There was a certain rhythm to each and every mission that was constant. Certain things that happened. Oh, there were always differences. No two missions were ever exactly the same. Any number of things could go wrong during the actual mission. But before? After? The events that took place before and after a mission were so repetitive that he knew he could do them in his sleep. The before mission meeting. Time spent on the course, making sure his aim was perfect. Mental exercises done in order to prep himself. It wouldn't do to not be in top form. If he made a mistake... Well, that was shit he'd never hear the end of.
After was filled with debriefings and hot showers to ease every single one of his muscles, clenched and aching from holding a position for hours or days or, hell, even weeks. After was when he fell into bed in an exhausted sleep. After was when he had to learn how to be human all over again. Because missions called for a different side of him. The side of him that never moved, never lost focus no matter what smart assed things came out of his mouth. Missions called for the side of him that never, ever fucking missed.
After was when he got back to his normal life.
Not that being an Avenger sucked. It didn't. He got to do what he loved, what he was best at, and he got paid for it. But he kind of looked forward to the normal life stuff, when he was able to sing in the shower at the top of his lungs and not give himself away to the enemy. No one demanded perfection in the shower. The normal life stuff was when he could sit and absently strum a guitar, or attempt a new recipe in the kitchen, or just have a beer and watch bad television. As much as he loved his job, there were times when he loved being normal.
There was much to enjoy in his normal life. But there were things about his normal life that he didn't enjoy. What he didn't enjoy was being single. He didn't like not having someone to go home to, someone who would hold him through the night or rub a knot out of his neck. He didn't like not having someone in his life. He got really damned tired of his hand, really damned tired of pretending that there was that special someone out there, just waiting for him to sweep like a gale force wind into his or her life and knock them off their feet. It had been so long that he was starting to think he'd forgotten how to do it.
"Just because we've got the arms dealers in custody, Hawkeye, does not mean you are allowed to let your attention wane."
The voice in his ear was soft and smug, as if the owner of said voice could actually see him hidden among the piles of boxes and papers that had been stacked up on the upper level of the warehouse. Which was damned impossible because he was inside and the voice was outside. And Clint had made sure to bury himself under a ton of dirt and crap, had made a rabbit hole out of which he could snipe any enemy target before him.
"Is there some reason you think my attention has waned, sir?" he asked, automatically sweeping the warehouse's interior for any sign of trouble.
"I know you, Barton. The target has been acquired and now you can't do anything but think about the first beer you're going to have when you get home." The voice was filled with a hint of mirth. How the hell did he know that? "Did you remember to set your TiVo for The Bachelorette? You get cranky when you miss your shows."
"I set the TiVo. And I have to stop and get beer before going home." He also had to stop and see someone about a massage. There was a new kink in his spine. He thought he might have heard a soft chuckle, but the comm went silent, leaving him in his own little world. He knew the mission was over. Talking and opening up comm lines when he was in sniper mode never happened. He was too far gone in his own head to do so and his teammates knew that he'd never answer them. For any of them to speak to him meant that the mission was pretty much over.
Clint eased his way out of his rabbit hole, drew his weapons with him. The first two minutes were spent stretching. Working all of the kinks out. Then he turned his mind and hands to disassembling his weapons. Each one was stowed away carefully, lovingly, in its own carrying case. When he was finished, he picked the cases up and went to join the rest of the team on the ground.
Agent Phil Coulson met him at the bottom of the stairs, a faint and knowing smile on his face. "The Bachelorette is a repeat. She picks the musician." Upon delivering his news, he turned and walked away, leaving Clint gaping after him.
Well, damn it all to hell. He'd been rooting for the CEO of the publishing company
Clint sighed and took a sip of his beer, cast his gaze around the dim interior of the bar and mentally named the personality belonging to each and every body in the bar. A married man in the corner with the waitress on his lap while his mistress used the ladies' room. A table of sports fanatics who had had far too much to drink already. One more wrong word from the rednecks at the table next to theirs and a fight would break out. A group of women who looked as if they got off on teasing men, if the way they were leading on the poor guy a couple tables over was anything to go by. Various single individuals who were trolling for someone to take home with them at last call. And a couple guys in the other corner who kept eyeballing a sweet little blonde at the bar. Clint had already sent her a drink and a napkin that held a note telling her not to take drinks from anyone in the bar. Including him. She'd given him an odd look until he'd motioned casually to the napkin. Then she'd read the rest of his warning and had offered him a faint, if confused, smile.
"This doesn't look like your living room. And that certainly doesn't look like The Bachelorette," Coulson's voice said a moment before he joined Clint at the bar. Clint held on to his sigh and shook his head. And then there was the unassuming man in his expensive and tasteful suits who looked totally out of place in a bar like this. No doubt he looked like easy prey to the bigger, badder men in the bar. But Clint would put his money on Coulson. Every time.
"What's the use of going home to watch television? You already ruined it for me, sir," Clint replied, then took another sip of his beer.
"Are you on the clock?" Coulson asked. Clint shook his head. "Finish your reports and turn them in?"
"You know I did. I handed the damned pile to you."
"Then you can be informal. Coulson is fine," the man told him, then lifted a hand at the bartender. The man brought Coulson a beer without a word. "Why aren't you at home? I thought you were looking forward to getting back to normal?"
Clint wasn't sure why the words came out. It wasn't as if he'd had too much to drink. This was only his second beer. And he hadn't even gotten halfway through it yet. The words just came tumbling from his mouth without letting his mind give it consideration. "I'm tired of going home to an empty house, Coulson. I want someone to curl up with at night. I want a relationship. That's the one part of normal that I'm missing. Sadly, I spend too much of my time fighting the bad guys. There's no time for dating or cuddling or any of that normal stuff."
"Have you tried Match.com or eHarmony?" Coulson asked with a straight face.
"Yeah. I can see that ad now. 'Desperate, single sniper seeks accommodating single partner who doesn't care if he drags ass in at four in the morning with a gunshot wound or if he hangs around with a bunch of men wearing tights.' That will have them lining up like mad for a chance to laugh their asses off at me."
"Okay. Maybe dating sites are out. But surely you've met someone who--" Coulson's voice trailed off at the look Clint gave him. The other man shook his head and gave Clint a sympathetic look. "I take that as a no."
"No." Clint sighed and shook his head. Again, there was an urge to spill his guts when he knew he should just keep his damn mouth shut. "I know most everyone thinks I'm out doing a new woman every night. Surprise, surprise. I'm not. That's Tony's thing. I want something moderately serious. Man or woman, I don't care. Just... I'm tired of making love to myself. I think my hand wants to see other people."
To his credit, Coulson said nothing. He simply sipped at his beer and seemed to be pondering something. For all Clint knew, it could be anything from his problem with serial hand jobs to Tony's latest fuck toy to ways to see Tasha naked and live to the latest weapons technology report. Clint glanced around and noticed the blonde was gone. So were the two men he'd pegged as creepers. "Well, shit."
"Problems?" Coulson asked, glancing around the bar.
"Remember the blonde who was sitting down there when you came in?"
"Yes. She left a few moments ago." Clint smiled at the knowledge that Coulson never came out of bad ass S.H.I.E.L.D. agent mode
"The two men in the corner are gone, too. They were eyeballing her like she's the latest sex toy."
Coulson smiled at him for just a moment. "If you feel the need to get up and stretch your legs, I can keep an eye on your beer for you."
Clint slid off his stool. "That sound like a good idea to me. Don't mind if I do."
The first time Coulson had shown up at the bar, Clint had thought it was just a chance meeting. The second time, he'd considered calling it a coincidence. The third time, he knew that Coulson had come looking for him. If there was a fourth time, he was going to call it stalking. Not that the company wasn't welcome. Because it was. Coulson was nothing but companionable, even though he was Clint's superior at work. There was something about these moments shared at the bar where he could almost forget that Coulson was also Agent Phil Coulson, his boss.
Tonight was really no different. Once again, Clint hadn't wanted to go home to his empty loft and sit in front of the boob tube, watching mindless and stupid television. He was starting to get that restless feeling that said he needed a long mission so that he could sink into the zone. Either that or he needed to get laid in the worst possible way and he was just too damned tired of trying to find someone in the endless sea of one night stand someones and "'It isn't you, its me' someones and all those women who wanted Mr. Perfect With A Million Dollars, A Mansion, And A Rolls Royce. Why was it so god damned hard to find someone who wanted him?
"You're unusually quiet tonight, Barton," Coulson observed, settling down on the stool beside him.
"I was waiting for you to arrive so I could complain about the lack of men and women in New York City who want to climb into bed with me."
"You need to start singing a different tune," Coulson told him. There was something new in his voice that Clint hadn't heard there before. He puzzled it over while taking a pull off his beer. It was like this every time Coulson showed up. They'd drink one or two beers together and commiserate over the lack of viable bed partners who wanted more than a tumble in between the sheets.
Clint snorted. "Like what? I can do a pretty mean cover of Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody but I don't think you want to hear me sing." He paused to take a pull off his beer. "Want me to proposition you?" It was a flippant, off the top of his head, absolutely crazy question. He hadn't meant to ask it out loud. He hadn't meant to even make Coulson think that Clint saw the other man as anything other than his boss. And he sure as shit hadn't expected Coulson's soft, completely shocking answer.
"Maybe that's exactly what I want you to do." Coulson paused and turned to look at him. "Clint."
Well, shit and two were eight. That was something really new. Unexpected. And hot. Really fucking hot. Clint felt his dick tighten at just the thought of doing that very thing. So he took a long moment to study the other man's face, looking for tell tale signs that this was a joke. Or that he was utterly serious. More blood rushed to his crotch when he found Coulson smiling at him, eyes filled with honesty. And a healthy dose of lust.
What the hell? What would Coulson do? Clint carefully set the beer down and turned to fully face the other man. "Would you like to come out in the back alley with me so that I can drop down on my knees and suck you off?"
An eyebrow went up. "The alley?"
"Dirty alley sex." Clint made an exaggerated eyebrow waggle. He knew it was an outrageous proposition and he was curious as to whether or not Coulson would agree.
Coulson watched him silently for a few moments, then slid off his stool and reached into his pocket. Clint didn't pay attention to the bill that he tossed onto the bar top. Just knew that it covered both of their beers. Clint finished his off, heart racing at the prospect of what was to come.
He wasn't sure why Coulson would want Clint to blow him in an alley. He wasn't even sure why Coulson would want to do anything sexual with him in the first place. But he wasn't about to look a gift horse in the mouth. He slid off his own stool and headed for the door, the knowledge that Coulson was behind him, that this was going to happen, making his steps light and his dick so painfully hard that he was surprised it hadn't exploded with the friction of his jeans rubbing against it.
He knew everyone called him cocky. Arrogant. Said he was a smart ass that had authority issues. And all of those things were true. To an extent. But he also had a healthy dose of respect for the authority type persons. It was a requirement that went along with what he did. When he wasn't working, when he wasn't on top of a building or in a pile of dirt or hiding in a tree while waiting for a mark, he tended to get bored easily. Boredom bred smart comments. But it also bred something else. A chance to study people, to pay attention to them and to see things that others might not. That was one of the few things that carried over from his job as a sniper into his normal life.
So he'd noticed things about Coulson that others might have missed. The impeccable suits, always cleaned and pressed. The expensive shirts, each with a small pattern or splash of color to keep them from being boring. The pure silk ties, each one a statement about the man's personality, a testament to the fact that there was more to him than the serious, silent, unassuming person he seemed to be. The perfectly polished shoes that bespoke of some kind of military training in his past. There was a silent strength to the man that made him sexy as hell. All of those traits that other people overlooked were things Clint found sexy as hell. Sexy beyond society's standards.
Clint saw how the man never let his assignment bring him down. It couldn't be easy for him to be saddled with him and his fellow teammates. They were not the kindest or most grateful or even the most obedient people. They were all, in their own ways, pain in the asses. And yet Coulson took every day, everything they threw at him in stride. With that faint, quirked lips of a smile of his on his face. There was a strength of character to Coulson that few people would ever have. Every single one of those things combined together to leave Clint insanely attracted to the man
The idea of giving head to Coulson, a man he'd always seen as untouchable, made him so hard that it literally hurt.
It was raining when he stepped out of the bar, somewhere between a sprinkle and a downpour. Hard enough that he knew they'd both be soaked before Clint could finish Coulson off. He should call it off and go back inside, but he knew he wouldn't. This was a once in a lifetime opportunity and Clint was going to enjoy it while he could.
They reached the mouth of the alley and Clint stopped. He turned and stared back at Coulson. The man was looking past him, into the darkness of the alley beyond. After a few seconds, he shifted his gaze back to Clint. "You're sure you want to do this in the alley?"
"Don't tell me you're afraid of being discovered. There is a wild thrill to letting it all hang out where anyone can see it." Clint smirked at him.
"I don't want just anyone to see it," Coulson replied. "A bed would be a more comfortable place to do this."
"I don't want to do this in a bed. Dirty alley sex, Coulson." It was still kind of surreal to him, the idea that he and his boss were discussing sexual relations. Not just discussing them, but discussing having them. Giving head in an alley wasn't his usual thing, but something about seeing Coulson let go long enough to let Clint suck his dick in a dirty back alley was a kind of hot that there were no words for. He saw the indecision on Coulson's face and smirked again. "What's the matter, sir? Chickening out on me?"
He wasn't sure if it was the smirk or the cocky way in which he asked his question or if it was nothing more than the question itself. Whatever it was, it saw Coulson's mouth turning up at one corner. The man said nothing, simply walked into the alley. Clint trailed after him, wishing like hell Coulson wasn't armored in his usual suit. He wanted to see Coulson's ass working under the tailored fit of his dress pants.
Coulson stopped about halfway down the alley. A quick look showed they weren't easily seen from the mouth, but they weren't completely hidden, either. It was as good as place as any. When he turned back to his boss, Coulson was watching him quietly. Expectantly. Challengingly. There was no way Clint was going to back away from that unspoken challenge.
He closed the distance between them, until they were almost touching, then leaned in so that his nose barely touched Coulson's neck. A deep inhale pulled the scent of fresh rain into his nose, along with something musky and subdued that Clint thought was Coulson's aftershave. There were hints of the shampoo the man had used in his hair and a pleasant, slightly chemical smell that had to belong to the suit. Settling his hands on the wall to either side of Coulson's head, Clint let his tongue dart out and lick at the water rolling down the other man's neck.
It was as if his touch served as some kind of signal. The moment his tongue pressed Coulson's flesh, the other man reached out and took hold of Clint's waist. Drew him in closer. Shaped their bodies together until they touched from shoulder to thigh.
A shudder rippled up and down Clint's spine when Coulson pressed his erection into the archer's thigh. Agent Phil Coulson was hard as a rock and slowly, gently, rocking his cock into another man's thigh in the search for release. God damn it, this was more than Clint had ever dreamed of. He returned the favor, rubbing his dick against the other man's thigh while his mouth took the place of his tongue, then slowly traveled up until he could take the other man's mouth.
Fire and heat poured through him the moment their lips touched. Molten, wanton need filled him and made him hungry for more. He wanted to pull away now, drop to his knees in the dirty water, take Coulson's cock out and suck it right down his throat. But Coulson held him in place, kissed his lips with unrelenting authority and command. Shoved his tongue deep and let it dance against Clint's. Coulson kissed him like a man who had been starving, his lips and tongue hot and almost punishing against Clint's. The man tasted of beer and breath mints and quiet desperation. As if he thought that this was some kind of dream or sick joke.
It struck Clint then, in the middle of a wickedly sinful kiss filled with passion and desire, that Coulson thought Clint was going to pull away from all of this. That he'd leave him high and dry. That there was a vulnerable side to the man that he kept well hidden. Knowing that made Clint that much more determined to do this. God, how he wanted to taste every inch of the man's skin.
They only broke when the need for air became greater than the need to kiss. Clint drew back, put just a touch of distance between them and let his gaze find Coulson's. Caught it and held it. And he let his hand slide down Coulson's side and in toward his belly. Let it drift over the man's belt until it found the hardened length of his erection, pressed up against the fine material of his trousers. Clint laid his hand over it, rubbed his palm against it until Coulson couldn't help himself and his hips jerked into the touch. Just a little. Clint smirked at him.
Then he was on his knees in the dirty rain water collected on the alley's concrete floor, absolutely uncaring that the cold liquid soaked into his jeans and his shirt, trickled down his back and over his face. His only concern was Coulson. Pleasuring him. Tasting him. Touching him. Giving him what he so obviously needed.
His hands were quick and agile as they dealt with the buckle of Coulson's belt. He undid the single button with one hand while the other tugged the zipper down. His fingers slid inside the opened fly, found their way inside the man's underwear so that they could curl around the thick length of Coulson's erection. He thought he heard a soft sigh when he did so, but a glance up showed him that nothing on the other man's face had changed. Determined to see some expression other than the usual knowing smirk on Coulson's face, Clint used his wrists to nudge annoying clothing aside and down.
The light from the alley was enough to give him a perfect view of the flesh he held in his hands when he exposed it to the cool air. Water dripped off his nose, onto the head of Coulson's cock. Rolled down toward Clint's fingers. He brought the drop back up with a stroke of his hand, curling his fist around the mushroom shaped head and squeezing gently before letting it slide back down. Coulson's hips twitched.
"Do you do this kind of thing often?" Coulson asked, not a hint of anything in his voice to betray the fact that Clint was currently giving him a hand job. The archer looked up at him. "Suck men off in back alleys, I mean."
"You're the first," he said.
An eyebrow went up at that. "Really? You haven't felt the desire to proposition anyone like this before?"
"You talk too much, sir," Clint said, then stuck his tongue out and slid it across the tip of Coulson's cock. The man hissed a breath at the contact, but said nothing further. Clint smiled up at his partner for just a second before he made a show of opening his mouth and closing it over the other man's erection. The act earned him another hissing breath, then Coulson's hands were spearing into the wet spikes of his hair.
Slow strokes gradually worked the whole length into Clint's mouth. Each push forward brought just a little more of Coulson past his lips. He settled his hands on the other man's hips to stabilize his position. Sucked hard so that his cheeks hollowed out. Worked until he'd pulled the head into the back of his throat. Then he swallowed, let his muscles clench down on the sensitive tip. It drew a soft groan of sound from Coulson's throat, saw his hips shifting ever so slightly.
Clint employed every last bit of his experience and knowledge in the pursuit of his task. He swirled his tongue around Coulson's length, letting it glide against the underside as he pulled back before flicking it over the head and bobbing forward. He allowed his teeth to barely graze the man's flesh, just a slight hint of sharp pain to offset the pleasure, make it that much more enjoyable and amazing. He sucked hard, swallowed only occasionally and at odd intervals so that Coulson would never know when to expect it.
Once in a while, he would let himself pull back until only the head stayed between his lips. That was when he would look up so that he could study Coulson's face. Each time showed him something different. Coulson gave in by stages. The first sign was that he'd put his head back against the uneven surface of the brick wall. The second was when the man's eyes closed, shutting out the entire world except for the feel of Clint's mouth on his cock. The third, the best one, was when Coulson's mouth went slack, his breath coming in soft pants that painted the air with his pleasure. After seeing each sign of surrender, Clint would apply himself to the task of pleasuring the other man with renewed vigor.
Then came the last sign of surrender. The ultimate sign. Coulson's hands curled into his hair, fingers clutching at it tightly, to hold him still while his hips took up a steady rhythm. That was the point when Clint knew he'd broken past all of Coulson's barriers to find the real man inside. His hips churned against Clint's face, pressing the man's cock deep with rapid thrusts.
A few gasps fell from Coulson's mouth, the sound spearing deep into Clint and tightening his dick up until it ached with the need for release. His jeans were far too tight, the thick seam a pleasantly painful rub against his erection. His hips moved absently, shifting his length back and forth against that seam as he sought his own climax. He was so damned hard...
Coulson gave a strangled sound and his hips jerked. Pressed his cock further down Clint's throat. A twitch warned the archer, prompting him to start swallowing almost immediately. Hot, salty fluid splashed the back of his throat in thick ropes. Coulson thrust against his face a few more times, milking himself dry. Gradually, his hips stopped and the man slumped back against the brick wall behind him.
Clint found himself reluctant to let go of Coulson. So he sucked and licked at the man's softening shaft, using his tongue to clean it off. A couple of flicks against the head brought another sound from Coulson's throat, then the man was pulling himself free of Clint's mouth. Coulson's hands shook ever so slightly when he reached down to tuck himself back into his trousers.
Clint came to his feet so slowly, carefully, savoring the way his jeans rubbed against his dick. He watched Coulson's gaze slide down his body before returning to Clint's face. The man's eyes were blown with passion. "We should go somewhere and do something about this." A feather light touch drifted across Clint's erection. It drew a harsh breath from his throat and his eyes fluttered for a second with the rush of pleasure-pain that filled him. "I know just the place. Follow me."
"You know every step is torture, right?" Clint moaned softly as he followed after the other man. Coulson looked back over his shoulder, a faint grin on his face that said he knew exactly what every step was. Water continued to pour down out of the sky. Both of them were soaked to the skin. Hmmm. Shower sex could be fun. Clint looked up at the other man's back and took note of the dirt on his shoulders. "You're soaking wet and filthy. What will that do to your suit?"
"There's this amazing new thing called dry cleaning, Barton. You should look into it." Clint stopped and blinked at the reply. Then he grinned and pushed into motion until he fell into step with the other man.
"Does Director Fury know you're a smart ass, sir?"
Coulson looked at him over his shoulder. "Don't get impertinent with me, Barton."
"Impertinent? With you, sir? Never," Clint swore. They'd reached a black car and Coulson was already opening the doors. He looked up at Clint. "I will get naked with you, though. I think I'd enjoy that quite a bit, sir."
"Shut up, Barton. And get in the car." Coulson ordered, not bothering to hide his smile.
"Sir. Yes, sir."