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Puer Oscula

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“This is ridiculous. No, ridiculous is too weak an adjective.” Clint took a deep breath, closing his eyes and trying to find the right word. “This has to be a joke.”

Kate, who could barely keep her laughter in ( the traitor. She’s not invited to movie night next week ), put a hand over her mouth, smothering whatever sound was coming,  but her eyes continued to show her laughter. She lifted her hand off of her mouth to say,  “I don’t know what to tell you Clint.” As soon as she had said it, her hand went back to cover her mouth.

Clint could see her shoulder shaking, the traitor.   No movie night for a month. No, none for a year . Let’s see her laugh at that.

Oh, who am I kidding? Kate will be at all the movie nights. It’s not like I can stop her.

Clint looked at Kate, expression dry. “Tell me that I don’t have to wear this.”

This , was an outfit that Clint and Kate’s workplace decided that he should wear to honour the occasion. The occasion being Valentine’s Day. Clint had protested, repeatedly, when the idea was brought up in meetings earlier in the year. Apparently the arguments had fallen on deaf ears.

So now Clint was dressed up as Cupid. Apparently people thought that it would be “highly exciting, and quite entertaining, to have the archery teacher dressed as Cupid on Valentine’s Day.”

Clint did not agree. Clint thought that it was a waste of time.

Cupid wearing short-shorts? With a toga? What Cupid were these people looking at?

“Why? Why do I have to wear this?”

Kate shrugged, giving up on trying to hold in her laughter. “Don’t ask me; the powers that be said it was so. All the other teachers are dressing up today.”

Wait a minute… Clint looked at Kate, in her jeans and purple jacket. He narrowed his eyes at her. “Why aren’t you wearing one?”

“Because I don’t work today.” Kate raised an eyebrow at Clint, her ‘duh Barton, you should have been able to figure that one out’. I really don’t like that look.

“Then why are you here?”

Kate pulled her phone out of her pocket, taking a photo of Clint before he realised what she was doing. “I wonder why?”

Clint narrowed his eyes, putting his hands on his hips. The effect was somewhat lost, given the outfit. “What are you going to do with that photo?”

“Oh, nothing,” Kate sing-songed, putting her phone away. “Don’t you have class in ten minutes? Now, I know you like to be late to everything-”

“-Oh ha ha,” Clint waved her off, stopping her from whatever half lecture she was about to launch into. “Can I get a coffee this afternoon, since you apparently have the spare time?”

“I’ll see what I can arrange,” Kate said, pulling her phone out again and typing on it as she left. Clint sighed, shaking his head as he went to teach his first lesson of the day.

 

~

 

Clint had finished his final class for the day, and was putting away the targets. Apparently this was extra hard when you were wearing an impossible to move in outfit.

Luckily, his students weren’t too bad. Some of them had a joke or two at his expense, and Clint went along with them joining in the laughter.

Easier to join in, than get upset at it. It’s not like you haven’t been in a similar position before.

“Wow, Kate wasn’t kidding when she said I had to see this in person.”

Clint spun around, his earlier frown at his thoughts replaced by a wide smile. “Bucky!” And then Bucky’s words registered, and Clint closed his eyes and hung his head. “You’re seeing the outfit.”

Clint heard Bucky laughing as they walked closer. “Open your eyes.”

Clint opened his eyes to a cup of coffee being held out to him. “Coffee. Thank you.”

“Kate said you’d need it,” Bucky shrugged, handing over the fresh, fresh coffee Bucky is the absolute best,  before pointing to the remaining targets. “You need any help?”

“Nah, it’s all good, it’s a two second job,” Clint said as he took a sip of his coffee, lifting up a target with his free hand and taking it to the storage cupboard. .

“You really are strong, aren’t you?”

Clint smiled at Bucky over his shoulder. “You doubted me?”

“Never doubted you,” Bucky shook their head, watching Clint walk around. “Just impressed, is all.”

“If I had known that all it took to impress you is to dress up like an idiot and carry stuff around, I would have done it earlier.”

Bucky laughed at that. “No you wouldn’t.”

Clint locked the door to the supply cupboard, before turning to Bucky and shaking his head. “No way. This thing is ridiculous .”

“It really is,” Bucky agreed. “Whose idea was it?”

“Department heads,” Clint shook his head, taking hold of Bucky’s hand and walking out of the room. “They thought it would be appropriate.”

“Celebrate Valentine’s Day by dressing the archer up as Cupid?” Bucky hummed, before nodding. “Makes sense.”

Clint groaned, letting go of Bucky’s hand to rub at his forehead. “Not you too.”

“Don’t like it?”

“Bucky, I haven’t worn shorts this short since my circus days. There’s a reason for that.”

“That you look too good in them?”

Clint stopped short at that, turning to stare at Bucky. “ What ?”

“You heard me,” Bucky shrugged. “Doesn’t need repeating.”

Clint nodded. “Right, right.” Clint took a deep breath, before nodding. “Maybe I needed to hear that. To know that this wasn’t just some joke. I do look good in this outfit. It’s still ridiculous.”

“Oh, no doubt,” Bucky agreed, holding out their hand. “You still look good though. You going to get changed before leaving?”

Clint nodded vigorously. “No doubt. Just one thing first.”

At Bucky’s questioning look, Clint smiled, stepping forward to place a kiss on Bucky’s cheek. Clint then stepped back, smiling.  “Kiss from Cupid, duh.”

“Duh,” Bucky echoed with a smile.

Maybe the outfit wasn’t all bad, Clint thought as he changed into his much more comfortable jeans and t-shirt, remembering the smile that had lit up Bucky’s face. The good  thought lasted all of half a second, before he shook his head with a laugh. Not a chance; that thing is ridiculous .