October 12th

Summary:
January 20,2015: Clint and Bobbi finally face the root of what destroyed their marriage, and find their friendship again.

Ops Bungalow - Maui

Bungalow common room. Location of the blessed machine of coffee production.


Characters

NPCs

  • None

Mood Music:
None


Trigger Warning: Allusions to miscarriage.

*

Another day in paradise. Literally. The jungles are alive with music of the exotic wildlife…

And Clint can't hear a damned thing.

At the ops station, Clint's still dressed in his blacks, and he's standing by the coffee pot as it gurgles. The moment it stops, he pulls the pot from the burner and doesn't even look for a mug before he's lifting it to his lips for the morning's first.

*

"Clinton Francis Barton, that is NOT your personal coffee mug!" Bobbi declares as she comes into the ops Bungalow. She's wearing the chartreuse version of the blue bikini with a translucent Hawaiian print sarong wrapped around her waist and knotted at the hip. She moves to biff him in the back of the head before hunting for a mug of her own.

*

At least he gets the first swallow before he brings the pot down. He catches the movement, but doesn't catch a damned word she's said. Aids are out. Didn't need the distraction while out on jungle watch, and Kate knows ASL. Doesn't take sound to catch the outfit that Bobbi's dressed in, and there's that lingering moment when he watches her before he sets the pot back on the plate.

"What? No coffee in Hunter's hotel room? I thought they had that." Clint's hands fly. When he's got his hearing aids out, it's rare for him to speak. Hard to when one can't hear oneself!

*

Realizing he has the hearing aids out, Bobbi's fingers fly in response. I said that's not your personal coffee mug, Clint. And what the hell is up with you? You've been bitchy for two days. Like your girlfriend said to me, what happens between Hunter and I is no one's business except ours. She smirks and grabs the pot from him to pour herself a cup before shoving it back at his chest.

*

"It's the damned smirk." Of -course- Clint's learned how to curse in ASL. It's one of the first things his big brother had taught him so many years ago in the barn back in Iowa. Shit. Piss. F… yeah. And damn. It's even laid the foundation to learn all the curses in foreign languages before the conversational stuff.

The coffee pot is regained, but not quite in the manner Clint wanted it. Still, he's been up for 24 hours now, and coffee is a -good- thing. "You won." The words sound strange, but the pot is in hand and he's not about to give it up. Another swallow is taken, then two, right from the pot before he sets it on the burner once again. Thus freed, he's got use of his hands. "Congratulations. You win. And I'm not even sleeping with her."

*

Bobbi frowns at him and leans back against a counter. I win what? I didn't realize I was in a competition. She sips the coffee then sets it aside to move to Clint and take him by the upper arms so he has to look at her to read her lips. "It isn't about sex. It was never about sex. I was your person, now she is. You have someone, a better half, a confidant, someone you listen to and trust. I didn't. And now you're going to begrudge me trying to rebuild something with Lance?"

She shakes him slightly because that just makes her angry. "You have been in a relationship with that girl since I served you papers. Possibly before that. A relationship, Clint. I've been alone this whole time, dealing with everything by myself. So fuck you if you're going to be pissy about me not being alone." She gives him a shove and stalks back to her coffee.

*

Clint stands still as Bobbi moves towards him, blue eyes on her. Every word is caught, and he can see the anger that's there. Hands raise, and it even looks angry. "There was NO relationship. I was training a talented kid. She wouldn't leave me along, so I worked with her. And yeah… she covered for me when you served me those papers. Up until then, I had hope. Hell, I still had some hope a couple of months ago. I had everything written out," Clint and his letters. Who uses pen and paper anymore? Apparently he does. "Telling you I was sorry. Was stupid." That much, he's confessed on the trip.

Clint suffers the shove and stays put, watching her stalk off toward her mug, catching the last bit. "Good luck with that. You're gonna deal with Kate coming and going now."

*

"You don't get it do you? To you it isn't a relationship if it isn't sex. I hate to break it to you, but sex is the least important thing in a relationship, it's not even necessary. You're more married to that kid than you were to me after," Bobbi trails off. Even now it's hard for her to say the words. Sometimes no words are able to encompass a loss that big, the one that destroyed them and their marriage.

She turns away so he can't see her and starts washing whatever dishes are in the common room sink, just for something to do. There's a hitching in her chest and it hurts. If he'd told her, instead of just writing it down, maybe they'd still be together or back together. Water under the bridge.

*

"We don't even live together. She's on the upper Eastside," and he's in one of the crappiest neighborhoods in the City: Bed-Stuy in Brooklyn. She's right, of course, and he's being defensive. Though, to Clint, sex isn't a relationship. Just ask the women he's had sex with over the course of the year. A relationship is… something.

Clint exhales and drops his head, eyes to the floor for a moment. Yup, that's his fault too. The words 'I'm sorry' just doesn't seem to cut it, however. However contrite he may be.

From his spot, Clint murmurs, "I was scared. Stupid. Last thing I wanted was to lose you." It's not going to make it any better, nothing he could possibly say could. He cants his head to the side, and watches her for a long moment before, indecision playing on his face.

Finally, Clint pushes off from his spot and takes the couple steps towards her so he's standing directly behind her. "Hey," is said quietly.

*

Bobbi's shoulders stiffen when his voice is closer to her, but then they drop, dejectedly. She turns and just buries her head in the crook of his neck and cries. It's been two years, but it's still there, like a sucking wound inside of her. And she bore up under it all alone, throwing herself into the job, into being other people and forgetting Bobbi Morse entirely. Until the last few weeks when she came back into contact with Clint and Lance and everything got dredged back up to the surface.

She slides the hearing aid back into his left ear so he can hear her whisper. "I'm happy for you. I am. She's good for you, Clint, better than I ever was. And she's young and she'll give you the time you need before you're ready, if you're ever ready, to take that risk again. Just please don't hate me for trying to find my own place in this world again."

*

The moment she turns, Clint puts his arms around her, and when she sinks against him to cry, he's wrapped her up. Something he should have done two years ago but just couldn't find it in himself. He didn't know how. It's true, though. That was the real beginning of the end. Distance. Separate ops. Two planets that simply weren't aligned anymore and who knew how to stop it? A hand reaches up to stroke her hair, a soft 'shhhh' sounding.

Clint presses his lips against her hair and rests his cheek there for a moment, shaking his head, his head a hoarse whisper. "I can't do that again, Bobbi. We all have our ghosts, and that's a biggie for me." Orphaned at 9. And nobody wanted him and his brother. "What kinda life is that for a kid?"

Clint loosens his hold slightly so he can look into those tearstained eyes. "I don't want you to get hurt."

*

Bobbi scrubs a hand across her eyes and swallows hard. "I'm a big girl, Clint. No one can hurt me before I get twice as many licks in, you know that." She lets out a breath. October 12th will never be easy for either of them. It's the date they would have become parents if… So many ifs. "They would have had us, and we would have made sure that they'd always have someone, even if our work killed us. You know that. Don't let ghosts rule your life Clint. Live it. Love it. Promise me that you won't say never any more. It's not fair to you."

*

"Adopted parents aren't the same, Bobs. Kid would always have those 'what ifs'. 'Did they love me?' or, they'd get mad and hate us." Clint looks down again and chuckles softly, but there's no humor behind it. "Been there, done that." A life filled with 'what ifs'.

Clint shrugs with a single shoulder rise. "For some reason, I don't think it's ever going to come up. Kate's a popular girl, and one day, she'll figure out that someone closer to her own age is better. In ten years, I'll retire out, she'll take on Hawkeye duties full time, and that'll be that." He shakes his head, and another soft snort comes, self-deprecatingly. "Marriage wouldn't work. I couldn't do that to her. Wouldn't be fair." But, for the meantime, he'll enjoy what they do have.

Leaning in, Clint makes to kiss Bobbi on the forehead. "I want you to be happy."

*

Bobbi tilts her head up to catch his lips with hers instead, gently, sweetly, and not in any sexual manner. "I want you to be happy too. You have to stop dooming yourself to failure before you've even begun, Clint. Please, promise me that the next time you find yourself saying you're going to fail at something, you'll stop and shove that thought away. I love you. I'll always love you, and all I want is for you to be happy. With Kate, with whomever, but mostly with yourself."

*

The kiss is unexpected, and there's a tensing in his back before the brush of lips is there and gone. No heat. No need. A discovery of some sort of balance. "I'll try?" Seems like he's saying that a lot lately, and mostly to Kate. He's been good. No sleeping with hula dancers! "You know what. Never stopped loving you either. But, I've got Kate, and she's something pretty special to put up with me. To want to put up with me. Spent the whole night in the trees, no complaints."

Clint frees Bobbi and exhales, his shoulders dropping. There's a breath where he didn't realize he was holding it for so long. "I should go get some sleep. Headed out to the nest again tonight. Guess my surfing days are done."

*

"Go get some rest. And for God's sake sleep with the girl before your nuts explode," Bobbi adds with a laugh. That's the old Bobbi. Suddenly things seem good between them. Friends, at least, on more even footing. Acceptance, for sure.


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