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It’s a mission thing at first, entirely fucking accidental and Clint actually means that.

The first time is in Russia -- before Natasha -- sitting for six hours in a burned out, abandoned warehouse with a rifle scope trained on a building six blocks away. He knew it was a waiting game going in, they just mildly underestimated how long one ex-Soviet general could spend talking about the glory days with his comrades.

In Clint’s defense, if he really needs a defense, it was in the first dozen solo missions he ever did for SHIELD, when it was all still so fucking impressive. The whole secret intelligence agency and convert mission James Bond shit.

He knelt there, freezing his balls off in the middle of October in Stalingrad, and tried to remember the things he knew. Keep breathing, stay alert, pay attention to your surroundings, and don’t get nervous. And he wasn’t nervous in that bouncing, babbling way, just nervous in the way that his bladder was a stone-heavy weight between his hips.

Clint spent the back half of the six hours he waited shifting his hips back and forth, trying to convince himself that he didn’t actually need to piss, he just needed to get this shot off.

He buys it, that long range elimination bears no small resemblance to getting your fucking rocks off, but. The first thing he did when he took out the general? Sprint to the corner of the goddamn warehouse, fumble his fly open, and piss against the wall with his arm braced over his head and his forehead pressed to the thick fabric of his coat.

Pissed until he thought his knees were going to buckle.

The jerking off part came later.

If he’s honest, it wasn’t much later, but it was still later. South America this time, though it was the same ex-general scenario. To be honest, and Clint isn’t entirely sure what it says about him as a person, but the old men in ostentatious uniforms he put down have tended to blend together as the years pass.

He does remember for sure it was Columbia, and he remembers how fucking hot it was, and still. This was before he had the clout to back up the bow as his weapon of choice, though he’d started working on Coulson about it, and the surface of his rifle got warmer and warmer against his skin through his shirt.

And the trigger wasn’t even the throbbing hum of his nerves between the base of his skull and the cradle of his hips. That was there, of course, but the trigger was sweat on his skin.

Just, little beads of rolling their way between his shoulder blades, along his spine or down his throat and across his chest. It itched and it was fucking distracting and it made his bladder press down, down, down like it was full of fucking rocks until his hips were shifting back and forth and he was curling his toes inside his boots.

What it came down to was taking the edge off or losing his fucking mind and being taken out.

In retrospect, Clint can understand the question of why it seemed like a better idea to jerk off than to piss. There’s a kind of half answer he told himself; jizz was going to get on his hand and wrist and nothing else, and piss was going to go everywhere. Call it a tactical containment measure, but really it was just that the heat and his fucking sweat and his bladder made him buzz.

And he’d been in the tree for four and half fucking hours and barely moved. That deserved a little reward, right?

He cradled his gun in the crook of his arm, the barrel pressing hard and hot against his neck. One handed, he managed to fumble his belt buckle open and pop the four buttons on his fly, cursing the military and intelligence communities’ fucking aversion to goddamn zippers all the while.

Clint braced his fist against the trunk of the tree and pressed his forehead to his forearm, got his other hand shoved into his boxers and wrapped around his dick. And there wasn’t room to move, to thumb at the head or stroke along the vein or any of the things he’d usually do?

But his bladder was an almost solid weight between his hips and Clint knew it wasn’t, knew it, but it felt like he needed to come. It was a pressure that made him shiver despite the heat of the day and have to bite down on the inside of his cheek hard enough to draw blood to keep from making genuinely stupid noises.

Combat jacks, and their kissing cousins the spy jacks, are by their very nature short and dirty, all stifled sounds and controlled desperation.

With every single truncated stroke he managed with his wrist trapped between his stomach and the waistband of his boxers, Clint’s bladder sloshed and his dick got harder and he came with a rough hiss of breath through gritted teeth. Came hard, too, harder than he should have been able to manage under the less than ideal conditions.

It took him probably a good two minutes post-orgasm to get his shit back together long enough to pull a rag from his pack and wipe off his hand. His heart was thundering behind his ribs and, if anything, that edge pushing against his skin felt a little closer, a little more dangerous, than farther away.

Clint would like it to be known that he still took out the target when he emerged twenty minutes later. If his shot went three or so inches high, what difference did it really make?

For about three months after Columbia, Clint more or less backed off the whole thing. Not that it was even really a thing at that point, more an idea sitting in the back of his brain. A sense, maybe, that he’d stumbled across something with more significance than he’d intended.

To be fair, it wasn’t really a conscious decision. He had his first actual undercover mission with Coulson (using the cover of a high pay escort, which Clint is still fairly certain was Coulson hazing him into being one of SHIELD’s upper tier agents instead of just another warm body with a trigger finger) which meant six weeks slowly ingratiating himself into a corrupt Italian businessman’s good graces and wearing more leather and latex than he ever thought he would.

When that ended well, Fury gave him a week furlough.

He ended up in Germany, for no other reason than he’d hadn’t managed to land there in any of the missions he’d had and he’d heard good things about Berlin.

Truth be told, being on “vacation” in the very contingent upon the needs of SHIELD way that he ever gets time off, was really only novel for the eighteen hours he spent faced down, passed out sleeping in his hotel room. And after that the lack of something to do with his hands started to make him itch. He spent the first night in a club, drinking really good beer with his hands cupped around the cold mug and his back to the dance floor. Trying, mostly, to prove that he could sit without all exits in his sightline and not have his skin crawl.

It took a solid forty-five minutes to admit that, no. Looking at the exits in the mirror behind the bar still counted as sighting escape routes.

There are a lot of lines and distinctions that Clint draws from Germany, but realizing that he wasn’t just a person anymore easily ranks in the top three most important ones.

He spent a couple more hours sitting at a table in the corner, accepting the couple drinks that came his way, but pulling out, “Ich spreche kein Deutsch,” with the shittiest accent he could manage at the invitations to dance that followed. It was the loneliest he’d felt since Coulson sat him down that day and said he wanted to talk to Clint about SHIELD.

Two AM and he was back in his hotel room, full of beer and a vague, crawling resentment that he hadn’t noticed he was becoming someone else. Which in turn made him feel like an idiot, because who in their right mind complains about being James Bond’s little brother instead of a circus act always one fall away from losing everything?

In lieu of taking to the roof and sighting fake targets, which came with too strong a temptation to actually take them down, he ran the shower as hot as it would go, and stepped inside. The pressure was strong enough to feel like a physical blow between his shoulder blades and Clint braced his arms on the slick tile of the shower wall and dropped his head so the water rushed up his neck and over his face.

He realized a second later that he had to piss.

Growing up in the circus there were way more days rinsing off with water from bottles than there were lounging in a fully stocked bathroom, so the ethics of peeing in the shower never really came up. Clint experienced a slightly childish amount of glee at having his own shower in his quarters and thus the wanton ability to wash his hair and piss at the same time without considering the hygienic concerns of anyone else.

Clint didn’t need to jerk off -- he didn’t actually believe that there are all that many scenarios when someone actually needs to -- but he suddenly wanted to. And that realization made him open his eyes and lift his head, scrub a hand over his face to wipe off the excess water.

His bladder was full and sloshing down in his hips and he got half-hard just focusing on that sensation. Call it academic curiosity for the high school drop out, but Clint had his hand on his hip before he could really consider what he was doing. The shower wasn’t Stalingrad or Columbia or any mission where the drawn tight in his hips nervous piss feeling made sense. It was a hotel in a city with no one watching and no one to look for.

Clint doesn’t particularly think of himself as brave and really, there’s not a lot of bravery in getting your rocks off. But he is curious and he’s never really been good at not touching the things behind the velvet ropes.

He circled his hand around his half hard cock and jerked himself once, experimentally, and the combination of friction and his bladder bearing down brought out a low, choked noise that got tangled in the back of throat and came out shocked. “Fuck,” Clint said to the white tile of the shower walls, and swallowed hard. “Jesus fuck.”

If it were just an experiment, it could have ended there.

But hey, there’s a reason lab rats push the pedal for drugs instead of for food, and when something feels that goddamn good? Well. Clint took it.

He jerked himself off beneath the hot, hot spray and found after a couple strokes that if he picked up the rhythm of his hand with his hips the reverb between his palm and his bladder amped up a hundred. The building sensations were so goddamn similar, winding around each other low in his belly to a white hot pool of need that made him squeeze his eyes shut and bite down on his forearm.

Come or piss, he didn’t know which he wanted more, and he’s fairly certain in retrospect that he only came first because he slumped his waist against the wall so he could roll his balls in his other hand and that sent him careening over the edge. He came like he was fifteen and jerking off with the circus lights filtering through whatever cover he’d found and he knew he only had a couple minutes before he was found.

Came until his knees almost buckled and he was breathless, and then as soon as he’d spurted himself dry his bladder gave it up and he pissed all over his hands. Somehow, his pee was warmer than the water and the relief of release was maybe two inches away from being just like coming a second time.

There’s something kind of inherently adolescent about spending a good seventy percent of a vacation alternating between jerking off in the shower and downing bottles of water as fast as you can. Clint, who has always been a lot better at rationalizing than most people are willing to give him credit for, called it a belated reaction to never, ever having his own space as a teenager.

The alternative was calling himself a kinky fuck, but Clint’s a spy, not a saint.

He did make the small concession of doing a little bit of casual and careful research after that, and six months later when it was just him and Coulson on comms and they were both getting kind of punchy, he was able to win a game of “Truth or Bullshit” with, “Did you know it’s physically impossible for the human dick to piss and come at the same time?”

Still, it stayed a thing. The one really surefire stress release Clint had, since once you’ve come that hard from something so relatively simple, it’s not so easy to go back.

As a point of official policy, SHIELD doesn’t outright forbid personal relationships so much as very strongly discourage them and make it fairly clear that anyone who does had implicitly let them know how deep their commitment can’t go. And even aside from long term shit, there’s a series of very nineteen forties “Loose Lips Sink Ships” memos on one night stands. The idea being if you want to stick your dick anywhere not SHIELD sanctioned, you had better think long and hard about how bad you need a little pillow talk.

Clint never had a real problem with that, since he’d gone from one incredibly small subculture to another and never spent a lot of time swimming in the big wide world. Normal people, he maintains, are boring or incomprehensible or both.

But as time slipped past and he has to start seriously considering the possibility of getting calluses on his dick, the idea planted in the back of his mind and took root. Like the jerking off thing, which he still thought of as the shower thing, even though the shower was far and away the least important part of it. Clint’s fucked a lot more with a SHIELD-approved mission driving who he takes to bed and Coulson’s calm voice in his ear than he has of his own accord.

It just didn’t seem practical to cross his fingers and hope that a conveniently gay dictator with a piss fetish would fall out of the sky that needed to be taken care of. The universe does not really that often provide.

And he really wasn’t going to let it go from a thing he thought about in the shower, or sometimes in bed, to something he actually did.

Except that he finished up a mission in South Africa and came back stateside expecting to have immediate turnaround; when he landed on the helicarrier, it turned out his next target had very conveniently died in a car accident of his own booze-soaked making. “Take forty-eight,” Fury said. “But stay close, because it might not be that long before we can finish intel on the next thing.”

Admittedly, that wasn’t a conveniently gay target with a piss fetish, but it was at least a night where he couldn’t do anything but stay in the city, and there’s not much in the city that can hold Clint’s interest for very long.

His skin was already humming a little by the time he hit his barely used apartment, every surface layered with dust and musty, disused scent that made him wrinkle his nose and wish, for a split second, that there was a legitimate way to explain to a cleaning service why you needed a DNA sample and retina scan to get in. Instead of, you know, a key. He did maintenance on his gear, shoveled down an old package of ramen in the back of a kitchen cupboard, and by the time he got in the shower he’d pretty much decided.

Loose lips be dammed. Clint is better at his job than that and it’s better to know than to wonder.

There’s a given level of convenience to living in a big city when it comes to this kind of shit; five minutes on his laptop gave him an actual list of places, with user ratings and comment pages. Clint sat on his dusty couch in boxers, scrubbed one hand through his hair and absently pushed his fist low against his belly.

Clint is action more than anything else and once he had an address, it was easier to throw on jeans and a tee shirt and his boots, leather jacket with one of his stocked fake wallets in the pocket.

Half an hour later, he was leaning against the bar with a beer in his fingers. It was the kind of place where you had to go down stairs to get to it. The city’s built up and down out of necessity more than anything else, but Clint’s experience says the more staircases you descend the better chance you have of hitting somewhere people go where they don’t much want the rest of the world to look at them.

It was low lights and loud music, which is a fairly universal signal for people hunting for something and Clint scouted the exits and escape routes, and then skimmed the crowd. He didn’t know what he was looking for. Mostly, in retrospect, because he was looking for whoever was looking for him, which is a recursive logic he doesn’t usually go for, but. Clint’s used his arms and hips to get people to look at him under the threat of much more dire consequences than going home alone to jerk off in the shower.

He caught sight of the guy at the other end of the bar thirty seconds before the bartender replaced his empty beer with a fresh one and said, “Compliments of him,” with a jerk of his chin. Clint raised the bottle in thanks and the guy nodded, grinned. Clint took him in, light skin, close shaved hair, hazel eyes. He had freckles scattered across his nose and cheeks and Clint though, Yeah, okay, with a finality he hadn’t quite realized he was still looking for.

Clint gestured toward an empty table in the corner, since even the prospect of this thing that he wanted wasn’t enough to get him to sit with his back to two of three exits. The guy nodded and stood and they watched each other as they wove through the crowd of bodies.

At the end of the day, Clint doesn’t really do this. Not out of any real respect for the SHIELD directives that so strongly discourage interpersonal connections so much as a general disinterest in most people.

So it was odd, it really was, to slip onto the stool with his beer still in hand and have this person sit across from him and for there to be no mission objective sitting at the base of Clint’s skull. He’s used to operating under the parameters of what he needs from people or what he’s going to do to them, maybe picking someone up -- or being picked up by someone -- isn’t entirely dissimilar. Still, Clint’s just shy of positive that he’d have been more at ease with Coulson’s voice in his ear.

The guy asked, “What’s your name?” first, circling the pad of his thumb around the rim of his glass.

“Does it really matter?” Clint asked.

He shrugged, and Clint appreciated that. “Not really, I guess.” He grinned, and raised his glass in a salute.

Clint isn’t really good at small talk with no objective, because he tends to lack the cultural markers that make up the bulk of it. No, he hasn’t seen the latest episode of this or that show and he hasn’t gotten around to downloading that new album, and there just really hasn’t been time to get down to the local cineplex and see that new movie everyone’s talking about. But man, he can tell a great story about a drunken dictator he knifed in a closet mid-fuck.

The great strength of the guy, for Clint’s purposes, is that either he wasn’t a big talker himself or he sensed enough to not try it with Clint. They mostly knocked back the drinks they bought for each other, watching the crowd with a little bit of necessary commentary. Clint could smell the aftershave coming off the guy’s skin from the heat and his bladder was a hot, heavy pressing down against his pelvis.

“I’ll be right back,” Clint said after his fourth -- or maybe fifth -- beer, pushing his fist low against his belly.

His feet had barely hit the concrete floor before the guy’s hand was on his wrist, tight and certain. Clint thought he’s got some martial arts training and shifted his weight to better balance, reading to break bones if he needed to. “What are you doing?” he asked.

The guy looked at him, brow creased slightly. The corner of his mouth twitched into a smile that sent a kind of raw heat shuddering along Clint’s nerves. “Testing a theory,” he said. “I don’t think you want to go anywhere, except back to my place?”

“Why yours?”

“You didn’t want give my any name, not even a fake one,” the guy said, with a snort. “I don’t really think you want anyone knowing where you live.”

Clint swallowed hard, flexing his wrist against the guy’s fingers. “What happens at your place?”

“Guess you’ll find out,” the guy said, and ten minutes later they were in a cab and fifteen after that, Clint was standing in the middle of a tiny city apartment with a window looking out onto the street as he tried not to shift back and forth on the balls of his feet. He noted the fire escape, and the ten rusting ladders between it and the ground. He noted the posters on the wall, the dishes in the sink. Clint found he cared very little about either, too aware of the guy closing the door and taking off his jacket.

Clint didn’t jump when the guy’s hands suddenly slid around his ribs and his mouth landed on Clint’s jaw. He cocked his head to the side and fit his hands against the guy’s; they were a little bigger than his own, broad and solid and decently capable despite the lack of calluses on his palm. He pressed the flat of his palms against Clint’s belly and Clint inhaled sharply, and got a low chuckle in response.

“It’s like that?” the guy asked, lips brushing against the outer edge of Clint’s ear. “Thought so. Go on. Bathroom’s through that door.”

Clint swallowed. “Bathroom.”

“Yeah. The guy pushed his hips forward against Clint’s ass and the contact make him stumble forward and uncharacteristically ungraceful couple steps. “I only clean up after my friends.”

Something in Clint’s gut jumped and shivered at that thought, but he shoved it away and made himself steady in the half dozen paces it took to get to the bathroom door, open it, and step inside. It was a New York bathroom, cramped to hell and back with a shower that Clint wasn’t entirely positive would fit them both. The guy paused in the doorway, leaning with his arm braced against the frame. Clint could feel his eyes roam up and down his body and Clint licked his lips involuntarily. He wanted to piss and come and he wanted the guy with equal, tangled intensity.

“This works better with less clothes,” the guy said, mouth curled up at the corners into an easy, intent little grin.

“So they say,” Clint agreed, which got him a low chuckle in return as he started stripping down. “I think the same goes for you.”

The guy nodded. “So they say.”

It was less inherently awkward that Clint would have expected to stand facing each other in the minimal room provided and strip down to their skin. Clint folded his clothes on the back of the toilet and sat his boots on the seat, then stood with his hands curled into small fists against his thighs. He was half-hard already, from the push and pull and the throbbing pressure in his belly and the want that had beat in his blood since the guy sent him the drink.

The guy was as appealing naked as he was clothed; there was a long, lean cut to his body and the freckles on his nose scattered over his shoulders and chest. He had a sense of presence that Clint appreciated as he eased his way into the bathroom, managing to ride the thin line between confidence and cockiness. He pushed his way into Clint’s space, hands on Clint’s hips and grinned, giving a little roll of his hips that pushed their cocks together.

“The question is whether you’re looking to do or be done,” he said, maneuvering Clint into the shower until his back pressed against the cold tile. “Or if you care.”

Clint smirked and met his gaze, putting on a little bit of the spy face that got him through just about every sexual encounter he’d had over the last five years. No mission this time, though, and that was the key difference. There was something about suddenly having the ability to not manufacture a reaction that twisted up hot and dangerous in his gut. “Do you care what I want?” Clint asked.

The guy cocked his head consideringly, reaching out and twisting the shower faucet. Clint almost yelped at the sudden hit of water -- cold as fuck, in true old building, old plumbing form -- and the guy pushed up even closer against him. The water took its damn time to turn even lukewarm, and Clint still didn’t answer.

“What?” Clint asked. “What if I don’t care?”

“Then say that,” the guy said, leaning down until their lips were a fraction of an inch apart. “I’m not into fucking people when they’re not into it.”

Clint could smell his soap and the water was a low roar in the periphery of his awareness that seemed to beat in time with his hips and bladder, whose desire had become some thoroughly entwined he didn’t think he could separate them even if he wanted it.

“I don’t care,” Clint admitted.

The guy kissed him.

Clint wasn’t a fucking virgin. Far from it, as a point of truth. But there was something about the intent behind the kiss, the stripped down, “this is what I want,” honesty that rocketed through him like no part he’d ever played could even come close to. There wasn’t a lot of room at SHIELD for the personality, hopes, wants of any agent. The shape of Clint’s desire felt suddenly too big for his skin in that kiss.

When they finally broke apart, the guy cupped Clint’s jaw in his hands and swiped his thumbs over Clint’s bottom lip. “You’re something,” he said, and carefully hit his knees.

“What are you?” Clint asked, trying to swallow down the sudden gravel in his throat and the sudden spike of want shivering along his nerves like random electrical misfire, without sense or pattern.

The guy skimmed his hands over Clint’s side. “I’m gonna suck you off, handsome,” he said. “And you’re not to piss in my mouth, because I have to really, really like you for that. And after I’ve come, we can work from there.”

Something formed in Clint’s mouth -- a protest or a question or acquiescence all wrapped up one shocked moment of certainty that he literally could not have possibly heard what he thought he heard. Except then the guy’s mouth was on the head of his cock and Clint had to slam his hands against the water-slicked tile wall of the shower to keep himself upright. He dropped his head back and only distractedly felt the faint throb that came from the impact of his skull against the wall.

The guy sucked cock like someone who knew what he was doing, one hand wrapped around Clint’s dick, the other cupping Clint’s balls in his hand. There wasn’t fucking room in the minuscule stall for Clint to do anything other than stand there and try to keep his ass pressed against the wall. It took him a couple seconds to realize the repetitive noise he heard wasn’t the pipes groaning, it was him.

The thing about the water is that it always makes him go from even the vaguest sense of needing to piss to feeling he’s going to fucking pop if he can’t get a hand on his dick and let loose right then. The pressure in his bladder ramped up from the spray of the shower against his shoulder and side and neck; when it hit his face he had bring up an arm so he could bite on his forearm to keep from losing it.

“I can’t,” he chanted. “I can’t, I can’t, I can’t.”

The guy looked up at him with his mouth around Clint’s cock, and dig his thumbs into Clint’s hips. His expression didn’t have a lot of sympathy, just amusement and understanding and no give. Clint needed and the heat and warmth of the guy’s mouth made it so he didn’t know whether he would piss or come first, given the choice.

Clint saw the hand that been on his balls wrap around the guy’s dick. The guy started stroking himself with an ease and languidness that made Clint want to -- he didn’t know, want die a little bit. The guy keep up sucking on Clint’s cock, with a pressure that was just gentle enough to get enough friction for Clint to not? be able to come. Clint needed some kind of release, and he didn’t give a shit which one it was.

The guy came with a low vibration of sound from the back of his throat that shimmied up Clint’s dick and into his hips and bladder and he might have screamed? He’s not entirely sure, even in retrospect. He knows he slammed his head hard against the shower wall again, and slapped his palms flat over his stomach to try and keep himself from spiralling out of control.

When the guy pulled off, Clint heaved out a sound that he’s never been able to replicate. “Oh, boy,” the guy said. “You got it bad. Go ahead, you know you want to.”

The guy tipped back his head and Clint’s bladder fucking gave it up, piss splashing on his shoulders and chest as Clint knees almost buckled. He felt like his brain was draining out his dick and it was, and is, one of the most intensely fucking wonderful sensations he has ever felt.

The guy kept his hands on Clint’s hips to keep him upright and when Clint was finished he said, “You can come too. Go ahead.”

It took make half a dozen strokes be spurting onto the guy’s chest and Clint’s knees gave out when he was done. There wasn’t room by a long shot, but the dude managed to wedge them in together under the water while Clint’s brain shorted out and rebooted, and the water finally got hot.

The first thing Clint remembers thinking once he’d gathered the pieces of himself back together was that there was no way he was ever going to be able to go back.

And maybe, if things had gone differently, that’s as far as Clint ever would have gotten. Anonymous fucks whenever he had a free weekend. And maybe, if things had gone differently, that would have been fine. But Clint’s life has never followed a trajectory that made sense, it’s all shit constantly coming at him sideways form the places he least expects.

What happens is Natasha. Natasha happens, and then their partnership happens, and then Budapest happens (which came with more honesty than Clint ever, ever wants to have with another person, even if he finds himself about to die again), and then the tesseract happens, and then Loki happens, and then the Avengers happen.

And at the tail end of it all, as the dust is settling and the world is emerging into a brand new day as they blink at the brightness of it, Bruce happens.

Bruce was the least expected thing that has ever happened to Clint.

After the Chitauri attack, Thor went back to Asgard with Loki and in the immediate aftermath it was hard not to feel hopeful, maybe even a little self-satisfied that they’d done exactly what they were supposed to do. In comparing notes -- or reading his teammates official, classified SHIELD files, whatever, it’s all the same -- Clint wasn’t entirely surprised to find out that none of them have a lot of experience with things going the way they’re supposed to go. What a shock.

It took a day or two for the rebuild of Manhattan to really start swinging into full gear and for the Avengers, the five of them that hadn’t hitched a cosmic ride home, to really stop and wonder what happened next.

The thing about Bruce was that Clint did not at all know him. He’d been a little -- occupied during the formative team building hours, or actively fighting for the other side, as the case may be. The point being, he was put on a mandatory three month stand down cum suspension after the battle, just in case Loki had planted any more failsafes way down deep in his brain. And given the choice between spending three months on the helicarrier with every other SHIELD agent looking at him with fear and accusation in their eyes or staying in the shiny new tower Stark was building for his new group of bffs, Clint took the tower.

He didn’t know Bruce -- Banner, at that point -- was going to be there too.

Tony was around sometimes, too, as was Pepper Potts and even occasionally Colonel Rhodes. Cap had his own place in Brooklyn, but he stopped by once or twice a week and whenever Natasha wasn’t on assignment she’d come over, too. She brought Clint Russian candy and eventually reached the point where she could sit next to Bruce without her hand resting on one of the knives she always carried.

But most of the time it was just Clint and Bruce.

It was kind of camaraderie first, and then a friendship that surprised them both. The one time Bruce almost Hulked out Clint sat there with his heart thundering so hard against his ribs he thought they would break, and he just talked -- asked about his experiments and the science and anything he could scrabble at that he knew Bruce liked and it worked. Slowly and unwillingly, but it worked.

Clint didn’t know what set Bruce off, he just heard the sudden siren of warning klaxons blaring like World War III had come at last. And technically, Clint knew he was supposed to take those as a sign to fucking run away from Bruce, not toward him. But an instinct above and beyond self-preservation kicked in before fear had a chance and Clint burst into the lab to find Bruce on his knees with green rippling over his skin like a fucking rash.

“Jesus fuck,” Clint cursed, hitting his knees beside Bruce. “Hey, no. You’re fine. You’re totally fucking okay.”

It was fear born babble more than anything else, just words tumbling out of his mouth as though they could possibly mean anything. Bruce was a mess of slowly shifting muscle and a low, rumbling growl that vibrated up from the bottom of his lungs like the prelude to an animal roar.

“Tell me about your experiments,” Clint tried, flipping past desperate and coming back around the mid-battle calm where there wasn’t room for anything else. He thought about what would happen to the Tower, and Manhattan, and him if Bruce’s hard won control gave; but mostly he thought about what it would do to Bruce to wake up in rubble and realize that he’d failed.

(Even then, Clint didn’t think fail was the right word. Even then, he knew the fine delineation would make a difference to Bruce.)

“You spend half your fucking life down here,” Clint continued, carefully putting his hands on Bruce’s shoulders. The shift of bone and muscle was awful, but it slowed a little at the touch. “I mean, are you reinventing the wheel or fucking what? I’m not good at this shit. Tell me about it.”

There was a long moment of potential, where it could have gone either way. Then Bruce said, “Radiation,” in a voice caught somewhere between himself and the Hulk. “Continued research,” he said, and the Hulk unwillingly began to shift away.

(Bruce told him later that he can trace the shift between friendship and active attraction to that moment. Clint told him that said more about Bruce than anything else.)

Late that summer, right about two months into Clint’s stand down, they ended up on the roof with a six pack of beer and the stars spread out over them. Bruce said, “I’m not much of an astronomer,” and then proceeded to name every fucking constellation in the sky and talk with quiet affection about the different kinds of stars they were, how they came to be, and how they would die.

At that point? Clint was still dreaming about Loki every other night, dreaming about the most jagged pieces of himself being excised and lain out neatly for Loki’s consumption. Loki murmuring in his ear about shame and filth and perversion and how only he, god that he was, could ever really give Clint what he wanted.

Bruce was nothing like Loki and when Clint reached out and curled his fingers in the collar of Bruce’s shirt, he exhaled softly and came when pulled.

They started having a lot of very good sex.

Very, very good, very vanilla sex.

That was perfectly fucking fine with Clint. You can’t really whine and moan about having someone like Bruce Banner in bed with you six nights out of seven -- he’s a genius in so many creative, genuinely astonishing ways that have nothing to do with science. Maybe it’s not even fair to characterize the sex they had as strictly vanilla, because Clint has never fucked anyone who could be as inventive as Bruce on an average night.

And once a week or so he’d jerk off in the shower with his bladder throbbing in the cradle of his pelvis. It worked.

It was actually Bruce who fucked with the status quo, rolling over one night about six months in and saying, “There’s this thing I like to do.”

In the grand scheme of things, Clint doesn’t really think of rimming as so wildly out of left field that it requires the kind of care Bruce took with it. But on the other hand, Clint can understand the need to be a little more certain when it comes to something that sits in a place apart from easy, simple like and enjoyment.

After they’d both came and were laying together in the tangled mess of their bed, Bruce slid his hand along Clint’s spine and asked, “What about you?”

Clint, sated and sleepy and in no way able to unknot the things he wanted in his chest, said, “Let me think about it,” and fell asleep with Bruce’s leg thrown across his thighs and Bruce’s hand curled over his side.

The thing is, Clint couldn’t not see it as a quid pro quo thing. Bruce handed him something that was important and asked to be given the same in return. It’s wasn’t a lack of trust thing either because, getting perilously close to a year into the whole Avengers bit, Clint put his life in Bruce’s hands every other Tuesday and had never yet even come close to being failed by that faith.

It was more the sudden crawling uncertainty of wondering where the lines lay, between what was within the realm of acceptably strange and what crossed the line. Clint spent a distracted week toying with it; the things he wanted and the things he had, the nights with the line of different men who pushed him against their shower walls and made him fall apart and how Clint really can’t describe the difference between the release of pissing and the release of coming. How there’s not really any difference for him.

In the center of it all was Bruce. Bruce sitting in his lab with his glasses halfway down his nose, Bruce eating at the kitchen island with his brow creased at the latest issue of Applied Radiation and Isotopes, Bruce’s mouth against Clint’s shoulder as he fucked him with the same care he tended to his experiments.

Eventually it came down to Clint thinking, fuck it. If piss was the straw that broke the camel’s back in a relationship composed of an ex-carnie turned spy and a mild mannered scientist with a rage monster alter ego? There wasn’t a lot else to be done.

So he asked.

For a good twenty seconds Bruce just looked at him, head cocked slightly to the side as though he’d been handed a math problem that he couldn’t decide if he was going to need scratch paper for or if he could do it in his head. Clint’s skin ran hot and cold and he didn’t let his knees bounce and he didn’t start tapping his thumb against the metal surface of Bruce’s worktable. He kept his chin up and put on a neutral face.

And then Bruce said, “You want me to --” and paused, and Clint could see him running through the pros and cons of scientific terminology versus slang. “To pee on you?”

“Yeah?” Clint swallowed, and raked a hand through his hair. “I mean, you asked.”

Bruce nodded. “Okay.”

“Okay?” Hand to God, Clint had no intention of that okay dropping from his mouth. It sounded more like an accusation than anything else, sharp edged and disbelieving.

“Okay,” Bruce repeated, with a sudden shift toward certainty in his tone. He laced their fingers together, and kissed Clint’s knuckles.

Of course, true to form because the universe just does not like Earth’s Mightiest fucking Heroes all that much, maybe twenty minutes later a newly allied A.I.M. and Hydra launched a global fucking attack that made the Loki-led Chitauri invasion look like a fucking termite infestation.

In the two weeks that followed, Clint found himself absolutely certain for the second time in his life that he was going to die, and subsequently found himself rescued from said certain death by Natasha’s bone deep, ironclad stubbornness. With Tony and Thor descending from the sky like Valkyries, Natasha and Clint ran and she said, “Last time you said you loved me,” with wild, frantic laughter crowding in on the edges of her words.

“I do love you,” Clint assured her, slurring from blood loss and exhaustion.

Genuinely astonishingly, at the end of the end of the day none of them were dead. None of them were even permanently injured. Tony had a couple broken fingers from a crushed suit glove (though he pointed out that without the suit he’d be without a hand entirely), Natasha had a mild concussion, and Clint himself wound up with a neat row of stitches on his hairline. Steve didn’t even have any bruises that dared to last on his superhuman skin and Thor shrugged off every fucking blow like it was a mosquito bite. And Bruce, thanks to Hulk, didn’t even look tired.

They got the well done and well won speech from Fury, two minutes on a video call with the president, and permission to go home and stand down for a week.

Clint and Bruce fell into bed and slept for almost twenty hours.

When Clint woke up it was late afternoon and Bruce’s hand was curled around the base of his neck, thumb stroking over the little sensitive patch of skin behind his ear. Clint sighed a little, half-asleep, and lazily reached out to touch his knuckles to Bruce’s cheek. “Are you watching me sleep?” he asked.

“Maybe.”

“Okay,” Clint agreed, yawning. “Hell, we’re not dead. You can do whatever you want.”

Bruce’s thumb stilled and pressed down. “Even if it’s you?”

It took Clint a few seconds to work out exactly what Bruce had said and then he wasn’t so tired any more. It was amazing how that worked. “Dr. Banner,” Clint said, shifting onto his side. “You can always, ah, do me.”

Bruce grinned one of his rare, uninhibited smiles and shoved back the blankets. Clint shifted onto his back, one eyebrow raised, as Bruce leveled himself up and out of bed. He was bare-assed and lovely and Clint appreciated the show, but. “Are we out of condoms or something?”

“No,” Bruce said, turned to look at Clint over his shoulder. “It just seemed that if urine was going to be involved the shower would be neater.”

Clint’s stomach went from lazy contentment to keyed up thrumming energy so fast it knocked all the smartass comments right the hell out of his brain. He swallowed, suddenly aware of the press of his bladder in his hips after twenty hours of being completely and totally dead to the world. “We just almost died and that’s -- and you remember that?”

“Yes. Are you coming?”

“I.” Clint shoved back the blankets and he will never own up to it? But he damn near went tits over ass falling out of bed. “Well, yeah.”

Their bathroom -- which was technically Bruce’s bathroom since his floor was closer and thus that’s where they’d crashed -- was about eight times bigger than that first guy’s tiny apartment bathroom. If nothing else, Tony isn’t one to scrimp on the luxuries. Bruce started the water going in the shower and Clint shucked off his boxers and tossed them down the laundry shute.

Just the anticipation had already gotten him half-hard, and the sound of the water struck that promising nerve buried deep down in the center of his brain where mindless want lived. Clint came up behind Bruce and pressed himself along Bruce’s back, grinding against his ass.

“Hi,” Clint murmured, mouthing at the curve of Bruce’s shoulder.

Bruce chuckled and shifted, bringing up an arm to wrap around Clint’s waist. “Hello.”

They kissed with Bruce’s back against the wall as the water warmed and the bathroom slowly filled with steam. Clint pushed a knee between Bruce’s legs and braced his hand on the tile on either side of Bruce’s head. Bruce laced his fingers in the small of Clint’s back and pulled him closer and closer, with their dicks caught between their bellies and heat slowly roiling up between them in sharp, teasing little rolls of their hips.

“Are you ready?” Bruce asked when the mirror had fogged over.

Clint nipped at his bottom lip. “Do you really need me to answer that?”

“I mean,” Bruce said, slipping his hands to Clint’s hips and pushing him back a few inches. “Do you need me to grab you a bottle of water or something?”

“Oh.” Clint swallowed. “I. No. The sound of the shower. It’s--” he waved a hand. “It’s kind of a Pavlovian thing. Do you need one?”

Bruce shook his head. “No, I’m fine.”

For a split second they stood there, looking at each other. It was Bruce who reached out and curled a hand around Clint’s hips and switched their position, sending Clint stumbling forward a few steps until his feet were at the raised lip of the shower. Clint could feel Bruce standing at his back, waiting for him. “Just.” Clint rolled his shoulders. “Are you sure about this?”

“Yes.” Bruce put a hand on his shoulder. “Yes, I am.”

The standard shower in the Avengers Tower was easily six by six, with spigots on all three walls. The temperature was cranked up high enough that Clint flinched when the water hit him from all sides. It was the heat and the pressure both, and the liquid sound that had a path to the gotta fucking piss center of all human brains, but was a fucking ten lane highway for Clint. Bruce followed, and slid the door shut, then got his arms back around Clint and kissed him again.

“Have you done this with other people?” Bruce asked, his voice low and steady and curious. It was that goddamn professor thing he pulled out to calm people down, the “I’m the smartest person in the room and that means I always know what I’m doing,” thing.

Clint nodded. “Yeah, a couple times before you.”

“Will you tell me about them, someday?”

“You want to hear?” Clint pulled back a little, to get a look at Bruce’s face. Bruce can’t really lie for shit, he can just put on that very smooth mask of calm that just as plainly says he’s lying as if he actually let any emotion through. Clint didn’t find that, though, he found quiet, intent interest. “I mean. Yeah. I will.”

Bruce smiled crookedly. “Tell me what you want?”

“I.” Clint curled his fingers against Bruce’s chest, nails scraping against the fur of dark hair. “I want you to piss on me.”

“How?”

“I really don’t care,” Clint admitted. “Bruce. I really. I don’t.”

“Okay,” Bruce said easily. “Okay. Get on your knees.”

That was familiar and that made it a little easier for Clint to ignore the raw fear pushing against his nerves with equal intensity as want. He settled on his knees with his hands splayed over his thighs, looking up at Bruce with his eyes half-shut against the shower’s spray. Bruce pushed his fingers through Clint’s hair and circled a hand around his cock.

“Suck me off?” Bruce asked and logically, Clint knew that Bruce had no way of knowing how cyclical that was for him, but still.

Clint shifted up on his knees a little and steadied himself with a hand braced on Bruce’s hip. He curled his hand around the base of Bruce’s cock and sucked the head in, getting a hummed noise of pleasure in response. Bruce pushed both his hands into Clint’s hair and fisted his fingers tight, with just enough pressure for Clint to feel it.

There was something settling about sucking cock -- sucking Bruce’s cock -- because Clint knew exactly what to expect with that. He’d done it a thousand fucking times since their first time with the hot summer sun pouring through the windows of the still unfinished tower. It cycled the raw want of his bladder and cock down a little bit, gave him something to focus on.

It didn’t take all that long, either, because Bruce was pulling Clint off his dick with his breath coming in hard, deeply controlled pants. “I want to come on your face,” he said and Clint nodded, tipping his head back.

He watched through barely open eyes as Bruce jerked himself off with one hand, the other still tight in Clint’s hair. Bruce came with his shoulders rolled in and his head ducked, almost silently. Come hit Clint’s cheeks and mouth and he flicked his tongue out to catch what landed on his lips, distantly aware of his hips pushing up against in nothing in search for friction that wasn’t there.

For a long couple seconds, Bruce stood there with a bright flush on his shoulders and chest as the water hit Clint’s face and washed him clean. Clint felt like his entire body was throbbing with a want so mindless that there was no way he’d ever be able to actually ask for the things that would sate it, no matter how badly he needed them.

And then Bruce opened his eyes and straightened a little, looking down at Clint with a kind of languid ease that Clint so very rarely saw. “Okay,” Bruce said. “I’ve got you.”

Bruce didn’t let go of Clint’s hair and he didn’t let go of his dick, he just. Pissed.

Clint had pissed on himself in the fucking shower and he’d pissed on other people and it was this thing that followed the thread of his life from being a lonely brand new SHIELD operative in Russia to being an Avenger to this moment. He’d never been on his knees before, and certainly never with someone who was so thoroughly twined up in his life as Bruce was.

So, it mattered. In a way none of the other shit did, except as a means to the moment.

Bruce’s piss was hot against Clint’s neck and shoulders, burning over the temperature of the water. Clint’s mouth fell open without him being able to stop it, and it didn’t matter one fucking bit that he had a fist pressed to his belly. There wasn’t anything in the world that could have kept him from careening over that edge with Bruce’s hand on his hair and Bruce looking at him like that and Bruce giving him the only thing he’d been afraid to ask for.

It takes longer to piss than to come and Clint had already spilled all over his hand by the time Bruce finished and broke into a crooked, uncertain smile. “Clint?” he asked.

Clint pitched forward, pressing his forehead to Bruce’s thigh as his bladder let go. He heard, distantly, the soft noise of understanding Bruce made, and then that didn’t matter either, because Bruce was stroking his hair. Clint felt like just about every goddamn muscle and tendon in his body gave out at the same time when he finished, turning him from something solid to something liquid and wrung out.

“Was that what you wanted?” Bruce asked.

Clint nodded. “Yeah. Thanks.”

The best part about that day, so far as Clint is concerned, is that he would have been perfectly goddamn content if that was all he ever got. One bright and shining encounter to carry him through the rest of his life.

Instead, when he shakily stumbled to his feet with the water beginning to run lukewarm, Bruce cocked his head and asked, “Did I pee on your stitches?” brushing his fingers against the wound along his hairline.

“No,” Clint said, trying his best not to bust out in half hysterical, half relieved laughter. “No, I don’t think you did.”

Bruce nodded. “Good.”

“Isn’t urine sterile?” Clint asked.

“Oh, well. If you take it directly from the bladder, yes,” Bruce said, like he was talking about his latest gamma radiation experiment. Like there was not a single unusual thing. “But it picks up bacteria passing through the urethra and from, er, external genitalia. Next time we’ll cover your stitches up, just in case.”

“Next time?”

It was Bruce’s smile that actually convinced Clint that it was okay. “Yeah, next time.”