So here's my dumbass Clint/Phil AU idea where Clint’s been working for SHIELD for about a solid week after the thing with the blender and the Estonians, but Phil isn’t his handler yet. Clint’s just another agent assigned to the next dry, dusty hellhole where people have to die, only Clint’s mission went wrong. His handler disappeared, his rig broke down, his water ran out and the rebels found him first, only they didn’t find the comm unit stashed in his ear before they locked him up in an abandoned dry well and keep him in there to stew in his own increasingly disgusting juices, only pulling him up for interrogation and once for an incredibly embarrassing ransom video.
SHIELD needs to extract him without letting anyone know they’re in the area, so newly Director Fury assigns his old partner Coulson to get Clint out, only the rebels are entrenched and it takes days. Days where Phil’s voice is the only one Clint hears in the well is Phil’s, telling Clint they’re coming for him, they haven’t left him alone, he’s SHIELD and they never leave anyone behind, just Phil’s voice in the dark, reading off the Premier League rankings and talking about diners in Philly that make pancakes so fluffy you could sleep on them. And Clint can’t reply, can’t move more than a foot, hasn’t slept, keeps using up his jacket tying up where they’ve broken his skin and it’s cold and he can’t stop sweating and shaking and it’s only Phil’s voice in his ear, maybe just in his head, talking about how they’re going to get him out, Phil won’t leave him, dry rustle of paper and calm, even breathes that Clint can’t match.
And then Phil’s voice goes away, and the walls of the Clint’s well shake, raining gravel above him. The cover opens, bright light burning his eyes, the rope they tied under his arms dragging him up, and he’s out. He’s out, surrounded by people dressed in SHIELD uniforms, and there’s one man in a suit, wiping red palms off on a rag. Clint can barely stand, propped up against the lip of his well, and no one has Phil’s voice, no one matches that even tenor he wrapped himself up in while he waited. Clint looks and looks, shaking in what’s left of his uniform. He puts his eyes on the horizon, until a deliberate step to his left has him jerking his head up and glaring. The suit raises his eyebrows, and Clint would rip him open if there didn’t seem to be two suits wavering in place.
“You look better in your picture,” the suit–-Phil--says, and Clint lurches, knees buckling because it’s real, this is happening, and Phil catches him, already calling for the medic.