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new jersey is a punchline

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It's been one of the longest days of her life and for all that she had had every intention of collapsing face first into Clint's bed and sleeping for a week, Kate finds that she's too wired for that.

She beats the pillow a couple of times with her fist and makes another half-hearted effort at sleep for a few more minutes before giving up with a huff.

She spends the next ten minutes staring at the ceiling, contemplating how Lucky would react to a four AM walk in the rain, before she realizes that she can hear the squeaking of the couch, as if Clint is doing some tossing and turning himself.

"Hey Clint," Kate whisper yells into the other room. "You awake?"

Please don't be masturbating, she thinks, please don't be masturbating.

"This couch sucks!" Clint calls back. "My feet keep hanging off the side."

Kate laughs and impatiently pushes the covers aside to hop out of bed, taking a second to frown at how cold she is in the early morning air, clad in just a pair of old boxers and a faded Ramones t-shirt (both borrowed from Clint, of course).

"You're coming with me," she says to the bed covers, dragging them up and around her before she shuffles into the living room.

"That's a good look you've got going on there, boss," she says.

Clint is scrunched every which way onto the couch, one foot hanging off the end and the other on the floor, all with a couple of different pillows scattered on top of him, as if he wasn't quite sure what to do with them.

"Shhh, be nice to me in my hour of need. I think I might have pulled something in my back lying on this thing."

"Nice? You're the one who called me your ward. I'm not your Robin, Clint. You know that's not how this works, right?"

"Of course," Clint says.

"If I wanted to become your sidekick, I'd go around calling myself - . I don't know. Young Hawk. Hawkette. Hawk Girl."

"You would never let anyone call you those things, girly."

Kate gives Clint a pointed, "well, no shit" glare.

"You're looking at this the wrong way, Katie. Have you ever read a Batman comic without Robin? Dude's useless as shit, the only thing he knows how to do is brood and act like a douchebag. It's like Batman thinks Robin is his sidekick but really, Robin is his partner who keeps him from acting like too much of a douchebag."

Kate grins at him fondly from underneath her moving fortress of blankets. "Don't worry, boss, you're not nearly as big of a douchebag as Batman."

"Well, duh, Katie," Clint says. "I may lack self-awareness in many things but at least I know you're not my sidekick."

"Because I can kick your ass?"

"Because you can kick my ass."

"And Jersey is awesome?"

"Don't push it, Hawkeye."

Kate yawns, her tiredness hitting her again all of a sudden like a freight train. "Come on, you big lug, your bed's bigger than I thought it was. We can both crash on it."

"Oh thank God," Clint says, flailing to get out from underneath his blankets and pillows. "I was kinda hoping you would take pity on me and my old man back."

"I am a kind and gracious soul, it's true."

"It's my bed," Clint says, feeling the need to point that one out again.

Kate makes a sound that was meant to come out as a disparaging scoff but turns into another yawn about halfway through.

The two of them collapse onto the bed, a great mass of blankets and tired limbs, and fall asleep within seconds.

Outside, the storm rages on.