1. “You think we should employ someone named ‘Deathstroke’?” Coulson said, leaning back in his chair.
“We have lots of agents with stranger code names, sir,” Clint replied.
“True. But they aren’t in the habit of massacring their colleagues with a sword.”
Coulson stared at him, gaze hard.
“Okay, fine, he has some kind of chemical thing that makes him a little, you know, killy.”
“A little killy?”
“But I think SHIELD medical could set him right. The strength without the…”
Coulson sighed. “Did you sleep with this man, Clint?”
“Yes. But the sex didn’t in any way influence my opinion. I formed my opinion first, then had sex with him.”
“After he tried to kill you?” Coulson said.
“He actually thought I was some other guy. Because of how I shoot.”
Coulson sat up straighter. “There’s someone else who shoots arrows like you?”
“Slade thought so. I doubt he’s really that good, though. Slade’s probably biased because the other bow and arrow guy’s his ex.”
“Yeah, and so I figured he obviously has a thing for archers.”
“Right. Clint, SHIELD doesn’t advocate using sex as a recruitment tool.”
“I consider having sex with recruits part of my benefits package.”
“It kind of is.”
Coulson sighed. He picked up the file and looked it over. “His skills are impressive. Before his trip to the island, he demonstrated strong loyalty. But we’ll have to see if medical agrees with you.”
“But don’t get used to this… method.”
“What’s the matter, sir? Jealous?”
Coulson frowned. “Just pointing out that you have other abilities. You didn’t need to have sex with Natasha to recruit her.”
“Sir, you didn’t actually just imply that Natasha could even potentially have been manipulated with sex. By me.”
“Yeah, do me a favor and don’t tell her I said that.”
“No problem. Do the honors, sir?” Clint said, handing Coulson the classified file on Wilson.
Coulson crossed out the line that indicated that Slade should be brought in dead or alive. He replaced it with the phrase “Probationary agent under strict observation.”
Coulson looked up at Clint then. “I know you only wanted me to do that so I’ll also do the rest of the paperwork.”
“What can I say?” Clint said. “If you could do paperwork by shooting it, I’d be all over it.”
2. “He’s obviously just pretending to be recruited to penetrate our facility’s security,” Coulson said, frowning.
“But he can move metal. With his mind. It’s awesome.”
“Okay, fine. Here’s the plan. We let him think we want Magneto to work for SHIELD. We get him to take off that stupid helmet. And then Charles Xavier mind-whammies him.”
“Professor Xavier doesn’t believe in that.”
“He’s willing to do it in order to get Erik to have a conversation with him. Xavier thinks he can persuade him.”
Coulson sighed. “Clint. Is this an attempt to get Charles and Erik back together again?”
“What can I say? I’m a romantic.”
“A romantic who’s friends with Tony Stark, who says he really needs to test his non-metallic suit.”
“Of course this was Tony’s idea. Let me guess, he’s built some plastic robot to get the helmet off?”
Clint was silent.
Coulson rolled his eyes. “You were planning to sleep with Erik to get him to take the helmet off.”
“It’s a good plan.”
“You’re going to get Erik to go back to Charles but sleep with him first,” Coulson said.
“Who’s going to know?”
“I guess I hadn’t thought of that part.”
“No. Request denied.”
Clint looked awkward.
“What?” Coulson groaned.
“Hill already approved it. I’m just telling you so you can handle Xavier’s visit.”
“I hate this.”
“Such a strong reaction.”
“Yes, sir. Thank you, sir.”
“Wade Wilson?” Coulson asked Clint, annoyed.
“Are you just recruiting people whose names rhyme with other recruits now?”
“They’re both good with a sword. And they kind of like violence a little more than psychologists say you’re ‘supposed to.’ I think they would be good partners.”
“Is that so?”
“Besides, Wade never shuts up and Slade violently attacks people who don’t shut up. It should be hilarious.”
“Or explosive. Literally,” Coulson said.
“Fury already approved it.”
“Fury’s probably hoping that the two of them kill each other.”
“Don’t be so melodramatic.”
“Do I even want to know how you recruited him?”
“Given how possessive you’ve been lately, probably not.”
“I’m not possessive, I’m – you know what, never mind. Just… make sure the paperwork gets done.”
“And Clint? Admin is no longer accepting IOUs in lieu of paperwork.”
“Oh. Then… give me a few days.”
4. Steve came running into the common room of Avengers Tower.
“Where’s Clint?” Steve said, eyes panicked. “I tracked the Winter Soldier to his quarters.”
“He’s there with his dates,” Coulson said, pulling his gun out to provide backup. Steve looked confused at the plural, but didn’t dwell on it. They quickly ran up to Clint’s apartment.
Steve kicked down the door.
There, on Clint’s couch, they found Bucky. A man and a woman were both sucking his cock, and Clint was fucking him from behind.
Steve and Coulson backed out of the room.
Coulson felt his throat go dry, felt a line of rage firing beneath his skin. But he acted the professional and said, “I’m sorry, Steve. This must be very confusing for you.”
Steve rolled his eyes. “Not really. This is 1940 all over again.”
5. Coulson and Fury had been friends for nearly 3 decades when they had their fallout.
Coulson went underground. He knew that leaving SHIELD just wasn’t something an agent at his level was allowed to do. Especially an agent who was pissed off at Fury’s secrets and had plenty of dangerous secrets of his own. Fury would have no choice but to order a hit, to prevent the potential information Coulson could release to the world.
But Coulson had spent years tracking down people who were hiding from SHIELD, and he knew all the tricks. All of them.
So he was surprised when Clint showed up in his cottage in New Zealand.
“Really?” Coulson said as he walked in and set his groceries on the counter. He kept his eyes on Clint, wary. He didn’t see a bow, but Clint didn’t need one.
“You seriously didn’t expect me?”
“I expected someone. Eventually. Not you.”
“You’ve disobeyed so many of my orders…” Coulson said, voice cracking. “I didn’t think you’d follow one to take me out. I guess I was naïve.”
Clint stood and Coulson took a step back, narrowing his eyes.
“I’m not here for Fury,” Clint said, hurt. “I’m here because of what you said to me.”
“What did I say?”
Clint swallowed. “That night we got really drunk in Johannesburg.”
Coulson looked away. He wished he could pretend to have forgotten.
Clint had kissed him. Coulson had said, I would give anything to have this. But we can’t. I’m your handler.
Coulson raised an eyebrow. “You came all this way because you’re angry about that?”
“I came all this way because you’re not my handler any more.”
Coulson stared for a long time. Finally: “You came here to… be with me?”
Clint walked toward him, slowly, smiling. He stopped in front of Coulson and slowly, avoiding any appearance of attack, leaned in to kiss him.
It was hot, forceful, Clint’s lips inviting him in, moaning when Coulson pressed his tongue around his mouth.
They parted and Clint grinned at him. “Don’t worry, Phil. I know you’re terribly prudish and old-fashioned. We’ll wait until the third date.”
“Third date my ass.”
“Yes. Third date. Your ass.”
Coulson rolled his eyes and pulled Clint into his tiny bedroom.
“How did you even find me?” Coulson asked as they tumbled onto the bed.
“Maybe after we’ve been together a while, I’ll tell you,” Clint said with a smirk, and Coulson just had to kiss him then, to shut him up.
They kept their relationship a secret for a few months. Finally, Fury got the word out that Coulson would be allowed to come back as long as he was willing to agree to a truce. I.e., not blow up any more of Fury’s property.
On his first day back, Natasha walked into Coulson’s office and gave him a wide smile. “It’s good to have you back,” Natasha said. “It wasn’t the same without you.”
“Thank you,” Coulson said again, touched at what was, for Natasha, an unusually emotional thing to say, her stoic delivery aside.
“You know, it’s funny. How many enemies of SHIELD Clint has brought in this way.” She smirked at him.
“I’m not – you can’t compare – that’s not the—” Coulson sputtered.
Natasha just kept smiling.
Coulson sighed and pinched the bridge of his nose. “I’m not surprised that you know.”
“Of course I know. I wish you both the best.”
“Thank you,” Coulson said.
“But I’m really starting to think that Clint has a magical dick or something.”
“Please leave my office now.”
“First,” she said, “You might want to look at your file.”
Coulson opened it, and saw his Agent status amended several times. He could see Fury’s handwriting, which meant that Nick himself had written “Capture alive” on the primary document. He hadn’t expected that.
Of course, the most recent revision had crossed out Fury’s comment and added, “Hotass agent is back. He is a surprisingly tender lover.”
“Tell Clint he has terrible handwriting.”
Natasha smirked. “You can’t change the file again unless your status changes. It’s policy.”
Coulson sighed. He never in a million years would have expected that Clint would get one over on him by doing paperwork.