They were so close now. Tony looked up at Clint from beneath his lashes. He had discovered over time that Clint had difficulty saying no when Tony looked at him this way, eyes hooded, a soft smile on his face.
It’s Tony POV! I tried hard for you guys, and J2 found a problem spot for me to fix! Yay!
Link to chapter 4 is here: https://nuwandasnicket.wordpress.com/2013/07/01/new-beginnings-chapter-4/
Tony entered the main workroom at SHIELD headquarters, eyes scanning the room. He knew exactly where Clint’s desk was, but it was sometimes difficult to locate it amongst the throng of people the room was always filled with. There. He headed straight over.
Clint was hard at work, typing away at some files. Tony was rather proud that he managed to get within speaking distance before Clint became aware of him. If they had been anywhere but within the safety of SHIELD headquarters, Clint would have been completely on his guard, and he wouldn’t have let someone get anywhere NEAR this close to him, but obviously the safety of the setting had allowed him to relax enough that Tony managed to get close. But Clint still didn’t relax completely. When Tony had almost reached him, Clint’s shoulder’s tensed as he became aware of the person behind him, and Tony couldn’t help but smile. It was ridiculously cute. Wanting to make a move before Clint could turn and see it was him, he leaned forward, nearly bent in half so he could whisper in Clint’s ear “whatcha working on?”
Clint spun around so fast that their heads nearly cracked together. “Tony!”
Tony burst out laughing at the reaction. “Hey there, babe.” He began to lean in for a kiss and then paused, looking questioningly at Clint for confirmation that it was okay. Smiling, Clint leaned up to meet him, giving him a quick kiss before glancing side to side to see if anyone had seen that. His cheeks were flushing. It was endearing and adorable all at once.
Tony gestured at the pile of papers. “Busy?”
“Not too bad. Just finishing up some briefs before I head out on the next mission.”
“Oh yea.” Tony had almost forgotten the mission….probably because he’d been trying to ignore it, as if not thinking about it would make it go away. Clint hadn’t been on many long distance missions since they had started dating, or any that had taken a great deal of time. This would really be the first. He would be in Europe for three days. It wasn’t TERRIBLE, but considering how much time they’d been spending together, it was pretty bad. And now Tony had more bad news to pile on top of that.
“What?” Clint’s face took on a wary expression; he knew whatever was coming couldn’t be good.
“I have to go out of the country.”
It didn’t take long for Clint to do the math. “….but then you’ll be gone when I get back!”
“Only for a day,” Tony answered hurriedly.
That news didn’t seem to pacify Clint. “Still too long.”
Tony didn’t like seeing Clint upset, that crestfallen look in his eyes, but at the same time a part of him was secretly pleased to see how much of an effect his absence was having on the other man. The fact that Clint was clearly going to miss him this much…..his heart fluttered. He still didn’t know what exactly it was that Clint felt for him, but it was clear that the man’s feelings were growing more and more each and every day. Maybe soon…..maybe…..maybe he’ll love me.
“Hey there, Stark.” Tony jumped, startled by the sudden appearance of that voice he knew all too well, a smug, teasing tone to it. Natasha. Turning, he came face to face with the smirking redhead.
“Tasha.” His reply was curt, but civil. She arched a brow at him, then her attention turned to Clint. Tony felt that anger stirring in him that he always felt when Natasha was around, particularly when she paid attention to Clint.
“What’s the matter, Barton?” She leaned against his desk. “Can’t survive a week without your boyfriend?”
Clint glowered at her. “It’s not a week.”
“You’re right. It’s not. Which makes you even more pathetic.” Clint’s only response was to throw a pencil at her but she caught it, laughing. “Cheer up Clint. You’ll have me to keep you company.”
“Yeah, and it looks like you plan to be as annoying as possible.” But despite himself, Clint was smiling.
“Oh, I’m going to do my best.” Natasha turned her attention to Tony, who was watching the exchange with some irritation. “By the way, Stark, I’ve got something for you.”
He looked at her with surprise. “You do?”
“Mmhm.” It was only then that he noticed the package in her hand: small and unassuming, brown paper wrapping tied with white string. She handed it to him. “Someone told me you like silly pajamas.”
Tony glanced at Clint. “….did they, now.” Clint gave Tony an apologetic smile; Tony glowered back at him, doing his best to convey with his eyes that Clint was going to pay for this. He tugged at the string, working open the tightly bound package, a look of almost apprehensive curiosity on his face. But it was Clint who reacted the most when Tony pulled the brown paper open to reveal the pajamas inside.
Natasha burst out laughing; Tony looked between the two of them in bewilderment, holding up the pair of neon pink pajamas covered in chubby little cartoon cupids.
“What? I thought he needed some to match your bow and arrow pjs.”
“I HATE YOU SO MUCH!”
Tony’s eyes widened. “OH MY GOD YOU HAVEN’T SHOWN ME THOSE YET!” Clint had told him about the purple pajamas, a gag gift from a friend years back (probably Natasha, now that Tony thought about it), but he had yet to see them.
“You haven’t?” Natasha looked surprised, though Tony would bet good money that it was feigned. “Clint, why would you hide your most stylish, sexiest pair of pajamas from your boyfriend?”
“I HATE YOU, NATASHA!” Clint’s face was bright red, from anger or embarrassment, Tony wasn’t sure. Probably both. And no matter how much he disliked Natasha, at this moment he was actually willing to give her a pass on her evil bitch status.
“Don’t worry,” Tony interjected. “He’ll bring them out. Wear them especially for me as a welcome home surprise this weekend…..won’t you, baby.”
“I HATE YOU BOTH.”
Tony laughed, setting the pajamas on Clint’s desk and moving to the man, wrapping his arms around him. Clint resisted but Tony didn’t let him escape, pulling him closer and giving him a soft kiss.
Clint was glaring. Unfortunately with the flushed cheeks and the obvious fact that he wasn’t truly mad at Tony (maybe Natasha, but not Tony), it wasn’t at all threatening. “I hate you.”
“You do not.”
“You’re a jerk.”
“Yup. And you knew that when you agreed to go out with me.”
Clint couldn’t help it….he smiled. “Sad but true.”
“Mmhm.” Tony tugged a lock of Clint’s hair. It was getting long. He’d need to cut it soon. “No avoiding the blame now, mister.”
Natasha was still watching from the sidelines, a small smirk on her face. “You two are making me sick. Get a room.”
Clint flipped her off. “If you don’t like it, fuck off.”
Natasha just laughed. “Maybe I will. And if you can disentangle yourselves for ten seconds, you still have paperwork to finish up.” Clint groaned. He had forgotten all about the paperwork. “Get it done, Barton. The sooner you finish, the sooner you can go find those purple pjs of yours.”
“Oh my God I hate you so much.”
“You do not.” She gave his hair a swipe, ruffling it and messing it up, and he swatted her hand away.
“I’m going.” Natasha headed off, but before she could disappear into the sea of people, Tony called after her.
“Hey. Tasha.” She paused, glancing back at him. He gave a small smile. “Thanks for the pajamas.
And this time, the smile Natasha gave was genuine. “You’re welcome, Stark.” With that she was gone, the crowd of agents closing behind her.
Tony felt Clint watching him; he looked and found the other man grinning at him. “….what.”
Clint just shook his head. “Nothing.”
“No, not nothing. You’re grinning.”
“I’m not allowed to grin?”
“Not like that. You’re doing it all weird. What’re you grinning at?”
Clint shook his head again, amusement on his face. “You. I’ve never seen you smile at Nat like that. Not at all, really.”
Tony felt his face flush at that. “Well…..I don’t like her. You know that. But….well…..” He picked up the pajamas, turning them over in his hands, examining them, anything so as not to look at Clint and that smile he knew was still on the man’s face. “….this was nice of her.”
“Yeah. It was.” There was a long pause and Tony glanced up at Clint. The blonde WAS still smiling, though not in a mean way, and then he shook his head. “…..she’s still a jerk.”
Tony burst out laughing. “Why…..cuz she brought up your purple pajamas?”
Clint flushed again. “Yeah. That.”
“Why Agent Barton, I do believe you’re blushing!”
“Shut the fuck up, I am not.”
“I don’t blush.”
“You’re AWFULLY pink for someone who doesn’t blush.” Tony traced a fingertip down Clint’s cheek, eliciting a shiver. “And awfully warm.”
Clint could feel the heat rising to his face. “…..shut up.”
“No.” Tony cupped Clint’s cheek, somehow managing to refrain from kissing Clint. “You gonna wear your silly pjs for me when I get home?” He murmured.
They were so close now. Tony looked up at Clint from beneath his lashes. He had discovered over time that Clint had difficulty saying no when Tony looked at him this way, eyes hooded, a soft smile on his face. Clint swallowed with some difficulty and nodded. “Yeah. Yeah…..I can do that.”
Tony smiled. “Thanks.” He traced his thumb along Clint’s lower lip. “I’ll wear mine.”
Clint burst out laughing. “You in your cupid pajamas and me in my bow and arrow ones?” Tony nodded, grinning. “You have any idea how gay that is?”
“Oh yea. And we’re gonna do it anyway.””
Clint just shook his head, smiling. “You’re crazy, you know that.”
“Oh yea. I know that.”
Clint glanced at the pile of papers still sitting on his desk. “I need to finish my work.” His tone was filled with regret.
“I know.” Tony sighed. “You leave first thing tomorrow morning, right?”
“Yeah. 3 A.M. And I’ll be in briefings all night.”
“Well……” Tony hated it, but there was really nothing he could do. And if this relationship did work out (God, he hoped it worked out), they would be dealing with far worse than this all the time. A three day mission was pretty standard. “…..I’ll see you in five days, then?”
Clint didn’t look any happier about it than Tony did, and again Tony felt that combination of unhappiness and that feeling of hope that Clint was truly beginning to care for him. “Yeah. Five days.”
Tony began to reach for Clint and then stopped as he had earlier. “…..kiss me?”
There was a moment wherein a whole whirlwind of emotions passed over Clint’s face: surprise, embarrassment, nervousness, desire, and something else……something almost like love. And then he was surging forward, hands fisting in Tony’s hair as he kissed him hard and deep, putting every single one of the emotions he had just felt into that kiss.
Tony was breathless when they parted; he looked at Clint with surprise in his eyes. “…wow,” he whispered.
Clint looked rather like Tony felt. “Yeah.” And then he smiled, a little bit of a smirk on his face. “Hopefully that’ll last me five days.”
Tony burst out laughing. “We can hope.” He gave Clint another kiss, this one a brief, fleeting thing. “I love you.” And with that he turned and left without looking back, as though if he looked at Clint any longer he wouldn’t be able to bring himself to leave.
Clint felt rather the same way. Whenever Tony entered a room, it felt as if a tornado had hit, so great was the energy he brought with him, and when he left, the sudden silence was so shocking that it was as though all life had been drained from your very being.
He let himself flop back into his desk chair. He had paperwork to finish and then a mission to accomplish. It would be a very long five days without Tony. He found himself wondering when he had grown so dependent upon someone else. Even more than that, he wondered why he liked the feeling.
Shaking his head, Clint reached for the stack of papers. It was only then that he noticed a small, shiny object on the desk. A key ring, and there was a note beside it.
I hope this doesn’t seem too forward, or too soon, but you know I’m a forward kinda guy, so I hope you’ll put up with me like you always do. Here are the keys to the house here in New York. I want you to have your own set. I just hope you feel comfortable using them. The bed at the house is far more comfortable than the ones you sleep on at headquarters. Go crash there when you get back from your mission. You’ll sleep better.
See you in five days. I love you, baby.
Clint’s heart was beating a mile a minute. He had keys. Tony had given him keys to his house. No one had ever trusted him this much. No one.
This time Clint had been so overwhelmed with emotion that he hadn’t noticed Natasha come up behind him, and he jumped in surprise, clutching the keys close to his chest. “Nothing. It’s nothing.”
The look on Natasha’s face and the way she arched one slim brow at him indicated that she most likely knew exactly what he held in his hand, but as usual, he could count on Natasha. “Okay. Coulson wants to see us.”
“Okay.” He watched as she headed off in the direction of Coulson’s office, then he looked once again at the paper in his hand.
See you in five days. I love you, baby.
Clint’s heart was still fluttering, still pounding away. His stomach was in knots. This wasn’t like anything he had ever felt before, even with all the new emotions he’d been feeling as of late. He wondered if this was what love felt like.
Maybe it is.