And the last part! Thanks for reading! If you feel so inclined, I'd love to hear what you think!
His daughter shouldn't exist, but she does.
They've both had a lot of things happen to them in their lives, things that should have prevented either one of them from having children, so it came as something of a shock when Natasha found out she was pregnant.
But she was and now she isn't and he's holding his daughter in his arms and he's pretty sure he's going to cry any second now.
Third time's a charm, after all.
She makes a thin, mewling noise, and he can feel the telltale pinpricks behind his eyes. Tiny and pale with milky blue eyes and wispy red fuzz covering her head, the little improbability blinks up at him and yawns. His heart skips a beat at that, actually stops and clenches before it starts back up because, fuck, he can't believe he had anything to do with making this perfect creature.
And perfect she is, from the tip of her pointy head to the ends of her wrinkled toes. Even the way she gurgles and smacks her lips as she closes her eyes is perfect.
Nat's resting on the bed, half-dozing while he holds the baby (their baby, Jesus fucking Christ, what parallel world has he walked into?), and maybe he's getting maudlin in his old age because his heart is kind of swelling, like it can't hold that much inside of it, like there just isn't enough space to contain everything he's feeling right now.
Evelyn Barton is barely a day old, and he's in love. Head over heels, heart achingly, desperately, completely in love. He's never felt anything quite like it, doesn't know how to process it, but that's okay because she's the best damn thing that's ever happened to him even if he is scared shitless.
"Hey," Natasha croaks. He manages to tear his eyes away from his daughter long enough to look at his partner.
His jaw hurts from all the grinning he's been doing, but he smiles at her anyway. "Hey, you." He shifts from his chair to the bed, and Natasha sleepily scoots over to make more room for him.
"You look good like that," she says as he reclines beside her. Once he's settled, she pillows her head on his shoulder, looks down at the bundle of blankets and sweetness that is her daughter, sound asleep on his chest.
"She looks like you," he says, running his thumb gently across Evie's tiny head.
"You only say that because she's got red hair. That nose is yours." Natasha stops talking for a second, and he thinks she's done, but then she adds, "And the pointy head thing, too. That's all you."
He snorts, and the baby opens her eyes a fraction, crinkles her forehead, and for a moment, he thinks she might start crying. But then Natasha strokes the little girl's back - long, soothing motions accompanied by a string of slow syllables, and Evie's inconceivably small forehead smoothes out, her eyes drift back shut and Clint is pretty sure she starts snoring.
So yeah. Definitely his daughter.
He knows he should be more worried about this than he is right now. He should be worried that someone is going to take her or hurt her or worse, all because of who he is, who Natasha is. He should be worried that he's going to fuck up this whole "being a dad" thing because, really, look at the men who raised him. Look at what happened to them.
He tries to shove them down, those worries, but still there's a latent desire to get up, check the perimeter of the room, maybe take a walk up and down the hall to make sure that the SHIELD facility where Natasha gave birth is really as secure as he thought it was six months ago.
Instead, he just lies still, quiet and warm and kind of sick to his stomach with his daughter on his chest and Natasha pressed against his side, feeling like the luckiest son of a bitch to ever walk the earth. Besides, he knows of at least six lethal weapons within arm's distance, and he's sure Natasha has even more than that secreted around the room.
Long after he thinks she's fallen asleep, Natasha leans up, hovers over him. "You know I love you, right?"
She's never said it, not aloud, and he's known it practically forever, but to hear the words, finally, after so much . . . His heart stops, stalls in his chest, and he feels the world shift around him. Fittingly enough for a sniper, his life seems to take place in the space between heartbeats. The irony isn't lost on him.
"Love you, too, babe," he says, meaning it more than he ever has. Then he looks down at their daughter where she lays with her face pressed into his chest.
Natasha sighs. "Yeah, pretty much."