By Maquis Leader
Rated ? – a dirty word or two
Author’s note: After the Avengers and Coulson is very much alive, thank you! Taking just a bit of Barton’s back story from the comicverse.
He really had very little to pack. Secret agents aren’t exactly expected to accumulate personal items. Actually they’re discouraged from doing so. Things mean ties and ties make you vulnerable to compromise. SHIELD does not tolerate compromised agents. Oh how SHIELD did not tolerate compromised agents.
That said, Clint did a quick double check of his stuff. Bow case with bow, quiver and arrows. Check. Case with rifle, scope, stand and ammo. Check. Nine mil, holster and ammo. Check. Knife strapped to hip. Check. Photograph of – he halted, running his fingertips over the picture. This was exactly what happened when an agent tried to have a life.
“Dumb ass.” He shook his head at the man in the photo. Big goofy smile, eyes lit up like he’d just won the lottery. Arms wrapped around the beautiful blonde woman leaning back against him. Maybe he had. Lottery winners usually ended up worse off after they won. He sure had.
He didn’t recognize himself in the picture, had he really smiled like that? Open and happy, like he didn’t have a care in the world? Like death wasn’t lurking a short distance down the road?
“Oh, Bobbi…” Clint sighed. “I still miss you, babe. Guess I always will.”
Sitting on the edge of the bed, he stroked her face. He’d been a rogue agent, heading security for an extremely questionable tech company. They’d paid good and didn’t care about his lack of a resume. And he didn’t care about their questionablity. Bobbi had been the SHIELD agent sent to infiltrate the company and find out if they were selling to the wrong side of whatever Fury thought they should be on.
They fought each other, then they fought the security team at his (former) employer, then they fell in love. Not into bed – they did, but not like that – not just fucking off the extra energy of a mission – but into each other’s arms and into love with all the hearts and flowers that comes with it.
Bobbi had brought him in, got Fury to make him a SHIELD agent. Their life was full of laughter and happiness. Love and giddiness. Hallmark only dreamed of moments like they’d had. For the first time in his life, he was loved and in love, and in a place where he fit. Too bad it hadn’t lasted.
He blinked hard. “Life sucks, Barton, get over it.” Carefully, Clint tucked the photograph into his duffel, making sure it was between layers of jeans to protect it.
One last item, one he hadn’t removed since she’d given it to him. A ring would mess up his grip, though he’d been more than willing to adjust. “I’m not risking ruining your perfect record even for our wedding ring.”
Bobbi had stood on tiptoe to drop the gold chain around his neck, the ring dangling from it coming to rest on his chest. “This way you won’t have to take it off, even undercover. We’ll always know it’s there.”
Carefully, he lifted the chain, pulling it off over his head. The chain snagged a little in his hair, little painful pulls as if it was resisting. “Sorry, babe.” Clint pressed a kiss to the ring.
“You don’t have to take it off.”
Clint jumped and scrabbled a hand down his hip for his knife. The ring hit the floor and bounced, the chain chasing behind it. He had the knife pulled halfway out before his brain recognized that it was Phil standing in the doorway of his quarters. “You scared the hell out of me.”
“You don’t have to take it off.” Phil repeated softly. He stepped inside and the door closed behind him. Leaning down, he picked up the ring and dusted it off carefully on his jacket before offering it to Clint.
“I should. You know?” Clint took the ring, wrapping the chain around his shaking fingers. “Don’t you think?”
“I think it doesn’t bother me that you wear it. Bobbi Morse was a good woman. She gave her life to save yours.” Phil smiled that small smile of his. “I could never be jealous of her. Only…”
“Only?” Phil wasn’t one to beat around the bush. Ever.
“I hope that she would approve of me.”
He’d forgotten that Phil hadn’t known Bobbi. Phil had been who knows where at Fury’s command. It wasn’t until he’d burned through three handlers in the months after Bobbi’s death that Phil had been assigned to him. Apparently, Phil was the one for difficult agents on their last chance.
Clint smiled at him, a small quiet smile. The kind of smile that fit his new life.
“Well, at the very least, you should have something to put it in.” Phil pulled a small velvet bag out of his pocket.
It was soft and had gold embroidery linking his Hawkeye symbol with Bobbi’s Mockingbird symbol from the old SHIELD files. He laughed softly. “How did you know?”
“I didn’t.” He shrugged. “I thought that you might need it someday. I believe in being prepared.”
“Overgrown boy scout.” Clint said fondly. Pressing another kiss to the ring, he let it slip into the bag, trailing the chain in after it. “Goodbye, Bobbi.”
Phil stood silent while Clint put it in the duffle next to the photograph and zipped the bag up. Watched Clint sling the bow and rifle cases over one shoulder and the duffle the other.
“When we get home, I’d really like the picture on the mantle.”
Clint cocked an eyebrow at him. “Why?”
The other man shrugged. “I like your smile.”
Neither of them were overly demonstrative, they had a strong, quiet and comfortable love. Still, Clint leaned in to brush Phil’s lips with his own.
Anyone else would think Phil’s expression didn’t change. They didn’t see the minute crinkles at the corners of his eyes, the small upward twitch of the left side of his mouth and the bright twinkle in the gray eyes. Clint saw it all. Knew this was the equivalent of the big goofy smile in the photograph.
“I like your smile, too.”
Author’s note: In the comics, Barton was married to Bobbi Morse, aka Mockingbird, and she did sacrifice herself to save him. I remember reading a few issues of his comic when it was out years ago and they were a fun couple. The Barton in the movies wouldn't recognize that guy anymore.