Clint rubbed Tony’s back, soft and slow, soothingly. He had never liked cuddling, but this was actually nice.
Tony entered the bedroom, smiling at the sight of Clint stretched out on his bed.
Clint rolled onto his side so he could better see Tony, frowning when he got a look at the man. “…….you look like shit.”
“Gee, thanks. Love you too.”
“Shut the fuck up.” Clint rose, moving to Tony’s side, stroking his cheek. “You’ve got bags under your eyes. Have you been sleeping?”
“Dammit, Tony.” He put his hand to Tony’s forehead. “….AND you have a fever. You dumbass. You should be in bed. Why the hell aren’t you in your pajamas?”
“I was working…” Tony moved to get them, but Clint stopped him.
“You stay where you are. I can’t believe you’re not in bed.” He dug through the drawer stuffed full of pajamas, quickly finding the pair he both loved and hated the most. Tony collected silly pajamas, and after the two men had become a couple, Natasha had taken great joy in giving him a pair of pink ones with little cupids on them, much to Tony’s amusement and Clint’s irritation. But Tony looked cute as hell in them.
Tony smiled when he saw which pajamas Clint had chosen. “You really love those, don’t you.”
“Shut up.” Clint began carefully helping Tony out of his clothes and into the pajamas. “Tasha’s still a jerk.”
“What…….no sense of humor, Cupid?”
Clint gave him a swat to the side of the head for that joke. “Asshole.”
“Ha. You totally love the pajamas, no matter what you say.”
“Well, yeah. You look adorable in them.”
Tony arched an eyebrow at him. “…..adorable?” He looked incredibly amused at the use of the term.
“Yeah. You look…..” Clint cocked his head, examining Tony. “…….you look like a twelve year old.”
Tony burst out laughing. “WOW. Thanks a lot.”
“Hey, it’s a good thing!”
“Oh, really? I fail to see how.”
“You look damn cute!”
“Yeah? And do you enjoy having sex with twelve year olds? Cuz if not, I don’t see why you’d want your boyfriend to look like one.”
“Well, we’re not going to have sex right now. You’re sick. And honestly……..no, I don’t think I’d ever be able to fuck you while you wore those.”
“Pfft.” Tony shook his head. “Remind me to thank Tasha for compromising my sex life.”
Clint laughed. “Hey, you have about fifty more pairs of pajamas. Your sex life will be just fine. Now, get in bed.”
“Yes, mom.” Tony scooted back on the bed, slipping under the covers. Clint moved to join him and Tony shook his head. “You too. Pajamas.”
“Fine.” Clint returned to the dresser.
“The purple ones.”
“……Tony…..you don’t REALLY want us to wear matching pajamas.”
“…………that is RIDICULOUSLY gay.”
“I don’t care. You picked mine, I get to pick yours. And I like your purple ones.”
Clint sighed. “Fine.” He pulled out the purple pajamas he had gotten as a gag gift years ago, covered with hearts and arrows. Tony was grinning as he watched Clint change. Clint glared. “You’re so evil.”
“Yup. Now come cuddle me.”
“That’s right…….I promised you cuddles, didn‘t I.”
“Yea. You did.”
Clint moved to the bed, sliding in beside Tony. “C’mere.” Practically beaming, Tony snuggled close. Clint wrapped his arms around the man, taking in that warmth that always seemed to emanate from Tony….even moreso now while he had the fever. Clint frowned. He didn’t like that. “Did you eat today?”
There was a long silence, and Clint was pretty sure he knew the answer even before Tony gave it.
“………I don’t remember.”
Clint sighed. “Tony…..”
“I know, I know, I’m sorry! I forgot!”
“Yeah. Okay. Well, I brought something light. Figured you could try. Should eat. Everyone always tells me even when you’re sick or whatever, you should eat. Unless it’s a stomach wound. Something about….things. I don’t know. But yeah…. “
Tony glanced up at him, smiling. “….you brought me food?”
Clint almost flushed. There was something about that smile that always got him. “…….I bring you food a lot.”
“Yea but it’s different this time.”
“……..why is it different?”
“Cuz I’m sick, and you’re taking care of me.”
Clint shook his head, smiling. “Idiot.” He rubbed Tony’s back, soft and slow, soothingly. He had never liked cuddling, but this was actually nice. “…..really think you should eat something.”
“……..I remember orange juice. I drank some orange juice.”
“Okay. Well. Guess it’s something.” He paused. “REAL orange juice? Not that fake crap?”
Tony looked up at him again. “…….I can’t remember if I ate breakfast and you expect me to remember what kind of orange juice I drank?”
“Hey, I would remember if I drank crap orange juice.”
“Well it TASTED good!” Tony answered defensively.
“Well, whatever.” Clint poked Tony’s waist, making the man wriggle. “Orange juice still isn’t a good substitute for real food.” He released Tony, who let out a whine, and slid from the bed.
“Hey, where’re you going?”
“To get your soup!” Even as he left the room, he could hear Tony’s surprised voice echoing after him down the hallway.
“Soup? You brought me soup?”
At that Clint DID flush. It felt ridiculously sappy to be bringing home soup to comfort his sick lover. Tony Stark was turning him into a complete sap, and he had no idea how.
He hoped by the time he returned to Tony that the flush would be gone, but if the burning in his cheeks was any indication, it wasn’t. Tony was sitting up in bed, and the surprise was evident on his face as he looked at Clint and the bowl of soup in his hands.
“……..you did. You really did bring me soup.”
“Yes, I brought you soup.” He brought it over to the bed. “Careful, it’s still hot.”
Tony took the bowl, looking ridiculously happy, and Clint had to move away before he turned even redder. He returned to his own side of the bed, sliding in beside Tony once more. Tony was simply sitting there, beaming. Clint poked him.
Tony smiled. “Yes, mom.” But eat he did.
Clint watched. “You really need to make sure you eat at least once a day.”
“Yea well what can I say. I take shitty care of myself. Besides, we can’t all have your fine physique.”
Clint laughed. “What the hell does my ‘fine physique’ have to do with anything?”
“Well, no matter how hard I try to keep in shape or how well I take care of myself, I’ll never look like you, so hey, why try?”
“……uh. Well. Yeah. Why compete. But A: I am very fond of YOUR physique, and B: that still has nothing to do with making sure you eat when you’re sick. Or at all, for that matter.”
Tony glanced at him, grinning. “…you enjoy my awesome body, Fabio?”
That made Clint laugh. “Oh, please. I’m much hotter than him. And yeah. Yeah, I do.”
“HA! Yea, you’re much, MUCH hotter. And good…..good to know you like how I look. Compared to you and Thor and Steve? Ha. I’m kinda twiggy.
“Dude, compared to Thor and Steve, I’M twiggy.”
“Hey, you’re not twiggy compared to Steve.” Tony poked at Clint with his spoon. “He may have crazy super strength, but you’re equally built. And you earned yours, you weren’t injected with it.”
For some reason, that made Clint flush with pride and pleasure. Only Tony could do that to him. “Thanks. That…ah. Thanks….” He realized they were getting off topic, and shook his head. “But seriously. Still has nothing to do with getting sick.”
Tony really DID poke him with the spoon this time. “Shut up, I’m complimenting you.”
“Hey, I said thanks! You shut up. And eat your soup.”
Tony grinned. “….I can’t believe you brought me soup.”
Clint could feel that burning heat creeping up his cheeks again. “……shut the hell up.”
Tony laughed. “I will not. It’s cute as hell.”
“Oh my God. Shut up and eat the soup before I drown you in it.”
“You wouldn’t. You love me too much.”
“Don’t try me.”
Tony was still grinning, but he did resume eating. Clint just watched him, cheeks aflame, he hoped not visibly. He NEVER blushed. But damn could Tony come close sometimes.
Tony drank up the last bit of soup, holding the bowl out to show Clint that it was empty. “Satisfied?”
“Yeah.” He took the bowl from Tony, setting it on the bedside table. “Thanks.”
“You’re welcome.” Tony smiled at him, giving him ridiculously imploring puppy eyes. “…..cuddle me some more?”
Clint had to laugh. “Ass. C’mere.” He pulled Tony close, stroking back sweat-dampened hair. “……you really do have a fever.”
“Yeah, it is. You need to sleep more. And eat. And just take care of yourself in general.”
“Mm. I sleep better when you’re around.”
Clint chuckled. “Glad I can be of some help.”
“Hnn……you’re lots of help.”
“Mmhm.” Tony snuggled closer, his head on Clint’s chest. “…….I don’t know what you were talking about, these cuddles are awesome.”
Clint laughed. “Oh, yeah?”
“Yeah.” Tony was starting to sound sleepy. “Awesome.”
“Heh……good.” He kissed Tony’s forehead. “Get some sleep.”
“Mm.” Tony gave an affirmative mumble. “Love you.”
Clint smiled, stroking his hair. “I love you, too.” He continued to stroke Tony’s soft brown hair, waiting for Tony to fall asleep, listening for his breath to grow soft and even, only then allowing himself to fall asleep as well.
Tony woke up, looking around the room with bleary-eyed confusion. “…….Clint?” The man was nowhere to be seen. He did notice, however, that he felt about four times better than he had the day before. He was about to slide out of bed when Clint appeared in the doorway. “There you are! I thought you’d left.”
Clint shook his head. “Idiot. I wouldn’t leave. Especially not when you’re sick. What kind of asshole do you think I am?”
“Yea……sorry.” Tony noticed that Clint was holding a tray. “…….did you bring me breakfast?”
He couldn’t help the huge smile that sprang to his face. “……you’re amazing.”
“Yeah. Yeah, I am. Now sit up.”
Tony pushed himself back against the pillows, and Clint carefully set the tray down on his lap. Tony looked at it in disbelief, then up at Clint, who was trying desperately to look nonchalant, and failing miserably. “……pancakes? You made me pancakes?!”
“…………yeah. So what?”
“……you made me pancakes.”
“Look, I don’t see what’s so hard to understand about this.”
“YOU MADE ME PANCAKES.”
“Tony, shut up and eat the fucking pancakes.”
Tony’s face was aching, he was smiling so hard. “…….God, I love you so fucking much.”
And, as much as he insisted he never did, Clint Barton was blushing. “………I love you too. Now eat.”
Tony patted the bed beside him. “Sit with me.”
Clint sat, purposefully avoiding Tony’s gaze. Tony looked at the rest of the tray. There was a glass of orange juice, and he nudged Clint, pointing at it. “…..is it real?”
Clint laughed at that. “Yeah. Not that fake junk you had in your fridge.”
“Ahh.” Tony took a sip and swished it around in his mouth, contemplating. “……so THIS is what real orange juice tastes like.”
“Yup. Good, right?”
“Definitely.” He picked up the small container of syrup and poured it over his pancakes. “Blueberry.” He smiled. “You remembered.”
“Of course I remembered. I know you like blueberries.” Tony looked at Clint, who looked defensively back. “….what.”
Tony grinned. “Snuggles, soup…..orange juice, pancakes with blueberry syrup……you know, if this is how I’m going to be treated, I think I should be sick more often.”
Clint couldn’t help but laugh. “Yeah, right. If I find out you’re doing that, you don’t get awesome sick treatment. Ever. Not even when you’re actually sick.”
“Aww, you meanie.” Tony was actually quiet for several minutes as he ate. “Geez, I’m hungry.”
“You ought to be. You slept for almost two days.”
That brought Tony up short and he stared at Clint, dumbfounded. “……..two days? You’re shitting me.”
Tony didn’t seem to know what to say. “……….FUCK. I have so much work to do!”
“See? This is what happens when you don’t take care of yourself. You get sick, and exhausted, and then you end up losing valuable time.”
Tony just stared at him. “And you……you were here the whole time?”
“Yeah….we covered this already. I wasn’t going to leave you.”
“……two days. I kept you from your work for two days.” Tony looked incredibly guilty.
“Hey, don’t worry about it.” Clint shifted closer so he could slip an arm around Tony. “It’s not like I had much to do. Was pretty much finishing up that mission the day I came…my replacement took care of the last bit. Coulson okay’d it. He’ll probably still be pissy later, but whatever….”
Tony looked slightly pacified, but it was obvious he was still feeling guilty. Clint poked him. “Hey. Seriously. Don’t worry about it. I’d much rather you got some rest. You need it, you fucking idiot.”
“Hey, I’m not an idiot. I’m a genius.”
“A genius who doesn’t know how to take care of himself also qualifies as an idiot.”
“No.” Clint put his hand to Tony’s forehead. “….well, your fever seems to be gone. You should stay in bed the rest of the day, but I think by tomorrow, you should be fine.”
Tony smiled. “Thanks.”
Clint frowned. “For what?”
“For being the best boyfriend ever.”
Again, Clint felt that flush trying to fight it’s way back up into his cheeks. “You’re welcome. I just want to take care of you.”
“And you do. Awesomely.”
“That’s cuz I’m awesome.”
Tony laughed. “I’ll agree with that. Now, if I have to stay in bed….” he gave Clint another taste of those huge puppy dog eyes. “…..snuggle me some more?”
Clint shook his head, smiling, but he took the now empty tray from Tony’s lap and set it aside on the bedside table, and held out his arms to Tony. “C’mere.” Tony burrowed close to him, into Clint’s arms.
“…….you know something?”
“Mm?” Tony’s voice was somewhat muffled against Clint’s chest.
“…….I’m starting to think this cuddling thing isn’t so bad after all.”