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suddenly I know I'm not sleeping

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Phil found him, after.

He hadn't closed the bathroom door behind him; hadn't drawn the shower curtain. He'd just stepped into the tub, still in full gear, still with his bow and quiver on his back, and turned the shower on as hot as it could go. The water washed the blood from his face and his hands and his arms and his chest, staining a pink ring around the inside of the porcelain.

(He'd slammed the man's head against the ground long after he'd gone silent and still, droplets of blood spattering his face as the sickeningly wet sound of crushed bone and brain matter smacking against the concrete rang in the horrified silence of the warehouse.)

Phil found him long after the water's temperature had turned icy cold, sitting in the tub with his head in his hands. He stood there for a while, leaning against the doorframe quietly, nothing judging or condemning on his face.


(He'd heard someone shouting but it wasn't until Steve grabbed him around the waist and hauled him off that he realized they were shouting at him. He struggled, trying to fend both Steve and Thor off as they dragged him away, his bloodied hands smearing crimson across Thor's chestplate. Tony was staring at him in blank shock and even Hulk looked stunned, but Natasha's features were smoothly blank and he knew with a fierce surety that she understood.)

Clint finally raised his head, looking up at his lover. His eyes were rimmed with a red that wasn't from any kind of remorse, his jaw set and his lips pressed tightly together.

"Don't," he warned, voice raw and harsh. He reached out to grab hold of the towel bar, levering himself shakily to his feet. The first step he took out of the shower was unsteady, water pooling on the floor around him as he straightened his back in grim defiance, his eyes glittering in cold rage.

"I don't want to hear it, Phil."

(Steve yelled at him. He yelled until he was hoarse in the throat and the entire time his eyes had a wild, sickened look in them. He spoke of honor and justice and going too far; of crossing lines and losing sight of core philosophies. Thor chimed in often, Tony slipped in a few subdued comments and Banner spoke up once or twice. Natasha remained silent and when it was over Clint just looked at them and silently pointed to the two black body bags being carefully taken away by SHIELD agents. He spat on the ground at Steve's feet and left.)

Phil regarded him silently for a few moments longer.

Then he stepped forward, reached out a hand toward Clint's shoulder—and Clint snapped.

He grabbed Phil's wrist with a snarl, bending it around and back as he yanked the calm-faced agent toward him, fury darkening his vision. But he was dripping wet in full gear and Phil was faster, because Phil had always been faster, and with a sharp knee to the abdomen and a yanking twist of his arm Clint was slammed face-first against the bathroom wall.

(He'd passed by Fury on his way out the door. He'd caught the director's gaze, his own fiery and mutinous, and Nick's eyes had flitted to the body bags. Something bleak and dark fell over his face and nothing was said when Clint walked by him.)

"Phil," he snapped, and was rewarded with a hand fisting in his hair to smack his cheek gently but firmly back against the tile. There was a soft shing as Phil drew his combat knife and Clint bucked beneath him with an angry growl, trying to push off the wall only to have the fingers in his hair tighten, pulling his head back until his throat was bared.

Phil's lips brushed against his ear, his voice as cool as the water had been and more relentless by far.

"Stay. Still."

Clint sucked in a breath of air through his teeth, the anger still radiating through his body. But he managed to control himself, barely, keeping his hands pressed flat against the wall as Phil's knife slit a line from the neck of his vest to his bare shoulder. In the back of his mind he wondered if diamond-tipped blades were standard issue.

Phil made quick work of the rest of his gear: cutting the straps that kept his quiver in place, slicing through the thick leather of his uniform and the soft cotton of his briefs. He even cut through the backs of Clint's boots and his socks, the hand in his hair dropping between his shoulders, and with every layer removed Clint felt as though he was shedding pieces of himself: pulled out of his skin one flick of a blade at a time.

(He could taste the blood on his lips and smell it on his skin the entire way back to HQ, trapped beneath his helmet as he careened recklessly through the streets. There was some kind of solid gumming the lashes of his left eye together and he wasn't sure if it was clotted blood or bits of brain matter or both. He didn't particularly care.)

When everything was in a pile at his feet, Clint stood bare in the midst of it all, skin slicked with water and his back still defiantly tense. Phil kicked the mangled pieces away and kicked Clint's legs apart, and that was the only warning he got before two slick fingers were sliding inside of him.

He arched into it helplessly and Phil's hand pressed harder between his shoulder blades, holding him forcibly against the wall. Clint gritted his teeth and parted his lips to snap but then Phil's hand twisted, pressing in and up and the words choked off in Clint's throat, his legs trembling with the burst of pleasure that jolted through him.

"I'm not fucking sorry," he managed to gasp, struggling to hold onto the threads of his rage. "I'm not going to be. I'm not—not fucking apologizing—to anyone."

"I know," Phil replied. His voice was calm, mild, and Clint shuddered as his fingers scissored inside him.

"He deserved it," Clint rasped, words tumbling from his lips like water from a burst dam, his fingertips white as they pressed against the wall. "He deserved worse."

(Maria had been the first to see him when he'd arrived back at base. She'd taken one look at him and her face had drained completely of color, and he knew without looking that she would be spreading the message throughout SHIELD that no one was to try to approach him. Not if they valued their life.)

Phil made a quiet sound that could be interpreted as either disagreement or concurrence. He slipped his fingers from Clint's body but Clint barely had the time to protest before something sleek and rigid was pressed back against his entrance, and he let out a strangled, shaky moan as Phil slid the dildo home.

"Should have—should have done worse," Clint gasped out, his back arching in a curve as smooth as his bow as the dildo rocked deep inside of him. It was inexorable, and the pace Phil set was demandingly ruthless, punching the breath from Clint's lungs with every stroke.

"Torn him apart...bare hands...oh—oh god--"

Clint's nails scrabbled against the tile, warmth coiling thick and heavy in his stomach as he pressed back desperately, lost in the pleasure that coursed through him. The haze that took over his mind blocked everything out save Phil's palm between his shoulders; Phil's touch driving the dildo into him.

"Please, Phil—please—"

The hand on his back dropped down, reaching around to curl callused fingers around his cock, and Clint let out a harsh, broken sob that rattled deep in his bones. It didn't take long until he was spilling over Phil's hand, his thighs shaking helplessly and his legs barely able to support him as he sagged against the wall. A strangled whine was torn from his throat when Phil gently pulled the dildo out of his body. He heard it clatter as it was tossed carelessly in the general direction of the sink, almost not registering the sound as Phil turned him around so he could wrap Clint in his arms.

They made it to the bed, eventually. Phil was still in his suit and Clint still naked as he curled around his older lover, gasping for air as dry sobs wracked his body, Phil's fingers combing gently through his hair. The anger was gone, replaced with something hollow and empty. But he could recover, eventually, from emptiness.

Clint pressed his face into Phil's shoulder, hands clutching onto him desperately as he screamed into the fabric of his shirt, the sound desolate and tormented and wrecked.

Phil pulled him close as though he would never let go again.

(They burst into the warehouse to find the man bent over two still, small bodies, a scalpel in his hand. The girl's eyes were just beginning to glaze over with the emptiness of death; her brother long since gone.

They were too late.)