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“I’ve really got to go,” Phil says and then pulls Clint in against him, licking back into his mouth and giving his ass a squeeze.

“You sure?” Clint asks. “You keep saying it.” He arches his hips forward helplessly. He got hard so quickly that it should be embarrassing, except it’s been three weeks and Phil is right here. Phil is hardly ever right here anymore.

Phil groans and pushes Clint further into the one corner of the parking lot that JARVIS has promised them is completely safe from cameras.

“Stop it,” Phil tells him and kisses him again. “I have to leave.” Another kiss.

Clint tips his head back, breathing hard. Phil doesn’t let up, just brushes their lips together again and again, wet, chapped skin catching and releasing.

“Phil,” Clint breathes. He’s not going to ask Phil to stay but god does he want Phil to stay.

Phil’s hand slides up from Clint’s ass to squeeze his waist. It’s possessive and Clint leans into it automatically because he’s pretty sure it’s also good night.

Clint is way happier being part of the Avengers than he ever would have predicted but he really fucking hates this part. If someone could give him regular access to Phil and the chance to keep superhero-ing, life would be pretty sweet.

“There’s an elevator that goes straight up from here to the residential wing,” he says, like Phil doesn’t already know that, like Phil would ever say yes. They don’t fuck in the Avengers’ Mansion, that’s rule number one of Having A Secret Relationship With Your Ex-Handler.

“Barton,” Phil says tiredly, which is what Clint expected. Except there was a waver in there, right around the ‘o’ and Clint was not expecting that.

Clint flutters his eyelashes ridiculously and tries to look enticing. Not that he can ever guess what’ll entice Phil; Clint tends to get jumped most often when he’s doing dumb things like cooking dinner or belting out Journey in the shower.

Phil’s hair is kind of a mess because Clint is really bad about keeping his hands out of it and his mouth is red for a half-inch all around. If Phil leaves, Clint is going to crawl back to his room and jerk off for six hours over mental images of his ridiculously hot boyfriend.

“I’m not thinking about it,” Phil tells him. Right, sure, Clint never expected anything else; he’s definitely not disappointed. Horny, sure. Not disappointed. “Come on.”

“Hey, no,” Clint says, trying and failing to catch hold of Phil’s belt loops to hold him in place for another goodbye kiss or twenty.

Phil just looks at him. “The longer we wait here, the longer it’ll be until you get your cock in my mouth,” Phil tells him and then turns around heading… Huh, not for the space where his car’s parked but back toward the elevators.

“Seriously?” Clint asks, falling into step beside him and carefully not letting his face look too delighted or smug. “Seriously?”

Phil glances at him, mock-sternly. “We can’t get caught,” he says but he’s smiling, just a little, and Clint laughs, feeling giddy and embarrassingly pleased with the world.

“Like we would be,” Clint says, grinning at Phil, “this is us.”

SHIELD complained about a lot of things when they first paired up (Clint’s attachment to his bow and inability to follow orders, Phil’s complete lack of interest in making him follow orders when they were stupid ones) but one thing no one could complain about was that they were pretty much uncatchable.

Unless they wanted the bad guys to catch them, of course.

Phil nods like that’s a good point and then slides into the elevator ahead of Clint.

Clint’s very good about not jumping Phil in the elevator even though it’s an elevator and that’s basically what they were designed for. He keeps looking across at Phil, checking that he really is there – seriously, sex in the Mansion? Doesn’t happen – while Phil stares stoically ahead. Clint doesn’t think for a second that he doesn’t know what Clint’s doing.

There are no cameras up here on Clint’s floor – only JARVIS, and he’s been awesome about keeping their secret so far – but they still sneak down the corridor using all the skills that SHIELD has helped them learn. Clint has Phil’s sleeve caught between two fingers and he feels like James Bond, flattening himself against walls before making a dash for the next doorway.

Clint’s grinning by the time they reach his rooms and totally unable to resist humming the Mission Impossible theme while he unlocks his door, ushers Phil inside and locks it again behind them.

Phil shakes his head at him, that familiar what am I going to do with you? expression making way for a smile.

“Are you sure you’re an officially recognised adult?” he asks, unbuttoning his suit jacket and hanging it up in Clint’s closet.

Clint shrugs expansively. “That’s what it says on the certificate you gave me.”

He presses his ear to the door, but he can’t hear anything out there, so he turns and advances on Phil, putting a little sway into his steps to see if Phil will watch his hips.

Phil does.

“Come on, you can’t deny that was fun. Felt like I was sixteen and sneaking a boy into my room.”

“It did have some similarities,” Phil agrees and sets his gun and holster on the table.

Of course, Clint grew up in a circus, paying way more attention to worrying about his brother than hooking up with anyone at all, and Phil was brought up by older adoptive parents who adored him until they found out he was queer. Neither of them ever snuck anyone home for illicit teenaged sex, but one of the things they give each other is the space to pretend.

“Hey, look,” Clint says, taking the knife out of his right boot and laying it out next to Phil’s sidearm. “We’re all alone with a seriously big fucking bed and nowhere to be tonight.”

Phil tips his head. “So we are. We should take advantage of the opportunity to get a decent amount of sleep. Rest is very important, Agent Barton.”

Clint laughs and shoves him back against the wall. Phil lets himself be shoved, catching Clint’s wrists so he comes along for the ride. The jolt when they hit the wall crushes them together for an endless second before they catch their breaths and kiss.

Phil breathes hard into Clint’s mouth, tangling their tongues together. Clint groans and puts his hands in Phil’s hair, which just so happens to be his hands’ most favourite place to be.

“Got anything in particular in mind?” Phil asks between kisses, hands falling to Clint’s waist to slide up under his sweatshirt, warm and firm on his back.

Clint shakes his head. He’s kissing; he can’t be expected to think at the same time. “You, me, orgasms?”

Phil nods like that’s a sensible plan rather than just an end goal and drags Clint’s sweatshirt over his head. Clint hasn’t left the mansion today so he’s only half dressed, no undershirt or anything to come between his suddenly-bare stomach and Phil’s searingly hot mouth.

“Fuck,” Clint says with feeling and then upgrades it to “Fuck,” when Phil finds his pebbled nipple and bites, not particularly gently.

Phil bends to kiss lower, tongue on Clint’s sternum, his stomach, his bellybutton. He folds down onto his knees, face pressed into Clint’s hip, fingers skimming lightly up the thick length of Clint’s erection.

“Sure you don’t want anything in particular?” he asks, looking up at Clint with bright, teasing grey eyes.

Clint closes his eyes for a second. “If you want to blow me, you could just say so.”

Phil makes the expression that means he’s deliberately swallowing a smile just to be a bastard. “Clint,” he says lightly, “I want to blow you.”

“Jesus,” Clint groans, banging his head back against the wall.

Phil works Clint’s zipper down, careful of Clint’s cock and the fact that he’s not wearing any underwear. Then he stops.

“Seriously?” Clint asks, forcing his neck to work again so he can stare down at Phil, eyebrows way up. “Yes. Yes, you can blow me. Please blow me. Fuck, you know I’ll say whatever you want, just – ”

Phil makes an O with his lips and slides it carefully down over the head of Clint’s cock. Clint makes fists with his hands and tries to remember how to breathe.

For the record, there are a fuckload of things that Phil Coulson, Agent of SHIELD, is magnificent at but cocksucking is high on that list. Somewhere between ‘killing people with his hole puncher’ and ‘making Clint Barton feel like a real person’.

It doesn’t take long before Clint is kind of a shaky mess, pawing at Phil’s head and making broken-off moans. “Phil,” he chokes, “Fuck, fuck, Phil.”

Phil pulls off quickly, lips separating from Clint’s dick with a really disgustingly hot pop-slurp sound.

“Shush,” he warns, “I don’t have anything to gag you with.”

That’s a lie. His tie is right there, draped over the back of Clint’s chair. They’ve used it before, but if they do that tonight, Phil will take it as an excuse to go home and change rather than staying the night with Clint.

Clint knows that’s going to happen anyway, but he’s not going to encourage it.

“Sorry,” Clint manages, lowering his voice to something that isn’t bordering on a scream. “No one’s around to hear.”

Phil doesn’t look convinced. There’s a reason why they don’t ever hook up here; it’s a lot harder to keep all the sex they have a secret if Clint’s yelling Phil’s name in the middle of it. The Avengers can be a bit self-centred but they’re not actually dumb.

“Come down here,” Phil says instead.

Clint does, sliding down the wall and kicking off his pants so he can spread his legs, give Phil enough room to get back to what he was doing. Phil slides three fingers into Clint’s mouth before he goes back down on him and Clint sucks on them greedily, content to muffle his pleas around the taste of Phil’s skin.

“Phil,” he tries to say anyway, liking the way he nearly chokes on it.

Phil sucks him steadily but his free hand finds one of Clint’s fists, forcing it open so he can lace their fingers together. Clint squeezes hard, hips lifting up toward Phil’s mouth, feeling Phil’s throat open and take him.

Heat rushes through him, making his knees shake and his toes go numb against the carpet. He opens his mouth to say, I’m going to come, but he can’t, Phil’s fingertip brushes the back of his tongue and he almost gags, biting down on the base of Phil’s fingers.

Phil groans around Clint’s cock and then Clint really is coming, spilling down Phil’s throat and then into his mouth when Phil pulls back.

Before Clint’s even finished with his aftershocks, Phil’s sitting up, kissing him, getting smears of Clint’s come in both their mouths.

“You keep getting better at that,” Clint says, slurs maybe, against the corner of Phil’s mouth. “You been practicing?”

“Yes,” Phil says, straight-faced. “I absolutely have time for an affair. I fit it in between my five hundred daily briefings with Fury and supervising all your training.”

“Cool,” Clint says, “as long as you’re only faithful because of time constraints.”

Phil thwaps him on the shoulder and then frowns. “Clint,” he starts, like he wants them to have a serious conversation or something. Which they’re not going to, if Clint has anything to say about it.

They don’t have serious conversations, especially not when they’re half-dressed and sweaty and Clint’s softening dick is sticky-damp against the inside of his thigh.

“Come on,” he says, kissing Phil hard before pushing them both to their feet. “Let’s see how quietly you can fuck me.”

Phil’s face breaks into a slow, thoughtful frown. “Deal,” he agrees and tips Clint back onto the bed.

There was a time when they only had sex on missions and so they got very good at stripping in record time. These days, they usually like to take longer just because they can but apparently Phil’s not feeling like taking it slow tonight. He loses all his clothes in the time it takes Clint to toe off his socks and then his hands are on Clint’s hips, pulling him to the edge of the bed.

Clint curls his legs obligingly around Phil’s waist and kicks him in the ass a couple of times just because.

Phil scrapes his nails up Clint’s stomach and over his chest. “Stop it,” he says, a tiny smile quirking up the right side of his mouth, the corner of his eye.

Clint kicks him again.

Phil steps back and drops Clint’s legs which was totally not what Clint wanted but they both know how to play the long game so he doesn’t protest. At least, not yet.

Clint likes to hide the lube in interesting places, since he’s normally on his own with it and jerking off gets kind of boring without the element of adventure, but he’s not on his own this time and he doesn’t feel like waiting tonight.

“Top of the doorjamb,” he tells Phil who’s standing in the middle of the bedroom, head tipped back like he might be able to sniff it out.

“Of course,” Phil says and walks to the bathroom, unerringly picking the right door. Watching his bare ass is a damn fine sight, only beaten out by the view as he walks back, casually giving his hard-on a grope and stroking it up against his stomach. “Condoms?”

“Here.” It’s not much a stretch to find one under the mattress and fling it at Phil. He catches it deftly and has it on by the time he’s back between Clint’s legs.

“Hey,” Clint says, reaching out for the lube. “Gimme?”

Phil presses the bottle into his hand and keeps leaning forward, kissing him hard. Clint is very good at multitasking but it takes extra effort to get lube on his fingers while Phil attempts to French him into oblivion.

Clint arches his ass off the bed and presses the tips of two fingers inside, biting his own lip, Phil’s lip, anything he can find so he won’t moan too loud.

He can hear soft noises coming from downstairs and if that means that someone’s coming up here then Clint’s not going to give Phil any reason to stop before the fucking happens. If that means keeping the noise down then so be it.

“Okay?” Phil asks, pulling back. There’s a line of sweat darkening his already-dark hairline and starting to roll down his forehead.

Clint pushes his fingers in deeper and tips his head back, closing his eyes and sucking in breaths open-mouthed. “Fuck me?”

“Yeah. You done?” Phil kisses his cheekbone then pushes up onto one hand, getting his knees off the bed, feet back on the floor. His dick presses against Clint’s asscheek, just to the left of Clint’s hole and Clint wants suddenly, even more desperately than before.

Clint scissors his fingers apart a couple of times and nods, ignoring Phil’s sceptical look. There’s a fine line between the amount of stretch he wants and the amount that Phil’s comfortable giving him.

He can definitely hear voices now. They don’t sound close but they’re pretty distinct, like maybe someone’s shouting.

Phil pauses, obviously having heard it to. Damn it.

“No,” Clint says. He pulls his fingers out and wraps them around the head of Phil’s condom-covered dick, lines them up.

“If we’re about to get a call,” Phil starts.

Clint hooks his knee behind Phil’s hip, urging him forward. “No one calls us without calling you first. It’s probably just Thor and Jane arguing about the Kardashians again.”

There’s a crash and then a thump.

Phil raises his eyebrows.

Clint sighs. “Okay, so probably not Jane and Thor.” He reaches up and presses his palm to Phil’s cheek, making Phil look at him not toward the door. “Ignore it? You have your cell, we have a built in JARVIS alarm, we really will know if they need us.”

Phil’s eyebrows pull together. He isn’t just great at his job because he can handle them; he’s great at his job because he’s dedicated, which means that Clint’s going to have to be devious. He uses his grip on Phil’s cock to nudge the head against his hole again and Phil folds, dropping his head with a sigh.

Clint grins; there’s more than one thing to be dedicated to.

“If we get the call – ” Phil starts.

“I won’t even pout,” Clint promises.

Phil’s look implies that he doubts that, but he stops arguing, working his way purposefully inside Clint until there’s nowhere further to go and they’re both making bitten-off noises that they can’t quite silence.

“Shit,” Phil swears, “Clint.”

“Shh,” Clint says, all innocence. “What if someone hears?”

Phil bites his shoulder. “You’re not cute,” he says, voice tight with building tension.

Clint stretches, giving Phil his most blinding smile. “Lies.” Stretching was a damn fine idea, shifting muscles and pressing Phil exactly where Clint wants him. He does it again.

Phil’s hands curl around Clint’s shoulders from underneath, leverage and command all at once. It’s hard not to just shout and swear while Phil takes full control of fucking his brains out but Clint is good at this, Clint can be so damn good when he wants to be.

He presses his fingers into Phil’s back and moves with him. The bed is creaking but there’s not much they can do about that. If anyone hears Clint’s bed rocking, it doesn’t mean they’ll know he’s going at it with Phil and that’s all they’re worried about people working out.

Clint is okay with everyone thinking he’s a loner who jerks off over his recurve bow, if that’s what it takes.

The shouts come again, louder this time and then someone’s running down the corridor outside Clint’s room. They both freeze and then seem to come to the same decision at the same time, Phil thrusting deeper still, Clint relaxing into it.

“Yeah, grab that – ” Clint hears Tony’s voice call. If he weren’t too busy getting expertly laid, he’d be totally interested in going out there and finding out what they’re up to. “No, not the -- . Does that look like it can withstand nuclear fusion?”

“Shh, shh,” Phil murmurs into Clint’s neck even though Clint isn’t making a sound. He suspects that Phil just likes telling him to be quiet.

Clint turns his head, lips against Phil’s ear. “I could make you scream if I wanted to,” he breathes.

Phil’s breath hitches but he doesn’t argue, just rolls his hips and makes Clint want to scream instead.

“Hey, where’s Hawkeye?” Tony again.

Phil slows his thrusts until the bed isn’t so much as twitching, falling into a steady, torturous pace that drags his cock back inch by inch, out of Clint’s body, all his nerve endings lighting up.

“Sleeping?” That’s Steve.

“To hell with that.” Tony bangs hard on Clint’s door. “Barton, what the fuck? Get out here.”

Clint meets Phil’s eyes with a wide-eyed stare of his own. They absolutely cannot stop right now. His dick is throbbing and his ass is stretched fantastically sore and he seriously needs to see this through.

“Fuck off, Stark,” Clint shouts, “I’m busy.”

“With what? Are you doing creepy shit with your arrows again?” Tony calls back immediately.

“Leave him alone,” Clint hears Steve murmur. Clint is feeling all kinds of patriotic toward Captain America right now.

“Tony.” And there’s Natasha. Clint thinks they might as well have sold tickets. From the tiny puff of laugh that escapes Phil, brushing against Clint’s cheek, he agrees. “Clint’s busy.”

“Yes, he said… Oh, oh. Barton, have you got a girl in there? You dog.” Tony sounds way too gleeful. Clint would care more if his orgasm wasn’t starting to creep up on him, foot jerking helplessly against Phil.

“Tell him to fuck off again,” Phil advises in a barely-there whisper. He sounds kind of breathless and close himself.

Clint does so, gladly, and Tony laughs. Knocking on the door again with a cheery, “Have fun!”

“See?” Clint asks once their little Greek chorus has dispersed. “Nothing to worry about.”

Phil groans. “You had to say that,” he says, pushing Clint’s thighs back up toward his chest, getting a better, deeper angle, like it’s only a matter of time now before the fate Clint tempted rises up and interrupts everything.

Clint twists, getting a hand on his cock and dragging his fingers over it. “I need to come,” he tells Phil seriously.

Phil kisses him messily. “I know,” he promises and fucks down into Clint, pulling Clint up onto his cock at the same time. “Come on. You can come now.”

“Can I?” Clint asks archly, except apparently he can, apparently he is, apparently Phil is just that fucking good. Clint is never telling him that.

Clint’s whole body is trembling with aftershocks by the time Phil pulls out and strips off the condom. Phil hasn’t come yet, cock swollen and red in his hand as he jerks himself hard, coming with a choked-back groan all over Clint’s belly.

“Gee, thanks,” Clint says, dipping his fingers into the warm pool of jizz and painting a sticky streak down Phil’s chest.

Phil laughs breathlessly, and drops down onto Clint, getting come all over both of them now. “Don’t pretend you don’t like that,” he mumbles into Clint’s neck.

“Oh, yeah, I love being claimed,” Clint grouses. “Just stamp ‘property of SHIELD’ on my ass next time.”

Phil bites Clint’s jaw carefully. “Not SHIELD,” he says softly.

Clint doesn’t know what to say to that so he doesn’t say anything. Instead he slings an arm across Phil’s back and nuzzles at his face, too zoned and content for any more bantering. He closes his eyes, warm and comfortable and only slightly crushed under Phil’s solid weight.

Phil breathes out, spine relaxing under Clint’s hands. Clint slows his own breathing to match and wonders if he can just trick Phil into falling asleep and staying by default.

He’s just starting to think that his cunning plan will work, Phil growing heavier and heavier on top of him, moist half-snores on his throat, when there’s a roar from close by, the pounding run of heavy Hulk feet, and Clint’s bedroom wall collapses with a splintering crash and a shower of falling wood and bits of ceiling.

Phil wakes up and rolls to his feet, grabs his sidearm, all in one smooth move. Clint gets up onto his knees and reaches for his bow.

Which is when the others all arrive.

Forget what Clint thought about selling tickets earlier; apparently they already have.

There’s an endless, suspended pause while Phil and Clint stare out and the other Avengers stare in. Tony and Steve both look stunned, Natasha doesn’t look surprised – because she isn’t. Thor is staring at Phil’s free-swinging cock in a frankly assessing way that Clint isn’t sure he’s comfortable with at all.

Even Hulk looks chastised. “Hulk smash?” he offers, quietly for him.

Clint laughs, knows it isn’t the right reaction but can’t help himself. “Yeah,” he says, reaching for his pants with as much dignity as he can gather from this situation. Otherwise known as: none. “Yeah, you definitely smashed, buddy.”

Steve clears his throat with an awkward-sounding cough. He opens his mouth like he means to say something then closes it again without a word.

“So,” says Tony who never has a speechlessness problem, “you didn’t have a girl in here, then.”

“Stark,” Phil snaps. He’s apparently totally unconcerned that everyone can see his everything right now, but Clint knows the truth: Agent Coulson is cool and calm in all circumstances but Phil will be dying of embarrassment. “A little privacy, please.”

Steve turns away abruptly, pulling Tony with him. “Can I have a word, please, Agent Coulson?” he asks over his shoulder. “After you’re dressed, of course.”

Phil waits for the others to follow Steve’s lead – Natasha waggling her fingers at them as she goes, and Thor leading Hulk away, happily engaged in a one-sided conversation about fighting prowess and the size of a guy’s manhood – then sits down hard on the bed, dropping his head into his hands.

“Well,” he says, into his palms. “I could have lived happily without that ever happening.”

Clint finishes pulling up his zipper and hovers awkwardly. Phil is doing something very close to freaking out and the last time that happened, Natasha had a bullet in her chest and Clint was bleeding out from the thigh.

“Guess we should go talk to them?” Clint says. He’d rather skip out on that, to be honest, but he’s not going to make Phil do it alone.

Phil takes a breath, lifts his head and squares his shoulders. “Yes,” he says after another beat. He reaches out and accepts the sweatshirt Clint offers him. “Come on.”

***

“I’m so sorry,” Bruce is saying from where he’s sitting on the living room floor in the lotus position, head in his hands. “Honestly, I’m so sorry.”

He keeps saying it. Clint wasn’t even mad at him to start with; he’s considering being if Bruce doesn’t shut up about it though.

“It’s okay,” Clint tells him. He gets on better with Hulk than he does with Bruce but he still likes Bruce well enough.

“Yes, don’t be stupid,” Phil says in that almost-kind way that he always talks to Bruce. He gets on way better with Bruce than he does with Hulk. Between them, they basically have the Banner situation covered. “I’m sorry you found out like that.”

That last part is said in a slightly louder voice, aimed at all of them. Clint isn’t sure why they have to have a group meeting about his sex life, but apparently they do.

“I do not understand,” Thor decides having apparently thought it over. Clint’s really glad he isn’t the only one here. “Is it unusual for warriors to form sexual bonds on Midgard? In Asgard, it is a most common situation.”

“It’s against regs,” Steve says distractedly then shakes his head. “Is it against SHIELD regs?”

Phil makes a so-so motion with his hand. He’s sitting next to Clint, wearing one of Clint’s sweaters, with his hand curled firmly over Clint’s thigh. It’s the only thing keeping Clint in his chair. He wants to declare this meeting bullshit and storm off; people sitting around, making decisions about his life brings back bad memories.

“An argument could be made either way,” Phil says. “We didn’t tell you because I was worried that knowing would affect the team’s working relationship in the field. I’m sorry if that was the wrong decision.”

“So wait.” Tony has kicked back with his feet on the coffee table, sipping from a mug of coffee and watching them like this is seriously entertaining reality TV, not a meeting to decide if Clint’s goddamn love life is inconvenient. “Are you crazy kids just fucking or is this a hearts and flowers kind of thing?”

“It’s been four years,” Phil not-answers, which makes Steve’s eyebrows draw together and is apparently interesting enough for Tony to put his feet back on the floor.

“Huh,” he says. “You know, I always thought at least one of you was screwing Natasha.”

Natasha makes an amused little growl from where she’s standing in the doorway, watching them all. It’s shorthand for I find you entertaining and may play with you a little longer before I kill you.

“What I need to know,” Phil says, ignoring all the background commentary and still looking straight at Steve. “Is whether you can still work with me as your liaison, knowing that I’m… compromised.”

“What?” Clint asks, turning to stare at him. “What the fuck, Phil?”

Phil squeezes his leg but doesn’t look at him. “Captain?”

“I – ” Steve shakes his head. “I don’t know.”

Clint has had enough of this. “Wait, what don’t you know?” He can hear his voice rising but he can’t help it. There’s this growing, gnawing pain in his chest, building up until he doesn’t know what to do with it. He knows how much Phil loves working with the Avengers, if it comes to a choice between them and him, Clint won’t win. “Is this because we’re queer? You can’t cope working on a team with – ”

“Barton,” Tony says, quiet but firm, putting his glass down. The only time Tony ever sounds serious about anything is when someone is criticising his precious Captain America.

“No,” Steve says, words tripping over each other awkwardly. “No, of course not, that’s not what I - ”

He looks stricken, which would make Clint feel guilty any other time but not today. “Because I get that you’re from the forties but things have moved on now, buddy, and – ”

“Clint.” Phil turns in his chair, blocking out the wide-eyed stares from Tony and Thor and even managing to half-obscure Natasha, which is almost never possible. “Be quiet and let me handle this.”

Clint can’t. He just, he cannot. They were having a nice evening, they were having a nice fucking life and now Steve’s going to say it isn’t appropriate for Clint to be fucking their liaison and Phil’s going to break up with him and –

Clint stands up. “Come get me when you’ve finished handling it,” he says and leaves the room. No one tries to stop him.

***
It’s Steve who eventually comes to find him, not Phil. Clint kicks at the guttering and tries not to wonder if that means Phil’s left already.

“I’m sorry,” Steve says, sitting next to Clint. His big, super soldier body doesn’t balance as easily on rooftops as Clint’s, but he does okay. “I didn’t mean to make you uncomfortable.”

Clint snorts. That’s Steve; he’s so fucking nice that Clint will probably eventually forgive him for costing him his boyfriend.

“Agent Coulson has offered to resign as our liaison,” Steve says, which shocks the hell out of Clint, shocks him so bad, in fact, that he nearly falls off the fucking roof. Only the fact that he never falls off anything saves him.

“He what?” Clint stares at Steve, uncomprehending. “You told him no, right?”

Steve nods. “Of course.”

“Did you tell him fuck no?” Clint cannot get his head around that. What was Phil thinking? “Look, I’ll resign if that’s what you want, if you can’t work with both of us together, but Coulson has put everything into the Avengers, you can’t ask him to give that up just because we’re – ”

Clint is not being the person who cost Phil the thing he loves most in his life; he’s just not going to do it. Clint doesn’t think about what a wrench it would be for him to give up the Avengers; he’d do it if he had to. He knows how to detach himself from things and move on.

“Clint,” Steve says, which he almost never does. Clint is Hawkeye or Barton to most everyone, mostly because he’s never asked to be anything else. “I was worried that being with you might affect Agent Coulson’s objectivity in a life or death situation. He has to be able to sacrifice any of us or all of us, if it comes to that.”

Clint nods. He knows.

Steve looks at him steadily. “During the war, I broke every order I was ever given when someone I loved got in trouble.”

“Phil isn’t you,” Clint says. He doesn’t mean that as an insult but he thinks Steve might take it as one because he mouth twists.

“Yeah, I know. And Natasha, um, pointed out – ” Ah, Steve, always so polite “ – that he’s already let you risk your life plenty of times so, really, all that’s changed is that we know now.”

“Yeah?” Clint asks. He doesn’t know what to do with hope, isn’t sure he wants it. Hope has always been the cruellest kind of promise. “So what d’he say?”

Steve wrinkles his nose. “That he’d think about it. I think the rest is up to you.”

Clint jumps to his feet. Steve is as good as telling him that he can fix this, so he will fix this.

“Clint,” Steve says, softer now. He tips his head back, looking more fragile and human than Clint thinks he’s ever seen him. “I’m not homophobic.”

Shit, Clint’s going to feel bad about that forever, isn’t he?

“Yeah,” Clint says, kneeling back down. “I’m sorry about what I said, about the whole… well, everything.”

Steve fiddles with the hem of his jeans. It’s hard to remember sometimes that ice time aside, Steve is a good ten years younger than Clint. “I’m not homophobic, I’m… can I say queer? Tony says not to but you did earlier.”

Clint sits down abruptly. “You’re what?”

Steve does something complicated with his face. “Or I always thought I was, but then there was Peggy and then I got iced for sixty years, but, but before all that, I was in love with someone all my life and he was a man.”

Wow. Wow, Clint is really not the sort of person people usually confide in. He has no idea what to say. “Did he know?” he asks, because is he dead now? is too tactless even for him.

Steve smiles, faint but not too sad. “He definitely knew.”

“Okay,” Clint says. “That’s good.” Awkward, awkward, this is really awkward. “That’s cool though, that you told me. Thanks?”

With a quick clear of his throat and a little shake of his shoulders, Steve is back to being Captain America. “Go talk to Agent Coulson,” he says, “If they replace him with Agent Hill, she’ll probably kill us all in the first five days.”

“It probably wouldn’t take that long,” Clint agrees and heads inside. As he climbs over Steve, he stops to squeeze his shoulder, just once, a kind of I’m here for you that he can’t say out loud but would probably be okay with Steve taking him up on.

***
Clint finds Phil back in Clint’s rooms, crouched down in the pile of what used to be a wall, picking up pieces of what used to be a pair of ceremonial swords given to Clint by Thor’s mother.

Well damn, Clint had really liked those.

“Having a Hulk has to really fuck with home insurance premiums, huh?” Clint says, kneeling next to him and letting Phil pour silver splinters into his cupped palms.

“Luckily, I don’t handle that part,” Phil tells him. He’s not meeting Clint’s eyes, which is never a good sign.

Clint sighs and makes a little pile of tragically broken sword on the carpet before he takes Phil’s hands and wipes them clean with his sleeves.

“Come on,” he says, “we should leave it; Tony’s robots like to have something to do beyond refilling his glass.”

Phil shakes his head. “It won’t take long. I should – ”

Phil.” Just because Clint doesn’t usually let it out, doesn’t mean he doesn’t have a Listen To Me Now voice too. “Come on.”

Phil looks up at him, finally looking him in the eye. He looks tired. Clint sits still and waits him out; he might like to pretend otherwise, but his patience is essentially endless so there’s only ever going to be one winner here.

Which Phil clearly knows because he finally nods and stands up. “Stark said you can take your pick of the empty rooms until he’s patched up your bedroom.”

“Cool.” Clint doesn’t care. He just wants to go somewhere they can have a potentially screaming fight and then kiss some fucking sense into Phil’s stupid, stubborn head.

Which, considering everyone knows about them now, they could actually do right here.

“Next door?” Phil asks, because apparently he can see the Yell At Phil Now plan forming behind Clint’s eyes.

Clint nods tightly and follows him. The room next door to Clint’s is identical to Clint’s, except that it’s colder and it doesn’t have any of his stuff in it. Not that he has a lot of stuff, but that’s not the point.

“Okay,” Phil says. He drops his hands to his sides. “Go on, then.”

Clint doesn’t even know where to start. No, wait, he totally does. “Fuck, Phil, what were you thinking, offering to quit?”

Phil sits down on the neatly made bed and rests his hands on his knees. Like he’s being reasonable or something. “What else could I do? The only other option was you quitting and I like that one even less.”

Clint stares at him. He throws himself onto the bed next to Phil and grabs his hands. “That was not the only option.”

Phil frowns. He honestly looks like he doesn’t know what Clint’s talking about. If he’s bluffing then Clint is even more impressed by his acting skills than usual.

“Phil,” Clint says patiently, “Steve had an issue with us being together. If we weren’t together, then – ”

Wait, why is he putting this idea into Phil’s head? Stupid, Clint, totally stupid.

“You.” Phil blinks, blinks at him again. “You thought I was going to break up with you.” It’s not a question and Phil’s looking at him like he’s never seen him before.

“Yeah, right,” Clint tries to scoff. He’s kind of gratified by the way Phil is still staring at him. “Like you could live without this ass.” He attempts a laugh; it doesn’t take.

“You idiot.” Phil rolls up onto his knees and takes hold of Clint’s shoulders.

Clint braces himself for whatever’s coming next but Phil doesn’t say anything. He just kisses him instead, which is way better but not exactly an answer.

“Phil,” Clint starts to say then fumbles around for the rest of the sentence. He ends up with, “the others aren’t going to tell Fury. If that’s what you’re worried about.”

“Fury already knows,” Phil says. He stretches out along the bed and rests his weight on one elbow.

“What?” Clint asks, so surprised that he doesn’t put up even a token protest when Phil pulls him down to lie next to him.

“You’re my next of kin and my medical proxy,” Phil reminds him like Clint should have realised what that meant. Clint didn’t; he thought they were just being practical not giving subtle messages to Fury. Phil presses a finger under Clint’s jaw, closing his gaping mouth. “I think I’m concerned by just how shocked you look.”

Clint makes an effort to look less shocked. It probably doesn’t work. “I thought we were your dirty little secret,” he says then wishes he’d phrased that slightly less flippantly when Phil’s face goes tight and dismayed. “No, I didn’t. I don’t think that you’re not, that you don’t – ” He waves a hand. “I thought you were embarrassed because hooking up with your asset is the oldest cliché in the book and you sort of like Fury to think that you’re infallible.”

Phil opens his mouth.

Clint holds up a finger. “Don’t deny it.”

Phil grabs his finger and bends it back, just slightly, not enough to hurt. “I kept us a secret,” he says slowly, “because SHIELD agents are worse than middle schoolers and I didn’t want to be gossiped about. And you know why I was wary of telling the Avengers, even if Natasha already knew. Fury knows and Hill knows and Sitwell knows and I’m starting to think we should have had this conversation earlier.”

Clint laughs without meaning to. They probably should have, even if it’s not surprising that they didn’t. It’s an uncomfortable and awkward kind of conversation and they tend to avoid those like Thor avoids the hairdressers.

“Okay, so,” he starts then can’t really think what to say. He quirks his lips at Phil who does the same back. “I love you too,” he decides on since that is basically what Phil’s saying.

Phil nods. “I know,” he says and grabs Clint’s collar, pulling him close. “So don’t ever think that breaking up with you is a viable game plan again.”

Clint nods. “Okay,” he agrees and then he’s being kissed.

“Um,” Clint says, kind of a lot of minutes later. The tip of his tongue is numb from compulsively licking Phil’s teeth and his lips feel bitten raw. It’s great. “So what happens now?”

Phil raises an eyebrow at him. Clint punches him on the shoulder.

“Not now now; I’ve got that covered. What happens tomorrow?”

Phil sobers, propping himself up over Clint and using a finger to trace what Clint suspects may be some pretty epic stubble burn around his mouth.

“Captain Rogers said he’d prefer for me not to resign,” Phil says, slowly. “Banner and Natasha don’t care, Stark thinks the fact that I have a sex life is hilarious and Thor is even more confused by us than normal. Which just leaves you.”

It’s Clint’s turn to blink. “Me. Me?”

Phil sighs. “You’re sleeping with your liaison, Clint. They’re going to give you shit for that.”

That is so stupid, Clint doesn’t even know what to say. He settles for a strangled laugh and smacking Phil on his other shoulder.

“They give me shit anyway,” he says. “Mostly for flirting with you on comms. At least now they know it’s not sad and fruitless flirting; it’s flirting that leads to way better orgasms than any of them are getting.”

Phil snorts then tries to hide his laughter in Clint’s hair. It’s a ridiculously nice feeling.

“So you don’t have a problem with me staying on?” he asks eventually.

Clint rolls his eyes. “I have a problem with you not staying on,” he tells him. “Hill hates me.” He pulls Phil down into another kiss. “She probably isn’t quite so hands on with the positive reinforcement, either.”

“Is that what you think this is?” Phil asks, kissing him back without complaint. “This is simple bribery; it’s the only way I’ve found to make you do as you’re told.”

Clint smirks up at him and bites Phil’s fingers when they stray too near his mouth. “As long as you don’t try using it on the others now they know you’re free and easy with your favours.”

“Favours?” Phil repeats. “You’ve been spending too long with Thor.”

Clint can’t answer; he’s nipping at the pads of Phil’s fingers, which is important business that can’t be ignored.

“Barton, for – ” Phil removes his hand and wipes it pointedly on the comforter. “I’m trying to have a serious conversation here.”

Clint widens his eyes, trying to look serious. He can’t, really. He’s too tired and too fucking relieved because apparently everything’s going to work out after all.

Phil shakes his head, clearly tabling the discussion for now. “Never mind.” He glances at his watch and frowns. “Come on, we can’t lie around here all night.”

Clint frowns. “We can’t? It’s – ” He grabs Phil’s wrist to check for himself. “Nearly one hundred hours; isn’t this exactly where we should be?”

“Yes,” Phil allows, “but there’s come in my chest hair and masonry in my fingernails – and therefore now down your throat, well done – and in the morning, I’m going to have to deal with a newly-caffeinated Tony Stark making cracks about my dick, so the least you can do is let me get you off in the shower before we go to bed tonight.”

“That’s the least I can do?” Clint asks. He lets Phil use Clint’s grip on his wrist to pull him upright and then leans into Phil’s side, murmuring, “What’s the most I can do?”

Phil lifts his hand and bites the pad of Clint’s thumb. “I don’t know,” he says even though he’s probably got some ideas. “Want to come find out?”

“Hell, yes,” Clint agrees firmly and then he’s the one pulling Phil up, dragging him off the bed and into the bathroom.

Forget everything else that’s happened, this is shaping up to be an awesome night.

/End