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Dec. 19th, 2011 | 05:55 pm

Happy birthday Poppy! Thank you for being a great friend! We haven't known each other for a long time but I feel like we've been friends for ages (and I hope you feel the same). If you hadn't convinced me to get a Skype, I wouldn't have met the other lovely people at ClintBruce so, here's a big thank you, not only for adding me to the group but also for putting up with my crazy and our early evening/early morning conversations and for all the love. I love you, you keep being you *hugs*

***



i.
 
It's the little things, maybe. Clint isn't so sure anymore what counts as little things or big things. He picks at his breakfast and takes small sips of his coffee, tapping the teaspoon against the table. He stares at nothing and then snaps into attention as Bruce quietly walks into the room. Satisfaction exudes from him; Clint can feel it all the way across the room, sees it rolling off as calm waves from Bruce's slumped shoulders.
 
Bruce comes in, bearing the day's paper. He hasn't noticed Clint yet, still engrossed with the headlines, his eyebrows meeting in the middle as he absorbed what he was reading. Clint trails his eyes over Bruce's cheeks, imagining that his hands were cupping them, rubbing warmth into them on this cold morning. Or maybe sapping the warmth from Bruce's cheeks because he's only wearing pajama bottoms and a wife beater while Bruce is buried under a sweater that has what looks suspiciously like Mjölnir knitted smack down the center. Clint waits until Bruce has taken his seat, the one right across him.
 
"Morning," Clint greets him quietly, as not to shock him. Bruce jumps, only a little, but he smiles back. Bruce smiles quietly, always has, but it never stops Clint's heart from beating loud enough for both of them.
 
Thus starts their mornings.
 
ii.
 
Bruce has three essentials for breakfast: tea, the morning paper and a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. For someone who eats up so much energy with his numerous research, experiments, SHIELD required meetings as well as turning into Hulk and back, Bruce eats so little.
 
"Eat," Clint insists after a couple months of observation, pushing the plate of sandwich at him. It's not peanut butter but neither is it stuffed with bacon or sausages. He knows Bruce isn't a strict vegan and he knows he can make a sweet sandwich when he tries. This one has soft boiled egg, fresh tomatoes, lettuce and a couple of slice of cheese. It's not what Clint would have for breakfast, but he imagines that Bruce would enjoy this nonetheless.
 
Except Bruce wrinkles his nose, pushes the plate back and starts saying that he couldn't, I mean, you probably deserve it more than I do, you did make it—
 
Clint silences him by leaning forward and placing his finger over Bruce's pursed lips. He blinks. It's almost comical and yet, here's Clint thinking how endearing it is.
 
"It's only a sandwich, Banner," he says. "I'm not asking you to have sex with me in return or whatever."
 
Then, see, something flashes in Bruce's eyes. A challenge or amusement but it's too fast for Clint to interpret. He flings it out the window, tells himself that that is something to tackle on another day. Today's task is breakfast so he puts his mind into it and pushes it back. Kindness, Clint has realized a long time ago, still feels new to Bruce, the way he pushes it away as though people were being kind to him out of pity or obligation. When the realization had caught up with Clint, he had wanted to take Bruce's hands, cupped into his own, and blow warm puffs of air or something equally weird. 
 
It turns into a ridiculous game of pushing the plate back and forth. Somewhere along the third or fourth shove, Clint's pretty sure Bruce's just toying with him so he kids around, pretends to wipe tears from his eyes as he asks Bruce, "Why don't you love me?"
 
"All right, all right." Bruce caves, placing the newspaper on the table beside him. Clint swoons and grins at Bruce's barely hidden snort. He thinks his charm has finally wormed its way into Bruce's heart but, really, he wants to believe that it's Clint who's wormed his way into Bruce's heart.
 
"You know," Bruce says as he munches his way into his sandwich. "You could stop eyeing me like I'm a sort of prey. I'm not going to eat and bail."
 
"I'm a hawk, 's what I do best," Clint replies. He widens his eyes and leans forward so he's looking straight into Bruce's eyes. Bruce nearly chokes on his sandwich. He coughs but he's also laughing and it goes on for some time.
 
"That's an owl," he corrects but Clint shrugs and stays locked in position. Bruce rolls his eyes but there's a hint of a smile with the wrinkles forming at the edges of his eyes and the lines along his mouth.
 
iii.
 
"You're late." Clint tsk’s and waves a finger of disapproval at Bruce, who enters yawning behind the back of his hand. He's still sleep drenched, Clint can see that and he looks tired. When he takes a seat across his customary place across Clint, he groans and props his arms on the table and plops his head in between.
 
"Jeez, Bruce, what were you up to last night?" he asks. Bruce mumbles a reply and he catches the words gamma exposure, electromagnetic detector and what could be The Godfather but he isn't so sure on that.
 
Clint sips his coffee and pushes a mug of tea against Bruce's arm. Bruce takes his time raising his head, his cheeks still dented with traces of his bed sheet and pillow.
 
"Thanks," he murmurs and drinks the tea, without regard to how hot it still was. He grimaces but keeps on going, until it's almost finished.
 
"So, uhm." Bruce wipes the top of his lips with his knuckle. He props up one arm on the table and leans his head against his hand. "Anything interesting on the paper?"
 
He has his legs up, resting on the chair just beside Clint's. Clint automatically reaches out and grabs one of his feet, massaging his sole with his knuckles as he tells him about what happened with the war on Iraq, the Obama administration and the movie reviews that caught his eye. Bruce closes his eyes all throughout his rambling but groans out his appreciation. When he opens them, they're filled with warmth and, yes, maybe even affection.
 
It's not little things, Clint decides. It's not the little things he likes or the big things because there is no difference. There's just breakfast, with a pot of tea, a cup of coffee and the day's paper that sets their pace.

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Comments {1}

Touya Shinobi

from: touyams
date: Dec. 19th, 2011 10:33 am (UTC)
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WOMAN, I AM CONVINCED YOU'RE TRYING TO RIP OUT MY HEART AND PRESENT IT TO YOU WHILE IT IS STILL BEATING WHILE YOU SIT UPON A THRONE (and King Renner is sitting beside you with his arm around your waist), AND YOU KNOW WHAT, I THINK YOUR PLAN IS WORKING.

YOUBETCHAIFEELTHESAME,YOUBEAUTIFULPERFECTHUMANBEING.<3333

ohjeesus, it's always the little things in a relationship that makes thing so special, and I love how you took something so SIMPLE and made it /their/ thing. You do the most perfect things to the beautiful boyfriends. ;O;

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