A few hours ago, (Name) had been stuck in the middle of Stark’s party. You know, the one he’d promised to throw her barely an hour after she got back home? That’s the one.
It was totally amazing for her, to be honest. She loved every minute of the loud music, forcing Bruce to dance with her and “loosen up a little”, then getting Clint, Tony and even Pepper in on the dancing. The only one who hadn’t been there was Fury, Steve and Natasha. Which was okay, seeing as they were a little caught up in their lives at the moment.
Which secretly made her wonder why Clint hadn’t gone with Natasha and Steve, but she could hardly care more or less. Having a sexy archer with a really nice butt wasn’t anything she was about to miss out on.
However, the festivities had very quickly come to an end for her when she received the call from Steve. It had been a sudden one, and a very, very traumatic one at that.
”(Name), I need you to listen to me. SHIELD’s been compromised and HYDRA’s taken control. Me and Nat are the only ones that know and we’re trying not to get caught. We can’t come back to the Tower and we won’t be able to contact you after this. But I need you to know that...Fury, he...your dad, he um…
“...He didn’t make it, (Name). He was shot in my apartment. They took him to the ER and operated, but he didn’t make it ou--”
The message cut off by then. She’d been partying so hard she hadn’t seen the voicemail until she went to the bathroom. And now, it was quite possibly the most soul crushing thing she’d ever had to listen to. She didn’t even get a text or call from him beforehand.
As of now, she sat there, curled up on the couch and sobbing her eyes out in her brand new dress (lent from Pepper), Clint’s arms wrapped around her, Tony on the other side while Pepper had gone to dispatch the party. Because all that noise and stress was the last thing (Name) needed. After what she’d just listened to, especially.
“I’m sorry, (Name).” Clint murmured, giving her a light squeeze. She just shook her head, sobbing harder as she clutched onto his shirt. Tony was busy texting something on his phone, trying to figure out what exactly had happened. And Bruce had disappeared as well, trying to help Pepper with the party.
“I-It doesn’t matter…!” She choked out, burying her face in his chest. “H-He’s gone! I barely saw him for a week and now he’s gone again..!! It’s like I was never even here in the first place!” (Name) cried, the tears falling faster and harder with every word. Tony looked over at her with the most empathetic expression he could muster.
“I know it’s hard, (Name). It’s hard on all of us. And we don’t really know what it is you’re feeling, but I’m pretty sure we’ve all lost someone like this before.” Tony offered, trying to help.
“Tony, I-I’ve lost dozens of comrades to the enemy b-before. Gunned down by the badguys, those crazy terrorists killing my friends and family on the front lines, a-and half the time all I could do was shoot and pray that none of them were dead! A-And then coming back from the battle and finding half the people I c-cared about gone?! Have you really felt that before??” She said to him hopelessly, and his mouth closed. He hadn’t felt something like that. And she was well aware.
“Well, you do know that I’ve been there, (Name). Maybe not on the front lines of Iraq, but...I do know how you feel. And I’m sorry. If it helps at all, I’m sorry.” He repeated, but the tears just kept flowing, her hand reaching for Tony’s which he took in an instant, giving it a gentle squeeze.
“H-He was my dad, guys..!!”
“We know, (Name).”
“I-I-I didn’t even get to-- I didn’t get to tell him ‘I love you’ o-or ‘Y-You’re my favorite’, o-or anything that daughters actually say to their dads…!” She continued, the amount of regret in her tone almost overpowering. Clint just sighed, shaking his head. A chaste kiss was pressed into her hair, and she only hiccuped, trying to calm down.
She was a soldier in Iraq, for goodness’ sake. She should’ve been able to handle death just fine. But this was her dad we’re talking about. Of course she was struggling. She had just hoped it wouldn’t have been this bad.
“It sucks, (Name). It really does.” Tony finally said, breaking the brief silence. She sniffed, wiping at her tears and nose in an attempt to regain control over herself.
“I-I just don’t know what I’m supposed to do now. I-I was going to stay with Dad u-until I got a new job and an apartment or something, b-but now...ugh, I don’t know what to do!” She sobbed, her voice cracking and wavering again. Clint eyed her sadly, about to speak before his phone began to vibrate. He glanced over at Tony, and he nodded, as if understanding the silent conversation. (Name) barely noticed when she was passed from Clint’s arms to Tony’s. As long as she had that shoulder to cry on, it didn’t matter.
“Sorry guys. I’ve got to take this. It’s from Sitwell.”
“That really bald and annoying guy that works under Fury?”
“Y-You mean worked…!”
“Well, yeah, but… ugh. Nevermind. Take the call, arrow man.” Tony dismissed him, and (Name) just smiled, a small one, but a smile none the less. Tony’s constant ability to make light out of any situation was definitely helpful.
“I’ll be right back.”
“Mm.” And with that, Clint was out of the room. And it was just Tony left on his own to comfort her.
“I don’t know what I’m supposed to do, Tony. I-I don’t have anywhere t-to go anymore.. I-I don’t want to end up like those homeless guys living on the streets…!” She cried, making Tony chuckled. He pulled away from her, cupping her cheeks in his hands and wiping her tears away with calloused thumbs.
“Hey, hey. There’s no way I’m about to let you fend for yourself after what’s happened.” Tony stated, looking at her with those big eyes she loved so much. “You’re more than welcome to stay here at the Tower until we get everything figured out. ...Sound good?”
“I-I don’t want to bother you, though-”
“(Name), your dad and one of my close friend-ish people-y guys just passed away. There is no way in Hell that I’m about to let you deal with that on your own. Okay?”
“Good. Now go get cleaned up. You look like you could use a movie night and some ice cream.” He said to her, and helped her stand back up. Shakily she nodded, sniffling and wiping the tears off her face (along with her makeup), and shuffled down the hall, making her way to the bathroom. Knowing Tony, he was going to lend her some sweats and a t shirt, so she didn’t even bother asking.
Tony watched as she left, shifting his attention only when Clint came back in the room. An eyebrow rose when he noticed the serious look on the archer’s face.
“Big news.” He said quietly, looking around for (Name).
“Bigger than Fury dying?”
“Yeah. He’s alive.”
“...I’m sorry, what?”
“That wasn’t Sitwell on the line. It was Hill. She wants me over in DC, under extreme stealth conditions. I don’t know how or why, but he’s definitely alive.” Clint muttered, and Tony just shook his head, rubbing at his eyes tiredly.
“So we just spent the last hour with a depressed (Name) for no reason?”
“I swear, the second I see that man, I’m gonna kill him.”
“I don’t think you should come. It’s not that easy for you to get around on the down low. Not only that, but it’s not the best idea to let on that you know about Fury being alive.” Clint continued, and Tony nodded in understanding, obviously still upset that he couldn’t come.
“If you’re sure that’s a good idea. She’s going to want to visit the grave, you know. Go down to DC anyways.” Tony pointed out, and Clint nodded.
“I know. I’ll figure out some way to keep her distracted, at least until we get to Fury. Wherever he is.” He replied, and Tony agreed, taking a heavy seat on the couch.
“Can this day get anymore exhausting?”
“Actually, yeah. Pepper’s calling you to come help her with cleaning up. Someone threw a watermelon into the bar and broke half the bottles.”
“...Great. I’ll get it later. JARVIS, tell Pepper I’m a little preoccupied with (Name). Probably until tomorrow in the morning.”
“Yes, sir.” JARVIS responded, and with that Clint sighed, turning to leave and get his stuff packed up. He had until tomorrow at four in the morning. So it was leave then, or (Name) never know her dad’s still alive.
Needless to say, after two movies and a massive bowl of popcorn, Tony had carried her to bed when she fell asleep, knowing she’d need as much rest as she could get for the following morning.
Which was true, because Clint snuck into her room at four, shaking her awake with a rough hand and making her groan, annoyed that she was being forced awake.
“...Ugh...C-Clint? What are you doing in here?” She asked groggily, her voice still hoarse from the tears. He wasn’t smiling, but a large frown was on his face. He looked dead serious.
“We’re leaving. You and me are going to DC, and we gotta go now.”
“Do I need to remind you what happened to d-dad last night…?”
“I want to take you to see him.”
“Clint, i-it’s..it’s too soon for that.”
“It’s either now or never. We’re not going to get another chance, ever.” Clint deadpanned, and she moaned, sitting up lazily and eying him with a tired glare.
“What are you talking about? I’m just a soldier, no one knows about my affiliation with him except you guys and Pearce, and a couple others. I can go to DC whenever I want.”
“(Name), Pearce is the leader.”
“Yeah. We’re going, deep shadow conditions, right now. We don’t, and you’re not going to get another chance, not for a long time.” He explained, and her breath hitched. She would have been surprised more so, if she hadn’t just experienced Hell the night before.
The one person she loved more than anyone else, the one person who took care of her and raised her like his own.. was gone.
“...So… there’s no other way for me to see him, o-one more time?” She asked, and he nodded grimly. She inhaled slowly, wiping at her dry, red eyes before nodding right back.
“Okay. L-Let’s do this.” She replied, and he gave her a small smile, pushing hair out of her face and pressing a kiss to her forehead.
“Alright. We’ve got 10 minutes.”
“...Are you kidding me?”
“Nope. Let’s go.”
Washington, DC, wasn’t as big a deal as she thought it would be. Almost everything on the outside looked like it was normal.
It might’ve just been the fact that Clint was taking her to the nasty, more low down part of the District of Columbia, but it definitely didn’t look like HYDRA anarchy that Clint had played up while they were on the way there.
Which would’ve been fine, maybe, if the grave where Nick was supposed to be was on the other side of the entire place.
“Clint? What are we doing here?” She asked him, but he stayed silent, having parked the car under a bridge, the entire place looking extremely vacant. Abandoned, even.
“Visiting Fury. What do you think?” He responded bluntly, making her grunt. He stepped out of the car quickly, searching around the area as if looking for an intruder, or an enemy. Or a HYDRA Agent.
“Barton, Dad’s grave is on the other side of the entire capital. If we were going to run some errand first, you can just tell me. ...Unless it’s illegal. In which case, I’ll just stay in the car.”
“It’s not illegal, and it’s not an errand. Just get out here, and come with me, already.” Clint ordered, taking her hand and pulling her out the car.
Their hands stayed together as they walked, delving into some deep, underground and pretty serious looking place. She stared at it curiously, wondering how Fury could possibly be here when he was pretty obviously buried somewhere else.
’No, no. I am not getting my hopes up. There’s no way, especially not after...I mean, it only happened barely a day ago. How in the world would it be possible?’ She battled with herself, struggling against the idea that he just wasn’t dead.
He might have been Nick Fury, but he couldn’t come back to life. He wasn’t that impossible. Though at a time like this, she secretly hoped he was.
“Agent Barton? What are you doing down here?” A man in a suit and glasses asked, looking a little larger, balding and pretty stressed.
“Hill called me here. She wanted me to rendezvous with her, Rogers and Romanoff, but I figured I’d let her see him first.” He explained, gesturing to (Name). The man looked her up and down, suspicious of who she was. She could be a spy, for all he knew. But then, his eyes widened with realization.
“Oh, you’re Fury’s adopted kid, right??”
“Y-Yes, I was, but how did you-”
“You’re just the person he was looking for! You know the first thing he asked about when he came to was, ‘Where’s (Name)?’” The man said, leading them down the hall with a disbelieving expression on his face.
“W-What do you mean, ‘came to’?” She asked, her voice shaking like her breathing was. The man turned around and stared at her.
“You mean he didn’t tell you? Barton, you didn’t tell her?” She swiveled to face him, and he shrugged, a small smile on his face as he looked over at her shining eyes.
“I wanted it to be a surprise.”
“Y-You mean...he’s...Dad is-” She cut off when they stopped walking. Down the corridor, there was a room. A hospital room. And in the room, there was a figure lying on the bed.
A very familiar figure.
“O-Oh, my God..” She gasped, breaking into a run, sprinting as fast as she could to get to them. To him. Her heart pounded faster and faster and tears flew from her eyes, a sob escaping her as she grasped onto the door frame and stared with wide eyes into the room.
Slowly, dark, brown eyes slid open to lock with hers. Tired, injured, but still smiling at the sight of her.
“...I was wondering when you’d get here…”
“Oh-- Oh my--- D-Dad!!” She screamed, racing to his side and pulling him into a crushing embrace. She sobbed into his shoulder, never minding the fact that just about ever part of him was busted and broken. She heard him give a pained chuckle, returning the hug weakly and with a huge amount of strain.
“Dad, they told me you were…! T-The phone call- Steve, he said you were shot!! I thought I was never going to see you again!!” She cried, not caring about the small audience brewing in the doorway.
“He wasn’t lying about getting shot. He would’ve told you I was still here if he could, but considering his phone got blown up at the Fort, he couldn’t say anything.” Fury informed her, his voice hoarse and tired sounding. She laughed and cried, straightening up for only a minute to pull him away, looking at him with intensity.
“Dad, don’t you ever fake your death again! At least, n-not without telling me! I-I mean, seriously, you can’t just drop a bombshell like that right after I got back from war. P-Please, don’t do that again..” She trailed off, hiding her face in his shoulder again.
Fury hummed, something rare for even him, and his hands found their way around his little girl again.
“No promises, but I’ll do my best. You can have my word on that.” He muttered, making her smile.
To anyone else, it would’ve sounded like a no, or a maybe. But to her, she knew it meant a resounding yes. And for once, that meant she was finally back, somewhere safe and warm, in her father’s arms with her friends all around her (save for Steve and Nat, but never mind the small details). Because now?
She was finally back home.