Ok, well I've been wrestling with this fic for fucking EVER. Basically, since I posted "Environmental Control" the last week of my first practicum block. And since I can't grab any of my family members and sit them down and explain everything, I'm going to vent here because THIS IS WHAT DW IS FOR.

What Happened in "Environmental Control":

Phil's OCD, but he's awesome at his job and now he has a full set of vintage Captain America trading cards!!

Clint's a badass bike messenger.

By the end of the fic, they have agreed to try dating, even though Phil has his own set of rules, and Clint may have some consent/comfort issues that he hasn't actually mentioned.

I'm really pleased with the way that the fic turned out, and writing it was great fun. I LOVE writing a fic where I know that at least a few people are going to read it, it's in a fandom I love, and it doesn't kill me to finish it. That hasn't happened in a long time. Also, I feel that I could put my own spin on both the AU fandom *and* the characters, while still staying true to the canon material. All in all, pretty fun and satisfying!

NOW. Here's my problem. I want to deal with the problems of Phil and Clint dating. But I also have all these other characters who insisted on being put into the story, and consequently they are running away with it and driving me nuts. So.

Where I'm heading in "Self Preservation":

Loki and Thor are Clint's roommates-and-employees for the courier business. Loki is the communications and dispatch guy (and antagonist), Thor is busy being not home because of the girl(s) he's dating and continually breaking up/falling in love with. Pretty much Clint makes enough to make ends meet but not much else, and he's ok with that.

The bike courier cafe (The Missing Link) is run by Bucky and Steve (married!!), who both used to be couriers that Clint worked with when he first came to NY. Steve couriered part-time to put himself through art school, and were seriously dating when Bucky had a bad accident and had to quit. They ended up running the cafe and it's Clint's second home because there's actually food there (Loki's the worst roommate).

Originally I was holding back on the Clint-Nat-Phil connection, because while Phil knows that Clint knows Nat, he doesn't know that Nat used to be a courier as well. She basically adopted Clint out of washing dishes in a greasy spoon that the couriers used to hang out at before the Link established itself. She got magically hired into Stark industries, so Phil doesn't really know where she came from (other than she's mysterious and badass).

This story is supposed to have a Halloween-themed Alleycat Scramble, i.e. a bike courier obstacle course, and this is what Nat still participates in with Clint because they're a wicked awesome team who always win!!

BUT Phil has invited Clint on a "date" to go to a collector's auction and that of course would be ADORABLE but I can't get from one point to another because the EVERYONE keeps getting in the way. Somewhere in there I wanted Phil to encounter Nat in her Widow persona (bike messenger) and either have issues with it, or not, surprisingly!


Then, there's extra stuff I'm pondering to add, which has more to do with Phil and Clint's relationship, but naturally I don't have a place to put it because they are being invaded by character development adorableness from everyone else.

Clint and Phil's Continuing Issues:

Phil's underlying OCD/anxiety (which YES, he is seeing a therapist about, don't worry!!), and how both he and Clint deal with it. I'm figuring that Phil's behaviours were set very early by his mother when he was a child, because he was sick a lot and she was his primary caregiver during that time. I am also theorizing that he had a congenital heart defect that was surgically repaired in his youth, but that he may be requiring another, more minor, surgery in the near future (which I would shamelessly use not only for scar!kink but also hurt/comfort/recovery!fic purposes).

Clint's issues revolve around trust/honesty, which is a big deal. He can trust Nat for LIFE, but he's pretty much had shitty luck when it comes to anything else, which is why he runs his own company and works on his own terms. Learning to trust Phil, learning to physically be around someone, both of them have issues with unwarned touching. Clint's comes from his time in school/Spec Ed when teachers insisted on grabbing him and touching him to get his attention because of his deafness.

I like the telephone aversion that both Phil and Clint have. Phil likes things to be wireless, touch-free and holographic, or plain glass that can be sterilized. He doesn't like holding things against his ear, he prefers speakerphone to an earpiece. He likes the fact that a touchscreen works through vinyl gloves. Clint likes smartphones because it means he doesn't have to try to make technology work with his hearing aids (which he sort of hates mostly because they are inconvenient), and because he can say exactly what he means and know he's being understood. He likes Sign because it means he can have a conversation in a crowded, noisy place and not worry about being heard/hearing the other person. (Also good for flirting through glass lab walls!)


My continuing issues?? Trying to put all of this into stories without it being ridiculous! I think I'm probably going to deal with them by chunking the stuff I want to deal with into shorter stories, and just write the sections I want to and figure out where all the character development stuff goes along the timeline as I deal with it. It's how I've been building onto this universe anyway, it's just really hard to use all this background information without getting overwhelmed.
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From: (Anonymous)


Environmental Control was amazing, and I look forward to reading more in this universe in any form it takes (and in as much time as it takes). I would read as much character development as you felt like putting in, and it is really exciting to get this glimpse of what is coming.

Thank you so much for your writing!
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