He was falling backwards, feeling astonishingly good, the kind of good that comes after a deep tissue massage, a week on a private beach in the Caribbean, and really great sex all rolled into one. Rising up from the bottom of a pool of bliss, he became aware of sensations against his bare skin - the rub of uniform material on his shoulder, the hardness of the quiver pressed into his stomach, the fletching of arrows brushing against his ear – as Clint pressed back into him, pushing his body into Bruce's.
"Hold on!" Clint shouted. "Doc. You with me? Damn it, can you hear me?"
Clint was warm, and Bruce's arms slid around the archer's waist, hooking onto his belt as he burrowed his nose into Clint's neck, turning his face away from the arrows. He looked past Clint's ear, the smudges, the tendril of blood oozing down his temple. Relaxing, almost boneless with the strange euphoria, he caught quick glimpses of the others as they toppled over together.
"Clint!" Natasha, gun in both hands, firing steady at a number of human-like robots, sharp retorts sounding through the din of the fight.
"Tony, we have a …" Steve, almost overwhelmed, pushed backwards by the Doombot, a steady stream of pulse beams pounding around him.
Thor, hammer spinning back towards him, running for the access door ahead of more robots.
All disappeared as Bruce tilted backwards, eyes towards the sky.
A distorted memory, a flash of blue, the Hulk drowning in the flood of warmth. Then Clint shifted his arms, aiming, and Bruce could feel Clint's muscles tensing beneath his fingers. He felt the recoil of the string as Clint let the grappling hook fly. The air cooled his skin as they plummeted down, gaining speed.
"Tighten up," Clint said, turning his head to be heard. "Line's coming to an …"
Bruce felt the jerk as the line unspoiled to a stop; the abrupt motion broke through his ennui, waking him. Clint used the glass of the building to change the trajectory, pushing off and sending them across the street, cutting the line and letting the laws of physics spin them around, aiming for the penthouse balcony. With a bone-rattling thud, the two men came down onto the cool tile, skidding to a halt, Bruce's weight crushing down on Clint.
"Ouch." Clint complained. "Well, shit, I just grew skin back on my elbows."
Bruce rolled to the side and lay still for a moment. "What the hell just happened? Something hit the other guy. It felt . . . good?" He rubbed his head, trying to clear his thoughts before he pushed himself upright. "Did you just jump off a building again?"
"In my defense, you were falling first," Clint argued, stifling a groan as he tried to move.
"Damn it, Clint, you should have let me be on the bottom. You know I can take it."
A smile quirked around Clint's lips and one corner lifted into a lopsided smile as his eyes lit up. "Well, if you insist, I've got no problem being on top." He rolled up, one vertebrae at a time.
Bruce blushed and stammered. "I didn't mean, it's just that … hell, you know what I meant."
Wincing and favoring his left side, Clint leaned over and brushed back a random lock of Bruce's hair. "Top, bottom, maybe we ought to just start with dinner and a movie first?"
Bruce looked at Clint. "Are you asking me out? Now?"
"Seems anti-climactic after rolling on concrete, I know, but, hey, I get credit for the element of surprise, right?" He ran his thumb down Bruce's face; voices babbled out of the comm, demanding answers.
"I read you. We're alive and mobile." Clint rolled his eyes at Bruce. "No, he doesn't know what it was." This time, his face turned serious. "Where? East side? We're on it. Look, bitch at me for it when we get back, okay. We're fine. We'll handle it."
Bruce was already climbing to his feet, and he held out his hand to help Clint up. "Where to?"
"Some of the robots got past them and are headed to the street. Cap wants the big guy down there, out of the range of whatever that beam was. I'm heading back up to that side building for a better vantage point." Despite his best efforts to hide it, Clint was limping when he got to his feet. At the thought of Clint's injuries, Bruce felt the familiar anger burn away the last of the weapon's effects.
"How are you going to get up there? Power's down on the whole block."
Clint shrugged. "Stairs work. Won't be the first time."
Bruce began to change, reaching out to circle Clint's waist again, arm gentle even as the Hulk's voice growled near his ear. "Cupid needs a lift." With a lurch, they shot upward. Depositing Clint, he turned to jump down to the street, then paused. "Hulk like spaghetti. And garlic bread. Lots of garlic bread. Fancy dessert that tastes like coffee." With a toothy grin, the big guy jumped off the roof and was gone. Clint let himself smile as he pulled back the string and notched an arrow, already sighting a target.