Clint was aware that there was pain and heat and the smoke and the fact that something large had his legs pinned, but not much outside of that. He was floating on the extreme edge of consciousness, about to totter over the edge. He was fighting tooth and nail to cling to that last shred, knowing he'd probably burn alive if he didn't try for help.
He already knew his comm unit wasn't working. His earpiece had shattered when the roof collapsed on him. Coulson, Cap, and Natasha knew he was still in the building. Surely they would come for him soon.
It was getting hotter. Clint tried to force his eyes open, managing to barely get them open enough to see anything. The flames were closer than they had been a few minutes ago. The fire was spreading faster than he anticipated.
Okay , Clint thought as he tried to take deep breaths. Anytime now, guys .
He could hear something off behind him, but he wasn't sure whether it was more of the building collapsing due to the fire or perhaps someone coming to help him. The sound was definitely coming closer but that didn't help him differentiate very much.
He tried opening his eyes open to try to catch a glimpse of what was going on, but he couldn't get them open this time. That was not a good sign.
The pressure on his legs suddenly shifted before disappearing and the next thing he knew he was being picked up and carried out. The last thing he heard before disappearing into the fog was: It's going to be okay, Barton, just stay with me .
Clint was aware of pain, although it was dull. There was heat but no smoke. He could hear a distant beep...beep...beep but wasn't quite awake enough to place what it was.
It was the same voice he had heard in the fire.
Clint, wake up.
He wanted to listen to the voice, to do what it said, but he couldn't bring his body to comply.
Please. Please wake up .
He could hear the voice waver with tears. No, he tried to say. No, angels don't cry. Don't cry.
The fog in his head lifted a little, enough to bring him back to consciousness, just in time to hear Phil say, “I'm no angel.”
Phil watched as Clint's lips twitched as if he wanted to smile. Then his eyes slowly blinked open, revealing Clint's foggy spring green eyes. Phil's breath caught before the weight on his chest lifted and the wave of relief he felt was so strong it gave him a head rush.
“Phil?” Clint's voice was horse, rusty from disuse and the smoke inhalation.
“I'm right here.” He threads his fingers through Clint's, anchoring the archer to reality.
Clint blinked slowly at him, trying to assess the damage. “How bad am I?”
“You have second degree burns on your arms and chest, luckily your face was shielded from the worst of the fire. You broke your left tibia in three places and your right femur in two from where the roof collapsed on you. You also fractured your right wrist from the fall.”
Clint's eyes widened. He leaned back into his pillows as he absorbed the news.
“Well,” he said finally. “Shit.”
Phil couldn't help the bark of laughter that escaped him. “Yeah. That's what I said.”
Clint frowned a little. “You...you went in the fire. You saved me.”
Phil tensed. “The rest of the team was occupied. I did my duty.”
“You could've gotten yourself killed.”
“That doesn't matter. I couldn't let you burn in there. I had to try to help you.”
Clint shook his head, eyes surprisingly shiny, before turning his head against his pillow, watching Coulson through his lashes. “I love you.” He whispered, voice rough with emotion.
Phil felt a pang in his chest as he kissed Clint's knuckles. “I love you, too.”