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i said i'm sorry i'm a bit of a let down (bored to death)

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Saturday morning. Clint woke up with a predictable hangover from the after party for the after party after last nights show. The band’s fame had grown exponentially larger in the past year, now headlining major clubs all over New York. But with a bigger audience, the aftermath of shows meant more headaches and stumbling home with his room/bandmate late at night. Clint rolled out of bed and into his kitchen. His roommate Natasha was already there, eating some form of oatmeal or cream of wheat. He gave her a noncommittal grunt before going to the coffee maker. 


“Last night was a record amount of people.” She said, her voice hoarse from singing last night.


“Hm.” Clint just hummed as he drank half his coffee in one gulp. 


“People really like the new stuff.” Natasha continued. “Like the harsher guitar and gritty look you’ve got recently.”


“Nobody gives a damn about me ‘Tash, you know that.” Clint croaked out. “Nobody ever likes the bassist, it’s a well known fact.”


She just rolled her eyes and looked down at their tablet that was on the table. Pulled up on the screen were tweets and stories about their concert last night. SHIELD had started as a garage band when they were in their punk phases in high school. They played a few concerts here and there in college, eventually adding Natasha’s college best friend Maria on keyboard and hired an agent from their college’s business school. Speaking of, Coulson had texted them all a review from a blog.  


“Tony Stark was at our concert?” Clint was sure he was reading that incorrectly. “Why?” 


Tony was one of the major concert promoters in New York City, with his father owning a large venue upstate and many clubs in the city. He covered everything from classical to, apparently, trash punk. A few good reviews from Stark could fast track them to a major record deal. 


Snark Industries: An upfront look at New York’s music scene.


Got Punk’d

By Tony Stark


Last night, I gave into peer pressure and went to a punk show. Longtime readers know that I tend to stick to the less angry end of vocal music. However, I had been hearing about SHIELD for many months from others in the industry and was finally offered a spare ticket by Rhodey. I didn’t even know my best friend was in the punk scene, but I digress. After finding my most beat up leather jacket and slapping on a bit of guyliner, I headed out to broaden my musical horizons.


When I say I was surprised, reader, I do not mean it lightly. It takes quite a bit to make me feel like I’m getting something new from the music scene here, but SHIELD managed to give me something fresh. I might just turn in my philharmonic season tickets for a few eyebrow piercings after a few more shows, who knows.


SHIELD, a three piece band right out of Bed-Stuy, was founded by childhood friends Natasha Romanov and Clint Barton, playing guitar and bass respectively. Maria Hill, who the pair met at NYU, rounds out the sound on keyboard with both Hill and Barton backing Romanov’s vocals. While SHIELD may have started as a garage band for two angry teenagers, they have clearly grown up and found their rhythm; so to speak. Barton’s writing clearly shines through their songs, giving more than the typical suburban angst to their lyrics. Hill has clearly put in her work learning how to synth their keyboard sound with the harsh guitar, and Romanov is really the icing on an already great cake.


So, will you find me next Saturday drinking PBR in doc martens? There's a good possibility. But if not, catch me at Brooklyn Philharmonic’s playing of Holst’s Planets the night before.



“Huh.” Clint said as he finished reading.


“Huh??” Natasha croaked. “Clint this is huge, we could-”

She choked up and he nodded, pulling her in for a hug. “I know.” He kissed her hair. “I know Tasha.”


Her phone lit up with a call coming in from Maria. “Hello? Yeah, Coulson texted all of us, idiot.” Her raspy voice was fond. “Yeah, We’ll come to brunch. Usual spot in 20?”




Bucky snorted and tossed his tablet aside as he finished his orange juice. “Found out where your boytoy was last night, Steve.”

Bucky’s roommate always got priority for first shower after their morning runs, so long as Steve had pancakes ready by the time Bucky got out of his. 


“Tony’s not my boytoy, Buck.” Steve emerged with a flush not entirely from hot water. “And besides, last night was just a benefit thing. It wasn’t included in his season pass.”

“Like Stark hurts for money to buy tickets.” Bucky shouted over his shoulder.


Under the steam of the hot shower, he let his sore muscles from the run and the long concert the night before relax. His shoulder twinged a bit from where his bass sat against it during his long rehearsals and concerts, but he knew he was lucky. Getting a job at Brooklyn Philharmonic right after graduation wasn’t something he was going to pass up, especially since it was a homecoming for him. The smell of bacon coaxed him out of the shower and back into the kitchen where Steve was now reading Tony’s blog post.


“Huh. SHIELD, I’ve heard a few people talking about them” Steve mused half to himself. 


“From who, the youth phil?” Bucky snorted. 


“It wouldn’t hurt you to be less of a music snob ya know.”


“I am not a snob.” Bucky scowled.


Steve just gave him a look and went back to reading. Ok, maybe Bucky was a bit of a music snob. He hadn’t had a lot of exposure to anything outside classical music growing up with immigrant parents. He had started playing the upright bass as soon as he was tall enough to hold it up, and had graduated Oberlin Conservatory so many years later. Bucky had grown up going to school with Steve, when the blond was a tiny spitfire always needing to be pulled out of fights. Bullies hadn’t been kind to Steve when he was skinny and sickly, even less so when he started playing the flute. Bucky had kept Steve out of trouble through high school, even though he was no longer small and sickly. They had gone to separate colleges but were lucky enough to work and live together now.


“You wanna go next week?” Steve was talking to him again.


“Tony’s got tickets to their show next week. Wanna go?” Steve gestured to the tablet that still had the blog post pulled up. “The day after our last Planets concert. C’mon Buck, it’ll be fun.”


Bucky just pinched the bridge of his nose. He had to admit that the Holst run was wearing him down and he could use a night out. “Fine.”




This was a mistake, Bucky thought to himself as he was sitting at the bar in a grimy music venue in Brooklyn. There were more people in gross leather jackets than he had ever seen before and his toes were bound to get stepped on by one of their heavy combat boots. Crewpeople on stage assembling a three piece set for the main act. Tony had taken mercy on him and Steve and not made them suffer through the opening acts. Bucky wasn’t sure if he could take non-headliner punk. Ok, maybe he was a music snob.


“Busy night eh?” A voice right next to him broke him out of his brooding. 


The guy next to him was talking to the bartender, but caught Bucky’s attention nevertheless. He was wearing a purple shirt so stretched and thin that it was hardly still opaque with a beat up leather vest over it. The vest was littered with patches and pins, the guys hair was in a floppy mohawk, and his skinny jeans were more rip than jean. As the bartender was getting his drink, he looked Bucky over shamelessly.


“You big in this scene?” Bucky asked finally, returning the once-over.


“You could say that. You?”

Bucky snorted. “Nah, I prefer my music to not sound like it’s made with my garbage disposal. My roommate’s fuckbuddy just dragged us along.”


The guy just smirked at him. “Well, see ya in the pit…?”


“Bucky. I’m Clint.” Bucky shook his hand and felt oddly familiar calluses on his fingers. Clint caught the bartender’s attention. “Darce? This guy’s next round is on me.”


“What? You don’t have to do that.”

“Gotta pop your punk cherry somehow, pretty boy.” Clint slapped his back and moved to walk away. “See ya round.”


“Uh. Ok…”


Huh. Punks were friendlier than he thought they’d be. Or maybe Clint was just flirting with him, which was also great. Bucky ordered another round from the bartender who gave him an appraising look and wandered off to find Tony and Steve. 


“What does SHIELD even stand for?” Steve asked Tony as Bucky joined them.


Tony shrugged. “According to their agent, who I’ve talked to quite a bit in the past week, there’s really no meaning behind it. It probably had a meaning when they started out, but apparently now they give a different answer anytime someone asks.” Bucky snorted. “It’s like fight club, you don’t ask about it.”


“Huh” Steve said, more confused than before.

“Steve’s never seen Fight Club.” Bucky stage whispered to Tony.


“Hey! You two don’t get to gang up on me.”

“That’s literally what I’m here for, hell yeah Buckaroo.” Tony fist bumped Bucky and before he could respond, the house lights dimmed and the stage lights began strobing as the crowd went wild.


“Agents of SHIELD, are you ready????” A female voice called from backstage as the whole room went pitch black.


A whine of the guitar sounded through the room and when the bass dropped, the stage lights came up and the woman who had presumably been speaking took a running leap into the spotlight. Her fiery red hair was flying with her animated movements, the tattooed keyboardist was moving her body with the beat, and the bassist-


“Oh shit.” Bucky said out loud, making Tony and Steve both look at him in confusion. 


The bassist was Clint, from the bar. That’s why the calluses on his hands from the strings felt familiar. Bucky tried not to let his eyes linger too long on the thighs in those ripped jeans as he jumped wildly on stage. Out of the corner of his eye he saw Steve looking much too smug.


Shock aside, Bucky was pleasantly surprised by the music itself. The lyrics weren’t typical to punk music he had heard before, and clearly all of them were proficient with their instruments. Tony dragged him and Steve deeper into the crowd, letting them all get jostled and stepped on. When the song ended, the crowd went wild.

“Thank you!” The redhead called. “Thank you all for comin’ out tonight. Some of you may be new, thanks to some recent press we’ve gotten. Glad to have ya.” The crowd cheered some more. “This next song is called tales of suspense.”


As he was jostled into moving with the beat, Bucky realized he was enjoying himself. He lost track of the songs, finding them each unique and interesting. The redhead, Natasha, and Clint would banter back and forth between songs while their quieter keyboardist would just shake her head.


“Gotta say Tony, I’m pleasantly surprised.” Bucky said during the next song change. They were all unplugging their amps and switching out for acoustics.


“Hey guys.” Natasha said as she stepped over cords and adjusted her guitar. “We’re gonna try something new right now.” She strummed a cord. “Acoustic isn’t really our thing but, here’s to trying new things. This song’s called the red room.”


She began singing and when it came to the chorus, Clint and Maria harmonized softly behind her. The song was sad and clearly emotional for Natasha, her voice cracking a few times. The crowd was swaying with their phone flashlights and there were a few people attempting to slow-mosh. When the final cord rang out, she nodded and looked like she was choking back some emotions.


“Thanks guys” She handed her acoustic guitar off to someone backstage and retook her Fender. She waited til Clint and Maria were back in place. “We’ll finish tonight off with two of your favorites, hawkeye and black widow. Thanks for comin’. I’m Nat, they’re Clint and Maria. We’re SHIELD.”


“C’mon.” Tony said when the crowd was cheering at the end of the set. “Wanna go backstage? We’re invited to the after party too.”


“Geez Tones.” Bucky remarked as he tripped to follow Steve following Tony out the back door. 


The band and crew were packing up into a van, talking loudly and laughing. Tony approached a man in a suit jacket and shook his hand rapidly. Bucky looked curiously at their gear and had to admit he was fascinated. The band clearly knew what they were doing and were at the top of their craft. Why three people who were so musically talented would be a punk band was beyond Bucky, but he reluctantly allowed himself to be impressed.


“Not to toot my horn, but I doubt your garbage disposal sounds like that.” Clint’s raspy voice came from behind him.


Bucky blushed in the grimy alleyway lights. “Hey, I didn’t know-”

“I know you didn’t, that’s why I put your drink on my tab.” Clint grinned. “You comin’ out with us after this?”

“Uh…” Bucky looked over his shoulder at Stark still talking to the agent. “Probably? Don’t have much to do tomorrow.”


“Great” Clint’s eyes twinkled. “You can insult my music more over another drink?”




Bucky had let himself be smooth talked by the raspy voice and suckered by the biceps straining the sleeves of the T-shirt. Clint had been talking to him the entire time they were at the bar after the show and Bucky had continued to drink and flirt. When last call came, he had turned to Clint with a raised eyebrow and now they were back at his apartment since Steve had gone home with Tony. Bucky didn’t bring people home often, not really going out enough to have hookups. Clint seemed all too happy to take charge, pressing Bucky up against his own front door after they toed off their shoes and hung up jackets. Clint’s lips were rough and needy against Bucky’s and he let himself melt against the door supporting him. 


“Where’s your bedroom Buck?”


Bucky shivered as hot kisses were pressed down his neck and he knew there would be a few marks the next morning. “Mmph… Follow me.”

He pushed himself off the door and walked down his hall past Steve’s room to his own. When he looked back and grabbed Clint’s hand, the blond smiled salaciously and followed without hesitation. Bucky pulled him and used their combined momentum to flop onto the bed with Clint on top of him. He flicked his bedside lamp on and ran his hands over Clint’s chest that he could see bits of through the faded purple shirt, and felt the hard pecs with pierced nipples that ran down into a six-pack.


“Fuck.” Bucky said eloquently as he ran a finger down the rippling muscles over the thin material.

“More of a workout than ya think, on stage.” Clint grinned lazily, he ran his thumb over the muscles of Bucky’s shoulders. “You’re not too bad yourself.”


Bucky leaned up to kiss him more and pulled his body down flush to his own to tangle their legs together. He slipped his tongue into Clint’s mouth and was rewarded with a small moan and grind of hips into his. Their tongues pushed at each other for a few moments until Clint nibbled at his lips and Bucky pulled back with a gasp. They were both hard in their jeans and rutting against each other.


“What-” Clint started, before closing his mouth in thought. “How far do you wanna go with this?”


Bucky answered by reaching into his nightstand and pulling out lube and condoms. “I’d like to get here but we don’t have to. Let’s just go with what feels good.”


Clint kissed him hard again, this time pushing at Bucky’s shirt and tugging it over his head. He removed his own quickly after and pulling Bucky up so they were both kneeling facing each other. They kissed and pressed their hands to explore the other’s bare chest, tracing muscles and tweaking nipples. Bucky traced the sharp line of Clint’s adonis belt and hooked a finger into the waistband of his jeans. He fumbled with the button and zipper while keeping his mouth occupied on Clint’s neck and chest. 


“This ok?” He whispered into Clint’s ear, licking at the earrings there.


“Yeah, all good.” 


Bucky pushed Clint’s tight jeans down, and choked a bit when he found that there was nothing underneath. “Fuck.” 


Clint’s cock was thick and drooling precome, but Bucky’s eyes bugged out when he stroked it and felt two piercings along the underside as well as two through the head. His mouth watered at the sight and he heard himself whimper a bit.


“Did those hurt?” He asked, his brain unable to think of any other coherent thought.

Clint just chuckled. “They stuck a needle in my dick what do you think?” He kissed Bucky and pushed him down onto the bed. “Feels good though, I’ve been told.”


Bucky just made a little noise from the back of his throat and wiggled out of his own pants and underwear. When they were both fully naked, Clint laid himself down onto Bucky fully, grinding their lengths together and Bucky could feel the occasional rub of one of the metal bars. 


“Hnng..Fuck.” He pushed his hips up into the friction. “I want you inside me.”


Bucky pulled himself up onto his elbows and fumbled around for the lube, slicking up a finger and pressing it into himself without much fuss. Clint sat back on his heels and stroked himself lazily as Bucky worked up to three fingers inside himself. He caught the condom that was thrown at him and rolled it over his length. Bucky’s legs were sprawled open and he was just holding his fingers inside him while Clint positioned himself in between his thighs. 


“Good?” Clint asked as he gently pulled Bucky’s fingers out of himself and propped his hips up on a pillow.


“Yeah.” Bucky exhaled slowly as the blunt tip of Clint’s cock breached into him. “‘S good.”


Clint bottomed out and held still for a beat, letting Bucky adjust to the stretch. He pressed down into a rough kiss as he pulled almost all the way out before starting to build a rhythm. Clint’s abs were rippling with every roll of his hips forward into the tight heat of Bucky, who was arching his back off the bed with a silent cry.

“Yes! Ther-hnng”  Bucky let out a small shout as Clint hit his prostate.


Another pillow was shoved under his back to maintain the same angle as Clint picked up his pace. He brought one of his hands to Bucky’s untouched cock and stroked at the same pace he was thrusting into him, his other hand tangled into Bucky’s hair. 


“You close baby?” Clint asked as he kissed around his ear and ground down hard.

Bucky came onto his own stomach and Clint’s hand with a choked moan. He slumped onto the pillows supporting his hips and took stuttered breaths as Clint thrust into him a few more times before his body tightened and he came inside the condom. 


Clint was holding his hand that was covered in Bucky’s come off to the side as he pulled out. “Uh. Bathroom?”

“Down the hall on the right.”

Bucky didn’t do one night stands enough to know the etiquette. He was fairly certain he was within his rights to kick Clint out of his apartment after he got dressed, but Bucky selfishly wanted to ask him to stay the night. It was late, right? They had left the bar at last call and it had to be almost 4am by now. He was being polite. Clint returned from the bathroom with a rag that he tossed at Bucky who was still sprawled naked on the bed. 


“Uh. Thanks, I’ll just-” Clint picked up his jeans and looked around for the rest of his clothes.


“Or uh. Stay?” Bucky tossed the rag into the dirty clothes basket and patted the bed next to him. 


Bucky’s face was unreadable as Clint looked at him. He wordlessly dropped his jeans and Bucky pulled up the covers and they both slipped underneath, still fully naked. They awkwardly shuffled around until their legs were tangled together and Bucky was flopped halfway onto Clint’s chest. He turned off the lamp on his side table and soon drifted off to a warm and comfortable sleep. 


Bucky woke to smelling Steve’s cooking from down the hall and suddenly realized why most people let their one night stands leave after they fuck. He was also suddenly aware of the hard dick pressing against his in the hollow of his thigh. He twisted in Clint’s arms a bit to look at the still-sleeping man. He looked soft and young, despite his mohawk and multiple visible piercings. Don’t get weird Barnes, it was a one time thing. His traitorous brain shouted at himself, despite his body being very interested in a repeat of last night’s performance.


Bucky reached over and grabbed his phone to text Steve, asking him to make himself scarce for a bit until Clint had left. He didn’t want to deal with Steve’s shit-eating grin when he saw Clint emerge from Bucky’s room. He threw the phone back onto the side table and settled down back into Clint’s chest. He was tempted to play with the nipple rings very close to his face, but he didn’t want to wake him. He dozed in and out of sleep until he felt Clint moving a bit next to him.


“Mornin’” Clint’s voice sounded like hell.


“Uh. Morning.”


“I’ll be out in a sec, just gimme a sec to wake up.” Clint said sleepily, turning his head as if to fall back asleep.


Fuck it. Bucky thought as he pressed his hips down a bit, putting a bit of pressure on where their dicks were laying next to each other. “Or want a hand with that?”


Clint blinked his eyes open and looked at Bucky in confusion. “I mean, if you want. Don’t feel like you hafta.”

“I know I said give you a ‘hand’ but I’ve been thinkin’ bout tastin’ those piercings since I saw ‘em”


Bucky’s Brooklyn drawl came out in its full force from his sleepy, sex-fogged brain. Clint pushed himself up to be leaning against the headboard and spreading his legs for Bucky to fit between. His eyes flitted to the box of condoms still on the bedside table and he reached for them.

“You clean?” Bucky asked, grabbing Clint’s wrist.


“Uh yeah. You trust me?”

Bucky just dipped down to lap at the metal bars through the head of Clint’s cock in response. The metallic taste mixed with the musky smell that came with the territory of giving blowjobs. He took the head into his mouth, suckling like a lollipop and humming as he flicked his tongue. 


“Fuck. You’re good.” Clint was gripping the sheets. Bucky brought one of his hands to his own hair, and leaned his head back into the contact. “You like your hair played with while you’re down there?”

Bucky went back to work taking more of Clint’s cock into his mouth, his lower lip flicking at the piercings on the underside which rewarded him with a hiss of pleasure from Clint. He licked at the balls of metal protruding from the shaft, relishing the noises he was getting in return. 


Relaxing his jaw, Bucky took more of Clint’s length with every bob of his head until he felt the brush against his throat. He clenched his thumb in his left fist and swallowed around the tip of Clint’s cock. Clint came with a groan as Bucky hollowed his cheeks and sucked every last bit of his release. 


Clint was breathing heavily but he rolled them over and spit in his palm to start jerking Bucky off quickly. He pulled on his hair and kissed him at the same time, bringing Bucky to climax all over both of them in an embarrassingly quick time. 


“Fuck. Want me to leave my number so we can pretend this isn’t a one time thing?” Clint panted out as he got off the bed and retrieved the cloth they had used the night before.


“I mean. I’d be down for a repeat performance.” Bucky mumbled.


“Right. I’ll write it on a napkin or somethin. You need me to climb out the fire escape or whatnot? Avoid your roommates? I’m late for band brunch.” Clint was pulling his clothes on with flailing limbs.

“Nah, front door is fine.”


“Alright. Thanks for the ride Buckaroo.”




“I can’t believe you fucked another groupie.” Nat said over mimosas at their brunch spot.

“I can’t believe you two only fuck eachother.” Clint shot back, to which Nat and Maria both looked down awkwardly.


“Have we gotten any more press? I know Stark was there again last night.” Maria asked after a beat of awkward silence.


“Yeah, a little write up in the Rail.” Nat responded as Clint just downed another cup of coffee. “And Tony Stark has made us his personal guests to the Brooklyn Philharmonic’s performance of Mahler’s first this weekend.”


“Why?” Clint scowled, it seemed like a weird thing to do.


“I don’t know, but we’re going.” Maria said when Nat gave him an exasperated look. “What? Stark is being really nice to us for some reason and we’re gonna take advantage of it.”


Clint just grumbled into his coffee, unaware that Bucky was across town practicing for that very performance. When Bucky and Steve had moved into their apartment, they had soundproofed the tiny hall closet to use as a practice space. There was barely room for Bucky and his bass, but it worked well enough to keep his neighbors from complaining while Steve practiced his piccolo runs. Or while Bucky was swearing at Gusav Mahler at 11am on a Sunday.


“Buck! You wanna go to the gym?” Steve’s pounding on the door rattled the entire little closet. 


Bucky hadn’t been avoiding Steve persay, he just had locked himself in to practice most of the morning after Clint had left. He had seen the love bites on his neck and chest and knew he wouldn’t be able to get away with working out sans shirt without ruthless teasing. Steve and the rest of their coworkers they worked out with would all ask questions, but Bucky really could go for a run or some weight work.


Philharmonic musicians may not seem like the most likely crowd to have a workout group, but there was a small handful of them that the rest of the orchestra liked to call the ‘muscle maestros’. The brass line, including the incredibly young french horn player Kate, would all do brutal cardio workouts to improve their breath control and stamina. There were a few strings players that would work on their arms to help support their instruments. 


“If it isn’t Barnes and Noble! And Barnes got laid!” The principal trumpet player crowed loudly as they walked in.


“Shut up Rumlow.” Bucky shot back as he kicked the guy in the shin. He went over to the treadmills and took the empty one next to Kate.


“Long night?” She said with a teasing eyebrow. 


“Went out with Steve and Tony to a punk show.” He said as he started at moderate jog.


“You? The grumpy old man? At a punk show?” 


“Oh shut up. I’m only like 6 years older than you and I’m still a youngin in this orchestra; and yes I went, it wasn’t too bad.”

“Looks like you made the best of it.” She grinned again. 


“Oh shut it Katie-kate. Where’s America?” He turned the conversation to tease her now. Kate had a not subtle crush on one of the young percussionists. 


“She’s staying her moms after they came to the last Planets show.”


“Oh bummer, I know you like her squat technique.”

“Shut up Barnes.” She whacked him with a towel as she walked off.




“I know you have jeans that aren’t ripped in there somewhere, Barton.” Natasha yelled from her room as they were getting ready for the philharmonic concert. “And that one blazer with leather lapels that Coulson bought you when we signed.”


“I can dress myself Tasha.” He yelled back.

“Could’ve fooled me” Maria’s voice yelled back from where she and Nat were getting ready. 


Eventually, Clint was in his best pair of jeans and a plain black v-neck with his only blazer on over it. They were being picked up by one of Tony Stark’s personal cars, and Clint absently wondered when his life became like this.


The Brooklyn philharmonic was housed in an old stone building and Tony had his own box for them to sit in. Phil was already waiting for them and Tony assured them that they were welcome to any drinks on his tab. 


“What the fuck ” Clint said with relish as Tony swept himself away to go mingle with the other people who did this sort of thing. “Don’t look at me like that, this is weird. It’s weird right?”


Phil just sighed, closing his eyes and breathing deeply. “Tony Stark has taken an interest in you, he’s heavily implied that his father is working with one of his record subsidiaries.”

Clint’s eyes bugged out of his head as Nat and Maria shrieked. “WHAT?”

Other orchestra patrons in the boxes turned and scowled at them. They had already gotten several glares at their combined clomping of clunky boots when they arrived and sideways glances at Clint’s mohawk and Maria’s tattoos. Coulson just gave another heavy sigh, but their conversation was cut off by the house lights flashing dimly to signal that the show would start soon. 


Musicians began trickling onto the stage, men in their pressed tuxedos and women in various all-black outfits. A few of the brass players practiced their intervals and some people ran through segments of the piece they were playing that night. Tony whirled in with a martini glass and grinned at all of them.


“Seats ok? I thought you might like this especially, Clint. It’s a pretty bass-heavy piece.”


“Oh.” Was all Clint could say in return.


He turned his eyes back to the stage and to the line of double bass players that were propping themselves on stools and leaning over their instruments to draw the rumbling notes out of them. 


“Is that-” Clint’s eyes widened and he felt his stomach flip flop. “Tony, were the guests you brought to our show last weekend-do they play in the orchestra?”

“Oh! Right, that’s what I meant to tell you. Can you see Stevie down there-” 


Tony went on babbling, but Clint wasn’t paying attention. There on stage in a perfectly tailored tux with his hair tied into a bun was Bucky. He looked through the program and then stupidly realized that Bucky was a nickname. 


Bucky was trying to tune his bass a bit before the oboe gave their official tuning note, but any possibility of hearing his own notes was lost once the trombones came out and started noodling. He looked around and out at the mostly-full crowd. Steve had said that Tony was bringing guests so Bucky’s eyes went to where he knew Tony’s box was. The house lights were still up and he could see three people wearing all black and a man in a suit next to Tony. He squinted a bit and saw-oh no-an unmistakable mohawk.




Stark was either extremely sadistic or had no clue of what had happened the last weekend with Bucky and Clint. Once again, Clint was wondering when the fuck he started worrying about about Tony Stark and what he knew of his sex life. He was waiting by the stage door with the rest of the band and Tony, waiting for the musicians to come out after the concert. Natasha was looking at him funny, but Clint just kicked at the sidewalk, scuffing up his good pair of docs. 


Bucky stopped in his tracks, causing Steve to run into his back and laugh at him. But Bucky was too busy staring at the group that had waited for them to emerge. Clint looked good in his tight jeans and tailored jacket with leather lapels. Based on how his eyes looked up and down Bucky’s tux, the feeling was mutual. Tony and Steve were embracing and talking about the concert, unaware of what was going on.


“You clean up ok, Clint.”

“Oh thanks James .” Clint hissed with a twitch of his lip. “Thanks for the surprise.”

“Hey, I didn’t know Tony’s guests tonight were you guys.” He hissed back.


“What’re you whisperin’ about over there?” Tony ribbed good-naturedly. “You lot wanna go to the bar for a bit?”

They all agreed, Clint and Bucky still making lingering gazes at each other. Clint distantly knew that Natasha was also watching him, no doubt putting his story from last weekend and his current awkwardness together. They got to the bar and split off to order drinks from various cocktail waitresses around the establishment.


“Did you fuck the bass player?” Natasha and Steve both asked two separate people at the same time.


“Shut up.” Bucky hissed at Steve with a scowl.


“Tasha you already know the answer to that.” Clint responded with a straight face as he accepted the frothy beer in front of him.


The bar had a small dance floor that Tony whisked Steve out onto, and Natasha soon pulled Maria aside and eventually ended up dancing too. Clint knew his friends well enough to know they were trying to set him up, but he really didn’t want to put expectations out there. 


“So.” Clint started out, since it was clear that his companions were ganging up on him. “You play bass.”

“Uh, yeah. I do. I grew up listening to classical, started playing as soon as I could hold the thing upright.”


“Ah cool. You study music or somethin?” 


“Yeah.” Bucky looked down, a bit pleased. “First generation college grad and all that. Oberlin Conservatory.”

“Good for you.” Clint said, with a rare note of non-sarcasm.


“What about you? Did you three all study music? I can tell you all know a lot about playing from your songs.”

Clint opened his mouth and closed it to sip his drink and looked sheepish. “Uh. The girls did. I write the songs so I studied creative writing.”


“Nothin wrong with that.”

Clint grimaced. “How’d you feel if I told you I only read tabs?” Bucky choked on his drink and looked at him incredulously. “Ah there it is. I write the lyrics, Tash tells me the chords and we change it as we need to. I don’t know how to read notes.”


“But-” Bucky stammered. Clint just looked at him challengingly. “But you’re good.

“Believe it or not, Barnes, there’s more than one way to be a good musician.” Bucky was left staring after Clint’s back as he stalked off to a table to lean against and broodily drink his beer. 




Clint had to admit that he was surprised to see Bucky leaning against the alley behind the bar where they played their next gig, propped up on one leg and hands buried in a leather jacket. He got a text from a strange number a few days later, identifying itself as Bucky. They started texting back and forth, occasionally inviting the other over for a late night escapade. Clint was even more surprised to find himself buying a last minute ticket to the philharmonic concert and lingering by the stage door afterwards. They fell into an awkward and tentative routine of going to each other’s shows and ending up at one of their apartments after. They had stopped avoiding the other’s roommates at some point, Clint having had a few discussions with Steve over coffee while Bucky was in the shower and Natasha hadn’t scared him off yet. 


“So are you just fucking him or does he know that youre halfway in love with him already?” 

“Shut it, Steve. You’d keep fucking him too if you were in my place.”


Tony’s dad, Howard, had worked one of his connections in the music industry to offer SHIELD a major label deal. Clint slaved away over lyrics, digging deeper into himself than he usually cared to do for their album submission. Their leading single was a truly hard punk song, called garbage disposal.


The label loved them. Alt radio loved them. Tony took it upon himself to do most of the promotion and media releases for the new album on his own. He, Bucky, and Steve were at the release party. Steve felt like an outsider, knowing full well that his friend and boyfriend were invested in SHIELD in ways he wasn’t.


The album dropped at midnight on digital, available for streaming and purchase on iTunes and Spotify. By that time Clint was already fucking Bucky hard into his mattress. They had become exclusive long enough ago that there was nothing between them and he came into Bucky with a shout. They were already fast asleep, tangled in naked limbs when band started trending on twitter. 


Clint was stopped at the next philharmonic concert as he waited outside the stage door. Two girls with heavy eyeliner and thickly treaded boots asked for a picture with him and asked what he was doing there. They told him they loved the new album and were huge fans of the band. He still had it in the back of his mind as Bucky rode him hard and fast, feeling an adrenaline high after playing Pines of Rome. When Bucky came with his name on his lips, Clint flipped them and drove into him deep and kissed him hard before coming inside Bucky.


“C’mere love.” He mumbled to Bucky as he pulled him closer in his arms the next morning.


They kissed slowly and ground their bodies together. Bucky traced the nipple rings and the banner tattoo that read “mom” on his hip. Clint nuzzled down his neck and sighed contentedly.



“Are we dating?”

“We don’t go on many dates but yeah, if you want to be.”

“I do. Want to be.”

“Alright, love.”


SHIELD’s second studio album was called ‘philharmonic’ and nobody had to wonder who it was inspired by.