Author's note: Alright. This is it. This is the end. I hope you guys liked it. I'm hoping to make a Stony fic soon too so feel free to stalk me if you'd like to. Thanks a lot for the reviews, and I hope to get more from you guys on different stories in the future.
Chapter Nine: Anticlimactic Rescues and Stuff
"I'm just saying that you should have a little more faith in me." Clint sniffed slightly as he limped is way toward the next set of double doors. He checked to make sure the coast was clear before starting forward. Bruce was hovering close behind, ready to support Clint if he needed it. He still felt bad for dropping the man from the ceiling.
"I have every confidence in you, Clint." Bruce was quiet and calm as he surveyed the wrecked hallway; he had been happy to see that a majority of the personnel had run rather than try to fight the Hulk, so no one had been badly hurt.
"Then why are you mad?" Clint waved his arms to emphasize his vexation, only to be blindsided by the soreness in his shoulders. He let out a small groan and cursed. He had to wave off Bruce when he stepped closer, his face tied up in misery at the sight of Clint in pain.
"I was mad, because you sedated me. During our first kiss no less."
"It's ok. You're forgiven." Bruce gave him a reassuring smile and moved forward to check the next hallway for enemies. He was confronted instead by Iron Man.
"Brucie!" He said nervously. "You got out…" He chuckled and rubbed his hand over the back of his helmet. Bruce burst out laughing and wacked Stark on the back.
"So, you're the cavalry?" Bruce asked with an amused smile.
"No, actually. The cavalry was the entire team. We were ready to go when Ross died, but Cranky the pirate wonder showed up. I was the obvious candidate to ignore his orders so… He didn't want his super boy band involved with this situation."
Bruce looked very angry, very suddenly. "He didn't want the avengers to come in and rescue his best assassin? What happened to the whole team bond building?"
"Calm down, big guy. He just didn't want the avengers to be implicated in a crime, like killing a four star general. He knows I could have gotten out even without help." Clint patted Bruce on the shoulder, much to the dismay of his sore shoulder joint.
Bruce grumbled but started to calm down. He turned to Clint and relaxed a little more. Wiping away a drop of blood under the archer's eye, Bruce let out a tired sigh. "Let's go home."
Bruce was shaking as he stared down the SHIELD doctor that was overseeing Clint's treatment. The hapless doctor was shying away, ready to run screaming, as Bruce tried to control his breathing. The tips of his knuckles were already green. "Give. Me. The. Chart."
The doctor, who had previously declined to share Clint's medical records, happily, gleefully even, handed over the clip board and made a break for it. He scurried down the hall and advised the SHIELD nurses to stay out of the Hawk's room for a while.
As Bruce made his way to Clint's room, he carefully read the file. His disbelief mounted with every step; by the time he made it to the sterile hospital room, he was shaking more than before and struggling to breath properly.
He stopped in the middle of Clint's room, mouth agape, nose still in the file. "How the hell were you walking?" Clint flinched away from the horrified look in Bruce's eyes.
"I've had worse?" He shied away from Bruce slightly, hoping that the extent of his injuries would incite the doctor's wrath.
"They fractured your hip and dislocated both your shoulders. Oh my god, Clint, you have five broken ribs?"
"Hey, hey. It doesn't even hurt. This is nothing. At least they never got around to the water boarding." Clint stopped and groaned internally at his stupidity. Why would he say that?
Bruce's eyes widen to the size of saucers. "Water boarding?" He practically squeaked. Clint chewed on his lip and gave the doctor his best apologetic smile.
"This is my job, Bruce. This happens to agents all the time." Clint felt a jolt of fear at the thought that Bruce wouldn't be able to handle the risks of his job. He knew deep in his heart that if Bruce left, it would break him irreparably. Bruce just stared for a minute before he walked over the bed and dropped to his knees, clasping one of the archers rough hands in both of his own and resting his head on them.
He stayed like that for a while, basking in the relief of having Clint safe with him once more. He hadn't realized just how scared he'd been until that moment. He concentrated on the steady pulse against his forehead and thanked the powers that be for letting his hawk come home safe. Clint ran a gentle hand through the scientist's soft curls.
When Bruce finally lifted his head, his eyes were filled with an unfamiliar, but entirely welcome, warmth that would only ever be seen by Clint. He smiled at Clint with a hint of relief in the set of his eyes. "It's part of who you are, and I love you for who you are. Just know that if ever you're in a situation you can't get out of, the other guy and I will be there to get you out of it."
Clint's smile was dazzling to say the least. He pulled the doctor in for a gentle kiss. His lips barely grazed Bruce's, but it carried every ounce of emotion Clint had ever tried to hold back and sent shivers down the doctor's hunched spine.
"I love you more."
Outside the hospital room, the other avenger's watched with bright smiles. Steve smiled slightly and leaned into Tony, giving the genius a loving push. Thor gave a rotund laugh that would have shaken the building if it was less stable.
"This is a momentous occasion, friends. Our brethren have finally found each other."
"Yeah, finally. They've been dancing around each other for long enough. I was starting to think they would never figure it out." Tony smirked and crossed his arms while he watched the couple through the small window, trying to hide the hints of a genuine smile in his eyes.
Natasha snorted, her eyes equally glued to the happy interior of the room. "Yeah, right. Barton never misses his target."