barkinmad: (Your Stupid Face)
[personal profile] barkinmad
Title: Taking Back the Tower
Universe: Movie-verse and 616
Pairings/Characters: Steve/Tony, past Clint/Natasha
Rating: PG-13
Warnings: Hulk
Word Count: 3,179
Beta Reader: [ profile] stripedteacups
A/N: Some references to Hey La, and it takes place in the same universe, but it's pretty stand alone. Comments are always appreciated.
Summary: Clint gets bored easily. Steve and Tony can't keep it in their pants. Natasha fixes both problems in one go, as usual. 

On AO3

Clint was bored. You’d think that an expert archer on a team of diverse superheroes who all lived together and were determined to rid the world of menace would find little time to be bored, but then you wouldn’t know Clint. Clint could get bored base-jumping off the Helicarrier into the Atlantic while trying to wrestle off a drunken Skrull if he thought that the alien’s weaponry wasn’t shiny enough. So hanging around the house with a sarcastic jerk who had a lot of time on his hands turned up some pretty interesting stories.

Like one time, they were all sitting at dinner, something that Coulson had somehow managed to wrangle them all into, citing something lame like ‘team building’ and ‘anti-scurvy proaction’ as a reason. 

“I feel like the Blob,” Clint said, finishing off his plate and sinking deeper into his chair.

“You feel like a Texan carnival performer who joined up with the Brotherhood?” Bruce asked.

“No, I meant I feel like a fat ass.”

“Oh, I’m sorry,” Bruce said, not sorry at all, “I try not to base my opinions of people on their appearances.”

“This is torture,” Tony said, sticking a fork into broccoli and eyeing it the way he suspiciously eyed all green edibles, “and I’ve been water boarded.”

Steve gave him a pout from across the table and Tony conceded.

“Just give what you don’t want to eat to the dog,” Natasha suggested.

“We have a dog?” Bruce asked.

“Now we do,” she said, and poured half her plate onto Clint’s.

“Ha ha, very funny.”  He didn’t have time to think of any better kind of remark before his dish was stacked a mile high with Tony and Bruce’s sides. “Oh, come on, guys! At least give some of this to Thor.”

“Thor’s not here,” Natasha said.

“He’s not?”

“He’s been in Asgard for over two weeks, Clint,” Steve said.

Maybe Clint needed to start getting e-mail updates about these things. But then, he’d actually have to read those updates, and that was very unlikely to happen. Actually, now that he thought of it, he probably did get them. But seriously, no Thor? Who was going to watch his puppet shows now?

“Oh. No wonder this place has been so boring. We should at least get the Hulk back or something.”

Something sharp hit him in the back of the head and he didn’t bother to check to see if it was Natasha’s hand or maybe some special Clint-whopping belt she had hidden somewhere in her gym clothes.

“So, Captain America,” Tony said in a voice that made Clint want to put his face in his mashed potatoes, “are we gonna do some more sparring tonight?”

“Don’t be gross, Tony,” but strains of red were already appearing on his cheeks.

“Aren’t you always telling me that I need the most training?”

“Then train with Dummy, smartass.”

“Dummy doesn’t have your precious blue eyes.”

“I hate you so much.” 

Bruce suddenly went very, very quiet and rigid. “Tony, that isn’t…that is not Steve’s leg.”

Steve’s face quickly managed to find a whole new shade of red.

“What is that?” Coulson asked. “Beet? Tomato? Cherry?”

“More like luftballon,” Natasha observed.

Every dispersed pretty quickly after that.

“Still bored,” Clint said, propping his feet on the ottoman.

“Too bad, don’t care,” Bruce was shamelessly flipping channels, passing on all the good stuff like iCarly and Mythbusters to spend a couple of seconds on telenovelas before someone else vetoed him. Whoever had decided that he had TV control tonight was sick in the head. But then, oh, right, Hulk. They had to appease the green bastard from time to time.

“I’m going to tell you boys a story,” Natasha said, flipping through a weapons catalogue or something.

“Oh shit. Please don’t.” Only night lights and insomnia and waking up screaming in the middle of the night came from this. 

Despite Clint’s clear signs of PTSD, Natasha continued:

“There was once a woman who was in charge of taking the clean dishes out of the dishwasher. One day, when she was returning the dishes to the cupboard, she noticed something odd about one of the plates. There were scratches in it. The scratches happened to be in the shape of a star, right in the middle of the plate.”

“Oh no, oh god, please stop.”

“Upon closer inspection, she found that the scratches were most likely made by something of a mechanical nature, and, in fact, could almost traced directly back to one creature in particular, named Dummy.”

Clint wasn’t sure now whether it was him or Bruce begging for mercy. Natasha casually flipped a page.

“I showed the plate to Tony, and he immediately took it back, without giving any sort of explanation for it or what it was doing in the cupboard. I found it in Steve’s room the next day while I was looking for my ninja stars.”

She paused for effect.

“We ate off that plate, boys.”

“Well, that doesn’t conclusively prove anything,” Bruce said, ever the scientist.

Natasha finally looked over.

“Do you see that dark spot you’re sitting on?” She motioned.

Bruce was off the couch in less time than it took for one of his characters to yell ‘Ay, carumba!’

After Clint’s second dinner, he sat down to work on his costume. He was considering integrating more purple, but was wondering how much more Natasha would make fun of him for it. His pocket buzzed. It was a text from Tony.


Clint eyed the text as if it had grown tentacles and asked for a Japanese girl as a sacrifice. He wasn’t even able to respond before his phone vibrated again.


Clint knew his response had be quick and incisive.

“Tony. NO. No, Tony. -H”

There was a moment’s pause before he got a response.

“Sorry, Clint. I’ll have Dummy bring you breakfast in bed for a week or something.”

“I think it’s disgusting,” Natasha was saying later that night, after many tales were told. She was giving herself a pedicure in Clint’s room and had somehow managed to take up all three pieces of his furniture, forcing Clint to lend his lap to her feet. 

“I guess.”

“Not ‘I guess’, it is. I mean, we slept together and we’re not running around the Tower waving flags and putting up bulletins.”

Clint made a mental note to double-check the bulletin board.

“That’s just Tony,” he said.

“Oh, it’s not ‘just Tony’. Last week during Movie Night, Steve was putting the moves on him all Gene Kelly-style.”

“Yeah, but what are you gonna do about it? It’s Captain Freakin’ America. You can’t say ‘no public hanky panky’ to Captain Freakin’ America!”

“I can’t…but maybe we can.” Natasha was smirking. Nothing resembling sanity ever came out of Natasha smirking.

“No.” Clint said, pushing her feet off him for emphasis, “Fury already has me on mail detail for the next two months because of that gala freezer thing.”

“Yeah, sorry I couldn’t back you up on that one.”

“It was YOUR idea!”

“It’s not my fault you left DNA on the Phish Food!”

“Whatever. Count me out, Nat.”

“Well, okay,” she said, with a sigh that was as calculated as the amount of perfume she was wearing, “but you were just complaining about how boring everything was around here.”

“We’re almost done with Phase One,” Clint told the walkie-talkie.

“Clint, there is no Phase One,” came Natasha’s dry response. “It’s all the same phase.”

“I need phases. I need to know exactly what-“

“You’re wasting air,” Natasha warned.

“What? I’m entitled to my own opinion.”

“No, you’re literally wasting air. There isn’t a lot of oxygen in the vents.”

Clint pressed his cheek down against the metal duct and sighed, because really, there was nothing else he could do about it.

The plan actually did have phases, because it was three-fold.

The first fold was when Steve and Tony had their bi-weekly sparring match in the gym. Steve would knock the shit out Tony for a while and then they’d start making out. Clint was going to disrupt this. Next fold, they’d move into the lounge area and try to dry hump on the couch but Natasha was prepared to interrupt that. Then they’d be so desperate that they’d probably try using an actual bedroom, the closest one being Thor’s, where Hulk would be ready to impart the final fold. It was flawless. Absolutely flawless.

“We’re trying to discourage public display,” Coulson had said, when the plan had been laid out for him the night before, “not emotionally scar them into never having sex again.’

“Who says we aren’t?” Natasha had asked.

Despite that setback, they had somehow gotten Coulson to agree not to inform Fury or Pepper beforehand.

Clint crawled his way over to the vent slats on his right. He could see most of the gym from this angle. He reached back to his quiver and hit his elbow on the ceiling. “Fuck!” He automatically jerked his head back and hit that too. “Double fuck!” The vent shook a little under the commotion. For god’s sake, he was a trained agent.

“For fuck’s sake, you’re a trained agent,” Natasha said over the walkie. This is why he hated her. “Get over yourself and get the job done.”

“Hey, you’re not red and dead because of me,” Clint reminded her.

“Your brain isn’t splattered all over Madison Avenue because of me.”

“That was one time.” Stupid Bruce and his obsession with Mad Men

Clint put his weight against the vent window and carefully applied pressure. The sides popped out, but only barely made a noise. He effortlessly lowered himself onto the stacked bleachers underneath him. Why their gym had stacked bleachers, he could only guess. Probably so Tony could have an audience while he made Spidey and Torch do circus tricks.

There the two of them were. They had set up a boxing ring, probably for Steve’s comfort and familiarity, and were doing some kind of weird mix between regular sparring and boxing training. Steve was in his ubiquitous white tee and loose gym pants, barely breaking a sweat, looking like he had just stepped out of a movie co-starring with Van Johnson or something. Tony was wearing some ridiculously expensive track suit, that he probably thought made him look awesome, and trying his hardest to land a hit on Steve but getting absolutely nowhere. There was a joke about flirting and Tony hitting on Steve in there somewhere, but Clint was too preoccupied with his mission to flesh that thought out. 

Speaking of flesh, Tony had just full on tackled Steve by the waist in a last ditch effort to ‘win’, and he now literally had Steve on the ropes. Steve pretty much let this happen, and when he was finally pushed all the way down, he just pulled Tony toward him and oh god now they were kissing really sloppily and this was exactly what Clint did not want to be a witness to because fuck he spent a lot of goddamn time in this gym. He reached back to his quiver and pulled out the arrow Bruce had equipped him with. He took aim. 

The arrow whizzed past his cheek as he released it. It landed on the blue mat next to Tony and Steve with a flash and a bang. A puff of smoke emanated from it. Bruce had wanted to make doubly sure it was noticed. Also, he enjoyed things being sparkly.

A little piece of paper popped out of the arrowhead, like a flag in the barrel of a fake gun. 

It said:


By the time the two men were looking for him, Clint was gone.

They had walked right into Natasha’s trap, just as expected. The common room was practically a mine field at this point, littered with toys that amused Thor, Tony’s gadgets and, worryingly, some of Bruce’s stored chemical containers. Even Steve often used it as a studio when it was raining and he couldn’t paint outside. So Clint could appreciate how hard it must have been for Steve and Tony to continue making out the ENTIRE FUCKING TIME as they stumbled and felt their way to the couch. Clint could appreciate the dexterity and determination involved… but he could not let it slide.

Natasha raised her eyebrow at him, as if to say, ‘See? This is why action was necessary.’

Clint returned with a petulant scowl which he hoped conveyed how much he hated it when she was right.

But Natasha was no longer looking at him, although he didn’t think for one second that she missed his response, as she was now focusing on accomplishing her mission. 

“This isn’t going to kill them, right?” Clint whispered.

“No.” Natasha paused. “At least, it shouldn’t.” And yet there wasn’t a trace of worry in her voice. 

She unhooked a specially prepared canister from her belt. It looked like suspiciously like an artillery grenade - probably one of Stark’s own, recycled - but Clint knew that it was actually filled with some kind of Bruce gas. Sparkly things. They didn’t know how far the gas would spread, and hell if they would be caught in their own trap, so Clint was around to shoot some doors closed to quarantine the area. Nat was about to bite the ring off with her teeth, a habit she’d picked up from Fury, when the interruption happened.

In this case, the interruption was a thunder god, bellowing welcome to all and pounding his feet down the hallways so loud it was almost as if Hulk were tiptoeing. Thor came prancing in, a smile as wide as the Hudson on his face, and hugging every immortal in sight. Behind him were other Asgardians, apparently under the impression that there was to be a party. Thor pretty much walked right past Clint and Natasha into the common room and ruined everything.

Well, not exactly.

Well, okay, he didn’t actually ruin anything, because he did exactly what he and Natasha had set out to do, but he ruined their plans and that was just as bad. 

Thor was kind of just standing dumbstruck in the center of the room, because at this point in the activities Steve and Tony were pantless and barely hanging on, Steve poised over Stark like a predator. And jeez, wasn’t Steve supposed to be from the forties and all about propriety and shit? Tony’s total corruption of him should probably be illegal and also go down in the Guinness Book of World Records.

The other Asgardians (Clint thinks one of them is named Baldy? Syph? Why would you name your daughter after a venereal disease?) were kind of just standing next to him and Natasha now, to make thinks even more awkward. There’s nothing worse than feeling totally in charge with a bow and arrow in your grip and then suddenly having to look up, and up, and up, just to meet someone’s face.

“My apologies, friends,” Thor’s voice snapped Clint back to his original line of thought. “I did not mean to disrupt your…festivities.”

“Did Thor bring home more strays?” Coulson’s call came from above. Like anyone was going to bother to answer.

Tony ran a hand over his face, clearly frustrated with everything that breathed.

“No worries, Thor, we were being reckless.”

Steve was quietly trying to find his clothes and not make a sound, as if by being silent he forfeited all responsibility. Tony, of course, didn’t even think about attempting dignity and grabbed Steve by the hand, leading him into the closest bedroom.

Which was, of course, Thor’s.

Clint turned to Natasha.

“Do you want to call it off?” He waved the walkie-talkie suggestively.

“Are you kidding me?”

It only took a couple of minutes. Suddenly, an enormous crashing sound pounded through the tower, accompanied by ear-splitting roar that probably made at least one person in New York deaf forever.

Tony and Steve reappeared, severely disheveled and sharing the tattered remains of a blanket. Clint wished he could take a picture of Tony’s hair. Natasha, always the brighter of the two, actually managed to snap a shot of Steve’s ass as the pair hurried away to some other bed in the tower.


“Twitter. Or possibly blackmail.”

“I’m honestly surprised you don’t have worse.”

“Now who said I didn’t?”

“Okay, don’t think I’m dumb,” Tony said the next morning. Although Clint doubted it, considering Tony needed at least four cups of coffee in the morning before he was able to spell ‘cat’.

“I would never,” Natasha said, betraying exactly how much she believed they all were.

Steve came over with a hot pan of scrambled eggs and started distributing them to everyone’s plate with a spatula, much like a mother in a 50s sitcom.

“That’s a funny word - spatula.”

Even Coulson looked at Clint weirdly on that one.

“Sorry. My mind wanders.”

“We’re prepared to make a deal with you,” Stark said, ignoring Clint and steepling his fingers. He was deep into CEO mode. Apparently Natasha was buying it. She laid her hands on the table.

“What’s the offer?”

Tony started saying something, but Steve cut him off with a gentler tone. “We like our privacy. Well, at least, I do. But that’s a hard thing to come by in this place. So if we agree to…leave it in the bedroom, I guess, then you’ll have to agree to accept the fact that we’re together.”

“Oh, I more than accept that,” Natasha said. “It’s just that-“

“No, we mean accept it, accept it.” Tony stated. “Accept that Steve is a very affectionate person and that I have no qualms about being a seductive genius in public.” Tony looked up at Steve with eyes that made Clint want to regurgitate his breakfast.

“Fine! Fine.” Natasha agreed. “But no more dark spots on the couch.”

And the agreement actually held up pretty well until the next day when Clint found boxers that were not his own under his bed.

It was his third hour as a hostage, and god, did these guys ever shut up? It was like, one second Kang was all ‘the universe is going to be destroyed any second now!’ and then somehow he finds the time to go into a detailed account of how the space-time continuum allowed him to jump from Ancient Greece to 5,694,039 BC with only tub of butter and a pogo stick. Clint was thinking of denying the existence of wormholes just so these guys would do something interesting for once.

And seriously, MASH was on in an hour, and he was not going to miss the second half of this two-parter due to the apocalypse again, thank you very much.

Jesus, he was bored.


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September 2017

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