8 Bit and On

A Word: Kink meme prompt asking for Steve playing five games and Clint commenting from the back. Games chosen at random from my shelves.



"Where's Cap?" Clint asks when he drags himself into the communal kitchen that they all seem to gravitate to even though each suite has its own fully stocked kitchen. He's feeling every mile of the gravel road he got dragged over the previous day when babysitting some new recruits and they did what all rookies do best.

Made repeated, stupid ass and deadly mistakes.

"In the game room," Nat's smirking at him because she's made her stance on training the next generation of agents very clear from day one. She doesn't do it.

"We got a game room?" Clint ignores her smugness at his injuries with long practiced ease and takes a plate of bagels that's been conveniently left untouched next to Bruce's elbow. Multigrained and covered with some kind of jam that might be a superfruit or genetically altered strawberries designed to be healthier. Clint doesn't know, and he doesn't ask because -aside from keeping Bruce happy that they're all eating healthyish- it tastes damn good. "When'd that happen?"

"Sometime between midnight and 3 AM is our best guess," Bruce says, folding up the paper he was reading into a small packet and draining the rest of his tea. His unofficial role of food protector apparently complete now that everyone has had a chance to have some breakfast. A habit the man had developed early with Thor's tendency to hoover up everything in sight. "Tony wanted to see Steve play Duck Hunt."

Clint grins around his food and swallows the bite almost entirely unchewed as he gets back up from the table and heads toward the door. "Seriously? I've got to see that."



The room is one of a dozen conference rooms they haven't needed as of yet. The table is still there, shoved into a corner to make room for a couple of couches and a battered looking coffee table that's probably going to get replaced as soon as Tony wakes up.

The man in question is taking up the entire cushion area of one couch in an inelegant sprawl that's going to be murder on his neck when he becomes conscious again. Clint smirks as he spots a suspiciously shiny spot coming out from where Tony's face is smashed into the seat.

"Morning," Steve says when Clint sits down next to him and balances his plate on his knee. He's holding some nightmarish controller that bears all the hallmarks of a Tony Stark midnight special except it's lacking the tendency to spark, but he's handling it well enough for a man who likely had very little idea what video games even entailed before the last twenty-four hours.

Sonic the Hedgehog races down a lane, swerving and flipping to gather gold rings with almost insulting ease. Steve looks kind of bored when he crosses the finish line. "Not impressed I take it?"

Steve shrugs and carefully presses a button that exits him out of the game. The screen goes back to some database that is filled with tiny pictures of old school game titles. Tony's personal library of every game ever made, ported into his system, and playable anywhere at any time. "They're interesting enough, but there's not much to them other than flashy color and loud sounds."

Clint looks at the games that seem to have been ordered in a haphazard way by Tony. It's mostly chronological, and Clint can see the reasoning behind it. To get Steve up to speed on the basics before easing him into the newer games just like the last few generations of gamers have done. A process that took a couple of decades.

It's a good theory, but the reality is flawed. Tony's passed out and no one has been around to assure Steve that it gets better. That once he got the hang of side scrollers he could move on to other things. The result is that he's now bored and looking ready to call it quits.

"Lemme see that," Clint takes the controller and after a few attempts starts to scroll through the massive collection. "I think Tony wanted to start you off slow, but it looks like you've got the mechanics down alright now. So, how about we try- Ah, here we go."

Clint hands the controller back to Steve as the title screen for Silent Hill pops up. "It's a bit more than flashy colors and loud sound anyway."



Silent Hill



"What the-" Steve squints at the screen, still dark even after Jarvis had helpfully brightened it. "Is Lisa- Wait, no, no, no!" Steve shouts as he furiously mashes on the controller during the cut scene. "Get back in there and help her you coward!"

"Steve," Clint bites back the same grin that's wanted to break out since the first time Steve jumped. On the screen Harry Mason braces himself against the door and Lisa's sobs can be heard as she bangs against it. It's a sad, emotional cutscene meant to highlight the horror of the town, but only serves to piss Steve off. "She's not even alive anymore, I don't think you're going to be able to save her."

"What's that matter? Like hell I'm not going to save her!" Steve snaps back. Stubborn and grim as he regains control of the game and immediately barrels back into the room. The empty room. Steve runs around it checking for any sign of Lisa and looks devastated for five seconds before his eyes narrow and he stops moving.

Deliberately, Steve quits the game and goes back to the main screen. "I don't think I like that game very much," he says darkly.

Clint's dying on the inside from the effort of keeping his laughter in. Cap's very first moment of rage quitting, and Tony's missed it. He's going to be livid when Clint brings this up later. "Understandable, how about something lighter? With humor?"






"Ok," Clint explains an hour later, "now you have to go into the bubblegum and level it up."

"Why do I have to level up bubblegum?" Steve almost sounds overwhelmed. Almost.

"To make it better, and to get really good items too," Clint explains and wonders if maybe he should have left off the item world for later playthroughs.

"But won't I just have to go into those items and level them up too?"

"Well, yeah, but-"

"And all I'm going to do with it is give it to those corrupt politicians as bribes for triple points anyway," Steve announced. No sign of question in his voice now.

"Experience," Clint corrects automatically. "Besides I thought you were going to try passing Prinny Day?"

"Not until I can throw them farther."

Steve takes a strange sort of pleasure in tossing the Senators around. In fact, he takes a strange sort of pleasure in throwing any of his characters around, and Clint wonders if he's going to have to start worrying for their next battle call out.



Metal Gear Solid



"But that doesn't make sense!" Steve protests as he continues to follow a guard around in a box. "He's following my footprints, how can he not turn around?"

Clint laughs into the arm of the couch as Steve stops moving and the guard comes around the corner and spots him. He gives the equivalent of a game shrug and goes back to patrolling one very rigid and set route. "Just a box."

"Really," Steve scuttles forward and the guard goes on alert at the sight of feet print in the snow. "What kind of guard is he? Was he deliberately made to be this stupid?"

"I dunno, Steve, I've been on a few missions that kinda went just like this," Clint says with a grin when the guard shrugs the box off again. Sadly, he's not lying.

Steve runs around a bit more, a small little smirk slowly curling his lips up. The guard shrugs off the mysteriously appearing prints in the snow and disregards the box that keeps moving. "So have I."






The credits roll but Steve's still squinting at the screen in the way he gets when he's troubled by something. Clint hides a grin against his arm and asks, "You still upset about the Companion Cube?"

Steve's silent for a minute before he grudgingly says, "Yes."

"Ah, don't worry Cap," Clint reaches out to pat his shoulder. "Everyone who's played this felt the same."



Vagrant Story





"Steve, come on. It's time to eat. Lunch is served."


Clint waits patiently for thirty seconds as Steve keeps tearing through monsters. "Steve."

"Uh huh," Steve's eyes are glued to the TV and he hasn't blinked for a good couple of minutes. Clint knows, he's been timing it.

It's taken him four minutes and fifteen seconds to get Cap back to the beginning loop of his automatic answers, two minutes and ten seconds since he blinked, and five hours and twenty-three minutes since Steve picked out his next game to try himself.

"I'm lying about lunch you know," Clint says, casually as he leans on the back of the couch. "It's dinner actually. Tony woke up and dragged himself away around lunch time. I think he might have gone out on his own in the suit and fought off a few deep sea creatures."

"Yeah, alright," Steve frowns and leans to the left. His hands still jerk when he pushes buttons to move the character but he's not as bad as when he first started.

"You're recording this, right Jarvis?" Clint asks even though he knows Tony better than to doubt it.

"Of course, Agent Barton," Steve twitches a bit at the AI's voice, but a series of skeletons rattle to life on the screen and he gets sucked back in fast.

"Great, I want copies," Clint drums his fingers on the couch obnoxiously until Steve leans forward to get away from it. "I would've said something earlier but Bruce said he'd let the Hulk help, and they looked like they were having so much fun. Course the docks aren't ever going to be the same, but what is in this city?"

Steve makes a nonverbal sound.

"Doom's coming by because we promised him lasagna," Clint stretches obnoxiously over the back of the couch. Leaning close enough that his breath has to be hitting Steve's neck. The way he turtles up but still keeps playing is hilarious. "I think he's going to propose to Tony over the garlic bread. Think Nat might cry."

"Ok that's stretching things a bit," Steve says and it's clear that he's been fucking with Clint the whole time. Or most of the time, because Clint's not sure that Cap isn't really being sucked into the pixelated game like the college frat boy he missed out on being. "You had me up until Natasha started crying."

"Nat can cry," Clint protests and backs out of the man's personal space. "When she needs to make someone lower their guard. There's nothing like a crying woman to make even the most paranoid guy miss the knife she's holding. You gonna make it to dinner, or are we all going to have to deal with Tony's smugness alone?"

"Sure," Steve says as a ghost materializes. "Just let me get to a savepoint first."

Clint snorts and retreats. He's not entirely positive that Steve will actually come out in time for dinner, but it doesn't really matter much if he does or not. Steve's an adult and can handle himself. Tony's going to gloat no matter what anyway. Clint yawns and rolls his head until he feels his neck crack satisfyingly. He's tired and aches even though all he did was sit on the couch and back seat game all day.

"Master Stark has a best of clip edited and waiting for viewing after dinner," Jarvis says as Clint nears the kitchen.

"Yeah?" Clint grins and his stiffness slips down another few rungs on the ladder of importance. "Send me a copy."

There's an untraceable email that Clint's not supposed to know about that needs that video. After a discrete call to another number he isn't supposed, to have to warn someone he isn't supposed to know, to have a camera ready.