December

It is two days to Christmas, presents are ready and cookies waiting to be eaten, and Clint can already feel the anxiety and the tightness in his chest and every time he thinks about it, he so damn feels scared. Honestly, it feels pretty ridiculous, but even though he's not too good at the relationship stuff, he knows that this is more or less a normal reaction.

Maybe it's too soon, he wonders, it's only been a year and a half since he's really met Tony, it's been only nine months of dating – but then neither he nor Tony are patient people.

They are both very decided people.


Steve corners him the next morning when Clint is going back from the range to his room to take a shower before showing himself to the world.

'I've got something for you,' he informs Clint and presents him a big blank envelope. 'It's a drawing, well, I know you hate posing, so I took advantage of you both being unaware one time and…' Steve explains, looking at his feet as if he was unsure. He does that a lot and Clint knows now that some of that is Cap playing with them. He's so genuine and innocent-looking all the time though that it's hard to say when he's just trolling everyone.

Clint opens the envelope and takes out the thick paper that's inside: it's a watercolor painting of him and Tony sitting on the big sofa and staring at Starkpad in Tony's hands. Clint remembers that day, it was early autumn and the team has just spend two days on Indian summer randez-vous with doombots. As soon as they cleaned up, Tony wanted to show Clint the newest specs for Helicarrier upgrade and everyone else was just hanging out.

('An agent would know fellow agents best,' Tony said, making Clint snicker despite how truthful that is. Clint did have several suggestions.)

'Consider it an early Christmas gift,' Steve adds, smiling. 'And don't be so anxious about your plans. Tony's gonna love it,' he adds, winking, and disappears as if he was learning stealth from Natasha – come to think of it, he probably was.

Within six hours he's had all of the Avengers – but one – come to him and drop some half-knowing words and honestly, it's making Clint a bit annoyed and jumpy. And more anxious. That's not good.

He is possibly overreacting.

'How does everyone know what I'm planning?' he asks Natasha when she comes over in the evening. 'I didn't even tell you.'

'I think it would be sad if you didn't go for predictable here,' she states philosophically, handing him a bowl of fruit with whipped cream. Trust Natasha to know his comfort food.

'I don't know if I should be happy or terrified by the fact that you're predicting havinging emotions about me,' Clint deadpans, digging into the dessert.

'You are dumb,' she replies easily, tossing a paper ball at his head.

'You are planning something,' Clint counters, squinting his eyes and taking in every tense and relaxed line in Natasha's body. He's been learning to read her for years, but she still can be a blank page when she tries.

'I am always planning something,' she replies, rolling her eyes. Obviously, the tone of her voice says. Clint nods in acknowledgement.


Clint decides that he can't do it in front of everyone. There are plans to exchange the gifts together in the morning, since there is a huge stack of presents already waiting under and around the Christmas tree, but Clint knows he just couldn't. He isn't an open person and even if it might seem to be a bit too introverted to hide away from his bunch of best friends – well. He knows he won't be able to act with so many spectators around.

Therefore he doesn't go to sleep – come on, he's never even planned to, planning that would mean that he's been replaced by an alien – and sneaks into Tony's workshop around four. He doesn't even check Tony's bedroom; Tony never sleeps there unless Clint is with him.

He taps the security code with one hand, not losing neither speed nor fluency, and the doors slide soundlessly.

'Steve, I'm not hun–' Tony starts, turning around as soon as he hears steps, but stops in mid-sentence when he sees Clint.

'Well, you should be,' Clint teases; it's easy. It's what he always does. 'Since you ate your last half sandwich seven hours ago…'

'J, you traitor – Clint, seriously –'

'Okay. Food aside for now, gotcha,' Clint cuts in, taking a few tentative steps inside. 'I've got something for you,' he adds and carefully presents Tony the small box with a chocolate-chip packed cookie on the top. 'It's a… trick one.'

'Cookie?' Tony asks, already stuffing it into his mouth with contempt. 'No, not a trick cookie,' he states, seeing Clint's face. Clint feels pale and clammy and breathless.

'I just thought you'd maybe –' he starts, but the words are stuck in his throat. 'I know that's not know you…. normally do this –'

'Nothing is normal here,' Tony states when he swallows the remains of the cookie.

Clint breathes.

Tony stops torturing him and carefully opens the box.

Clint forgets to breathe.

'Is this?...' Tony asks, transfixed, eyes locked on the little thing.

'I guess?' Clint replies with a question, taking a small step back. Tony just stares at the box's interior so intently. 'Tony?'

Then Tony laughs and Clint freezes.

'Because you know,' Tony starts to explain, taking something out of his pocket quickly, 'I've got one too,' he adds, pressing something into Clint's hand. 'So I guess none of us needs to ask?'

'I guess not,' Clint says, looking down and breaking into a smile,. Simple platinum – he chose, the same, of course.

He silently slips the ring onto his finger. Tony does the same.

'I guess not,' Clint repeats and hugs Tony and thinks that he's never going to let go of him.

Never.


A/N: Thanks everyone for reading and commenting and all the kudos, it was an amazing experience! I hope you enjoyed yourself as much as I did. Please let me know what you think overall? :)

(I'm planning to write a story about Pepper's Summer House 'cause I have so many feels about it, if you're interested check my profile out if a few days!)