"Calculation of scores completed. The winner of the Advanced Competitive Mode of Tony Stark's Residential Range is.."
Clint and Bucky waited with bated breath. JARVIS liked to induce suspense, it seemed.
"Clinton Francis Barton," JARVIS announced. "Congratulations."
As Clint cheered and whooped around the range with unbridled joy, Bucky stared at the flashing score moodily. He lost by one point, dammit. Bucky blamed his loss on Clint's unexpected singing during the competition.
Clint had a surprisingly good voice. Bucky wondered what Clint would sound like when he was really singing for an audience. Or when he was...
Okay, James Buchanan 'Bucky' Barnes, you can stop right there. Do not pass Go. Do not collect $200.
"So, Bucky," Clint suddenly sounded so close. That startled him more than the careless clap on Bucky's flesh shoulder. "Get changed and meet me at the living room in half an hour because you are so bringing me out to the mini golf course!"
Bucky narrowed his eyes. "I agreed to no such thing."
"What was that? I can't hear you!" Clint tightened his grip and leaned closer, grinning brightly. Bucky glared pointedly at Clint's obviously working hearing aids Laughing Clint released him and pushed him away. Bucky instantly mourned the loss of the closeness, though the warmth of Clint's hand still lingered on his shoulder. "30 minutes, Bucky!"
"I still want my flowers, Hawkeye!" Bucky yelled at Clint's departing figure.
The only replied he got was Clint's echoing laughter.
"Ass," Bucky grumbled underneath his breath.
But what a fine ass he has, Bucky's stray of thought skittered past his brain, laughing at him.
You shut up, Bucky snapped, and then when he realized he was arguing with himself, he quickly left the range.
"I'm supposed to be bringing Clint to a mini golf course!" Bucky announced to whoever who was listening to him that wasn't Clint.
Apparently, Steve and Tony were there.
"Supposed to?" Tony asked, at the same time with Steve's "Mini golf?"
Bucky snagged Steve's mug and took a hearty gulp of the wonderful, wonderful coffee before shooting Tony a dark look. "I lost to him, but it wasn't my fault, okay? Now tell me what the hell mini golf is!"
"It's like golf, but uh, mini?" Tony explained unhelpfully. "You know what's a golf, right?"
"Yeah, yeah," Bucky muttered, slumping onto the seat closest to Steve. "It's a rich people's game with plenty of free time."
"Hey!" Tony protested. "I don't have patience or time with golf, okay? I would rather blast the ball into the hole than swinging a stick at it."
Steve was still frowning. "It's a game of trajectory and angles, Bucky. It should be a piece of cake for you. Have you played golf before?"
"Do I look like I know how to play friggin' golf?" Bucky almost shouted. Was this Clint's ploy to embarrass him? No. Clint wasn't like that. Clint was... Clint was...
"It'll be okay," Tony tried to reassure him. "Clint will definitely teach you..."
"Does Clint even know how to play golf?" Incredulous, both Steve and Bucky interrupted Tony simultaneously.
"Okay, okay, point," Tony waved a dismissive hand, "Point is, someone will definitely teach the both of you and you'll be just fine. Don't worry your pretty little head over this, for goodness sake."
"You only have twenty minutes left to change, Bucky," Steve interrupted. "You wouldn't want to keep him waiting, would you?"
"He would be late anyway," Grumbling, Bucky made his way towards the elevator. JARVIS opened the doors for him.
"Keep us updated on your date!" Tony yelled.
Bucky managed to flash them his middle finger just before the elevator doors slid close.
"Remind me again why we are here?"
"Because... You lost?"
An impassioned stare. "Try again."
Clint sweat dropped. "Because... We haven't been here before?"
Bucky stared at him.
"Because..." Clint swallowed, averting his gaze to his sneakers when he found that he couldn't withstand those smouldering gaze any longer. "I just wanna bring you out to somewhere that aren't eating or the movies, or the bars or playing pools or darts or..."
"Let's try swinging those club again, now that we're here," Bucky sighed in resignation. It's hard to say no when Clint was looking like that, sad and lost and small. "It shouldn't be too hard."
Clint looked up, then, grinning so widely, so happily that for a moment Bucky forgot to breathe. "Alright then! Let's see which one of us will win this time!"
"No, Clint," Bucky cut in, scowling. "This is not going to be another competition."
"Why not?" demanded Clint, "Are you afraid of losing to me again?"
"Then, you're afraid to take up a challenge, is that it?"
Clint threw his hands up in frustration. "Then why the hell not?"
Bucky decided that annoyed Clint was adorable too. "Because I was thinking of having a similar competition in which it also requires that to win, the player needs to use as few strokes as possible."
Clint's brows furrowed in confusion. "What competition? Where?"
Bucky's slow smile turned into a leer. "In bed."
Clint's reaction then was priceless.
Once Clint had finally managed to get his blush under control, Clint swung the golf club at him, forcing Bucky to raise his up in defense to block Clint's attack. "JAMES BUCHANAN 'BUCKY' BARNES!"
In the end, they were kicked out of the golf course and banned from entering because they engaged in a sword fight using the golf clubs, right in the middle of the golf course, mindless of onlookers who either watched their skills in awe, or annoyance, and some of them, in horror.
"This is all your fault," Clint groaned, facepalming.
They were going to be in so much trouble oh my god. Natasha would skin him alive for giving the Avengers bad publicity, Steve would yell at them for misbehaving in public, and Tony would revoke all of his Avengers privileges.
"It was fun while it lasted," Bucky agreed happily.
"Yeah," Clint conceded after a while, giving Bucky a tiny smile. "It was."
Clint was glad that today didn't end in a complete disaster.
They were interrupted by someone clearing his throat. "I'm looking for a... uh, Bucky?"
It was a guy with a bouquet of purple... flowers. Bucky narrowed his eyes at the man. Clint, strangely, was edging away from the situation. "Yes, I am Bucky."
The man looked relieved. "Oh, this is for you then. Someone ordered this for you. Please sign this slip, sir."
Still frowning, Bucky took the flowers and signed the slip. The delivery guy hurried away, leaving Bucky dumbfounded with the flowers.
Clint was being uncharacteristically silent, watching Bucky with apprehensive eyes.
Bucky gently tugged out the card that came with it.
Before he could read it, though, he started sneezing and couldn't stop.
Dahlias, Bucky realized belatedly. He's allergic to dahlias. Apparently his super soldier serum hadn't cure that allergy yet.
"Get this thing away from me!" Bucky rasped as soon as he could breathe, shoving the damned flowers blindly at Clint.
It took a few long minutes for his serum to kick in, for his sneezes to stop, for his watery eyes to clear. Only then he barked, "Who the hell gave me the flowers?!"
Incensed, he glared at the white card.
A very familiar messy scrawl greeted him.
I'm sorry for your loss - Clint
Shocked, Bucky glanced up sharply at Clint, who looked utterly miserable, still clutching the flowers defensively to his chest.
"I'm sorry!" Clint blurted, hating himself and wishing that if he could wink out of existence right there and then, he would have. And he would never come back. "I didn't know you're allergic to them, I swear! I really didn't know! I walked past this florist when I left the Tower a bit after our range practice and these stupid flowers were the first thing I saw because they are purple and then I remembered that you wanted flowers so that's the first thing I ordered! I really didn't know!"
Clint hung his head low. Bucky would probably hate him now, and if did, Clint wasn't sure if he could deal with Bucky hating him.
"Clint," Bucky's voice was gentle. Why was Bucky still being gentle to him after he had fucked up so bad? "Clint, my allergic reaction aside, do you know the meaning of dahlias?"
Clint blinked. Flowers have meanings? Morosely Clint shook his head.
"Becca, my sister, used to work in a flower shop once," Bucky said, "And she said that when given as a gift, the dahlia flower expresses sentiments of dignity and elegance. It is also the symbol of a commitment and bond that lasts forever."
It took awhile for Clint to absorb the information.
Commitment and bond that lasts forever?
"So I guess..." Clint fumbled with the flowers, trying and failing to voice his jumbled thoughts. "You still want to keep these flowers?"
You still want me around?
"Of course," Bucky gave a derisive snort. "You gave them to me. Besides, Tony's range does need a bit of beautifying."
Clint beamed with pride.
"Oh, and Clint?"
Clint glanced at Bucky, curious,
"I'm still serious about the competition."
Clint frowned, not understanding, not following. "What competition?"
Bucky's slow smirk was downright predatory.
"That competition. In bed."