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Title: courting habits
Rating: FR13
Word Count: 1333
Disclaimer: Marvel:MCU and all related characters are copyright of Marvel Entertainment and Stan Lee. Buffy the Vampire Slayer are copyright of Joss Whedon and ME. No infringement intended.
Prompter/Prompt: pixieinthedark request Buffy/Clint; “Pairing story; Stark Christmas party and the craziness that happens. Chaos and making Janus proud—but not too proud.

Glass on the floor and blood in her hair—it was almost like old times—except this team was still standing and the dead were less demon and more people-shaped. At some point, later when she was alone and possessed the ability for higher thought, that fact might upset her.

She might cry.

She might drink an obscene amount of wine from Stark’s ridiculously large supply.

She’d also deal.

Buffy Summers had come a long way from Sunnydale, from the bright-eyed cheerleader with a destiny and terrible taste in foot wear. Clunky heels in pastel colors; what had she been thinking?

The very thought made her shudder and clutch her nude pumps tighter. They were Prada and if she’d so much as scuffed a heel she was going to have one of these idiots resurrected just to pummel them again. Bruises and broken bones she could forgive, but those shoes went with over a dozen of her “work appropriate” outfits. Didn’t the bad guys understand how hard it was to find heels that didn’t pinch and looked good?

That higher thought thing really did appear to be an issue.

Buffy shook her head, a lock of hair falling to tickle her cheek and reminded her of the abrasion there. She’d taken a kick to the face at some point during the foray and as she sat—still somewhat dazed by the firefight—with her shoes in her hands and her dress in ruins she decided this wasn’t the worst date she’d been on in recent years.

A jacket was draped across her shoulders, many sizes too large and smelling of men’s cologne. Her brow pinched and she glanced up as Clint settled himself beside her with a muffled grunt of discomfort. She leaned into him, propping her head on a nicely shaped shoulder and looked out at what had once been a gorgeous apartment. Now she watched as a small fire consumed what was left of Tony’s couch while Steve and Pepper did their best to put it out with an ice bucket and a kitchen towel.

A hand, warm and comforting, settled on her knee; squashing the tiny urge she felt to get up and help them. Pepper was the most capable person Buffy knew so she’d leave them to it until otherwise requested. She arranged her shoes in front of her before wrapping her hand around Clint’s—careful to avoid his bloodied knuckles—and watched Tony tinker with a wall mounted doodad.

“I feel like I should apologize.”

Buffy sighed and shook her head against Clint’s shoulder. “Not unless I have to apologize for that demon raid I took you on two weeks ago.”

“The courting habits of spies and slayers?”

Buffy could hear the smile in Clint’s tone as she kept looking forward and pondered outloud, “Would that be a user manual or a warning label?”

“Probably a bit of both,” his shoulder jolted her a bit as he chuckled, “to be honest I haven’t had this much fun in ages.”

“This is fun?” Buffy couldn’t help, but snark.

Clint dropped a kiss on the crown of her head before countering, “You know it is.”

“I also enjoy quiet evenings where we pretend to watch Netflix.” Buffy countered and the hand on her knee tightened a bit which made her smile.

“I do too, but that’s an entirely different kinda fun.”

“But still a workout,” Buffy added and again Clint’s quiet chuckles bounced her head.

“Why would watching Netflix involve a workout?” Buffy’s eyes widened and she looked up to find the fire out and Steve giving her innocent eyes.

Buffy’s head lifted, as Clint was now cackling, and green eyes narrowed on Steve. She was far from certain that the captain was as naive as he acted. No one could hang around Stark as much as Steve did and not pick up a bad habit or seven. Which had lead to Buffy responding to Steve’s oh-so-innocent inquiries with blunt honesty—though she was relatively certain the blushes were real.

However tonight Tony beat her to it, she was pretty sure he was catching onto the routine as well, as he responded, “Look up Netflix and chill in the Urban Dictionary app I installed on your phone.”

“You gave him access to Urban Dictionary?” Even as tired as they all were Pepper managed to muster some outrage on Steve’s behalf.

Tony shrugged it off, “I didn’t invent Urban Dictionary—”

“You just spend an inordinate amount of time on it.”

Clint’s interruption got him a nod and Tony countered, “I like to stay up to date with the kids.”

“The fact that you call them kids means you’ll never be up to date.” Pepper offered him a sweet smile that widened as Tony placed a hand against his chest and made an affronted sound.

“You wound me.”

Tony’s counter was just dramatic enough for Pepper to sigh and roll her eyes. “You’ll live.”

Buffy watched them banter back and forth before Pepper shut Tony up with a kiss. She turned to Clint and advised him, “Relationship goals,” and jerked her chin back towards the pair.

“We could do worse,” Clint agreed.

Tony’s muffled, “hey,” was ignored by them, but Pepper pulled back to glare at him.

“I’ve been using Netflix wrong?”

Clint’s eyes widened and his lips rolled inward as he strained himself trying to hold in the laughter. Buffy leaned forward, looking past Clint to Steve who was frowning at his phone. He looked up with a line between his brows and his head at a confused tilt that reminded Buffy of Thor—though she was pretty certain Darcy’s influence on their other teammate meant he already knew of Netflix and chill and likely had his own Shakespearian way of saying it.

“People still watch Netflix, Steve.” Buffy answered since everyone else was suspiciously silent. “It’s just that sometimes you ask someone to Netflix and chill just because you want to spend time with them.”

“Thanks, Mary Poppins.” Tony scoffed and was rewarded by a not so subtle hip check by Pepper.

“I didn’t hear you stepping up to explain, Tinman,” countered Buffy.

Tony waved a hand at her, as if scrubbing the conversation completely, before announcing, “I’m hungry. Chinese?”

“I could eat,” Clint agreed and then groaned as he pushed himself up and onto his feet before offering hand to Buffy.

She accepted it and allowed Clint to drag her up into a standing position and then used his shoulder as leverage while slipping her heals back on. Broken glass and bare feet was not a pairing she wanted to revisit. Her hand was captured and Clint kept hold as they moved to follow Tony and Pepper.

Buffy looked to Steve, since she herself had spent many a night as the third or fifth wheel to the Scoobies and their choice of partners she included him in the conversation and meal, “Split an order of sweet and sour chicken with me?” Clint liked beef and Buffy was in the mood for something fried.

Steve’s half smile made the offer worth it as he nodded his agreement. Since she had his full attention Buffy also advised, “And don’t dig too deep into Urban Dictionary. For your own sanity’s sake.”

“Noted,” Steve agreed.

Clint brushed a light kiss across her abused cheek, the one closest to him, before he finished leading them from the rubble that was Tony’s living space. “Think we can convince Stark to order one of everything?”

Buffy frowned at him, “There are only five of us.”

“Have you seen Steve eat?”

“Fair point.”

“I am standing right here,” Steve sighed before a smile tugged at the corner of his mouth, “And you’re not wrong.”

The numb feeling had slipped away with the normalcy of friendly banter and the hunger pangs after a battle reminded Buffy that she was very much alive. Clint’s hand tightened around her own and she settled into the warmth of his presence.

She was still going to raid Tony’s wine stash later—though perhaps not quite as much.


The end.

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