This story is a birthday present for Aliqueen16! *insert Stiles gif here* happy birthday! Words can't describe how happy I am that you're my friend. I love you so much ❤
This is my first time writing a Marvel story that isn't centered on the immediate Ironfam, so I hope it goes well!
Thank you so much, Clover-Rose, for editing this whole doing your final exams. And for making the cover. I really appreciate it.
And now, on with the story!
New York City, New York. SHIELD headquarters medical bay. May 28th, 2017; 9:39 p.m.
"So? What's the verdict?" Natasha asked, a mango-pineapple smoothie in her right hand, and Peter's green apple smoothie in her left, as she leaned against the door to the kid's hospital room, with Clint behind her. The two of them had just gotten back from a mission of interrupting a major drug ring with Peter, which has resulted in the leaders being apprehended. However, they were distracted fighting those involved, so didn't see it coming or have time to warn the kid when someone snuck up behind him and bashed his head into a wall three times, before he slumped to the ground, unconscious; and, despite coming off as menacing to most, Natasha actually cared a lot for the kid, so here she was being a Responsible Adult™️. Plus, it wasn't like she could leave him alone anyway, since May was halfway across the country, and Tony had to go an emergency business trip two days into Peter staying at the tower. "Is he going to be okay?"
The SHIELD paramedic nodded, as they passed over the multiple radiographic scans. "He will be," they replied. "The MRI results came back a while ago, so he has a grade three concussion—"
"Damn," Clint muttered, peering over Natasha's shoulder and loudly slurping his sour-cherry smoothie. "That's not good."
The SHIELD paramedic mildly glared at the man, but otherwise did nothing and continued talking. "Anyway, the MRI results came back, so he has a grade three concussion and the two rows of stitches at the back of his head. What I'm really worried about, though, is the potential brain damage that can occur if he falls asleep, so I want to take precautions and have him stay awake for a full twelve hours to ensure nothing happens."
"But Tony won't be back until tomorrow night, and his aunt's not gonna be back until Tuesday," Clint mentioned, worry lacing his features. There was no way the kid was going to be able to stay up for an entire day on his own, especially with how tired and nauseous he'd feel from his concussion. "What do we do? We can't just leave him here."
"We can camp out with him here," Natasha stated, before directing her attention back to the paramedic. "Is there anything else we should know?"
"Just that the medication he's on will make him very tired and very dizzy," the paramedic responded politely, "so it's best not to leave him alone for too long. Otherwise, just don't let him pull his stitches, and make sure he stays away from any screens."
Natasha nodded, and waited until the paramedic walked down the hall to adjust the two smoothies in her hands, and passed Peter's over to Clint. Then, she had gently knocked on the door twice, before opening it and spotting the teenager lying in the hospital bed. "Hey, kid," she said. "You doin' okay?"
"Mostly," Peter replied, before he pushed himself up on the bed and smiled at Natasha, despite the nausea building up in his stomach from the consistently spinning room. "My he'd really hurts, th'ugh." He rubbed tiredly at his eyes. "Did the doct'r s'y if I can go h'me?"
Natasha shook her head, her eyes sad and her expression solemn. "Sorry, kid," she stated. "The doctor wants you to stay awake for a full day, and keep you overnight for observation; said something about brain damage."
Peter groaned, and rested his arm over his eyes. All he wanted to do was go to sleep.
"But we did get you a smoothie!" Clint exclaimed as he gave the beverage a little shake, trying to lighten the mood in the room. "And it's green apple flavoured!"
Peter opened his eyes at this, but swallowed harshly and decided against drinking it. "C'n I have it l'ter?" he asked, already feeling his stomach climb into his throat. "I d'n't think it'll st'y down right n'w."
Clint nodded, and strode over to the mini fridge by the end of the bed. "That's probably best," he agreed, as putting the cold beverage in the back of. "You're looking almost as green as the smoothie, anyway." He felt a glare being aimed at the back of his head, before he closed the small machine shut and walked back over to the injured (and sick) kid.
"Thanks," Peter muttered, as he tiredly closed his eyes. As soon as he did though, he felt someone poke his shoulder, and he opened them again. "You guys d'n't h've to st'y with me, though. I'm sure y'u're busy with SHIELD 'tuff."
"Just some paperwork," Natasha insisted, as she pulled a chair out of seemingly nowhere. She sat backwards on it, with her legs sticking out the sides and her arms resting on top, and set her tropical-flavoured smoothie on the nightstand beside the bed. "And we can do that later, anyway. You wanna hear a story?"
Peter shrugged, and swallowed thickly. He was little less nauseous now, but still looked as sick and as exhausted as ever. "Sure," he said, after rolling over to lie on his right side. "What'cha got?"
From the corner of their eyes, Clint and Natasha met each other's and Clint smirked, knowingly. Then, he had leaned back in the small plastic chair, with his sour-cherry smoothie still in hand and his right leg crossed over his left on top of the bed. "It all started," he began, "in Hungary of 1995…"
Budapest, Hungary. Hősök tere. Translation - Heroes' Square. May 22nd, 1995; 12:37 p.m.
"Give me a refresher on what our suspect profiles are," Clint spoke in a soft tone, trying not to alert the tourists around him who were much more focused on the attraction he was standing at than his mission.
"Ágoston Bodrogi. Height is five-ten, has a medium build, aged thirty-seven, is from Turkish and Hungarian descent. Green eyes, short black hair, could be seen with or without a beard. He's made a living cheating people out of their houses and selling them for very inflated prices. Thievery is his side hustle," Natasha reported with a calm and clear voice, as she sat, perched, in one of the trees. She adjusted her binoculars before she continued speaking. "He also knows multiple marital arts and has a history of violence, so be breath for conflict."
Clint nodded and scanned the groups in his immediate vision, but didn't see anyone matching Ágoston's description. "The person he's making the transaction with—can you give me that description again? She might be waiting for him."
"Ashley Morris. Height is 5'5, has a small build, aged twenty-six, is from Canadian descent. Brown eyes, long brown hair. She looks younger than she is, the most recent pictures I have make her seem 18 years old. She's an accomplished street thief and bank robber. She probably agreed to this trade for her own benefit instead of a mutual one; and she has a lot of fighting experience, too, so tread lightly."
"Natasha, you and I both know that I'm light on my feet," Clint joked before scanning the crowd, and immediately finding a woman matching Ashley's description. "Found her. You have the tracker and mic ready?"
"Yeah, we just need to convince her to give us directions," Natasha insisted as she lowered herself from the tree and started the quick walk to Heroes' Square. "Ready to play the part?"
"I'm ready when you are, honey," Clint agreed before taking off the earpiece just in time to walk up to the woman. "Hi, sorry to bother you," he apologized after tapping her shoulder. "My name is Bob Dunwoody, and this is my wife, Joan. We're from Tampa, Flordia, and we're completely lost."
"We need directions to the Victor Vasarely Museum," Natasha added.
While she was giving the directions, Nat managed to slip the microscopic mic into Ashley's purse and gave Clint the cue, which was the brief raising of both eyebrows.
"—After that, you should be right in front of the museum," she finished, and the two of them gave their thanks before walking away from Heroes' Square.
"We'll have those two in custody in no time." Nat muttered, pulling the tracker out of her pocket and watching the small ping closely.
"And then we'll go to the museum?" Clint questioned, and when he received a glare from Natasha, he defended himself by throwing his arms up and shouting, "Hey, everyone likes modern art!"
New York City, New York. SHIELD headquarters medical bay. May 29th, 2017; 1:18 a.m.
"And the missi'n w's successful?" Peter asked with a yawn, as his eyes sleepily started to blink closed. He was trying so hard to stay awake, but he'd been up for hours now, and all he wanted was to go to bed.
Natasha and Clint both looked at each other and grinned, before Clint broke out into laughter and doubled over, his legs nearly falling off the bed in the process. "Are you kidding me?" Natasha spoke up. "No, the rest of the story is an absolute shit show."
"So wh't h'ppened next?" Peter questioned, feeling absolutely worn out. At the end of the bed, he felt Clint lightly kick his foot, but ignored it and just swallowed to counteract the nausea rising in his stomach, as he pulled the baby blue blankets up to his shoulders. A headache was also building behind his eyes from the sleep-deprivation and still-spinning room, and Peter distantly wondered if he should ask Natasha or Clint to see if the night-shift paramedic could either give him an ice pack or switch out the medications he was on. "Y'u c'tch the b'd guys?"
Natasha reached over to the nightstand took a sip of her smoothie, before she resumed the story. "Not quite," she replied, shaking her head. "So, anyway…"
Budapest, Hungary. Rákóczi Bridge. May 22nd, 1995; 4:55 p.m.
"The tracker is probably malfunctioning, Nat." Clint groaned as he looked across the bridge from where the two of them were suspended from the framework. "It says that she's right here, and we're the only ones on this stupid bridge."
"You should definitely call a Hungarian landmark stupid. It'll really help your reputation with the locals." Natasha rolled her eyes before smacking the tracker with the palm of her hand. "Maybe Ashley found it and threw it onto the bridge or something."
"Then how about we get down and check out that museum before getting something to eat? I'm looking forward to trying some of the Hungarian cuisine," Clint suggested, lowering himself down with ease. "I'll even pay for all of it."
Natasha let out a sigh as she started to get down. This was one of her first upscale international missions and she had let the culprits get away when she had been face to face with one of them earlier that day. She could've just stopped it then and there, and now she had to face Fury and tell him that her plan resulted in them getting away.
"Hey, chin up," Clint told her when he saw her face. "It's one mission, and it wasn't like you did something stupid and it failed. You did the smart thing. I would've flown in blind and definitely got one of us hurt."
Natasha chuckled at that, and lowered herself down from the framework of the bridge, putting the suspension ropes in her bag. Then, she and Clint walked next to one another toward the museum and then to find a restaurant.
"And, besides," Clint added, cheekily, as he held the door open for the redhead, "it's not like it's the end of the world…"
Budapest, Hungry. Inside a really tall building. May 22nd, 1995; 8:57 pm.
"What do you mean you let them get away?!" Nick Fury roared, later that day, as he stood before his two best agents. Or, at least he thought they were the best. Now, he was beginning to change his mind. "This was one of your first international missions!" He pointed a finger at Natasha, before throwing his arms up in the air. "And, it took two years to track them down!"
"It's not like we didn't follow orders," Natasha spoke, her tone even and calm. "We tracked them down, and had them in place, and planted the tracker just like you said."
"And they still got away! What the hell are we supposed to do now?"
"It's my fault," Clint said suddenly, as he stepped forward. "The tracked I planted must've been faulty. I must've forgotten to charge it or something."
If Fury didn't look pissed before, he certainly did now. "You forgot to charge it?!" he demanded. Letting out an annoyed sigh, he rubbed a hand over his face and facepalmed, unable to believe the archer's stupidity. "You know what?" he said, at last. "Just get out! I don't have time to deal with this shit."
New York City, New York. SHIELD headquarters medical bay. May 29th, 2017; 8:23 a.m.
"Did y'u guys ever find them?" Peter questioned from the bed. He was fighting back a yawn now, and the thought of sleep kept creeping to the forefront of his thoughts. He couldn't wait for the remaining hour and a half to pass, when he could finally go to bed.
Natasha shook her head. "We tried to," she replied. Sometime during the night, she had switched out the uncomfortable plastic chair for a leather recliner, and was now sitting with her knees bent and legs on top of each other, looking somewhat like a mermaid. "Fury was pissed, though."
"He still won't talk to me about it," Clint joked, before taking a sip from the green-apple smoothie. Peter had been too nauseous to drink it during the night and he wasn't about to let it go to waste, no matter how gross and watery it was. "I think he holds it against me."
"I wouldn't be surprised." Nat rolled her eyes.
Clint grinned, and was about to say something back, when a knock on the door interrupted them and the three heroes turned to look at the visitor. It was the same paramedic as before. "Hey," they said, peering their head in. "Sorry to interrupt, but we have to take another MRI. It should take about an hour and once that's all done, we should be able to discharge you."
Peter blinked twice, the words not really filtering in his tired mind. "But T'ny isn't here yet. He's 'ne of my emergency cont'cts; supp'sed to sign me 'ut."
The paramedic looked down at their clipboard, and flipped through the pages. "What time is Mr. Stark supposed to be coming?" they asked.
"'Around 'en am."
The paramedic scribbled something down on their clipboard, and chewed on the inside of their cheek. They looked worried, for some reason.
"We can wait with you till he's here," Natasha offered, as she rose from her armchair. On the other side of the room, Clint was still sitting, loudly slurping Peter's mushy smoothie. "Do you need help standing up?"
"No." The teen shook his head. "I g't it." Throwing the multiple blankets off, Peter had slipped out of bed, but as soon as he stood, the world swayed around him, and the floor almost met his head.
"Careful." Softly but securely, Natasha grabbed the teenager's arms and set him back down on the bed. Then, she had glanced up at the archer and gestured at something across the room, before starting to work on Peter's IV. "Clint, you want to get a wheelchair?" she asked.
Rising from his chair, Clint set the neon-green smoothie down, before he walked over to the entranceway and rolled the wheelchair over. "Sorry 'bout that," he apologized, smiling sheepishly. "You okay now, kid?"
Peter nodded slowly, but stopped once the pounding in his head got worse and the room started spinning again. "Yeah," he muttered, eyes slipping shut. "My head jus' h'rts. And 'm really 'ired. Wann' go to sleep."
Clint nodded, and patted the kid's shoulder once Natasha got him into the wheelchair. "We know," he replied. "But just hold on a bit longer, okay? It'll all be over soon."
New York City, New York. SHIELD headquarters medical bay. May 29th, 2017; 10:47 a.m.
"So he's gonna be okay?" Tony asked the paramedic, who had been treating Peter since he came in from the drug bust. He had gotten the news about Peter's concussion while he was asleep, and as soon as he read the message, he made a beeline towards New York. "No brain damage?"
"He's gonna be just fine, Mr. Stark," The paramedic assured him, although his heart rapidly beating from worry wasn't helping the situation. "Agent Romanoff and Agent Barton were with him all night to make sure there wasn't any permanent damage, and his MRI results came back clean. He's all ready to go."
Tony let out a sigh of relief. He could trust Natasha and Clint to watch Peter. He could feel his tense muscles relax and his heartbeat slow as he followed the paramedic down the hall to the room where Peter had been resting since the night before.
"I'll send the discharge papers upstairs," they explained before they opened the door, and Tony felt his heart swell a little at the site.
Natasha was asleep in a very large recliner— which shocked him because he didn't know how the hell she had gotten in through the doorway, but he had also learned not to underestimate her in the years he had known her, and Clint had his head resting his folded arms that were laying on the foot of the bed. Meanwhile, Peter was being propped up by three pillows, and was lying on his side, with a second IV fitted into the back of his right hand, and a handful of the baby blue hospital blankets being bunched up in his left as he slept.
Tony couldn't help but smile at the sight. He made a mental note to thank Natasha and Clint later for watching Peter before feeling sleep come for him. Yawning, he made his way over to Natasha's recliner, and poked her once. She just scooted over to the left side of the chair while keeping her eyes closed, like she was gonna do that in her sleep anyway.
Taking a seat in the right side of the chair, Tony allowed his eyes to close, but not before he looked at Peter's peaceful face one more time, and sighed. The kid was okay.