“You've aged well.”
“Aged that is.” Agent Phil Coulson eyed the man in the old fashioned military coat who still looked exactly the same as when they met twenty years ago.
Jack smirked. “Part of my charm. You gonna drop that gun anytime soon, Phil?”
Phil’s grip tightened reflexively. “You gonna tell your young man to come out from the perception filter?”
“You gonna tell yours to come down off my water tow…” Jack’s eyes narrowed. “Is he holding a bow and arrow?”
Phil smirked. “I’ve got a thing for men with antique weapons, sue me.”
Jack laughed and lowered his Webley. “Ianto, front and center. Time to meet S.H.I.E.L.D.”
An impeccably dressed young man stepped off a paving stone and became visible. “Sir,” he said, nodding his head to Coulson.
Coulson tapped his ear com. “You can come down and join us Hawkeye.”
“On my way, boss.”
Jack and Ianto’s heads both turned up as they heard the quick zip-line descent of the man who had been perched on top of the water tower.
“How did you get up there?” Ianto asked.
Clint shrugged. “I’m good at high places.”
“But there’s no grips or handholds for climbing.”
“I’m good at high places.” Clint replied again as he unhooked from his gear. “Better question, why do you have what is essentially a nest for a very large bird up there?”
“But how did you..., uh, nest? Uh, no, no nest.”
“Save it, Ianto. I think that’s all you’re going to get out of him.” Jack turned finally to look at the man Phil had called Hawkeye.
“Well hello there…” Jack said, “Captain Jack Harkness, pleasure to meet you.” He moved forward with his hand out in greeting.
“Jack, stop,” he heard in stereo, as both Phil and Ianto were cutting him off.
“Relax guys, I’m just saying hello. Can’t a guy say hello anymore?”
Clint’s eyes crinkled slightly, but he still had his resting face on. “Hello,” he said as he brushed past Jack without a handshake or a second look and stood at Coulson’s six.
Jack eyed Clint’s tight uniform pants and bared arms, even in the cold Welsh air and licked his lips. “Bet he’d look good in a red cap, right Ianto?”
Ianto merely glared at Jack.
Clint looked up at Jack. “Sorry, purple’s more my color.”
Coulson sighed. “Things never change with you, Jack, do they?”
“You’d be disappointed if they did, Phil. As I recall, you liked me just fine.” Jack now eyed Phil in his expensive suit and gave him the same smirk. “Still like your suits, I see.”
Phil’s eyes shifted to Ianto appraisingly. “Seems you still like them on young men.”
Jack chuckled, looking over at Ianto, “Yeah, I really do.”
Ianto looked over Phil’s suit as well. “Bespoke?”
“Of course. This wasn't going to be a rough assignment. No need to dress down.”
Clint snorted. “Please, dressing down for you, boss, is Armani.”
Phil’s lips twitched in a smile. “Exactly.” His head tilted in appraisal. “Norton & Son?”
Ianto’s eyes widened in appreciation of the recognition. “Well, not that they would admit to their customer list.”
“Precisely. It’s one of their best qualities.”
“Yours is Italian though, it’s in the cut…Is that…?” Ianto gasped. “Is that the Pal Zileri ‘Made to Measure’ collection?”
Phil preened, flicking open his suit jacket to display the lining. “Yes, yes it is. I was able to get an advance showing last year and had it done.”
“How?!? They've got a three year waiting list?” Ianto unconsciously stepped into Coulson’s personal space and his fingers grazed the stylized waistcoat.
Both men started as they heard a growl from Clint.
Ianto blushed as he pulled back his hand. “Um, sorry.”
Phil smiled kindly at Ianto even as the tips of his ears burned. This was new times with Clint. Their relationship had changed after he was made third in command and was no longer Barton’s direct superior. “Clint always has my back.”
“Especially if it’s someone who only five minutes ago had a gun trained on you, even if you couldn’t see him, I could.” Clint said, in that rumbling menacing voice that caused Phil to shudder.
Jack turned his head to Clint. “Yeah…how did you see that?”
Clint smiled. “I’ve got good eyes.”
“No, you’ve got gorgeous eyes. I should know, mine are pretty spectacular.”
Clint quirked an eyebrow at Phil. “Really, you and him?”
Phil sighed. “It was a long time ago. And I don’t remember him talking this much.”
“That’s because you kept my mouth occupied.”
“Jack,” Ianto admonished. “Why don’t we get back on topic?” He eyed Clint’s angry pose warily.
Jack clapped his hands and they echoed loudly in the empty Plass. “Right, so, topic. What are you guys doing here in the middle of the night anyway?”
Coulson re-buttoned his coat and put on his bland Agent face as Clint liked to think of it. “It seems that Torchwood has something that belongs to S.H.I.E.L.D.”
“Really? I don’t seem to recall anything with that logo hanging around, do you, Ianto?” Jack looked to his young coworker.
“No Sir, nothing of that nature.” The young man smiled blandly at Phil and Clint could definitely see this Jack guy had a type.
“Since Ianto is our archivist that settles things. How about we go back to Ianto’s flat and have a drink? Maybe a little fun?” Jack winked at Clint who rolled his eyes.
“Sorry Jack, business first,” Phil said.
“So…that means there’ll be a later?”
“Small cylinder container. Previously held some rather dramatic explosives disguised as a diamond of some sort.” Phil rattled off the description. “Sound familiar, Jack?”
“That’s why I said previously held.”
“Can’t have it.” Jack turned his back and started walking away. Ianto hesitantly fell in step behind, an attempt at a friendly smile thrown over his shoulder.
“Jack! We need it,” Phil called after him.
Jack turned around. “Why? It doesn't belong to S.H.I.E.L.D.”
“It does now. You can check with your Prime Minister.”
“Again, why do you want it?” Jack prowled back into Phil’s personal space. “What are you going to do with it?”
“It’s a goddamn canister. What do you think we’re gonna do? We’re gonna put something in it.” Clint stepped up into Jack’s face, putting himself between Phil and Jack.
Jack grinned and looked at Ianto over his shoulder. “Look, its Rhys all over again.”
Phil sighed and put his hand on the small of Clint’s back. “Thank you, Agent Barton. I’ve got this.”
Jack raised an eyebrow.
“There is something that we’d like to put in the canister for safe keeping. We’d like it not to register any readings. Therefore we need a container that will block every scan possible. That’s why we need it. We did the proper requisition from your government and you are now to hand it over.”
“We have a saying here at Torchwood. If it’s alien, it’s ours.”
Phil smiled blandly. “Who said anything about alien?”
Jack reached up and patted Phil’s chest, his hand lingering. “You've gotten better at this Phil. That’s a shame. I’d have liked to catch up, maybe make a few new memories for all of us. But you’ve got an agenda now.”
He stepped back from Phil just at the point Clint was getting twitchy. “No dice. You’re not getting the canister.”
“Is that your final word on the matter?” Phil asked gently, his lips quirked in a soft, genuine smile.
Jack leaned in one last time, despite Clint’s now obvious jealousy and kissed Phil chastely. “Fraid so. Have a good life, Phil.”
Jack turned and walked away towards the tourist office, Ianto in tow.
“Boss?” Clint asked, slight doubt creeping into his voice.
Phil turned his head to Clint. “You heard the man. His answer was no.”
“Disappointed?” Clint asked.
Phil let his emotions show as his eyes roamed over Clint. “Not in the least.” He let his smile darken just a bit.
Clint swallowed hard at Coulson’s look. “Good then. Guess it’s time to go home.”
“Home sounds good,” Phil said as he and Clint started to walk, his hand snuck out to snatch the archer’s fingers in his. They paused near the base of the water tower and Phil bent his elbow out just as a beautiful redhead stepped down off the perception filter paving stone holding a small canister in her hand, taking his proffered arm.