Clint casually brushed his hand over Danielle’s ears. She wuffed softly but stayed in the same position next to Coulson’s desk. The man himself was staring at paperwork, in same position that Clint had left him in nearly eleven hours earlier after a pre-sunrise battle.
If Danielle had just stared him down, Clint would have backed off. He knew how to read signals.
Additionally, he didn’t have a death wish.
She hadn’t glared at him though. Just let off a single wuff. Abigail weaved underneath her torso and back through Clint’s legs as he rounded the desk.
“I think it’s time for you to go home. To come home with me.” Clint amended his statement.
Without looking up, Coulson replied “Time?”
“Nearly nine. And you’ve got a five AM meeting.” Clint shifted his weight from his left foot to his right foot. “You’ve got to get some sleep at one point tonight.” That was definitely a white lie because they had both experienced sleepless nights courtesy of their jobs. He was about to open his mouth when a voice came from the office doorway.
“We all have a five AM meeting and we all need sleep. Go home, Agent.” Steve was even in his civvies, a rare sight for the SHIELD hallways, trusty dog daemon by his side. The guy couldn’t get more all-American.
“I don’t take orders from you, Captain.” Coulson finally looked up from his work. There was the smallest smile on his face.
“I’m pretty sure that I have a higher ranking than you. Plus, Clint had a pretty long day. Frost giants and all that.”
“Yes, if you recall, I was there this morning.”
“Well, with all due respect, sir, you weren’t hanging upside-down by your ankle. I think that at least deserves some sleep with a loved one.” Steve pointed out.
Clint’s cheeks didn’t pink at that but Abigail hid her face in his leg. Steve knowing about Clint&Phil was both awesome and not. Most of the time, it was the former because Coulson was a total fanboy and if Captain America says that someone is tired, they usually were about to fall over.
“You know, if I had known you were going to use our relationship against me, I wouldn’t have agreed to tell you. Any of you. I see you hiding out there, Stark!”
“Wasn’t hiding! Just checking out this…lovely…potted…plant. I’m not scared of you!”
“Sure you’re not.” Clint muttered, the smirk on his face threatening to turn into a full blown smile. Abigail had the same smug look on her face and she had curled herself into a ball on top of Danielle’s back. The Great Dane pretended to be only tolerating the fennec fox but Clint could tell she was walking a bit more cautiously so Abigail stayed balanced.
“See you in the morning, Agents.” Steve rolled his eyes and patted Clint on the shoulder.
“Night, Cap.” He said softly, too focused on Coulson straightening up his paperwork piles.
“You’re ready to go then, I take it?” Coulson narrowed his eyes but Clint could read him just as easily as Danielle. He wasn’t mad at all, at least, not at Clint.
“Sleep, Phil.” Clint leaned in and kissed him on the cheek, one of the few appropriate workplace touches (and only after hours or a near death experience debrief, Clint counted the day in both categories). “We’re going to go home and sleep for a whole six hours and it’s going to be awesome.”
“If you just jinxed my shut-eye, I’m going to personally hand you over to the frost giants next time.” It was an idle threat and they both knew it. It made what came next even better because in the restricted level 15 clearance hallway of SHIELD, Phil Coulson held Clint’s hand all the way out to the damn car park. Clint would take out frost giants every day if this was the reward.