Clint was rewiring the hall light when his phone buzzed. It was only going to be matter of time until it happened, he’d been waiting since he’d watched the explosion in Vienna on the news. He was more surprised it had taken this long, he figured the hunt for Steve's pal would be an all hands on deck situation. But they’d brought him in without him, one big impressive chase Clint had definitely not hacked satellites to watch. But of course there was still drama that he really didn’t want to get dragged into.
He was a simple man. All this political shit, the Accords, it went over his head; hell, he’d never actually finished high school. Or at least that's what he would say if someone asked his opinion on the matter, which no one had. No one ever thought to ask him, well besides Nat and Laura, but they usually knew what he was thinking before he did. Mostly he’d tried not to think too much about it, besides his worry for Wanda. He was retired, his thoughts didn’t matter, he wasn’t even being asked to sign.
Things were going sideways now though, lines being drawn, blood spilt, bodies on the ground. If he’d been a betting man he would have won when looking at his phone revealed Cap’s number. He figured Tony wouldn't think to call him, Tony had never been particularly impressed with his skill set. He knew Nat wouldn’t call, she and Laura were in agreement on him needing to be home. While he’d been happy to leave active status, he wasn’t as sure as they were that he was ready to be done doing dumb shit, but it was impossible to argue with both of them. Steve though, Steve would feel guilty but he’d still call. No one believed in teamwork like Cap did, he valued having people he trusted at his back.
Clint took a breath before answering, he knew what was coming but he hadn't made up his mind on how he was gonna answer. He knew logically he should stay out of this mess, but how did you say no when Captain America asked for help?
“Hey there Cap.”
“Clint, thank you for answering, I wasn't sure you were going to, and I wouldn't have blamed you if you hadn't.” He sounded like the sincere, honest man Clint knew him to be, but Clint also knew being sincere did not always mean being right.
“Well I figure the least I can do is hear you out.” Clint didn't bother to try for enthusiastic.
“I hate to ask Clint, but I need to. I need your help, Bucky didn't set off that bomb and we’ve got a lead on something much worse. We need to move quickly. If you think about it, you’ll know it's the right thing to do.”
Clint tuned out at this point, thinking about that bit, the right thing to do. What was that really? Did the logic or well thought out arguments and counter arguments even matter? He had never been one to make decisions with his head, he trusted his gut more.
It had been his gut that told him to turn down the Swordsman when he asked Clint to join him. Yeah that had left him in a ditch full of arrows, but it had been the right thing to do. He may have lived a life in the grey but he had no interest in being a thief. He didn't want to live off of the suffering of others.
Working for shady organizations hadn’t been great, but what else did you do with a skill set like his? However, when one particular job in Chicago went south, the smart thing would have been to just cut his losses and run. But that day he made a purely emotional decision and risked everything to help a young woman. She had probably started out in love, but was now trapped, tied to the mob boss who didn’t want her leaving with his son. Clint got her out, this time getting a broken nose for his efforts; she hadn't been pleased when he tried to grab the kid off her hip and had a mean left hook. But really that had worked out in the long run, Laura and the kids were the best things in his life.
If he’d been thinking with his head there was no way he would have said yes to the one eyed guy with a serious leather fetish. There were plenty of ways to go straight, with far less personal risk and jobs with way less moral ambiguity. But he was used to being in the grey, and Fury had been willing to make all sorts of promises about protecting Laura and Cooper. And yeah, Shield turned out to be Hydra, but trusting Fury had been the right call.
When he'd been given the kill order on a Black Widow he didn’t think about it too much. It took some doing but he got her in his sights. She was bruised head to toe, bleeding, and exhausted, but she just tipped her head back and looked him in the eye. His gut told him she just needed a chance to be something other than whatever it was they’d made her into. So he made a call, lowered his bow, and brought her in.
That was what he did, trust his instincts. People would ask how he did the calculations so fast when making his impossible shots. They could never understand. It wasn’t math, it was instinct. So far it had worked out, in the long run at least. He had always seen better from a distance.
He pulled himself back into the present. Cap was still monologuing, and while Cap always gave a good speech, Clint wasn't too interested in what he had to say. His gut was telling him leaving Wanda tucked away “for her protection” was wrong, and that Steve was right about his friend. He didn't like going against Nat, but she knew how he made his decisions and he knew hers were much more calculated. He could never pin down her real motivations, but he trusted her.
“Fuck, Laura is going to be pissed.” There was a pause, but Clint didn't wait for Cap to recover from the sudden interruption, “So I’ll go get Wanda, anything else you need me to pick up on my way to you boss?”
“Umm , yeah actually, there's this guy Sam knows.”