Vulnerability and Insecurities
Author's Note: Takes place after The Avengers, Disregards Captain America: The Winter
Soldiers and what comes after. Phil Coulson lives!

Clinton Francis Barton, better known as Clint Barton, aka. Hawkeye just wanted to go home, crawl into his bed with his husband and just be dead to the world. But, He knew he had to eat first. He headed to the Avenger Tower and to the communal kitchen that they shared. He stared busying himself with cooking for him and Phil.

He felt a hand on his shoulder and turned around to see his husband of 11 years, Phil Coulson signing 'Clint, your team is talking to you.' Clint turned red with embarrassment.

"Oh...Sorry guys my hearing aids got damaged in the fight so I can't wear them right now. I need to have them fixed, I just don't feel like it today. Jarvis, could you turn the bass down. I thought I was the only one in here, so I turned it up so I could feel it."

He abruptly turned away and busied himself in the fridge once more. He couldn't handle seeing their shocked or disappointed faces. He didn't want to hear that he couldn't hang out with his new friends. He saw Natasha turn to face the others and explain how he was disabled. How he hated that word.

"I'm sorry I didn't catch that. My hearing aids busted somehow in that last mission we went on. The electronic energy from those electronic flying monkeys must have set them off." Clint explained to his team.

"How didn't we ever know about this? It isn't in your file." Tony asked.

"My aids stay in all the time, they are built so no one can see them or take them out. I've never had one blow out on me before. The Docs are kinda pissy about it. Anyways, I made Fury promise to keep it out of my file in case someone feels that it would handicap me. I worked to long and to hard for something insignificant as my hearing loss to get in the way of my career."

"My aids stay in all the time, they are built so no one can see them or take them out." Clint explained.

"We all have some type of liability; none of us are perfect. But it's when we work together that we can succeed as a team." Steve said in his perfect diplomatic Captain America way.

"Big deal; so you have to wear hearing aids. All of us have pretty big flaws or faults. I'm afraid of batteries and I have a heart condition although I am practically perfect. Bruce can't have his heart rate past a certain point or he hulks out. Thor is an alien and doesn't understand most things. Our resident Agent of Death technically died and was revived. Do you really think we are worried because you can't hear? Do you really think that because of your hearing problem, you are no longer fit to be an Avenger? If that's the case; none of us are fit to be an Avenger. Well, we have yet to find a fault for Captain Perfect over there but that's another matter." Tony said pointing to Steve who was sitting quietly on the kitchen counter.

"I get confused easily even after being in this time period for almost 5 years now. I still suffer with the worst nightmares and see Bucky fall to his death over and over again. I then get frustrated and take my frustrations out in the gym and sometimes even verbally on my team-mates, especially Tony." Steve told them. Tony walked over to his lover and tried to comfort him.

"Anyways Clint, as Tony was saying; all of us are imperfect in some way. We're all just outcasts who somehow fit in with each other." Bruce said.

He only heard caught half of what his team-mates were saying. His mind started wandering, He could handle being the only overly normal Avenger, he didn't count Nat. Nat, The Black Widow was in a class all of her own. He knew he only had his amazing eye sight to set him apart from the common man. He couldn't handle being the "disabled" Avenger that the others were constantly worried about. Just because he couldn't hear didn't mean he was stupid or that he should be treated differently.

It was just as his mental tirade about his slight difference that was starting to snowball that he felt someone gently punch his shoulder and he came face to face (well, face to mid pectoral) with Steve Rogers. The man held a sign written on a dry erase board.

'You should have told us.'

"I know. Sorry I added a liability to the team."

Steve's brow furrowed and he turned around the board and hastily wrote on it.

'We're all liabilities here.'

Clint could feel Phil's comforting hand squeezing his shoulder as he asked. Clint's eyebrows shot up. "You don't care that I'm deaf?"

Steve shook his heard before turning the board over again in order to write.

'Tony can modify them. He can also have Jarvis install a vibration feature on your floor that alerts you to all emergencies, just in case.'

Tony appeared beside Steve and grabbed the board. He scribbled something for a moment and then turned it around. Clint watched Tony get punched by Natasha and Tony try to explain why it was a valid concern. He didn't get very far and a motion towards her hips earned him a rather forceful punch to his stomach. Tony ignored that though and just started scribbling furiously in his almost ineligible scrawl.

'Come to the lab and bring your broken hearing aids. Let me see if I can fix them. I know they're inconveint so I want to make it so this will never happen again. Depending on the type of aid, I can up the frequency and…' Clint stopped reading after that because Tony had gone into genius mode and half the words were nonsensical, illegible, and hard to understand.

Clint handed over his hearing aids. It had taken Clint a long time to trust people. It had taken Phil and Nat years to earn his trust and they had literally bled together on occasion. All of his team-mates had earned his trust by having his back time and time again, so it was time to show that trust, starting with his hearing aids, which was the ultimate sign of his vulnerability.

"Just please, don't do anything too complicated to them, keep it simple." Clint told him but Tony had already rushed off, excited to get his hands on a new piece of equipment.

"I'll make sure he doesn't go all Stark on them, they will be returned to you, better than ever." Bruce promised as he turned to follow Tony to the lab.

It was times like this that Clint loved his life. He had a wonderful husband, a good paying although sometimes stressful job, and he had the greatest set of friends that a guy could ask for.

Ending author's note: The comic book character Clint Barton/Hawkeye is 80% deaf in both ears which is what I used. I love his character and I love that little flaw of his. It just makes him that much more likable and badass, awesome, right.