This was the second most popular in the voting, so here it is! Enjoy!
He seemed to realize suddenly that he was oversharing, for he flushed bright red.
Clint pushed open the front door. Tony was on the couch in the front sitting room, legs tucked Indian-style beneath him, arms folded across his chest and a glower on his face. His gaze was locked on the door across from him, the door which Clint knew led to the lab (despite never having been there). He smiled.
“Pepper catch you?”
Tony jumped slightly in surprise at Clint’s voice, turning to him. “Yes.” He was still pouting, and looked too damn cute. He always looked cute when he pouted. Well….always looked cute in general. “She stopped me from going down.”
Clint laughed, moving to join Tony on the couch, flopping beside him. “How’d she manage that?” Tony pointed at the door and Clint noticed for the first time (though how the hell he’d missed them before he would never know) a pair of robots beside the door. “…..what’re those.”
“Robots.” Tony said this as though it was ridiculously obvious, and Clint supposed it was.
“I know that. I meant…..I mean……” He wasn’t quite sure WHAT he meant.
But Tony interrupted him, pointing at each in turn. “That’s Dummy, that’s Butterfingers.”
Okay, THAT was fucking ADORABLE. “You named your robots?”
Again, Tony was looking at him as though this should be obvious. “Of course I did. I named all of them.”
Clint stifled a laugh. Too cute for words. “So they’re up here because…..?” Tony opened his mouth to speak but Clint continued. “I mean, if they’re your robots, would they really stop you from doing what you want?”
Tony did that shrug-nod of his. “Doubtful. And even if they tried, there’s no way they could actually manage to stop me. They’re pretty incompetent.” Dummy made a disconsolate whirring sound at that statement. “Oh, shut up, you know I’m right.”
Again Clint had to stifle a tiny laugh. He had never even seen the bots before, and to see Tony with them now, to see him argue with them as though he were bickering with children…..it was ridiculously cute. “So why would Pepper put them here at all?”
“What? Oh. She knows there’s no way I’m getting past them. Cuz even if they got in my way, I’d never do anything to hurt them.”
Oh God. Clint felt the most ridiculous fluttering in his chest. They were his kids. These bots were Tony’s kids. He tugged Tony into his arms, kissing his forehead.
“Whoa.” Tony blinked up at Clint. “That was unexpected.”
“Shut up. I wanted to kiss you.” He stroked Tony’s hair. “How’s the shaking? Feeling any better?”
“Mm.” Tony nuzzled into Clint’s touch. “Better now that you’re here.”
Clint chuckled. “What….robots aren’t enough company?”
“Nope.” There was a tiny chirping sound. “Butterfingers, when you stop keeping me from things I wanna do, THEN you’ll be good company. Got it?”
Clint couldn’t stop himself anymore; he burst into laughter. Tony pulled away, looking at Clint in surprise. “What. What’s so funny?”
“You. You and your robots. You talk to them like they’re your kids.”
“Oh.” Tony was quiet for a moment. “Well…..I guess they kinda are. I mean I built them all and for years it’s really been just them and me….” He seemed to realize suddenly that he was oversharing, for he flushed bright red. “Shut up.”
“Hey, no. It makes perfect sense. It does.”
“Yea?” Tony sounded hesitant, but he looked somewhat mollified.
“Yeah. I can understand forming a bond like that when it’s someone you’re with all the time. And you created them. So yeah. It makes sense.”
Tony looked relieved that Clint understood. “Yea.” He smiled. “Thanks.”
“Idiot. Don’t have to thank me.” Clint stroked his cheek. “I love you.”
Tony gave Clint a soft kiss. “I love you too.”
One of the bots was whirring in the background, Dummy or Butterfingers, Clint wasn’t sure. He was positive Tony could tell them apart just by hearing them (again, how cute was that?). “Hey…..how many more do you have?”
“Here? Just one. You.”
Tony burst into laughter. “No, idiot. That’s his name. You.”
Clint cocked a brow at Tony. “You give your bots some really weird names.”
“Oi. Their names suit them perfectly. Shut up.”
“No.” Clint tugged Tony into his arms again, brushing a lock of hair behind his ear. “Think I can meet him later?”
That made Tony smile. “Yea? You want to?”
“Definitely.” Clint smiled. “Gotta meet the boyfriend’s kids.”
Tony cracked up. “Guess that’s true.”
“Yup. Definitely true.”
“Okay, then. We’ll bring him upstairs. Later.” He yawned. Tony may not be shaking as much anymore, but he was obviously still not feeling too well. Clint stroked his cheek.
“Later. After you sleep.”
“Don’t wanna sleep,” Tony grumbled.
“Too bad. You’re going to.”
“Oh, that’s real mature,” Clint laughed.
“I am the epitome of mature.” And despite his protestations, Tony snuggled closer, letting his head rest in Clint’s lap.
Clint stroked Tony’s hair, softly whispering “sleep.” And between the gentle touch on his hair and the whirring and chirping of the bots, Tony was asleep in no time.
“So, this is You.”
The bot chirped inquisitively at Clint. “….hi?” He still wasn’t really sure how to properly address a bot, but Tony spoke to them the same as he spoke to regular people, so that seemed the way to go about it.
Clint’s greeting earned him another chirp, so he supposed he’d done okay…..though unlike Tony, he couldn’t read the bot’s emotions, so maybe he’d screwed up. Maybe it was pissed at him. He had no clue how to tell.
It was strange. Clint was feeling some huge urge to win the bot’s approval, to win all of their approval. He assumed because they were Tony’s “kids”. But they weren’t truly alive, so it was….well the only word for it was weird.
“Tony?” Pepper’s voice echoed down the hall. “I was just down in the lab and I can’t find You.”
Clint did a double-take, staring at Tony in confusion for a moment before realization sank in. “…..okay, this is gonna take some major getting used to.”
Tony grinned. “Welcome to the family.”