Clint was walking down the corridor leading to the principal's office, adjusting the strap of his backpack from time to time. It has been same time since he had visited Phil at Midtown High.
His job as an Avenger continued to keep him pretty busy, and Phil's responsibilities as a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent and acting principal in the high school were equally time consuming, so it was no wonder that when they had time to meet, it was in the evenings and during weekends mostly. The fact that Midtown High was frequented by new superheroes, who seemed to attract more trouble than majority of other superheroes Clint knew, was another factor they both had to take into consideration, as more than once Phil had to leave in the middle of the night or during dates to help Spider-Man and his team. Additionally, Phil preferred not to mix his professional with his private life, which Clint understood and respected.
This time, however, Clint decided to surprise the other man, because the afternoon was quiet for once, and the school was mostly empty, with the exception of a few teachers and Stan the Janitor.
Phil, as much as everyone liked to joke about him caring about his cover far too much, was busy not only because he had to deal with the school budget and the upcoming bake sale, but also because he worked on reports from missions involving Spider-Man and his team, and planning their training sessions. Phil really cared about these kids.
Clint adjusted his backpack again and just when he looked at his watch to check the time he heard a familiar voice calling him.
"Hello there!" Stan said as Clint shook his hand in greeting.
"Hi, Stan. How's it going?"
"Oh, good. Can you believe that Spider-Man was here yesterday and he caught Batroc the Leaper again? White Tiger ad Power Man were there, too!"
"That's great," Clint grinned. "I'm sure I'll read about it soon."
"I bet! And if you're looking for Director Coulson, he's still in his office," Stan said, leaning forward, supporting his weight on his broom. "He had a meeting with the teachers and as far as I know, he hasn't left the office since then. That man is working too hard, if you ask me."
"Don’t I know it," Clint sighed. "Thanks, Stan."
"No problem," the man smiled at him. "Take care."
After wishing Stan a good afternoon, Clint went straight to the principal's office. He found Phil writing something on a sheet of paper, biting his lower lip as he focused on the task at hand.
"I heard Spider-Man and the others had caught Batroc again," Clint said, walking up to one of the chairs standing near the desk. As soon as he sat down he stretched his legs and carefully put his backpack on the floor.
"Yes," Phil replied, never taking his eyes off what Clint assumed were reports from the accident. “We were aware he'd try something at some point, but we weren't sure when. Spider-Man, White Tiger and Power Man were in the right place at the right time."
"They are getting better, that’s true," Clint nodded. "But you do know that you could look over those reports at home, right? The school won’t disappear overnight."
"I know that," Phil briefly raised his eyes to meet Clint's. "I just..."
"You worry. I know," Clint took out a paper bag from his backpack so that Phil could see it. "Take a break at least. I brought your favorites."
Phil glanced at Clint, then at reports again, but in the end he reached for the bag, smiling at Clint gratefully. He licked his lips as soon as he looked at a large sandwich and two donuts. "Would you like to share?"
"I’m fine. Tony ordered pizza after training earlier."
Phil smiled at that. "How is the training going? Is the Captain's idea working?"
"So far, at least," Clint shrugged. "I don't know if it'd work for Spider-Man and the others, though. And it's not that I don't believe they can't do it. It's just very time consuming, especially if you want to adjust it to fit their individual powers and weaknesses. It's intense. Just ask Sam."
Phil nodded, clearly considering what Clint told him as he closed his eyes and took a bite of his sandwich. "I'll think of something else, then."
"You know, if you want them to work on some of their skills I might have a solution," Clint folded his arms and Phil licked his lips, meeting Clint's eyes again.
"What do you have in mind?"
"Me and Tasha could work on their situational awareness, for example. It might work better than a training plan, because it'd be less scripted, but we’d still have everything under control. I could work with Power-Man, Iron Fist and White Tiger, and Nat could train with Spider-Man, Nova and Agent Venom."
"Well, Spider-Man knows how I work by now, at least a bit. He doesn't know Nat, though. It'd be an additional element of surprise."
"I'll consider it," Phil leaned back in his chair, taking another bite of the sandwich. “I’ll have to talk to Nick first, though.”
"It’s fine. It's just a thought."
Clint watched Phil for a while before he got up from the chair and walked up to the other man, standing right behind him. He put one hand on the nape of Phil's neck, then moved it to one shoulder slowly, feeling the man relax slightly.
"You know you don't have to do all this alone, right?" Clint asked and Phil sighed in reply, putting one hand on the folders lying on the desk. "Don't make me call Fury."
"He doesn’t want to get between me and the school budget," Phil replied, making Clint snort.
"You have an hour. If you're not done by then, I'm calling in the reinforcements," he said, running his fingers through Phil's thinning hair. "And Stan is on my side, too, so..."
"I'll finish reading the last two reports and then head home," Phil told him and Clint nodded, satisfied with the answer. He snagged a piece of a donut and popped it into his mouth before moving to sit down on the chair near the wall. "It might take me a while, you know. You don't have to wait for me."
"It's fine. Steve will call me if something happens," Clint shrugged, stretching his arms above his head. "If you're still considering school budget, though, I think this office could use a couch. Could be an useful investment."
Phil smirked, taking a bite of a jelly filled donut, and Clint leaned back in the chair, the back of his head touching the wall.
"I'll take it into consideration."