Sorry for the downtime. Work and now hospital for at least another week.
Sorry for the downtime. Work and now hospital for at least another week.
"Yeah, I’m working on that whole quick reflexes thing. Not really my forte." he replied with a small smile. "It’s, uh, nice to meet you. You’re honestly the first person who’s spoken more than five words to me since I got here." He sighed.
"I think so? Though I might need to find a route that takes me nowhere near ‘Barney’s corner’. I really don’t fancy dealing with them all again."
Somehow the air seemed to have shifted and Clint kinda … really didn’t wanna leave. Not only because he had hours of solitude ahead of him but … in all honesty, he was kinda sick of hanging out with Barney every day. Sure, he had no idea if this kid would be any better but … well, at least he seemed nice.
"Yeah, well, you’re weird." Tumbled out of his mouth before he could stop it, because that was how he dealt when he felt uncomfortable. Still, he hadn’t meant to say it and he held up a hand before Benjamin could say anything else. "Sorry, no, dick thing to say. I mean, true but … you’re nice weird, ya know?"
"Uhm, I could show ya, if you want?" Clint shrugged, eyes falling to his tattered boots again and fingers picking at a hole in his jeans.
"You don’t have ter talk to me or anythin’ just …" he shrugged again. "Got nothing better to do." He really hoped he didn’t sound too pathetic. He didn’t really have friends. He knew a lot of people but it never really seemed like he … liked most of them. Plus nearly all of them were Barney’s friends first and … well, whatever.
PLAYERS: clintbartonhawk & russianchildatprayer
The last hours already were a blurred haze on Natasha’s mind, a second after that last, the worst pain- thank the Lord morbidly for years of torture, making her able to deal with that. It wasn’t the most intensive pain she had ever dealt with, not even in the end, but the longest in a row, and that made it so fucking exhausting.
Her head fell back on the bed numbly after that last push, when that wonderful, high-pitched sound of a healthy human being sounded through the room. The least reassurance she needed to close her eyes and let the exhaustion wash over her. It was done, it was over…
Bruce murmured something, completely calm - and a little happy - sounding, and Clint was still dead silent, both meaning the baby was okay. That was all she needed to know in these first seconds… after. And to push the last of memory out of her mind, of much screaming, a little crying, Clint’s pale face and her body all but being torn apart, in a way she had hoped it would never happen again in her life.
Over, done with, little one was there, everything was okay, and what had happened in here would be forgotten soon. There had been no other people present to remember it, that was the least of positive aspects during the painful and lengthy labor.
Bruce had seemed to realize it wouldn’t do Natasha good, being around strangers. So he had reluctantly sent them all away, asked them to wait outside the room, after the nurse had gone through some breathing lessons again with her patient. Natasha would forever be fucking thankful for that, and she owed him a hug and a drink.
But right now she couldn’t even have moved or spoken if she wanted to. Her whole body hurt, every muscle and especially that hole in her middle where someone had turned her guts upside down. Her mind was completely blank, on the verge of passing away.
The only thing that kept her awake was Clint’s happy voice, the tears she thought to hear in it. And these beautiful, very alive, very strong noises her daughter was making. Her daughter, their daughter…
It had been a rough ride. No one had been able to guarantee her, her body would be able to get this done. But here they were, all of them, a little battered, and bleeding like a fucking gutted pig on her part, but very much alive.
Somehow she managed it to open her eyes while Bruce was still busy… down there, taking care of whatever still needed to be done, she couldn’t really care. Because it was Clint next to her and he had their baby, and then she had it half lying on her skin and half on her sweat stained shirt, and Jesus, that was their baby lying on her chest.
Her voice was rough from screaming and her hand trembled like from being on a bad drug trip, but somehow she managed it to lift it and put it on that small, fragile, blood covered back.
Makyla had already gotten a lot quieter when she had been on her father’s arms and now the last of her quiet whimpering stopped. She just laid there, dirty and squirming a little, warm and soft and breathing… And she had stopped crying, because she had heard her voice or maybe because she touched her…
And this would be Natasha’s - and Clint’s - life from now on. That little creature, being there for her together and keep her as safe and warm and loved as possible.
Her sight was blurring again which probably meant she was crying, and she didn’t care about that either. She just looked down on her baby and tried in vain to come up with words, to tell her how beautiful she was and how glad she was, she was there and everything was good.
Her other hand blindly reached for Clint’s to pull him close. She didn’t find the words to thank him either, or to apologize for what looked like a pretty banged up little finger. So she just kissed his hand, cried a few more tears, and then kissed it again.
She wanted to kiss little one too, over and over again, but Makyla still looked… well, pretty much like just having been born, and Natasha wanted to touch skin, not blood.
"I think she needs a bath."
Admittedly, it wasn’t her best line. Oh God, she needed sleep.
It was … quiet. Clint wasn’t sure how it had happened or how he could be lucky so many times in a row, but it was just dark and quiet and for a moment, he stilled. The glass of water for Natasha was in his hand and a spare pacifier for his daughter in the other and for a few breaths, Clint took the time to somehow find space inside his head and heart for the last several hours to settle. He had a daughter. She was small and wrinkly and smelled like nothing he had ever smelled before but she had lain in his arms and she had trusted him, reached for him blindly, spindly arms flailing until either Nat or him held her close and crap, how did he deal with that? He had a daughter that had already spend the better part of four hours screaming herself hoarse before dropping from one second to the next into a deep sleep and now here he was, back in their apartment, Makyla was with Natasha in their bedroom and in a few short moments, Clint would try to carry her to the small bassinet in their room without waking her because Nat really was still too sore to get up (she could if she had to, sure. But he was here, wasn’t he?) and then he would lay down next to Natasha and hope she would be able to really sleep and .. well, Clint was pretty fucking sure he wouldn’t sleep a wink tonight.
Because he was a dad now and apparently that meant being too worried to sleep for the next 20 years to come.
Clint shook himself out of his moment and crossed the living room to enter their bedroom only to stop again, breath catching uncomfortably but also weirdly welcoming in his chest. On the bed was Natasha, more exhausted than Clint could remember seeing her but still, her arms dutifully rocked Makyla back and forth.
"Hey", he said, voice dry and throat thick. He pushed from the doorway that he was leaning against and made himself walk the last few steps, carefully sinking down to sit on the edge of the mattress.
"You should sleep, too." he murmured, eyes flickering from his daughter’s sleeping face to Natasha, yearning to touch her. He placed the glass of water on the bedside table and slowly lifted his hand until it rested on her hair, wild and unruly, thumb stroking over her forehead and temple. "You’re amazing, you know that?"
"That alone says something…" he replied, voice a little softer than before. He then gave a small, bitter laugh at the last comment. "None taken. Though I imagine you wouldn’t find it hard to believe that I’m not exactly new to being beat up. Guy punched me so hard he dislodged my eyeball a few years back."
He paused for a moment, contemplating leaving the guy now that he was safe from his brother. But he instead held out his hand.
"I’m Benjamin." he said, hoping the other wouldn’t weird out or anything.
Again it took Clint a moment to react. Maybe he should be worried that the other guy … Benjamin, that he would think he was slow and stupid on top of white trash but somehow he suddenly … relaxed. Not entirely no, but he hadn’t been entirely relaxed for as long as he could remember so really, this was … weird
"Eyeball, huh? Shoulda ducked." He felt himself grin again and finally reached out to shake Benjamin’s hand. "I’m Clint." After the handshake, his hands ended up back in his pockets.
"So, you sure you know your way back?"
He was a little shocked by the response from the other guy, the fact that he still seemed to be blaming him somewhat for wandering into a situation like he had.
"I never said you were white trash. I can already tell you’re a far better person than your brother and his mates are. I’d say no offence but, well…" He glanced around before taking a few cautious steps back towards him. "I got lost, I made the mistake of asking the wrong person for directions. Look me in the eye and tell me you’ve never made a single mistake in your life and then you get to treat me like an idiot."
For a moment Clint just stared, all the while forcing himself not to turn around, curl himself around his crossed arms and … do what? Cry like a girl? The thought at least helped him straighten his spine again.
"I’m not," he offered, not meeting the other guy’s eye. "A ‘better person’ or whatever just …" He shrugged. "Not a big fan of people kicking the shit outta each other." He even managed to shoot the guy a short grin and boxed his shoulder. "Plus yer really don’ look like yer would have survived it. You know, no offence ‘n all that."
Benji heard the call from behind him and stopped in his tracks, his shoulders slumping.
"Help?" he asked, turning to face the other. "Help how? Yeah, you stopped your brother beating me up. And like I said, I appreciate it. But making me feel like shit because I didn’t know that was your brothers ‘corner’ isn’t helping. I don’t know a single person around here. Think I go around trying to pick fights with idiots like them just for fun? Trust me. I’ve found myself in situations like that enough times."
"Maybe you should have just left me to get fucked up by your brother."
Clint’s mouth, still open from when he called after the other guy, closed slowly. Somehow it felt like two very different ways of living collided and Clint was not entirely sure where his head was at. He knew how he should react, how Barney would want him to react but the way the guy reacted was so unlike what he was used to that he stumbled on his response. Sure, anger he was used to but that … confused desperation mixed with the words? That was new.
"Well sorry," he snapped in response, crossing his arms in front of him. "Not my fucking fault I’m white trash. It’s how it works ‘round here. Better you learn like this and not with Barney kicking it into your rips. My brother’s not always right and …"
He bit his lip quickly, trying to catch the last few words before they slipped out.
"Whatever just … whatever."
Benji raised an eyebrow as he turned to look at the stranger.
"Bloody hell, are you always this rude to people who have done nothing wrong?" he asked, a little annoyed. "While I’m grateful for you getting me out of there, I really don’t appreciate being treated like an idiot. I’ve been here for two weeks, I made a mistake and believe me, I don’t plan on coming near you or your brother, or his bunch of groupies ever again."
"And yeah. I think I’ve got it from here." he replied, spotting the deli down the street a little way. "Thanks for the help." He then turned around and began to walk away.
At first, Clint wanted to react with rage. It was always an easy fall back and from what he had seen had served his brother well over the years. And really, who did this little shit think he was? Clint was going to get reamed over this, probably a nice black eye to match his lip and all because this guy was too stupid to check where he was going.
He opened his mouth, about to show ‘Dan’ exactly who he had just pissed off but then the other guy just … said thanks and turned to leave. No more posing, no more intimidating or whatever else usually came after just … acceptance? Thanks? Especially a thank you that actually sounded genuine, if a little cold.
"Gee, man, I’m just trying to help," he called after him instead of just turning around and … well, maybe that was it. Because what was he supposed to do now? He couldn’t go back to the trailer park yet.
"If you wanna get beat up on the way back, have fun but don’t go ‘round blamin’ me!"
Benji shoved his hands in his pockets and walked on, not looking back nor looking at the other. He realised just how lucky he was but he still felt as though he wasn’t out of the woods just yet.
"You really think I knew what I was walking into? Do I look like the kinda guy who knew what would happen if I went down there?"
For the first time Clint really took the time to look at the guy. They were far enough away by now so Barney wouldn’t see (far enough that Clint should just piss off and leave the guy to do whatever the fuck he wanted to do in the first place) and Clint slowed down a little, turned his head to the side and took a good look.
"Nah, you really don’t," he said with a snort, not sure himself if he meant to sound insulting or supportive. But it was the truth. Not only was he wearing nice clothes (not nice-nice, but the kinda nice that should be normal but was still way above Clint’s wardrobe) and had one of the cooler backpacks Clint had seen around school, one that wasn’t falling apart and hadn’t been taped back together so many times it was more gaffa tape than anything else. He looked like he belonged to the families Clint watched sometimes. When he was supposed to be in school but didn’t go because it was English and he hated English, words weren’t his thing.
"You know where you need to go now?" He meant to sounds dismissing, that had been the idea. But somehow it sounded a lot more like an offer to help. Oh well, at least he wasn’t bored any more.
((Now that Ryan Atwood/Ben McKenzie is officially my teen!Clint FC … well this video is just rude.))
The jab to his shoulder made him stumble backwards a little, having not expected the force behind it. He tugged his rucksack further up his shoulder and began to back away when the apparent leader of the group closed in. He wasn’t quick enough to get away, however, and found himself all but falling into the center of the boys. He looked around at them, the words from the leader making him even more concerned and-
All eyes were now on the new voice, Benji’s own included, curious as to who the hell had fallen out of the tree. When he saw the other guy standing up, confusion hit his features, more-so when the guy referred to him as if he knew him.
Dan? At first, he didn’t realise what was going on, but the shove from the new guy, the way he looked at him made him realise that this was his out. He was trying to help him.
"Oh… Oh yeah, sorry… I thought you’d said the deli." He forced a weak smile, hoping that his nerves didn’t show too much. Then again, regardless of why you were there, anyone would be nervous if they almost got their arse kicked by a bunch of strangers. He began to walk with the other, not looking back for fear of the other boys following them.
For a while, Clint just walked on, roughly in the direction of the grocers and deli a couple of blocks over. He was pretty sure Barney would have his eyes on both of them so Clint really didn’t have any choice but to follow (or, well, lead the way really).
"Stupid move, man. That’s Barney’s corner. You don’t just come to our corner without a reason."
His voice has an odd melody to it. Going from harsh and cold to proud to unsure and even a little nice before he shut that down again. Barney was his brother, this was his life. Loyalty was important. He might have saved the guy from a beating but that meant nothing.