The mission was going well, but Clint was finding it hard to concentrate. It had been almost an hour and still he hadn’t heard from Tony. He didn’t like that he was out here and Tony was alone at home, having to deal with the advances of some man.
The mission was going well, but Clint was finding it hard to concentrate. It had been almost an hour and still he hadn’t heard from Tony. He didn’t like that he was out here and Tony was alone at home, having to deal with the advances of some man. Will Branford. The name itself disgusted him. And to think of Tony by himself……Clint knew that Tony could take care of himself, but this man was a SHIELD agent. He didn’t like it.
Just then, his phone buzzed, and he hurriedly pulled it from his pocket. It was a text from Tony. ‘Will’s gone. Problem solved. Hurry up and get that gorgeous ass home safe. I love you.’ Before Clint could even finish reading the message, the phone buzzed again, a second message popping up. ‘Oh, and I’m on my way to bed. Take that, mother hen.’
Clint smiled at the words, slipping his phone back into his pocket. Tony was okay. And it looked as though he were actually going to get some sleep. Maybe things would all work out okay after all.
~The next evening~
Clint pushed open the front door to their house. “…..Tony?” The upstairs lights were all on, which was strange. Usually Tony was at work down in one of the labs, and he would forget to turn on any other lights in the house. Maybe Jarvis turned them on? But then he heard Tony call out from down the hallway.
“….I’m in here.” Tony sounded….strange. As though…….as though he has bad news waiting. Clint felt his heartbeat speed up.
He found Tony in the living room, settled deep into one of the huge white couches. “What’s wrong.”
Tony looked up at him. “…….nothing. You’re home. Everything’s okay.”
Clint’s eyes narrowed. “Tony.”
“What.” Tony rose from the couch, moving to meet Clint. “I mean it.” He moved to hug Clint, reaching for him, and immediately Clint spotted the problem, pulling out of reach.
“What the hell happened to your hand.”
“Yeah that. What the hell happened?” Clint gently took Tony’s arm in hand, pulling it closer so he could get a look. Tony’s right hand was swollen and purple.
“Um……..I may have gotten in an…..altercation.”
“………Tony….” Clint sighed. Tony chewed his lower lip, looking at Clint. “……..was it Will?”
Tony looked away for a minute, silent. Clint nearly spoke up again, but then Tony looked at him, those brown eyes so serious and apologetic and worried all at once. “……..he kissed me. So I hit him.”
“I hit him,” Tony supplied helpfully, as though that made it all better.
“Fucking hell! He kissed you?!”
“And I hit him!”
“Yeah, and you broke your hand!”
“I did not! There aren’t any broken bones. I checked.”
Clint just shook his head, lifting Tony’s hand again to take another look. He was right…..nothing was broken. But it looked terrible, bruised and swollen, and fuck, Tony wasn’t going to be able to get any real work accomplished for at least a month. He could feel the rage burning in him.
He looked up, meeting Tony’s concerned gaze. “………….I’ll be back.”
“Wait, what? Clint, no. Where’re you going?”
“Get you some bandages.” Clint yanked the front door open.
“Clint, don’t kill him.”
“I’m just getting some bandages.” He slipped into the car. “I’ll be back within the hour. Promise.” And he sped off down the road, Tony fading into the distance behind him.
Clint stormed into SHIELD headquarters, blue eyes darting all around. He had never met Will Branford before, but he had looked him up in the system and he would never forget that face, no matter how much he wished he could. Chiseled jawline, green eyes, black hair……there. There he was.
Clint was pleased to notice that Tony’s punch had hit home…..Will was sporting a black eye. The man was with two other agents, talking and laughing, and he didn’t even notice Clint approaching (some agent you are). Before he had time to register what was going on, Clint had taken hold of his wrist and, wrenching his arm behind his back, popped it from the shoulder socket, dislocating it.
Will fell to his knees with a screech of surprised pain. Clint only pulled harder on the injured arm, leaning in to grab a fistful of hair, yanking Will’s head back so he could look him in the eye.
“You. Do you know who I am?”
Will struggled to focus. “…….you………Clint Barton?”
“That’s right. And Tony Stark is my boyfriend. So you stay the fuck away from him, you hear me, you piece of shit?”
Clint ignored Hill’s voice, all his attention focused on Will. “You got that?”
“Good.” Clint shoved Will away from him, the man landing in a heap on the floor.
“……you dislocated my fucking arm!”
“Yeah. You’re Goddamn lucky that’s all I did to you. So stay the fuck away, or I’ll do much worse.”
Will looked up at Clint, a smirk crossing his face. He was good-looking, Clint hated to admit it, even with the black eye. “And what if he decides he wants me around? He’s pretty insatiable……or he used to be, anyway. Who would’ve thought…..Tony Stark, such a needy little slut. Hey, you ever need any help with him, you just let me know…”
And Clint couldn’t help it. His fists clenched of their own accord, and he socked Will…..right in his one remaining good eye. “There. Now you’re symmetrical.” And before he could say or do anything else that would land him in trouble, Clint turned and headed straight out of the building.
Tony was still outside the house when Clint returned, sitting on the front steps like a little kid waiting for the bus. He leapt up as soon as the car pulled in, rushing to Clint. “What happened? Are you alright?”
“I’m fine, Tony.” Clint pulled Tony into his arms, being careful of his injured hand, holding him tight.
“But…….Will……you didn’t…..I mean……………are you in trouble?”
Clint was silent for a long time. “………I don’t know.” He pulled back to look at Tony, eyes full of guilt. “……..I’m sorry. I broke my promise.”
Tony looked confused. “….what?”
“Yesterday. On the phone. I promised I wouldn’t hurt him. Then I go and dislocate his shoulder.”
Tony stared. “….really?”
Clint nodded. “And I hit him.” He looked incredibly sad and guilty. “I’m so sorry.”
“Oh.” Tony shook his head. “No. No. Don’t be sorry.” He kissed Clint, stroking his hair. “….I sorta figured you would. He deserved…..well…….something.”
“I know. I know he did. But I promised.”
“Hey. It’s okay. Like I said, he deserved it. I mean, I hit him, but I think I hurt myself more than him.” At those words, Clint tensed, his grip on Tony tightening. “Hey……I’m fine.” Tony stroked Clint’s soft hair. “You’re fine. Don’t worry about it. It’s done now.”
“…….yeah. It’s done.” Clint nuzzled Tony’s throat, inhaling that scent that was Tony’s alone, so wonderful and calming. “………well………….it’s done until Coulson decides how to punish me.”
“…….oh yea.” Tony pulled back to look at Clint. “…..well……..from the information we have, you have three days off. So let’s just go with that and ignore everything else. Take it as it comes.”
Clint smiled. “I can work with that.”
“Good.” Tony kissed Clint. “Then come to bed. You owe me some cuddles.”
The next morning, Clint woke up to find Tony already awake and in the kitchen, struggling to prepare breakfast. It wasn’t going so well, by the look of things. Clint came up behind him, kissing his bare shoulder.
“Oh!” Tony jumped in surprise, dropping an egg on the floor, where it cracked open and made a mess. “Um…….” He looked from Clint to the egg and back again. “………that one’s on you.”
Clint laughed. “Oh, cuz you were doing such a good job before I got here.”
“Hey, I’ll have you know that I make a brilliant omlette.”
“Oh, is that so.”
“Yea, that’s so.” Tony moved across the kitchen, picking up a plate and returning. “Now be nice, or I won’t give you all this toast I made you.”
Clint’s eyes lit up. “You made me toast?”
Tony laughed. “Only you could get so excited over toast.” He set the plate down in front of Clint.
“Shut up. Toast is awesome.” Clint grabbed a piece. There were at least six pieces there. “God, you’re the best.”
There was a knock at the door. Clint looked at Tony, brow furrowed. “….who’d be here at 9 in the morning?”
“No idea.” Tony headed to get the door, leaving Clint munching happily on his toast. “….aw, fuck.” Clint turned, wondering who would elicit such a reaction.
……..it was Coulson.
“Um….” Clint slid from his chair, rising. “……good morning, sir.”
“Good morning.” Coulson moved into the house, basically ignoring Tony, who was following him closely, like some kind of nervous shadow, bobbing his way over to Clint and taking his hand.
Coulson just stood there, staring at the two of them. Tony was glaring defensively, obviously very anxious about what was going to happen to Clint and fully prepared to fight about it. Clint had no idea what to do. He’d had many an argument with Coulson and knew that they were impossible to win. “…..um……”
“That was quite a little show you put on yesterday.”
Clint felt Tony’s grip on his hand tighten; he squeezed back reassuringly.
“I’m sure you’ll be happy to know that Agent Branford will recover.”
“Dammit.” Clint couldn’t help it; the word just slipped out. Coulson raised an eyebrow at him, and Clint flushed, but he didn’t take it back.
After a long moment of silence, Coulson continued. “….but for the good of everyone, he’s being transferred to another department. He’ll now be stationed in Iran.” Clint’s face lit up. Coulson gave a dry smile. “Do try to contain your excitement, Agent Barton.”
“Well, that’s all for now. You two…….try to stay out of trouble. If that’s even possible.” The look on Coulson’s face stated that he clearly didn’t think it was.
“Yes, sir. Thank you, sir.”
The door clicked softly shut behind Coulson. Clint turned to Tony, grinning. “See? Told you I’m Coulson’s favorite.”
Tony snorted. “Yea, or he just didn’t want you to destroy the entire fucking earth when he transferred you away from me.”
~two days later~
Somehow the voice managed to cut through the loud noise of the crowd. Clint turned, searching for the source, and saw a fellow SHIELD agent approaching. “Yeah?”
“Message for you from Agent Coulson, sir.” He handed over an envelope. “New orders.”
“Thanks.” With a nod, the man ran off. Clint opened the letter, brows going up with surprise as he read it.
“What…..what is it?”
“……I don’t have to leave tomorrow. SHIELD’s giving me two more days off.”
“You’re kidding me. That’s great!”
“Hell yeah it’s great. I wonder why though. Why’d I get time off?”
“Definitely not for good behavior. Ow!” Tony rubbed his arm where Clint had punched him. “Asshole.”
“You. Here.” Clint tugged Tony closer. “Your tie’s crooked.”
Tony smiled as Clint straightened his bow tie. “You’re so cute.”
“Shut the fuck up.” Clint sighed. “Why do I even come to these things with you?”
“What, the galas?” Tony shrugged. “Cuz you love me. Duh.”
“Yeah, yeah. You’re still a pain in the ass.”
“Yup.” Tony smiled. “Y’know, I bet Coulson gave you the time cuz he secretly found it funny……you punching Will.”
Clint laughed. “That would be pretty great. And Coulson does have a pretty weird sense of humor.”
Tony’s smile faded suddenly; he nudged Clint. “……hey.”
Clint looked to see where Tony’s gaze was….and there was Will. “…..ah.” That familiar anger was rising, but then Tony snickered, and he looked at him, surprised.
Tony looked at Clint, grinning. “….he looks like a raccoon.”
Clint burst out laughing. Both of Will’s eyes were bruised, ringed in black, and he really did look like a raccoon. “A fucking idiot is what he looks like.”
“Mm……that, too.” Tony grinned at Clint, taking his hand. “Come on.”
Once again, Will didn’t notice their presence until they were practically upon him, and seriously, Clint wanted to know how the hell this guy made it into SHIELD.
Will jumped when he saw who it was. “Oh……hi.”
Tony gave Will a big old grin. “Love the ensemble. Especially the pair of black eyes…..they really complete the entire look. Tie it together real nice.”
Clint bit back a snort of laughter. Tony turned to him, smiling, moving closer.
“…..have I ever told you how sexy you look in a tux?”
Clint smiled, letting Tony get close, not even caring for once how it must look, not even worrying about the media or reporters or anyone who might see them and suspect their relationship, because this was Tony and Tony was his, dammit, his. “…..yeah, I think you may’ve mentioned it before.”
“……well.” Tony was inches away, smiling up at Clint from beneath his lashes. “……..think you look even sexier out of one. You wanna head home?”
Clint’s hand found Tony’s, giving it a gentle squeeze. “Sound’s good to me.”