Per regulations, collared subs working for SHIELD are given two options: one, a standard quick-release collar, to be abandoned or destroyed upon enemy discovery or attack, or two, no collar at all. The first is generally acceptable for agents of the administrative variety, though Hill sets an example for senior agents by not wearing one. The second is mandatory for field agents, barring undercover operations, whether actually in the field or on base. No wrist or ankle cuffs, no marked bracelets, necklaces, or piercings, and god have mercy on your eternal soul if Nick Fury finds out you have a tattoo. The reasoning is sound; it's a grim fact of special ops that baddies are more excited about doing harm to a sub if they think they're harming some unseen top in the process. Better all the way around to forgo even such an important thing than regret having it later.
It's just that it really, really sucks.
It especially sucks for Clint right now, when he's been collared for all of like six days. Phil is being extraordinarily generous and letting him have the quick-release when they're alone, but what Clint really wants is to strut a little, maybe rub certain people's noses in it, just enjoy the feeling of it. Now he can't even have what little he's been getting, because they're off to Middle-of-Bumfuck, USA, where Clint will have the joy of spending long hours in the freezing cold waiting to shoot people- and then shooting people, but he admittedly finds that pretty interesting. And Phil can do a whole goddamn lot with proprietary glances and very meaningful expressions, but it just isn't the same, especially when Clint knows Phil probably won't even touch him.
It seriously blows.
Soon enough they're in whatever godforsaken state this is- okay, Clint knows what godforsaken state this is, but it's in the part of the country he hates the most and he really prefers not to think about it- and they're gearing up, getting ready to light this candle.
"Train might drown the usual," Jakobson tells him, handing him a plastic baggie instead of his comm. "Take the throat mic."
"Will do," Clint says. It's not the easiest to put on, the transducers needing to be in a certain spot and the earpiece likely to get tangled up in it, so Clint adjusts it in the mirror someone's helpfully duct taped to the wall of the ready room. He's not paying attention to what it looks like, not until he steps back to check it over. Then he sees the way the band of the mic cuts starkly across his neck, snug against his muscles; he swallows, watching it shift with the motion.
He looks goddamn good.
The final briefing has started by the time he gets there, and there's a possibility that he may be swaggering just a little bit. A few of the team members turn to look at him, and there are definitely some eyebrow lifts, all of which Clint takes with a smile. Phil's the one who matters though; it takes him a minute, but finally he looks up at Clint. Clint grins, waiting for a reaction, a smile, an amused look, an unamused one.
He gets precisely none of those things. Phil just gives him a 'Yes, hello, you are another human being, we are both human beings, let us carry on being human beings' look of acknowledgement and carries right on.
Clint tries not to be incredibly disappointed by this, but he doesn't do particularly well. He was hoping best-case scenario for a little bit of mouth-gone-dry appreciation, perhaps a stammer or an 'I am going to do so many wonderfully awful things to you later' look. Phil doesn't seem to notice; if he notices, Phil doesn't seem to care, which is far worse.
Clint sighs internally. He's not distracted during the mission, despite the fact that the mission involves about five hours of sitting in a crawl space staring out a window before anything actually happens. There's a possibility that he thinks about it once or twice or a dozen times, how it could be different; he doesn't wish that Phil had thrown him against the wall or knelt him in front of the whole team or anything, but he thinks about Phil slipping a finger between the mic band and his skin, putting a hand around his wrist during a briefing and squeezing tight. He imagines for a moment that the mic really is a collar, Phil's collar, that he doesn't have to hide it, gets the privilege of-
And then he shoots a couple guys and they go home.
Back at the Helicarrier, there's a debriefing and everything, not a whole lot to say when it's basically been a milk run. Clint usually hangs around, waiting for Phil to finish up with any stragglers, any excuse to spend more time with him; he's not feeling up to it right now, though, opting to head out instead. "Barton," Phil snaps, before Clint can get within three feet of the door. "Stay."
The junior agent Phil's talking to looks between the two of them; she does what she needs as quick as she can, very obviously not wanting to be in the middle of it. Clint frowns. He's not even sure what she's supposed to be in the middle of, though now he's not sure he wants to find out.
She scuttles off, leaving the two of them alone, and Clint starts to open his mouth. "My quarters, ten minutes," Phil says, before Clint can even say anything.
"Yes, sir," Clint says quickly, not sure what the fuck but very aware that Phil is not fucking around. Phil walks sharply out, and Clint doesn't follow him, not at first, trying to get it together.
It takes nearly that much time to even get across the Helicarrier to Phil's room. Clint punches in the passcode and the door opens; Phil is nowhere to be found, so on a hunch Clint grabs the mat from beside Phil's desk and puts it in the middle of the floor, kneeling.
It's several minutes before Phil appears; he takes off his suit jacket and throws it over the chair, working on his tie knot next. "Strip," he says, not even looking at Clint. Clint does it as fast as he can, putting his clothes to the side. He still has no real idea what's going on here, but the best thing he can do for himself is just do what he's told and hold on tight.
"Hands and knees," Phil says, unzipping his pants, and Clint quickly obeys. Phil gets on his knees behind him, grabbing his ass with one hand, his short fingernails digging in. "Spit," he orders, holding out his other, and Clint tries to do as good a job as he can, purely out of self-interest. "More. It's all you're getting, so make it good."
Clint gives it his all, but it still hurts when Phil pushes into him; then again, the way Phil's going, he doesn't think a lack of lubrication is the problem. Phil's definitely angry with him, and he's clearly going to take it out on Clint's poor ass, which did nothing at all to him.
Phil says nothing for a long time, just keeps pounding into him. "Do you have any idea how you fucking looked?" he says out of nowhere, sounding dangerously pissed.
"Yes, sir," Clint says, putting his forehead on the floor, trying to look as submissive as possible. Somewhere along the way he really misjudged this situation, and he really hopes a little rough sex is the only way he'll end up paying for it.
"Did you enjoy teasing me like that, Barton?" Phil demands.
"Not teasing, sir," Clint insists. "Only teasing if you won't follow through."
"Don't push me today, smartass," he says, slapping Clint's thigh hard. "You wanted everyone to see you like that," he accuses. "You just wanted attention, didn't you? Wanted everybody to stare at you."
"Yes, sir," Clint moans. "Wanted to look like I was yours. Wanted everybody to know I was claimed."
"Fuck, Clint," Phil groans, stilling inside of him, something different in his voice. He pulls out suddenly, and Clint hisses. "Into my lap. Ride me."
Phil's hands are all over him as he moves, guiding him up; he spits on Phil's dick before taking it back inside himself, worth the punishment for being presumptuous if it makes the ride a little smoother. Phil's not interested in slowing down any, fucking up into him as he bites Clint's skin, sucking hard enough that Clint will have a pronounced mark later. He wraps his hand around Clint's dick, jerking it quickly, and Clint's pretty sure he's going to die under all this, that Phil's just going to use him up and that's going to be the end of that.
"Gonna make you come," Phil says, his voice a little slurred, and Clint groans, pushing down hard on his cock. "Make you come so hard for me."
"Please," Clint all but whimpers. "Please, sir, whenever you want-"
Phil bites him again, harder, hard enough that Clint shouts. "Now," Phil says, his lips against Clint's skin, and Clint pushes up into his hand and does it, moaning Phil's name. Phil grabs his hips and fucks up into him fast, hard, until he pulls him down sharply and comes, clutching Clint to him.
Neither of them dare to move, not for a long time, just clinging to each other, catching their breath. "Up," Phil says finally, still winded; he maneuvers them into bed somehow, and Clint curls up next to him. Phil's clothes are already wrecked, so Clint doesn't bother holding back, draping himself over him.
"I'm sorry," Phil says, shaking his head. "I didn't understand. You were just flaunting that thing-"
"I don't have anything else to flaunt," Clint tells him, trying not to sound annoyed, "or else I'd be flaunting all over everywhere."
Phil puts his arm over his eyes. "I really hate that regulation."
"Join the club," Clint says, scowling.
"I should have talked to Nick- Director Fury about it a long time ago," he says. "It's not my call, but I do have seniority-"
Clint raises himself up on his elbows. "Wait, what?"
Phil gives him a look. "We change regulations, Clint," he says patiently. "I don't know if you noticed, but we're not exactly the most rule-bound people in the world. And when a regulation is based on poor logic, we talk about it, and sometimes it gets revised." Clint frowns at him. "Why should a field agent on base be any less likely to be able to discard a quick-release collar than an administrative agent?"
"I never actually thought about it that way," Clint says, annoyed at himself for that.
"Clint," Phil says gently. "When you have problems, you bring them to me. You don't let it fester. I'm not out to screw you, not in any non-sexual sense of the term."
Clint grimaces. "I'm not used to that, sorry," he says. "The grand total of people who could honestly say that is you and Natasha."
"I know," Phil says, running his fingers through Clint's hair. "It's hard, but I need you to trust that I have your best interests at heart."
"I do," Clint tells him, tucking his head under his chin. "I'm just good at ignoring that."
"Get worse at it," Phil says.
"I'll try," Clint responds. "No promises."
They lie there in silence for a long while; Phil holds him tight, just letting him cling, clinging to him.
"I did really want to throw you down and fuck you hard when I saw you wearing that thing," Phil confesses, breaking the silence.
"Would it have been any different than what just happened?" Clint asks.
Phil shrugs. "I might have let you have some lube."
Clint laughs. "You're an asshole, sir."
"Don't you forget it," Phil says, smiling. He gives Clint a once-over. "If this regulation changes-"
"Yeah?" Clint prompts.
"You're going to be insufferable, aren't you?" Phil finishes.
Clint grins. "Completely fucking insufferable, sir."
"I figured as much," Phil says.
"Would it make you feel better if I wasn't preening over being yours?" Clint asks.
Phil gives him a look. "What kind of idiot would that make me?"
Clint yawns. "Huge idiot." Phil sighs, and Clint grins, moving up to kiss him. "Come make out with me in the shower."
"That sounds like a pretty good plan to me," Phil says. "Get up and let's go."