Title: Consultation Feedback
Author: Saydria Wolfe
Series Order: 4
Genre: Rule 63 (Clint Barton)
Relationship: Clint Barton/Tony Stark
Warnings: Discussion of past non-con, Discussion of past child abuse
Word Count: 4,208
Summary: The Team finds out Clint is pregnant.
They hadn’t intended to have a team meeting and announce that Clint was pregnant, but it…kind of happened. Nat and Steve were in the common room watching movies when Clint and Tony made it back to the Tower with PJ and quite a few bags in tow.
Nat had spotted them first. The way her eyes narrowed told Clint she was in trouble. “What are you doing?”
Clint scratched at the back of her head. “Uh, moving into one of Tony’s guest rooms.” Then she glanced at PJ. “Two of Tony’s guest rooms.”
“What’s wrong with your floor?” Nat asked. “Or your farm?”
“Uh. Well. You see…” Clint sighed.
“I knocked her up,” Tony admitted, bold as shit. “We’re gonna live together on my floor but not share a bedroom until we decide we work.”
“You did what?” Captain Do-Right almost shouted, shooting out of his seat. “What in the— Tony, how could you be so irresponsible?”
“Back off,” Clint stepped directly between Cap and Tony. “It takes two to fucking tango, asshole. He didn’t do this to me. This is not his fault. It’s also none of your freaking business so sit down and try minding your own.”
Steve gave her a disappointed look that was almost as effective as Phil’s. Seriously, he should be commended for that nonsense. That sort of judgement took effort and Clint would be devastated if she hadn’t already wrapped her mind around the fact that experience-wise Rogers was a twenty-something year old snot with no experience worth anything despite spending a year bare-knuckling his way back and forth across Nazi Germany.
Clint looked at Nat who was pinching the bridge of her nose.
“I don’t know why I’m surprised by this,” Nat admitted. “It’s not like you even got the Facts of Life talk until you were twenty-six. From Coulson.”
“Fuck you,” Clint said cheerfully. “Who else was going to do it? My brother who couldn’t be fucked to remember my goddamn name? The creepy old man at the orphanage that wouldn’t feed me unless there was something in it for him? He taught me how to pickpocket and forge documents though, so it wasn’t all bad.”
“It could have been worse,” Nat acknowledged, “at least Coulson gave you facts.
“And it proves the rule that anything that can go wrong does for you, but it always turns out great—for you—no matter how many bottles of hair dye it sends me through. I should have remembered. But how did this happen? The studies on StarkControl are really thorough.”
“Ah,” Tony picked up a tablet that had been lying around and flipped through some screens. Then he handed it to Clint.
“This is Carol, the nurse that did my implant.” Clint frowned. “She died in a car crash.”
“Right, the day after our night together in a car with this man,” Tony swiped right, “driving.”
“Okay?” Because Clint didn’t see what the point could be.
“That’s Josh Bridges, he was my replacement Pepper. Handled all of my appointments and, of course, gives my excuses when I miss things. Like I did the morning after.”
“He knew we slept together. Or he at least suspected.” Clint swiped through to the records and articles JARVIS had compiled. “A conspiracy? Was anyone else given bad birth control?”
“Pepper has an appointment to get hers checked. Natasha doesn’t use it and Carol burned hers out the first time she went on a flight.”
“All the women you spend time with,” Natasha concluded unnecessarily. “Someone’s trying to make a baby Stark, why?”
“Leverage, probably,” Tony shrugged. “There’s always someone trying to get one over on me.”
“This time, we’re here to find out who and it will be the last they are so foolish,” Natasha promised darkly.
Bruce found out next.
He was the only one other than Clint that came into Tony’s lab without an engraved invitation, of course he was the next one to find out.
“No, Tony, the baby does not need everything new.”
“Why not? We can afford it,” Tony argued. “Even if I couldn’t, you could.”
“PJ has perfectly good clothes and toys he’s grown out of. It would be cute, right? To pass things down through the family.”
Tony made a noise in the back of this throat that told Bruce this was not their first time through the discussion. It probably wasn’t their third time through, either.
Bruce cleared his throat to save them from round umpteen before he put too much through into it. “Tony, Clint wants to start traditions like the ones she lost when her parents died. Clint, Tony has a gaping hole in his chest and new things won’t be mourned if they don’t make it through the sanitation process all products entering the Tower have to go through before they come up to the Avengers levels.
“You guys could compromise by buying very good new lookalikes of some of PJs old toys for the new baby.” Then he stopped and thought about what he just said. “New baby?”
“Uh, yeah,” Clint gave an awkward little wave. “I’m, uh, pregnant?”
“Congratulations. I assume it’s…”
“Mine, yeah,” Tony smiled. He looked kind of thrilled, actually.
“That’s good.” Since there was nothing else pertinent to say on the matter he moved on. “Tony, I came to ask you about the particle accelerator…”
There was a bubbling in his gut, kind of like the precursor of a Hulk out only not hot, not angry. But when he looked down, his hands had shaded green.
“Tony…” His Science Bro was staring at him with wide eyes. Clint was just watching curiously.
Tony grabbed Clint’s hand and tugged. “Come on, you need to get out of here.”
“It’ll be fine,” Clint shrugged him off. “He’d never hurt me.”
“You can’t know that!” he argued and suddenly he felt a horrible kinship for Pepper, watching his…Clint, watching Clint stare up at the newly emerged Hulk.
Clint reached up and cupped Hulk’s face. She was only able to reach because he hunkered down a bit. “Hey, Big Guy.”
“Baby?” Hulk asked slowly. “Birdie baby?” He reached out with one finger like he was going to poke Clint’s stomach but froze before making contact.
Clint, of course, took his hand and rested it over her lower abdomen and pelvis region. “It sits lower than you’d think. But he’s in there.”
“Baby!” Hulk boomed with a grin.
So this was why Pepper had lost her shit when he’d moved Bruce into the Tower without discussion. Hulk was so dangerous and Clint was so fragile next to him. So precious too, with a tiny miracle growing inside her. He could barely contain his horror as Hulk picked Clint up and held her like a baby in arms bigger than she was.
Clint just rolled with it, as always. She talked to Hulk, easy and calm. She joked with him and Tony watched until she fell asleep in the Hulk’s arms. Like it was just another day.
God, he needed a drink.
Naturally, Pepper came next.
She tick-tacked her way into Tony’s lab as the two of them argued about whether they needed to move the Morrison’s into the Tower or if they would fly out to Iowa for her appointments. Thankfully, they’d already put to bed the argument about Clint getting a more modern doctor. She trusted Jonathan, she knew he wasn’t Hydra or some Stark industrial rival, and she wasn’t changing her mind.
Tony had even promised not to bring it up again after she’d laid out her reasons.
“Hello, Clint,” Pepper greeted. She wasn’t pissed but there was something guarded in her face. In her hand was a tabloid with, yep, a picture of Tony Stark about to climb into the Iron Man suit under a Walgreens sign.
“Uh, oh,” was Clint’s verdict.
Pepper gave her a tight smile. “Anything you would like to tell me?”
“Uh, I’m knocked up?”
“And Tony had to buy a pregnancy test himself, why?”
“Probably because I asked him to bring one,” Clint admitted. “Honestly, I didn’t know Tony knew Walgreens existed.”
Pepper snorted. “Neither did I.
“I’d like to keep a copy of the prenup on file with Stark Industries Legal.” And that was Pepper, straight to business, as always. “I know it’s not strictly SI business but he is the Stark and I feel it would be most appropriate.”
“We’re not getting married!” Tony declared.
Clint…didn’t know how to take that. “What if I want to? Get married, I mean.”
“Well then we’ll do it.”
“Getting whiplash here, Tony,” Clint frowned.
“If you want to, we’ll do it,” he said. “And if you don’t, we won’t and I won’t let anyone pressure you, either way.”
“Do you want to get married?”
Tony’s shoulders slumped. “Can I think about it? I want to but…I need to understand why I want to before we do?”
“Okay,” Clint nodded. “I’m not sure I want to but I think I do? I need to think about it, too.”
“If we do, we’ll keep a copy of the pre-nup on file with Stark Industries,” she told Pepper.
“Oh, come on!” Tony protested.
“Tony, I was a criminal before SHIELD, we are having a prenup so no one can call me a golddigger and drag our family through the mud.”
“What kind of criminal?” Pepper asked quickly.
“I mean, does it matter? SHIELD cleaned it all up for me so it’s not like anyone could find it.”
“Except that means it’s in SHIELD’s files which means its in Hydra’s files,” Pepper countered. “I need to know everything that could come back to haunt Mr. Stark in the future so I can prepare for it before it does.”
“Everything?” Clint blew out a breath. She risked a glance at Tony and he looked like he didn’t like it but didn’t actually disagree. “Okay, um, my father was a drunk that beat me to deaf and wrapped himself and my mother around a tree. I went into the country system and lived in the house of a man that taught me to pickpocket, tail marks, and forge documents. I ran away to the circus—Carson’s—when my brother, Barney, did. There I added archery, breaking and entering, and selling stolen property to my resume. Then, my brother turned on me and I would have gone to jail if not for Coulson and SHIELD.
“Barney’s still out there but he finally went clean about three years ago. Does covert work for MI6, married a nice girl.”
“He was a criminal?” Pepper asked to clarify. “After you started working for the government?”
“For about ten years, yeah.”
“Can anyone connect you to him?”
“I mean, not many people use a bow and arrow on our level. I know of two other than me and I put one of them in jail five years ago, so…” Clint shrugged.
“I’ll get people on it,” Pepper promised and turned to leave. She stopped before she reached the doors and waved her arms at herself a bit.
Clint looked to Tony because what the fuck? But he seemed just as lost as she was.
Pepper turned back around. “I would like to invite the two of you to my wedding.”
“Your wedding?” Tony asked.
“We were hoping for a small ceremony,” Pepper nodded. “In the gardens in the new top level you built.”
“Gardens?” Clint asked.
“Define ‘we’,” Tony demanded.
“Myself and Colonel Rhodes,” Pepper answered Tony.
Clint looked back and forth between the two of them. There was some intense eye contact going on.
“Your concerns in regard to the…birth control conspiracy led me to scheduling an emergency appointment with StarkMedical.”
Rather than make her say it outloud, Tony proved he was a genius and said, “You’re pregnant and the baby is Rhodey’s.”
Pepper swallowed and nodded once, “Yes.”
Neither of them seemed to know what to day to that, so Clint did. “Congratulations.”
Pepper broke the Staring Contest Redux to smile at her.
“Are you changing your name?”
“Legally and socially,” Pepper nodded. “Professionally, I’ll still be Ms. Potts but I want all of us to have one last name.”
“And you’re an old fashioned girl at heart,” Clint teased.
“Yeah,” Pepper smiled. Then she turned back to Tony, “Jim’s put in his resignation with the Air Force and wants to move into the Tower, be an Avenger full time. If that’s okay with you?”
“Yeah, I’m thrilled,” Tony didn’t look at them. “It’s more Clint’s team than mine though, ask her.”
Clint shrugged when Pepper looked to her. “It’ll be nice to have someone with some self-preservation on the team. The Air Force isn’t going to give him shit over the War Machine?”
“They can’t, we’ve already won that legal battle,” Pepper answered. “It’s Jim’s and always has been per Tony’s Will and his Will will always apply in this case because he took possession of the suit when Tony was on the verge of death and giving away his bequeathments.”
That was…fair. And horrible. “Tell him to call me, we’ll work out his place in the chain of command and field operations before we announce it to the team.”
As far as Tony knew, no one told Barnes. He just sort of started following Clint around, giving her little gifts that only made sense somewhere in the swiss cheese that was his brain.
Lots of pillows scavenged from all over the Tower. The occasional blanket. A live cat.
Oh, and food. And drinks.
She barely had to say, “I’m thirsty,” before Barnes was there with a glass of whatever her preferred juice was that day.
And Heaven help you if you used the cup he had gotten specifically for her. It was big enough for a full serving of liquid, light enough for her to hold it full without any chance of strain, had a handle for easy use, and it was Clint’s favorite color. Purple.
He wasn’t violent or anything about it because that could stress Clint out but his puppy dog eyes were lethal. Not even Steve could stand up to them.
Tony had no idea what to do with it but Clint seemed to appreciate it so he just sat back and watched the rest of the team’s floundering. Between Bucky and Hulk, his baby-momma was the safest person on the planet.
Life was good.
“This was not what I was expecting.”
Tony looked around the clean, clinical room Clint had led him into. From the outside, it looked like a barn three seconds from falling down. On the inside, it was as clean as anything he had in the Tower, stacked with top of the line machinery. Brand new about five years ago but still top of the line.
There was even a front desk equipped with a little only lady to check them in.
“Martha!” Clint grinned and walked around the counter to hug the woman.
“Clint,” the woman’s smile went to her eyes as she held onto Clint for an extended hug. “From your call, Jon thought you would need an Official Hand Holder but it looks like you’ve got it covered. Hello, Dr. Stark.”
“Nice to meet you,” he held out his hand and the woman let go of Clint to take it. “I’m guessing you’re Mrs. Morrison.”
“Call me Martha, please.”
“Martha,” he nodded. “We can share the hand holding duties as long as Clint’s cool with it.”
“Let’s all head on in, then.”
There was a man about Martha’s age sitting on a stool in the next room next to a sonogram machine.
Clint huffed at him. “Dr. Jon,” she whined.
“Am I wrong?” the man asked.
“No.” Clint pouted a little bit, it was the cutest thing Tony had ever seen her do.
“Did you drink your water?”
“Yeah, I gotta pee like a racehorse.”
“Then you’re ready,” the doctor said with a sadistic type of cheer. “Up on the table.”
There was some adjustment—both in clothes and people, the doctor was not prepared for two Official Hand Holders but he worked with it.
The doctor tutted at her, “So far along, you should have come to me before.”
“Yeah,” Clint blew out a breath. “I know.”
“Have you limited your caffeine intake?” The doctor shot Clint a look over the rims of his glasses.
Tony laughed and Clint poked him. “Lefty is taking care of it.”
“Sergeant Barnes has appointed himself manager of my intake,” Clint clarified at the doctor’s confused look.
“Would you like to know the gender?”
Clint turned pleading eyes on him.
“What?” he asked.
“We couldn’t tell last time,” she admitted.
“Do you wanna know?”
“Give it to us straight, doc.”
“Another boy,” Dr. Jon said with a gentle smile. It kind of reminded Tony of Yinsen, which was beautiful and terrible at the same time. “Congratulations.”
“Ugh, I’m starving.” Clint looked around for her resident food ninja but there was no food ninja present.
Tony laughed at her. “We landed five minutes ago, he probably doesn’t even know you’re home.”
Clint pouted. Yes, pouted. She could admit it, Bucky was spoiling her and she had no shame.
“Let’s go find him,” Tony offered and held her hand as they hit the elevator for the common floor. It was the most likely place to find Bucky and, failing that, food.
“You can’t make it that hot!” Bucky’s stress-filled voice greeted them when the doors opened. “That’s way too hot, Clint can’t eat that.”
They made it to the kitchen to see Sam fending off Bucky with a wooden spoon. It was culinary wack-a-mole, the battlefield was a sauce pan over the stove.
“Is that tuna?” Bucky’s metal fingers managed to snatch something out of the pan and he threw it in his mouth. “That’s tuna! Clint can’t have that, you’ll have to throw it all out.”
“Bucky? What in the— Why can’t Clint have tuna? Or spicy food, she loves spicy food.”
“It gives the baby indigestion,” Bucky said like it was obvious.
“Baby?” Sam asked. “Baby? Since when is Clint having a baby?”
“She’s having Tony’s kid.” Bucky snatched Sam’s pan while he was distracted. “Where have you been, Birdbrain?”
“DC and you damn well know it, Elsa. What do you mean—” he caught sight of her and Tony on the other side of the breakfast bar. “You’re having a baby? Like, together?”
“Yep,” Clint nodded.
“And it’s cool?” he pressed.
Sam grinned. “Congrats, you two. You like stroganoff, right Clint? I find mushroom real soothing on the tum.” Sam turned to where Bucky was feeding his previous effort down the garbage disposal. “Does mushroom give the baby indigestion?”
Clint turned to Tony. “What the actual…”
Tony just laughed.
They were about halfway through her and Pepper’s combined baby shower when the the sky rolled over with dark clouds. Lightning split the recently clear sky and she could hear Loki say, “I’m not overly fond of what follows,” in her head.
PJ was dancing around, holding the gift that would eventually be Pepper’s. She didn’t want to upset him but there was a reason she’d avoided Thor since they all went out for Shawarma.
She’d barely had time to glance at Tony before a column of rainbow light struck his balcony. When it cleared, Thor was there.
She watched Loki’s brother open the balcony door and walk in, his awkward little humans are weird smile plastered on his face. “What is happening?”
“Baby shower,” Tony answered immediately, standing to draw Thor’s focus. “Its a party celebrating expectant mothers and their future offspring. In this case, Clint and Pepper.”
Thor nodded to her and then turned to Pepper. Unfortunately, PJ had finally traversed his self-ordained path to her and was staring up at Thor in wonder. His blue forehead couldn’t be more obvious. Nor his red eye, with how big both of his currently were.
“What has happened here?” Thor bellowed. He marched straight up to Pepper and picked PJ up. “What is this? It smells like my brother!”
Clint didn’t even think, she snatched PJ from Thor’s hands. “Lefty!”
She turned to see Barnes between her and the emergency stairs. She tossed PJ across the open distance. Her boy giggled as the Winter Fucking Soldier caught him oh-so gently and ran for the door. Cap moved between Bucky and Thor, shield up, eyes wary. He covered Bucky’s and PJ’s exit and followed after them.
Clint turned to Thor. “If you touch my son without my explicit consent ever again, I will cut you in half.”
“You consented to lay with my brother?” He stared at her in confusion.
Clint snorted. “When was your brother ever concerned with my consent? It certainly wasn’t when he was taking me as his personal murder puppet. Or when he made me plan an assault on a German research center and museum. Or when he made me take down a helicarrier holding every single person I knew or cared about.”
“Tricks and magic are allowed in war,” Thor said but in a distant way, like he was not even thinking about it. More like he was in shock and repeating what he knew. “Rape is unforgiveable.”
“Well, I never plan to forgive him,” Clint snapped.
Rhodey pushed Thor down into Pepper’s abandoned seat. Rhodey was in War Machine. Pepper was in a periwinkle blue suit with silver War Machine accents Clint had never seen before. Tony was in Iron Man and there was another suit she’d never seen before—dark purple with golden Iron Man accents—open, waiting for someone to crawl in.
All four suits had active repulsors pointed at Thor.
Nat and Bruce were further back, standing together. Bruce was looking a little green and Nat had knives in either hand.
Thor collapsed into Pepper’s seat, “how?”
“How?” Clint demanded. “How?” Part of her knew her fury was misdirected. Thor was not to blame for anything that his brother had done but she’d never allowed herself to get mad about it before, there just had never been a good time for it and now felt like the best time. “You wanna know how he played mean little mind games with me? How he made me beg for it? How he mounted me like a bitch and made sure to revealed himself when I couldn’t escape? It that the how you want, Thor?”
Clint was crying now and she hated it. “Or do you need the birds and the bees? Coulson’s not around anymore but I’m sure I could find his little power point for you. Or maybe I’ll get you PJ’s little picture book. I’m sure that’ll explain everything.
“Other people might be fooled by your pretty dumb blond game, Thor, but I’m not. I’ve been playing that game since I was five, I know all the tricks.” Clint shook her head. “Just. Fuck you, Thor. Fuck your brother. Fuck Asgard. Fuck everything about all of it.” And Clint was done. She was done. So she left.
Tony watched Clint march resolutely out of the room. He could only hear her sniffling because of the Suit’s advanced audio receptors. She looked firm, in control. She was not running away.
He still relaxed when her Rescue suit followed her.
Tony knew they were alike in that she would want to lick her own wounds for a while before she would desperately need a hug. His Necessary Alone Time was approximately a half hour so he set a timer in his suit and turned back to Thor to make himself very clear.
Pepper popped the mask on her Rescue suit. “I think it’s fairly clear that Asgard owes Agent Barton extensive reparations for your brother’s actions against her. Loki was a Prince of Asgard, isn’t that correct?”
“He still is,” Thor admitted and Tony’s brain bluescreened. “I— The child must learn magic.”
“You’re not taking PJ,” Tony immediately protested. “We’re not gonna let you.”
“Nay, the boy belongs with his mother but the son of my brother is powerful. His aura, bright and chaotic. He must needs learn control or the consequences…” Thor shook his head. “The consequences could be dire.
“And he will need to know his father’s people. He will out live his mother by millenia,” Thor gave Tony a sad look. “No child deserves to be so alone.”
Tony huffed but couldn’t argue. “She might not accept anything from you,” he warned the god of thunder. “We won’t let anyone force anything on her. Never again.”
Thor stood. “Perhaps my mother best negotiate the weregild Asgard owes the archer. I will see my brother pay for the fullness of his crimes. For what it’s worth, please, give her my apologies and tell her that I swear I will never press my presence upon her unwanted. She need say the word and Midgard shall not see me again as long as she stands upon it.”
“For what its worth,” Tony agreed. He thought it was worth quite a bit but it wasn’t his judgement that mattered.
Thor turned and left the way he came. When the rainbow lights cleared, he was gone.
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