"Do you think this is wise?"
"Well, I was bored and I heard there were free drinks …."
Boots clattered on the marble stairs, taking them two, even three at a time; Clint skidded around the landing of the first floor and sprinted upward. Heart pounding, breathing shallow and quick, he kept moving, his brain processing even faster.
"You think you can stop me? Surely even you know that is an asinine idea."
"Hey, no casting aspersions there, Bucket Head. I pull some of my best ideas out of my ass."
He hung a right at the third floor, barreling down the hallway, footfalls echoing off the walls. Normally this gallery would be teeming with people on a Saturday afternoon – families with strollers and toddlers, teenagers pretending to not be interested, college students studying the exhibits, middle aged, the elderly, a cross-section of New Yorkers. But now, it was completely empty, everyone evacuated.
"And how do you expect this to work? You will talk me to death?"
"I was thinking we'd have a drink, do some shopping, see about getting you a better wardrobe. That suit screams '90s."
The glass was thick, but gave way when he fired multiple bullets at close distance; he averted his eyes as a spider web of cracks appeared, making it simple to kick the whole pane out and let it drop to the floor. For a split second, he admired the array of beautiful curves and elaborate decoration, swirls of restored color in natural dyes, inlayed wood in intricate patterns. Then he eased one bow out, a beautiful cedar example of the Iroquois's handiwork, half in awe of the history it carried. A braided string – a replica made for display – and he raced over to the arrowhead display, smashed it in and fumbled through them until he found one with just the right heft and weight.
"Playing for time, Stark?" A laugh. "So your friends can join you? Actually, I might be amenable to that. Mjolnir is metal, as is the good Captain's shield. I could add to my collection."
"Can't a guy just want to chat anymore? Honestly, conversation is a lost art. I really think …"
Tony's voice broke, and the comms crackled, signal going in and out. There was no mistaking the sound of metal crinkling and Tony's pained grunt. Tony was a complete ass, fucking grandstanding like this, rushing in with no back up. It was Magneto for god's sake. Magneto. Iron Man. Even a seven-year-old could figure out the problem with that. But there he was, on the roof of the American Museum of Natural History, getting his suit demolished by a powerful mutant who could control anything metal. Clint should really just leave Tony's idiotic ass hanging out to dry, but he darted into the back service stairwell and plowed up to the roof access door.
"Now, Stark. I have no quarrel with you. Step aside and you can go back to your lab and tinker to your heart's content. Stay and they'll need a can opener to get what's left of you out of that suit."
"So you can get what you came for? What was that again?"
Another groan as more metal folded in on itself.
A quick pause to string the bow – his fingers fairly vibrated in anticipation of drawing this magnificent weapon – and then he took one of the wooden shafts with natural fletching from the quiver and jury rigged the bone arrowhead in place. He'd have only one shot; the second he exited the emergency access door, the other two mutants – Sabretooth and Pyro – would be on him. Even with Jarvis's intel, he'd have only a fraction of a heartbeat to aim and release. Then he'd be lucky to survive the onslaught.
"Enough. I am done here."
"Sorry, but I decide when I've had enough."
It all happened at once. Tony's scream tore over the comm. Clint kicked down the door, pulled back the string, aimed, and released in one fluid movement. The arrow sank into Magneto's right shoulder, the best target from the angle Clint had. A blur of fur and teeth and long sharp nails came hurtling at Clint even as he dodged a jet of fire that singed the arm he'd thrown up for protection. A heavy weight crashed into his chest, carried him down to the hard gravel strewn surface, knocking the air out of his lungs. Rancid breath washed over his face, and blood trickled into one eye.
"Time to die, little bird." Hands yanked Clint up by the collar; cat-like eyes glared into his and then slammed his head back down. Pain burst, his eyes rolled back, and the world went dark.
Since they'd been doing this … thing … sex … whatever it was … Clint had carefully avoided any situations that could be construed as emotional for a number of reasons. First was the fact that he pretty much sucked at relationships; not from lack of trying, mind you, but he just fucked it up somehow. He worked too much, was too distance, wanted too much, moved too fast, moved too slow, was too kinky, was too vanilla – there was always something. Secondly, there was the whole "I'm fucking Tony Stark" thing to get around; sort of inhibited him a little when he'd have Tony's cock in his mouth and suddenly wondered if his blow job was even in the top ten of Stark's Hall of Fame. Third, well, neither one of them was exactly well-adjusted; Tony had joked once that, between the two of them, they'd logged more therapy hours than the whole Kardashian clan. Talking about feelings wasn't on the top of Clint's best ways to spend an evening. And, finally, Clint damn well didn't want to dissect his reactions; so far, the sex was the best he'd ever had and he didn't want to lose that – or let it go to Stark's already big ego.
But, like it or not, he was going to have to deal with the ice cold fear he felt when he realized Tony had gone to take on Magneto by himself. What he wanted to do was march into Tony's apartment, use a few choice phrases to describe the stupidity of the decision, and then shove him up against the bar and fuck him until he agreed to not do it again. Not that it would work; Tony and Hail Mary passes were synonymous and always would be. That's what made the man a hero. No, Clint was going to have to try another tactic; ignoring the whole issue. He was good at pretending troubles didn't exist. The plan was simple. Drag his sore and abused body up to Tony's penthouse, plop down on the couch, maybe order some food, and find something mindless to watch on the TV. Tony would join him, and they'd do what they did almost every time they were together – heckle the characters, complain about whatever game was on, or snark about the celebrities, the rich and famous. If they were feeling up to it, maybe a quick blow job before Clint stumbled to his own bed to sleep it off. For some reason, anger tended to be the way they communicated the best; get pissed off, fuck each other senseless, leave lots of bruises. And not talk about it later.
He made it all the way to the bar, getting out a highball glass and adding ice, eyeing the bottles to pick his poison for the evening. The doctors had very carefully explained that alcohol and the really good drugs he's taken didn't mix like Clint didn't know that getting shitfaced right now wasn't the best idea. It was just bruising and muscle strain, thank god and thank Captain America's well-thrown shield that knocked Sabretooth away; the man had a great sense of timing, Clint gave him that. He'd have to make a swing by Steve's favorite deli and stock up the fridge with sandwich fixings. Still, he was happy that SHIELD didn't stint on the pain meds, having the best and latest at their disposal. He'd feel it tomorrow, but right now he was doing great … well, maybe okay was a better word. A finger of scotch wasn't going to hurt, especially if he got some protein in his system soon.
"And what the hell do you think you're doing?" Tony strode into the room, wearing only a pair of sweatpants, , a mosaic of mottled bruises blooming up his side of his chest; his left forearm was wrapped tight in an ace bandage, immobilizing it and an ice packet was wrapped around his shoulder. It had been a close thing; the bones weren't broken, thanks to the relatively new pressure equalization protocol Tony had installed in the suit for just such an emergency. "Going to just wander in here as if you didn't show your ass this afternoon?"
Clint blinked. Of the scenarios he imagined, this one was unexpected. Tony was mad at him? For saving his butt? He took a second to screw the top back on the bottle and set it aside before he answered. "Let's review. You took off in a metal suit to confront Magneto on your own, not waiting for back up. I managed to shoot the bastard, stop him from squeezing you like a zit until you popped, at great personal risk may I add, and you're upset? How does that work?"
"Running off half-cocked to grab some ancient artifacts that may or may not break the second you touch them, jumping out of a door knowing you're walking right into the path of a freakin' immortal mutant with claws and a pyromaniac? Yeah that's thinking things through there, Hawk. I had a plan. Steve and Thor were on the way. I just had to stall the sucker and find out what they wanted from the museum. But, no, you had to go play hero and save me." Tony grabbed a bottle and poured himself a drink.
"Yeah, you were doing real well, Tony. By the time Steve got there, you'd have been an expensive pancake. And just how did you plan to get around Magneto's powers? My arrow knocked him out of the game." Clint felt his ire rising at Tony blatantly ignoring his own mistakes.
"Still a better plan than going native and sacrificing yourself." His eyes were flashing and he was working himself up even more, getting a good mad going … and Clint realized where this was leading, the same old song and dance they always did. Well, he'd had enough of that.
"No." Hand held up, he stopped Tony when he stepped closer. "I'm not doing this. If you want to fuck me, then you'll have to think of a different way. I'm done with the angry sex. Too many bruises already and too damn frustrated by your death wish. Damn it, Tony, we can't keep going this way."
Tony wasn't happy, his mouth set in a hard line as he took in what Clint was saying, but he halted, let Clint's palm rest on his chest just near the arc reactor. "What do you want then? Flowers and chocolates and romantic dinners for two? Fly you to Paris to go shopping, buy a diamond stud for your ear? 'Cause that's called dating; I did it with Pepper and that crashed and burned spectacularly. I don't do dating."
Despite the logical voice in his head that knew all of this already, Clint still felt the blow of the words. "Jesus, Tony, all I'm saying is we can have sex without getting pissed off at each other. It won't mean we're dating or seeing each other or sleeping together or anything at all. It will just be sex."
"Right." Tony was still puffed up, looking for a fight, but he slowly started to wind down, glints of humor creeping back in his eyes. "That line didn't work for Bill Clinton, and it sure as hell has never worked for me. But if you want to go with the friends with benefits label, that's fine with me."
"Well, what do you want to call it then?" Clint asked, interested in Tony's answer. He'd probably go for the flippant blow off but there was a slim chance Stark might not. "Fuck buddies is too hipster, don't you think?"
"I don't like labels; they're just words, semantics ," Tony said as he crowded Clint up against the bar, careful to keep their bodies apart, but trapping him all the same. "And I don't like things handed to me on a silver platter. I like to work for them."
That point, Clint understood. If things came easily, there were strings attached, and both of them wanted to pretend there was no attachment. A big fat lie, of course … only people who cared too much did stupid things like face down Magneto in a metal can or use an ancient bow and bit of bone to protect someone they cared about.
"Made you work enough tonight or do you want me to spank your ass for almost getting killed today?" Clint saw the gleam that statement brought to Tony's eye. The man had a kink, that was for sure.
"Oh, no, you're the bad boy, here, Clint." Tony slipped a hand around Clint's neck and brushed his thumb along the stubbly jaw. "But we'll let that go tonight."
The kiss was slow with just a hint of sweet, like the scotch they both liked to drink, as heady as any burn of alcohol. Clint tilted his head and leaned into it, the soft grazes easing into light nips and languid building of pressure. Hips gently bumped, the mildest of touches that left them wanting; hands cradled and fingers looped through belts as they parted their lips to breathe then skimmed mouths again. The kiss finally put to rest that niggling doubt in Clint's mind, the one that suggested his desire for Tony was only a mutual satisfaction society, just two people with needs, fulfilling them with each other's body. Hot and heavy, angry and aggressive sex could be blowing off steam; this - quiet and light, yet so intense and filled with longing – this was much more.
Tony's hand moved around to the small of Clint's back, and he couldn't stifle the hiss when fingers landed on a particularly sore spot. "Sorry. Landed pretty hard on the roof," Clint said when Tony eyed him for an answer.
"Is there anywhere you don't hurt, Indiana?" Tony grinned.
"I could ask you the same there, bucko." Clint nodded to Tony's arm.
"It would take a lot worse to keep me from fucking you; hell, there was this one time I broke my leg skiing in Vail …" Tony's smile widened when Clint stepped forward and guided him over to the couch.
"Well then, we'll just have to go slow for once. You do know that this can take more than five minutes, right?" Clint had to help when Tony struggled to unbutton the shirt Clint had picked because buttons were easier than pulling a t-shirt over his head at the moment.
"I'll have you know I can go all night, provided there are some breaks and food and sleep and more booze." Tony made a little grunt when Clint's hand caught his waistband and shimmied the sweats down; one side of Clint's mouth quirked up when he saw Tony was commando. "Hey, the elastic irritated."
"Un-huh," he laughed as he kicked his own sweats off – he was wearing nothing beneath either. "I was going for easy access."
Then they were laughing at themselves, trying to arrange their bodies to avoid their various aches and pains; Tony ended up sitting in the chaise part of the couch, resting his shoulder and wrapped hand on one of the cushioned arms and letting his legs fall open. He patted the space between his legs. "Break's over; get your ass over here."
"Bossy," Clint complained, but he went, kneeling and resting his hands on the back of the couch on either side of Tony's head. "I know how to deal with that problem." With perfect aim, he went right for one of Tony's weak spots, the dip of his collarbone, sucking the skin in his mouth and then running his tongue along the ridge to the shoulder, staying on the right side.
"That sounds cocky, you know." Tony retaliated by wrapping his hand around Clint's bicep and squeezing. "We've been doing this … what … a couple weeks?"
He hit Tony's earlobe next, biting it lightly. "Six months."
Tony shifted until he could rub the head of his half-erect cock along Clint's. "No way. We've only been in the tower since … good god was that really almost a year ago?"
"You remember the first time, surely? Alternate universes, and I quote, 'the hottest thing ever'." Clint tangled one hand in Tony's hair, deliberately messing with it then dragged his tongue across Tony's lower lip, glad to hear that little sound Tony made in his throat when he was getting aroused. "Granted, more like three or four months by the time you take out all my missions and your jetting around the world."
"I remember you being gone to … Beirut? Berlin? Bangladesh? … Belize. For three weeks. It was boring around here." Using his hand at the nape of Clint's neck as leverage, Tony tugged him down into another kiss, paying Clint back by carding his fingers through Clint's already spiky hair. "Now are you going to use that mouth for something good, bitch?"
"Jerk." Clint grinned – he'd gotten them started on Supernatural after all – and slipped off the chaise, dropping his knees on the cold floor.
"Nope." Tony shook his head and patted the couch next to him. "That hand doesn't work well at the moment. Oh, get the lube, would you? And open it for me."
"Anything else, master? Massage or feed you some grapes?" There was a tube and some condoms in the drawer of the end table just like always. He moved to the other side of the couch and started to kneel again, but opted to lay on his side, resting on his elbow, Tony's thigh in the space between his arm and his chest.
"If you want to do this dry, that's your choice; otherwise, you're going to have to help, smart ass." Tony waved at him. Clint flipped up the cap and squeezed some out onto Tony's hand; he promptly smeared it all over one cheek of Clint's ass, the gel cold on his skin.
"Oh, you want to play?" Bending his head down, Clint blew lightly across the head of Tony's cock; one hand cupped Tony's balls as the other circled around the base. When the heavy cock jerked at the contact, Clint gave Tony his best grin filled with sexy evil intention.
"Do your worst, Legolas," Tony shot back. His hand slid over the curve of Clint's ass, down the back of his thigh and bent his knee upward, giving Tony's fingers easy access. Circling through the gel, they stroked down and around the tight muscle, teasing and easing one fingertip inside. "I'm pretty sure I can give as good as I take."
Like a game of one-upmanship, they set about driving each other towards their goal. Clint lapped his tongue across the sensitive head then painted the shaft with swirls; Tony worked a finger in and out, loosening Clint up. Funny, but Clint didn't realize how much he had wanted the buildup where he could take his time; to be honest, the power of it all intrigued him, taking smart ass, brash and sure of himself Tony and reducing him to a needy, groaning mess. They usually rushed through it, fast blow jobs with even quicker releases or rapid thrusts that slammed them into a climax without a chance to think about it. Slow and measured, it turned out, was just as good, if not better, than flash bang. For one, Clint got to really taste Tony, learn the places that pushed Tony's buttons and what worked the best – tongue, teeth, lips, suction, nibble, or lick. And Tony discovered that Clint was a little ticklish and that crooking fingers worked much better than circling. Only problem was that Tony's mouth was free; he kept up a constant stream of conversation and the harder his cock got, the dirtier the things coming out of his mouth became. After a particularly graphic request, Clint took Tony's cock in his mouth down to the root; he drew in air through his nose and sucked hard, rolling his tongue up along the shaft as he did, tightening the back of his throat. Tony bucked, cursed, and thrust his fingers in, hard.
"Fuck. Where the hell did you learn that? That's …" Tony stopped talking as Clint did it again; Clint could feel the liquid leaking from the tip, taste the saltiness on his tongue. "Jesus Christ, Clint. I've have blow jobs from porn stars that were supposedly the best. They should take lessons from you." One more time, and Tony groaned and clenched his fingers inside of Clint. "You do that again and I'm done. Damn, that would make me come anytime, anywhere."
Clint pushed up and wiped the edges of his mouth. "You fucked a porn star? Not exactly a fact I needed to know right now."
"Oh, hell no, I didn't fuck her. Give me some credit. I might be an asshole but I have some common sense; I kind of like my equipment in working order. I was trying to compliment you, idiot." Tony watched as Clint shifted, reached over to the table and took out a packet. Opening it, he took his time rolling it down Tony's very red and ready cock. "How about this? You give good head, Clint Barton. Great suck action, Hawk. Fucking hell, that made me want to spurt down your throat or all over your face there, Katniss."
"Jesus, Tony," Clint protest was mixed with a chuckle as he straddled Tony and guided himself down until the tip of Tony's cock was barely inside of him. Taking a deep breath, he leaned his hands on the back of the couch; Tony's face was looking up at him, a wicked glint in his eye. "Hey, look at that. Twenty minutes of foreplay. Think we can make thirty total?" With that, Clint lowered his body, impaling himself in one slow slide.
"After that little trick, I'll have to see what I can do." Tony's hand moved around and helped spread Clint so he could settle a little further and the motion dragged a sigh of contentment from Tony. "Fucking primed to blow thanks to someone who never misses."
"Damn right. You calling the game while I'm ahead?" Circling his hips, Clint rose up and sank back down; he could never get enough of the fullness, pleasure mixed with the tiniest edge of ache, the thrust and retreat a lot like fighting, or dancing, or just having a conversation with Tony.
"If you're resorting … to terrible puns … I've already won." Tony's voice was starting to get breathy as he angled his hips and thrust up to meet Clint on the next few movements. "Besides … I'm the one … fucking you. That's extra points."
"I think … you're the one … being ridden here." Clint bowed his back as his knees took most of the brunt of his weight; a tight line of muscle on his side began to protest the repetition. "That means … I win." He bent down further, capturing Tony's mouth to avoid his smart ass response then lifted up to increase the speed and power. They were both breathing heavily as their bodies collided and retreated, and they kept the tempo for a few minutes until the stitch in Clint's side became worse, and he winced as the motion wrenched the abused muscle.
"Hey, stop if you need to," Tony held Clint's hip and stilled them when Clint was seated all the way down. "Try putting your hands on my knees; might stretch it out."
Sitting up, Clint reached behind him and spread each hand onto one of Tony's legs. The move arched his stomach forward, and he felt the tension release and fade away; it also shifted the angle of their bodies so that, suddenly, Tony's cock was resting right against the sweet spot, and Clint's sigh of relief became a groan of bliss. "Oh, god, yes, that's good."
"Hey, I'm not god, but I am good." Tony gave a shallow thrust and Clint saw spots before his eyes. "Got four minutes left. Now who's the one not going to make it?"
"Don't fucking care. Just do that again. Harder."
It was a bit of a balancing act; twice Tony's hand landed on a sore place and Clint had to widen his stance to avoid a bruise low on Tony's chest, but they got it worked out and then they both shut up, focused on the intense sensation. When Tony's hand curled around Clint's cock and stroked him that, combined with the jolt of each plunge, sent Clint hurtling over the edge, and he came, splattering them both. Tony managed a shaky laugh of triumph and then he was stuttering and giving a final thrust as he came, buried deep inside of Clint. The difficulty was finding a way to extricate themselves and collapse; Clint couldn't lay on his back and Tony couldn't roll to his left. They managed, somehow, but it was damn funny; by the time Clint was sprawled on his stomach, ass pointed towards Tony, they were both laughing, almost hysterically.
"Oh, god, chalk that up to ideas that sounded good at the time," Clint said between laughs, pushing up onto his elbows and looking back over his shoulder.
"Did you pull a muscle there, old man?" Tony looked at both of them, the messy state they were in and gave Clint a smack on his ass. Clint's groan made Tony's smile even wider. "Didn't even leave a handprint there, sport. Give me a few minutes … or an hour maybe … and we'll see about that."
"Jesus, Tony, between the meds and the sex, I'm going to be passed out by then." Just then, Clint's stomach growled loudly, rumbling for them both to hear. "After food. Food would be good. Something greasy and filling."
"Sounds like a plan. But loser pays." It took Tony two tries to extricate himself from the couch.
"And how do you figure that? You saw god, admit it."
"You came first. And that last position was my idea. So … winner."
"Fine, damn it, I'm too tired to argue. But that means Island Burgers." Clint pushed back onto his hands and knees, and then just stayed there, arching his back up and down to stretch it out.
"You get a Best Western and I'll get an Acapulco, so the onions will cancel each other out." Tony made his way towards his bedroom. "Jarvis?"
"Of course sir. Order being placed. Would you be having any sides with that?"
"Chili cheese fries. One's big enough for both." Clint finally managed to roll off the couch and started to round up his sweat pants and shirt.
"Very good sir. Estimated time of arrival 27 minutes."
They cleaned up and dressed, Tony pouring them both a drink when he was done. "Well," he said, handing the glass to Clint. "We should add that to our repertoire – quick blow jobs, angry sex and … what do we call it?"
"I'm glad we didn't die sex?" Clint took the proffered drink and sank down on the chaise sitting cross legged to keep his back away from the cushions.
"Stupid decision sex it is."
"Sir, Captain Rogers and Thor are on their way up. I believe they are concerned about your condition," Jarvis warned. Tony had time to pour two more glasses before the elevator door swished open and the men exited.
"Tony, just wanted to check and make sure you're doing okay. Both you and Clint left med bay and …." Steve trailed off when he saw Clint; there was absolutely no way to mistake what they'd been up to. Clint's hair was a complete mess, spiking up in all directions, his shirt was unbuttoned, Tony had a hickey on his collarbone, and the smell of sex was in the air.
"We are not interrupting your festivities? We can return later," Thor offered.
"Not a bit. We just ordered from Island Burgers; we need something to eat with all the pain meds they pumped us with. Want to join us?" Tony waved a glass at them.
"The establishment with the Nay Palm Sandwich?" Thor's eyes lit up. The man loved super spicy, atomic flavored food and the Napalm burger was right up his alley. "I'll take two!"
"Wait, wait. You and Clint … are you …" Steve didn't seem to know the exact word to ask the question.
"Dating. Clint and I are dating. Six months now. Where have you been?" Casually, as if they hadn't just been naked and having sex in the very spot, Tony wandered over and sat down beside Clint.
"You knew?" Steve asked Thor; the Asgardian merely shrugged.
"Was it a secret? I am grateful my friend have become shield mates."
Steve looked at everyone in turn and then shook his head. "I'll take the Deluxe Chili. And a chocolate shake."
"Jarvis, call it in and add shakes for everyone. Plus another order of fries." Tony smirked at Clint. "And charge Clint's account."