Imagine: The List
Fic posted by members of Vo's Imaginings YahooGroup

Xander was out to watch the wedding to make sure people didn't make it an emergency, finding a guy where he was going to bum a tire swing. He climbed on top, letting himself swing slightly. "So," he said. "Watching the wedding?"

"One of my targets may be down there."

Xander stared at him until the guy looked at him. "It's a wedding. Wait until he's drunk and leaving the reception? We don't need them to panic."

"No, I'd never do that to the couple. They're innocents."

Xander grinned. "Thanks." He swung for a few more minutes. "So, since I used to read the comic books." The guy groaned. Xander looked at him again. "You good?"


"Okay. Anything I can help with?"

"Not really."

Xander nodded. "It sucks sometimes. We all seem to turn harder and more cynical with age and battles. I kinda miss my fun days when it was all comics and RC cars."

"I... You don't know me. The comics weren't right."

Xander got down and walked over to stand in front of him. "And then again, you used to play poker in the same circuit that I play poker in."

"You still don't know me."

"No, I never fully met you. Heard about the mind control from the one who was also under mind control." Clint flinched, staring at him. "Yeah. He was. Sucks, and it's horrible, but at least you weren't taken as a favorite slave."

"No, not that way," he agreed quietly.

"Have you talked to someone like Corrisander?"


"In the poker circuit in New York. Abel Corrisander. He's a former officer and then left to handle things that the NYPD refused to. Used to be a part-time hunter and PI. Did a few freelance problem handling. Then he realized he had killed people, a lot of people, and turned to fixing himself. Now he's a non-licensed therapist who deals with a lot of officers who need it after shootings. He's out in Spanish Harlem if I heard right."


"Hey, sometimes you gotta talk to someone," Xander said. "Get it outside of yourself. I talk to my truck a lot when I have to complain about the slayers doing the wrong things. Because if I yell at them they cry and then I get yelled at by Buffy for trying to keep them from doing bad or stupid things."

"What about the bigger things?"

Xander shrugged. "My truck hears those too. If I was closer to New York I'd go to Corrisander too. Not like most others want to hear about battle stress and help you cure it if you can't get out of the field." He looked at the wedding and pulled his rifle out of his bag. He shot the one bothering the wedding, drawing some attention but they went back to the vows since he wasn't going to threaten anyone again. He put it over his shoulder. "Sometimes humanity sucks," he said. "And they're the problem instead of higher demons. And I hate that but sometimes you gotta do the job and then go get shit roaring drunk to forget them."

"Maybe you should travel to New York, kid."

Xander grinned. "Yeah, probably. But I have a truck for that." He stared at him. "Corrisander had to step into an end times attempt at a battle," he said quietly. "And nearly lost humanity." He patted him on the arm. "He'd understand and let you talk. If you can't get or stay in New York, ask him about others. Or the poker circuit. They kinda miss you. They don't have anyone to gossip about anymore." He walked off. "Let me go stop the military guy."

"I can do that, kid."

"Nah. They already know me." He grinned slightly at him. "Had to have this talk before." He trotted down there, positioning himself in front of the church. "A wedding is a sacred neutral territory. This isn't Game of Thrones and we will not have a Red Wedding," he told the military group. "Leave them alone."

"Human, if you are," one sneered.

"Oh, I'm sorry, do you not recognize me as the head watcher in Africa?" A few of them backed up looking scared. "Shoo, people. And I use that term lightly in your case. You're interrupting a happy occasion full of peaceful beings." They pulled up weapons. Xander shrugged. "Ooh. Yay," he said blandly. "You have guns." From behind them their truck blew up. "Hmm. Thanks," he called. A woman came out from inside. "No, inside. They're not here in peace and no wedding should start with blood." She kissed him on the cheek. "Thank you, D'nar." She went back inside. Xander stared at them. Local police showed up and Xander waved. "They're trying to interrupt this wedding, people. They're being quite rude at a peaceful event."

"They're demons!" one shouted with a point. "In a church!"

"Many demons do attend church. They just came from other realms so someone decided they had to be evil," Xander said dryly, staring at him. "You're an idiot and you were born here. People like you are demons to many and aren't peaceful." The officers dragged them off. "Thanks, guys." He put his gun onto his back again. Bells rang out and he smiled. "The wedding's done. They're going to the reception and we'll make sure they have a peaceful one without fights." An officer stomped over. "I'm protecting this wedding. Weddings are neutral areas. Everyone here is at peace."

"They should probably flee. Most normal people would complain."

"Since this church is their church," Xander said dryly. "Those complaining sorts should probably go to their own and pray for forgiveness. Being from another realm isn't necessarily bad or making them evil. They just look different."

"I understand that. Get them clear and to a more quiet area?"

"The reception's at someone's house," Xander admitted. He looked back, waving out the priest. "Can they get to the reception safely?"

"We had planned to walk there as the tradition states," the bride said, coming to the doorway. "We can ride if we must, Hunter."

"I'm Xander, dear." She moaned. "I'm here to make sure this didn't happen since peaceful happiness is great." She smiled and nodded, getting out of the way. She did get shot at and got grazed but Xander got the guy who did it with a thrown knife. He came up to look at her side. "Let me get a bandage," he said quietly. "It's not bad." He accepted some bandages from the local officers and handled that for her. "I wish upon you that this is the worst thing that will happen in your married lives," he said in her native language, making her sniffle and hug him.

"Go be in peace and happy lives. I'll guard on the way there too." They nodded and the wedding party strolled off as tradition stated they should. The officers mostly followed to make sure they didn't have problems. There was one but he ran from Xander. One tried to shoot at the house but got the door. The officers got him down and out too. The happy couple thanked them all and went in to celebrate. And they wouldn't probably have any fights because no one wanted that tonight. Xander faded off, going back to his hotel. He could have a few beers and mourn that he had to take out that one person, but he had deserved it.

Clint called in about that, letting Natasha know. She was horribly bitchy about Harris but he had done the right thing. Clint wasn't sure what was wrong with Natasha this time. She wouldn't tell him. Maybe she should see that Corrisander guy.


Clint looked at the man in front of him. "No, I wasn't going to bother him. He was stopping humans from turning a wedding into a massacre. That's the right thing to do. Sometimes the humans are the problems, Steve." He walked off shaking his head. "I hope you figure that out." He walked into the other room, nodding at them since they were staring at him. "Apparently Steve wanted a wedding to turn into a massacre because they were demons." He walked past them shaking his head. "I'm going to play some poker. Some I used to play with are local." He left, sneaking out before Steve could stop him. He found the demon bar and walked in. "Poker hall?" he asked the bartender politely.

"We don't usually allow humans." Clint pulled off his hood. "Oh, we've heard of you. In the back room, sir."

"Thank you." Clint tipped him and went back there. He sat down across from someone he used to know. "You survived."

"Barely. Thankfully the Slayer Faith had a wish owed that helped undo it." He stared at him. "You were with the Knight earlier."

"He protected the wedding."

"Good. He is good to the peaceful ones." The others in the room all nodded. "Ante in."

"Thanks, guys. I seem to be around judgmental people suddenly."

"Did the Knight really yell at your former partner about how she nearly got two mini slayers in Europe killed?" someone from another table asked. "If so, it was bravely stupid of him."

Clint frowned. "She did what?" That one turned around to tell him. "I did not know she did that. Are those two all right? Rescued?"

"Yes. Someone Council rescued his trainees. Those two are not on patrol status, they're still mentally not competent to handle it. One's married and he's helped her."

"I had no idea about any of that and if she did that, she was wrong," Clint said firmly. They smiled at him. "If Harris yelled at her, good on him. I will be." He went back to the game.

"There are higher ups with bad ideas," the dealer quipped. "I would wait to go back until they work them out. The thing in charge of your people thinks that Xander wants to support him. That will be a bad idea."

"Huh?" Clint asked.

"The one in charge of your people heard about him taking out skrulls and rescuing others. He has not done any research, like usual, and thinks that the Knight would like him to reward him for support."


"No, your country, not your group."

"Oh, fuck. Has anyone warned the kid?" They all shook their heads. "I'll find him tomorrow morning and warn him."

"He will have a fit," the dealer warned, smiling at him. "Perhaps a laughing one. We hope. The Menace tried to wish him in charge of things outside the slayers but we all ignored her."

Fred stomped in and got dealt into a game. "The Knight was wise to disarm my daughter's pout."

"He guarded the wedding."

"Those of us who were there to do so saw him being bravely stupid. It shows his compassion for the peaceful ones." He looked at Clint, nodding. "Some of your sort were here yesterday to talk to him."


"Yes. He's cute but stronger than he seems. Some sort of geek."

"Huh. I'm not in SHIELD anymore. Not since they fell apart. I need to hear what's going on I guess."

"Good luck," the dealer said with a smile. "Many are wary that only the harshest survived."

"I hope not. Who's in charge? Hill?"

"No, the loyal one." Clint put down the cards, staring at him. The dealer smiled at him. "The one who revived him is still around also. He's pretending to be dead while handling some idiots who claim to worship hydras."

"Fury's alive?" They all nodded. "Coulson's in charge? I know he was dead."

"They did things that made him stink like that new one who controls earth skills," another one said with a shrug. "We know not why."

"I'm so going to find them and talk to them tomorrow," Clint decided. He finished his game and tipped the dealer with a smile. "Thank you for that information."

"Ask the Knight. He knows of the formerly dead one."

"I can do that. Thank you." He left, going to the hotel Xander was in. He snuck into his room and settled into a chair to wait on the guy to wake up. It gave him time to think about things.

Xander blinked at him once. "If you weren't peaceful to me, the wards I put up would've eaten you." He went back to dozing. "Sleep. You need rest. You're more tired than I am. Not like I'll jump you if you sleep."

"You know where Fury is."

"Hmm. South of here but on the west coast. Near that bay where I had to fight off the pirates." He yawned and flipped over. "Nap. We can talk when it's closer to daylight."

"I'm good."

Xander sat up to glare at him. "Not like I'll pounce, dude. Just lay down and nap somewhere. The tub, the floor, the other side of the bed, whatever. I need to sleep and I can't do that when you're staring at me." Clint huffed but did lay down on the floor. "Thank you!" He laid back down and went back to sleep. Clint waited but he did drift off. He needed a rest more than he thought. He had been angry and fighting for too long. Of course, he had a slight nightmare but a hand petting his hair stopped it. He sighed and drifted deeper again. Xander laid back down and went back to sleep now that things were calmer again.


Xander drove Clint to an overlook and pointed. It had taken a few days of quiet traveling with the radio on. "It looks like a wreck but the lower levels are infested with Fury and his sort." He looked at him. "For a supposedly dead guy he's shown up in a few places."

"Did you know about Coulson?" he asked quietly.


"The guy in charge of SHIELD."

"Oh, him. I've heard some decent things but also that he's political and an ass kicker but within the rules."

"He didn't used to be so rule bound."

"Is that because the higher ups had bad ideas or because he wanted to be?"

"Mostly...the first," Clint said quietly. He spotted a guard and sneered. "Great, he survived. That sucks."

Xander patted him on the arm. "The good ones always die young. Then we look at them as road signs or martyrs. Or they get comic books written about them."

Clint snorted, looking at him. "We all hated those."

Xander grinned. "Oh well. It gave guys like me a role model to look up when we jumped into a battle that should've killed us."

"Why do you hunt? Beyond the girls doing it on their own?"

"The first thing I knew about all this, my best male friend, the one I'd known since I could walk, was taken by one and we didn't get him back. You?"

"It was SHIELD or jail," he admitted. "Then it got more personal."

Xander nodded. "I'll retire or die of it some year. Something like that, but another me won't be made."

"I know that feeling." He spotted an agent coming up behind them and got out to go beat them. The guy behind him blinked and waved a hand. "Fitz?"

"Yes. Simmons and I both work with Coulson. We heard you were coming this way."

"I want to have a talk with Fury."

"Hmm. Coulson would too." Xander got out. "Mr. Harris."

"I'm just transportation. In about an hour I need to drive off into the sunset to handle a portal event in a few countries over."

Clint grinned at him. "Seriously?"

"Yeah. Someone wants his daughter-in-law to show up and the regional military is panicking. Not sure if she's peaceful or not. We have to figure it out." He shrugged and turned, hitting the agent coming up to talk to him. "Hi, how're you?" he quipped.

"He's a shithead," Clint complained. "He should've died instead of good agents." He looked at Fitz. "I wanted to talk to your boss too."

"We'd have to protect him. We hate him being injured, Barton. Things go to hell when May takes over." Clint stared at him. Fitz took a step back. "Fury said so."

"Yeah, we're going to talk to him," Clint said.

"With who?" Nick Fury demanded as he walked up to them. Clint pulled a gun and pointed it at him. "You don't want to do that, Barton. Even if you're back under control..."

Xander walked up and punched him. "He's not under control. He's angry. Normal, thinking people are angry at what you've created and had done. Especially since you let him hang himself instead of getting him help after mind control by someone who was already under control."

"We couldn't...."

"Bull fucking shit. If the *witch* could send someone into a rage against innocents and make him attack a town, she could ease the horrors this one saw thanks to being under control of an intergalactic shiny thing." Fury tried to get up so Xander kicked him. "No, you stay down. You don't have the right to stand in the presence of men, Fury. Not with how you've went after my minis or anything else you've tried to *arrange* around here that nearly got decent people killed so you could have access to a problem. Goddess damn, dude, even the sixties had better people than you!" He walked off shaking his head. "And don't you *dare* come near my minis again or I'll have this talk with artillery next time."

"You can't do that, Harris," he sneered. Xander pulled out a grenade to bounce in his hand. Fury backed away. "I have a reason..."

"And you're thinking the normals are expendable and the slayers are toss away warriors. Always have. Leave. My. People. Alone. This is your only warning." He tossed the grenade at Clint. A demon showed up. "You can get revenge on him later. I have to finish yelling at him for coming near one of my mini slayers."

"Your mini slayer is down there, Knight." Xander looked at him. "Ki...."

Xander pulled out something and blew it toward the building, dissolving it. "Hey, there you are. Ki!" he called with a wave. "Let me shoot them for you!" She ran off to come get him. "How did you get here?"

"One of those green ones gave me over. Idiots!" she sneered. She stared at the guys behind the truck. "Are they with the bad people, Xander?"

"No. Not at the moment. That's Dr. Fitz, the one that the mini in Europe looks up to. The other is Clint Barton, who was a comic book hero I used to look up to." He cuddled her. "Need medical?"

"No. I'm good. My mother has to be screaming."

"If she's hurt I'm going to stomp on others," Xander promised, handing her his phone once he had dialed. "Not like I mind blowing up green alien mother fuckers." He put her into the truck and shut the door, looking at Fury, then at Clint. "Need help?"

"No, take her home." He looked tense.

Xander grinned and handed him the weapons from the back. "You have a good talk. I'll get him later if you let him walk off." He checked his watch. "I have to see if someone immigrating is evil or not. She's not on the way," he muttered, considering it. "She can stay in the truck I guess." He sighed as he got in and drove off. "Tell your mom it'll be tonight. I have to stop someone from panicking about an immigrating demon."

"Is it an evil one?"

"I'm not sure. Someone wants his daughter-in-law so he can have grandkids finally. The local military people are panicking."

"Ooooh." She told her mother that and promised she'd be super careful and hopefully stay in the truck.

"If possible. Though I might introduce you to Morta. He's decent enough and mostly helpful." He turned on the radio as he drove, making her giggle and go back to talking to her mother. Thankfully he had unlimited minutes on his phone but he knew he'd need it since he worked with girls.

Clint looked at Fitz. "I'm really confused by Harris."

"So are we. Coulson was having a headache imagining him as your little brother."

"I might've liked that." He hit Fury again when he tried to get up. "We still have to talk."


"Yeah, shut up." He hit him again. The other agents just walked away. This was between them and Fitz could call his new boss about it by himself. Their version of SHIELD didn't have geeks to trip over anymore.


Xander walked up to the portal area, nodding at the woman coming over. "Hi. We got asked to talk to you before you panic people." He shook her hand. "Are there others coming, miss?"

"My maid. She'll be our nanny." She laid a hand on her pregnant stomach. "This way I'm with my husband."

"I fully agree that family things are great. We know about your father-in-law and that he's peaceful. Your husband usually is too but he's got a temper. The humans are panicking because they don't know about you."

Her maid came over. "We are both peaceful but will protect our child, Hunter."

"Watcher," he corrected. "Xander Harris, we rebuilt the old Council so they're good."

She looked at the baby slayer talking to someone then at him. "You have?"

"I rescued her from agents and didn't have time to drop her off. She's been talking to your father-in-law." She smiled and nodded. "She's a good girl. So I'm going to ask bluntly, in the presence of this truth stone," he said, holding it up. "Please make a vow that you will not attack the normal, average people."

"I will not attack anyone who is not attacking us," the maid said.

"I will not attack anyone who is not attacking my family," the wife said.

Xander nodded, looking at the general. "It shows she speaks the truth."

"That's fine," the general agreed. He spotted someone landing. "Oh, dear."

Xander sighed. "Judgmental idiots," he muttered. "Morta, guard Ki," he called. She looked and hid behind him. "Can we get them home?"

"We can," the general said. "We can go there to do the immigration paperwork we'll need." He walked them off to where the husband and father-in-law were waiting. "Slayer Ki, your watcher is going to your house next."

"Cool! Maybe we can stop in on Morry?"

Xander shrugged as he walked over. "It's on the way but your mother will have fits. We'll pause there for lunch though. Check on her and see if she'll come play next week."

"That'll be great. Thank you, Xander." She looked up at the pregnant lady. "I hope your baby's as cute as I am and as good for people as I want to be some day."

She smiled and hugged her. "Thank you, Slayer Ki. That's very sweet of you." She patted the girl on the head. "You should be safe."

"I should but the truck stinks because we got things thrown at us. It smells really gross and I was going to get sick."

"It'll air out as we drive," Xander reminded her. "Thanks, Morta."

"She's sweet. I'm glad you could rescue her from those asshole agents, Xander." They shook hands. "Thank you for helping her."

"I'm all about happy, peaceful people living good lives. The world could use more of them." The military watching all nodded. "Guys, can you make sure they get home? Morta rides a bike."

"I borrowed my neighbor's car for this," Morta said with a smile for his daughter-in-law. "You need to ride better and we could not all squeeze onto my motorcycle." She nodded, letting him lead them off. The military guys escorted them home to do the paperwork they'd need.

Xander got Ki into the truck and rolled down the window partway. "There, it'll stink less soon." He shut and locked the door. He turned and found an agent there. "I had to rescue her from some of your kind earlier. Didn't have time to get her home." He shrugged, walking around the front to get in and drive off. "Call Morry so she knows we'll be there about one so you can talk to her and go potty?"

"I can do that!" She wiggled to the music playing as she called and they drove off. "Those hero sorts are bad?"

"Not all. Some but not all."

"Hmm. Well, hopefully we'll quit running into them soon. I don't need to see more bad people in my life."

"No you do not and someday soon I'm going to end up blowing up a few to keep them away from the older girls." She snorted. He grinned at her. "We will." She nodded, chatting with her sister slayer.

The one that had gotten in Xander's way looked at a remaining military person. "He was taking her home?" Sam Wilson asked the soldier who had stayed behind the group.

"One of those green ones kidnaped her from her new home. Her mother was screaming for hours. By the rumors, he rescued her from SHIELD sorts who had her hostage thanks to the alien ones. She lives down further now. He got here late from picking her up."

"Then he's good to the girls?"

"The girls are not allowed to do anything but protect themselves until they're adult women. He threw a fit at some parents who tried to make them. They went to school and their parents had many talks that led to them being better at it." He smiled. "Watcher Harris is very much the big brother to the slayers he trains." He walked off. "We did not need this sort of help but thank you for showing up."

"Why did they create a full portal?"

"There's no immigration points near here," the soldier called back. "He would've had to travel for days and paid more for her to come legally."

"Oh, that reason. Sure. Thank you. Let us know if you need us." The soldier smiled and waved before getting into his jeep and driving off. He looked at the others. "I can see why they did the portal that way instead."

Steve grimaced. "There's a lot of demons."

"Who are peaceful," Sam reminded him. "All the slayers respect peaceful peoples, even if they're from somewhere else. The ones in Cleveland play poker with their version."

Steve nodded slowly. "But the bad ones...."

"There's bad of all species, Steve," he reminded him. "We saw humans attacking a wedding for happening. Just because they were different. You fought nazis for years who were just as human. Jewish folk have been fighting for their own ways since time began for them since everyone thought they were wrong and most of those that held them down were human too." He shrugged. "We fought for civil rights and are still fighting. Just because they're funny looking doesn't mean anything to most of us."

"I get that. I just worry that it's going to be a problem."

"Mostly stopping humans from being the problem or those from elsewhere trying to take over Africa again. They've fought that for generations." He walked back to their jet. "As Princess Shuri points out, there's been colonizers and wannabe ones for centuries."

"Thankfully he's not one," Steve agreed. He got onto the jet. "Do you think he's bought somewhere to live down here?"

"I think, since he travels all the time, he's got a truck," Sam said. He buckled himself in. "I'm in. Steve's standing so probably fine." The pilot took off to bring them back to their current base on the outskirts of Wakanda. Steve was still hovering over Bucky but the rest of them ignored it for now.


Nick Fury called up his protege that night, looking pretty rough. "I ran into Barton," he said at the stare he got. "He knows you're alive."

"I'll expect him to show up and punch me as well, Nick. He did all that?"

"Harris did some. We rescued one of his girls from a skrull and he overreacted."

"I doubt that's an overreaction with the way the files have painted SHIELD in relation to his slayers in the past." Nick Fury blinked. "I went looking after I sent Fitz to talk to him about the skrull threats he's seen. He has every reason to believe we are the problem since we were. We did leave Sunnydale alone, even though we knew there was a lot of problems. Including the army doing things that HYDRA appreciated.

"We did endanger some of the young pre-called slayers during ops. Including when Natasha gave two of them to the Russian mob during an op to get their attention. Thankfully their people rescued them since she didn't get a chance to." Nick winced. "SHIELD proved that it was the bad idea, even worse than the old Council was. So now we have to build some trust since we have to work together to save everyone. Any other good news?"

"The base we were using is down. Harris blew it up to get his girl back."

Coulson nodded, smiling some. "He's young. It's easier for him to do it by himself."

"He brought Barton. And what's wrong with him?" he demanded.

"He got to see his whole family, including his children, turn to dust in front of him because the Avengers lost." Nick Fury winced. "I'm told he went to find out why."

"Yeah, he's changed methods and uniforms completely. He barely speaks too."

"I'll talk to him when he breaks in here. Thanks for the warning. Any other charming news?"

"Someone gossiped that the president thinks Harris will support him."

"He's more likely to work against him. Though, if I fall, I'll suggest him for this seat. He can clearly do the work and he can integrate and protect the slayers better that way."

"I doubt it," Fury ordered.

Coulson smiled slightly and hung up on him. He looked behind him out the window. No Clint yet so probably tomorrow or the next day, depending on how he was traveling. He went to his suite to lay down and found him in there. "I figured you'd sneak into the office to beat me in there."

"I don't want to tangle with May." He stared at him. "So you're the director?"

"At the moment. The president wants to change that." He took off his sweater and put it on the back of a chair. "Nice job leaving Fury alive." Clint shrugged. "Are the kids back, Clint?" he asked quietly.

"Yeah," he said, sitting up. "They are. Thankfully."

"I'm glad. No one deserves that."

"No. No one should ever have to think they killed the ones they loved." Phil winced. "How long?"

"A few months later. I begged him to stop and he didn't."

"Good old Fury," Clint agreed. Phil nodded. "I'm not going to take you out."

"I'm surprised you let Fury live."

"He had agents there that didn't need to see that. I'll get him next time."

Phil nodded, coming over to sit on the foot of his bed. "I thought you might've caught sight of me handling the aftermath in London but I didn't get any contact so I guessed not."

He shook his head. "I avoided all those."

"I understand why." He reached out to pat him on the wrist. "You look exhausted. Want to rest and talk in the morning?"

"You and Harris both said that."

Coulson smiled. "That's good to know. The president was thinking about putting him in charge of SHIELD. I have no idea how he'd work that with the slayers."

"He gave me the name of a therapist."

"It could be a good thing. I know it's not your usual thing but you could probably use someone besides Natasha to talk to."

"She's...weird. Very weird."

"She's gotten back to where she was only on her own side, Clint. She tried to play Stark against Rogers and lost both. She's been on Rogers' side when it wasn't right." He sighed but nodded. "I know you were too." He nodded. "And now?"

"I have those I have to protect."

Coulson nodded. "That's a good place to be. It focuses you but you could probably use someone to talk to. You know you can talk to me."

"I think there's a bridge there," Clint said, staring at him.

"I get that. Fury did break our team up. He should have gotten you help."

"Harris pointed out Loki was under control of the stone."

He considered it then nodded. "He could have been. I doubt we'll ever know."

Clint swallowed and nodded. "I...."

"Hey." Clint stared at him. "I'm here even if you're going back to the old ways before SHIELD." Clint slumped but nodded. "I accept being talked to too if you want. It wouldn't be the first time. Even when I'm on missions I can sometimes answer the phone." Clint nodded at that. Then he got up. Phil pulled him back down. "Rest on the couch, Barton. It's safe to sleep here."

"Harris did the same thing," he complained but went to the couch to curl up with his swords.

Coulson shook his head. "At least that makes him a good person." He got ready and went to bed himself, laying there watching Clint pretend to sleep. Clint clearly needed help. Counseling at the least. He could work on getting him some. Then get him back home to his family. They needed him and he needed to be there. That's where he belonged.

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