Crossposting a bit of fic I wrote earlier this week because even with the AO3, I tend to lose stuff I've written if I don't crosspost it to my journal as well and then down the road I'm all /o\Ne Me Quitte Pas
Rated: Teen/General Audience
Fandom: The Avengers (MCU)
Summary: This is the second most significant moment of Clint Barton's life.On the Archive
or Clint can almost understand why Natasha didn’t tell him before-- before aliens, before dead American heroes, before he jumped off a skyscraper and world didn’t end. He can justify it but he’s having a hard time being okay with it.
There is no being okay with this.
His husband, in promise if not paperwork, is dead and there’s nothing-- Clint isn’t sure how he’ll be able to get his hands on the ring because they were careful. They’re government agents, he’s a spy for fuck’s sake, they knew how to be invisible. There was never a marriage license or updated next-of-kin forms, nothing owned or filed under both of their names; as far as Clint knows there won’t even be a will. All he’s got is this gaping, hollow feeling in his chest and he doesn’t know what he’s supposed to do with that.
Nat’s left him alone. She didn’t say anything exactly, just reported the facts, catching him up on everything else that happened when he was lost in the wind, and left him to process it. He has a good feeling she knows though, the way she waited until they were really alone, not just that pretend privacy under close observation. The way she almost touched him, skin to skin, right when she broke the news.
“There’s something else-- but listen to me, you can’t, this doesn’t go on your ledger. Agent Coulson, he’s dead, Clint.”
Clint sat numbly at the edge of his bed in asset quarters buried in the central belly of the helicarrier. He was good at being still and being quiet when it mattered and this seemed the second most significant moment in his life, the moment it ended, because--
“Marry me,” Phil whispered into the bow of his mouth, pressing kisses into his skin.
“You, are you-- yes, yes!” Pressing promises into the bruises in their flesh.
A page blared across the PA system, telling him to report to the Director. Clint reported. He stood in front of his boss, blank eyed and waited.
Fury sighed and leaned back behind his desk, steepling his fingers in a contemplative pose. His good eye studied him for a protracted moment, sweeping him from scuffed boots to bed headed hair, over the minor cuts and scrapes he’d sustained in the fight, the dust from buildings he hadn’t had time, or later the inclination, to wash off.
“I can’t give you what you want yet.”
Nothing about Clint moved, not even a twitch.
“I don’t think he’d appreciate waking up without it, you understand.”
There was something wrong with his chest, that emptiness turning into a weight that was suffocating him. Clint looked at Fury and barely kept himself from trembling.“No sir, I don’t think he would.”