First Cup: A Clint Barton Fanfic
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Character Pairing: Clint Barton x F!Reader
Word Count: 2066
Warnings: none for chapter, smut on series, reader is a god.
Synopsis: Clint Barton has a coffee addiction. One day that addiction brings him to The Elysian Fields coffee shop where he meets you. Soon Clint feels like his addiction isn’t just caffeine-based. But things are not as they seem. With a store that only appears under certain conditions, no customers, and a dog the size of a Dire Wolf, Clint isn’t sure there’s not more going on with you and he isn’t sure how to figure out if his feelings are real or just a side effect of his addiction.
Clint often wondered how people without caffeine addictions managed to make it through the day. He was sure those people existed. There were morning people who got up and went for a run on just a smoothie and good vibes. That wasn’t Clint. Today Clint had woken up to a broken coffee machine and had seriously considered just pouring coffee grounds straight into his mouth just to get him out the door. He felt like he was dragging himself along the street, and he was sure he should have passed at least three Starbucks and two bodegas that he could have gotten a coffee from in the time he’d been walking and yet, his sleep-addled mind either was misjudging the distance or was remembering things wrong because nothing was jumping out at him.
His hands were shaking with caffeine withdrawals and he was pretty sure if one single bad thing happened he might burst into tears. And having bad things happen to him wasn’t that unlikely. He was a magnet for them. Bad things were drawn to him like flies were drawn to shit.
Lucky nudged his thigh and licked his hand. It seemed to take Clint half a light-year for his brain to process that his dog was trying to get his attention. Clint blinked down at him. “What’s up, buddy?”
Lucky barked and nudged him, his nose pointing to the shop next to them. Clint looked up at the store Lucky was pointing at and blinked slowly. It was narrow, barely wider than the heavy-looking black door and the narrow window with the words ‘The Elysian Fields’ stenciled in gold across it.
Clint couldn’t see much through the window, but he could see enough to recognize the shape of a counter and an espresso machine. The ornately framed menu stuck to the black brickwork between the door and the window seemed to primarily feature coffee, and just under the open sign hanging in the glass panel on the door, was a sign proclaiming dogs were welcome.
Clint looked back down at Lucky who was wagging his tail like the rotors on a helicopter. “Good boy. Who’s a good boy?” he praised.
The door seemed to stick when Clint tried to push it open, but as soon as it gave it practically flew open, making the bell above the door clatter and ring out as if it had personally decided to shame him.
The coffee shop was empty and for a second Clint wondered if he’d made a huge mistake. Even the places that sold warmed up liquified mud usually had a line at this time in the morning, and the complete lack of customers seemed like an ill omen. He wondered what combination of bad coffee and bad service would lead to a place being completely empty because it didn’t seem to be the atmosphere. Quite the contrary. The coffee shop itself looked as inviting a place as he’d ever been. Despite the small size, the narrow room seemed to fit a lot into it. There were small tables that sat in even intervals along a bench seat down the left-hand side of the room and for each table there was also a plush-looking wingback chair. Every table was furnished with an outlet and sitting on the counter was a brightly colored sign declaring the wifi password. There were shelves around the room that held things like ornate chess boards where each piece was a carefully sculpted figurine, jigsaw puzzles, well-worn novels, and a selection of toys such as Rubix cubes, fidget cubes, and sensory poppers. At the far end of the room was a fireplace that wasn’t lit given that it was a warm day outside, but an impossibly large dog that appeared to be more wolf than anything else lay on its side with its front paws curled in toward its chest on a rug in front of the empty space. The place was cozy and inviting and had every single element anyone could possibly want in a coffee shop and was topped off by a coffee smell so enticing that it made his mouth water.
The next thing Clint’s mind settled on was this was some kind of criminal front that everyone in the neighborhood knew about except him. Lucky was determined that they both come in though, he tugged on the lead practically dragging Clint into the room.
For a moment he wondered if there was anyone even in the coffee shop to make him a coffee. As he reached the counter you stood from where you were sitting by the fireplace. The large wingback chair you had been sitting in had completely obscured you from his view and now that he could see you, he felt that same draw to you as he did to the caffeine that had brought him into the store, to begin with. He couldn’t quite explain what it was about you that drew him in and if someone asked he might just say you seemed friendly and he thought you were hot. But it wasn’t that exactly. It was more that you seemed warm and familiar but that there was something about you that was – not exactly dangerous, but almost. Like the kind of adrenaline rush that you got from driving a car fast or really good sex.
“Hi,” you said as you stepped behind the counter. “How’s your morning going?”
“Great,” Clint lied. “Is that your dog? He’s huge.”
“I think of him more like a big doofus that decided he liked hanging around me,” you said, looking over at him fondly. “His name is Hati. I think he feels like you look.”
“How’s that?” Clint asked, tilting his head.
“Exhausted,” you said. “Did you want a coffee?”
“Yes, please. An Americano. As big as you have with as many shots as you’re allowed to put in it,” he said gratefully and glanced over at the selection of pastries you had. As well as the big glass jars with oversized cookies that sat on the top there was an impressive selection of cupcakes, croissants, banana bread, and cinnamon buns that were all calling out to him.
You laughed softly. “So one of those big Slurpee cups just filled with espresso shots?”
“If you have it, yeah,” Clint said, nodding enthusiastically.
“I’m afraid not – but,” you said, picking up a huge cup that was probably meant to be used as a soup bowl. “I have this if you want to have it here.”
His eyes lit up and he grinned wildly. “Will you marry me?”
You laughed. “Me or the cup?”
“Oh, definitely the cup,” he said and waved his hand at the cabinet. “Can I also get one of those cinnamon rolls? The uh – bacon pecan one?”
“Of course,” you said and punched the order into the register. “So that’s one bacon, pecan cinnamon roll, and a cup of black coffee large and strong enough to kill a small horse. Anything for your handsome young friend? We have puppuccinos and dog cookies, or I can bring a bowl of water to your table.”
Lucky barked and wagged his tail. The huge dog by the fireplace stretched out and cracked open one big yellow eye. He wagged his tail slowly and then seemed to go straight back to sleep.
“Well, as it was his idea to come in here, I guess he deserves a cookie and a puppuccino,” Clint agreed.
You looked down at Lucky. “You knew what he needed, huh?” you asked, peering over the counter. “What a good boy.”
He wagged his tail and his tongue lolled out of his mouth. “I think he likes you,” Clint said.
“Well, I like him too,” you replied. “Go take a seat. If you want company, you can take the spare seat by the fireplace. I’ll bring your food over.”
Clint took a few steps toward the fireplace and the dog-wolf-thing stretched and yawned. Its teeth were as impossibly big as the rest of him and Clint froze. “He’ll be okay with Lucky?” he asked, raising his voice so you’d be able to hear him over the espresso machine.
“Oh, he’s fine,” you shouted. “He knows he’s not allowed to mess with anyone in here.”
Clint looked back at you. The way you spoke about your dog like he was some supervillain inhabiting an agreed-upon neutral zone was quite cute. Everything about you attracted him to you. He took the seat, knowing he had to get to know you better. The dog took up most of the floor space between the chairs and the coffee table. Thankfully there was a small side table beside the chair because there was no way Clint was going to be able to eat that cinnamon roll if he had to keep reaching over this beast to get to it. Lucky came over and sniffed the dog and it raised its head and Clint swore it narrowed its eyes before lowering its head again and going back to sleep. Lucky seemed to feel safe enough though because he lay down next to him and wagged his tail happily.
You brought Clint’s order over and put his coffee and cinnamon bun on the side table before putting Lucky’s cookie and puppuccino on the ground in front of him. He immediately started eating the cookie. It was large and shaped like a bone and he wedged it between his paws as he started to chew on it.
“Hati is such a massive dog,” Clint said. “What breed is he?”
“I’m pretty sure he’s a warg,” you said lightly. Clint was a big enough nerd to know the name from the Lord of the Rings and given the similarities to the huge wolves from the movie he could see why you’d say it. You stepped over the dog and he rolled over, his paws tucked up against his chest as you began rubbing his chest and belly. “Is that what you are, Hati? A big old warg?” Hati’s lips pulled back into a snarl, exposing his canines while his tail started wagging. Clint had never seen such a clear example of ‘I hate it – do it again’ in his life.
You took a seat and Hati rolled back over and seemed to fall straight to sleep. Clint picked up the cup and took a sip. He’d thought it would be too strong – too bitter. You could only add so many shots of espresso before it just tasted like the soul of the worst of the sinners. It was strong. There were definitely many, many, shots of dark roast espresso in the enormous soup mug, but it was also nutty, complex, and completely delicious. He moaned as it not only hit every one of his favorite flavors, but it made his brain start firing like an actual competent human being.
He tried the cinnamon bun next. He’d never tasted anything like it before. It was soft and sweet and salty, the nuts and bacon adding crunch to the overly soft bread and frosting. He put the bun down and looked at you.
“How is this place empty?” Clint said, looking around. “It’s amazing in here. This coffee is like liquid gold and you’re delightful. The place should be packed.”
“I’m delightful?” you repeated, raising your eyebrows.
“Well – uh – yes,” Clint stammered. “I mean… Well, I managed to have a nice conversation while we ordered and I felt like death warmed up.”
“That’s good,” you said. “Don’t worry. I get customers. I mean – I’d have to, right? The power’s on.”
“I’m going to bring in everyone I know,” he said, and took a large sip of his coffee, humming as it warmed him from the inside. The second sip tasted even better than the first.
“I’m really glad you’re enjoying it. I’ll be here if they need me,” you said, rather cryptically. You leaned back in the chair and closed your eyes with a contented look on your face. When you opened your eyes you watched him sip his coffee and you smiled. “So tell me about yourself. What made you need that coffee so bad this morning?”
Clint sat forward, he wasn’t sure where to start really. His coffee addiction had been developed very carefully over time. “Well,” he said. “I guess that was because of the mission last night. I’m an Avenger …”