* * *
“I dare you to do it!”
“Not gonna happen.”
“I… double-dog dare you!!”
There was a pause as Clint stared down the Winter Soldier without success, and Peter and Sam looked between the two, wondering who would crack and break the silence first.
Who knew the superheroes you practically worship could act like a bunch of five-year-olds? Peter amusedly thought to himself. It was a question he had been asking himself for the past several minutes. No answer has come forth as of yet.
“Nice try, but no.”
“C’mon,” Sam cajoled as he stretched out the word beyond all that was reasonable. They ─ “they” being Clint, Sam, and Peter (but mostly Clint before Sam butted in) ─ had been trying to convince Bucky to test exactly how frozen his metal arm had become in the frosty, freezing, frigid, frozen, (and other adjectives describing the cold that start with “f”), New York winter.
All of them, except Bucky, were betting it was cold enough that it could make your tongue stick to it (just like a popsicle), and were trying to get Bucky to test this theory. After ten minutes of heroically enduring their “tactics” that consisted of progressively ridiculous arguments ─ with one where Peter just said “Please, Mr. Bucky. Do it for science,” and looked at him with those heart-melting puppy eyes of his (Bucky almost cracked there) ─ Bucky was not impressed.
“Hey, Sam psst…PSSST!”
“Clint, you really need to work on the subtlety, man.” Sam scowled, annoyed, as Clint dragged him bodily away from the group.
“Listen, I was thinking-“
“And we all know how terrifying that is.”
“Shut up,” Clint said, smacking Sam on the shoulder, “Sooo, I was thinking that if I do it first…”
“Let me stop you right there. Clint, the dude never even shows his arm in public, so what makes you think he’ll let you…do that to his arm in the very public streets of New York?”
Clint, (bless him), actually stopped to ponder this, seeming to consider his reasoning before he answered with “Because we’re best buds and he loves me?”
Sam just sighed a sigh that told of great exhaustion and patience that had finally met its limit, all thanks to one vent-dweller known as Clinton Francis Barton, “Right, my bad. How could I forget that universal fact.”
“Whatever.” Clint ignored Sam’s rather impressive eye-rolling in favour of moving back towards where they had left Peter and Bucky. The former of which had apparently come across a stand selling mini donuts and was attempting to get the latter to try one. “Let’s get back to the others. I don’t know about you, but I wait year-round for New York’s special brand of mini donuts, and I’m not about to let Spider-boy and the Winter stick-in-the-mud eat them all!”
They trudged back toward the others ─ well, Sam trudged, still shaking his head at Clint’s terrible idea, and Clint practically sprinted, having forgotten the idea altogether at the sight of the deliciously hot mini donuts in Peter’s hand.
“Hey, guys! Want some?” Peter offered the bag of donuts to the approaching two excitedly.
Tony was right, this kid is literally a puppy, Sam thought as he shared a look with Clint that told him he was thinking the same thing.
“Hey, thanks, kid. Sooo… did you get Bucky to try one?” Clint said, popping a bite of hot, cinnamon-y perfection into his mouth. Bucky scoffed and crossed his arms.
“You act like cinnamon and donuts didn’t exist in the forties.”
Sam paused before thinking ah, fuck it, what the hell, and made the decision to further annoy Bucky. It was one of his favourite pastimes… after all, the dude wrecked his car. He deserved all the “Man Out of Time” jabs that the Avengers (but mainly Clint, Tony, Natasha, and Sam) teased him with.
“Nah, we know those existed back then. We’re just pretty sure your forties self didn’t know.” Sam smirked with the usual satisfaction that Bucky’s scowl gave whenever it was directed at him.
Peter seemed slightly ─ a lot slightly ─ unaware of the tension between the two as he described Bucky’s face, moment to moment, after he’d first put the mini donut in his mouth.
“… so, I didn’t know it was his first, right? That he was essentially a…um, mini donut virgin… and his face! Oh, man he looked like he’d discovered the secrets of the universe or somethi─” Peter trailed off as he giggled (honest-to-god giggled) at the memory, with Sam and Clint chuckling at the term “mini donut virgin” being applied to their Grumpy Cat of a friend. Though they heard him mutter “Punk” under his breath, Clint and Sam knew the kid had the Grumpy Soldier wrapped around his finger. Because wasn’t that just part of Peter’s charm?
“So, McBuckster, I take it you liked the cinnamon-donut combination you were otherwise ignorant of?” And Bucky’s offended face at being called “McBuckster” (after he specifically
threatened told Clint to quit with the godawful nicknames) was what caused Clint, Sam, and Peter to stop their trek back to the tower and completely break down into laughter (more like guffaws, really). Loud laughter.
Once they were a few feet away from the tower’s entrance, Clint stopped Bucky ─ with the others stopping out of curiosity of what was about to go down ─ when he stated, “Oh, hold on. There’s some cinnamon sugar on you.” He then proceeded to lick Bucky’s hand (no, not the fleshy one) free of the remnants of the mini donuts, and subsequently let out a muffled yelp as he tried to lift his head up and found it snapping back down to where his tongue was currently connected to the metal of Bucky’s arm.
Well, that’s one question answered, Clint thought in growing terror at the fact that his face was now eye-level with Bucky’s knees, and he just prayed to whatever god out there ─ (Thor…you there, buddy?) ─ that Bucky would preferably not knee him in his behonkus…even though he very well deserved it after the events of today.
Sam was no help at all, what else was new, practically rolling on the dirty snow in front of the tower, laughing tears at his predicament. And Peter wasn’t much better…though he had refrained from sacrificing his dignity by rolling on the dirty New York streets, he had taken out his phone and was doing god knows what ─ probably some social media thing that would trend worldwide at Clint’s expense ─ while cackling like some madman.
“Oh, my god, the kid wasn’t lying!” A shout followed by surprisingly hysterical laughter ─ wait…that sounds like Tony ─ tore Clint out of his panicked thoughts.
“Oh, god…─" (cue controlled huff of laughter) ─ "…Clint, how?” Aaaand that would be Natasha’s exasperated but fond voice that miraculously reached Clint’s hearing aids (which were thankfully still working in the below zero weather).
Steve’s uncontrolled laughter ─ a truly rare sound to hear ─ joined together with Sam’s as he struggled to form a sentence.
“B-Bucky…your…your f-face, I─“ the clicking sound of a phone’s camera shutter (dammit, Tony) registered in Clint’s scrambled thoughts as Steve was once again overtaken by the need to laugh at Bucky’s normally composed face growing steadily redder by the second.
“Ay, yuh ath-holth! ‘Elp ‘eeee!!” Peter, bless him, finally stopped laughing long enough to interpret his cry for help. And just in time too, since Bucky seemed to be running out of his arguably limited patience, and Clint really did not want to go from Hawkeye to Blackeye.
After much pulling from Peter and much crying from Clint ─ although, he’ll deny it till the day he dies ─ he was finally freed from the confines Bucky’s metal arm, the cold, and his idiotic tongue had created. Never. Again.
“Alright, we’ve had our fun.” Tony said as he wiped the tears from his cheeks. “Now, let’s go make fun of Legolas and Sergeant Grumpy Face out of sight of all the cameras.”
And as the others slowly collected themselves, they noticed, with increasing dread, the steadily growing crowd near them with cameras out recording the Avengers and a random teenage boy ─ so, Peter’s identity was safe ─ completely losing it.
“Yeah, I’m with Tony─”
“That’s a first.”
“Shut up, Sam!” Clint growled as he practically stomped into the tower’s lobby. Breaking News: Hawkeye had reached his limit at last after this entire incident. The others followed, amused at Clint’s antics, and looking forward to more in the future.
“And that’s all for Avengers Antics for today, everyone. Be sure to tune in for more explosions, embarrassment, and egos! Peter Parkour out!” Peter scrambled to catch up to the others inside the building once he’d stopped his livestream. It’s safe to say the entire thing had been seen worldwide by now, thanks to the hordes of followers Peter had…Clint was not gonna be happy about that, Peter thought as he cracked up at his own nerdy science joke and Tony ruffled his hair with a wide smile on his face ─ an occurrence that was becoming more common.
Peter spotted Clint sulking as the others ribbed him for his stupid-ass decision to remove cinnamon from metal via his tongue. He then checked his phone’s notifications:
- Melissa_.her.man, luvirondad, avengers_aasemble, and 1000 others have viewed your posted livestream “I Ship Clint and Bucky’s Metal Arm<3”
- Myironheart, biderman_biderman, and 500 others have followed you.
Yeah, he’s DEFINITELY not gonna be happy about that.