Clintucky. Clint misheard Tony and thinks he’s being kicked off the team. Clint leaves and slips off everyone’s radar, even Natasha’s. Bucky won’t let that stand and goes to hunt him down.
It was as if Earth had swallowed him. Clint dropped off of the radar, of everyone’s, even Natasha’s. Three and a half months, lots and lots of searching, calling in favors, threatening people, hurting other people and two blown up buildings later Bucky had a trace. And he followed it like a bloodhound. It took him another two months till he was even close to find him.
“Are you sure,” he growled at the man in front of him. The trace led him to the Yukon Territory in Canada, the area around the Mount Logan. And he was just interviewing a shifty gamekeeper from one of the camping grounds.
“Yes, sir!!” The man nodded frantically. “Blond and a bow you said. It has to be him.”
“Okay,” Bucky hissed. “But if you lied to me I will come back.”
“I didn’t lie!” the guy squeaked. “Really!”
“And how do I get there?”
“You can borrow one of my horses. I’ll give you a map, sir,” the man said and Bucky let go of his throat. He nodded and the man hurried away to get him everything he would need.
He rode two days and slept in a hammock, he ate beef jerky and drank water out of a canteen and cursed a lot until he could spot the log cabin. It was hidden, but Bucky was a professional, it was his job to find people who didn’t want to be found. He pressed his heels in the horse’s flanks and it started to move again. He didn’t try to hide. He knew Clint would see him nevertheless. And so he just rode to the cabin.
The door was open and a dog lay beside the door and looked at him but didn’t move. Bucky stopped the horse and dismounted. He wanted to go to the door when he saw something out of the corner of his eye and turned around. A man leaned against a tree. The hair shoulder lengths and a thick beard in his face. He chewed on a grass stalk and had his arms folded over his chest. Bucky could see the bow and the quiver on his back and a knife and a gun on his belt.
“Hey,” he just said and Bucky’s jaw fell. He had searched for months for him! Months! And the only thing this fucker said was hey?
“You! You…” he went over to him with the full intention to punch him but then, when he stood in front of him, he just grabbed him and kissed him so hard it had to hurt. “You asshole!!” He finally finished his sentence.
Clint made a step back, looked at his feet and rubbed the back of his neck.
“Is that everything you have to say? Hey?”
“How’d you find me?”
Bucky took a deep breath and Clint gestured at the house. Together they went in and Clint took two mugs and filled them with coffee he had in a thermos jug. He gave one to Bucky and then sat down and gestured at the second chair. The dog came in, too, and lay down on the tattered armchair.
“It wasn’t easy,” Bucky eventually said. “It took me time and…” he stopped and looked at him. “Why did you run?”
Clint sighed. “I wanted to make it easier for them. So they didn’t have to throw me out.”
“No one wanted to throw you out,” Bucky said bitterly.
“I heard it, okay?” Clint snapped.
“What you heard was Bruce and Tony talking about the Hulk! It gets more and more difficult for Bruce to control him and often enough Hulk went on a rampage. They never talked about you,” Bucky said.
“What?” Clint blurted.
“No one ever wanted to throw you out, asshat! I searched for you for almost six months and you sit here around and play lumberjack,” Bucky snapped. “And just because you thought you heard something?”
“You could’ve talked to us first but no, you had to run and…”
“Almost six months! Six months where I thought you’re dead or worse and….”
“Why didn’t you just talk to me, huh? I would’ve…”
Clint sighed, put his mug on the table and then both his hands on Bucky’s cheeks and kissed him and finally Bucky shut up.
“I love you.”
“I love you, too.”