“You trust me, right?”
Clint has that smile on his face, crooked and fragile, for all of his bravado, as he asks the question.
“Always,” Steve assures him, because there are a handful of people that Steve never has to hesitate around, and Clint and Sam are, without a doubt, the two who have never, ever given him a reason to doubt them or himself.
“Then, uh, mind if I drive her?”
Her being Steve’s bike. His Harley. The one that he and Bucky had worked on during the war in the non-existent down time they could ever scrape together because it was the thing they had always done. George Barnes had owned a garage and Bucky had worked in it since he was old enough to hold a wrench and while Steve had never been helpful enough to earn money by crawling under cars, he’d hung around Bucky at the garage for long enough to be damn helpful passing tools over and it had been the one thing, during the war, during the times when Bucky’s eyes were endless shadows and Steve’s body clenched with memories of Stark’s machine, that they had known peace. After… everything, Howard had kept the bike in storage and it had been one of the first things Tony gave to Steve, acting deeply put upon and oh so happy to be rid of it.
And now, after everything else that had happened - after the fall of SHIELD and Bucky’s recovery and all of the Avenging - Steve still had a hard time viewing the bike as anything less than a comrade.
But this was Clint. And Clint had never, not once, steered Steve wrong.
He passed over the keys to the ignition and Clint’s grin grew.
“You sure?” He asked anyway, even though it wasn’t like Steve to change his mind.
Steve nodded and gestured to the bike.
Clint threw one long, lean leg over the leather seat and settled down before pulling his helmet on. He was wearing the black motorcycle jacket he favored, even when they weren’t riding, and combined with the helmet and his leather pants, there was no other way to describe him than hot .
Steve swallowed hard, forced himself to be cool and pulled on his own helmet before climbing on behind Clint.
It was the first time they had ever sat this way. They had ridden together plenty of times before, Clint molded to Steve’s back, his two extra inches of height just enough to allow his heart to rest against Steve’s, for Steve to feel the steady thrum of him and the heat of his body and the strength of him wrapped around Steve.
Steve had always enjoyed it, had never made any attempt to hide how much he enjoyed Clint’s strong arms wrapped around him or his thighs bracketing Steve’s. But this? This was a damn fine treat.
“Comfy?” Clint’s voice sounded amused even through the helmet mic and Steve pinched his belly.
“Very,” Steve said over Clint’s yelp. “You gonna tell me where we’re going?”
“Nope. Just hang on tight and enjoy the ride, babe.”
And with that, they were roaring out of the garage and down the driveway that led away from the Avengers upstate compound.
It wasn’t that Steve hated surprises - especially not when they were Clint’s surprsises - but, all things being equal, he didn’t like not knowing where he was going. It was probably some hold over from his days as a soldier, amplified and cemented by all of his missions with the Avengers and the fact that he was surrounded by spies and former spies and assassins and former assassins who never seemed capable of accepting anything at face value - but Steve just felt better knowing what he was walking into.
Or riding into, as the case may be.
Clint kept up a steady stream of conversation along the way, asking Steve about the twins, offering a few new anecdotes about Kate and Lucky and America, and they eventually fell into their now familiar debate over whether or not Bucky was going to end up in Tony or Natasha’s bed first. Steve still thought Nat was, without doubt, going to maneuver her former comrade, former enemy into bed first while Clint maintained that Tony could and had literally charmed the pants off of anyone. Steve and Clint included.
Eventually, though, Clint guided the bike down the mainstreet of a quaint little town. Cooperstown. He slowed the bike to practically a crawl as families milled around the streets and they waited for lights to change.
Steve saw a sign for a Farm Heritage Museum.
“Tell me you did not drive two hours to pull off an elaborate ‘back in your day’ joke,” Steve warned.
Clint laughed and it was just a reflex to tighten his grip on him, to press closer to his back and want to sink into all that warmth and joy.
“Nope. Maybe next time. This time… this time I wanted to take you here.”
Here, it turned out, was also a museum.
The Baseball Hall of Fame.
“There’s a special exhibit on the Dodgers, back when they were still in New York and I thought… I mean, I told Bucky about it but he did some recon and said it was too open and the ceilings were too low and the sightlines were shit so he didn’t want to come see it during regular hours and I should just take you and… I know it’d be better with him, but I just…”
Steve pulled off his helmet and then Clint’s.
“You just what?” Steve asked him, because Clint never let Steve just trail off and wallow and Steve made it a point not to let him do it either.
Clint rolled his broad shoulders in a shrug.
“Just wanted to give you something nice.”
Steve squeezed his middle again and nuzzled against Clint’s neck.
“You give me something nice every day I wake up with you next to me,” Steve stated the simple truth.
Clint flushed, but his lips twitched upwards in a quick, delighted grin.
“You’re just saying that because I know how to make coffee the way you like.”
“You do make excellent coffee,” Steve conceded. He tucked a finger under Clint’s jaw and tugged gently until Clint turned towards him. “But that’s not why I love you.”
Steve pressed his lips to Clint, soft and chaste but no less meaningful for all that the kiss was brief. The look in Clint’s eyes when Steve pulled away made Steve lean in and kiss him again.
It was that kiss, the one that had Clint leaning into him and Steve rucking up Clint’s shirt to press against the firm skin of his abs, that got posted to Twitter and apparently set off so many Google alerts that Tony was forced to get out of bed - a bed that, Steve was later informed by a very smug and satisfied Bucky, Tony and Natasha and Bucky were just beginning to put to excellent use - and call the Avengers PR team together to handle it.