lionsahead asked: Hi, can you tell when Clint and Jessica broke up? I just started reading Infinity and they have recently broken up (which I think is pretty sucky, since I really liked them as a couple), but I don’t know in which issue of which title that happened.
Jessica and Clint seem pretty simple, at face value. Circa Avengers Volume 4, Jessica still feels like a newcomer among the Avengers, and Clint’s definitely a part of the old guard. They’d gone through similar things during the New Avengers era and had been part of one team long enough to be familiar with one another. There was a lot of common ground between them, and Jim McCann hinted at it way back in Hawkeye & Mockingbird.
Jessica: But it’s not me who’s got you wandering this giant tower, rummaging for comfort food at three in the morning. Haven’t seen Bobbi around for a few days. Wanna talk about it?
Clint: Not really. Thanks, though. Really.
Jessica: Any time. Seriously. Swap war stories, or, whatever. I think we could both use it.
Clint: Yeah… probably.
To be fair, from what Fraction has said, I’m pretty sure he is invested in part of the story he’s telling be FIXING his relationship with Jess. I can’t say for sure, but I don’t think her current place on the ex-girlfriend list is permanent.
It’s also very likely that this shift from serial monogamist is directly in response to the fact that his rekindled relationship with Bobbi failed - she was the Big Love of his life up to this point, no two ways about it, and when he got her back, he wasn’t able to keep her. Now, it’s not really his fault, or Bobbi’s - they’d both changed and gone through things and become different people. But it still hurt, it still burned him. If he can’t make any of these relationships he’s been in work, especially that MOST IMPORTANT ONE with Bobbi, then maybe he’s just not meant to be in relationships.
On top of that, I think part of him was literally, up until the moment Bobbi brought by the divorce papers in #9, holding out that maybe he and Bobbi could work it out. That they needed some space, that she needed to recover from the Skrull thing and find her place on earth again and as a superhero again and just… get to the right place, and that maybe when she did, they could get back together.
Put those two things together, and I can totally understand why he would hesitate to consider Jess his girlfriend. If he can convince himself that y’know, they’re sorta together but it’s just some fun, then he doesn’t have to worry that he’ll ruin it. If they’re just having some fun, if it’s not a relationship, then he can sleep with the cute redhead with the cool car, and it’s okay. He’s not going to get hurt, he’s not going to hurt her, and he’s not going to ruin anything.
The irony is, of course, that in the process he hurt Jess, he ruined their relationship, and he got hurt too. I kind of saw that last conversation with Grills as the turning point of him actually admitting that he really likes Jess, that he fucked up and he hates it, that he WANTS to make it better because he WANTS to have a relationship with her. Something he’d never really admitted even to himself up until then.
That’s how I’ve always seen it, anyway.
You know, I hadn’t thought about the idea that Clint never really called Jess his girlfriend because he was still, in some small way, convinced that maybe he and Bobbi could make it work, but that makes SO MUCH SENSE especially when you throw sleeping with Cherry in there, because while Clint is a huge flirt, actually cheating on his girlfriend is a much bigger deal that can be considered fairly out of character - but seeing Jess as a person he can have non-serious fun with while he hangs on to the possibility that Bobbi might come around totally works in my head.