Jump to content
Sneeze Fetish Forum

An Unexpected Mission - Avengers, Clint (Secret Santa for anonymockingbird)


Recommended Posts

My Secret Santa for the lovely anonymockingbird, who wanted to see some Clint/Natasha cold fic! smile.png

In full disclosure…I've not watched the Agents of Shield series and it's been a while since I've seen some of the related Marvel films, so my timelines might be slightly off. I've read some of the Hawkeye comics (hence the references to Lucky/Pizza Dog) but not all of them. This is meant to land somewhere post-Avengers but pre-Winter Solider. For those who aren't aware, the farmhouse in question has been referenced as a place Clint owns that will show up in the next Avengers film. This fic might be made factually wrong after that film comes out, in case anyone is reading this then :-P

I hope you enjoy it, anony! I know it ends a little abruptly for the time being. I hope to eventually write more but this is what I could get out to you for now! Just imagine they'll be a continued present some time in the future!!


It's Stark who sends her to find Clint. He's trying to reassemble the team to discuss some research he's been doing with Banner on some of the weaponry that Loki left behind and Clint hasn't been responding to any forms of communication. Natasha is sure Clint's on a bender, or something of the sort. He's not been the same since New York. Her partner was deeply affected by his role in Loki's villainy and one visit to Clint's disastrous flat in a less desirable borough of the city told her all she needed to know: Barton was more of a mess than usual.

It's why she agrees to go fetch him. Normally she'd've given Stark some lip and told him to send one of his fancy planes but arriving with fanfare isn't going to do anything to convince Barton to rejoin the group. His SHIELD tracking device, which she sweet talks Fury into pinging, sets his location in upstate New York, almost at the Canadian border. She knows Barton's family owned an old farmhouse somewhere in that area and she suspects that's where he's hidden away.

The drive is actually nice, to her surprise. The interstate highway isn't crowded and the further north she gets, the more spectacular the scenery becomes. The trees are all adorned in crimson and orange leaves as autumn sunshine drenches everything in golden light. When she pulls down the dirt road leading to a sprawling bit of land with a large white farmhouse she half expects to see Barton emerge over the crest of a distant hill on horseback. The whole thing is a bit too idyllic.

She parks at the end of the gravel drive and approaches the house, climbing the few steps up onto the wrap-around porch. There's a few creaky rocking chairs slowly moving back and forth with the breeze. A grey tabby cat emerges from behind a few empty flowerpots and mews pitifully, circling Natasha's legs. She's always been fonder of felines and she dips down to give the scruffy cat a light scratch on the head.

There's no sign of anyone around except for a pickup parked closer to the barn. The house appears dark when she peers through the dusty front windows into the main floor but she can see a set of keys on the large oak kitchen table and a backpack she recognizes as Barton's sitting on the counter.

The grey cat follows her back to the front door, clearly eager to get inside the house. She pushes it back with her leg as she tries a testing knock on the door. She waits a moment and gets no reply. Though she does not expect it to be unlocked, she tries the doorknob anyway and is surprised when the door swings open easily. If Clint is inside, it's not like him to leave a door unsecured.

There's a suddenly flurry of movement as the cat darts through her legs inside and then suddenly comes zooming back out the door followed by a boisterous blur of yellow fur. Natasha is nearly knocked over by the dog but it stops dead in front of her, panting and wagging its scruffy tail. She raises an eyebrow at the creature and carefully nudges past it, shutting the door behind her and keeping one hand firmly at her hip where one of her guns rests in its holster.

The dog circles and sits in front of her as she stands still, eyes canvassing the scene. There's three empty pizza boxes on the floor near the door that smell like they're a few days old. On the couch in the adjacent living room is a small nest of blankets that looks recently abandoned along with an empty tissue box that's been converted into some sort of makeshift trash. It's nearly bursting with used tissues and a half-crushed beer can that's sticking out of the top where the tissues once emerged.

A damp nose brushes her hand and she pulls it away, startled. The dog whines and tries to nudge her again as his tail drums out a rhythm on the old pine wood floor.

“What?” she says softly. “Are you hiding Barton in here?”

The dog turns towards a staircase at the end of a hallway as if pointing her in the right direction. She's not terribly suspicious of the situation just yet. Either Barton simply isn't home or he's passed out drunk upstairs. She suspects the latter, if the dog is to be trusted.

Still, she remains vigilant. She heads towards the staircase and the dog bounds after her. It's only when it starts up the steps that she notices it has a slight limp to its gait.

When they reach the top, she's met with a series of doors. One at the end is open just a crack and the dog heads straight for it, nosing it open. Natasha follows behind, sticking close to the wall and trying to minimize the sound of her footsteps on the creaky wood floor.

She rounds the corner of the doorway and peers in. Immediately she's hit with the stuffy, hot air of a sickroom. Barton is sprawled out on a large four-poster bed under several patchwork quilts. At the foot of the bed are two more empty pizza boxes and a few containers from Chinese takeout. The food trash is only made more disgusting by the accompanying trash spread across the floor...tissues. Natasha cringes at the sight alone....there must be at least four dozen spread near the bedside. On the nightstand, a small mountain of them is stacked up along with at least three water glasses, two beer cans, and three take-out coffee cups.

“What the fuck, Barton?” she says aloud, entering the room. She's tempted to go back to her car for her biological warfare kit, to be honest.

He doesn't stir. The dog, who until now has been scavenging some dried cheese from the bottom of one of the pizza boxes, leaps up onto the bed and settles down against Clint's side.

Natasha approaches the bed, rounding the corner so she's standing on the side where she can see his face. He's snoring quietly and she can tell with one glimpse of him that he's not passed out from beer at all. In fact, he clearly had what she can only assume is the most horrible head-cold ever.

She's always teased him about his upturned, pug-like nose. Now it shines like a beacon on the centre of his face, red and swollen. His upper lip is also an angry red colour and so chapped that she can see the tender, peeling skin from several feet away. His mouth is open and he's taking slow and shallow breathes, snoring and snorting in a battle against congestion. A small bubble of congestion is pulsing threateningly in his left nostril, shiny and wet. She glances around for a moment, seeking something to poke him with, but she decides its too late. If this is some ridiculous bio-hazard situation, she's already been exposed.

With a gentler touch than usual, she puts a hand on his shoulder and gives him a very light shake. He doesn't respond. She increases her pressure, giving him a slight shove. He stirs and groans, his arm extending and hitting the dog.

“Lucky,” he grumbles, not opening his eyes. “Fuck off.”

“I hope Lucky is the dog's name,” Natasha quips. “I don't want any new nicknames. Besides, no one partnered to you is lucky.”

Clint opens his eyes, blinking and squinting. He doesn't even attempt to raise his head from the pillow, as if its too heavy to lift.

“I'm too sick for anything stupid shit that Fury wants,” he mutters. His voice is nearly unintelligible between the congestion and the gravely hoarseness. He turns his head slightly to shield his mouth into the pillow and he coughs harshly. Natasha makes a mental note to say it sounds suspiciously like bronchitis.

“It's Stark who's looking for you,” Natasha says. “Well, Stark and the rest of us. You haven't picked up your phone all week.”

“I've been busy,” he says.

“Busy dying, apparently.”

He doesn't offer his usual smirking response to her jab.

“The front door was unlocked,” she continues. “Fury wouldn't be pleased if he showed up. Earth's greatest archer assassin, ready for the killing.”

“Left it open for the delivery guy,” Barton replies hoarsely. “It's the middle of nowhere. Who cares.”

“Ah, the delivery guy. So your phone does work?”

“The landline does. The cell....it's downstairs somewhere. On the couch? It's probably dead.”

“How long have you been sick, anyway?” she asks. He looks and sounds terrible.

“I don't know,” he says, closing his eyes with a weary sigh “A few days. It's gotten worse. I haven't been out of here since yesterday morning.”

“I don't think pizza and beer are really good things to be having if you've been getting worse.”

“The pizza was for the dog, mostly.”

Natasha raises her eyebrow once more at the scruffy yellow canine.

“For the dog?”

“Yes, for the dog, 'Tasha. It's practically all he'll...ehh...ehh-TSKGHTT!

Barton interrupts himself with a wrenching sneeze that he doesn't bother to cover. His head snaps forward a bit and he jerks violently. The dog in question lifts his head, startled.

Natasha steps back with a frown.

Bood' zdorov,” she says, offering a Russian blessing out of habit. “Are there any clean tissues in here?”

Clint sniffles wetly and reaches a hand out from under the covers, exposing a tissue box he's apparently been treating as his teddy bear. He plucks out a cloth and dabs his nose a little, wincing. Natasha can understand why; it looks painful even to lightly touch.

He's balling up the tissue to add to the pile when he starts to cough again. It begins as a few soft hacks but quickly snowballs into a red-faced, sweaty fit. Natasha pulls back the quilts, urging Barton to sit up. She's surprised to find his t-shirt nearly soaked with sweat at the back as she guides him up. He takes a wheezy, gasping inhale and finally recovers. His nose is streaming down his lip and he's trembling with shivers.

“Ty che, blyad....” Natasha murmurs. What the fuck...?

“You're in rough shape, Barton,” she says, pressing a hand to his forehead and finding it as burning hot as she'd expected. He huffs a small cough in reply.

“No, I'm serious,” she says. “You've just been lying here alone like this for days letting the local places deliver room service?

“Pretty much,” Clint says. Lucky the dog is trying hard to climb into Clint's lap but Natasha shoves him aside.

“Your dog is annoying as hell,” she says, but she doesn't really mean it. She's mostly worried about Barton...very worried.

“He's a good sleeping buddy,” Clint mutters. “He's warm. And I owe him.”

“You've got to get out of this bed and cleaned up,” Natasha says, steeling her voice to sound all business. “You won't get better lying in the middle of a trash heap and all sweaty like this.”

Barton is lying back down before she can finish the suggestion.

“No, no,” she says, grabbing at his arm.

“No, no to you,” he rasps. “There's no way. I can't do a shower. Just let me lie here.”

“There's got to be a tub in this house though,” she says. “A bath? You don't have to stand.”

He heaves a crackling sigh.

“I don't really think you're leaving me a choice. So sure.”

“Good. I'll go turn it on and get you when it's ready. Need anything in the mean time? Is there tea in this place?”

“You can just go, Natasha,” he says. “I'm fine. It's the flu.”

“I'm here now,” she says. “Too late. Just a bath-- hang on.”

She finds the bathroom halfway down the hall and turns taps until she gets the massive claw-foot tub filling with lukewarm water. Once it's full, she goes to fetch Barton.

He can barely stand; legs so wobbly and tired after the length of time in bed and the raging fever. Stumbling along at her side as she grips him tightly, they make their way to the bathroom.

Sitting heavily on the closed toilet seat lid, Barton looks at the bath and then at Natasha.

“Alright,” he says. “You can go.”

“I've seen you naked, Barton. Let's get on with it.”

“I can get myself in a tub, Romanoff,” he growls, removing his sweaty t-shirt.

“Fine. Don't fall,” she instructs, glaring at him. “I'll go tidy up.”

“I'll just go to another bedroom,” he replies.

“Then you'll just destroy that one. No use making trash piles in multiple rooms.”

He doesn't reply as she leaves and shuts the bathroom door behind her. Several minutes later, as she's picking up tissues with improvised gloves made from a pair of clean athletic socks she'd found, she hears an echoing sound from the bathroom


Clint's throaty sneeze bounces off the tiled walls of the bathroom and seems to echo down the hall. Lucky the dog jumps from the unmade bed and pads down the hall, lying out front of the bathroom door as if standing vigil for his master.

Natasha finishes picking up the tissues and gathers all the trash into a tidy pile for later removal. Then, she focuses on the mess of a bed, stripping the sweat-dampened sheets and pillows, exchanging them for fresh ones she finds in a hall linen closet. By the time she's done, she hears Clint sloshing about in the tub and the sound of a few more chesty coughs.

“You okay in there?” she asks, rapping her knuckles on the door.


The sneeze makes her jump. It's surprisingly loud coming from behind the closed door.

“Drying off,” Clint's voice finally replies. After a moment he emerges, a towel wrapped around his waist. He's shivering a little but looks slightly less pale. He shuffles to the bedroom, more steady on his feet now, and shuts the door. Natasha waits outside with Lucky at her feet, nudging her hand for pats she won't oblige him with. Finally she hears the creak of Barton's mattress and she goes in.

He has a fresh pair of sweatpants and a t-shirt on, and he's climbing back under the covers. Lucky leaps up on the bed with a wagging tail and settles his head against Clint's chest.

“I just need to sleep,” Clint insists, his eyes drooping closed.

“Have you had any medicine at all?” Natasha asks. Not that medicine necessarily cures these sorts of things, but it makes the suffering less. Clint shakes his head no.

“Alright,” she says. “Sleep then. I'll go into town and find some supplies. Be back later.”

Barton doesn't reply. She's sure she hears him start to snore as she steps away.

In her car, she dials Tony.

“Yeah, it'll be a few days,” she says into the phone. “He's pretty sick. Yeah.....yeah he's in upstate.....yeah. Alright. I'll call you later.”

She hangs up and reverses down the driveway, headed for the drug store. This wasn't exactly the mission she'd expected.

Link to comment

Ooooomg yes yes yes. I'm almost too flabbergasted for words. I had high expectations for this when I saw your name and you've exceeded them tenfold! Gawwwd it's just so perfectly written.

Things I ESPECIALLY love (because I love the whole thing!):

-Nat being a cat person... and not so much a dog person. x)

-Clint being a slob and what it says about his mental state. I live for post-Avengers Barton angst.

-The tissue box trashcan - I've been there :lol:

-Lucky dutifully leading Natasha to his owner. So cute.

-Nat being so tactical and super agent-y when she first enters the farmhouse.

-SHE TEASES HIM ABOUT HIS NOSE I am such a sucker for that shit

-The coughing fit. You write them so well they become almost as intriguing to me as the sneezing.

-Lucky laying down outside of the bathroom when Clint sneezes in the shower :wub: His and Lucky's relationship is one of my favorite things about the new comics.

-Barton's loud sneezes :drool: and you wrote about his illness beautifully with all the lovely important details. Is it gross I kind of wanted to climb in that pile of garbage with him and be the big spoon? :yay:

I'm so glad you wrote for me! This story made my day so much better. Anything extra will be a massive bonus! Thank you for this and for being so awesome. Happy holidays, love. <3

Link to comment

I'm SO glad you liked it! :D I felt a bit out of practice writing Avengers stuff but I fell back into it easily!

Is it gross I kind of wanted to climb in that pile of garbage with him and be the big spoon? yay.gif

Not gross. I'd do the same. Poor, stupid, sad, hot-mess Clint.

Link to comment

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...