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Cupid; Or, The Whore With A Bow And Arrow

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"So I guess they don't work as planned," Clint says, surveying the scene. Still, it's funny. Clint can appreciate that.

"No shit?" Stark's faceplate turns towards him; there's probably glaring going on, like Clint would care even if he could see it. "Yeah, Hill? Get a hose up here, we need to get this stuff off them before Loki gets petted to tiny pieces."

"He actually seems to be enjoying himself," Clint says. "Make a note, this stuff works on Asgardians too."

Before Stark can come up with a snotty retort, Cap storms up in a cloud of self-righteous sexual frustration. Clint can sympathise; he's had his own dry spots, but ninety years is a hell of a run.

"Tony," he growls, and Stark flicks up the faceplate for some smouldering eye contact. "I thought that was supposed to change Bruce back. Did you know that would happen?"

"Sure, Steve, that's what 'field trial' means. It means we know exactly what will happen. This was all a plan to hook Hulk up with Loki, don't you read the memos?"

Clint picks his feet up as delicately as a cat, backing slowly away from the conversation before either of them remember he exists. He sneaks up behind Natasha, who's watching with a broad smile as firefighters direct a hose at Loki.

"I'm detecting levels of unholy glee in this sector," he murmurs in her ear, and her smile widens even further.

"This had better go up on Youtube. I'm not letting Tony keep it off to spare Bruce's delicate sensibilities."

"Bruce won't mind. More people have seen his junk than Colin Farrell's, he's run out of ways to feel shame."

"That explains why he gets on so well with Tony." She glances over towards the throbbing unresolved sexual tension that is Cap and Stark arguing - seriously, Clint's had sex that involved less touching - and the smile slides off her face.

"I wish they'd get past this stage," she says. "I'm going to bang their heads together one of these days."

Clint prefers Natasha's smile, prefers it infinitely to her furrowed brow or her distant blankness - both of those are lovely, but happy Natasha makes Clint feel a broad spectrum of emotions, most of which are reserved solely for her. He would, and has done, ridiculous things to make her smile, which is why he doesn't hesitate; thought becomes a drawn bow, and a glass vial shatters on the pavement at the centre of the square marked by four red-booted feet.

Both leap back, repulsors and shield coming to attack position as Clint lowers his bow. There's a tense moment, and then Stark turns his head back towards Cap.

"Steve?" he says, voice trailing off uncertainly, and Cap comes up from his battle crouch and takes two quick strides towards him, and then his back hits the wall under the weight of the armour.

Clint is already in the can't quite believe I did that place, but Natasha laughs, which moves him on to the fuck them if they can't take a joke space.

"Clint," she says between giggles, and Clint taps his headset off so he can enjoy the moment unreprimanded before turning to smile at her.

"I'm like Cupid," he says, and she laughs even harder as the firefighters turn the hose on Cap and Stark.

"You're a whore with a bow and arrow," she chokes out, and Clint shrugs.

"Tomato, different and incorrect pronunciations of tomato." He leans against her, and she rests her head on his shoulder, body shaking with laughter.

A third arrow dangles between his fingertips; he doesn't quite remember plucking it from the quiver. If it slipped from his hand now, shattered against the pavement, Natasha would turn to him with dark passionate eyes -

He flicks the arrow back into the quiver, and slips his arm around her waist. The sun's come out, and it's making rainbows in the play of the hoses.

Romance, he thinks, and starts to laugh.