Clint Barton + Kate Bishop in Hawkeye Vol. 3
"If you think that’s weird, you should have seen that time Ben egged me on to try and eat several fruit whole. I looked like a snake with something lodged in its gullet."
He then took another bite of the pizza, feeling his hunger sated after polishing off several slices.
Reed forgot to swallow at that point and his voice as muffled as his friends while he still had pizza in his mouth.
“Ye’sh moov’in.” Holding up his hand, he then hasty swallowed the pizza slice before continuing. He could see his suggestion did have a mix of emotions flashing across Clint’s face.
“I mean, yes. Move in. You’d be more than welcome. I mean I would very much like your company. As Well as knowing you are…close by. Along with Bruce. And Lucky of course.”
The labrador barked in affirmation.
Reed reached over and stroke Lucky’s eyebrows, before combing his fingers through the dog’s fur and scratching around his ears. The offer was open ended, he was more than willing to house anyone that needed a place to stay for as long as needed. Knowing Clint’s history, he knew that this attack would have fractured any sense of..trust in SHIELD. The Baxter Building was a neutral..if not friendly place, devoid of connections to past events.
But it probably was best to leave that discussion as is for now. The offer was made and hopefully Clint knew he was more than welcome into the fold. Reaching over for another slice, Reed picked at the pepperoni on the meat lovers slice, before wolfing down the slice, glancing over at Lucky, who looked at him pleadingly for more pizza.
“Ah. No. Thats enough pizza for now.”
Huffing, the canine then dropped to the floor, then padded over to Reed’s side, tail wagging against his leg. Shaking the bottle of his beer bottle, he polished it off and stretched his arm over to the trash bin under the island bench.
“Yes, well as much as Johnny has teased me about the Fantasticar, I haven’t quite forgotten how he named us on public television. I mean Mr Fantastic? Invisible Girl. I nearly let it go until Thing. I mean, it was cruel that it’s stuck as a name.”
At least Ben now was much more accepting as his role in the spotlight and within the family, but it was still a nickname and a moniker that Reed took personally. Ben would always be Ben. Regardless of physical form.
“Would you like to see the car? If you have the time or feel up to making your way to the second floor of the lab. I’d love to show you around properly.”
The visual of Reed with fruit stuck in his throat as he swallowed it down whole brought to mind visions of the ostriches from Fantasia, all of them excitedly dancing around trying to steal the matron’s grapes despite bananas and everything sticking out of their throats. Except in this case the archer could only see Ben and Johnny chasing Reed with his distended neck, and he almost choked on some of his pizza as he cackled.
"You’re not banned from that unlike the eye thing are you? ‘Cause I’m thinking you need to do that again sometime," Clint drawled teasingly, winking for effect. "I mean did you hear about the crocodile that got eaten by a snake in Australia last year? Bet you could totally get to that level of creepy. Unless Sue finds out then we should run for the hills before she slaps us with a forcefield."
There were only so many ‘the-insert-blank-here-thing’ moments Reed could get away with after all.
Clint sucked down a few more bites of pizza as he watched Lucky practically beg Reed for more, smirking as the labrador had to eventually give in and reluctantly flop down by his friend. Precious. The archer picked off a piece of pepperoni and bent down carefully, weary of agitating his tender muscles, and flicked the piece of meat toward the dog.
"S’the last thing you’re gettin’ fuzzball. Can’t have you getting fat and sick because you like pizza too much."
Lucky wuffed and lapped up the piece of meat appreciatively.
"I remember that stint Johnny pulled — it was all over the news, and the street-side tousle that happened between him and Ben afterward. Not gonna lie, I was impressed with the car-ball. Hot headed kid deserved it," Clint responded about the incident with the naming that Reed brought up. "If anything christening the fantasticar just that was pretty good revenge too. Even if it’s pretty… cheesy."
Good cheesy though. Comic book cheesy. If anything that was kind of fitting given their lives.
The archer wiped clean his hands on a napkin, deciding he had definitely overstuffed on pizza (it was hard not to because it was so damn good) and that getting up and moving around was probably a good idea, so at the invitation to go and see the fantasticar and subsequently Reed’s ongoing work with the lab was a welcome chance to do such a thing. Well, at least it was incentive, instead of just keeping comfortable on the stool.
He stretched out then and carefully rose up off the stool again, nursing his cane in case his knee decided it needed to give out, and beamed a smile at his friend. “I’m totally for seein’ it. Plus I wanna see what you’ve been doing with that great lab of yours.”
Lucky barked up at him and nudged at his hand as he stood up, then looked at Reed with his big adorable beady eye, and Clint just laughed at the adorableness of it all.
"The lab is lab safe, right?”
He was supposed to be skipping town.
“That is what you think darling; you think he didn’t plan for this? Right now his men outnumber yours in strength plus he said something about a surprise so that can only mean good things for you.” Betty gave him a grin, feeling the magic practically pulse in her excitement. It was time. She would finally get it.
So, that was Loki’s big secret weapon against him – a staller.
Stark wanted to roll his eyes at that, make some internal joke about how he had been clearly underestimated, but the truth was, this was exactly the sort of thing that would faze him. For one, he had never been in this position before – he had always felt completely free, if not obligated, to kill the bad guys. Because they were bad guys. Heck, he had killed even Stane, his surrogate father. He had run into problems against the Hulk last year, but that was the Hulk – meaning, he didn’t exactly have to worry about going easy. But he didn’t know what Betty’s physical limits were in that state, he didn’t want to end up accidentally killing her.
He couldn’t fight it forever, try as he might. Loki did eventually start to force his hand and get him moving once more, but both of them came to a moment of shocked surprise when Clint headed right for the reactor as the revelation that they weren’t alone hit.
For one agonising moment he had complete control, the icy haze that had once glazed over his eyes gone, and the sight of Bruce standing there both filled Clint with relief — that he was alive, though not safe in that moment — and dread due to Loki’s sickly sweet jeering in his mind.
They were both compromised.
I would love to tell you that I spent even a full minute resisting the urge to paint this classic coffee joke with Hawkeyes, but I did no such thing: you just know they’d be assholes about coffee.
(if you love me at all, click it to see it bigger)
“Do I even want to know? No, don’t answer that.”
Knowing Clint he probably stapled a cease and disorder notice to someone’s head. Reed did catch the smile on Clint’s face; bantering with his juvenile computer system was worth it then, if it brought amusement to someone who’s life had been a disaster zone for the most part. Being rather astute, he also didn’t miss the guilty glance at his folded up sleeve but there wasn’t really much Reed could do to assuage that burden of guilt. He had tried, and hoped sincerely that Clint knew he wasn’t the cause or the blame for what had happened to him.
“It was something I had to deal with sooner than later; I use a lot of lasers in my research as well as cutting tools. I had to get past that block somehow, even if I did tweak the light and wave frequency to a different spectrum. Colour, I mean. I…can’t do red lasers right now.”
Blue waveforms weren’t as effective but they did require less power and weren’t as intensive. It was just something he’d have to figure out on his own schedule. Knowing it was for a beign purpose, such as cutting material, not flesh helped.
Reed took another sip of his beer while Clint was getting the pizza, making a face at the taste. Honestly he just could not see the appeal; well from a perceptive point of view. He did like it as a bonding tool; he only ever drank it socially. He glanced up to see a wide eyed delivery boy (he looked familiar then again pizza at this point was fast becoming a staple food item) and Lucky bouncing around with barely restrained enthusiasm for pizza.
Reed waved and uttered a meek “Have a good night” at the pizza guy before Lucky did a lap of the counter before standing up on his hind legs, snatching up a big slice of pizza, face smushed against the countertop as he practically inhaled the slice, tail thumping from side to side.
Shaking his head, he smiled and reached in for a slice of the same meat-lovers pizza, stretching out two fingers so he could hold it one handed. The smell spurred his stomach on, grumbling as it reminded him he hadn’t eaten all day. He was starving. So hungry, that he dispensed with chewing and just gulped the slice whole, Lucky looking up from the mess he was making to stare with his one eye in surprise. Reed prodded another box, peeking open the lid to see what flavour it was; four cheese and tomato. And proceeded to wolf that down in the same manner, this time getting a look from Clint as well as the labrador.
“What? I was hungry.”
Right; he forgot not many people knew he had a raging appetite at times; smiling fondly as he remembered when Ben egged him on to try and eat a bag of oranges whole.
Deciding to take his time eating the third slice of pizza, Reed nodded while Clint spoke.
“You aren’t useless. Just indisposed with your injuries; something you know I can sympathise with.”
He could also sympathise with the need to keep busy to avoid dealing with anything else. He was well on the mend, but Clint wasn’t. If he could offer busywork; even if it was just tinkering, then he was happy to. He was not so protective of his assets that he couldn’t let someone he trust have access to them. He lived with two very destructive forces. He had gotten over his equipment breaking a long time ago.
“That said, I really could use some help with refurbishing and repairing. There’s a lot of work left to go; less heavy labour and more…finer detail. If you want to work, I would very much like your company. Even if its just fiddling with the controls of the Fantasticar. Which is back in the building. Finally.”
Reed stretched over his hand to pick a string of cheese that had ended up on Lucky’s ear, the dog licking it off his fingers, before licking his muzzle.
“Would you — and Bruce of course! — like to move into the Baxter Building while you work? I have plenty of empty suites in the level below. Perk of being the building owner.“
He knew Clint did have his own apartment, but in this case, Reed was worried about Clint. Bruce was with him, but the block itself was still a civilian construct and…he might be overbearing but he would feel more at ease if his friends were closer by; protected by the building defences. Protected from any association or bad memories.
Mirroring Clint from earlier, he picked up another slice, chewing it thoughtfully.
That would take some getting used to.
Hell, Clint had officially seen Reed to weirder, he had to admit, but more or less becoming a snake as he gulped down a few slices of pizza without even biting actually seemed to take the cake in that moment. At Reed’s practically innocent murmur about him being hungry though Clint’s face broke out into a broad grin, a quiet laugh quaking his shoulders as he shook his head.
"Yeah, so am I, but I don’t get the luxury of being that efficient when eating,” he teased good naturedly. “One day science will prevail, or somethin’.”
Clint raided the third box to see what mysterious wonders it held, and was pleasantly surprised with more or less a meat-less variant on hawaiian, packed with steaming cherry tomatoes and good sized chunks of golden fruit amidst a helping of cheesy goodness; once the smell hit him it was hardly his fault that half the huge slice was gone in practically one bite, his stomach grumbling away quietly despite the acquisition of food since it’d been quite a while since breakfast. With his mouth so full it gave him time to process everything Reed was saying, from his gentle assuredness that he was hardly useless, to the idea of him helping out with the refurbishment work maybe even sooner rather than later, then to —
Clint blinked in surprise, midway through finishing off the piece of pizza he was nursing. “Moov’in?”
Manners, Barton. Clint cleared his throat awkwardly before swallowing the food in his mouth so he could vocalise things without trying to sound out things around pastry and cheese. “I mean — uh. Sure? I’d have to poke Bruce, but I’m pretty sure he’d drift along with me. I know Lucky’d love being here. Nice neighbours n’all that here.”
That last part was followed up with a wink, the suave and cheeky side of him out in full force but it was in a way a mask, a way of covering how much such a simple offer meant. Of course, Reed had a lot of room in the building and lots of places up for let, and he was practically generous enough of a person that he’d just about offer anyone who needed a place one if they were in dire straits and needed assistance, but the archer also knew that in the light of the attacks they’d all faced that such an offer was more than just some kind of helping hand. He wanted and trusted both he and Bruce enough to extend an invitation to bring them all under one proverbial roof.
To give someone who was very skeptical on if he could even be trusted after what had happened himself a chance to do things and regain his footing.
Clint’s brow furrowed as he polished off the last of his pizza slice, trying to think on how he could more assuredly commit to it, and settled on:
"I’d really like that."
Lucky even raised his head at that and happily panted up at him, tail striking up a lazy swish that denoted the almost contented air that seemed to settle at that, and the archer sighed softly for the weight that seemed to of shifted off of his chest. Funny how being given a security blanket, more or less, could do that. Clint took another swig out of his beer, polishing off the bottle for what little remained in it, then swiped another piece of pizza up out of their selection of boxes.
Being out of the manhattan apartment he had would be, ultimately, a lot better overall when it came down to recovering. Clint had told Bruce everything about what’d happened in Budapest, of the years — plural — he spent day in, day out in that place trying to heal and get better. And though he’d made a lot of better memories there in the years that then had followed? It was still there. Lingering. Although he wasn’t left alone there by any means it still didn’t make it any easier to stomach living there on a more permanent basis compared to the mansion accommodations they’d all been traipsing about in before; where things were more of a clean slate.
Maybe this would be the new clean slate.
"I’m all for work, though you totally have to show me your fantasticar," Clint drawled once his tongue felt a little less heavy and clumsy, grinning at his friend. "Sue told me you had nothing but trouble with Johnny for naming it that too."
There was a split second there where his like, “wait, what? bro what are you doing?”
On more serious note, PTSD dogs for veterans are so fucking therapeutic. They’re like the one person you can spill your guts to and never worry about ever being judged or have that secret divulged. There are times when I definitely prefer the company of a dog over a human.
Therapy animals save lives.
These dogs are even still so much more amazing. They check rooms before their handler enters, so they can clear it to help the person feel safe. Like in the gif, they are there when panic attacks or nightmares occur, to be something for the person to help ground themselves on, or yes just to turn on the lights. Even more amazing, many people are able to reduce their medication when they have a PTSD service dog there to help them. These dogs are useful for not just veterans, but also victims of abuse, accident trauma, natural disasters, and others. Their training allows them to be useful in situations where medical assistance is needed, as well. Some PTSD dogs are trained to recognize repetitive behaviours in handlers, and signal the handler to break the repetition and stopping the behaviour and possibly injury.
Service dogs in general are just awesome. Remember to respect any that you see out in public. They are not there for you to walk up to and play with, even the puppies!
The Nerf Nuke
Introducing the most epic Nerf weapon of all time! The Nerf Nuke is a rocket that launches in the air and shoots out 80 Nerf darts in every possible direction. It’s the holy grail, and is guaranteed to win you an Nerf war you start.
Oh my god