doing more activities that had required less clothing, but Clint said he didn’t care. That he thought it was kind of sexy.

Bucky knew it was his turn to reassure Clint, because honestly he thought it was remarkable.

"You’ve been deaf this whole time and I didn’t have a clue, how the hell did you manage to pull that off?" he asked, then realized that Clint could only read his lips right then, he couldn’t hear tone, but Clint must have known.

He shrugged, “I always have my aids, they’re smaller than normal ones, waterproof supposed to be static proof, can double as a comm, not supposed to get interference, the battery doesn’t need to be changed as often as regular ones, they’re ‘state of the art’ SHIELD R&D improved them every time they got their hands on blue prints, so…I never really needed to tell anyone, Nat sorta found out the same way…I don’t really showcase them,” he shrugged.

"Oh," Bucky said, well he supposed that explained that, "But why? You’re pretty incredible."

"What?" Clint looked baffled.

"You’re a deaf assassin, that’s pretty amazing."

"Yeah, exactly if I told people they wouldn’t take me seriously, or they’d treat me differently, so why let anyone know?"

"Because you’re amazing."

"Bucky…"

"I’m serious, most people would call it quits after having something like that happen to them, but not you, you’re still doing the same thing, seven years later, and no one knows, that’s pretty remarkable."

"You don’t think I’m…" Clint looked down and Bucky had to tip his face back up.

"You’re what?"

"An invalid? A coward?"

"Uh no, that’s stupid," he made a face, "Seriously Clint, you shoot a bow and arrow for shits sake, you flip off of forty story buildings, you can actually tame the Hulk. You are far from an invalid and a coward."

"Huh…guess I am pretty amazing," he murmured and Bucky snorted.

"And modest too," Clint grinned and shrugged trying for innocent, "Dork," he said and Clint chuckled.

"Well…now that that idiotic freak out is handled you wanna order pizza and chill?"

"I was actually thinking of something else," Bucky said, smirking slowly.

Clint arched an eyebrow, “What’s that?”

"Well…you can’t hear yourself, so you have no way of knowing how loud you get…no perception, I wanna see how loud I can make you get."

Clint blinked and then coughed, his cheeks going pink, “Jesus Barnes, who the hell has been rubbing off on you?”

"Just you," Bucky replied bending forward to steal a kiss, Clint chuckled into it.

"Good, I’d hate to have to get Steve involved, protect your virtue or whatever."

Bucky didn’t let him get away with that and did in fact see how loud Clint could get. Which was pretty damn loud.