Light in the Dark



Summary: Working for SHIELD isn't easy, especially when you are a single parent. His whole world belongs to his daughter, Lily. What happens when he is sent to Russia to capture a certain assassin? How will their lives change?

Light in the Dark

Chapter 1: Barton the Father

Clint Barton was jolted awake to the sound of crying coming from the other side of his apartment. Letting out a deep breath, he ran his hand over his face as he got up from his bed. He trudged across the floor, his white gold ring on his left hand shining in the moonlight as he pushed his fingers through his messy hair. "I'm coming, Lily, I'm coming," he said with a sigh. He turned the light to the nursery on, wincing at the brightness as he walked over to the mahogany colored crib. His four-month-old daughter screaming her head off. "Daddy's here," he murmured.

He lifted her up into his arms, feeling what she was screaming and went to change her diaper. He changed her diaper, putting her in a new onesie since the other one was wet.

Walking into the kitchen, he started warming up a bottle in the bottle warmer while Lily stared up at him with her fingers in her mouth. For a little baby she was so alert, her brown eyes always looking. Warming up the bottle, he sat in the rocking chair, rocking back and forth as his daughter practically inhaled her midnight snack. Her tiny fingers reaching for his, grasping his thumb tightly when she found his hand. Smiling, he pressed a tender kiss to his daughter's sandy-blond head. "Daddy loves you," he cooed to her softly, "Yes he does."

After feeding and burping her, Clint carried her back to the bedroom when he passed a picture that sat on the baby's dresser. It was a picture of his late wife, Olivia, from their wedding day.

She had waist-length dark brown hair with matching brown eyes. Her wedding gown had long sleeves with two ringers that hooked around her middle fingers, the gown had a lace overlay, a small v-neck, and an a-line skirt. Her curls were pulled back with diamond barrettes, and she had forgone the veil gong with a tiara instead. She was leaning against the large picture window, gazing out at the gardens where the wedding was taking place and she had a soft smile on her face.

They had met at a diner when it was raining the worse storm of the season and the diner was packed full. She had come in trying to escape the rain and was freezing cold when he offered her to sit across from him and handed her his jacket to warm her up when he ordered her a coffee. The two started talking in that booth and it was a relationship that simply clicked. Clint hardly trusted anyone, ever since growing up in an abusive home, and his own brother tried to have him killed trust was hard to give out. Olivia was easy to talk to, easy to get to know. She was a nurse at the local hospital and lived in a little apartment with her cat when they had met.

Their relationship went on for three years before he finally proposed to her. It was on Christmas Eve, and she had talked him to coming to her family's home in Texas. He wasn't too fond of the idea of being with her family, because they despised him. He had a dangerous job that he couldn't talk about. Yet, he still proposed to her in front of her family anyways.

They were married for three years, she desperately wanted a baby. Early on in the relationship she had told him that her getting pregnant ever was difficult if not impossible because she had endometriosis. It was such a shock to both of them when the doctor told them both that she was pregnant. Immediately she planned everything for the baby's room from the crib, to the colors on the walls.

Clint was away on a mission, working for SHIELD on a job in Norway to stop some weapons' runners that were trying to smuggle illegal guns into the US. He had received the call from Coulson, "Olivia's been attacked". Never did he leave in the middle of a mission, but he did that day.

(Flashback: 4 Months Ago)

Still dressed in his Hawkeye gear, Clint entered the infirmary where the SHIELD Agents had brought his wife. "Where is she?" he asked.

"Barton, you need to stay calm first," Coulson answered.

Clint suddenly grabbed his handler by his suit jacket. "Where?!" he barked.

"Barton, she's in bad shape," Coulson answered.

"What happened?" he demanded, "You were supposed to watch her!"

"I had two agents on her watching over her. Everything was fine," he answered, "They were found during the shift exchange."

Clint's heart dropped to his stomach as Coulson explained that they found Olivia in the master bedroom sobbing and begging for them to save her unborn baby. She had been stabbed in the chest, the doctors still had no idea how she lived that long with such a horrific wound.

He dropped Coulson and rushed down the hall towards the room where they were operating on Olivia. He stood in the window, watching as the doctors cut her open to save the baby because its heart rate dropped significantly. Their eyes locked onto each other and he could see the tears in her eyes.

Not caring about rules or safety procedures, Clint went into the room. "Agent Barton…" the doctor started to say.

"Fuck off!" he snarled.

He looked back at Olivia, stroking her face. "Who did this to you baby?" he asked, trying to stay strong for her. Olivia let out a soft sob, tears slipping over her cheeks.

"Is Lily okay?" she asked as they heard their baby's screams.

Clint looked over to see the nurses checking her over. "She's going to be fine, so are you," he answered. Olivia gripped his hand tightly.

"Clint…" she whispered, "I love you, so much."

"I love you, Livvie, you're going to be okay," he assured her.

She used her free hand to rest on the back of his neck and pull him down. "Don't…trust…anyone…" she whispered. With that, her eyes slid closed and her hands went limp as the alarms went off.

"She's crashing," the doctor called out as the nurses had to literally drag him out of the room.

(End Flashback)

Olivia never opened her brown eyes ever again. Her funeral was a week later, her family came to bring their daughter home but her will had stated she had wished to be buried in New York so she could always be close to Clint and Lily. The day of the funeral, her father and brother tried to beat him telling him it was all his fault that Olivia was dead. They weren't telling the distraught man what he already hadn't thought of himself.

Clint sighed as he placed Lily back into her crib, his wife stayed alive just long enough so their daughter could live. He stroked her sandy-blond curls with a sad smile on his face. "I love you, Lily," he whispered, "More than anything." Lily reached up, her tiny fingers grasping the wristband of his watch. He pressed a kiss to her forehead before he turned her mobile on, leaving the room so she could go back to sleep.

Later that morning, Clint was at SHIELD headquarters, going over his paperwork with a cup of coffee sitting beside him as he sat in the cafeteria area. Sitting in the chair beside him was Lily babbling to herself as she was staring at the toys hanging in front of her. "Morning, Barton," Bobbi Morse greeted as she sat across from him.

"Morning, Morse," he answered as he placed a pacifier into Lily's mouth when she began to whimper.

"How are you holding up?" she asked her partner.

Clint glanced at her. "Well despite the constant changings and feedings, not too bad," he answered, "She's pretty chilled most of the time." Bobbi smiled at the baby girl before looking back at him.

"Fury's wondering when you're coming back," she commented.

"You can tell Fury to go fuck himself right now," he answered.

Bobbi stared at him with wide eyes. "I trusted him with my wife's life, I come back and she's stabbed and dying," he told her, "Sorry if my feelings for SHIELD personnel is a little on the hate side right now.

"Is that including your partner of ten years?" Bobbi asked.

Clint looked at her. "You were with me when the attack happened, you're the only person I can trust," he answered. Bobbi frowned as he looked at his daughter with adoring eyes.

"Clint, SHIELD needs you," she said softly.

"My daughter needs me more," he answered.

Bobbi nodded her head slowly in understanding as he held his daughter in his arms.

That night, Clint was getting ready to settle down for the night when he heard a knock on the door. Walking over, he opened it to reveal Fury. "I don't have time for this," Clint told him as he went to close the door.

"I just want five minutes of your time," Fury answered, keeping the door open with his foot.

Frowning, Clint reluctantly let him in. Fury looked around the small apartment to see that it was littered with baby toys, there were baby bottles drying by the sink, and a basket of baby clothes that needed to be folded. "Want a beer?" Clint asked.

"I'm on the clock, but just one," Fury answered as he sat down.

Clint handed the beer bottle to him as he sat down. "Listen, Barton, I heard that you have no desire to come back into the field," he stated.

"My daughter needs me," Clint answered, "I can't leave her alone to go chase bad guys."

"What if I'm asking you to come back into the field to keep her safe?" Fury asked.

Clint looked at him. "What do you mean?" he asked.

"Someone knew your every move, your routine, they knew when you were going to be gone and how long," Fury answered.

"So why go back in the field when I'm fully capable of watching my daughter here?" Clint asked.

"Because the person who killed Olivia did it because they didn't want you in the field," Fury replied.

Fury showed Clint the coroner's report from Olivia's death. "The coroner said himself that this person who stabbed her purposely missed her heart," he stated, "They were able to stab her but be precise that the knife was only mere inches away and he said that wasn't by accident." He tapped the file. "The coroner said that she had drugs in her system at the time of her death. Drugs to induce labor and the doctor who delivered Lily said that Olivia was four centimeters dilated when she came in," he added.

Clint's stomach started to twist. "Olivia wasn't the target," he whispered. Fury stared at him. "Lily was the target," he said in disbelief. He looked at Fury. "But why? Why Lily? She's only a baby she can't hurt anyone," he insisted.

"She's probably more useful in other ways, Barton. You're her father, imagine the type of person she will grow to be," Fury answered, "And your wife had a 170 IQ, which means Lily's intelligence will be high if not higher."

Clint ran his hand over his face, letting out a deep breath. "I need you to come back to find the people who are targeting Lily, and I swear to you she will be heavily guarded. She will come and stay on the base with the most thoroughly checked agents we have," Fury explained.

"Can you promise me that she will never leave the base grounds?" Clint answered.

"I'll die first before anyone who isn't you steps out of the base with her," Fury told him.

Fury held out his hand and Clint stared at it before he shook it tightly.