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20 Times Clint Barton Wishes He was Somewhere Else

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1. Clint doesn't really understand a lot of what's happening, but his mommy told him to follow the girl with the flowers down the aisle and daddy said not drop the pillow with the rings unless he wanted another smack, and he's a big boy since he's turned four, so he did. But now he's sitting on the hard bench and the man up in front with the dress keeps talking on and on. And even though Clint's already taken off the big belt thing and the tie and jacket, he'd still much rather be outside playing.

2. Clint sits on the bed they've told him is his. He had tried to explain to them that he already had a bed at his house, but the ladies had just gazed at him sadly and explained he and his brother were never going back there. Looking at the other beds in the room, Clint remembers the way some of the kids had jostled him and Barney when they arrived, and decides that if they can't go back home, then they're definitely going somewhere else, cause they're not staying here.

3. It's not until the Swordsman offers to cut him in—to make Clint a full fledged partner in his dealings—that it finally sinks in. Clint's almost surprised that he doesn't have to think about it. That he's not even a little tempted to follow his mentor down this shady path. Unfortunately, Clint also realizes that no thanks probably isn't considered a viable answer. He really wishes he'd hadn't told his brother he'd rather go to practice than get fleeced by Barney's friends at the weekly poker game.

4. Clint knows that getting shit-faced and using the local junkyard as a shooting range wasn't the best plan, but it's not like he was aiming at the people or anything. Besides, he hadn't been caught any of the other times he'd done it. All that rationale is moot as Clint watches another suit approach (not security, not even local law, most likely government of some sort) and wonders how far he'll get if he makes a break for it.

5. He's on reconnaissance, watching the Black Widow as she flips her stunning red hair out of her eyes and grins up shyly at her mark. And he knows he should be cataloguing her weak points, figuring out the best way to take her down. However there is something so beautiful about the way she works, Clint feels like he'll be destroying an irreplaceable work of art. Not for the first time he wishes he'd never been given this assignment.

6. The number of successful missions Clint's been on will never outweigh the few that go to shit. Never. The enemy targets are dead, but not before they'd sprung their trap, killing one junior agent instantly and leaving another agent bleeding out as Clint tries to stop the flow and prays that S.H.I.E.L.D. transport will here soon.

7. Clint swears vehemently when the tesseract's 'door' opens up from the other side. Sometime he hates it when he's right. The being that has appeared on the platform radiates contempt like a tangible thing. And though Fury's dealt with some of the biggest egos around, Clint has a feeling this one's not going to go his way. Clint's never been one to shirk his duties, but for once he wishes he'd ignored his orders and not shown up here today.

8. There's a tiny piece of him that feels like something's wrong. Beneath the calm compulsion is a small echo of No, no, this man should not be giving you orders, he's not the right one. But it's faint and easily pushed aside. What he can't seem to shake is the niggling feeling that he is supposed to be somewhere else. It's like an itch just out of reach, making him want to check he's got it right over and over. The memory of Loki's glare from his last query, though, keeps him silent.

9. Director Fury looks drained and unbelievably sad. The expression is so out of place that Clint doesn't have even an inkling of how he should respond. Before he can worry about it further, however, Fury tells him the unthinkable — Agent Coulson has been killed in the line of duty. Clint's aware that the director is still talking, but he has no idea what he's saying. It takes all of his concentration just to keep from bolting from the room.

10. It doesn't seem to matter how hard Clint tries lately. Recently-returned-to-active-duty, never-actually-dead Coulson always looks at him with a resigned expression. That is when he deigns to look at him at all. Clint knows nothing could be worse than Coulson gone forever, but he's finding a Coulson that won't meet his eyes, won't talk to him outside of the necessary, nearly as bad. He grits his teeth to keep from saying anything more to fill the disappointed silence on the comms and does his best to focus.

11. Clint is sore and tired, and really just wishes that Thor's brother would stop trying to take over the planet, or seek revenge, or whatever. He's looking forward to a scalding shower in the hopes of scraping off the remains of whichever alien race Loki had tricked into helping him this time. However when he rounds the corner, he almost runs into Agent Sitwell. Agent Sitwell doesn't notice, because he has Natasha half out of her uniform and she's climbing him like a jungle gym. It's not as if Clint hasn't seen Natasha in compromising positions before, and he rather likes Jasper Sitwell, but he really, really doesn't want to deal with an awkward confrontation just now.

12. It's not the first time Clint's heard Pepper and Tony yelling at each other, but that doesn't mean he likes it any better. Tony won't stay in a hospital; so once the S.H.I.E.L.D. medtechs patch him up enough, he's back at the tower. Problem is he's no better at taking care of himself when he's injured than he is any other time. Hence the yelling and the employment of Clint's ninja-like skills to slip unobtrusively away.

13. It's certainly not the first time he's fought alongside Coulson (not even close). Nor is it the first time that he's found it incredibly hot to watch Coulson go from mild-mannered suit to smokin' badass. It is, however, the first time Clint's seen Coulson use a doughnut to incapacitate someone. And it's most definitely the first time he's gotten hard watching a man doing anything with a pastry. Clint prays he can will his erection down before Coulson notices.

14. Truth be told, Clint has wondered whether an Asgardian's anatomy and physiology are the same as a human's. He's contemplated asking, but has decided living with the mystery is preferable to the no doubt enthusiastic explanation and possible demonstration he's likely to get from Thor. That, however, might have been preferable to accidentally walking in on Jane and Thor in a practical application of said anatomy. Clint quickly backs out of the room, but not before noticing that though there are definite differences, it certainly doesn't seem to hinder any of the enjoyment.

15. Clint has a deep fondness for 'the other guy', not in the least because he's protected Clint more than once and calls him 'Hawky'. But if 'the other guy' is forced out with pain, all bets are off. Clint doesn't think 'the other guy' will actually hurt him even in these circumstances, but he would've rather not put it to the test. However, the latest would-be ruler of the world is more than happy to try the experiment. There's no helping it now; Clint braces himself as a bleeding Banner morphs.

16. The whole team has been watching them clumsily flirt for weeks now. So much so that they now have a pool as to whether Bruce or Darcy will be the one to actually make the first move and when it'll be. If his glimpse of Bruce's head between Darcy's legs and her accompanying moans are anything to go by, it's fairly obvious that a first move has been made, as well as a second and a third and very possibly a home run. Clint ponders how they're going to determine who won the bet as he makes his escape.

17. Clint has never been so terrified. It isn't a feeling he's used to when standing next to Phil Coulson. Aggravated, annoyed, impatient, turned on and any number of other adjectives, but not afraid, no matter what the situation. Until now. Never before has he been taken home to meet the parents; never wanted to be. However for Phil, he'll brave anything. Clint gives a curt nod and Phil rings the doorbell.

18. It's not like Clint hadn't suspected—the banter during missions lately had become decidedly more flirty—but it's a whole different thing to walk in on a half-naked Captain America trying frantically to divest Tony of the clothes he wore under the Iron Man suit that day. Clint freezes for a moment, caught in the absolute perfection of Steve's chest. Then he remembers all the inventive ways Tony can make his life hell.

19. It's the stupidity of it all that bothers him more than the pain. The fact that this was supposed to be such a simple mission. That S.H.I.E.L.D. had assured Clint they didn't need to wait for Agent Coulson, that he'd be in and out in no time. And Clint had bought it. Idiot. He shifts on the cold cell floor, trying to put less pressure on the leg he's pretty sure they broke last time they questioned him and waits.

20. Normally Clint likes nothing better than partying with the Avengers. Watching Tony match Thor drink for drink, or Nat teach Steve another dance step always fills him with an inexplicable fondness. And this is certainly one of the best parties they've had in a while. However as fun as this is and as gorgeous as Phil looks in his tux, Clint would really like to take him upstairs and divest him of it. It's not like everyone won't keep celebrating without them. Clint winds his way through the reception guests towards Phil—his husband—laces their fingers together and tugs him towards the door.