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My Insides Are Copper

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Phil’s mom wanted to make a big deal out of him now being friends with Clint, and Phil played along with it. What else was he supposed to say? He couldn’t keep insisting that they were only working on a project with Fury in an attempt to keep playing their respective sports, and oh hey, by the way, in the meantime they’d sort of...started...something. Something that still didn’t mean they were friends. Phil couldn’t begin to explain that to his mom; he couldn’t even explain it to himself.

And yet, for all intents and purposes, they’d somehow started acting like friends. Phil fully expected Clint to ignore him completely the day after the thing in Phil’s room, but Clint was practically shy around him during English class, which was the one class they had together. Phil had smiled carefully at Clint when their eyes had met, and Clint had smiled back awkwardly. Phil had sat down in the desk beside him, murmured, “Hey,” and Clint had nodded back, his knee suddenly bouncing.

“I forgot your shirt,” he’d mumbled.

Phil had paused. “Oh. It’s cool. That thing’s like a billion years old. I only sleep in it, mostly.”

Clint had made a weird little grunting sound, his mouth twisting to one side. “Anyway. Thanks. And your mom’s really nice, too. I hope I didn’t sound like a dick.”

It was the second time Clint had thanked him for the shirt. Phil hadn’t known what to say. “No, no, you were fine. She likes you. Keeps talking about how awesome it is that we’re friends.” He’d laughed, a sharp, huffy little dorky snort, and waited for Clint to make a snide comment.

Instead, Clint had met his eyes and said in a low voice, “Are we?”

“Are we what?”

“Friends.”

Phil had swallowed, hating the way his palms had started to sweat. He couldn’t even look at Clint’s mouth without remembering the feel of—

“Sure, why not,” he’d replied, and flipped open his lit book like it really didn’t matter to him that Clint was watching him with those stormy blue eyes of his. Phil could already feel his dick twitching.

He’d thought he’d heard Clint murmur, “Friends,” again under his breath as the first period bell rang. Phil had glanced over and saw Clint drag his hand through his hair, his thumb skimming absently over the shell of his ear. Phil’s stomach had bottomed out for a moment as he remembered Clint’s harsh breath against his neck, asking, Have you ever had anyone suck your dick?

Phil had spent the rest of class hard in his jeans. He didn’t dare look at Clint again.

So they were friends now. Phil wondered if he should tell someone to make it official; the whole school was aware of their supposed hatred, and now things were different. Maybe. Sort of. He was pretty sure friends didn’t spend entire weekends obsessing about the feel of their other friends’ dicks in their hands.

“I have an idea,” his mom said on Sunday evening. “You should invite Clint back for dinner. I’ll cook for you guys, make a whole spread. Maybe get out the good dishes.”

Phil stared at her. “You’ve never told me to invite Steve and Bucky for dinner,” he said.

“You don’t need to be told to invite them over. I want to celebrate the progress you two have made! Besides, correct me if I’m wrong, but I get the feeling Clint doesn’t get very many home-cooked meals.”

He remembered Clint sitting in his room with a plate of pizza rolls, mumbling, We don’t do dinner a lot where I live. “I guess not,” Phil said.

His mom smiled. “I’ll let you pick the date.”

Phil didn’t want to think of anything involving Clint as a date. That was never happening. Ever. He wasn’t dumb enough to think having sex—and that was what they’d done, that was definitely sex, Phil wasn’t naïve—meant anything to someone like Clint. A couple of orgasms with a virgin probably barely ranked on Clint’s radar.

Phil wouldn’t let himself count the blowjob. Clint had just been making a point, that’s all.

Too bad he couldn’t stop thinking about it. Not just the blowjob itself, but everything that had been involved with it; had Phil made too much noise? Did he come too fast? Had he looked like a complete freak when he came? Had he sounded sexy at all?

He kept picturing Clint showing up at that college guy’s place, all loose-limbed and his hair mussed and wearing Phil’s stupid soccer camp shirt. The guy, Jamie, would smirk and ask where the hell Clint had gotten the shirt, and Clint would say something like, “Some dude gave it to me after a handjob in his room.” And they’d laugh and then Jamie would maybe kiss Clint all filthy and slow, like the guy in the parking lot that one time, and—

“Jesus,” Phil muttered to himself just as a ball flew straight past his head. He blinked hard.

“Hey, you okay?” Bucky called from across the field, giving Phil a concerned frown. “You’re super out of it today.”

“I’m fine.” He gritted his teeth and told himself practice was the absolute worst time to be spacing out over something as stupid as Clint Barton’s sex life. They had a tournament coming up; everyone was counting on Phil to be at his best.

He got through the rest of practice with only a slightly weird look from his coach, and in the locker rooms later Bucky asked again, in a low voice, “Dude, you’re sure? Did something happen?”

Phil huffed, “I’ve got a lot on my mind. It was just an off day.”

Bucky didn’t look convinced, but he held up both hands. “Fair enough. I’m gonna head home and change, then go to Steve’s to hang out. You should come.”

“Thanks.” Phil glanced over Bucky’s shoulder and caught sight of Clint pushing through the main locker room doors, shirtless and sweating. He was wearing weight-lifting gloves. “I’ll, um, think about it.”

“Cool.” Bucky clapped Phil on the arm. “And hey, I’m not trying to make you feel like shit or anything. It’s just that the team needs you in top form, y’know?”

Phil winced, even as he couldn’t quite keep from tracking Clint’s movements out of the corner of his eye. “I know,” he said, and gave Bucky a grin.

Bucky grinned back before he turned to leave, and suddenly it was only Phil and Clint alone in the locker rooms.

He hadn’t really spoken to Clint in several days; the only real interactions they’d had were the polite, tentative smiles in English class. Phil had this irrational need to make Clint speak to him first, which was so pathetic. And yet he could feel his heart drum a little faster as he covertly watched Clint strip off his gloves and flex his hands. His shorts sat very low on his hips, his stomach muscles shiny with sweat. Phil was abruptly hit by the memory of Clint stretched out beneath him, all hard and shivering and staring at Phil with dark, dark eyes, his mouth all wet and parted...

“What do you need, Weasel?” Clint asked. He looked up at Phil with a tiny smirk. It didn’t look mean at all.

Phil swallowed. “So, I’ve been meaning to ask—I mean, my mom wanted me to ask—about dinner. Um, you coming over for dinner.” He folded his arms over his chest, conscious of his sweaty practice jersey.

Clint tossed his gloves aside. “Like, at your house?”

“Yeah. My mom wants to cook for you.”

“Really?” His smirk melted into a real smile, one that made a stupid curl of warmth unfold in Phil’s chest.

“You don’t have to come if you don’t want to—”

“No, I’ll do it.” Clint paused, ducking his head. “No one’s ever invited me for dinner before,” he added quietly.

“Not even Natasha?” Phil couldn’t stop himself from asking.

Clint laughed. “Her family doesn’t cook.”

Phil nodded like that made sense, when in reality all he could think of was how much he really, really wanted to push Clint up against the lockers and put his hands all over him.

“What time should I come over?” Clint asked, completely unaware that Phil was trying desperately to calm his erection.

“Uh.” Phil cleared his throat. “Next week? We could do it Thursday night, after we’re done with our project work.”

“Okay. I’ll tell my assistant to put it on my calendar,” Clint drawled, and there a mischievous glint his eyes as his voice dipped low and smooth, almost as if—

—as if he were flirting with Phil.

Phil’s stomach swooped, his heart racing with frantic urgency. Is this what it was like to be on the receiving end of Clint’s affections? Is this how all those other guys felt? God, Phil was too easy; he was better than this, he wasn’t the kind of guy to go to pieces over some stupid blowjob.

He realized a beat too late that he was staring at Clint’s mouth.

“Phil,” Clint said carefully. It sounded like both a question and a warning.

“Are you seeing Jamie again?” Phil asked.

For some weird reason, Clint blushed. “No. Not that it’s any of your business.”

“Just making sure dinner doesn’t interfere with your...other stuff.” What the hell was wrong with him? Why couldn’t he just let things go?

“Other stuff?” Clint tilted his head to one side. He leaned a little closer to Phil, who bit the inside of his lower lip.

“You know what I mean.”

“Maybe I don’t. Be more specific.”

Phil looked away. “I won’t force to you be at my house when you could be getting off somewhere else.” He hated how jealous he sounded, which was ridiculous, since he wasn’t at all, he wasn’t. Clint was right, it was none of Phil’s business who he fucked. He didn’t care.

He still didn’t care when Clint said, “I don’t think your house is so bad.”

“That’s a ringing endorsement,” Phil mumbled. He wasn’t prepared for Clint to move even closer to him, until he could feel Clint’s warm breath brush against his cheek.

“What I’m saying is...maybe I don’t need to get off somewhere else,” Clint whispered.

Phil went very still, holding his breath. He made the mistake of turning his head enough to where his lips skimmed over Clint’s jaw. His mouth went wet with the overwhelming urge to kiss him.

“Oh,” Phil managed to huff. Would Clint care if Phil kissed him? Was that part of what they were doing here? He’d refused to kiss him last time, so it stood to reason that it probably wasn’t the best idea.

But Phil couldn’t think of a reason why at the moment. All the blood in his brain had rushed to his dick.

Later, he’d use that as an excuse for why he kissed Clint.

It was fast and sloppy, his tongue barely slipping over the edge of Clint’s teeth. He put one hand against Clint’s chest, more to balance himself than anything, only the second he swore he felt Clint start move into him, Clint jerked away.

“Wait,” Clint gasped. His eyes were wide and dark, lips slick-shiny.

Phil wanted to moan. “Sorry,” he breathed, even though he wasn’t.

“No, just—” Clint tangled his hand in the front of Phil’s jersey and tugged him forward, until their foreheads pressed together; it felt strangely sweet. Phil didn’t know where to put his hands, so he let them rest on Clint’s hips, the tips of his fingers curled into the dips and valleys of Clint’s lower back.

“We do this without the kissing. Got it?” Clint said.

“Do what?” Phil wanted to hear him say it out loud. If he couldn’t define what was happening, maybe Clint could.

Clint groaned low in his throat. “This,” he said, and rolled his hips up into Phil. There was barely anything between them but the slick material of their practice shorts, and Phil was already on edge. The friction was almost too much.

“God, not here,” Phil moaned when he started to feel the first hints of orgasm creeping up on him. “Don’t make me come here, please.” It came out more breathless than he intended.

Clint snaked an arm around Phil’s waist, held him tight as he gave another slow, hard thrust. “Where do you want me to make you come, huh?” he whispered in Phil’s ear, and that alone about did Phil in.

“My house. My mom won’t be home until late, we can—we can do this there. No kissing,” he added belatedly, mindless enough that he’d pretty much promise Clint anything just as long as he’d keep touching him.

Clint let him go, but not before he nipped at line of Phil’s jaw. “You drive. Don’t jerk off in the car, okay?”

“Fuck off,” Phil said, and on a whim, he scraped his teeth over Clint’s earlobe. He felt ridiculous pride when Clint shivered violently.

Somehow, they both managed to make themselves halfway presentable before they ran from the locker rooms to Phil’s car. He’d never driven with a full-on, raging boner before, but Clint wasn’t any better off. He pressed himself against the passenger side door and let his knee bounce, arms hugged around his chest. Clint’s cheeks were still bright pink, and his hair was still damp with sweat. Clint didn’t say a word, but Phil could feel his eyes on him.

Phil’s heartbeat sounded way too loud in the closeness of the car.

It felt like hours later when they were finally through the front door of the house, up the stairs and safely locked in Phil’s bedroom. All the breath left Phil’s lungs when Clint stripped his shirt own off and shoved Phil back onto the bed, crawling over Phil’s body. He slid his hands under Phil’s shirt, smirking when Phil arched into his touch and moaned.

“Sensitive,” Clint whispered.

“Horny,” Phil hissed back, wishing Clint wasn’t so perceptive.

“Yeah, I can see that.” Clint cupped his hand over the front of Phil’s shorts and hummed his approval when Phil’s dick jerked under his palm. “I could get you off without even touching you.”

“Where’s the fun in that, asshole?”

Clint squinted down at him for a second, then slowly, obscenely, drew his tongue over his bottom lip. “Wanna bet?”

Phil didn’t want to wager anything. He knew damn well he was capable of coming just from staring at Clint’s mouth. “Shut up and blow me or something, I don’t have all night.” His voice wavered slightly.

“Hmm, I got a better idea.” Clint sat back on his heels and skimmed Phil’s t-shirt off, leaving it tangled around Phil’s wrists. He pinned Phil with a light hold before sliding back down and abruptly sucking one of Phil’s nipples into his mouth.

Phil came with an embarrassingly loud shout.

“That’s what I thought,” he heard Clint murmur in a thick, husky voice that was so damn hot, Phil felt himself twitch painfully even through the aftershocks of his orgasm.

He couldn’t get enough air back into his lungs; everything was starbursts behind his eyes, just like the time he’d come from Clint blowing him. Phil felt wrecked, shattered, a blur of too many emotions flooding through him with bright, overwhelming intensity.

He swallowed tightly, his hands shaking where they gripped his tangled shirt. Phil opened his eyes and found Clint watching him with dark blue eyes, his mouth parted and his breathing shallow.

Phil suddenly wondered why the hell he was good enough for Clint to fuck, but not to kiss.

He needed to be kissed.

But that wasn’t what they were doing. This wasn’t about tender things and feelings Phil couldn’t put into words. This was getting off, and convincing Clint that Phil could be just as good as all those other guys.

Phil never did anything half-assed.

“You okay?” Clint whispered into the curve of Phil’s neck.

Phil’s response was to roll Clint onto his back and wrangle his dick out of his shorts. Clint was a little longer than Phil, but not as wide (a fact Phil took a lot of secret pleasure in), and he curved to the left. The head was wet, and it pulsed when Phil rubbed his thumb over it.

“You—ah, shit.” Clint’s eyes went wide, pupils totally blown. Phil didn’t look away as he leaned down and took a long, careful lick.

Clint made a strangled sound, his hips snapping off the bed.

Whose the sensitive one now, huh? Phil thought, and licked him again. He’d never done this before, and never gave it much thought until recently. There were a lot of things Phil hadn’t thought about much until the last few weeks, like being around Clint Barton suddenly made him obsessed with sex. Not that Phil never thought about sex, but it was never with this itch under his skin, or a low thrum of anticipation deep in his belly. He’d never thought about sex in terms of actually having it, or having someone.

He had Clint, here and now. Whatever their friendship was, or whatever was happening between them, Phil could have this. This was his.

He braced his hands on Clint’s thighs and let his mouth go slack, sucking Clint in as far as he could.

Clint’s moan was filthy and loud. Phil sucked him harder, and Clint growled, “Oh, fuck, that’s—you’re—”

Phil fumbled his hand around the base of Clint’s cock. He could do this; he knew what he liked, and he remembered everything Clint had done to him. He squeezed Clint, flicking the tip of his tongue over bitter-salt slit. Clint huffed out a breath, mumbled something that sounded like Phil’s name, and Phil’s mouth was abruptly flooded with come.

It happened too fast for Phil to swallow. He startled, and his hands flailed out to brace himself as he pulled off. Clint’s dick gave one last pulse, a burst of white spurting down the shaft, and Phil realized belatedly that he might be getting hard again.

“Jesus fuck, Coulson,” Clint gasped. “You’ve got—you’ve got come all over your face.”

Phil blinked, the back of his hand swiping at his mouth. It came back slick and sticky. He was too breathless to really say anything, so he scrambled off the bed. He grabbed a couple of washcloths from the linen closet, sparing a moment to glance at himself in the bathroom mirror.

His hair was a disaster, the flush in his cheeks so bright it made his stupid freckles stand out in stark relief. He was pink all over, actually, right down to his bellybutton. And the slick-shiny mess all over his right cheek and trailing down his chin—combined with the obvious drying tackiness in his shorts—just made it worse.

God, did Clint actually think he was sexy? Phil blanched and shut the bathroom light off as he scrubbed his face clean.

When he got back to his room, Clint was sprawled starfish-like over Phil’s bed, gazing up at the ceiling. Phil tossed a cloth at him.

“When did you get that?” Clint asked. He jerked his chin up.

Phil grit his teeth. He didn’t need to blush more. “My mom got it for me in New York when I was a kid.” It was the first Captain America poster he’d ever had, and it had stayed thumb-tacked to his bedroom ceiling ever since.

“It’s pretty cool.”

“Seriously?”

Clint shrugged. “Yeah. Kinda vintage, y’know? ‘s probably worth something if you sold it on eBay.”

Phil couldn’t believe Clint was lying on his bed, cock still hanging out, and complimenting Phil’s Captain America memorabilia. “Um. Thanks.”

Clint sat up carefully and wiped at the come drying on his stomach. “So...d’you think, maybe—”

Naturally, Phil’s cell chose that moment to ring. He nearly tripped getting to his backpack.

“Hey, Phil!” Steve said cheerily. “Bucky just told me you had a crap practice. You should totally come over, we’re playing Brownie Halo.” It was a game of Steve’s making: whoever made the first killshot of a round got first dibs on his grandma’s brownies.

“Oh, yeah, um, about that...I’m not, uh. I’ve got a lot of homework.” Phil paced by the foot of the bed, uncomfortably aware of Clint’s eyes on him.

“Aw, c’mon. These are chocolate chunk, okay. Also, Bucky’s getting his butt kicked.”

Phil shoved a hand through his hair. “That does sound pretty awesome.”

Steve paused. “You do sound kind of…weird. Are things okay with your mom?”

"Sure, yeah, everything’s fine. Look, I’ll call you guys later. Keep handing Bucky’s ass to him, yeah?”

“I’ll bring you a brownie tomorrow.”

At that, Phil smiled. Steve was a great guy. “Thanks, Rogers. See you tomorrow.” He hung up, a weird ball of guilt settling low in his stomach.

Clint was watching him with narrowed eyes.

“What?” Phil asked.

Clint shook his head. “Nothing. I should go. You’ve got all that homework, after all,” he drawled.

Phil didn’t say anything as Clint tugged his shirt back on. But just as Clint got to the door of his room, Phil said, “So is this, like, a thing? You and me?”

Clint paused with his hand on the door knob. He glance back at Phil over his shoulder. “Sure. A thing.”

Phil swallowed. “I won’t tell anyone.”

Clint shrugged. “Whatever. Doesn’t matter to me.”

How many other ‘things’ do you have going? Phil thought, but what he said was, “Yeah. Me, neither.”

~

It happened in fits and starts. Clint avoided Phil’s eyes during class, but he still sat in the desk beside him, legs sprawled out and his left knee angled just enough that it nearly touched Phil’s. It wasn’t on purpose, Phil knew, yet he still obsessed over it through an entire lecture on Steinbeck.

When the bell for the end of the hour rang, Clint stood up and slung his bag over his shoulder. Phil stayed seated and kept his head down, uncomfortably aware that he was half-hard.

“Goin’ to the locker rooms for a while,” he heard Clint say.

Phil jerked his head up. “Huh?”

Clint looked bored. “Locker room. For stuff.”

“Okay…?”

“You’ve got study hall this period, right?”

Phil nodded. “So?”

“So...I’m going to the locker rooms.”

Phil couldn’t wrap his head around why the hell Clint would tell him any of this, until Clint finally looked up at him from under his lashes. His eyes were very, very dark.

“Okay,” Phil breathed. “Got it.” He shifted in his chair, but he noticed at the last second, just as Clint left the room, that Clint was flushed.

Phil’s study hall hour was always in the library, where he normally met Pepper for their usual studying time. This time he took a seat at one of the tables closest to the doors, waiting until the final bell rang before slipping out into the halls undetected.

He didn’t know how he instinctively knew Clint would be in the locker rooms reserved for away teams. Maybe it was because no one used them during the school day. The place was dark and quiet, and Phil’s heart was racing by the time he set his bag down and called out, “Barton?”

He came out of nowhere, pushing Phil against the closest bank of lockers and shoving his thigh between Phil’s legs.

“You’re so dense sometimes,” Clint growled, right before he pulled the neck of Phil’s t-shirt aside and sunk his teeth into Phil’s shoulder.

Phil had a response for that, he really did. He’d think of it later when he wasn’t ten seconds away from coming in his jeans.

It all happened in a rush so fast, Phil was dizzy when it was all over. His arms had somehow ended up wrapped tight around Clint’s neck, their foreheads pressed together as Clint had jacked them off. Phil watched as Clint ran a thumb slowly over the head of Phil’s spent cock.

“Are you skipping class right now?” Phil managed to ask.

Clint made a low, contented sound in his throat. It was sexy as hell. “I do teacher’s aide shit for Mrs. Schafer. She lets me do whatever I want. I usually go shoot for an hour.” He gave Phil’s dick one last squeezed and dropped his hand, but he didn’t pull away. Phil didn’t lower his arms, either. He drew the tip of his finger along the back of Clint’s neck, over the soft edge of Clint’s hairline.

“This is better than studying for my History quiz,” Phil said.

“You actually study in study hall? God, Weasel, you’re such a dork.” Clint rolled his forehead against Phil’s, his left hand—the one not covered in come—sliding up under Phil’s shirt to pinch his side. Phil yelped and laughed in spite of himself as he shoved at Clint’s shoulders.

“Not a dork, just smarter than you.”

“My ass you’re smarter. I know ways to get laid during a school day.”

Phil’s heart gave a hard twitch. He pictured some random guy in this very position, clinging to Clint and smiling all post-coital and dopey at him.

He dropped his arms.

“I should…,” Phil started, interrupted by his phone buzzing with a text from Pepper: Where are you?? You disappeared.

Went to my car for something brb, he texted back one-handed as he zipped his fly, even though he knew Pepper totally wouldn’t buy it.

“Later, Coulson,” Clint said, and Phil would’ve casually waved him off had Clint not leaned in and practically purred the words right against Phil’s cheek. Phil huffed out a loud breath, wishing he could turn his head and push into a messy kiss that would make Clint shiver and feel as off-kilter as he did.

“You should give me your number,” Phil said in a rush. “I mean, I should have it anyway for our project stuff. It’d make things easier, y’know?”

Clint made that gorgeous humming sound again. He looked blissed-out and sex-hazy, eyes at sleepy half-mast. Phil wanted that look all to himself, to know he was the only person who made Clint look like that.

He took Phil’s phone and typed in a text, the corner of his lower lip caught between his teeth. When Clint was done, he handed the phone back and said, “There you go.”

“Thanks,” Phil croaked. His mouth was too wet.

“I’m all about making things easy.” The smile Clint gave him was lopsided and deliberately sexual.

Phil mumbled something indecipherable and fumbled for his backpack, every inch of his skin hot to the touch.

~

He slid into the seat beside Pepper’s as quietly as possible. Pepper wasn’t amused.

“What the hell is going on?” she whispered loudly, smacking Phil on the arm. “I thought you’d been kidnapped or something.”

“Kidnapped from class, really? What, like school pirates?” Phil snorted at his own joke.

“I’m being serious, and what is up with you lately?”

Phil busied himself with digging out his history book. “Nothing. Like I said, I had to go out to my car.”

“I’m not talking about just now. You’ve been acting super spacey lately. Even Tony’s noticed.”

“I’ve got a lot going on. Games and stuff.”

She shook her head. “No, this is different. It’s almost like…” Pepper leaned closer and squinted, like she was inspecting Phil. “This has been going on since you had that hickey.”

Phil swallowed. “I told you, that was a one-time thing.” The bruise on his shoulder suddenly felt as if a spotlight was shining on it.

“Yeah, you said that, but I think you’re full of it. You’re still messing around with this guy, aren’t you? Or I guess I should say, you like him.”

“All this from me being a little out of it? I’m stressed out, end of story. I’m not fucking anyone,” he added in a low voice, head bowed as he scribbled furiously in his notebook.

“Why can’t you just tell me?” Pepper asked earnestly. “Is it really that bad? I’m sure the guy’s special if you’re so into him—”

“I don’t want to talk about it,” Phil said abruptly, heart racing.

She snapped her mouth shut, looking hurt, which immediately made Phil contrite. “Sorry, but it’s under control, all right? Don’t worry about me, I’m fine. I swear.”

Pepper sniffed, obviously unconvinced, but didn’t say anything more.

~

It wasn’t a habit. Habits were things you couldn’t keep yourself from doing. Sex with Coulson wasn’t like chewing your nails; Clint could give it up whenever he wanted to. It was just a really nice a distraction. Lately, when he’d come home after a late practice to Terrance being in a bad mood, Clint wasn’t even phased. He’d nod along when Margo’d remind him to take out the trash and do the dishes, and Terrance’s grumbles about how Clint had yet to get the Harley working barely registered.

Basically, getting laid on a regular basis mellowed Clint out a lot.

He hadn’t planned on it becoming a regular thing. That first meet-up in the locker rooms was on a whim, more of a curiosity on Clint’s part to see how far Phil was willing to go with this. He’d let Clint blow him in the privacy of his bedroom, but on school property? Clint hadn’t thought squeaky-clean Star Goalie had it in him. But he’d been wrong—really wrong.

Phil went to pieces for Clint so, so easily; most of the time he was hard as a rock and leaking everywhere by the time Clint got his hands on him, and he’d make that soft, pleading little whimper, like he wanted to beg but couldn’t say it out loud. He’d look at Clint with those ridiculously pretty eyes all dark and blown wide, and it never took much after that.

Clint had never been with someone so goddamn sensitive. The fact that he could get Phil off without using his hands was—yeah. Clint thought about that time in Phil’s bedroom more than he’d like to admit, about how it felt to suck Phil’s nipple between his teeth and have him completely fall apart. It was almost as if Phil hadn’t ever…

Well. So what if Phil had been a virgin? It made for short hook-ups; Phil was always ready to go, no matter what. All Clint had to do was pass him in the halls in the morning, coast his thumb covertly down the inside of Phil’s arm and murmur, “Third period,” which was when Phil had study hall. Sometimes Phil would give a bored shrug, or pretend he hadn’t heard Clint. But there was always that tiny, imperceptible shiver whenever Clint touched him.

And like clockwork, Phil was always there in the locker rooms.

Late at night, alone in his bed, Clint would think about how he was slowly debauching innocent Phil Coulson as he tugged at his dick and bit his lip to keep from moaning out loud. He’d come imagining the sight of Phil’s perfect mouth wrapped around him, sucking him like it was the best thing in the world, his freckled cheeks all blotchy pink.

They’d been fucking around for a few weeks now. It made their project sessions more interesting, not that they got any real work done anymore. But the whole point was to make him and Coulson get along, right? They may not have been planning camp stuff, but Clint figured getting Phil spread out on his bed with his jeans tangled around his legs and his dick in Clint’s mouth was close enough. Fury probably hadn’t pictured it like this, but whatever.

The disturbing part was how much Clint enjoyed Phil after he’d come his brains out. He’d shudder and cling to Clint, eventually curling into him until his face was tucked into the curve of Clint’s neck. He’d stopped opening his eyes immediately after the tremors ended, his lips parted and tilted up toward Clint, begging to be kissed. Now he ducked his head and let his breathing even out against Clint’s skin as his mouth skimmed back and forth over Clint’s collarbone in a ghost of a kiss.

Clint never called him on it. He liked the swell of protectiveness that unfurled in his chest whenever Phil melted into him, knowing he was stronger than Phil. Besides, cuddling was nice. Clint could see why people enjoyed it.

So for a couple weeks or so, things seemed good. Clint won a weekday tournament for the first time in months, Lucky was nearly back in pizza-eating form, and he was getting off on the regular. While his life was far from perfect, Clint hadn’t felt content in a long time.

Then his boss at the shelter dropped a bomb on him, and everything went back to shit.

“I need the kennel space, Clint,” Laurie said gently as she laid a hand on Clint’s shoulder. “Besides, Lucky’s been fully recovered for a while now. Don’t you want him to be at home with you?”

No, Clint thought frantically. He’d been slowly but surely paying off the vet bill without a word to Terrance, and in the meantime Terrance had left him alone. One look at Lucky would ruin any sort of tentative truce they had. “I think he needs to stay here a little longer. To be safe.”

Laurie smiled. “He misses you. And I can’t keep turning away other dogs who don’t have homes. If I had the room, I’d let him stay, but I really think he needs to be with you now.”

Clint’s chest felt too tight. Fuck, what was he supposed to do? He couldn’t turn Lucky out into the streets right after he’d recovered from being hit by a goddamn car. But there was no way he’d convince Terrance to let Lucky live with them, not after everything that had happened.

“Can I wait until tomorrow?” he asked in a small voice. “I-I’ve gotta make arrangements with my mom for, uh, Lucky’s food. And bed.”

“Sure. If you want, I could drop Lucky off at your house?”

“No, that’s okay,” Clint said, the multitude of reasons why that was a horrible idea racing through his head. “I’ll come by for him.”

He went home and curled up on his bed facing the wall, wondering what the fuck happened now. Clint shoved one hand under his pillow, and his fingers brushed soft cotton.

He’d yet to give Coulson his shirt back.

Coulson. Maybe he’d know someone who could—maybe he’d think of something—

“Stop it,” Clint hissed. Phil couldn’t help him with this. Clint wasn’t some damsel in distress. He’d deal with it, just like he’d dealt with everything else.

His one concession was texting Nat. The shelter can’t hold Lucky anymore, he wrote.

It was late, but she still wrote back almost immediately, Where will he go??

I don’t know. I’ll think of something.

I’d take him, but my dad is allergic. :(

Clint smiled wearily. I wouldn’t ask you to do that. Lucky’s my problem.

He’s not a problem, he’s your dog. He deserves a home.

Lucky deserved a lot of things that Clint couldn’t give him. Like I said, I’ll think of something.

Have you talked to Phil about it?

Clint went very still. He knew Nat suspected things were going on between them, but she’d never said so out loud. Why would I do that? he finally typed back.

Never mind. You’re obviously not thinking straight. Sleep on it and we’ll talk tmrw, ok? <3

He huffed out a long breath as he wrote, Ok, and dumped his phone on the floor. With his left hand still curled around Phil’s shirt, he forced himself to fall asleep.

~

There was a stupid, childish part of his brain that had always secretly hoped bad shit would disappear after a long sleep. Unfortunately, Clint woke up the next morning without any idea of how to handle the Lucky situation. He thought about biting the bullet and telling Kate about everything; her parents weren’t big on animals, but she’d probably be able to take Lucky for a week or so, just long enough for Clint to think of a plan. Then he remembered the Bishops’ family vacation was that coming weekend, and there was no way they’d be taking Lucky on a Disney World cruise.

Which left Clint back at square one. There was nothing to be done; Lucky was just going to have manage on his own again, with Clint covertly seeing him when he could.

It made Clint’s chest hurt to think about it.

~

He didn’t realize it was Thursday until he got to school and found Coulson pacing awkwardly around Clint’s locker. He kept his head down, fidgeting with the straps of his backpack. There was something sweet in the anxious movements of Phil’s hands. Clint suddenly remembered how gentle Phil had been with Cupcake, how being faced with a big, goofy dog hadn’t phased him in the least.

Clint swallowed.

No. He couldn’t keep asking Phil for help. The one time was bad enough. He took a deep breath and forced a lazy smirk, saying, “Stalking me, Weasel?”

Phil startled, then laughed sheepishly. “Sorry, I was, uh. I was gonna text you but I thought…” He trailed off as he met Clint’s eyes. “Wait, what’s wrong?”

Jesus, was Clint that obvious? “Nothing,” Clint said, grinning wider. “Were you just trying to booty call me?” He leered at Phil, who immediately, predictably blushed.

“I was going to remind you about dinner tonight. My mom’s cooking for us.”

Clint had completely forgotten. “Oh. Right.” Shit, he’d never find time to get Lucky. Why couldn’t something work in his favor for once?

Phil leaned a little closer. “Is that still okay?”

“Sure, yeah, whatever. Food’s good.” He could handle this, he could. Maybe he could talk Coach into letting him bail early, or he could come down with a mysterious flu bug in seventh period, or—

“Clint.”

He froze in the middle of slamming his books into his locker. Clint took a long, deep breath, gently setting his Psych text on the top shelve. His knuckles were white from gripping it too tightly.

Phil was watching him with those stupidly pretty eyes, worrying bottom lip between his teeth. Clint waited for the inevitable Tell me what happened or Let me help you, fully prepared to keep his fake smile on and insist everything was fine.

Phil opened his mouth, shut it, tried again, his shoulders hunched like he expected a blow.

All he said was, “I’ll see you tonight.”

Clint stared at him. “Okay.”

“Okay.” Phil rubbed at his neck as he rocked back on his heels. He huffed something under his breath before heading off in the opposite direction down the hallway. It sounded a lot like, “Fuck it.”

Clint suddenly wanted to tell him everything.

~

Phil did not, under any circumstances, think about Clint’s shaking hands from that morning. It wasn’t worth thinking about; he’d learned his lesson. Worrying about Clint always ended in bruises.

You’re friends now, though, whispered a little voice in his head. But Phil wasn’t even sure what that meant. He could acknowledge that they were...something. There was the sex—lots and lots of sex. Sex without any kissing, or any discussion about it afterward.

Sometimes Phil would covertly watch Clint walk through the halls, the lazy sway of his hips making Phil’s heart pound. He’d come up behind Kate and kiss the back of her head, making her roll her eyes and elbow him affectionately in the chest. Clint would laugh and just sort of ease into her personal space like it was nothing.

With Natasha, it was much worse. There was a reason half the school thought they were a thing.

But so what if Clint only smiled at him like that when they were alone behind closed doors, and only when he’d just gotten off? Knowing what Clint looked like after he’d come didn’t mean Phil had the right to offer his help. It wasn’t like the guys Clint fucked on the weekends were rushing to his aid whenever Clint had a problem.

Phil didn’t know if Clint was still fucking other guys. He didn’t want to know. He thought about it too much already, and his stress headaches were getting worse.

He wasn’t expecting to see Natasha walk right up to his table during lunch, smile politely at everyone, and ask, “Phil, do you have a moment?”

“Um. Sure.” He could feel Pepper’s stare boring into him, and Tony made a loud hum of curiosity while Bucky’s eye’s went wide and Steve cocked his head to one side. Phil set his sandwich down and carefully got up from his seat to follow Natasha into the empty gym nearby.

“So what’s up?” he asked tentatively.

Natasha sighed. “Clint needs a home for Lucky,” she said without preamble.

Phil blinked. “But I thought—”

“The shelter won’t hold him anymore, they don’t have the room. But you know Clint can’t take him back to his house.” Her voice dropped into whisper.

In the weeks they’d been fucking around, Phil had dared to ask about Lucky once. It had happened after they’d come in each other’s hands; Clint had groaned happily as he’d nuzzled his face against Phil’s jaw, pressing their weight against the locker room wall.

“That was nice,” he’d drawled. “Wish we had enough time to go again.”

“We’re not that lucky,” Phil had replied, drowsy and sated. He’d licked at the soft spot behind Clint’s ear, where he’d learned Clint was the most sensitive, and grinned when Clint shivered. “Hey, how’s, ah, your friend?”

“Hmm, Lucky?” Clint had said, apparently too blissed out to bother censoring himself. “He’s good. Really good. Fully healed and everything.”

“Good,” Phil had parroted back, hiding his smile against the nape of Clint’s neck.

And that had been that. Or so Phil had thought.

“What do you expect me to do about it?” he asked. “I think you know what happened last time I tried to—help.”

Natasha shook her head and sat down on the closest row of bleachers. She pushed her hair back, genuine desperation in her eyes. “He can’t lose Lucky. It’ll wreck him.”

“Clint’s dealt with worse, hasn’t he?”

“That’s just it. Lucky helps him cope. He needs something decent in his life.”

Phil licked his lips, remembering how broken Clint had been that day in the rain, begging Phil to help save his dog. He also remembered the black eye Clint had shown up with days later. “I still don’t understand where I come in.”

“Look, I know what’s going between the two of you.”

Phil’s stomach swooped. “It’s not what you think.”

“Of course it is. Clint’s a terrible liar.” She smiled and patted Phil’s hand, pulling him down to sit beside her. “You care about him.”

Phil noticed she didn’t add, And he cares about you. “We’re friends,” he mumbled.

“In case you didn’t know, Clint doesn’t have a lot of those.”

“So I’m supposed to talk one of my friends into taking Lucky? Yeah, Clint’ll love that.”

“Or,” Natasha said slowly, “you could take him. Temporarily. Until Clint is old enough to be legally on his own.”

Phil stared down at his hands. He couldn’t picture Clint agreeing to let him take his dog, not in a million years. “That’s probably not a good idea.”

“Do you want Lucky back out on the streets?”

He shook his head.

“Do you want Clint getting hurt again?” Natasha asked, softer.

It was incredibly disconcerting how quickly and violently his stomach lurched at the thought. Phil shut his eyes and whispered, “No.”

“Then do this for him. He’ll thank you for it, I promise.” She stood up, still holding Phil’s hand.

He looked up at her and forced a weak smile. “Hope you’re right.”

“I’m always right. Clint will tell you that any day.”

~

Phil tried his best to come back to the lunch table as nonchalantly as possible, but everyone was staring at him.

“Uh, what the hell was that?” Bucky asked. “If I’d known you were on speaking terms with Natasha Romanov, I’d be asking you for her number.”

“Bucky, geez, you don’t have know about all Phil’s friends,” Steve said, but he looked thoroughly confused. Maybe even a touch hurt.

Phil felt like an ass. “We just talk sometimes. She’s a friend.”

“Does she have something to do with your mystery hook-up guy?” Pepper asked.

“Whoa, whoa, back the train up!” Tony blurted out, holding up both hands. “Since when do you of all people have a hook-up?”

Phil wanted the floor to swallow him whole. “I don’t have a hook-up.”.

“You disappear during study hall for at least twenty minutes practically every day,” Pepper said pointedly. “And you never focus anymore!”

“Oh my god, this makes total sense,” Bucky said, eyes going wide again. “That’s why you’ve been so out of it in practice—you’re getting laid.”

“I don’t—”

“What happened to waiting for marriage?” Tony said in high-pitched anguish. Pepper had the decency to punch his arm.

“Coulson, dude, why didn’t you say anything! We could’ve done shots or something, celebrated the punching of your V-Card!” Bucky proclaimed loudly as he leaned over and shook Phil’s shoulder.

Thank God Clint never ate lunch in the cafeteria.

“Guys, c’mon, leave him alone, he’s obviously embarrassed about it. Phil’s sex life is his own business,” Steve said. He gave Phil a reassuring smile, but there was definitely a flicker of hurt in his eyes.

Bucky sighed. “Fine, fine, whatever, but you’re totally getting me Romanov’s number, right?”

Steve shoved him, which made Bucky laugh. Tony made a comment about Phil’s tainted virtue, to which Pepper replied dryly, “It’s cleaner than yours.”

“Touché, my darling,” Tony said, and kissed her cheek.

Phil pinched the bridge of his nose, a dull ache beginning to throb at the back of his head.

~

Clint’s sweaty palms had made Lucky’s leash damp by the time he got to Phil’s house. The sun was sinking into the horizon, and Clint kept telling himself, over and over, that all he was asking for was just an evening, just a few hours with Lucky in Phil’s big, open backyard while Clint had dinner. He’d make up an excuse about Margo having guests over who were allergic to dogs; Phil wouldn’t buy it, but his mom probably would.

He still had no fucking idea what he was going to do with Lucky once he left the Coulsons’ house. Clint did, however, have Nat’s voice in his head saying, “Let Phil help you, please. Trust him.”

“I can do this,” he whispered to himself, and rang the doorbell.

Phil’s mom answered, wearing one of those frilly aprons Clint associated with old 1950’s black and white TV sitcoms. She was also wearing jeans and sneakers. “Clint, hello! Come on in, dinner’s almost...” Her eyes landed on Lucky. “Oh. You brought a friend?”

Clint flushed all the way down his neck. “Yeah, uh, it’s kind of a long story, Mrs. Coulson—”

“It’s okay, Mom.” Phil suddenly ran down the stairs and came to a skidding stop in the doorway. His hair was wet, and he was wearing a blue polo with the collar sticking up on one side. “That’s Lucky,” he added breathlessly as he dropped to one knee and reached out with both hands to scratch Lucky’s ears. Lucky immediately groaned and all but melted into Phil.

“Hey, boy, how’s it going?” Phil murmured. Lucky butted his nose against Phil’s cheek.

Clint’s heart was beating really hard. He shifted the bag of dog food Laurie had given him under his arm. It crunched loudly. “I’m sorry, I wasn’t going to bring him here, I just...”

“It’s fine.” Phil looked up at him. “Lucky can stay, right, Mom?”

“Sure, I don’t see why not. He’s housetrained, I take it?”

Clint had no idea. He’d never given it much thought, seeing as how Lucky was never indoors. “Um…”

“Yeah, he’s good. Lucky’s really well-behaved.” Phil glanced at Clint out of the corner of his eye. Clint swallowed and nodded, praying to any god that would listen that Lucky didn’t shit all over one of Mrs. Coulson’s expensive rugs.

“Well, the more the merrier, I guess.” She held her hand out for Lucky’s dog food. “I’ll put this out for him in the kitchen with a bowl of water, how’s that sound?”

“Thanks, Mrs. Coulson.”

“Call me Alice. Coulson was my married name,” she replied with a smirk that made Phil roll his eyes. “Dinner will be ready in about fifteen minutes if you boys want to go freshen up.”

She left them alone in the foyer with Lucky standing between them. Eventually Phil got to his feet and hugged his arms across his chest. “You should know that Natasha told me everything,” he said very softly, not looking at Clint.

Every bone in Clint’s body tensed. Damn it, he knew she’d do something like that. It wasn’t just a coincidence that she’d cornered him at the end of the day and begged him to trust Coulson. Let him help you.

“So?” Clint whispered.

“So...I’m gonna ask my mom tonight if Lucky can stay here. With us. Until you can take him again.” Phil licked his lips. “I mean, if you want me to. If you don’t, I won’t say anything. I promise.”

Clint wanted to point out that Phil had made promises like that before, but he didn’t have the heart to say it. This was different. Phil sounded completely earnest, like he genuinely wanted to help Clint and his ridiculous dog who would probably pee all over the kitchen floor at any moment.

After all the shit Clint had put him through, Phil still wanted to help him. Something twisted up tight in Clint’s chest, making it hard to breathe. “Doesn’t your mom travel a lot?” he asked.

Phil shrugged. “Yeah, but she’s been talking about getting a dog for a while now, to keep me company while she’s gone.”

Clint didn’t know why it hurt to imagine Phil all alone in his big, empty house. “You’ve got games and shit.”

“I’ll come home at lunch and check on him.” Phil ducked his head. “Or, y’know, I can give you the combination to the garage and you can do it. Whatever.”

“You’d just let me into your house like that?”

“Why not, you’re over here every week as it is. And my mom likes you.”

Lucky watched them solemnly, as if he knew they were debating his future. He tucked his head up over Clint’s hand, tail thumping gently against the floor.

“If you’re gonna promise me something, all I want is—just—give him back to me when I’m eighteen. Got it?” Clint said. For a horrible moment, he thought he’d cry. He curled his hand around Lucky’s muzzle and bit down hard on his lower lip.

“He’s your dog,” Phil whispered. “He’ll always be your dog.”

Clint nodded jerkily. His vision was starting to blur.

Thankfully, Phil’s mom called, “Boys, dinner’s on!” Clint blinked hard, fumbled with the leash latch on Lucky’s collar until it opened, and mumbled, “Go on, you big lug, go check out your new digs.”

Lucky gave him a big, sloppy grin and trotted off. Clint waited until Phil followed after him before swiping the sleeve of his t-shirt over his eyes.

~

Dinner was some of the best food Clint had ever had. Alice had made spaghetti with homemade meatballs, and even though she and Phil kept making jokes about her lackluster cooking, Clint didn’t have a clue what the fuck they were talking about. He might as well have been at a five star restaurant.

When he’d polished off his second helping—along with his fourth or fifth slice of amazing garlic bread—Alice smiled at him and said, “It’s nice not to have a picky eater in the house.”

“Hey!” Phil cried. “I’m not picky, I have discerning tastes.”

“I seem to remember a certain ten-year-old trying to convince me Flintstone vitamins were a meal.”

“I thought I was being healthy.” Phil turned bright pink as he glared at her from across the table.

Alice shook her head. She leaned over to Clint and stage-whispered, “Here’s a secret about Phil: He’s really not as clever as he lets on.”

“And a secret about my mom is that she’s full of lies,” Phil drawled, and Alice laughed.

Clint kind of really liked watching them together. It reminded him that not all families were bullshit.

“Well, since I’m such a liar, I’ll just say that there is definitely not chocolate pie for dessert,” Alice replied, raising an eyebrow at Phil, whose eyes lit up like a kid at Christmas for a split second. He looked conflicted, like he couldn’t decide between a snappy comeback or flat-out asking for pie.

Instead, they were interrupted by a phone ringing.

Alice sighed loudly. “Sorry, sorry, forgot to put it on vibrate. I’m just going to check to make sure it isn’t the office calling to—oh.” She sighed again as she checked the screen. “Phil, it’s your father. I’ll be right back.” She got up from the table and quickly disappeared into a side room, quietly shutting the door behind her.

Beside him, Phil said, “Fuck,” under his breath.

Clint fidgeted with his empty plate. Lucky was sprawled out in the corner of the dining room, chewing happily on an old tennis ball Alice had found for him, completely oblivious to the sudden mood change. Clint knew it wasn’t any of his business, that he shouldn’t say a word; he was just a guest.

A guest whose dog was staying behind with the hosts.

“Does your dad call a lot?” Clint asked carefully.

“No,” Phil replied. “Only when he wants something.” He sounded angry, yet resigned, and they sat in silence punctuated by the erratic tapping of Phil’s fork against his plate.

Finally, Alice came back to the table, but her smile seemed forced. “Sorry about that, Clint.”

“No problem,” he said, wishing he could get the happy atmosphere back.

“What did he want?” Phil’s voice was sharp.

Alice took a sip of her wine. “Where were we? Oh! Pie. Clint, you like pie, don’t you? I didn’t bake this one, thank God, it’s from that bakery over on—”

“Mom.” Phil slammed his fork down. “Tell me. Right now.”

“Phil, we can talk about this later—”

“No. I want to know. Is this about Christmas?”

His mom’s shoulders sagged.

Phil dropped his head into his hands. “Goddamn it.”

“Honey...”

“What did you tell him?”

“I told him it was your decision.”

“You know what my decision is,” Phil hissed, then tossed his napkin on the table and abruptly stood up. “C’mon, Clint, we need to get some project work done.”

Clint was at a loss. He didn’t want to be rude, but Alice waved them on. “It’s all right, I’ll bring the pie up to you later.” She sounded very tired.

He followed Phil up to his room, anxious and uncomfortable and feeling as if he’d witnessed something he had no right to. Phil’s back was almost painfully straight, and when they were both inside Phil’s room, Phil slammed the door, locked it, and said, “Take your jeans off.”

Clint nearly choked. “What?”

“You heard me.”

“Right now?”

“Yeah, right now. Got something better to do than letting me suck your dick?” Phil practically spat the words out, his eyes a little too bright.

Funny how Phil talking dirty to him wasn’t nearly as hot as Clint had secretly imagined. He slowly unbuttoned his fly, even though he was barely hard. “You really wanna do this?”

“Jesus, Barton, since when do you of all people not want to fuck?” He pushed Clint’s hands away and started yanking Clint’s fly open, grinding the heel of his palm against Clint’s cock.

This was all wrong. Clint didn’t want an angry blowjob. Not tonight. If anything, he owed Phil an orgasm or two.

He grabbed Phil’s wrists. Ignoring his protests, Clint manhandled Phil back toward the bed, shoving him down onto the edge as he wedged himself between Phil’s spread knees. He managed to strip that stupid blue polo off, and the protests quickly died off the second Clint licked a wet stripe over Phil’s happy trail. Clint slid a couple of knuckles over the front of Phil’s jeans, and just like that, Phil was arching into his touch and moaning breathlessly.

“Fuck yeah, make me come,” Phil gasped.

God, he was so gorgeous. Clint wanted a recording of Phil begging like that to play on a loop in his brain forever. But he couldn’t stop thinking about what had happened at dinner, or hearing the catch in Phil’s voice.

“So what’s so bad about Christmas?” Clint whispered against Phil’s stomach, scattering small kisses over his skin.

“Not fucking talking about it,” Phil groaned.

“I didn’t want to talk about Lucky, but here we are.” He scraped his teeth just above Phil’s waistband.

“That’s not the same thing.”

“The hell it’s not. Does your dad want you to stay with him?”

Phil huffed, his hands curled tight into the comforter on the bed. “He...wants to take me skiing in Vancouver.”

Clint snorted. “That’s real rough, Weasel.”

“No, fuck you.” Phil shoved Clint hard enough to send him sprawling back on the carpet. Clint’s knee-jerk response was to shove back, only the look on Phil’s face stopped him.

He looked on the verge of tears.

“My dad left us when I was twelve,” Phil said in a terribly broken voice Clint never wanted to hear again. “I barely see him, and now he thinks he can offer up this goddamn ski trip to make me forget everything. I’m letting him know that’s it’s way too fucking late for that.”

Clint’s mouth had gone dry. He stared up at Phil, watching his shoulders heave with each breath.

“You have your own shit. I get that,” Phil whispered. “But that doesn’t mean I don’t have mine, too.” He pushed a shaky hand through his hair, still flushed and sporting wood in his jeans, but Clint didn’t think it was a good idea to touch him again.

He suddenly remembered the day of their fight, and eavesdropping on Phil and his mom. “Does your dad ever come to your games?” Clint asked.

Phil shook his head. “Not once.”

“‘Cause he doesn’t live around here?”

“Because he’s a self-absorbed dick who cares more about his career,” Phil said.

Clint thought about how good Phil was at soccer, good enough to make varsity as a sophomore and then captain the following year. Not a lot of guys accomplished things like that on top of pulling really good grades. Clint didn’t have a lot of experiences with great parenting, but he knew Phil’s dad was a douchebag for not respecting that.

“Then fuck him,” Clint said softly.

Phil blinked at him, startled. The corner of his mouth twitched. “Yeah?”

“At least he doesn’t punch you in the face when you kinda accidentally rack up a giant vet bill.” Clint tried to laugh, but Phil looked stricken.

“I know. Dads are crap. We should start a club or something.”

Clint did grin a little at that. “That’d be a really shitty club.”

Phil shrugged. “Probably. No one wants to admit their dads suck.” He folded his hands between his knees and sighed. “I’m sorry you got in the middle of this.”

“It’s not your fault.”

“I know, but you don’t have to—”

A soft tap at the door stopped Phil. Clint wanted make him finish. I don’t have to what?

“Hey guys, I have pie if you want it,” Alice called.

Phil turned an even darker shade of red as he scrambled to pull his polo back on. Clint rolled to his feet and buttoned his fly, hoping like hell he didn’t look guilty as fuck.

“Thanks,” Phil said when he let her in.

“Everything all right?” she asked, and Clint could tell she was trying very hard to be casual. She held two plates of chocolate pie in her hands, complete with whipped cream.

Phil took one plate and kissed her cheek. “Everything’s fine.”

“Well, good. Can’t have you angsting over pie.” She handed Clint his plate and winked at him. Clint couldn’t help smiling back.

Phil cleared his throat. “Actually, there’s something I need to ask you.”

Immediately, Clint’s pulse started to race. He focused on his pie, the tips of his ears heating up.

“Okay, shoot.” Alice took a seat in Phil’s desk chair.

Clint kept his head down.

“Can Lucky stay with us? Just for a year or so.”

Fuck, when Phil said it like that, it sounded like forever.

She frowned thoughtfully. “But, why? Can’t you keep him, Clint?”

“It’s...complicated,” Clint mumbled down at his pie.

“Clint’s dad is—allergic. So they can’t have in the house anymore,” Phil said in a rush. “And Lucky’s recovering from an injury, so he shouldn’t be outdoors all the time.”

“What about practice, Phil? You’ve got games, and Lord knows how much I travel.”

“I’ll make it work. Clint can help, too, right?”

“I swear. Scout’s honor,” Clint said, knowing Phil would never call him out on the Scouts bullshit in front of his mom.

Alice rolled the desk chair closer to the bed, until she could reach out and lay her hand on Clint’s knee. “Is this what you really want?” she asked.

The warmth seeping through his jeans from her touch made Clint’s throat grow tight. “Yeah, yes. I don’t want to get rid of him. He’s...special.”

“And your parents are okay with this?”

Clint swallowed. “They don’t care what I do with him,” he whispered, which was mostly the truth.

Alice’s hand stayed on Clint’s knee for a long, quiet moment, until Clint thought his lungs would burst from holding his breath. Finally, she sat back and huffed.

“You two have really come a long way in a few months,” she said.

“Is that a yes?” Phil asked.

She smiled. “Would it break your heart if I said no?”

Phil’s blush, which had mostly faded, came rushing back with a vengeance. “I...”

“I’m kidding, of course Lucky can stay. But you’re responsible for his food.”

“I’ll take care of that,” Clint said, wanting to fling his arms around her in relief. He also felt a nagging, urgent need to kiss that dumb blush off Phil’s cheeks. He did neither; instead, he inhaled the rest of his pie while he watched Phil hug his mom and murmur, “Thank you.”

“We’ll talk more about this later,” he heard Alice say. Phil bit his lip and nodded.

Clint wiped the back of his hand over his mouth and handed Alice his empty plate when she held her hand out. “Thanks,” he said awkwardly, for both the pie and keeping his dog safe. Clint stood up, hands behind his back, and said the word again, stronger this time.

Something sad flashed in Alice’s eyes. “You’re very welcome, Clint,” she said, and put her arm around Clint’s shoulders in a light hug. He let himself lean into her for a moment; it’d been a long time since an adult had hugged him.

When she was gone and the bedroom door clicked softly behind her, Phil blew out a long breath. “She’s gonna want to know more details,” he said.

“Are you secretly in trouble?” Clint asked.

Phil shook his head as he sat down on the bed beside him. “No, not really. But she knows we’re keeping something from her. I can tell.”

Clint’s heart thumped harder. “Like what?”

“Like the real reason Lucky can’t stay with you.” Their knees were barely touching. Phil toyed with the folds of his jeans.

“What about...the other stuff?”

Phil’s hand stilled. “I don’t think she suspects anything. And if she does, she wouldn’t care.”

“Has she said anything about your boyfriends before?” Clint said without thinking. An instant later, he felt a hot rush of humiliation. What the hell was that even supposed to mean?

Phil kept his head bowed, but Clint could see his throat bob. “I’ve never had a boyfriend,” he finally whispered before abruptly getting to his feet and stripping his polo off as he locked his bedroom door.

Clint pretended he wasn’t stunned, that he wasn’t thinking over and over, God, you really were a virgin.

“Look, what I was going to say before—about that shit with my dad—you don’t have to act like you care. I’m not an idiot, and I’m not—I don’t pretend this is something it’s not.” Phil threw his shirt aside and climbed onto the bed, straddling Clint’s hips. He looped his arms around Clint’s neck, his body giving a languid, slow roll against Clint, like he’d been doing it for years.

Clint looked up into blue eyes that were dark and full of secrets he’d never know—didn’t need know. At this angle, it would be so easy to tilt Phil’s chin and kiss him. He slid his hands up Phil’s bare sides, all warm, smooth skin that shivered under Clint’s touch.

“I don’t do boyfriends,” Clint said a little too roughly.

“I know,” Phil said, and pushed Clint down onto the bed, until he was braced above him, chest to hip. He bit lightly at Clint’s neck, making Clint gasp and arch into him. “The other guys—I don’t care. You can do what you want with them. I won’t say anything.”

There weren’t any other guys, but Clint kept his mouth shut. Phil was right: Clint could do whatever and whomever the fuck he wanted. He didn’t need Phil’s permission.

He tried to picture Phil with someone else. An image of that big blond Rogers guy he always saw Phil hanging out with popped into Clint’s head. “You don’t have to tell me this,” Clint said. “I do this shit all the time, y’know.” He tightened his grip on Phil’s hips, hard enough to bruise.

Phil gasped into Clint’s neck. “I know,” he said again, so quiet Clint could barely hear him.

“Just ‘cause you’ve got my dog now doesn’t mean you’re—that I’m—”

“Yeah.” Phil’s mouth touched his jaw, too soft and careful. Fuck, why did Clint still want to kiss him so badly?

“We’re friends, Weasel. Anything else is bullshit.”

“So shut up already,” Phil growled before he slid down Clint’s body and proceeded to give Clint the best goddamn blowjob he’d ever had.

As Clint laid there gasping and trying to rope his thoughts back together, Phil kicked his jeans and underwear off and said in a low, throaty voice, “Do that thing with your fingers again.” He wrapped his hand around his thick cock, squeezing hard. Clint had learned the signs, and knew Phil was really close.

Clint grinned lazily, his brain still foggy from orgasm. “Just say you wanna get finger-fucked, Coulson, it’s simpler,” he drawled.

Phil whimpered, and his hand tightened. “Whatever, just—”

“You still have that lube?” Clint couldn’t remember when he’d decided to bring it over, but the tiny bottle of K-Y had turned out to be a fantastic idea. Phil was apparently learning he really liked fingers in his ass.

Clint hadn’t brought up actual fucking yet. He didn’t really want to think about that right now..

Phil begging Clint to come was one thing, but Phil begging with Clint’s fingers buried in his ass was another. He spread his legs wide, braced on all fours, his face tucked into a pillow. Clint used a little too much lube, making everything messy and slick, but Phil’s ass clenched around him perfectly, making Clint imagine what Phil would feel like around his dick. He added a third finger at the last second—the first time he’d ever done so—and at the first initial push inside, Phil tensed and groaned into his pillow, shoulders shaking.

“Fuck, fuck, that’s—that’s a lot, that’s too much, shit, Barton—”

“‘s okay, I got you,” Clint murmured, and he kissed the top of Phil’s spine, twisting his fingers as his free hand curled around Phil’s wet cock.

Phil gave a muffled yelp and came with a sharp, jerking pulse into Clint’s hand. It felt like it went on forever; when Clint eventually rolled Phil onto his back, there was come splattered all the way up Phil’s chest, nearly reaching his collarbone.

He was a sloppy, rumpled, flushed mess, and Clint had never seen anything more gorgeous.

“I need a nap,” Phil slurred through a sleepy smile.

Clint finally gave in to the urge to kiss his cheek, over all those ridiculous freckles. “You should probably shower.”

“Should probably change my sheets, too, but there’s only so much hand-eye coordination I have going on at the moment.” He glanced down at the come all over his chest and winced.

A bark came from downstairs. Lucky didn’t sound upset, but Clint went on alert. “I better go check on him. He’s probably wondering where the hell I went.”

Phil hummed absently, still spread-eagle across the tangled sheets. Clint got up and started to dress, deliberately putting his back toward the bed so he couldn’t stare at all that naked skin.

“Clint?” Phil suddenly asked in a soft voice.

He turned around once his jeans were buttoned. “Yeah?”

“I was thinking...you could…” Phil propped himself up on his elbows, his hair all sticking up every which way. “You could fuck me. If you want to.”

Clint’s mouth went dry, and his dick gave a hard twitch. “Do you want that?”

“You’ve got condoms, right?”

Clint had condoms. Shitloads of them. But the thought of bringing them over here was...huge. Overwhelming.

Not to mention the fact that it wasn’t usually Clint who normally did the fucking.

He must’ve made some weird face, because Phil’s expression kind of crumpled. “Never mind, it was just a thought. Forget about it.”

Clint didn’t know what to say to that. Was Phil trying to make this more complicated than it already was? Like it wasn’t bad enough that simple handjobs tied Clint up into knots all the time? As far as Clint was concerned, fucking was right up there with kissing. It was too much.

“I don’t think that’s such a great idea, Weasel,” Clint said, suddenly angry at everything and hating how much he couldn’t look away from Phil’s painfully open face. Which was probably why he added with a smirk, “I mean, you’re still mostly a virgin, anyway, right?”

Phil’s whole body blushed. “We’ve done everything else.”

“I don’t fuck virgins.”

“What if I fucked you?”

The liquid rush of heat Clint felt at hearing Phil say the words just made him angrier. “If I want to get fucked, I know where to go. With you I just get off.”

Phil shut his eyes, but they both knew he couldn’t say shit; he’d already said he didn’t care about the other guys Clint messed around with.

That didn’t stop Clint from wanting him to say something, anyway.

“You should go see Lucky,” Phil finally said as he slowly got his feet and started cleaning himself off with a Kleenex. With his head bowed and sloped shoulders, he looked so…defeated.

Whatever. Phil knew who and what Clint was coming into this. Clint wasn’t going to apologize, or feel sorry for him.

If Phil wanted a boyfriend, maybe he could ask Rogers.