Summary: Wherein Clint gets the Spanish flu, Natasha learns that antibiotics and birth control really don't mix, Bruce is over this crap already and Thor is a secret Mario Kart master. AKA the obligatory Avengers baby fic that I apparently really needed to write.
Pairings: Clintasha and background Peppernony
Warnings: Just general spoilers for the movie and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, though not current spoilers because this pretty much ignores anything after winter finale of season two as well as brings back Trip. Because he's still alive in my mind, dammit. Also a warning for pregnant stereotypes and abuse of perfectly good marshmallows.
Disclaimer: If I owned anything having to with the Avengers I would be a rich, happy woman. Instead I am a broke, happy woman. I also do not own FRIENDS or anything related to that. But I did borrow a gag from that show. Sorry not sorry!
Author's Note: Whoa. I'm updating a story I wrote two years ago. Weird. But also I was craving fluffy happy times. So I wrote this ball of mush. Like I said, I plan on adding to this story whenever the muse hits me. So expect that there will be more baby shenanigans in the future. Hope you enjoy!
That Would Be Enough
Natasha woke slowly to the very odd sensation of familiar hands touching her in a previously unfamiliar area. A smile curved her lips as she felt calloused fingertips brush against the slightly swollen mound of her stomach. There was a fluttering of movement wherever those fingers touched almost as if in response. She didn't need to look to know there was a smile on his face, one of awed wonder. She'd seen it ever since the first kick a few days ago and she fell a little more in love with the man every single time. There were many changes in the months following the revelation that she was pregnant. But of all the changes in their lives, it was this deviation in their nightly routine that she loved the most. This was the time when they both let down their guards. When they stopped being the Black Widow and Hawkeye (or Ronin or whatever name he was calling himself these days) and were just Natasha Romanoff and Clint Barton. Natasha shifted so that her hand was resting on the soft head of hair that was lying across her chest. Her fingers carded gently through Clint's hair as he continued to trace idle patterns on her bare stomach. Her skin tingled wherever he touched. That was another pleasant side effect of her pregnancy. Almost every interaction they had excited her that much more.
"Do you think she's going to like me?" he asked, breaking the silence in the room.
"She?" Natasha asked, raising an eyebrow despite the fact that he can't see her. "It's a bit early for us to find out the gender."
"I just have a feeling she's a girl," he murmured. "A girl with your hair, my eyes and both of our brains. We're going to have to live up to our badass ninja reputations when she starts walking." Natasha snorted. Though she had to admit a girl with their looks and even a fraction of either of their intelligence would be quite dangerous once she started walking, even more so when she hit puberty. Natasha narrowed her eyes at the thought. Clint tapped her gently on the stomach feeling as if he could sense her mind drifting. He probably could. "But back to my original question… do you think she's going to like me?"
"If one of us is going to have doubts about whether this kid is going to like them, it should be me," she pointed out. "You're going to be amazing. Phil's nieces and nephews love you. You actually love them back. I look at them and have no idea what to do with them."
"You think I have any clue what I'm doing? The only kids I knew were in the group home and I left there by the time I was eight. The only reason the Coulson clan kids love me is because I slip them cookies when their parents and Phil aren't looking. I can't do that with our baby, Nat. I'm pretty sure we have to feed her healthy stuff. Then again, I actually have no idea what a father is supposed to do. I didn't have the greatest example of that."
Natasha sighed. She could point out that she was similarly at a loss as to how parents were supposed to be but she figured that wouldn't do anything to quell his fear of screwing their child up irrevocably. She knew this was going to be a cycle with them. They were damaged assassins. What the hell did they know about being parents? Neither of them had what could pass as functional childhoods. A lot of this kid's life was going to be trial and error. She accepted that fact as reality and moved on. But it seemed like the doubts lingered with Clint. It almost always did with him. A smile curved her lips upward as she thought about something.
"That's not true, you know? That you don't know what a father is like. You actually have an amazing example of what makes a father." She felt him shift with a protest on his lips. She pushed her hand down firmly, keeping him in place. "A father is the type of guy that will stay up all night and day with his kid when they're sick or hurting. Or even if they're having nightmares or guilt trips about the things that they can't control. A father will threaten hospital staff at gunpoint with little to no concern about how insane that makes him look in order to get access to his injured and medic phobic kid. A father will support his kid when he makes questionable life choices like recruiting the target they were supposed to kill. A father will know that it's a stupid move but back his kid up regardless of his feelings. A father will threaten said newly recruited former target with enough conviction to make it threat believable."
She felt Clint's smile against her stomach. "I guess maybe I did have a pretty good example after all." He turned his head so that he could face her. "You really think I can do this? You really want to do this with me?"
"Clint, we're both completely over our heads in this one. It is almost a guarantee that we're going to screw up in some way, shape or form. But I do know that this kid is incredibly lucky to have us as parents."
"Oh?" Clint asked with another slight smile. "And why is that?"
"Because when we fail, there are so many people that will be there to have our backs and help us make it better. In case you haven't been paying attention, dear partner, we currently live with four idiots that are campaigning to be named as godfather. It's only because he's been away that James isn't acting out with the rest of them. Same with Sam and Scott. And let's not forget about those twins of yours. I'm sure once they're all back full time, we're going to have even more overprotective weirdoes making sure we don't screw this up too badly."
"That's going to change in the morning," he murmured. "We're going to have to tell the rest of the Avengers and SHIELD."
"I can already hear the high pitched squealing. Do I need to be there?" Natasha groaned.
"It's kind of a big piece of the whole 'Nat and I are having a baby' announcement," Clint pointed out. She rolled her eyes. He sat up in bed and shifted so that she was now resting in his arms. His hands, as usual, were ghosting over her stomach.
"Baby isn't even here yet, and it already has you wrapped around their fingers."
"I never thought I could love someone even remotely as much as I love you but now… I love something I've barely even seen. I mean she's still avocado size."
"I'm going to really need you to stop reading all those stages of pregnancy sites," Natasha laughed. Clint echoed her laugh, his smiling shining through the darkness in their room. She lifted her hand to rest against his cheek. "I don't tell you this enough, but I love you."
"I know, Nat. I've always known."
"I know, but I need to say it to you more. Because you deserve to hear it. I love you, Clint Barton. And I love this baby, whether it's a girl or boy."
"I love you too. And she's a girl," Clint insisted, leaning down to kiss her softly. She smiled against his lips and wrapped her arms around neck pulling him even closer. "Seriously? Again? You're insatiable, woman."
She arched an eyebrow. "You were the one who promised to follow up on all my cravings and promised no judgment. Is that judgment I hear, Barton?"
"Never," he smirked, stretching out so that his full weight was pressing her against the mattress. Her legs lifted to cradle his hips. "I just want to know that you love me for me, Natasha Romanoff. And not just for how I make you feel. I don't want you objectifying me just because I'm a hot sex machine."
Natasha giggled. "This is your partly your fault. You're fifty percent responsible for me being a hormonal mess whenever you're around these days."
"Bullshit, you were always a hormonal mess when I was around," he whispered, peppering her neck with kisses. She tilted her head, giving him better access.
"If you don't stop teasing me and just give me what I want, I'm swear I'm going to set your arrow collection on fire, starting with the boomerang arrows."
Clint snorted but promptly shut up. There were no more words that night.
The meeting with the rest of the Avengers (i.e. the ones not smart enough to avoid living in the Tower full time) went rather well. Sam claimed that he knew right away. Natasha didn't doubt that. The burrito belly cover story that Clint and Tony used worked only so many times. Scott immediately offered himself up as an advice source. Clint immediately accepted the offer as Scott was the only Avenger, so far, to successfully raise a human child. Not to mention, Clint was still convinced they were having a girl. Wanda offered to babysit. Natasha was on the fence about that one. Wanda alone was fine. But Wanda was hardly ever alone. She was always with her android boyfriend and/or her hyperactive spastic twin. She would have to think about that one. Still she smiled and thanked the younger woman before prying her partner away from his ongoing bickering with Pietro. The way they argued made it seem like they hated each other, but Natasha knew that Clint and Pietro were close. The archer had adopted the speedster as a little brother/son from the moment they met and she knew that she had Pietro acting out to look forward to in the next few months.
The next to be informed was one James 'Bucky' Buchanan Barnes. James was as predicted totally excited and more than a little pissed that no one told him that Natasha was pregnant. The fact that he was on a heavily classified, radio silent mission for the past three months just seemed to escape his attention. But at any rate, he was already head over heels in love with his niece (didn't take long for Clint to convince him the baby was a girl). As he was the closest thing Natasha had to family and also sniper bros with Clint, he was officially in the running for favorite uncle. Thor and Bruce conceded that he had an unfair advantage and were content to let him have the place. Tony, of course, was not but was smart enough to keep all griping to himself. It wouldn't do well to piss off the six foot something former HYDRA assassin that just returned from a four month long mission. Well, it wouldn't do well unless you were a six foot something genetically enhanced super soldier who kind of had some weird codependent life partners thing going on with before mentioned former HYRDA assassin. She wasn't touching their not exactly platonic relationship with a ten foot pole. She was also not going to get in the middle of their "discussion" about which of them would be the better uncle. They were born ridiculous and seventy years seemingly wasn't going to change that at all. So she and Clint left them to their nonsense and headed to the rest of the Clintasha Baby Tour… and no, she was not going to start calling it that, dammit!
Overall, the announcement to the rest of the Avengers went well. She really hadn't foreseen any problems because they were never her true concern. The biggest challenge was going to be telling the rest of their family in SHIELD. That part Natasha could deal without but she wasn't going to let Clint do it alone. She probably could but… she definitely didn't want to raise this baby alone. And leaving him to face the slightly insane people that worked for SHIELD alone would not end well for him.
It was widely accepted by mostly everyone who actually knew them that Phil was the closest thing to a father Clint would ever have. They were a tight family unit before Natasha came on board and then they just got better. When Phil died, it was almost the end of Clint. But the Avengers swooped in and claimed him as their own. They were the brothers Barney never was in the beginning and could only hope to be now. Then Phil came back and brought along more family for Clint (and Natasha by proxy). Phil's affinity for collecting strays and orphans brought along Fitzsimmons, Skye Daisy, Trip, Mack and Lance Hunter. Natasha would rip Clint's arms off and beat him to death with them if he ever claimed Bobbi Morse as family. And no, she wasn't jealous of Mockingbird or anything like that. She just didn't like the blonde hussy or want her anywhere near her…uh, Clint. Yeah, Natasha just didn't want her anywhere near her Clint.
But it couldn't be helped as she sat on a sofa watching as said blonde hussy and the rest of the motley crew she and Clint called family trickled into the room. Phil wanted to tell them all before he spread the news to the rest of the recently fully restored agency. And so Natasha sat with a pillow on her lap waiting for the team to finally assemble in the room.
"Now I know that you're probably wondering why I wanted you all here," Phil started once Mack was able to drag Fitz and Simmons out of their shared lab. "And you're probably also wondering why Natasha and Clint are here."
"They're not joining the agency full time are they?" Bobbi asked with a hint of a frown. Natasha and Clint both glared. She stared back, her features smoothing out into one of mock innocence. "Not that they aren't both delightful in their own ways of course. But I think we all agree they're better off as Avengers."
"Permission to stab her, sir?" Natasha asked Phil, never taking her eyes off Bobbi.
Phil sighed pinching the bridge of his nose. He threw an exasperated glare at May, who simply shook her head in response. Natasha snorted. When was Phil ever going to learn that May was never getting involved in the various squabbles and fights to the near death that followed the makeshift SHIELD family? Finally, he sighed and started to address them when he realized that someone was missing.
"Where's Trip? He was right there."
Daisy glanced around the room as if just realizing that her partner-in-crime was no longer sitting beside her. She closed her eyes seemingly in thought and then grinned. "He's still here. He's just," she twirled a finger in the air beside her. Natasha could see the faint vibrations with every movement. They heard a grunt that was distinctly Trip before the man himself was sitting on the sofa once again. Daisy elbowed him in the side. "Stop going all misty to avoid drama."
Trip smiled and shrugged. "You're only saying that because you have never seen Natasha and Bobbi actually go at it. It's enough to make even the bravest of people head for the hills. I swear three new recruits quit the day Bobbi served Clint with the divorce papers."
Natasha glanced over at Clint and found the idiot was grinning, as she expected. "That was a surprisingly not awful day."
"It was," Lance agreed. Mack elbowed him in the ribs once he realized that Bobbi and Natasha were not amused. "Why the hell does Barton always get away with making comments like that but not me? I married the woman too. I should get something for my pain and suffering."
"Oh, you're going to get some pain and suffering," Bobbi muttered under her breath. "So what do you two want anyway?"
Natasha huffed. This was getting annoying. She should've told Phil to keep Bobbi out of this for now. It wasn't that she hated the other woman. She actually respected her a lot as an agent. It was just that… there would always be a Clint sized rift between them. Natasha would always remember Bobbi as the woman that broke Clint's heart when she ended the, albeit, brief marriage with no explanation other than to throw blame on Natasha. Bobbi would always think of Natasha as the one that broke up their marriage when it was a well-established fact that nothing happen between Natasha and Clint until after they were both Avengers and long after Bobbi and Clint were divorced.
Whatever Bobbi saw between them was in her own head. If Clint loved her the way Bobbi thought she did back then, Natasha wouldn't have had to deal with the bordering on suicidal mess that the divorce made of her partner. Clint was even more reckless than usual after Bobbi filed for divorce. It was to the point where Natasha seriously feared she was going to lose her idiot partner. It took several months watching a hammer in the desert and the fallout from all that to finally snap Clint out of his funk. For that, Natasha would always resent Bobbi.
"Well, we wanted, uh, the thing is that we thought we should, you know tell you all, kind of before we told everyone else… that…."
"I'm pregnant," Natasha interrupted Clint's nervous rambling, throwing the pillow to the side and revealing the small yet very obvious baby bump.
There were several gasps of surprise and then suddenly she was bombarded by a squealing Jemma and Daisy. The two women were speaking something that resembled English but was at a pitch so high Natasha was certain only dogs could understand it. Mack, Fitz and Hunter were standing on the sidelines watching in amusement. Phil had his arm slung around Clint's shoulders as May and Trip teased him good naturedly about his potential parenting skills. The only one left out was Bobbi. And she was….
"Where's Bobbi?" Natasha asked, drawing the attention of everyone in the room.
"Trip, did you make her go misty?" Daisy asked with narrowed eyes. Trip rolled his eyes.
"First, that's not how this thing works. Second, I thought we all agreed that I am not going to be called the Mist nor were we going to refer to my abilities as misting! You get to be Quake and I have to be the Mist? How is that fair?"
"Terragenesis made you kind of bitchy," Daisy frowned.
"I'm pretty sure it was the lingering in a non-corporeal state for five months while everyone thought he was dead until a certain Quake vibrated him back together again that made him bitchy," Hunter drawled, earning a dark glare from Trip. He grinned. "Seriously though, where did Bobbi go?"
Natasha shrugged, not really concerned. Well, she wasn't until she caught the pensive look on Clint's face. As the others started discussing where the blonde could've gone, Clint rose to his feet and slipped away. Natasha glanced around the room not even surprised to see that his absence had also gone unnoticed. This was ridiculous. It was a room full of spies and none of them paid any attention. Well, that wasn't entirely true. She met May's gaze and wasn't shocked to see that she was well aware of Clint and Bobbi both leaving. She tipped her head in the direction Clint disappeared in and Natasha nodded.
She didn't have to go far. She found the former couple sitting on the floor outside one of the conference rooms. Bobbi's long legs were drawn up to her chest, her head resting on her raised knees. Clint was sitting close but a respectful (Natasha approved) distance from his ex-wife. His head was tilted to the side as he waited for Bobbi to acknowledge his presence. But the blonde didn't seem to be in a talking mood. Clint shrugged in his usual way and leaned back to rest against the wall. He pulled out his phone, contenting himself with texting. Judging from the faint buzzing in her pocket, he was on the group chat with the other Avengers. Part of her wanted to look and see. But the other part needed to see this. She trusted Clint… but still... she just needed to see what would happen.
"You ready to talk yet?" Clint asked, breaking the quiet that settled over the hallway. Bobbi lifted her head. "I don't get why you're upset."
"You really don't?"
"You left me, Bobbi. Not the other way around. You married Hunter barely six months after our divorce was finalized. But you're pissed at me because Natasha and I started dating a year after that?"
"I'm not pissed at you."
"Bullshit. I know what you look like when you're angry."
"I didn't say I wasn't angry. I'm just not angry at you."
"You mad at Nat?" Clint asked, and she could hear the protective edge in his voice. It made her heart flutter. Stupid hormones.
"No, I'm not even mad at her," Bobbi chuckled dryly. "No, I'm mad at myself. Because I convinced myself I didn't want this. I convinced myself that I was not cut out to be mother material. That there was no way to balance being a mother and being a SHIELD agent. And I wanted to be a SHIELD agent more than…"
"More than you wanted to be with me," Clint finished. Natasha clenched her fist as she fought the urge to yell at Bobbi. Nearly four years later and she still managed to find a way to hurt him.
"No," Bobbi said, surprising both partners. "Well yes, but not exactly like that. Clint, I was so happy when we were together. But I just never saw how we were supposed to work in the long-term. Did I ever tell you that I thought I was pregnant?"
"No…. when was that?"
"Actually a few months before the divorce."
Clint let out a shaky breath. "Is that why….?"
"Yes," Bobbi answered, voice also trembling. "I thought I was pregnant and I freaked out. All I could see was me being trapped. I was going to be stuck being a mother to a kid that I didn't want. I was going to have to give up my career at SHIELD. And I was damn excited when I found out that I wasn't pregnant. And I knew then that I had to get away. I had to end what we had before I ended up in another situation like that. Because if there was any man that I could see myself giving up my SHIELD career for, it would've been you."
"I would never ask you to do that."
"I know. Well, I know that now. Because I doubt Natasha has any intention of giving up being an Avenger."
"Definitely not," Clint answered, a fond smile heard in his voice. "It's going to be rough but there's no reason why we can't be parents and Avengers and part time SHIELD agents. It's not like we're lacking for ready and available babysitters at any rate."
"And that's why I'm mad at myself," Bobbi sighed. "Because I forgot that I wasn't in this by myself. I forgot that there is no one better to have in my corner than you."
"Maybe," Clint mused. "But we changed, Mockingbird. We're not the same as we were back then. I'm not going to lie. The whole divorce thing sucked. A lot. But looking back, I'm happy it ended then. Because the truth is, maybe I was in love with Nat back then. Maybe I was just too loyal to see what it really was. That's not a good marriage. That's not fair to you. You deserved better."
"I guess," Bobbi nodded.
"Besides, I'm pretty sure it's not too late. You know, if you wanted to balance the whole family and SHIELD thing."
Natasha rolled her eyes as her usually quick partner finally got a clue. "No! God no. No, that ship between us has sailed. No, I meant you and Hunter. You know Daisy and Trip keep me informed of all the gossip here."
"That's embarrassing. You're using the Inhumans to spy on us?"
"Actually Phil is using the Inhumans to spy on you. I'm just reaping the benefits," Clint laughed before yelping as Bobbi hit him. "Seriously though, Morse. Pull your head out of your ass, will you? Hunter is head over heels for you still. And you put that man through more hell than me. And that's saying something."
"I," Bobbi paused. "I still care about him. But I don't want to hurt him again."
"Then my suggestion is to talk to him. Don't let things go all unspoken. People get the wrong ideas. Especially when your ex-wife/current girlfriend storms off after her ex-husband announces he's having a baby with his partner."
Bobbi groaned. "You think he noticed?"
"Definitely," Clint retorted. "Pretty sure he just didn't know which way to go so he waited until Nat followed us out here."
Natasha arched an eyebrow, whirling around to see a very sheepish Hunter hovering in one of the open doorways a few feet away from her. He shrugged.
"How long do you think he knew we were here?"
"He's known since I got here," Natasha smiled fondly at her partner, meeting his gaze. He held up a hand, beckoning her to come close. She wasn't in the habit of refusing him, so she stepped away from her listening spot to cross the distance between them. She sat down on his other side. He immediately linked their hands together. She actually didn't mind as much. She squeezed his hand even as Hunter came to sit next to Bobbi.
Bobbi spared one baleful look for their joined hands before concentrating on Hunter. The man was looking anywhere but at his former wife/current girlfriend. She gave him a soft look. One she never used to give Clint.
"Can we talk? Later?" she asked, a bit hesitantly. Hunter tore his gaze from the wall he was staring at to look in her direction. Natasha watched as his hardened expression melted slightly. He nodded.
"Yeah, I think that might be nice."
"Great," Bobbi smiled brightly. She then turned to Natasha. "Seriously, Natasha, congratulations. I know you two are going to be great parents."
"Thanks," Natasha murmured. She felt Clint elbow her. She glared at him. "Really, Morse. Thanks. It means… a lot."
Bobbi rolled her eyes before collecting her second husband and dragging him away to talk or make out. Whatever. Natasha was past caring. She felt Clint's elbow hit a rib again.
"What?! I was civil."
"Barely," Clint muttered. "She's trying, Nat. can't you try too?"
She huffed. "Fine. I guess I can try and get along with her." She grinned. "But she's definitely on the short list of people who can't babysit for us. She'll probably pull a hand that rocks the cradle bit on us."
Clint snorted. "You're twisted, babe."
"You love it," she whispered, leaning forward to press a kiss on his lips. But before she did, she bit on his bottom lip. "And don't call me babe."
She felt his smile against her own. "Don't lie. You love it too," he murmured. "Babe."
"You two are gross," Phil said, clearing his throat loudly. The two assassins looked up in unison at their former handler and always friend. "Any reason you're still lurking around?"
"Yeah, actually," Clint said, rising to his feet and pulling Natasha with him. "We wanted to know if you wanted to go to tomorrow's sonogram appointment with us."
"And by us, he means the entirety of the Avengers," Natasha corrected. "So you in? Ready to see Clint cry when he realizes the baby isn't a girl?"
"You really want me there?" Phil asked, looking genuinely touched.
"Of course," Clint replied with rare sincerity in his voice. Of course that was immediately ruined when that too familiar smirk formed less than a second later. "I mean you are the grandfather and all."
Natasha carefully extracted herself from Clint's embrace even as Phil started reaching for the Taser. She placed a careful hand on her stomach as if shielding the baby from what would likely be a painful reminder for Clint not to mess with Phil. She shook her head, ignoring Clint's yelps and pleas for help.
"Seriously, my little spider monkey, don't be like your father. Also don't be a girl. I can't stand it when your father is right. He's so smug about it. Of course, he's almost always right. But please let him be wrong just this once."
Clint wasn't wrong.