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Small Gods: First Cup – 4

First Cup:  A Clint Barton Fanfic

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Character Pairing:  Clint Barton x F!Reader

Rating: E

Word Count:  1890

Warnings: nothing

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.

Chapter 4

Clint wondered if it was possible to be addicted to another person.  Not just in a psychological way where you just felt better around a person than when you were apart, but in an actual physical addiction where the chemicals of the brain were altered and you’d go through withdrawals if you didn’t see them.  Where you experienced a real high when you were together, and when you were apart you started to feel like you couldn’t quite function properly anymore and all you could think of was when you could get back together again.

That’s how Clint was starting to feel about you.  Each time he saw you it was like a rush.  His energy spiked and he felt jittery in an excitable way.  Where he could talk a mile a minute and there was nothing he could do wrong.  When you were apart, his thoughts were overwhelmed by thoughts of when he could see you again and if he went too long, he started to feel a little sluggish and hard to get started.

He was beginning to think maybe it wasn’t a healthy attachment. 

Maybe it was just infatuation mixed with his caffeine addiction.  You did always make him promise to wait to have his first cup of coffee when he came to see you after all.  And – you always met him with some new brew containing at least three shots of espresso and often a lot of sugar to go with it.  Maybe all this was a genuine connection superimposed over a caffeine high.

He needed to pick the feelings apart.  But not only that, he needed to work out what it was you were getting from the relationship outside of the really fucking amazing sex you’d been having.  And goddamn, if the sex wasn’t phenomenal.  That kind of world-shattering seeing god type of sex that lasted hours and left you fully sated.  Though if Clint was being honest with himself – that might be mostly your doing as well.

That’s why he had already had a coffee when he went to meet you at the dog park.  He figured that if he could smother the caffeine withdrawal and subsequent high by getting them out of the way first he could make sure this thing he felt was real and not bordering on some kind of chemical dependency to your company.

That was the plan anyway.  He’d been sitting at the park for an hour now and there was no sign of you.

He couldn’t believe that you would have just stood him up like that.  Things had been going so well.  He wasn’t sure if he should be hurt or worried.  He spent ten minutes deciding if he should try and call you – on one hand wanting to make sure you were fine, and on the other hand not wanting to be the guy who called up whining when the girl he liked didn’t like him back.

He picked up his phone and dialed Natasha.  She had picked up before he’d even moved the signal to his hearing aid.  “She stood me up,” he complained.

“And you’re calling me?” Natasha replied without skipping a beat.  “Shouldn’t you be calling her?”

“I don’t know?  Should I?  What if she doesn’t want to talk to me and I’m just the guy who can’t take a hint?” Clint asked.

“Or what if she got busy and hasn’t had a chance to get out?  Or what if she had an accident on the way over to you?  Or what if – and god forbid, Clint – what if someone who’s out to get you noticed you always around her?” Natasha reasoned.

“You think…?” Clint asked.

“How about this;” Natasha said.  “I’ll meet you over at her coffee shop.  If she’s there and it was a mistake or she got busy, well, we’ll get a coffee and no harm done.  If she’s not there, we worry and I’m there to help get to the bottom of it.  If she did intentionally stand you up without giving a reason, I’ll kick her ass for you.”

“Yeah?” Clint said, letting out a breath and feeling grateful once again that Natasha Romanoff was his best friend.  “You’ll do that?”

“Of course, dummy,” she answered.  “Now give me the address.”

Clint rattled it off and hung up.  He was now nervous again.  What if something had happened to you?  What if he had been sitting in the park and some asshole had kidnapped you as a way to get at the Avengers.

He made his way to your shop with Lucky on his heels and arrived as Natasha pulled up on her motorcycle.  He jogged up to meet her, hugging her after she packed her helmet into the seat of her bike.

“Hey, dummy,” she said, rubbing his back.  “So where’s this coffee shop?”

“Right here,” Clint said, pulling back from the hug and gesturing vaguely behind him.  He’d been there enough to know he was in the right spot without looking.

“Ha-ha.  Very funny,” Natasha deadpanned.  “I’m not going searching up and down the street again as part of a joke.  Is your girlfriend in trouble or not?”

Clint turned to look at the space between the barber and the vintage clothing store that he knew Elysian Fields stood, confused at what joke Natasha was aiming for.  He stopped dead.  It was gone.  Once again the space where the shop should stand just wasn’t there.  He turned around to get his bearings.  This was definitely it.  He’d been here dozens and dozens of times now and he knew it the same way as he knew the street this apartment block sat on.  “What the hell?  It was here!” he said, gesturing to the wall.

“Clint – I swear to Thor, if you have invented a girlfriend and a coffee shop just to make me run up and down this street for no reason – twice – as some kind of prank, I’m going to kill you,” she warned.  “I was genuinely worried about this woman you’ve been allegedly seeing.”

“I’m not making it up, Nat!” Clint yelped, gesturing at the space the coffee shop should be inhabiting.  “It was right here.  It’s always right here!  I’ve been going to it pretty much every day for the past three months!’

He felt like he was losing his mind.  He knew he hadn’t hallucinated it.  There had been touch and coffee.  He’d fucked you in at least a dozen different positions and you’d fucked him in a few of those same positions.

Natasha pulled out her phone and began to dial.

“Who are you calling?” Clint asked.

“Stephen Strange,” she answered, simply and Clint slammed his hand down on the phone so fast, it nearly knocked it out of her hand.

“Clint!” Natasha shouted.  “What the hell? Idiot!”

Despite the fact the word idiot was the same in English and Russian, Clint could tell, she was cursing him out in Russian specifically.  “Not Doctor Strange.  He’s so fucking full of himself.”

“Clint.  Yastrebok,” Natasha sighed.  “Either there is some magic at play here that has now made your girlfriend and the shop she owns disappear, or you’re having some kind of breakdown where you have invented a girlfriend, her coffee shop, and her giant fucking dog.  In either case, Strange can help better than anyone else we know.”

Clint sighed and let go of her phone.  “I really hate magic.”

“I know you do, yastrebok.  I know you do.”

Clint was starting to panic by the time Stephen Strange showed up.  It didn’t even really take him that long to get there.  A call with Natasha that involved quite a bit of swearing in what Clint thought might be Tibetan, which he didn’t know if Natasha knew, or Mandarin which he knew she knew, and then a brief wait while Natasha claimed he was putting on pants, and then a portal opened up in the street and he stepped through with his pajamas on under the annoying red cloak he always wore.

“This had better be good,” Strange complained.  “I was up all night fighting a Demogorgon.  I barely got any sleep and I haven’t had my coffee today.”

“Alright well, like I was saying on the phone,” Natasha said.  “Clint has been seeing this woman for a few months now.  They were supposed to meet at the dog park today only she was a no-show.  Clint called me and I said I’d meet him at her coffee shop and we’d ask why she didn’t show if she was there and if something had happened to her, we’d figure out what was next.  Only we get here and not only is she not here, but neither is her coffee shop.”

“You mean, that coffee shop there?” Strange said, indicating to the stores in front of them.

Clint and Natasha turned to look where he was pointing.  Between the Barber and the Vintage Clothing store black door and the window with ‘The Elysian Fields’ written in gold had reappeared.

“What the fuck?” Clint said, rushing forward and touching his hand on the cool timber of the door.

“I swear to Thor himself this wasn’t here, Strange,” Natasha said, taking a few steps toward the shop.  “There was nothing here.  It went barber and then clothing.  Not even an empty shop in between.”

Strange raised an eyebrow and took a step forward putting one hand on his head and holding the other out.  “There is a lot of magical residue here.  You know what the Elysian Fields are, don’t you?”

“Like heaven, right?” Natasha said.  “In Greek Mythology.”

“Closer to Valhalla.   Where warriors go to receive their eternal reward,” Strange explained.

“So what?  We’re all dead and our reward is good coffee?” Clint asked, turning back to look at him.

“Or it’s just the name she chose,” Strange said.

“Well, I’m going in,” Clint said, shoving the door open, creating the familiar tinkle of the bell above the door.  “Come on, Lucky.”

Lucky trotted on happily behind him as Clint stepped into the room.  It was as empty and inviting as it always was, and you were in your usual spot by the fireplace.  You jumped up when you saw him.  “Oh my god, Clint!” you gasped, rushing over to him and throwing your arms around his shoulders.  “I didn’t think I’d get to see you today.”

Clint automatically wrapped his arms around you and buried his face in your neck.  All thought about weird, disappearing coffee shops and being mad about you standing him up, flew out of his mind and were replaced by the intoxicating scent of vanilla and coffee.

“We were supposed to meet at the dog park,” Clint murmured into your skin. “Why weren’t you there? And what happened to your shop?”

“Yes, I have some questions too,” Strange interjected.  You pulled back from Clint to look at where Strange and Natasha were standing in the doorway.  Hati stood and began to pad his way over. He moved slowly and deliberately, somehow appearing even larger and more menacing than usual. “For starters, why is your cafe doused in divine magic?” He drew his hands back and snapped his wrists, two rings of runic magic circled each hand and Hati started growling.  “And why exactly are you housing a Warg?”


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