sam_storyteller: (Gen Fic)
sam_storyteller ([personal profile] sam_storyteller) wrote2013-03-01 05:40 pm
Entry tags:

Avengers: Christkindlfuckup

Title: Christkindlefuckup
Rating: PG (swears, violence)
Summary: Clint and Natasha ruin Christmas.
Notes: This was inspired by the lovely Elidust's "Undercover Mission #2", in which a theory is put forth as to why Clint and Natasha remember Budapest very differently. Posted with permission.
Warnings: None.

Also available at AO3.

***

The wooden soldier was tiny, only about four inches tall, and he came apart at the waist. Clint watched in delight as the woman tending the craft stall put a small cone of incense inside the soldier, lit it, let it smolder for a second, and then replaced the top half of him. The little pipe clenched between his white wooden teeth began to smoke.

“Tasha!” Clint called, drawing her attention. “Come see this!”

Natasha gave the soldier a skeptical look.

“What do you think?” Clint asked.

“I think you’ll be very happy together,” she replied.

“Not for me. We gotta get a stupid memento for Coulson.”

“I can hear you, you know,” Coulson said in their ear. He was standing in the enclosure on the far end of the market, holding an undrunk cup of gluhwine and slowly eating a bratwurst.

“Good, you can help us decide. Tiny incense-burning soldier?”

“I quit smoking.”

“Exactly!”

“Clint, I don’t want a reminder of the delicious and soothing habit I gave up seven years ago sitting on my desk, mocking me.”

“It’d build willpower!”

“Your face builds willpower,” Coulson replied.

“Your mom builds willpower,” Clint shot back.

“My mother is dead.”

“Sure, that’s what you want us to think.”

“Checking up on me, Clint?”

“I know you’re from Chicago,” Clint said. “And we are in Chicago.”

“Can we visit Mother Coulson?” Natasha asked.

“She does have the security clearance for that,” Coulson said thoughtfully.

“Your mother has security clearance?” Clint asked.

“Think carefully before you invite yourself over for her meatloaf.”

“Okay, fine, no smoking soldier. What about a Nativity Scene? They have one here made entirely of tiny chickens re-enacting the birth of our savior.”

“Yours, maybe,” Natasha said drily. “I may not be a Communist anymore but I’m still Godless, thanks.”

“Please do not bring me any more trinkets,” Coulson said. “I have enough weird trophies of your adventures already. My knick-nack shelf is terrifying to behold.”

“You have a knick-nack shelf?” Natasha asked, amused.

“Can we see it?” Clint demanded.

“Is it in your apartment?” Natasha added.

“Can we visit your apartment?” Clint continued.

“Just kidding,” Coulson said flatly. “I don’t have an apartment. I have a recharging station in Director Fury’s office.”

“Then what do you do with the presents we bring you?” Clint asked.

“We?” Natasha put in, giving him a look.

“I give them to bomb disposal,” Coulson said calmly, and pretended to sip his gluhwine. “Eyes on the prize, please, children.”

Around them, holiday shoppers meandered their way down the aisles of the makeshift market, peering into temporary wooden stalls erected on the plaza. The beer-garden where Coulson was keeping lookout was jammed, and the market was slowly filling as the sun set and people left work. On one side, a giant Christmas tree strung with garish colored lights loomed threateningly; on the other, the benevolent face of a three-story Picasso sculpture watched the mayhem serenely.

“You know, usually missions like this happen on foreign soil,” Clint said, as Natasha took his elbow and dragged him gently along, past stalls selling hats and mittens, Christmas ornaments, handcrafts, and God knew what else. “Doesn’t SHIELD have a Chicago office?”

“Don’t be xenophobic, Clint, terrorists happen everywhere,” Natasha replied. “Big open markets like this are a perfect place to do deals. The police are busy wrangling the drunks and it’s too crowded to make a scene.”

“We have solid intel that the guns are being handed over tonight,” Coulson added. “The arms dealers are run of the mill, they’re salesmen; I don’t see them giving you two any trouble. The terrorists are homegrown militia. Sociopaths and virulent racists who will not hesitate to take down everyone in their path. Let's go through the plan again.”

He’d drilled them on it extensively on the flight out. Clint rolled his eyes.

“Catch the handover in progress, give the cue, and get some trackers on either the guns or the terrorists,” he recited.

“Very good. Do not under any circumstances allow them to disturb the...merriment,” Coulson said, with a slight hint of cynical annoyance.

“Look,” Natasha said, pulling away from Clint to tug a hat off the rack hanging on a vendor-stall’s post. “It’s a hat that makes you look like a polar bear.”

She pulled the hat on, playing with the round ears that stuck up from the seams.

“I see now why you have a reputation as an ingenue,” Clint told her gravely.

He waited for a witty comeback, but Natasha was looking past him. When he turned, he saw what she saw: a crowd of casually-dressed men carrying crates maked “MERRY XMAS”. A crowd of equally casually-dressed men carrying backpacks were approaching from the other direction.

“We have eyes,” Natasha said.

“Sitwell,” Coulson barked.

“On their transport,” Sitwell said crisply in their ear. “Also, you three are nauseating.”

“You two go for the dealers. I’m going to do some crowd control,” Coulson said, and they heard him grunt as he cleared the low fence of the beer garden.

Natasha and Clint calmly but with speed approached the end of the row of stalls, Clint pointing up at the Picasso as if they were just tourists wanting a photograph. It was nearly full dark now, and the shadows behind the cake booth near the sculpture were the perfect place to make a quiet exchange.

“Something’s gone wrong,” Clint said.

“You see that?” Natasha asked, as one of the men checked a cellphone. The man’s face distorted in anger, and he looked up at the arms dealer, holding up the phone.

“Gun,” Clint whispered, drawing his own. “Gun gun gun — “

Gunshots rang out over the noise of the market, and Clint dove forward, Natasha at his side. Sitwell was calling status updates in their ear and they could hear Coulson yelling for the civilians to clear the area, hopefully herding them south, away from the fight.

The cake shop was the first casualty when one of the terrorists lobbed a grenade. Clint took him out with a bullet through the eye.

“Shame, I wanted a pancetta cake,” he remarked, as Natasha went through the arms dealers like a whirlwind, bodies flying left and right.

“I think you mean a panettone,” she grunted.

“Why, what’s a pancetta?”

“It's like bacon,” she replied.

“Oh, well, I’ll take that too,” Clint replied, taking down two more men with a single shot.

“Try not to hit the one-of-a-kind monument by a famous dead surrealist,” Sitwell requested.

“Picasso would get a kick out of a few bullet holes,” Natasha remarked. Nearby, an abandoned food stall burst into flame as a vat of oil boiled over. “Clint!”

“Little busy here!” Clint yelled, right before a terrorist threw him through a booth full of nativity scenes. “OW FUCKING POINTY JESUS — “

“Security is in the way,” Coulson yelled.

“Right!” Clint picked himself up, pulling stray angels out of his hair, and charged through a hip-deep pile of Christmas tree ornaments, chasing after the terrorists. As he ran past security he yelled “SHIELD LAW ENFORCEMENT COMING THROUGH,” and heard a faint “What the fuck is SHIELD?” from the cops. He slammed into the biggest, angriest looking terrorist, tumbled them both to the ground, and came up straddling his throat, gun aimed straight down at his face.

“Gimme a reason,” he said, and only then realized a tiny Santa Claus was stuck to his gun. “Santa wants a reason too. He says you’ve been naughty.”

Things subsided after that. Sitwell reported in that they’d caught most of the runners and secured their vehicles. The secondary team swept up the firearms, and most of the arms dealers along with them. When Coulson reached them, Natasha was handcuffing three men together and Clint was still sitting on the terrorist’s throat. He looked up and gave Coulson a sunny smile.

In the background, a second food stall collapsed in flames.

“Well,” Coulson said, hands on hips. “I hope you’re happy. Christmas is ruined.”

***

“So, here’s my question,” Clint said, after they’d been through medical triage and beaten it back to their hotel room for the night. Coulson had liberated a jug of gluhwine from somewhere, and Natasha had rescued a large box of cookies from the burning wreckage, so none of them at that point were feeling much pain. “Why don’t we have a Christkindlmarkt in New York?”

“I’m sure we do,” Coulson said. “Not my fault you’ve never gone looking.”

“Booze and cookies and Jesus action figures? I didn’t know you could get all that in one place,” Clint replied.

“Come to Russia in January,” Natasha said. She was still wearing the polar bear hat. One of the ears was a little singed, but overall it was a good look for her. “I’m sorry we didn’t bring you any trinkets,” she added to Coulson.

“Hey, what, wait,” Clint replied, rummaging in his coat. “Who says?”

Natasha put her hand over her face.

“Here you go,” Clint cried triumphantly, pulling out an oblong object wrapped in tissue paper. They both stared at him. “What? Natasha stole cookies.”

“Rescued!”

“Anyway I bought this. The lady at the craft stall gave me forty percent off for keeping her from getting shot.”

“True charity,” Coulson answered. Clint passed it to him.

“Merry Christmas, sir,” he said sincerely.

Coulson looked down at the object cradled in paper. “What the -- “

It was about eight inches long, carved from wood and painted in a rough likeness of Captain America, uniform and all. He was holding his shield in front of him with one arm.

“It’s a nutcracker!” Clint crowed. Coulson blinked at him. “See, it’s clever, you put a nut between him and his shield and pull the lever on the back...”

He bumped the lever with his fingers, and Captain America pulled the shield close with a wooden clack.

“You got me a Captain America figurine that cracks nuts on his abs,” Coulson said.

Clint offered him a handful of walnuts from his pocket. "Merry Christmas, sir."

[personal profile] chloes_mom 2013-03-02 01:00 am (UTC)(link)
Please tell me that the nut cracker exists!! If it does I foresee a road trip coming up soon. Loved the story!

Lori
starpaint: sleepy, sleepy kitty (Default)

[personal profile] starpaint 2013-03-02 01:27 am (UTC)(link)
I'm betting Coulson regrets not getting the alcoholic gluwein when he had the chance.
cerulean_sky: ([av] man out of time)

[personal profile] cerulean_sky 2013-03-02 02:34 am (UTC)(link)
Absolute love for this and the Captain America nutcracker.

But also: there is the Union Square Holiday Market in NYC, which is open from the day after Thanksgiving to the day before Christmas and has all kinds of handmade thingys (there were muppets one year) and food and gifts. I think it's just the sort of thing Clint is looking for. :)

There's also one at Columbus Circle and one at Bryant Park, the latter of which also has ice skating during the holiday season!
Edited 2013-03-02 02:35 (UTC)
glymr: (Default)

[personal profile] glymr 2013-03-02 02:57 am (UTC)(link)
“You got me a Captain America figurine that cracks nuts on his abs,” Coulson said.

*laughs* That is the most perfect, amazing idea. I mean, just the IDEA is brilliant enough, and then giving it to Coulson...*snorts*

This made me laugh out loud tonight. Thank you for a touch of xmas in March. ^_^
greyeyes: (cap & ironman by pentapus)

[personal profile] greyeyes 2013-03-02 05:48 am (UTC)(link)
I WANT THAT NUTCRACKER! And to go to this market, I love random crafts shopping!

Clint bringing Coulson trophies from his missions is adorable! Natasha in a polar bear hat needs to be fanart!

Great fic!
greyeyes: (Default)

[personal profile] greyeyes 2013-03-03 05:50 am (UTC)(link)
I'll add it to my Chicago to-do list :)
perfectworry: meet me in the door with the desert in the morning I am there (up in our bedroom after the war)

[personal profile] perfectworry 2013-03-02 12:19 pm (UTC)(link)
Christmas fic is my favorite kind of fic. I've saved it to read again come Christmastime.
watervole: (Default)

[personal profile] watervole 2013-03-02 12:38 pm (UTC)(link)
My favourite line is
“Just kidding,” Coulson said flatly. “I don’t have an apartment. I have a recharging station in Director Fury’s office.”

[personal profile] beege 2013-03-04 02:20 am (UTC)(link)
I bet Coulson secretly loves the nutcracker.
ysabet: (TWELVE)

[personal profile] ysabet 2013-03-13 02:29 am (UTC)(link)
Oh man, this took me RIGHT back to when I lived in Germany for three years. Gluhwine is evil-- it sneaks up on you and ambushes you just when you think you've been drinking harmless fruit-juice with spices, and the next thing you know you're arm-in-arm with a bunch of drunk Germans and singing some sort of song that you don't know but are managing somehow anyway. True story. Great fic, and I dearly wish the nutcracker WAS available!