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Lucky in Love

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Clint Barton x Reader

Summary – Sitting at the park during your lunch break, you notice a stray Labrador retriever.  Being the Good Samaritan that you are, you contact Lucky’s owner, but you soon come to realized that the dog isn’t the only lucky one.  Can you handle being a superhero’s girlfriend?

Warnings – Fluff…probably a curse word or two

Word Count – 12.5K

Notes - Parts 1 - 11 of 11

**Updated December 5, 2019**

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The weather had cleared up right before noon, so YN had decided to take her lunch to the park near her office and sit outside for an hour while she ate.  Sitting behind a desk all day made her feel pinned in, so she looked for any excuse she could find to go out and enjoy the warmth of the sun on her face whenever she could.  She always chose the bench nearest the river so she could listen to the sound of the water while she ate.  For one hour, she could forget the real world existed and just enjoy the peace and quiet of nature.

When she felt the heavy weight on her leg coupled with a cold wetness against her hand, she drew back in shock.  To her surprise, it was simply a yellow Labrador resting his head on her thigh as he stared up longingly at her sandwich.

"Well, hello, there," she said as she reached down to rub his ear.  She glanced around the deserted park for a moment before looking back down at the dog sitting in front of her.  "Where's your master?"

The dog cocked his head for a moment as though he was pondering her question, but his attention was soon consumed by the food in her hand again.  Giving in to the warm, brown puppy dog eyes, she tore off a piece of her sandwich and held it out in her hand for him to take.

Sensing that she would be an easy mark, he hopped up on the bench beside her and she began to laugh as he tried to devour the rest of her sandwich.  Holding it as far away from the hungry pup as she could, she used her other arm to hold him back from crawling across her lap.  Her fingers brushed against his collar, and she tilted her head to read the small brass plaque attached to the black nylon around his neck.

"Lucky," she read aloud, earning her an excited yip from the dog.  She quickly put away the rest of her lunch as she grabbed her phone from her bag.  Looking back at the tag, she noticed the message Lucky's owner had added under his name.

"If found, please TEXT 845-555-4295."  She scrunched her face up as she looked back at Lucky.  "So, your owner doesn't like phone calls, huh?  I guess I'll have to text him."  She unlocked her phone and began typing the phone number into her messaging app.  "It is a guy, right?"  Lucky didn't answer her, so she shrugged and began typing her message.  "I'm going to assume it's a guy."

Since she was texting instead of calling, she snapped a quick picture of Lucky and added it to her message.  "Missing something?"

She watched as the message went through and the notification turned from "delivered" to "read."  What kind of person didn't turn off their read receipts?  Shaking her head, she saw the three little dots appear that signaled a reply was forthcoming.

"Where did that damn dog get to now?"

"Uh-oh," she said to Lucky after she'd read the message.  "Someone is in big trouble with his daddy."

Laughing, she texted back and gave him the address of the park.  She added that she was on her lunch break, but if he needed her to, she could take Lucky back to her office until he could come pick him up.

"I'll be there in five minutes."

She put her phone away and began to rub the dog's ear again.  "I have a feeling this outing won't be worth it once you get home, boy."

Lucky didn't seem phased by her warning as he began to lean his entire body into her as she continued to rub his ear.  He was a sweet dog, and it made her wish that she had a pet of her own waiting for her back at her tiny apartment.  A big dog like Lucky wouldn't be practical, but she could always get a cat.

Her musings were interrupted by the sound of a truck pulling into the lot by the park.  Recognizing his owner, Lucky jumped down off the bench and took off running toward the blond man exiting the vehicle.  YN didn't want to—but she felt as though she should at least introduce herself to Lucky's owner—so she grabbed her things and followed the happy dog.

The man was currently crouched down attaching a leash to Lucky's collar when she reached his side.  "Hello."

When he turned to look at her, she noticed the hearing aid looped over his ear and it was then that she realized why Lucky's tag had specified that someone text instead of call.  It had been years since she'd used sign language, but she decided to give it a try anyway.

"I'm YN," she said as she signed her name for the man.

He stood up and gave her a wide-eyed stare.  Tucking Lucky's leash under his arm, he began to sign back.  "I'm Clint.  Thanks for taking care of my dog."

She was amazed at how well he spoke, and she wondered if his hearing loss had happened later in life, or if he'd just had exceptional speech therapists as a kid.  She started to sign back a response, but he reached out and stopped her.

"It's okay," he told her with a smile as he tapped one of his hearing aids.  "I appreciate the gesture, but I can hear fairly well with these things."  He paused for a moment and cocked his head to the side.  "And thanks for not yelling at me.  People always seem to yell—like that's going to make a difference."

"Oh," she replied, not really knowing what to say.

He noticed that she'd become nervous all of sudden, so he wracked his brain for something to say to ease the tension.  "Can I offer you a reward, or something?"

"Oh, no," she said with a laugh.  "It was no problem at all."

"He's a problem, all right," Clint said as he stared down at the dog with a stern look.  "I can't turn my back for a minute."

"He's a sweet dog."

"He's a beggar and a thief," Clint corrected with a shake of his head.  He nodded toward her lunch bag.  "How much of your lunch did he con you out of?"

"Only one bite of my sandwich."  She chuckled as the dog hung his head.  If she didn't know better, she'd swear he understood every word they were saying.

Clint looked down at his watch.  "I don't know how much time you have left of your lunch break, but I'd like to buy you lunch to repay you for finding him."

YN looked down at her watch and realized that she only had a few minutes left.  She wasn't sure what possessed her to do it, but before she knew what was happening she heard the words leaving her mouth.  "How about tomorrow?  I usually take my lunch break from eleven to twelve."

A wide grin spread across Clint's face.  "It's supposed to be another nice day tomorrow.  Meet here at eleven and I'll bring lunch?"

"Will Lucky be joining us as well?"

Clint looked down at the dog and gave him a wink.  "Yeah, but no sandwiches for you, pal."

YN gave Lucky one last ear rub before saying goodbye to them both and heading back to her office.  Clint watched her walk down the sidewalk for a moment before turning back to his dog.  "I want to be mad at you, but you did manage to score me a date with the pretty lady."  Lucky looked up at him with a hopeful look on his face.  "Okay, okay.  You get a steak tonight.  You earned it."

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YN had been sitting on the park bench alone for almost five minutes.  She kept glancing down at her phone to check the time, but she was trying not to panic.  Clint wouldn't stand her up, would he?  Maybe he just wasn't the punctual type, she thought.

When ten minutes had passed with no sign of the man or his dog, YN resigned herself to the reality of the situation.  Grabbing her bag, she stood and began walking toward the sidewalk.  She still had time to run by the diner on the corner to grab a quick bite to eat, but it wasn't the thought of greasy food that her stomach churning.  She'd actually liked Clint, and for a moment she'd hoped that there might be a spark there between them.

Just before she made it to the sidewalk, his truck pulled into the parking lot.  Relief washed over her for a moment, but then she saw the distressed look in his eye.

"Is everything alright?" she asked once he'd exited the cab.

"Oh, things are definitely not alright, are they Lucky?" Clint replied as he gave his dog a stern look.

YN tried to hold back a giggle.  "Let me guess.  Lucky decided to go another outing today."

Clint grabbed Lucky's leash and then reached back into the truck for the pizza he'd brought along for lunch.  "Got it in one."  He gestured to the box in his hand.  "I swear I was going to bring something nice for lunch, but after spending all morning looking for this goofus, all I had time for was a pizza.  I hope you don't mind."

YN took the box from his hand as they walked back toward the bench by the river.  "I love pizza, so no, I don't mind."

YN took a seat while Clint wrapped Lucky's leash around the leg of the trash can a few feet away from them.  "I don't usually tie him up, but if I don't, he'll steal this entire pizza before we have a chance to grab a slice."

Lucky gave his master an affronted look and then laid down with his back to him.

"I swear that dog understands everything you say," YN observed as she took a slice of the still-warm pie and bit off a piece.

"Me too," Clint said around his own bite of pizza.  "Cap thinks I'm crazy, but what does he know?"

She wasn't sure who Cap was, but she didn't bother asking.  She was more curious about where the dog had been running off to.  "So where did you find Lucky today?"

"Oh, now that's a story, let me tell you."

"Uh-oh," YN said with a laugh.  "I have a feeling I'm going to love this story."

Clint looked over at his dog with a glare, but Lucky was still ignoring them.  "Well, apparently, this guy has found himself a girlfriend."

She inhaled sharply as it all started to make sense.  "Let me guess, she's in the family way?"

He shook his head.  "Nope.  That ship sailed about three weeks ago, but there are five little mongrels, and one very irate dog owner.  You see, Lucky's lady friend was a purebred show dog, and now her career is over."

She knew it wasn't funny—at least for the poor dog's owner—but she couldn't hold back her laughter.  "What kind of dog is she?"

"A poodle—the big kind thank God." Clint grimaced.  "I'd hate to have seen what would've happened if she'd been one of those tiny toy dogs."

"So, it's a litter of labradoodles?  Aren't those really popular right now?"

"Thank you," Clint said as he threw up his hands.  "I said the same thing to that lady and she just blew up on me."

"What are you going to do now?"

He took another slice of pizza and began to eat before he answered her.  "I told her that I had an appointment—I didn't figure she'd be too understanding if I told her it was a date—but that I'd be back around noon to pick up the poodle and the pups."

YN's attention was completely focused on the word 'date,' so it took her a few moments to comprehend what he was saying.  "What?  She's giving up her dog?"

"Yep.  She said that Daphne was of no use to her anymore and since it was my mutt that had ruined her precious angel, I could take responsibility for the whole mess."

"What a bitch," YN said before she could stop herself.  With her eyes wide, she quickly covered her mouth with her hand.

Clint wasn't the least bit offended though as he began to laugh.  "You took the words right out of my mouth."

"I'm sorry," she apologized meekly.  "I usually save the profanity for the third date."  She saw the twinkle in his eye and hoped it was a sign that he might be interested in getting to date number three.  "Are you going to be able to keep them all?  Seven dogs are a lot of work, especially five puppies that need housebroken."

He nodded his head.  "Yeah, it'll be fine.  Cap loves dogs, and Tony will just have to get over it.  The Compound is big enough for them to have somewhere to run, so it'll work out fine."

She would've probably ignored the second mention of Cap, but the name Tony had her mind making the connections she'd failed to realize the day before.  The images on the TV and Internet were usually grainy, and the man sitting beside her was wearing a pair of jeans and a flannel shirt, not sleek black tactical gear, so it stood to reason that she wouldn't have recognized him.  But was he really Clint Barton?  Was he the Avenger known as Hawkeye?

"So, quick question," she said quickly before she could stop herself.

"Yeah, anything."

"You're not Clint Barton, are you?"

He scrunched up his nose in a pained look.  "Figured it out, didn't you?"  He shook his head.  "I was hoping to make a little longer before that came up, but it was inevitable."

YN's mouth dropped open in shock.  "You're really Clint Barton?  The Avenger?"

"Guilt as charged," he said with a laugh and shrug.  "You don't hate superheroes, do you?"

"Well," she said, drawing out the word to make him squirm a little bit.  "You do have a cute dog, so that works in your favor."  She saw the look of relief on his face.  "Tell you what, if you take me with you to pick up the puppies, we'll forget the fact that you failed to mention you were famous yesterday."

He quickly agreed and once they'd thrown away the empty pizza box and collected Lucky, they'd climbed into his pickup and headed back across town.

"I'd love to take you out to the Compound, but you probably won't have enough time today."

Sadly, she shook her head.  "No, probably not."  She hesitated for just a moment before offering up an alternative suggestion.  "But I'm free all day Saturday.  That is if you're not too busy saving the world."

"I'll have to check my schedule, but I believe the bad guys are taking a day off this weekend."

Of all the things she liked about this guy, his sense of humor was definitely in the top five.  She couldn't remember the last time she'd smiled and laughed so much on a date.

"Well, here we are," he announced as he pulled up in front of a pristinely manicured lawn with an equally impressive house sitting back from the street.  "Why don't you wait here."

She shook her head.  "You're going to need help carrying all those pups.  From what you've told me, I doubt miss prissy pants is going to lift a finger."

"Good point."

Daphne's owner was just as YN had imagined—snooty and self-centered.  Thankfully they'd been in and out of the house in less than ten minutes, and now YN was currently sitting in the cab of the truck with five adorable pups in her lap.

"They are so cute," she said as she nuzzled one of the puppies to her cheek.  "I want to take them all home with me."

"You want one?  I'm sure Tony would be thrilled if I found homes for them all."

YN looked back in the bed of the truck where Lucky and Daphne were curled up together on a blanket.  "You don't think they'll mind giving up one of their babies?"

Clint reached across the seat and took her hand.  "I have a feeling they'd still get to see their pup fairly often."

YN heart began to swell as she interlaced her fingers with his.  "That could probably be arranged."

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Laryngitis was the worst.

YN hadn't been plagued by that particular affliction since she'd been a kid, but the crazy spring weather of upstate New York had gotten everyone in her office sick.  She'd hoped she could avoid the crud that had been circulating for the better part of a week, but when she'd woken up on Friday morning with a sore throat, she'd admitted defeat.

Grabbing her phone, she texted her boss first.  With everyone else calling in, she wondered if he'd end up having to shut the office down completely until they'd all gotten over this sickness.

Her next text was to Clint.  They'd had plans to meet up for lunch in the park since the weather was supposed to warm up a bit for the weekend.

"Not going to make lunch.  I came down with whatever's going around the office.  Raincheck?"

She hit send and waited a moment to see if he'd respond.  The three little dots appeared almost instantaneously and even though she felt like death warmed over, a smile spread across her face.  She and Clint had been dating for a few weeks, but so far the newness of their relationship hadn't worn off yet.

"Want me to bring by some soup?"

She quickly typed out a response.  "Don't risk it.  I can't have the Avengers down a man because he caught a cold from his girlfriend."  She added the emoji with the hospital mask and hit send.

"Tony will get over it," Clint typed back with the winking emoji added at the end.

"If you're sure, I won't say no to soup."

"I'll be there in a bit."

She frowned down at the phone in her hand.  A bit?  Was he coming over now?  Panic set in as she glanced at her reflection in the mirror above her dresser.  She looked as bad as she felt, and although she knew Clint wouldn't care, she couldn't help but feel self-conscious. 

Jumping out of bed, she rushed to smooth out the covers before heading to the bathroom.  It was about a twenty minute drive from the Compound to her apartment, but she didn't want to risk him catching her looking like something out of horror movie.

She'd just finished tidying up her apartment when the knock sounded.  Breathing a sigh of relief that she'd gotten it all done before he'd gotten there, she went to answer the door.

If she'd had a voice, she'd probably have cried out in shock at seeing the hoard of dogs waiting for her on the other side.  Opening the door all the way, she smiled as Lucky, Daphne, and their brood raced into her apartment with Clint following close behind.

"I figured the pups would cheer you up," he said as he leaned in and gave her a kiss on the cheek.

She pulled away quickly and gave him a chiding look.  Since she had no voice, she used sign language instead.  She'd been practicing ever since that first day in the park, but she was still a bit rusty.

"Don't get too close," she said as she furrowed her brow in concentration.

"Laryngitis?" Clint asked with a grimace.

She nodded her head.

"Sounds like the perfect excuse to sit on the couch and watch movies all day.  Not that I need an excuse."  He walked past her and went into the kitchen to get a spoon for her soup.  "Get comfortable on the couch and I'll bring your soup to you."

Sighing in defeat, she did as he instructed.  She'd barely gotten the blanket over her legs before one of the pups came over and tried to jump on the couch with her.  The labradoodle was too chubby to make the leap, so she leaned over and picked him up.  Happy to be on someone's lap, he curled up in a ball and promptly fell asleep.

Clint rounded the couch and spotted the sleeping puppy.  "Why I am not surprised he's already asleep?  I swear that puppy is the laziest dog."  He gave YN a wink.  "He takes after his father."

YN looked over at the French doors leading to her small balcony and saw that Lucky had already curled up and fallen asleep as well.  Daphne was sitting in front of the glass doors looking out while her pups crawled all over their father trying to get him to play.

"Thanks for coming over," she signed before she took the soup from him.

"It's not a problem," he told her as he settled in and grabbed the remote.  "Tony was happy to get rid of the dogs for a day."

YN tried to figure out how to sign and hold onto her soup, but Clint seemed to be able to read her mind.

"He's tolerating them, but he'd be happier if I found homes for them."  He pointed to the pup currently sitting on top of Lucky's back and swatting at the other pups on the floor.  "That little stinker there keeps sneaking into his lab and using his tools as chew toys."

She tried to laugh, but it came out in a hoarse croak that made her throat hurt.

He squeezed her leg beneath the blanket and switched on Netflix.  "Eat your soup and don't try to talk."

She sipped a spoonful of the hot chicken broth and closed her eyes in pleasure.  She had no idea where he'd gotten it, but it was the best soup she'd ever tasted.  Opening her eyes again, she looked over at her boyfriend and smiled.  She had no idea how she'd gotten so lucky to have met such a wonderful man, but she knew she'd be a fool to let him slip through her fingers anytime soon.

Finishing her soup, she set the container aside and began to run her fingers through the soft fur of the puppy lying in her lap.  Clint had picked some cheesy rom-com, but she didn't care.  She wished she had her voice so she could tell him how she felt about him, but maybe it was best that she couldn't speak.  They'd only been dating a few weeks, and maybe it was too soon for those three little words.  It didn't change how she felt, but she knew she needed to wait until she could say the words aloud.  For now, she'd be content to let him take care of her—there would be time for declarations of love later on.

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YN stood in front of her full-length mirror and checked out her outfit for what was possibly the hundredth time that morning.  Clint had invited her out to the Compound again, and she was extremely nervous to be around the rest of the Avengers.  For some reason, she didn't think of Clint as a superhero since she knew him so well, but the rest of the team were like celebrities she only read about in gossip magazines.

Telling herself that she looked fine, she grabbed her bag and her phone and walked out of the door before she could change her outfit yet again.  It was just a simple hike with the pups—it wasn't like she was going to hanging out with Captain America and Iron Man.  And anyway, she reasoned, the rest of Clint's friends had been perfectly nice to her the first time she'd been there, so there was no reason to get all worked up about her visit.  Too bad she couldn't entirely convince herself of that.

The drive out was  beautiful, even if the security at the turnoff to the Compound scared the bejesus out of her.  Today was no different as an armed guard approached her vehicle and asked for her identification.  She handed over her driver's license and waited while he checked her name against the list of approved visitors for the day.  With a nod, he handed her license back and told her to have a nice day as the security bar lifted so she could drive through.

There was another armed guard waiting for her at the entrance to take her keys.  It was like valet service on steroids, but she couldn't complain.  

When she turned toward the door, she was surprised to see Clint walking out alone to greet her.

"Hey, honey," he said as he gave her a quick hug and a kiss.  "Nice drive over?"

She nodded her head.  "It was beautiful.  The trees have lost all their blooms, but they're still that fresh green color you only see in Spring."

"Then you're going to love the hike I have planned today," he told her as he led her into the Compound.

"Where's Lucky?" she asked as she looked around for the dog that never seemed to leave Clint's side.

"Where else?  Napping."

She chuckled as they headed up the stairs to the common area shared by all the Avengers.  Steeling her nerves, she tried to keep a neutral expression on her face in case she ran into of them unexpectedly.

"Hey, Clint, we about ready to go?"

YN wasn't sure, but she thought that was Natasha's voice.  Was she going with them on the hike?

Clint scrunched up his nose in the adorable way he did and gave her an apologetic look.

"The rest of the team kinda invited themselves along," he told her.

"Oh."  YN had no idea what to say to that, but she could feel her anxiety level rising quickly.

They reached the top of the stairs and YN was shocked to see not only Natasha, but Steve, Sam, Tony, Bruce, Wanda, and Vision waiting on them.  A few of them had leashes in their hands and were trying to keep the puppies from getting tangled together.

"Do we really need to bring the whole kennel with us, Barton?" Tony asked as one puppy began running circles around his legs threatening to trip him up with it's leash.

"It's either take them with us, or leave them here to destroy the place," Clint said with a lopsided grin.

Wanda bent down and picked up the puppy at Tony's feet.  "C'mon, Tony.  How can you not love this adorable face?"

Clint leaned over and whispered in YN's ear.  "Who would've thought that a litter of puppies would turn the Avengers into a bunch of softies?"

"I don't think it worked on Tony," she whispered back as she saw him glare at the puppy in Wanda's hand.

"Give that one back, Maximoff," Tony demanded as he held out his hands for the dog.  "He likes to eat my stuff."  Tony took the puppy and held it up so he could look into his eyes.  "But if I keep my eye on you, you can't destroy anything, can you, you little menace?"

Steve shook his head at Tony before walking over to YN and Clint.  "I'm sorry, YN.  How are you?"

YN couldn't help but smile at the handsome Captain.  Out of all of Clint's friends, he'd been the one to make her feel the most at ease.  "I'm great.  How are you?"

He nodded his head and gave her a warm smile.  "Looking forward to some downtime, so thanks for giving Clint the idea."

Her smile faltered a bit as she looked at her boyfriend with a wary look.

His eyes widened as he silently begged her to go along with Steve's pronouncement.  "Yep.  YN just couldn't wait to explore some more of the Compound."

She had no idea what he was up to, but she'd find out before too long.  For now she was content to let him lead the way toward the deck.  There was a set of stairs that took them down to a path that led them to the river bank.  From there, they followed the river for a bit before branching off on a well-beaten track that disappeared into the woods.

"Steve and Sam run out here in the mornings," Clint explained when she'd asked who'd made the trail.  "There wasn't a path here until Steve forged one."

"I take it he didn't use any equipment to do it."

Clint shook his head.  "Nope.  He just ran the same route for a few weeks and trampled down all the grass.  The park service should really hire him for trail maintenance when he's not off saving the world."

She giggled at his joke, but was stopped from making a reply when the leash in her hand grew taut all of a sudden.  Looking back, she saw that her pup had laid down in the middle of the trail and refused to budge.  She tugged on the leash a few times while calling for him, but he wasn't moving.  With a sigh, she walked back and picked him up.

"You're spoiling him," Clint warned her when he noticed that the dog had already fallen asleep in her arms.

"Nonsense," she said as she nuzzled the lazy puppy.  "He just gets tired sometimes."

"He's lazy, which is why we're calling him Molasses," Clint explained.  "Moe for short, but you get the drift."

"You're naming them?" she asked with a knowing look.  "I thought you weren't going to name them since you were planning to give them away next week?"

Nat fell back from the rest of the group and linked her arm through Clint's.  "Yeah, Wanda threw a fit when she found out Tony was going to make him give them away.  She found all this research on how dogs help reduce stress. . ."

"And that worked on Tony?" YN asked.

"Not at all," Clint answered.  "He says it did, but we really think he's fallen in love with him." He pointed at the puppy Tony was currently leading up the path.  "He calls him Dennis when he thinks no one's listening."

It took YN a second to catch on.  "Oh, like Dennis the Menace.  That's adorable."

"You should see the two of them curled up on Tony's sofa taking a nap together," Nat said as she pulled out her phone and brought up a picture.

"Ohh, that's so sweet," YN said with a sappy look on her face.  "Yeah, these dogs aren't going anywhere anytime soon."

"Nope, but that leaves us with a dilemma," Nat sighed.  "What do we do with them when we're all on a mission for a few days?"

YN wanted to immediately volunteer to watch them, but she knew her landlord would kill her if she had seven dogs in her apartment for longer than an afternoon.  "I'd love to help, but. . ."

"You wouldn't mind coming out here and staying with them?" Nat asked hopefully.  She knew exactly what YN had meant, but she was playing dumb to get what she wanted.  Old habits were hard to break.  "We'd ask some of the S.H.I.E.L.D. guys, but it's not exactly in their job description."

YN looked to Clint to see what his reaction was, but he seemed to be in full support of the idea.

"I guess it wouldn't be too far to commute to work," she said with a shrug.  "And it's not like it would be all the time."

"Perfect," Nat said as she gave YN and wink and led Daphne back to the main group.

They rounded a bend and suddenly there was a large clearing up ahead.  Sam had chosen to carry picnic basket while Steve had carried the cooler, so they found a shady spot and began creating a spot for them all to sit and eat lunch.  Sam reached into the basket and pulled out a bag of dog bones and threw them at Clint.

"C'mon, guys," Clint said to the dogs as he led them over to the tree line and began distributing the bones.

YN's pup wasn't waking up anytime soon, so she settled him into her lap after she'd taken a seat on the large blanket.  This hike wasn't what she'd thought it was going to be, but so far she was having fun.  She'd scored an invite to stay at the Compound—albeit while the Avengers were away—but she secretly hoped that it might turn into something more permanent if things between her and Clint continued to get serious.  

It was then that she realized why Clint had told everyone the hike was her idea.  He'd wanted to ask her to dog-sit for them, but he was probably worried she might read into too much and get spooked.  Having Nat be the one to ask her took the pressure off of him, with the added benefit of ensuring that she'd agree.  She had to give it to him—he'd almost fooled her.

She glanced over at him and couldn't help but smile.  She'd never expected to fall for a superhero, but here she was.  Her life was moving in a direction she hadn't been prepared for, but she couldn't complain.  Clint's friends were all wonderful people, and they'd accepted her as a part of her group without batting an eye.  In the grand scheme of things, she'd been the lucky one the day she'd found Clint's dog in the park.  Clint might not be ready to move things to the next level yet, but she was patient.  Eventually he'd realize just how well they worked together, but in the meantime she needed to convince him she could handle his crazy life.

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YN looked around at her captive audience as their eyes reflected the flickering flames of the camp fire.  "So, every year on the exact same night the nurses' vital sign machine picked up a heart rate in between rooms nineteen and twenty and at one minute to twelve the patient in room twenty would die."

"That's not real," Tony scoffed as he lazily rubbed the ear of the pup he secretly called Dennis.

YN held up her hand in the Scout salute.  "I swear one of my friends is a nurse and she told me that story herself.  It's almost impossible to get nurses to work that night, and they'll only agree to take the shift if no one is in room twenty."

"It's probably just a coincidence," Steve said with a shake of his head.  "Ghosts aren't real."

"This is coming from the man who's battled aliens," Sam said with a disbelieving look on his face.  

"I'm with Sam," Nat agreed with a shrug.

Clint was dumbstruck.  "You believe in ghosts?"

"Of course I believe in ghosts," Nat said as she surveyed the group sitting around the fire Clint had built once the sun had started to set.

"When have you seen one?" Wanda asked, hoping to hear another scary story so she'd have an excuse to cuddle closer to Vis.

Nat took a deep breath and thought for a moment.  "I'd been out of the Red Room for a few years, but it was still some time before I ended up on S.H.I.E.L.D.'s radar."  Her eyebrows drew together as she tried to remember all the particulars.  "I'd just finished up a job in Kharkiv and was holed up in a Russian safe house just over the Ukrainian border."

"What was the job?" Bruce asked.  "Or do I want to know?"

Nat gave Bruce her signature smirk.  "You don't want to know.  And anyway, it doesn't pertain to the story."  She paused as she tried to find her train of thought again.  "It was a rundown little shed, hardly more than four pieces of plywood for walls and another for the roof—it even had a dirt floor.  Needless to say, I wasn't about to get a decent night's sleep there, so when I heard the sound of footsteps approaching, I pulled my gun and started for the door."

"Was it the ghost?" Tony asked as he leaned forward and wiggled his eyebrows dramatically.

"Shut up and let her finish the story," Steve complained as he threw a marshmallow at Tony.

Unperturbed, Tony caught the marshmallow and bit off most of it before feeding the last bite to Dennis.

Nat rolled her eyes and continued her story.  "It was a little girl dressed in rags.  She told me her name was Katarina and that her mommy was being hurt by the bad man.

"I asked her why she'd come to me and she'd said, 'Black Widows always kill the bad men.'"

"She knew who you were?" YN blurted out before she could catch herself.  She quickly covered her mouth and gave Nat an abashed look.  "Sorry."

"No, you're good," Nat said with a warm smile.  "I wondered the same thing at the time.  I smelled a trap, but there was something about the little girl that reminded me of me when I was that age.  She still had a yellowing bruise on her cheek and her bare feet were black with filth.  Against my better judgement I followed her back to where her mommy was supposed to be.

"The shack Katarina lived in was a step above the hovel I'd been assigned to, but not by much.  There was light spilling out from beneath the crack of the door and I could hear two people fighting inside.

"I turned back to the little girl, and she stood silently beside me and pointed toward the shack."  Nat paused again and assessed the people sitting around the fire.  She knew she had every one of them on the hook and all she needed to do was reel them in.

"At this point, I still thought it was a trap, so I pulled my gun and started for the door.  When I got to the front of the shack I stood with my back to the wall as I tried to figure out where the two people were located by their voices.  I could still hear the them fighting and now that I was closer I heard the voice of a man yelling obscenities and a woman sobbing for mercy.

"I looked back at Katarina, but she was still standing in the same spot with her finger pointing straight ahead.  I held my finger to my lips and she nodded slightly to tell me she understood."

At this point, Nat could see some members of the team start to lean forward as they waited to hear what was on the other side of the door.  She struggled to keep the smile off of her face, but at the last moment, she decided that smiling might actually help bring her story to a close.

"I reached over and slowly grabbed the handle of the door and pushed it open a sliver.  My position was all wrong, though, and I couldn't see either of the people inside.  Taking a deep breath, I leveled my weapon and quickly entered the room."

She stopped there and waited.

"Well?  What did you see, Romanoff?" Tony asked impatiently.

"There were two people inside that shack," she said cryptically.  "But all that was left of them were bones."

"Wait a second," Sam said as he sat back in disbelief.  "The two people fighting were the ghosts?"

"Not exactly," Nat said with a smirk.  "I looked back outside for Katarina, but she was nowhere to be found.  I explored the area a bit and stumbled upon a small grave marker in the shape of a cross with her name carved into it.

"The date on it was over a decade old."

"Did you ever find out what happened to them?" Steve asked.

Nat nodded her head.  "It took me over a week to make my way back to the safe house. . ."

"A week?" YN asked as her eyes grew wide with shock.  "Why so long?"

"According to my GPS, the shack was over a hundred miles from the safe house."

"That's highly improbable, Agent Romanoff," Vision stated matter-of-factly.

Nat threw out her arms in a shrug.  "When I finally made it back to my handlers and told them what had happened, they both made the sign of the cross and spat on the ground.  Apparently, Katarina had led more than one unwitting person to the site of her grave, but no one ever made the trip a second time—some died before they ever had the chance to try."

"You couldn't just follow the GPS back to where you'd been?" Clint asked.

"I tried," Nat said with a shake of her head.  "I had my handlers drive in the general direction and we hiked for over a day, but when we got to the coordinates, there was nothing there—no shack, no bones, no grave."

Lucky chose that moment to loudly yawn and everyone around the fire jumped and clutched their chests in shock.  After a moment, they all started laughing.

Bruce turned to Natasha and gave her a hard look.  "That story sounds a bit familiar to me. I wonder why?"

Nat shrugged and gave him a wink.  "There's something about a scared little girl that tugs on your heartstrings, isn't there?"

"Okay, I think the scary stories are over for the night," Clint announced.  "Who's ready for some more s'mores?"

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The ghost stories took a backseat to the s'mores, but everyone was having such a good time, they didn't want to leave.

"When was the last time we camped out under the stars?" Tony asked as he looked up at the night sky dotted with tiny, twinkling spots of light.

Bruce scoffed.  "I think you're forgetting about the mission we went on last month."

Tony's face scrunched up in confusion.

"Oh, he doesn't know what you're talking about," Steve snarked as he rolled his eyes.  "He was able to fly home in his suit while we were all stranded with no Quinjet after it was blown out of the sky."

"I came back for you guys as soon as I could," Tony said as he accusingly pointed a finger in Steve's direction.  "Unlike you, I might add."

"You were stranded in space," Nat pointed out as one eyebrow raised in censure.  "Not the same thing at all."

Tony rolled his eyes.  "You people have no sense of adventure."

"I wouldn't mind camping out here tonight," Clint added as he expertly guided the conversation back to a safer topic.  He turned to YN with a questioning look in his eye.  "Whaddya say, YN?  You up for it?"

She gave Clint a wary look.  "Will there be tents and sleeping bags involved, or are we actually sleeping under the stars?"

"I'm out if there's no tents," Wanda said matter-of-factly.  "I've spent enough nights freezing my ass off in Sokovia, I won't do it for fun when I have a perfectly good bed waiting for me back at the Compound."

"We'll get tents," Tony said as he stood and clapped his hands.  "Vis, you want to help us out, buddy?"

"I can only assume you'd like me to fly back to the Compound and retrieve the camping equipment from storage?" Vision asked.

"I'll go with you," Wanda offered as her entire body was enveloped in a red wisps of energy and she and Vision ascended into the night sky.

"Well, isn't that convenient?" YN whispered to Clint as she watched the two superheroes disappear beyond the trees.

Clint pulled her into his arms so that her back rested against his chest.  "Being a superhero has its perks."

While they waited for Wanda and Vision to return with the camping gear, Steve continued making s'mores over the campfire.  YN was sure she'd be too hyped up on sugar to even think about sleeping, but the longer she spent wrapped in Clint's arms, the sleepier she became.

It wasn't until after Wanda and Vision returned and all the tents had been set up that YN realized she'd have to share one with Clint.  Their relationship was still in the early stages, and while they'd spent a good bit of time cuddled up on her couch, they'd yet to have an adult-style sleepover.

"I can squeeze in with Steve and Sam if you'd rather have the tent to yourself," Clint offered when he came to the same conclusion as YN.

She was about to take him up on his offer, but at the last moment she changed her mind.  With a smile, she grabbed his hand and led him toward their tent.  Before they could crawl in, though, all of the pups beat them to it.

YN started to laugh as she turned to Clint.  "It looks like we're going to have company tonight."

"Like hell we are."  Clint gave her a determined nod as he opened the flap of the tent and ordered the dogs out.  He counted the dogs and when he came up short, he called out to the rest of the group.  "I'm missing a puppy."

"He's with Tony," Bruce said just before he headed into his tent.

Clint gave YN a side-eyed glance.  "I think we can safely assume we're not getting Dennis back."

YN looked over at Daphne and Lucky curled with the rest of their pups.  "At least you'll get to keep them all now."

Once they were settled in their sleeping bags, Clint looked over at YN.  She'd already fallen asleep, and he couldn't get over how beautiful she looked.  She was probably right about Tony letting him keep the dogs, but at the moment, the pups were the last thing on his mind—he was more interested in figuring out how to keep her in his life.

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Waking up with YN curled against him was like something out of a dream.  Clint took a moment to lay back and take it all in.  He hoped the slight smile on her peacefully sleeping face was somehow because of him, but he didn't want to assume too much.  But with the way her body was molded to his and her hand was resting on his chest made him feel as though he might not be too far off the mark.

He could've stayed wrapped up in her arms for the rest of the morning, but his bladder had other plans.  Sliding out from beneath her as gently as he could so as not to wake her, he eased open the zipper of the tent and went in search of a tree.

The sun wasn't up yet, but the morning had that hazy grey tint that preceded the dawn.  He briefly debated putting on his shoes, but decided it wasn't worth the extra time.  The quicker he did his business, the quicker he could get back to snuggling with the beautiful woman in his tent.

He started off toward the woods, but after the third step, he suddenly wished he'd bothered to put on his shoes.  Letting out a stream of curses was his first instinct, but he swallowed it—along with the bile that rose up within his throat—so as not to wake up the rest of the camp.

Glancing down with a look of disgust on his face, he peered at the unknown substance under his foot.  He'd initially suspected that it was a pile of dog poop, but on closer inspection, he realized it was puke.  Doubting that one of the adults had chosen the spot right in front of his tent to be sick, he glared over at the dogs all sleeping in a ball together.  Only Lucky was awake and looking at him, but the yellow Lab wasn't showing any signs of guilt.

Clint picked up his foot and began rubbing it on the grass to get some of the sticky goo off as he took a closer look at the pile of doggy vomit.  There were huge white chunks that looked suspiciously like half-eaten marshmallows.  

He looked over his shoulder and glared at Tony's tent.  He had been the one feeding Dennis marshmallows the night before, so unless the other pups got into the bag while everyone was sleeping, the culprit could only be Tony's little scamp.  Clint didn't put it past Tony to encourage the dog to be sick in front of his tent, so he'd have to figure out some way to pay back the billionaire.

Once he'd gotten most of the goo off his foot, he went to do what he'd gone into the woods to do in the first place.  Stopping back by the pile of supplies they'd hung in a tree to deter bears, Clint checked the bag of marshmallows and found it half-full.

With his suspicions about Dennis confirmed, he pulled out the hand sanitizer and some towels and got to work disinfecting his foot.  He'd gotten most of the puke off by rubbing his foot in the grass, but it was still disgusting to think about what he'd accidentally stepped in.

With his foot properly cleaned, he carefully walked back to his tent with YN.  His morning may not have started out on the right foot, but he was a believer that the second time was a charm.  But as he crawled back into the tent, he realized that someone else had stolen his spot.

The little fat, lazy puppy that YN adored so much was curled up next to her and was happily wagging his tail as his eyes drifted shut.  The scene was too cute to disturb, so Clint closed the zipper and crawled into the sleeping bag with YN and the puppy.  As he too started to fall asleep again, he couldn't help but think this was how he wanted to wake up every morning—without the puke, of course.

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Since the impromptu camping trip with the team, YN had been spending a lot of time at the Compound with Clint.  She found that she enjoyed his friends, and it appeared as though they liked her as well.  It was still shocking to her that she was now friends with a group of superheroes, but she rarely even thought about that fact unless someone else brought it up.

She'd even started puppy-sitting during the times they were all gone on a mission, and she had to admit that having the Compound all to herself was like going on vacation.  Clint's bed was the most comfortable thing she'd ever slept in and the shower with it's multiple jets was like a massage every morning.  

And then there was the kitchen with its state-of-the-art appliances and endless supply of food.  She suspected one of the many S.H.I.E.L.D. agents that worked in the other buildings was responsible for the groceries, but she'd yet to see anyone other than herself and the dogs inside the private living quarters.

While she was at work, the dogs stayed in their specially designed kennel that was bigger than her entire apartment and had a doggy door that led to a fenced-in grassy area for them to do their business.  She usually felt guilty for leaving them locked up all day, so as soon as she got back in the evenings, she'd leash them all up and take them on a hike through the woods.

She was on her back from one of their hikes when she got a message from Clint.

"We're wrapping things up and should be back in about three hours.  Everything okay back home?"

Smiling down at her phone, she typed out a reply.  "Things are great here.  Did everything go as planned in South America?"

"Yeah, but we're all a little beat.  I'm looking forward to some food, a shower, and my bed. . .not in any particular order, though."

Her smile faded.  "I'm sorry.  I hope you have a safe flight back."

Clint sent her a smiling emoji instead of a response, so she could only assume that he really was exhausted.  She hated that his job took so much out of him, and she wished there was something she could do to help ease the stress.

As she rounded a bend on the trail, she dropped down by the river and glanced over at one of the houses sitting along the opposite bank.  The wind was blowing across the river and she immediately got a whiff of someone barbecuing.  All of a sudden, a thought came to her.

Picking up her pace, she all but ran back to the Compound.  She knew her window was tight, but she was sure she'd be able to pull off her plan before the Quinjet landed in a few hours.  As they hurried along the trail, she began to put together a mental list of supplies she'd need.

Letting the dogs loose in the common room, she headed toward the kitchen and began going through the pantry as she ran through her mental list and hoped that she would have everything she needed.

Pasta.  Check.

Pepperoni.  Check.

Fresh carrots. Check.

Italian dressing. . .

Her hopes had begun to soar as when she thought that Tony's well-stocked kitchen would have everything she'd need to put together a quick barbecue so the team would have something to eat as soon as they landed.  But it wasn't meant to be.  She quickly looked through the rest of the pantry and fridge and made a quick list of items she'd have to run into town to get.  In addition to the Italian dressing, she needed feta cheese, baked beans, corn on the cob, and a bag of flour to put together the pound cake she wanted to make for dessert with strawberries and whipped cream.

As soon as she got back to the Compound, she put the pasta on the stove to boil as she set about preparing the marinades for the chicken and steaks she'd seen in the back of the refrigerator the day before.  Once that was done, she started in on the cake.  As she worked, she continually checked the clock to make sure she was still on schedule.

Just as she'd pulled the cake from the oven she heard the sound of the jet landing.  She turned off the oven and headed down to the hangar to greet them all and let them know about dinner.

The sight of the team in their filthy uniforms made her want to both laugh and cry, so she struggled to keep her face neutral.

"I made you guys dinner," she told them as the stumbled out of the jet and into the building.  "All I need to do is put the chicken and steaks on the grill, so you've got time to grab a quick shower before it's ready."

Tony looked as though he wanted to kiss her.  "You're a godsend.  I don't even care what you fixed as long as I'm not the one that has to cook it.  At this point, I'm not even sure I'm capable of making a bowl of cereal."

"I'm assuming things didn't go well?" she asked with a grimace.

"Oh, no, it went according to plan," Nat said as she patted YN's arm on the way to her room.  "It's just that Steve's plan sucked."

"You know what, Romanoff?" Steve muttered under his breath as he glared at the redhead.

"Ignore them," Clint told YN as he leaned over and lightly kissed her without getting close enough to get her dirty.  "They've been bickering for the past three hours.  I took my hearing aids out at one point, just so I could get some peace and quiet.”

"It sounds like you guys had it rough."  She patted his cheek and gestured toward the stairs.  "Go get cleaned up and then come grab some food."

Clint started to do as she'd instructed, but at the last second, he turned around.  "You're the best.  You know that, right?"

YN's heart swelled at the compliment.  She had no idea how she'd gotten so lucky as to meet Clint Barton, but she knew she'd be a fool to ever let him go.

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Author's Note:  Thank you for reading Day 265 of my writing challenge.  I hope you enjoyed it!  I know this technically isn't a party, but it might turn into one!  With this group, you never know!  As a dog-sitter, I can attest to the fact that sometimes it's nice to get away from your own house and go live somewhere else. . .especially when their house is three times as nice as yours!  How long to you think it'll be before Clint just invites her to move in?  Let's keep our fingers crossed!  I look forward to your comments, and if you enjoyed this story, please consider reblogging!

On a side note, we're down to the last 100 days of the challenge!! Yay!!!

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By the time all the Avengers had reassembled in the common room, YN had already grilled the chicken and the steaks.  She'd seen how exhausted they were, so she'd made sure all the food was on the table and ready to eat as soon as they'd finished cleaning up.

Most of them were so tired they could barely lift their forks to their mouths, but the moans of pleasure that could be heard sporadically around the table told her that they not only enjoyed the food, but were extremely appreciative of having someone else cook for them.

"How much?" Tony asked as he leaned heavily on his elbow and spooned baked beans into his mouth.

"For the food?" YN asked.  "I found most of it already here. . ."

"Not what I meant," he interrupted.  "How much for you to quit your job and come work here?"

YN wasn't sure she understood what he meant.  "You want me to work here and do. . .what, exactly?"

Tony gestured to the table of food.  "Cook, take care of the dogs, whatever needs done."

"You want me to be your housekeeper?"

"If you cook dinner like this after every mission, I'll double what you're making right now."

YN's mouth fell open and she looked over at Clint.  "He's joking, right?"

Clint looked from YN to Tony and then back to YN.  "I think he's serious, hon."

"You can keep your day job if you want," Tony said, hoping to sweeten the pot.  "Your career is probably important. . ."

"I can't let you pay me," she argued.  "I'm Clint's girlfriend."  She gestured to the table of food.  "This is just what you do for the people you love."

Everyone stopped eating all at once as their eyes turned to YN and Clint.  For a moment YN thought she'd done something wrong, but when she looked at Clint, she realized exactly what she'd said.

"You love me?"

Swallowing hard, she tried to figure out how she wanted to answer that question.  "Well, I mean. . .um. . .that's not exactly how I wanted to say that the first time. . ."

"But you love me?" he asked again.

She could see the hope—and love—in his eyes, and knew that she was making the right decision.  Putting down her utensils, she used her hands to sign the words, "I love you."

Recognizing the gesture for what it meant, Clint felt like he'd just been handed the moon.  His heart was melting under the onslaught of emotions, and his hands shook as he signed back that he loved her as well.

"What did they just say?" Tony asked.  "You know I don't like when people speak other languages around me that I don't know."

Nat smacked him upside the head.  "It's sign language, you idiot.  Watch a YouTube video."

Tony watched as YN and Clint started kissing, and he began to squirm in his seat at the amount of PDA being expressed at his dining room table.  "Okay, enough you two."

They broke apart and smiled at one another.

"You still haven't answered my question, dear," Tony said to YN.  "You going on the payroll or not?"

"Take his money," Clint whispered loud enough for everyone to hear.

YN rolled her eyes and looked over at Tony.  "Only if you let the dogs stay permanently."

Tony scoffed and waved away her demand.  "You think I'm letting Dennis go anywhere?  The dogs were already staying.  The questions is, are you?"

YN looked back at Clint and cupped his jaw.  "Yeah, I think I am.”

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Author's Note:  Thank you for reading Day 276 of my writing challenge.  I hope you enjoyed it!  This prompt just screamed Fluff, so I decided to lay it on thick!  I'm not really sure who was supposed to be softening in this story—it literally could've been anyone of the main three characters in this part!  I was going for a post-Battle of New York 2012 Shawarma-vibe at the beginning.  Did you catch it?  Would you take Tony up on his offer to double your salary to stay at the Compound to cook and play with dogs all day?  That sounds like my dream job, honestly!  And now we're one step closer to getting her there for good!  I look forward to your comments, and if you enjoyed this story, please consider reblogging!

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It had been a few months since YN had accepted Tony's offer to be the Avenger's housekeeper.  Once she realized just how much needed to be done around the Compound, she'd gladly given up her day job and started working there permanently.  She loved to cook, so she'd started overseeing all the meals which allowed her to try out recipes she'd had saved in her files for years.

Eventually, she had started staying over some nights with Clint, but it wasn't until Tony asked her why she was still paying rent on her apartment that she realized she hadn't been there in over a week.  She and Clint had sat down and talked, and since they were on the same page, she'd let go of her lease and sold most of her furniture.

She'd been worried that they were moving too fast, but being with Clint felt right and neither one of them wanted their lives to go back to the way things were before they'd met.  They were happy, and they were in love, and that was all that mattered.

Once Halloween had passed, YN had focused all her attention on the next holiday—Thanksgiving.  She'd always dreamed of hosting a huge family get-together with tons of food and games, and this year she was finally getting her chance.

Since it was such a huge undertaking, Nat, Wanda, and Pepper had insisted on helping her with preparations.  YN had never thought she'd see the day Natasha Romanoff—former Russian assassin and spy—wore a frilly apron and rolled out pie crust dough, but there they were.  Wanda tended to use her magic whenever she could, and YN found it adorable to see her stirring a pot on the stove with the slightest twitch of her finger to keep the wooden spoon swirling.  Pepper was more of an old-fashioned woman who was content to sit by a trash can and peel twenty pounds of potatoes without a fuss.

After days of prep and hours spent in the kitchen, everything was finally ready.  The turkeys had been roasted, the potatoes mashed, and the pies baked.  All that was left to do was sit down and eat.

Tony stood and used his knife to tap the side of his wine glass to get everyone's attention.  "I'd like to take a moment to thank YN for the amazing food we have before us," Tony said as he bowed toward YN and then turned to the other ladies.  "I'm told that Nat, Wanda, and my lovely wife helped as well, so they deserve some of the credit."  He paused and gave Pepper a wink.

"If you say I get twelve percent of the credit I will use that potato peeler to skin your backside," Pepper said with an innocent smile on her face.

"An argument could be made for fifteen," he teased as he turned back to the table.  "But in light of the fact that the ladies cooked this meal, the men will be in charge of cleanup after."  

He waited to see if anyone would complain, but all he got were nods from the men as they voiced their gratitude to the ladies.  

With that being taken care of, he got to the point of his speech.  "Today we're celebrating Thanksgiving, and I'd be willing to bet we're some of the only people who truly understands what that means."  He saw the look of confusion on everyone's face, so he explained.  "Most people today are celebrating Thanks-taking.  They don't understand what giving is all about, but we do.  Everyday we're out there giving it our all, and most people in this world only worry about what they can take."

Tony took a moment to meet the eyes of everyone sitting around the table.  "We're lucky.  We have the most dangerous job in the world, but we're a family that knows how to stick together.  And the newest member of our family—while not super-powered in the usual sense—is a superhero nonetheless for putting up with our mess and continuing to love us even though we must drive her crazy."  He held up his wine glass and waited for everyone to join him.  "So, let's celebrate another year of being thankful for the people in our lives."

There were many seconds and cheers of agreement as they all took a sip of their wine and began eating.  YN had never really thought about Thanksgiving quite the way Tony had described it, but he was right.  The world they lived in seemed to be consumed with what they could take instead of focusing on what they could give.  Thankfully, the people in charge of keep the earth safe had their priorities in order, and she was lucky to call herself a member of that family.

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Author's Note:  Thank you for reading Day 327 of my writing challenge.  I hope you enjoyed it!  This challenge was created in 2017, so this prompt was actually for Thanksgiving Day, but since I'm doing it two years later, Thanksgiving isn't until this Thursday (for my American followers), so I'll go ahead and wish you an early Thanksgiving!  Do you agree with Tony that the world today is more concerned with taking than they are with giving?  Personally, I see it more and more each day and it saddens me.  I think that's one of the reasons why I love these characters so much.  They have values that the people of the world today are losing.  If you look hard enough, you can still see good in this world, but it's getting harder and harder to do.  So, today, I'm going to challenge each of you to Be the Good this world needs.  As we head into the week before Thanksgiving, take the time to be givers instead of takers.  I look forward to your comments, and if you enjoyed this story, please consider reblogging!

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When Clint had proposed, YN hadn't been shocked, but she'd been surprised.  They'd talked about what their future together would be like, but she'd thought they were still months—if not years—away from being ready to make it official.  But then he'd taken her back to the park where they'd first met and dropped to one knee.

When she'd begun to make plans for the wedding, she knew immediately that Lucky and Daphne had to be included in the ceremony.  If it weren't for those two dogs, she probably would've never met Clint—let alone fallen in love with him.  

Her family thought she was crazy for making her dogs the flower girl and ring bearer, but her superhero family had been on board with the idea from the beginning.  Wanda and Nat had immediately begun searching for cute little outfits for them to wear, and Tony had begun working on a device that would distribute the rose petals as Daphne walked down the aisle.

The day of the wedding saw YN stuck in the back of the church waiting for her cue to enter, but Tony had set up a livestream so she could watch Lucky and Daphne trot down the aisle looking absolutely adorable.  They'd hired a videographer, but there were some things she didn't want to wait to see.  She was hoping for a shot of Clint in his tux, but since Tony knew she was watching, he'd deliberately kept the camera focused on anything but her groom.

As she stepped onto the aisle dotted with rose petals from Daphne's specially designed collar, YN was glad her first look at the man she'd spend the rest of her life with was live and in person.  The entire line of groomsmen were some of the most handsome men in the world, but none of them held a candle to the one she was about to call her own.

She could see the nervousness in his eyes, but the second his gaze met hers, a weight was lifted off of his shoulders and his heart-stopping smile settled across his handsome features.  Her smile was just as wide, and her eyes filled with just as much love as she began the agonizingly slow journey down the aisle so they could pledge their love and their lives to one another.

They'd chosen to write their own vows, and to deliver them using sign language instead of speaking them aloud.  For the benefit of the guests who didn't understand sign language, Tony had typed out the words and played them on a video monitor set up behind the altar while Wanda played a lilting melody on her guitar.

Soothed by the quiet strumming, both Lucky and Daphne lay at her and Clint's feet with their paws crossed together.  YN hadn't been paying attention at the time, but the picture the photographer had taken ended up being the one she'd chosen to enlarge and frame for their bedroom.  The four of them had embarked on this journey together, and YN was glad she had a moment memorialized to showcase the love that would see them through to the end.

~ The End ~

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Author's Note:  Thank you for reading Day 339 of my writing challenge.  I hope you enjoyed it!  What did you think of Lucky and Daphne being in the wedding?  Wouldn't they be the cutest?  I love when people include their pets in the wedding ceremony!  I'm glad these two got their perfect happily ever after, aren't you?  This was nothing but sweet fluff from the first day, and we all know Clint deserves some love after the past couple movies! I look forward to your comments, and if you enjoyed this story, please consider reblogging!