The song is stuck in his head, never mind that the temperature gauge on his desk tells Phil that it's 29ºF outside. He puts down his pen and pushes back his desk chair, wheels rolling smoothly over the carpet. Phil walks to the door that leads to the hallway and pokes his head out. Darcy is sitting at the desk just outside, playing Angry Birds on her phone. He grimaces and shuts the door quietly, locking it. There will be no interruptions for this.
Phil crosses the room and crouches down in front of a locked cabinet. He digs the key out of his pocket and inserts it in the lock, jiggling it just so because it's a finicky temperamental thing. Phil smiles, an expression normally unseen by his coworkers or the team of superheroes he babysits, when his finger lights on the record sleeve and pulls it free of the stack. He sets it to leaning against the cabinet drawer and reaches in with both hands, pulling the top off the record player.
Phil pulls the vinyl from its casing, peering at it closely under the harsh fluorescent lighting. One or two of the grooves look like they're getting thin from too much use and he makes a mental note to drive out to the far end of Brooklyn to visit the record shop that's become his favorite over the years. Phil sighs because the chance won't come for at least eight more days because he's always in the office when one of his team is on a mission and Natasha isn't scheduled to come back until next Tuesday.
Phil sets the record on the turntable and removes the cap from the tip of the phonograph arm. He turns the player on with a press of one finger and listens to the familiar hiss and crackle through the old, well-used speakers. The record spins and Phil sets the needle down an inch from the darkened edge of the vinyl to where the song starts. The sweet sound of Louis Armstrong's trumpet fills the office and Phil stands, knees creaking in protest.
He picks up his pen again, tapping it on the edge of the desk in time as the introduction plays. Phil hums along, wetting his lips with a flick of his tongue as Ella's clear voice rings out.
“Summertime, and the livin' is easy,” Phil sings quietly. “Fish are jumpin, and the cotton is high.” He sings the second verse as he organizes paperwork, putting it into its proper stacks per receiver. He hums along with the horn interlude, preparing to sing Louis Armstrong's lyrics. An unexpected voice interrupts and Phil's mouth shuts with an inaudible snap. It's a near miss that he doesn't bite his tongue in surprise.
“One of these mornings, You're gonna rise up singing,” Phil looks up above him, dumbstruck. “Yes, you spread your wings, and you'll take to the sky.” Clint Barton's head pokes out from an askew ceiling tile, grinning unrepentantly. He stares directly at Phil, using the four measures in between the next verse to drop to the carpet on silent feet.
“But 'til that morning, There's nothing can harm you.” He walks closer to the desk, singing in a strong if throaty tenor. “Yes, with Daddy and Mammy standin' by.” Clint takes a seat in his usual chair next to Phil's desk, propping his feet on the desk. Phil lets him get by with it without a word of protest, not breaking eye contact. The air is comfortable between them, silence filled with the sound of horns, violin strings and ivory keys. Phil watches Clint's chest rise as he inhales a deep breath before the repeat of the first verse.
“Summertime, and the livin' is easy,” They sing together, Clint's smile wide across his face. “Fish are jumpin, and the cotton is high.”
“Your Daddy's rich, and your Ma is good lookin',” Phil is tempted to close his eyes because he's unwinding, relaxing from the stress of the day from just the song alone. The presence beside him certainly helps too, but he keeps his eyes open, blinking infrequently to drink in the sight of the younger man singing. It's a rare occurrence. “So hush little baby, baby,” Clint draws it out like Ella does and Phil takes his hand in his across the desk. “Don't you cry, don't you cry.” Clint squeezes his hand, tucking his feet to his chest and setting them on the floor so he doesn't have to let go of Phil's hand.
“You do know it's the middle of winter, right?” Clint questions, raising his eyes from Phil's brown ones to look out at the snow blowing past the window.
“I'm well aware of the season.” Phil replies. He sets the pen down in his proper spot, perfectly angled to be picked back up for continuing with paperwork. Though Phil is more than aware Clint won't let that be anytime soon.
“Bad day?” Clint tries again, because he knows Phil doesn't usually listen to Ella unless he needs to be calmed down.
“No.” Phil huffs, an annoyed sound. Clint's lips curl in a grin, waiting for the explanation. “I just woke up with it in my head and it wouldn't leave,” Phil mutters on a sigh. The day hadn't been any worse than usual, but Monday after a week's sabbatical was always going to be worse than a regular Monday.
“At least you have good taste.” Clint offers. “C'mon, I'll buy you a cup of coffee downstairs. You look exhausted, Phil.” The agent doesn't say a word but follows the younger man out the door.