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If You Can't Stand The Heat...

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It was August. Stinking hot August. New York City was in the grips of a record heat wave and the news was full of dire warnings about Climate Change and even more dire speculation on whether Con Edison was going to be able to cope with the increased power demands. Rolling brownouts had already started. People were being urged to only use the bare minimum of air conditioning and seniors were being advised to spend the heat of the day at air-conditioned shopping malls or movie theaters. In a show of solidarity for the citizens of New York (and for some good publicity), Tony Stark had tied the arc reactor that powered Stark Tower into the grid, and had had Jarvis turn off all but the most essential electrical functions. The Avengers had all turned off their air conditioning and Tony had retrofitted the windows in the living quarters so that they opened. Cap and Bruce had even taken to sleeping out on the roof in the relatively cool night air.

Clint was sitting at the kitchen table in his boxers, waxing one of his bows. Phil came in from a meeting at SHIELD, suit jacket thrown over one shoulder and tie already askance. As he walked through the living room he dropped the jacket on the sofa, stripped off the tie, and was unbuttoning his collar and cuffs. He crossed to the table and kissed Clint.

"You taste amazing," Phil said.

"Mint-chocolate ice cream. I left you half the container, it's in the freezer," said Clint, wrapping a hand around the back of Phil's neck and claiming another kiss. Phil took the opportunity of his mouth being occupied to unbutton his shirt the rest of the way.

"You are the best husband ever," Phil said when Clint finally released him.

"It's true. They did a poll. I beat out John Barrowman and Neil Patrick Harris," Clint shot at Phil's back as he tossed his shirt on the sofa and then headed for the freezer.

It said something about the heat and the kind of day he'd had that Phil didn't bother with a bowl, but just fished a spoon out of the cutlery drawer and took a bite straight from the carton of ice cream.

"Nope," Phil said, looking thoughtfully at the container and his spoon.

"What's wrong?" Clint asked. The ice cream couldn't be off, he'd eaten the first half not twenty minutes ago and put it right back into the freezer.

"Doesn't taste right," Phil said seriously. He dug the spoon back into the container and crossed the kitchen to hold it out to Clint. "Here, see?"

Clint obligingly let Phil feed him a spoonful of ice cream.

"Tastes fine to me."

"Really?" Phil had a gleam in his eye as he leaned down to kiss Clint again. "You're right, it tastes fine now. In fact, it tastes perfect now."

Phil fed Clint another spoonful of ice cream but this time didn't wait before kissing him. Two tongues chased the dollop of mint-chocolate around and then sucked each other clean.

"See what I mean?" said Phil.

"Yeah. Yeah, I see. Do you think maybe this warrants further study?"

"Oh, absolutely. Lots of further study, in the bedroom, perhaps?"

"You took the words right out of my mouth," Clint grinned as he took Phil by the wrist of the hand that was holding the ice cream carton and dragged him towards the bedroom.