Phil had told himself it was a part of his recovery. Resisting temptation, or something like that.
Everyone at the meetings told him it was a terrible idea. His sponsor threatened to change his cell number, and block all incoming calls. A recovering alcoholic, hanging out in a bar? Not exactly a stroke of genius.
But Phil was an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. He was the agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. And as far as he was concerned, an inability to resist temptation was the first domino and if it fell, it would take down everything else he had so carefully constructed.
Which is why he spent what little time he could at a certain bar which he had judged to be an acceptable distance away from HQ. A bar named Levi’s. There was no actual Levi involved in the running of the bar (he'd asked), although the bartender he met on his first visit had politely offered to answer to 'any name you want, honey'.
There were worse places he could spend his downtime. In an empty apartment, where one could only engage in so much staring-at-a-wall.
"Ginger ale, honey."
The glass slid across the bar and Phil nodded, setting down a five dollar bill.
"Thanks, Levi," he replied, the bartender laughing at the nickname. The glass was half empty in one gulp, and Phil leaned forward with a sigh.
"Hard day at work, g-man?"
Phil nodded, a smile reaching the wrinkles in the corners of his eyes. There was a lot of comfort in ritual conversation, in shared jokes that never changed. "Who says I work for the government?"
"Must be the suit." Levi shrugged, turning to rest her hip against the bar. She was a pretty girl, Phil often noted, one of the best Drag Queens in town. Graceful and confident enough to pass, but tall and broad enough to earn a few double-takes. Phil's kind of girl.
"Must be," he offered a quiet reply, staring down at the nine-year coin that sat beside his glass. Self-control. That was why he had started coming here, wasn't it? To prove to himself that mistakes and weakness were in the past, and he was a man in complete control of himself?
That's how it had started out, anyway. But recently, more often than not, he'd come back to Levi's the bar, and Levi the bartender, because it was the only way to leave S.H.I.E.L.D at S.H.I.E.L.D.
"Things are changing." He shrugged, tapping the coin against the rim of the glass as Levi filled it to the brim. "In a big way. Administrative, you know? Modernization. Bringing in the...next wave of technology."
He grimaced. That was one way to describe Stark.
"It's just different. And you know how much I hate change."
"Someone kicking around the toys in Philip's playground?" She smiled, leaning her elbows against the bar, dramatically made-up eyes half-lidded. Phil grinned.
"Something like that." He shook his head, cutting off the flow of maudlin thoughts before they threatened to burst through the dams he had so carefully constructed. "It's not my call. It's fine. You don't need to waste your time listening to a gloomy, sober, old man."
Levi rolled her eyes, clicking her tongue and retrieving a bowl of pretzels from beneath the counter. "Hush. Gloomy and sober is just how I like you, in those nice suits, so don't think about changing."
Phil laughed and nodded, lifting the glass to his lips. He paused as Levi's expression abruptly changed from one of easy confidence to utter exasperation and horror. He stood, his hand pressing to the weight of the gun against his side, snug in its shoulder holster.
"What is it?"
Phil turned and pressed his back against the bar, eyes narrowing and scanning the dwindling late-afternoon crowd. He usually managed to sneak away from his desk for a few hours once or twice a week and this, when the bar was hardly busy and the sun was setting, was his favorite time for a moment of peace.
It also meant there was a minimum of trouble to get caught up in. Now, he could feel his muscles tense, eyes darting from one person to the other, looking for weapons or expressions that gave away violent intent. But there was nothing.
"I don't see anything," he said as he frowned, turning back to Levi. She laughed.
"You'll hear him before you see him, honey. Here he comes. Just listen."
Phil turned again, and she was right. He heard Clint Barton just before he saw him.
He was singing.
The door banged open.
Phil shrunk down on his barstool, hands clutching his glass.
"Friend of yours?" Levi raised an eyebrow.
"We work together," Phil replied, and the desolation must have read plain on his face. Levi nodded, pulling her shirt down enough to reveal too much without revealing too much, heading to the other side of the bar and whistling.
"Hey! Circus boy. I've got something for you."
Phil watched as Clint made a beeline for the bar, apparently enough of a patron here to stop and greet a few of the regulars, not to mention his no-doubt hard earned reputation as trouble. Phil could feel his heart sinking into his stomach. Barton knew this place existed, and Phil knew exactly why he came here. A Manhattan gay bar. Where else could he gorge himself on this much attention?
"You're here early."
Phil leaned in closer, catching snippets of Levi and Clint's conversation. Apparently Clint was a late-night regular, unsurprising considering the man was almost as much a part of the S.H.I.E.L.D. upholstery as Phil himself. It also explained why they had never crossed barstools before.
"Had to get out of there," Clint replied, grinning at the size of the beer that Levi set down in front of him. "New guys are pissing me off. My boss'd kill me if I put another hole in the wall, so I bailed."
Phil snorted into his glass.
"And what happened to your pretty face?" Levi asked, glancing at the cut that stretched from Clint's hairline to just above his left eye.
Infiltrating a biological terrorism cell, thought Phil.
"Changing the toner in the copier," lied Clint.
Ginger ale rocketed up into Phil's nostrils and he coughed, turning away from the bar to hide his laughter. When he looked back, Levi was waiting for him with folded arms.
"He's cute," she began, eyebrow raised. Phil shook his head, wiping his mouth with a napkin and loosening his tie.
"And straight, despite all appearances."
"No one's entirely straight, baby," she replied, glancing back at Clint. He was deeply involved in dusting what was definitely training room rubble from the shoulder of his definitely too-tight shirt. It was purple. Phil sighed.
"This one is. And besides, he's my subordinate. Don't let the dimwitted, flirty, just-a-simple-circus-boy routine fool you. He's smart. And dangerous. I'm his handler."
Levi let out a sudden shriek of laughter that cut through the music and the murmur of the small crowd. She clapped a hand over her mouth but it was much too late. Clint's head twisted around and his eyes widened, hand frozen mid-primp.
Phil had never before considered flinging himself off of the Helicarrier quite so seriously as he did in this moment.
"Holy shiiii-iii-iiiit..." Clint milked the word for every last vowel he could, making it stretch from where he had been standing at the bar, to where he now sat on the stool next to Phil. His eyes were wide. Cartoon mouse wide.
Levi gave an apologetic shrug, busying herself with polishing wine glasses. 'Sorry, sugar. You can't say a word like handler in a place like this without expecting some kind of reaction..."
"What the hell are you doing here, sir?" Clint asked, his right elbow propped on the bar, left hand occupied with his forgotten glass of beer. He was wearing the exact same expression as when Phil had found him watching a video how-to for building an explosive cannon from dairy creamer and pvc piping. To this day, that one was still the most entertaining disciplinary write-up in Clint Barton's private file.
"I could ask you the same thing, Barton," Phil replied.
"I'm here for the ladies." Clint winked, gesturing to Levi. "They'd tear their wigs clean off if they didn't get to see my pretty face at least once a week"
Phil glanced over in time to see Levi roll her eyes so violently, he was genuinely surprised that a false eyelash didn't fly off and impale itself in a wall.
He snorted. "You're here for the attention you get."
Clint grinned as he shrugged. "That too. But seriously, what the hell are you doing here? I thought..." He cleared his throat, glancing down at the coin sitting beside Phil's glass. "You know."
"A recovering alcoholic, with ten years of sobriety looming on the horizon?"
Clint nodded, and an endearing little tinge of color appeared in his cheeks. Phil smiled.
"It's ginger ale, Barton. I come here to test myself. And," he paused, winking at Levi, who waved him off with a flick of her fingers. "The scenery doesn't hurt."
"So, you're gay..." Clint's voice dropped a few decibels, his eyes widening as if he’d just discovered the truth behind the Kennedy assassination.. The adhesive stitches laying across the gash on his forehead gave a warning stretch, and Phil resisted the urge to punch him directly in the wound.
"That's classified," he replied, draining the last few mouthfuls of liquid in from his glass and shaking his head at the offered refill. "You'd have to check my file."
Clint scowled. "My clearance isn't high enough to read your file."
"Is that so?" Phil replied, doing his utmost to make the question sound exactly like 'fuck you'.
He stood, tossing another five down onto the bar and brushing the wrinkles from his suit, once again feeling the press of his sidearm against his torso. It was a welcome weight, and a shock of normality in what had otherwise been a surreal conversation.
"See you later, Levi." He gave a small wave, snagging a pretzel for the road and ignoring both the concerned frown of the bartender, and the confused protestations of the only other S.H.I.E.L.D. man in the building.
Phil headed to the bathroom, ignoring the muttering between Levi and Clint as he walked away. She was no doubt scolding him but Phil couldn't bring himself to decipher it. For the first time in a long time, he felt the old craving for a bottle of whiskey and a pack of cigarettes, both of which would be empty by morning.
Clint's face popped up over Phil's right shoulder, reflected in the mirror above the sink. The reflection of the dim light in the bathroom was hidden behind Clint's head, which gave him an odd little halo of sorts. Phil sighed for what felt like the fiftieth time.
"I'm leaving, Barton. Whatever you need, it can wait until I'm back on the clock."
Frowning, Clint positioned himself between Phil and the door. In addition to his shirt, Phil noted, his jeans were also too tight, and the battered motorcycle boots were far from standard issue. You could take the boy out of the rough life, it seemed, but you couldn't take the rough out of the boy.
"This isn't exactly work-related, boss," Clint replied. He folded his arms, and the twitch of honed muscle made Phil wish desperately that he'd left them hanging at his sides. "I, uh. Want to apologise..."
Phil hesitated. He smirked. "And me without a recording device."
"Hah." Clint pursed his lips, glancing down at his boots. It was a familiar reaction, but one Phil hadn't seen in years. When Clint was a rookie, freshly pulled from a prison cell and armed with a shiny new identity, his uncertainty and lack of confidence were habits Phil was sure they could never break him of. He'd been wrong, of course, but the brief glimpse of it now gave him pause.
"Seriously. I mean...'Tasha's told me you used to be a pretty heavy drinker. Never on the job, of course. But yeah. And I guess this place is pretty important to you, because of that. Because of what you said about testing yourself." He hesitated, adopting what Phil had come to think of as the Clint Barton Expression of Ordering One's Thoughts. "So I'm sorry. If I fucked that up. I don't have to come back here..."
Phil smiled. There was a lot to be said for the genuine remorse in Clint's voice, and he wasn't going to let it go unappreciated. He washed his hands and dried them, setting one on Clint's shoulder.
"Thank you. And no. You can keep coming here. I would hate to live in a world in which you are robbed of your weekly attention-fest. Which is incredibly rude, by the way."
"What?" Clint grinned, leaning back against the locked door. "You mean coming to a gay bar? 'Cos I'm straight?"
Levi's words echoed in Phil's mind. No-one's entirely straight, baby.
"Mhmm." Phil crossed his arms, mirroring Clint's defensive posture. "I believe it qualifies you as a tease."
"I like to think it's more a case of false advertising," Clint replied with a grin. "Something...you're equally guilty of? Or not?"
Phil snorted, smiling a little at the hopeful expression on Clint's face. "Nice try, Barton, but I've never fallen for one of your fishing expeditions before. I won't this time. Now move, I need to go.”
"Don't leave on my account. Sir."
He hesitated, tilting his head slightly and studying Clint's face. He was remarkably attractive, even with the fresh cut on his forehead. There was a hard edge to his features that spoke of a misguided youth and a troubled past, but an open earnestness that one rarely found in a man with such a high-pressure, specialised job. His looks would have been refreshing, even enjoyable, if not for the personality that lurked just underneath the surface. There were days in which Phil wondered if Clint Barton had honestly been put on the planet just to test his status a patient, sane man.
This was rapidly turning into one of those days.
"Not everything is about you, Barton," Phil answered, making a move for the door handle. Clint didn't move. "But please don't assume that your presence here is so unbearable that I have no other choice but to flee the building. I'm needed back at S.H.I.E.L.D. You may have heard of us. Preserving global security?"
"I know why you're leaving," he continued, apparently oblivious to Phil's long-suffering exhale. "You. Gay bar. Me, a remarkably attractive, athletic young man under your command. It's okay, boss. I understand temptation."
Phil's eye twitched. Violently. "Barton, for the love of god. Please explain to me why I shouldn't just kill you now and blame it on a Hydra sniper with exceptionally good aim, and a surprising knowledge of gay new York hot-spots?”
"Because you want me."
Phil’s hand moved, the front of his jacket moving back. The barrel of his gun pressed between Clint's eyes, the metal warmed from the friction and speed with which it was pulled from its holster. His growled a warning.
"One more word. I will make it look like an accident. No one will blame me. Some will even thank me.”
Clint lifted his arm, knocked the gun to the side, and kissed him.
Phil leaned in briefly, lost for words up until the very moment when he felt Clint's lips part, and he pulled back. There was a slight flush in his cheeks, and his words were rough.
"Fury might even give me a medal. Pin it on me himself."
Clint kissed him again. Phil pulled back.
A slim, strong thigh clad in too-tight denim found its way between his legs and pressed up, rendering Phil completely dumbstruck. He rolled his hips forward and lowered his hand, tucking the gun back into its holster. No matter who's thigh was between his legs, a loaded gun wasn’t the safest thing to have in one’s hand.
"Sir," Clint gasped. "Shut. The fuck. Up." His fingers wrapped around Phil's tie and he pulled him closer, chest to chest, back against the door, lips parting against eachother. Phil closed his eyes as the kiss deepened, and as he leaned in he realized that he might just have to let Clint win this one.
He leaned one hand against the door beside Clint's head and knocked the fingers away from his tie, straddling Clint's thigh and pressing his forearm against Clint's throat, pinning him back. He let out a little moan, a brief indicator of how much he was enjoying this, before the kiss grew so deep that no sound could escape. He slid his tongue back and forth over Clint's, leaving no doubt as to who was in control of this brief, hectic encounter.
"Ah..." Clint gasped, as Phil's leg pressed directly against his crotch. "Sir."
"Stop calling me that," Phil hissed. He pulled his arm away from Clint's throat long enough to slide his hand up beneath his shirt; his fingertips slid over scars and the ridges of muscle, finding a nipple and scraping it with a thumbnail. Clint arched his back, and laughed.
"Not for a million bucks."
He lifted the shirt over Clint's head, let it wrap around his shoulders like a makeshift shrug, and Phil's suit jacket hit the floor without no small amount of regret on his part. He pulled his tie completely free and briefly considered wrapping it around Clint's mouth before the thought of obscuring such a useful opening became entirely unbearable. A handful of buttons were sacrificed as Clint ripped his shirt open and then, all of a sudden, the frantic fingers that had been splayed across his chest went completely still.
Phil frowned, following Clint's stunned gaze, and laughed. It occurred to him that, in nine years of working together, this was the first time Clint had seen him without a shirt on. There was no avoiding the question that he knew was coming.
"What the hell is that?"
The tattoo was set on the left side of Phil’s chest, just above his nipple and to the right the bullet wound that had nearly winged his heart. It was faded and the black ink had dulled to a dark grey, but the dark banner set with a silver dagger and two crossed arrows was as plain as day. Clint traced the arrows with a fingertip, grinning.
"Aw, boss. I didn't know you cared!"
Phil rolled his eyes, slapping Clint's hand away. "Green Berets," he replied, with the tone of a man had no time for questions concerning his military career. De Opresso Liber, read the banner. To Liberate The Oppressed. It had set him up well for a career with S.H.I.E.L.D.
Clint opened his mouth to speak again, but Phil shook his head. "No. Erections now, revelations of the past later. Got it?"
He laughed and nodded, leaning down and taking the nippled closest to the tattoo between his teeth, rolling his jaw just enough to make Phil gasp.
Phil's hand wrapped around the back of his head, pulling Clint's head up for a brief kiss before exerting downward pressure. Added to a gentle nudge to the backs of his legs, Clint very suddenly found himself on his knees, looking up. He groaned and, from the look on his face, Phil was certain all of the blood in his body had rushed directly to his hips.
Making short work of his belt and popping the button on his trousers, Phil wrapped his fingers around the base of his half-hard cock and drew it free of the fabric, letting out a soft hiss as he stroked from base to tip, eyes half-lidded and focused on Clint's face.
"Care to share?" Clint asked, swollen lips parting with a slight hesitation. Phil gave a little laugh, shaking his head and continuing to drag his fingers back and forth, his left hand resting on the back of Clint's head.
"That's your problem, Barton," he replied, hips rolling slowly forward, the head of his cock flushed dark, slick with precome and always stopping just inches from Clint's wet lips. "Too eager. You always jump in..."
The whine in his voice, which would lead to a frustrated headache on any other day, triggered something new in Phil. His fingers tightened in Clint's hair and he jerked him forward, voice low and urgent.
Clint hesitated, pushing back against Phil's hand and looking up, his eyes wide. He looked intimidated, unsteady. It was an expression Phil hated to see on the face of a man he, if he were honest, cared deeply for.
"I...don't know how," Clint forced the words free, swallowing and shifting his weight from one knee to the other. "I swear to god. I've never done this before. I’ve been on the receiving end, but this is really different..."
Phil released the breath he'd been holding, tilting his head with a little smile. "You're actually straight, huh? Could have fooled me with how easily you went to your knees."
Clint grinned. "Points for enthusiasm?"
"Idiot," Phil replied, and any reply was cut off as he released his cock and pressed two fingers to Clint's lips, pushing them forward and into his mouth. "Try again. Suck."
Clint's eyes rolled enough for the blue to be obscured completely by white, and Phil swayed a little on his feet. Trapped between bathroom door and half-naked man, lips parted and tongue pressing against two fingers, Clint was a sight to make any hardened deviant lose their composure. He was eager, to say the least, and his tongue split Phil's fingers as he licked and sucked, eyes falling shut.
Phil held him there, one hand in his hair, moving his head back and forth in order to slowly encourage him to take more. He gave Clint a sharp tug the first time he felt teeth and, to his credit, never felt them again. A hot gust of breath from Clint's nostrils fanned the back of his hand and his cock, now fully hard and heavy, brushed against Clint's chin as if to remind the two of its presence.
"Good boy," Phil dropped the words without thinking, and Clint's eyes flew open. He pulled away, lips and chin shiny with saliva, and lifted a hand to wrap around the base of Phil's cock. He looked hungry. Desperate.
"I can do it."
"No teeth. I'll break your fingers if I feel teeth."
Clint gave him a huge grin, ducking his head and leaning forward, pressing his lips to the head of Phil's erection and moaning quietly. The vibrations made Phil's knees weak; he lifted his right hand to the door in order to steady himself, the fingers of his left still tangled in Clint’s dark blonde hair.
He didn't need to give Clint any motivation. The blow job wasn't pretty, and it wasn't exactly competition-level technique, but Clint's enthusiasm was off the charts. He tucked his teeth behind his lips and ran his tongue up against the thick vein, tracing along the underside of Phil's cock as he drew back, before leaning forward and taking at least half in his first try. It wasn't enough for him and, with a soft cry of frustration, Clint forced himself forward until the head of Phil's cock pressed against the back of his throat.
Phil groaned, tightening his grip on Clint's head and holding him there for a moment, keeping him still until he felt Clint pull away, only then allowing him to move back. They fell into an easy pace after a few false starts, Phil's hips rocking forward to meet Clint's swollen lips, Clint bobbing his head forward and wrapping his hands around Phil's hips, fingers twitching and nails scraping.
"Good," Phil spoke softly, stroking his fingers through Clint's hair and closing his eyes, letting his head fall back. "Good boy. Good..."
Clint moaned again, the occasional whimper slipping from between his lips and Phil's cock, pulling back enough to flick his tongue over the head, dragging a series of gentle kisses down the length before he had apparently gone far too long without a cock in his mouth, and set about rectifying that fact as soon as possible.
Phil laughed, hips rocking back as Clint took the entire length into his mouth once more, rolling forward to meet his swollen lips. Clint dropped a hand and his fingers rolled gently beneath Phil's balls, toying, teasing, and Phil felt his toes curl inside of his dress shoes.
"Pull back," he growled, eyes closed, leaning forward far enough to press his forehead to the door. Clint shook his head and grunted, bobbing back and forth, one hand on Phil's hip and the other between his legs. Phil hissed.
"I said pull back. I...f-fuck, Clint...breath..."
Phil's hips jerked forward again, the pressure that had steadily been building in the pit of his stomach reached its peak and he came, fingers tightening in Clint's hair, rocking up on the balls of his feet. He heard Clint cough, sputter, but he couldn't bring himself to hold still and give him time to recover. Phil rolled his hips forward, cock sliding over Clint's tongue and pressing hard against the back of his throat, twitching and convulsing as his orgasm built and then faded.
He shuddered, resting his forehead against his arm, pressed against the door. There was a muted thump as Clint leaned back, letting Phil's cock slide from his mouth, slowly starting to soften. Phil moved to the side, and Clint climbed to his feet in front of the sink, rinsing his mouth and wiping it clean.
"You swallowed," Phil said with a grin, cleaning himself and fastening his pants, coming to stand behind Clint. He shrugged.
"Go hard or go home, I always say.”
"Admirable," Phil replied, lifting his hand and dragging his thumb over Clint's lower lip. It was swollen, warm to the touch, and a haze of arousal settled over him as Clint's tongue pressed against his skin. "And deserving of something in return, don't you think?"
He pressed closer behind Clint, one arm around his waist, pushing him up against the sink. Clint lifted his hands to press either side of the mirror, looking up and meeting Phil’s eyes in the reflection.
"I, uh..." he laughed, eyes darting nervously from Phil's reflection to his own, and back again. "I don't know if I'm ready for that."
Phil groaned. "I'm not going to fuck you in a bathroom, Barton. Jesus. I have a little more class than that..."
The relief was clear on Clint's face, despite his best attempt to shrug it off. "Yeah. Okay. Just, you know, making sure..."
"Idiot." Phil smirked, flicking open the top button of Clint's jeans and drawing down the fly. He was hard, desperately so, and Phil found himself surprised that Clint hadn't already stuffed his own hand down his pants. He pushed the denim away to allow a little wiggle room and, with one arm around Clint's neck and shoulders, closed his fingers around the base of Clint's cock.
"Fuck..." Clint gasped, locking his elbows either side of the mirror. The pink in his cheeks would deepen every time he looked at himself, and Phil shifted his arm to lift Clint's chin, encouraging him to do just that.
He began to move his hand back and forth, palm slick with just enough precome to make his job easier, wrist rotating and fingers tightening at all the right spots.
"You've done this before," Clint choked the words out, his voice hoarse and broken. Phil snorted.
Phil found a rhythm easily enough, encouraging Clint to roll his hips and fuck his hand, all the while watching him in the mirror. His face was a treat to watch in a situation like this, cheeks pink, eyes closed, lips swollen and parted just enough to be lewd. Clint gasped with every thrust of his hips, doing most of the work, his arms shaking with the effort of holding himself against the mirror.
"Tell me when you need to come," Phil whispered, leaning in and pressing his lips against his neck. He kissed softly, bit hard, and sucked just enough for there to be a fifty/fifty chance of a bruising reminder. Clint nodded and let out something that sounded almost like a choking sob, his breath hitching and his eyes screwed shut.
Phil bit back a moan. "Say it."
Clint's hips moved erratically, the easy rhythm traded for stuttering thrusts and arching backs, his fingers curling into fists against the smudged surface of the mirror.
Clint yelled in frustration, slamming his hips forward, pushing his cock into Phil's hand, his knees buckling. It was too much, he couldn't, he wasn't going to...
"Please, sir! Please, I need...I need to come!"
Phil growled permission, wrapping his arm securely around Clint's shoulders as he went rigid. He arched his back and slammed a hand against the mirror, his cock twitching in Phil's grip as he came over his wrist and fingers.
Clint slumped back against Phil's chest, little aftershocks reverberating through his body, curling his toes and tearing whimpering moans from his lips. Phil held him fast, keeping the arm around his shoulders even as he reached to the side, snagging a paper towel and wiping his hand clean.
"W-wow," Clint stammered, closing his eyes and slowly easing his stiff arms down to his sides, elbows relaxing. "Is this where I say semper fi?"
"That's the marines, idiot," Phil replied, cuffing the back of Clint's head and moving away, retrieving his tie and jacket. "You know that."
"Yeah." Clint grinned, taking the tie from Phil's hand and, once the shirt was buttoned, looping it around his neck. His double-windsor knot was atrocious, and Phil slapped his hands away to re-tie it once he was done. "So is this...going to be a thing? With us?”
Phil glanced up, tightening his tie and adjusting the collar of his shirt around it. "Be careful what you wish for. And fix your shirt. You look like an escapee from the Folsom Street Fair."
Clint laughed, pulling his shirt for over his head and twitching at it until it felt right. "That was a pretty gay thing to say, boss."
"Mmm." Phil smiled, catching Clint before he pulled the door open, one hand over his wrist. He pulled him in for a brief kiss, and held him back for just a moment.
"Look. I'm a very private person. I need to keep S.H.I.E.L.D. out of my personal life, and vice versa."
Clint opened his mouth to respond, already full of easy confidence, but there was no way he could have hidden the half-second of deep disappointment from a man who had known him so well, for so long. Phil cleared his throat.
"But if you want more from me, you can have it. You just need to be discreet, and you need to be respectful. But most of all, you need to be mine. Do you understand?"
The grin that split Clint's face could have lit up a Quinjet hangar.
"Got it, boss."
"Good boy," Phil replied, pressing a chaste kiss to his lips. "And if you can manage to not violate any more personnel guidelines for the rest of the day, I'll take you out to dinner. Now go."
Clint practically bounced from the bathroom and into the club, waving to Levi as he made a beeline for the door. Phil followed, pausing at the bar to retrieve his nine-year coin from where it sat beside his empty glass.
"I swear to god," Levi began, narrowing her eyes so much that her long lashes almost obscured them entirely. "If that bathroom needs any more than a cursory mopping..."
Phil laughed and shook his head, taking a twenty from the billfold in his breast pocket and setting it down on the counter, winking.
"I left it sparkling. Take care of yourself. I might not be in for a while."
She smiled, nodding and tucking the note down into the front of her shirt.
"Be good, g-man. Don’t stay up all night. Someone has to save the world."