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Fantasies

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There are a number of sites on the Internet that no rational person should ever frequent. But as part of his job of being the official Avengers babysitter, Phil has learned to deal with the fact that "rational" has to be left at the front door.

Still, as necessary as S.H.I.E.L.D. might believe it is to know about the online lusting habits of men and women who appear to be wannabe Avengers groupies, Phil wishes he was high enough in the S.H.I.E.L.D. hierarchy to give the job to someone else.

Preferably to Morse or Carter, who seem to develop an inability to stop laughing after they discover the details of that particularly assignment. But unfortunately for Phil, Morse and Carter are both above him in the S.H.I.E.L.D. hierarchy, and so it falls to Phil to read 57 varieties of blow jobs various strangers would like to give Captain America before Phil meets Steve for dinner.

Phil decides he will leave the Tony Stark forum for another day.

Phil considers, on his way back to Steve's apartment, how to broach the subject of his current workplace activities. Steve knows all about the Internet, of course, because when you're fighting Hydra tech in 1942, the Internet simply isn't that impressive. For the most part, Steve even likes the Internet, because it lets him get caught up much more quickly than a trip to the library could.

But Steve is not Tony Stark, so Phil is certain he hasn't been to this particular site. Because Phil is not Tony Stark, either, he searches for a tactful way to bring up the conversation during his drive home.

That plan is dropped the minute Phil enters the apartment.

Steve is injured, which isn't at all an uncommon occurrence. It's a small wound this time, but big enough that there is a noticeable change in his walk, and a noticeable hesitation when Steve carries his plate to the kitchen sink.

"Nothing's broken," Steve tells him. "I'm just sore, is all."

"Then you should lie down and let me fix that, while you tell me about what did this," Phil says, and he tries to say it in a way that doesn't sound like "And tell me why the hell S.H.I.E.L.D. didn't inform me what was going on instead of making me read stories about fictional blow jobs that you are never going to receive," because that just sounds possessive and controlling.

He's the Avengers' babysitter, after all - not Captain America's. Not as far as anyone at S.H.I.E.L.D. knows, at any rate, and it needs to stay that way.

Steve must be really sore, because he comes along without much of a fight, and lies down on the bed. Phil knows that he must really be feeling terrible, because he is willing to tell Phil all about the bad guy, and his actions in stopping the bad guy - something that his humility often makes difficult to pull out of him.

Phil remains quiet while he massages Steve's back and shoulders, listening for the barely audible groans that tell him he's massaging the wrong spots as well as the barely restrained ones that tell him he's hitting the right spots.

"So it wasn't anything I needed to bother S.H.I.E.L.D. about," Steve is saying, drowsily, and Phil swallows down the chuckle that wants to surface at the idea of telling Fury that Captain America just didn't need to contact them about that tiny Hydra cell he took out all by himself.

"You should probably tell Fury about it tomorrow, anyway," Phil says casually, massaging at another knot in Steve's back.

"Mmm. Okay. I'll tell him as soon as my muscles reharden," Steve says. "In case I haven't told you lately, your massages are incredible."

Of course, Phil's been on the other side of this; the first time they ever had sex was during Phil's recovery, during a massage that had turned unexpectedly (or so Steve claims) erotic. So he knows that the massage he's giving is nothing in comparison to what those serum-enhanced fingers can do.

But he kisses Steve's shoulder anyway. "It's my pleasure," he says.

"Mmm. Tell me about your day? I've spent all this time telling you about mine, but I haven't heard about yours," Steve says, and oh, the man is about to fall asleep at any minute. "Pretty sure I have the security clearance to hear about it."

"I'm sure you do, too. But it was a pretty boring day. Could have used a Hydra cell."

"Mmmhmm. Tell me anyway." There's a yawn this time, which Steve tries to hide in his pillow.

Phil thinks about his day, and the excited fans who have no idea what Steve Rogers really likes. He thinks about how he used to be one of those fans, and he knows that some people still think he is.

Phil spreads his hands over those broad shoulders, thinking about how they do and don't match up to the fantasies he used to have. And as nice as it is, Phil thinks about how much more important it is that Steve is comfortable enough with him to let a barely concealed yawn escape.

There are legions who will never know that the man is even capable of rest or exhaustion.

"Mostly desk work," Phil answers. "Nowhere near as exciting as what I came home to."