'Gods, I should have never given Harry that response.' Clint thought, a hand gripping the armrest.
At the time, Harry had smiled and nodded, had been very understanding of Clint's fears, but what if...in some way, what if Clint said helped Harry encourage to take those pills?
'No, you can't think that way! You'll drive yourself crazy!' his mind whispered to him and it was true. Thinking of possible 'what-if's' would only not help Harry, but would also be a hindrance to himself.
Clint broke himself from those thoughts when he heard a slight moan from the bed, and Clint quickly looked down to find Harry's eyes fluttering open lightly.
Harry's eyes glanced at Natasha's direction, and then at Clint's, still in a bit of a daze, before asking in still a vulnerable voice, almost childlike, "Is...is the nightmare finally over?"
Clint and Natasha glanced at each other. Their poker faces on as skilled trained agents, but to each other they both saw the fear in the other's eyes. And Natasha saw the devastation growing in Clint's eyes. They composed themselves, and Clint gulped down any ill feelings and cleared his throat a bit before asking, "W-what do you mean by that, Hare?"
'What did Harry mean?'
Harry peered up from under the covers of the hospital bed, looking up at his lover and Natasha wide-eyed and feeling completely...well...completely lost. Even being under the influence of the medication wasn't helping him relax. In fact, with them making him more fuzzy, the more he felt panicked. The warrior in him didn't like having his mind so unclear. He was in distress...in panic...It was as if his whole world had been completely ripped from under his feet. It was his inner child- that insecure inner child who suffered under his relative's roof for so long- that was at play at the moment. He hadn't felt this way in so long, but now, any moment, he was expecting his lover and his friend to treat him the way his relatives had treated him.
"The...The news...you leaving me. It...the nightmare is...over...right?"
For surely it had to have all just been a huge nightmare and that, now that he was awake, everything was back to normal again, except...why was he in a hospital then? Then the memories of the pills he took, twelve of them, came back, and he flushed. Of course he was in the hospital for that, he had taken well over the recommended dosage, but the nightmare had been so horrible and seemed so real. But once they checked over him to make sure he didn't have any lasting effects, he could be free, and they could go back to living their life together like normal, and forget that this had ever occurred, right? Harry thought as he tried to keep his breathing as calm as possible. Barely noticing that it was a little off and a bit fast.
Standing next to his lover guilt assaulted Clint like a powerful tsunami. He saw Natasha twitch, ever so slightly, wanting to come over to his side and give him a tangible reassurance that it'll be okay. But she stayed in her place and smiled down at Harry who needed the most support right now.
She and Clint were trained to deal with pain later when it wouldn't hurt or hinder targets or marks. Or that's how Natasha was viewing this, the only way she could. Like a mission, like a task. Clint doesn't blame her. It's just the way she is. She can pull off emotion but it wasn't really her thing. Clint on the other hand couldn't force a smile. He was too close to Harry. He opened and closed his mouth a few times until he was able to find his voice.
Along with his voice, his hand sought out Harry's and he carefully held it in a firm grip while being mindful of his lover's state, "Harry, love...I'm...I'm not leaving you." he emphasized. "You, uh...you gave us a bit of a scare. But everything is fine. Both you and the baby are fine." he did his best to grin but truth was, he was just too scared. It really had been too close a call. Had he stayed to get overly drunk at that bar, Harry would be...'No!' He shook his head once, no, he couldn't think about it and he wouldn't.
Harry glanced between them, and his heart dropped to his stomach. "Baby...?" He asked in faint horror. "Then I really am a..." 'A freak' was what Harry wanted to say though the words died from his lips. It was true too, he had never heard of any guy in the wizarding world ever getting pregnant before.
'So then...it wasn't a nightmare after all,' Harry thought inwardly.
"W-What...What are we going to do?" He asked helplessly, looking up at Clint, confusion evident in his eyes, only dimly noticing Clint holding his hand. Would they...Would they keep it? How could they possibly raise a baby, neither of them had any skills raising a child whatsoever. How would he...gods, how would he even bear the child when he didn't even have the appropriate parts? Harry turned pale at the thought, feeling his stomach churn and twist nastily and feeling as if he was going to be sick at the thought of the baby growing and then destroying his very body because it had no way to come out.
Clint didn't really notice the distress in his lovers face. He'd been thinking about the whole idea of a baby while Harry was unconscious and everyone else was quietly thinking in their own minds. He liked the idea, he was growing to accept it and love it. Or more precisely, the idea of having a family. A family with Harry. Never did he dare let himself dream that a 'happily ever after' could exist for him. Harry being his lover was the closest thing but now...he knew the dangers but still his mind yelled, 'Keep it!'. He had been in the foster care system while growing up and the way people saw children made him sick. It had been idle chit-chat back with some of the other kids but he swore up and down when he was asked about being a grown up, "That I'll never be like those monsters. I'll be the best dad ever!"
But he also knew how they lived their lives. He knew how easily their lives could turn for the worse and he also knew that he wasn't the one carrying the child so it wouldn't be 100% fair to Harry to make the choice all his own. Especially when the news caused Harry to take such a dramatic step...
But still, he sighed and ran a hand through his hair and looked at Natasha who nodded and gave them some privacy. Grabbed both of Harry's hands in his and said, "I love you...with all my heart and soul. Even before now we knew how hard our lives are...adding anything else to our lives is going to be hard but...this...this is something I never thought we'd have, nothing I thought we could have...It's more so your decision because it's happening to you but you will have me at your side, more so than now, all of the way. And Stark too. We'll...we'll figure it out...if you want to."
Harry was silent for a long time, staring down at his lap, listening quietly as Clint spoke. He knew that Clint had been in the system, sent from one foster family to another, and he would certainly never send a child into that, would certainly never abandon any child of his the way he himself was abandoned to his unloving relatives. But...could he...logically, realistically, could he see himself carrying a child full-term? What if he had a miscarriage? If he decided to keep the child only to experience a miscarriage, how could he possibly recover from that emotionally?
"I...I have to think about it," Harry finally answered.
It was the best he could promise. There was just so much that had happened all at once, and now he was in the hospital for taking too many pills, that he just didn't think he could deal with much more after all that had happened, and he felt like everything was closing in around him, trapping him, now.
"Clint...could I...could I have a few minutes of privacy for myself, please?" Harry asked quietly.
Normally he could read just about any form of expression on most faces. But right now he was too involved, too close. Harry's face was as good a poker face as Natasha's at this point and Clint was left without knowing what to think. So he nodded, "I'll...I'll be...I'll be outside then."
Clint stood up and made his way outside. It was quiet for a few moments, then hushed arguments from outside, then Natasha came in and smiled gently at Harry, "Hey Harry. I know you want to be alone but the doctors won't allow that. So it was either me or a stranger...I hope this is okay. You can just pretend I'm not here but I physically need to be here."
Harry laid back on the bed, staring at the ceiling blankly, feeling the world closing in on him. He had dimly heard hushed arguments outside the room, and glanced over at Natasha. He had wanted to be alone because he was going to have a breakdown, and he hadn't wanted Clint to be here to witness it; hadn't wanted him to feel guilt or anything like that. Just a small, quiet crying session by himself. But then Natasha entered the room once more.
He shifted in the bed, curling onto his side in a fetal position with his back facing away from Natasha. "I-It's alright. Just...Just I need a few minutes uninterrupted," Harry answered in a quiet voice before falling silent.
All was quiet for a few minutes before he began to sob quietly to himself.
Perhaps under normal circumstances he'd be embarrassed about crying in front of his friend, but these were not normal circumstances and he could not even muster up the strength to care right now after everything that had happened. Finally, after what seemed like hours though it was only a handful of minutes, Harry's sobbing began to quiet down once more, and he rubbed at his eyes with his arm attempting to dry them.
"I'm...I'm okay now, I...Clint can come back in now," Harry eventually told Natasha in a broken voice as he reluctantly situated himself back onto his back.
Natasha waited quietly as Harry had his moment. She really wished she could have given him the privacy he so dearly wanted and properly deserved but the doctors were adamant about their ruling and her being in the room was the best ultimatum. She was a trained agent and fit into the shadows with ease.
And yet her presence was greatly felt and they both knew it but as circumstances were, they both ignored it for the bigger reason.
She took a seat where Clint had been moment ago and gave Harry her best and gentlest smile. She wasn't sure if Harry was alright with touches that weren't from Clint but didn't test her luck and kept her hands to herself. "Harry...this isn't anything simple. Far from it and we understand. We all know that we're all out of our depths on this one. If you need more than a few minutes, we all will continue to understand." She sighed, "I am really trying to think of something to say, I think we all are, to not make any more mistakes. Both of your are my friends Harry. I want to protect you as much as Clint, so before we let him back in here, do you want more time to just let it all out or to talk about it? You know how I am with privacy. Tell me anything you want and I won't tell a soul."
Harry knew she was smiling at him without actually looking at her, he could feel the gentle smile she usually only reserved for him, his lover, and Coulson, in an attempt to reassure them when they were in dire distress. As much as he wanted to return the look like he normally would, wanted to reassure her that she didn't have to worry, he couldn't muster up the strength to look up at her- not after his breakdown that she had to witness because they wouldn't leave him alone. And, truthfully, if he said he was alright, then she'd know immediately that he was lying anyways.
Harry stared down at his hands, clenching them in his lap slightly. He took a breath before managing to speak again. "Clint...can come back in now," Harry answered again in a broken voice.
He knew he was going in a shut down mode, pulling away from Natasha like that and detaching himself from the overall situation, but...but...he just couldn't talk about...it right now. Maybe later, after he managed to get closure with himself, he could talk with her about it, but...but...not now.
She smiled understandingly and stood up and said gently, "For all it's worth. I know he's not leaving. And neither is anyone else."
She walked out and told Clint to head on inside. To be strong and gentle.
Clint nodded and took a deep breath before heading back into his lover's room. He walked up to the bed and he tried to smile but he knew he failed. Right now he was just too spent and scared to actually smile, "Hey Hare..." he looked around the room for something to say since he was drawing a blank. Then his eyes landed on a pitcher of water. So he cleared his throat and asked, motioning to the water, "Are you thirsty?"
Harry had kept quiet as Natasha spoke, staring down at his hands and got lost in his thoughts. He didn't even register Clint coming back into the room, and it wasn't even until Clint spoke that Harry realized he was there, though he ignored the question. Instead he managed to get himself out of his thoughts enough to let his lips twitch slightly at hearing his lover.
"...what is to become of me?" He asked wearily instead, "When can I leave and go home?"
He was tired and wanted his own bed. Harry got the feeling that he wouldn't be allowed to go home quite yet, except...he could never sleep in a hospital bed. They always reminded him of...those times back before moving to America and before the wizarding world began rebuilding once more with all the deaths.
Clint deflated a bit at how...broken, Harry sounded. And though he wanted all of this to be fixed in a snap, he knew that all of this would be a process...a very difficult one at that. So he made his way around the bed and took his seat once more at Harry's side and looked at his lover with an apologetic look.
"The doctors want to keep you here a bit longer but Tony and Coulson are pulling strings, but even still...they're very adamant because...because...uh...um...Harry...I...I want to deny this with all my being but I can't ignore their medical insight. Were you...were you," he cleared his throat and tried to form the words but they all died each time until he forced them out as much as he could, "Were you aware of what would happen when you took all the pills at once?"
'Were you attempting suicide,' was the underlying question Harry could sense when Clint asked him that.
He sighed, fisting the sheets tightly before answering, "Clint, I...when you had left...with Tony...it had all seemed like a very bad nightmare. My worst one yet. I...when I took the pills it wasn't...with the intention of killing myself, but to get rid of the nightmare."
Harry paused before giving Clint a broken smile, "Before we met, didn't you ever have those moments where you act hasty and make a rash choice without completely thinking about the consequences of those actions?"
Relief flooded his system and his legs nearly buckled with joy but thankfully he was sitting down, that Harry didn't want to kill himself. The doctors may see it as such but Harry said and what Harry said, Clint believed. He gave an equally broken smile and replied, "Before and after we met, babe...you can attest to that."
He looked back at the door, "The doctors think so though," he mumbled, referring to the suicide, "Tony and Coulson are doing all they can to get you out of here but...we're all still...at edge."
Harry saw Clint's reaction to hearing that he wasn't in the mindset of killing himself, and knew that Clint had been worried that he was suicidal. In a normal circumstance Harry didn't know whether he should feel insulted that Clint would assume him to have that mindset or not but, then...this wasn't really what could count as normal to begin with. Even so, hearing that the doctor thought otherwise, Harry fisted the sheets tighter. What would they know about his own mind? He knew himself better than those strangers ever would.
"But...But they can't force me to stay here against my will. I want to go home," Harry protested, starting to have a panic attack at the thought of staying in the hospital.
"Hey hey hey..." Clint reached out and caressed Harry's arm, "They don't know anything. They just see symptoms, they don't know stories...Like I said, we're working to get you out. And then we'll be home and...we'll figure things out. Okay?" he brought Harry's hand to his lips and kissed it gently, wanting to be affectionate with Harry but being careful not to press too much in case he wasn't feeling like being touched.
Harry took deep, steady breaths to calm down from the panic attack that was just wanting to form until he was able to think clearly. If the doctors saw that he was panicking then they'd want to keep him for even longer. Finally, when Harry had calmed down enough to think properly, Harry had a sudden thought. "How...How is Tony? And Pepper?" He asked, inwardly dreading the next time he'd see Tony, knowing that Tony could go...overboard sometimes.
"Stark...uh..." he wasn't paying much attention to anyone but himself, Harry, and the idea of their baby. But thinking back on it..."Stark acted on instinct when we found you, I guess. I don't think he's quite let it settle. He was...Iron Man in time of a crisis. And Pep was Pep. Keeping Tony and everyone in calm and check. They were here too...they left some time ago but I'm sure they'll be back just as soon."
"I've worried them," Harry said quietly as he took a moment to think about his other friends other than his lover. Tony, Pepper, Natasha, and Coulson...they were all working hard to keep him safe while he was...vulnerable. They were also working hard to get him out of there and get him home and he was also sure they were all doing their best to search for answers for him.
A feeling of being a burden settled in his stomach. He was burdening his friends with his...condition. He mentally sighed. He nearly called it illness. But as he placed a hand on his stomach when he thought about the feeling of guilt and burden lay there another thought popped into his head. His baby.
Now with a bit of reassurance that Clint and his friends wouldn't abandon him, it was easier to accept the thought that it would be an actual baby rather than a thing or disease. But as he let the thought continue he realized more and more things. The worries about bringing the baby to term, would there be something wrong with the child, will the baby make it, would he make it?
"Dear Merlin, I'm pregnant!" he cried.
Sorry for the long time it took to update and for any noticeable mistakes.