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Eight Lovers

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Clint is a needy lover.

He expects a lot from Phil, and Phil never disappoints.

He needs a pillow to scream into. Needs a wall to brace his foot against. Clint needs a minute to gather his thoughts when they’re done, needs a glass of water, needs to stare at the ceiling and make a smart-mouthed joke about getting his ass worn out before going out on a field mission.

Phil needs him to be waiting when he gets home. When the car is back at the Triskelion and the New Mexico dust has been brushed from his shoes, Phil needs Clint to be ready. Dinner can wait. Unpacking can wait. Needs have to be met.

And they are. Up against the wall in the hallway; one shoe was tossed back into the kitchen, Clint’s pants hit a lamp and knocked it from a table while he shrieked with laughter. Neither of them care. Phil needs to be inside Clint, Clint needs to have his head pushed back against the wall, a hand over his mouth.

It doesn’t last long. That first moment when one of them returns from a ‘work trip’ never does. It doesn’t need to be pretty, or romantic. When they’re done, they don’t need a bed. Clint leans back against Phil, who in turn leans against the wall, and they talk.

We need to make it to the bedroom, one of these days, says Phil.

A man’s got needs, replies Clint. He’s laughing.




Clint is an annoying lover

To be honest, he’s an annoying everything. That’s what draws Phil to him in the first place, a burning desire to shut him up.

When it comes to punishing Clint Barton, nothing works. Phil tries everything in his power. Disciplinary action. Psych evals. Duct tape. Locking Clint in a sealed room and slowly siphoning the oxygen out.

But even SHIELD Special Agent Phillip Coulson is a man of finite patience, and that patience runs out the day that Clint covers a sleeping Bruce Banner in post-it notes.

(Green and purple ones. Because it’s funnier, he explains. Phil isn’t amused. Neither is Fury. Nor are the majority of the surrounding city blocks.)

That’s the first time they kissed. Phil drags him into an interview room, locks the door, draws the curtains, and slams Clint’s face down onto the steel table.

He doesn’t fuck him. That comes later.

What follows is the chewing out of a lifetime.

What you did was irresponsible, dangerous, and thoughtless. You’re benched for a month, Barton, and you’re going to be so swamped in paperwork and psych evals that you’ll be a candidate for Hoarders. Yes, I watch Hoarders. Your pranks are getting people hurt, and if you ever pull a stunt like this again, I will throw the first handful of dirt down into your grave. Now clean yourself up.

Clint never makes it to the bathroom. He stands to leave, and his face meets the door as Phil’s hand meets the back of his neck. The blood from Clint’s nose stains the lapel of Phil’s white shirt when they kiss, and he has to throw it away.

They don’t fuck. Not then. Phil is too angry, and Clint ends up in the infirmary with a broken nose. It’s a week later, after dinner, and Clint’s eyes are still dark with bruising.

Phil never throws the shirt away. It’s in a box, in the back of the closet, tossed in with old medals and patches. A reminder of life’s little annoyances.




Clint is a troubled lover.

He has nightmares.

There are blank spaces in his SHIELD files that he doesn’t care to have filled. Spaces like mother. Father. Any living relatives.

There are scars on his knuckles, not from work in the field, but from every time he’s punched a wall in frustration. Frustration at himself, at his teammates, at his boyfriend.

Mostly at himself.

Phil doesn’t talk to him about it, often. He mentions the troubles now and then, but Clint shrugs it off and then vanishes for a few hours. When he comes back, he pretends like everything is fine.

Clint’s getting better. That’s what Phil tells himself. There have been less disciplinary problems. He listens to Steve, he respects Natasha. He’s too smart to start shit with Thor.

No one is quite ready to talk about the brawl between Clint and Tony. Least of all Fury, who had to find room in the budget for six new shiny black Acuras.

That was a fun week.

Clint still has nightmares. Phil lays awake and watches him suffer through them. He opens his arms when Clint reaches for him. It’s the only time Clint ever reaches out. In the dark. Only to Phil.

That’s the trouble with Clint.




Clint is a hesitant lover.

A week after the altercation in the interview room, Phil takes him out to dinner. To apologize, he says.

Clint orders the most expensive meal on the menu. And a glass of 25 year old scotch that he doesn’t touch. Phil’s eye starts to twitch about fifteen minutes into what Clint insists on calling an ‘apology date’.

(Phil drinks water. He’s been sober for nine years, despite the best efforts of the Avengers to drive him back to drink.)

They don’t mention the kiss. The frantic, desperate way Clint had clawed at Phil’s chest until they broke apart, and Phil had used the blood on his collar as an excuse to leave.

Twenty minutes into the meal, Clint’s foot finds its way into Phil’s lap, and Phil almost breaks it with his thighs.

An hour after Clint orders the most expensive drink in the restaurant, with a wry smile on his face, they are in the bedroom of Phil’s SHIELD-funded, tastefully decorated, private apartment. Phil’s on his knees on the bed, leaning over Clint, who’s laying on his back with his legs hooked over Phil’s hips. That’s when Clint stops him.

“I’ve never been with a dude before. Like this. Like...this

Phil starts slow. Gentle. Moreso than he ever would be with anyone else, or will be again with Clint. He shows him how to roll his hips down, how to breath through his nose and keep his teeth back when there’s a cock in his mouth. He shows him what happens when the fingers inside his ass curl upwards.

(What happens is some of the most creative cursing Phil has ever heard, and Clint coming so hard they have to wait a good hour before round two is workable.)

When they’re done, the sheets are half torn from the bed and there’s a dent in the wall the size and shape of Clint’s left heel. Clint has passed out moments after coming for the second time, and Phil pulls him up against his chest, slinging an arm around his shoulders.

He thinks about having a cigarette, but that’s another bad habit he had kicked a few years ago. At this point, the only stress relief he has left is Russian roulette, while staring at the latest harassment reports from everyone who works closely with Stark.

As Clint wakes, confused as to where exactly he’s finding himself now, he looks up at Phil and starts to pull away. Phil holds him fast.

Clint hesitates.




Clint is a mouthy lover.

He’s fucked up, again. Ignored a direct order in the field and gotten some innocent people hurt. Not badly, but bad enough that he’s getting that look from Phil.

He flinches when Phil lifts his hand, tossing the insubordination report down on the table before him, as if he’s expecting the back of a hand across his face.

Phil rolls his eyes, and tells him to only expect that when they’re fucking. Clint grins.

He knows how to make this up to Phil. He’s going to try a little harder to be an agreeable little SHIELD stooge. He’s going to listen to Steve in the field. He’s even going to apologise to Stark for calling him a ‘spoiled little gold-collar trust-fund fag.

He gets the feeling the last one is what REALLY got him in trouble with Phil. He’s been giving him the look for hours now, and it’s staring to burn through his eyes like a goddamned laser beam.

It’s almost enough. Especially the apology.

But what it really takes is his mouth. A mouth that gets him out of trouble, almost as much as it gets him into it. It’s warm and wet, deep enough to almost take him the entire way, and he’s gotten much better about not letting his teeth graze. The choking, not so much.

The choking, he kind of likes.

The blowjob, in the office, with his knees scraping the short carpet and Phil’s belt unbuckled and hanging loose, grants him a temporary reprieve. He’s still in trouble, but less so now, and there’s a promise of further making up yet to be done.

The thought makes him smile.




Clint is an impressed lover.

In the bleary, too-honest haze that settles on them just after the fourth time they fuck, Clint starts asking questions.

Everyone knows what Phil Coulson is --

(The terrifyingly efficient, always-calm right hand of Director Nick Fury, the go-to man when it comes to The Avengers, and the disciplinarian of Gods, scientists, billionaires, living legends, and archery enthusiasts. Natasha never needs chewing out.)

But nobody knows who he is --

(Does he really watch Supernanny?)

He expects to hear about the long history of military service. There’s nothing in the apartment to suggest it, no medals or photos, but Clint isn’t surprised. Phil’s not the showing-off type.

He doesn’t expect there to be a green beret in that box, sitting in the back of the closet.

He doesn’t expect to hear the initials N.S.A. coming from Phil.

And he certainly doesn’t expect to hear about a childhood on a farm in Iowa, the youngest of nine kids.

That may be the most impressive part, and Clint silently tucks away the notion that Phil’s mom, raising nine little Coulsons, might be slightly even more terrifying than Phil himself.




Clint is a reckless lover.

Not just with Phil. He always likes to err in the side of damaging oneself during sex. If he isn’t hoarse by the time he comes, it’s an evening wasted.

Phil likes to help with that.

It always starts with his cock in Clint’s mouth. Most of the time, before they even get home. The cameras in Phil’s office have long been recording on a very private feed.

Sometimes, Phil fucks Clint over the edge of the bed. He likes to watch Clint’s long fingers twist in the bedsheets, crying out into the mattress and reaching for the wall as if it would somehow aid him in the getting-fucked process.

Sometimes, they go traditional. Clint lays on his back and wraps his legs around Phil’s waist, slamming his hips up and gritting his teeth as he screws his eyes shut. He calls Phil sir when he comes, and Phil holds a hand over Clint’s mouth when he yells.

Once, when Clint wont shut the hell up, he finds his wrists tied behind his back with one of his leather wrist-guards shoved in his mouth. Tears leak down over his cheeks as he rides Phil, who is deeply entertained by the entire scene.

Phil is the only one that comes that night.




Clint is a content lover.

It takes him a while to get there.

It takes him a while to get past the ‘piece of shit circus trash token regular guy on a team full of over-powered idiots, who the hell would ever want to waste their time dating me’ mindset.

Phil is a patient guy. On his list of valuable qualities, patience deserved the top spot. So he’s patient with Clint. He lets him shy away when he needs to, and then he lets him crawl back.

It’s a relationship they have to work at. Phil needs to open up, and expect less. Clint needs to open up, and be brave.

And they do.

When it’s dark outside, and they’re laying in bed with their legs tangled together, the stress and the tension is left at SHIELD. The disciplinary reports, the psych evals, the costs of collateral damage and the threats of tasing are long forgotten, left for tomorrow.

Clint is a content lover. And so is Phil.