• Amelia Sides

Burned – Ch. 4

Ch. 4

 Clint came back to himself coughing with a loud voice in his ear telling him to cough hard as they pulled the ventilator tube out of his throat. He kept coughing, sputtering on the sip of water someone tried to give him. Finally someone shoved a pillow into his chest and told him to cough it all out and he did, which was disgusting. 

His arm throbbed with his heart beat as he gasped for air trying not to twitch as too many hands cleaned him up. Finally everyone backed off allowing him to see that most of the team was there with him in the room along with several nurses and Dr. Harris, one of the few Shield doctors that he liked.

“Hey, Doc.” Clint rasped once he had his breath back, earning soft chuckles from Bruce and Steve while Natasha gave him a small smile before slipping out the door. He knew she would come back later that night so he let her go without comment.

“About time you woke up, Agent Barton. I would like to see you survive our treatment long enough to be discharged.”

“Doing my best, Ma’am.” He said, turning away to cough into his good arm.

“You know the drill, Barton. Do your breathing exercises and keep your lungs clear for the next 24 hours and I will let you go provided you have in house care for your burns. Mr. Stark here is promising you around the clock care should you need it. I expect you to be up and walking by the morning, we clear?”

“Yes, Ma’am.” Clint said with a grin as Bruce and Steve looked on in horror.

“Surely that’s a bit too soon, Doctor.” Bruce protested, “He did just get extubated less than an hour ago.”

“Dr. Banner, I don’t mock your degree. Don’t mock mine.” The older woman snapped, face hard. “I have worked with Shield for over twenty years and the only way to keep Agents in those beds is to drug them. He would still be flat on his back if I thought for a moment he couldn’t still kill everyone present in under a minute.” She sent Clint an exasperated if slightly fond look.

“Most of the agents here have training in suppressing and working through pain. For most agents I take the best case scenario and subtract two days. Barton here is known for escaping the second his feet hit the tile unless he is under constant supervision or drugged to the gills. I give him 24 hours now that we are weaning the drugs off for him to start getting antsy, this way at least I can discharge him out of the hospital in a wheelchair instead of pulling him out of the vents by his sweats. Now if you’ll excuse me gentlemen, I have other patients to corral.”

“She’s great, right?” Clint asked grinning between coughs, making Bruce give up and laugh softly. A nurse came in and started unhooking the unnecessary monitors and equipment before helping him out of the catheter which left Steve bright red and Clint fighting to breath from laughing and coughing.

“Well, Tony is at the tower making sure you have a nurse round the clock if you need it and probably designing an entire medical floor just in case. You need anything?”

“Jello?”

“Sure, any preferences?”

“Green.” He said, grinning at the ironic smirk the scientist sent him as he left. Clint turned back to Steve the grin falling from his face. “So, have you guys found who’s trying to kill me yet?” making Steve grimace.

“We don’t know for sure that they are. The pen was picked up accidentally by Tony in R&D, apparently it’s a prototype weapon that was shelved some years ago when they found out the acid was unstable. Only one was missing from storage and no one had been to open that locker at all since it was placed there.”

“And the allergic reaction?”

“Could have been just a mixed up medication by one of the nurses or staff.”

“But…” Clint prompted settling back against the pillows and coughing into a rag one of the nurses had left.

“We went back through the sharps bins and trash. All the syringes, drug vials, and bags checked out. So did the electronic records and barcode scans of all the medications. Shield is testing all the syringes and such but right now have not found anything. Natasha is convinced it’s deliberately targeted at you.”

“Could have been originally meant for Tony and they just keep going once I got hurt.” Clint pointed out making the Captain sigh as he moved to sit down in the chair next to the bed. Clint frowned as that reminded him of his dream earlier with Coulson.

“We have everyone moving around in pairs while they’re out in public until we find something and all missions barring Avengers level ops are canceled for the time being.”

“Well…could be worse.” Clint said with a sigh, trying to shift into a better position. “At least I’m left handed.”

“True.” Steve said finally giving in with a laugh. “You sure you’ll be ready to be up and about tomorrow?”

“Ready? Hell, yes.” Clint said, swinging his legs off the bed and grunting as he lifted his arm into the sling across his chest for the first time. “Able is debatable. I’ll probably get back to the tower and sleep for 48 hours or something.” He said with a laugh, pushing himself upright and standing on weak limbs for a moment before he tugged his IV into the bathroom with him and shut the door on Steve’s shocked face.

“You sure you don’t have any enhancements?” Steve asked with a wince when he came out. “I’m pretty sure I’d still be laid out right about now.”

“Yeah, but you could move if you had to right?” Clint asked, slightly out of breath as he made his way back to the bed, swinging his legs up with a small groan and eying the pile of pillows his arm had been resting on before leaving it in the sling for now.

“Yeah, I could force it if I had to.”

“Same thing. I’m going to get some sleep. Wake me up when the jello gets back.”

“Sure.” Steve said with a shake of his head, pulling the blankets back over the already sleeping agent.

***

Clint ate jello and graham crackers and slept the rest of the day, waking sometime early the next morning to find Natasha watching over him. Thankfully, they had taken out his IVs the night before so he was all set to leave.

“Got you a few things.” She said nodding to a bag to one side. “Fury wants you taken out a back door while two other agents pretend to be you, one out the front and one by quinjet.”

“Shell game a la archer; Great.” He muttered scrubbing a hand through his hair and pulling himself to sit on the edge of the bed.

“How much help do you want?” She asked as he unsnapped the hospital gown at the shoulders instead of fighting his way out of it.

“What kind of shirt did you bring?”

“I didn’t. I thought you could do a tank top with a large hoodie over it.”

She pulled out the clothes as she talked, leaving everything on the bed as she helped thread his swollen arm though the black tank top. It was quick work to ease him back into the sling and pull the hoodie on top of that. He let her help pull up his pants and tie his combat boots before she declared him ready for the outing.

Clint slumped in the wheelchair, hood pulled up and shadowing his face. He wanted to ask how the hell Natasha got Coulson’s old hoodie for him to wear but couldn’t make himself. The damn thing even still smelled of his aftershave. They had gotten it for Phil after he was laid up in medical, the Captain America shield on the back and stylized winged blue helmet on the front. Phil had worn it whenever they had down time or one of them was laid up at home with an injury.

“Please tell me you talked Stark out of a welcome back party.”

“Bruce did. He was concerned since you were released so soon from the hospital.”

“Never stay where you’re vulnerable.” Clint muttered as the car pulled into the tower garage.

“Never make yourself a target when you’re injured.” She said.

“I think we’ve broken that one too many times for it to count.” He said, hauling himself out of the car and waiting for her to join him next to the elevator. “Bags?”

“Steve already brought everything back last night.”

“Efficient of him.”

“He needed to be doing something.”

“Don’t we all.” Clint said, suppressing a sigh. “Hey, Jarvis.”

“Good Morning, Agent Barton, Agent Romanov. Sir has asked me to remind you that if you need anything at all simply to ask and I will do my best to accommodate your needs.”

“Thanks, Jarvis, but right now all I need to do is sleep.” Clint yawned, stepping off the elevator and onto the common level. Thankfully it was a short walk and shorter elevator ride to his floor.

“Tony and Bruce in the labs still?”

“Sir is currently working in his lab; Dr. Banner is assisting in the shell game along with Captain Rogers.”

“That’s fine. You guys can wake me up for lunch or something.” Clint muttered fighting off his boots and easing himself into bed fully dressed.

“Want help taking off the hoodie?”

“Nope, gonna wear it a while.” Clint said his voice already thick and slurring with sleep as he snuggled down into the Coulson scented warmth.

#fanficiton #writing

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