The first time Phil realized that something wasn't exactly right with how he woke up was when he felt the hand on his hip move. He knew exactly where his own hands were, that the pressure of muscle and bone under his ribcage was one of Clint's arms, and that the one wrapped around his bare chest was also Clint's. So the fact that there was definite movement, fingers clenching, the slight scratch of short nails - from a rather small hand when he stopped to think about it - on his leg made the count up to five hands. Definitely more than there should be. Common sense dictated that it wasn't a threat, because really, who would get into bed with two SHIELD agents and have done nothing by now? His muscles tensed anyway and Phil's head jerked around to look over his shoulder.
Phil should have known.
Really he should have. Of all of the women in the world, if one were to turn up in his bed, it would be Natasha.
"Morning." Her voice was slightly croaky from sleep and lack of use, but she seemed happy enough and not confused at all despite Phil's consternation.
Phil felt Clint press more firmly against his back, nudging at Phil's shoulder blade with his nose. There was a brush of lips against his back and something that sounded like "go back to sleep", but it was a bit too garbled and slurred for him to know for certain. Clint's arm tightened around Phil and pulled him closer. The movement was followed by a snore that Clint would never admit to yet Phil heard far too often to ever believe Clint's contrary protests.
Phil should probably ask what exactly Natasha was doing in their bedroom; in their bed. However, as soon as he realised that it was her, his tension had eased. She wasn't exactly going to attack them and therefore wasn't a threat, not to his life and certainly not to Clint's. Potential hazard evaluated, Phil didn't feel the need to jump up and kick her out on her ass. One thing did make him wary: Clint and Natasha’s past. Everyone knew about their history. It had never been something Phil had brought up with either of them. The three of them worked fine together. Better than fine. Brilliantly. Now though, he was feeling like they might need to have a talk since apparently Clint had brought her into their bed.
Natasha got up and - she was in her underwear, just her underwear, great - slowly padded her way across the room and out of the door. The shower turned on seconds later. Phil was really starting to wonder when three people had started calling this place home, because he knew it was just his name on the lease and Clint was the only person he’s asked to move in with him.
"Clint, wake up!"
Phil rolled onto his back and out of Clint's arms. The sudden loss of having Phil close did what Phil's protest and Natasha's departure had failed to do and Clint woke with a start, bright eyes blinking rapidly as he took in the situation.
"Why was Natasha in our bed?"
A small flutter of confusion crossed Clint's face as Phil's question filtered through. Luckily, Phil was patient. Most of the time. Right now he wasn't entirely sure how long he could wait for an answer. It was a good job that it didn't take long for Clint's brain to make the connection between the question and the events of the previous night.
"Oh, she had a really tough mission, so I said she could stay over."
"We have multiple guest rooms and a couch."
Phil let Clint pull him over so that they lay on their sides facing one another. Clint's hand rested on Phil's waist, fingers stroking gently in a subconscious movement and he tangled their legs together with practiced ease.
"But they don't have me in them."
"I feel like you're deliberately missing the point here."
"Look, it's like this, you know how Cap and Tony watch Grey's Anatomy?"
"Yes," Phil said slowly wondering what exactly a medical drama had to do with Natasha.
"Tony denies enjoying it, but we all know it's a lie," Clint continued with no insight into what Phil actually wanted to know.
"Right, yes. Well Natasha's my person and I'm hers."
"She's the one I go to when things are tough and she helps me work things out. I'm the one she comes to when she's run out of things to beat up and needs to de-stress."
The dull fire Phil had felt in the pit of his stomach at the start of the conversation moved. It rose up, twisted and molten into his chest where it clawed at his heart, his throat, his eyes. He pushed away from Clint, needing to be out of his arms, needing the space, so instead he could hold Clint at arm's length.
"You slept with her?"
"One time, well five times, but you know that."
"Not back then. Now. Since we've been together."
"No! Of course not! I'd never do that to you! I like my balls where they are, thank you very much." Clint's grin wasn't as bright as normal and he tried to pull Phil closer by hooking one leg around him. Clearly not succeeding as well as he desired since Phil slid backwards at the attempt. "I'm joking. You know I wouldn't. Look, I'm not explaining this too well. You wake a guy up and demand things of him and this is what you get. Tasha and I, we're not exactly normal. You know that. Everyone knows that. And, well, in comparison to us, you're actually a well-adjusted human being with no real issues to speak of. On the other hand, the two of us probably have more issues than Marvel has comics. There are some things you can't help me with, and I sure as hell don't want to go for psych evals for things I already know how to handle. It's just... Natasha's the one who needs to be there for me sometimes."
Clint paused, eased Phil's fingers from where they were digging into his bicep and held his hand instead.
"I love you. If one day you turn around and go off on an extended mission somewhere I can't follow and decide to break my heart into a million pieces because you think it's for the best that we aren't together anymore, then Tasha's going to be the one who comforts me and then promises to hunt you down and make you pay for it. Granted, she'll also be the one who will reluctantly, but graciously, step aside when you come back to tell me that you were wrong, that you can't live without me, that you want me back. Of course, then I'll be forced to tell you about the baby, because I could hardly take you back without telling you that."
Phil laughed. He couldn't help himself.
"Wait, so in this mythical place where I leave you, you get Natasha pregnant? What happened to the not sleeping together?"
"We would sleep together in this completely crazy and fictional scenario, but don't worry, it's just because that's the best way of shutting me up with the least amount of damage to my person. Let’s face it, she'd run out of patience with me eventually. However, we really need to sit you down in front of Grey's Anatomy when it's next on because you are not getting this reference at all and I am clearly Callie in this situation. Natasha gets me pregnant. You of course get over the whole thing because you love me enough to raise Tasha's baby because it's going to be cute and part mine and everything works itself out."
"What he's trying to say," Natasha said from the bedroom door where she was stood in her full Black Widow gear, clearly she hadn't bothered to change after her mission before coming to see Clint, "is that I'm the only one who'll put up with this babbling, the fact he tries to out drink everyone and then throws up all over me and then I'm the only person to make sure that he remembers it's not true when he starts whining that he's not good enough for you." Phil looked at Clint who was suddenly staring very intently straight at Natasha. He squeezed Clint's hand tightly instead, smiling when Clint returned the gesture and his eyes flicked over to take in Phil’s expression. "Because he probably never even lets it cross his mind when he's around you, but stick him in the field for a few weeks and it's always there. Then for me, I know that if I ever kill anyone and need the body disposing of, he'll be the one I call to do my dirty work and get rid of it."
"That's exactly what I was saying."
"No you weren't." Phil looked away from Clint back to Natasha, realising that he wasn't the only one to say it.
"I'm not trying to take him away. Believe me, better him with you than with me. I'd have killed him myself by now with that snoring. Lucky he doesn't do it when we're on missions or he'd be long gone."
"He's my constant. Giving each other up isn't an option. We're just part of each other at this stage. And I'm warning you, I will likely invade your bedroom again. Although, next time when you're awake so you have the choice of leaving or possibly kicking us both out. But you really have nothing to worry about, sir." The last word said as an afterthought almost. Natasha's never been like Clint. Not where insubordination comes into it. Proving that she was on their side had always dissuaded her from that.
"So I'll leave you alone and see you at work." With a quick wave, she turned and left. "Oh, and don't worry, I won't team up with Coulson and feed you constantly when you get pregnant and deprive you of sex. Promise."
"See," Clint said with a grin at Natasha's retreating back, "she gets me when you don't."
Phil couldn't really argue with that. Because she clearly did.