Normally he would have found something like this incredibly boring, but somehow Tony made it fun, and the time was flying by.
This was only written because of Paisley15, fuzzyelf76, Windstorm124, cutsycat. Thank you all so much for your recent reviews. They’ve really helped me out. Been having a really tough time emotionally and you guys have kept my morale up. Love you!
Link to chapter 2 is here: https://nuwandasnicket.wordpress.com/2014/04/07/vacation-chapter-2/
It had been a very quiet and uneventful few days (four, to be exact). The two men were tucked away in a safe house in a dusty Midwestern town. They had wasted most of their time in trivial pursuits like cards (Clint swore Tony had to be cheating, but Tony insisted it was just knowing numbers and how to read the cards), and sometimes Tony would read to him. Clint liked those times. Normally he would have found something like this incredibly boring, but somehow Tony made it fun, and the time was flying by.
At the moment, Clint was curled up on the floor with his head resting in his boyfriend’s lap, dozing. Tony’s fingers trailed lazily through Clint’s soft blonde hair. He had his glasses on and a book in his free hand; every so often he would glance down at Clint and smile at his sleeping form. Then the door opened almost silently and Clint stirred at the noise, eyes blinking open.
It was Coulson. He shut the door behind him, taking in the sight of Clint, still curled up in Tony’s lap, rubbing sleepy eyes as he struggled to sit up; of Tony peering over his book. He actually didn’t look disapproving. This was progress.
“Hi Coulson.” Tony closed his book. His greeting was acknowledged with a nod.
“Mm.” Clint was still groggy; words were coming slowly. “Hello, sir.” He gave his head a shake, clearing the last bit of sleep away. “What is it?”
“You’re free to go home.”
…..or maybe he was still dreaming. “…..what.”
“You’re free to go.” Coulson had moved to the single table in the room and was shuffling through the rather impressive stack of books Tony had managed to cram into his one suitcase.
“Already? We’ve only been here four days!”
“I’m aware, Agent Barton.” Coulson picked up a copy of ‘Finnegan’s Wake’ by James Joyce and his brows shot up almost imperceptibly, clearly impressed. “But it would seem that someone has paid enough money to make the bounty hunters lose interest. At least for now.” Coulson set the book down, glancing at Clint, who was staring, mouth agape.
“I…..are you serious?”
And then Clint realized that Coulson wasn’t looking at him, but at Tony. Confused, he turned and looked at Tony, who was resolutely meeting Coulson’s gaze, unblinking. Clint felt a horrible realization dawning.
“Well….I’ll leave you two to get packed.” Coulson turned and left the room, door shutting behind him.
“What.” There was silence; Tony turned to Clint, who was staring at him. “What,” he repeated, taking off his glasses.
“You did something.”
“Of course I did.” Tony began cleaning his glasses with the hem of his shirt. “I paid off your bounties.”
“You…..wait. Bounties? Bounties PLURAL?”
“YES, plural.” Tony carefully disentangled himself from Clint and stood, moving to the table and beginning to organize his books.
Clint rose, following. “Tony…..I only had one bounty out on me.”
“Well yea, at the moment. But there were other interested parties.”
Clint couldn’t believe what he was hearing. “…you……you paid them ALL?”
“Of course.” Tony said this as though it should be painfully obvious. Clint had no idea how he was so calm about this.
“Tony!” But Tony was busy, scooping the piles of books into his arms. Clint put a stop to that, swiping the books from Tony’s arms, sending them flying to the floor. Tony looked from the books, now a scattered mess all over the room, back to Clint.
“Well, THAT was unnecessary.”
“TONY!” Clint grabbed his shoulders. “How many bounties did you pay off? You…..how much did you SPEND on that?!”
Tony simply gazed back at Clint very calmly. “It doesn’t matter how much.”
“No, Clint. You think I’m gonna sit around and let all these people threaten you? Not a chance. Not if I can stop it.” And now the look on his face was one that Clint knew all too well, that determined, stubborn look that Tony wore so often and so well.
“But Tony, that must have cost…”
But Tony interrupted him. “I told you, you’re worth more to me than to them.”
It was clear that Tony was never going to see reason on this matter. As far as he was concerned, there was only one solution to this problem, and he had found it…..only one choice, and he had made it. Clint smiled, shaking his head. “You crazy bastard.”
“Hey. I love you.”
“I love you too.” He bit his lip. “But what if they decide they want me again? You can’t just keep paying them off.”
“I can, and I will.” That determination was as clear in Tony’s voice as it was on his face. “Because no matter what, I’ll always want you more than they do. I love you, Clinton Francis Barton.” Clint blushed as he always did at the use of his full name. “I love you, and I’m going to keep you safe.”
“I know.” Clint moved closer to Tony, wrapping his arms around the man. “You always do.”
Tony smiled. “I try.”
There was a noise of feedback as the intercom in the room kicked in. “If you gentlemen could finish packing up? The pilot would like to leave within the hour.”
Tony looked to Clint, smiling. “To be continued at home?”
Laughing, Clint gave Tony a kiss. “Definitely.”
“Good. Now…” Tony swatted Clint’s ass. “Go pick up my books, brat.”
Clint burst into laughter. “Yes, sir.”