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Dog Parents

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The first time Clint realized that his relationship with Kate was not just mentor-protégé or best friends Clint was leaning against the counter, still in pajamas because screw it, it’s Saturday, when Kate came in. He slid her coffee cup across the table to her, even though he was surprised she was over this early, he always had her mug ready and filled with coffee just in case. Last he heard she was catching up with Cassie now that she was back from the dead. He’d been there before. The girl had his sympathies. She took the mug and took an immediate sip, groaning in delight as he had made it how he knew she liked it. After several minutes of just standing in companionable silence sipping their coffee Kate turned to him.

“So what special occasion caused the lesser Hawkeye to wake up before noon and make me my favorite swill of coffee?” He rolled his eyes at the ‘lesser Hawkeye’ jab, but didn’t disagree, because, well, she wasn’t wrong.

“Honestly, I feel rested. I got about sixteen hours of uninterrupted sleep. So I can actually appear as a functioning adult.” He answered, letting his own cup of coffee warm his hands. “How’s Cassie holding up?” Her hand stopped halfway to her lips with her mug.

“You remembered?” He furrowed his brow at her.

“Course I did. Cassie is important to you. She came back from the dead. I’d say it didn’t happen everyday, but our lives are pretty fucked so…” She gave him a shy smile. They weren’t genuinely nice to each other much, preferring their sarcastic banter instead. She was about to open up her mouth, maybe to be nice back, but sadly Clint would never find out as her eyes flicked to the living room where Lucky was lounging. Her eyes bugged out of her skull as she abandoned her coffee to sprint into the living room. Clint pursed his lips and followed at a more leisurely pace.

He came face to point with one of his arrows as Kate pointed at his face accusingly. He backed up, just saving his coffee from spilling.

“The hell, Kate?” He tried to take the arrow from her, but she pulled it back and slapped his fingers with it, eliciting a yelp from the older archer.

“No, you tell me what the hell Barton! Why was Lucky chewing on your arrows?! And an explosive one at that?” He glared at the arrow, seeing it was chewed along the shaft, and then glanced at the arrowhead, and seeing it was one of his more… destructive creations, cursed internally. How to turn this around…?

“You don’t trust Lucky? He is a smart dog, Katie-Kate, he knows not to bite the arrowhead. Look at his face Katie, he knows you don’t trust him.” He pointed at Lucky who, damn him, looked very pleased with himself, He had his tail wagging and tongue hanging out the side of his mouth. Thanks a lot buddy.

“Clint, you are usually good with Lucky. Maybe too much pizza sometimes, but I let it slide cause it’s endearing! This is way too far!” Kate looked incredibly pissed. So defending himself had not been the best option. Time to try a different tactic.

“I’m sorry Kate. I didn’t know. I thought I put my arrows away. They must have fallen out of the quiver when I put it away. Please don’t kill me.” She glared at him as if gauging his worth before sighing.

“Just don’t let it happen again. You had a mission last night and you did get sleep like an actual adult.” He took the arrow from her hand and went over to the cabinet that held his quiver. He placed it back in swapping it out for a regular arrow. He tossed it to Lucky who grabbed it from the ground and began chewing on it again. He turned around to see a glaring Kate.

“What? It’s not an explosive one. He likes Arrows. It makes him the third Hawkeye!” At her unimpressed look, which was followed by her crossing her arms and jutting her hip out, a sight he was all too familiar with. Time to try and defuse this situation.“I think Lucky might give you a run for best Hawkeye.”

She smiled softly as she looked at the content dog on the couch. “Yeah, he just might… Wanna order pizza before I scold you some more? We can even watch your stupid show afterwards.” He smiled and tossed her the phone.

She took it and walked back towards the kitchen, but not before calling over her shoulder, “We are getting my favorite. Consider it your apology for endangering our dog. Oh, and you’re paying, Hawkass.”

Yeah, he and Kate were mentor and protégé, they were also best friends hinging on a brother sister relationship, but most of all and maybe the most important is that they were parents. Dog parents, but as Clint looked at the happy one-eyed dog sitting on the couch chewing on an arrow and waiting for the pizza to get here so he could eat half of it, he realized that he couldn’t imagine being a dog parent with anyone else.