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And if it's quite all right

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"Excuse me, Director," Clint Barton says, and Phil Coulson's heart nearly stops. Well, there goes another new kink, courtesy of Barton.

He turns around. Barton stands there, hands behind his back, feet braced slightly apart. The asshole looks the picture of innocent subordination – but Phil knows him too well, enough to notice the wicked, wicked gleam in those sharp blue eyes.

"'Director'?" Stark snorts, eyeballing Clint from his sprawl on Phil's sofa. "Since when are you so very proper, bird boy?"

Somehow, Clint manages to glare at him, from the corner of his eye. "Fuck you, Stark, I'm always proper."

Stark actually guffaws this time, and Clint can't keep up the innocent front any longer – he snickers, shooting Phil a look from under his eyelashes. Phil's blood rushes to his head, booming loudly in his ears.

"I do actually need a moment of the Director's time," Clint says, shrugging. His hands are still behind his back. Phil wonders what he needs to do to get Clint to not move for the next half hour, while Phil temporarily sates his ever-present hunger for his body.

Then again, to go by the way Clint’s tongue pokes out from between his lips, he came here fully willing not to move until given leave by Director Coulson, and isn’t that a heady thought?

"Get out of my office, Stark," Phil says evenly, without looking away from the very, very delicious sight of Clint Barton standing to attention.

Tony's sigh is loud and put-upon. Phil fights not to grin. It must be Stockholm Syndrome, but he likes Tony. He even likes his theatrics, and doesn't go out of his way to dissuade them – when there isn't a cripplingly attractive man giving him come-hither eyes from across the room.

"Fine, fine, talk shop, see if I care. Barton, team dinner's at nine. If you're late I'll let Barnes eat all the shortribs.

"Yeah," Clint says, stepping aside to let Tony pass. Then one hand uncurls from behind his back, and slides the door closed again. Nimble fingers flip the lock.

Phil keeps his voice from breaking by a huge effort of will. "Now then, Agent Barton. What was it you wanted?"

It's worth it to see Clint's eyes darken, and his head bow, shoulders easing like a weight has been released.

"Need it, sir," he says. "Director."

Phil's gut tightens as a spike of blinding lust lodges in his balls.

"Ask me nicely," he says. His voice is gravel now, and his blood is flowing south-south-south.

"Please," Clint whispers. "Please, sir."

"On your knees," Phil says.

Clint sighs, heavy with gratitude, and sinks to his knees. His hands stay behind his back, and his head is bowed, strands of dirty blond hair flopping over his forehead.

Fuck. Such a good boy for him.

Phil closes the distance between them with heavy, intent footsteps. He puts his hand in that hair, pushing it back, then clenches in it and lifts Clint's face to his. Clint's features are slack and open, trusting, near-worshipful.

"Why?" Phil asks. Confession time.

Clint swallows tightly, throat bobbing. Phil thinks about it opening to take his cock inside, and has to fight not to sway from the sudden lightheadedness.

"Barnes," Clint rasps.

Ah. He's been trying to ease Sergeant Barnes' passage back into the world again. Clint Barton is a good guy, one of the few left around. It breaks him apart, talking Barnes through having a voice in his head not his own, but still he does it, still he fights, slamming himself against the wall until some days the wall hits back. This must be one of those days. Phil knows Clint won't quit, and he also knows that Clint does it for Steve, and Nat, and even Phil himself. They all need to believe that a person can come back from that.

It's the least Phil can do, help keep Clint together. It's a responsibility he shoulders gladly, weak-kneed from the knowledge that Clint trusts him that much. It's a heady thought.

"You did so well, Clint. You've been very good. I am pleased with you."

Clint whimpers lightly, eyes glazed over and lips pouting open.

"Thank you, sir," he manages. Phil wants to lean in and devour that mouth, take those lips with his and bruise them with kisses.

So he does.

Clint opens for him beautifully, without a second's hesitation. Phil tastes the burnt edge of caramel from whatever sweets Barnes must have been crunching and sharing with Clint. He does his best to tease Clint's tongue into playing with his, and Clint obliges, twining them together. His neck must ache from the angle, and Phil's back isn't what it used to be. All too soon, Phil pulls back. Clint's lips are slick and flushed, a pink tinge that spreads out over his top lip and towards his chin. He looks delicious like that, like he's been sucking Phil's cock for hours already. Right on cue, said organ throbs against Phil's zipper, aching to get closer.

"What do you want?" Phil asks.

Sometimes, Clint will tell him. Sometimes, he doesn't want to think that far; wants only what Phil decides to give him. Phil always offers him the choice, though, and always complies with Clint's decision. He couldn't keep doing this if he let that rule slide; he never wants Clint to come to him only because he needs this, not because he enjoys it, too.

Clint doesn't answer with words. He just lets his mouth fall open, and looks at Phil with eyes gone all pupil, shining from behind his lashes.

Phil wastes no time giving him what he wants. It's the work of a second to lower his zip, and pull his cock out from between the folds of cotton. He lays the head against Clint's lips, and watches Clint's eyes fall shut as he darts the tip of his tongue out to taste him.

The tiny noise that slips out to tickle along Phil's skin makes the base of Phil's spine liquify. He shifts his hips, feeding his cock into Clint's mouth. His hand is still in Clint's hair, keeping his head still so Clint can let go of that little piece of control, too.

The way Clint takes him in, hungry for it but also so serenely pleased that Phil decided to give it to him, kills Phil every time. Clint's tongue works him, cheeks hollowing to suck him down as far as Phil lets him. Phil keeps a shallow pace for a couple of minutes, before pushing further with a controlled thrust that seats him in Clint's fluttering throat. He holds there for five motionless seconds, all he can take before he has to pull back out lest his famous control rips to shreds and he spills down Clint's oesophagus.

Clint makes a small noise of protest, enough that it reassures Phil that he isn't entirely gone in his own head. Clint shifts under his hand, chasing after his length, wanting it inside him again. Phil obliges, holds for ten seconds this time, and Clint takes it like it's the only thing he has ever wanted. The power Clint relinquishes is heady, makes Phil dizzy with an emotion that would be too dangerous to name – but not enough so he forgets himself.

"I want to fuck you," Phil tells him, withdrawing a little. "Is that something you want?"

Clint makes a disbelieving noise in the back of his throat. When Phil pulls out to free his mouth, he licks his lips and rasps, "What kinda question is that?"

Not that far under, then. He hasn't needed to sink to the bottom, not like the first few weeks when he came to Phil looking for this. It happens more and more rarely these days; it's a good thing, Phil firmly believes that. Those first few times, Clint had scared him. Phil had locked it behind his shield, where he pushed everything he didn't have time to deal with right then, but he couldn't deny the spike of worry for the man at his feet. Now, he'll still give Clint everything and anything he ever needs, but he is grateful that Clint no longer needs to disappear quite so thoroughly inside his mind.

Phil tightens his grip, arches Clint's neck back a little more.

"What was that?" he asks— no, he demands.

Clint's throat bobs. "Yes, I want. Fuck, sir, I want."

Phil tugs on his hair, directing Clint to his feet. He turns them, pushing Clint towards his desk, then down. Clint bends from the waist, bracing his chest on the desk top with a quiet keen.

"Yeah," he moans, hips hitching. His arms are still behind his back, one hand in a white-knuckled grip around the other's wrist. Phil moves in, drags his wet cock over the open palm while his fingers get busy on Clint's fly. Phil has taken to storing a bottle of lube in the bottom drawer, and gives thanks every day that his new badass Director's desk locks. Clint's fingers tighten on him even with his hand at an awkward angle, and Phil pushes through the channel his palm curls into as he shoves Clint's pants and boxers down to bare his delectable ass.

"Don't prep me much," Clint says, voice rough with arousal. His forehead is pressed to the smooth wood; he's panting, shoulders twitching with the need to move that Clint himself is holding in check. It always astounds Phil, how much control Clint exerts at any moment. He'll make you forget, sometimes, when he runs his mouth and goofs around with Natasha – and increasingly often, with his new team – but Clint Barton is most familiar with how to make himself still and inconspicuous, how to lie in wait until you give yourself away and he can pounce. Phil would do well to remember that, before he lets his heart fly too freely and makes Clint uncomfortable with carrying on as they have been.

"That's not your call to make," he tells Clint darkly, sinking a finger into his body. It goes in easily, making Phil wonder exactly what Clint has been up to that day. After all, his team is made up of the top six sexiest people alive; Phil can hardly compete with that level of hotness. Pushing that back, he adds another finger earlier than he normally would, gut swooping when that, too, is taken smoothly. Maybe it's more the control Clint needs, rather than the release. Something to renegotiate, after they're done – because Phil is many things, but a cock-tease is not something he aspires to being. Still, if Clint doesn't need the sex, could be he doesn't want it, either, but puts up with it because it's something Phil so clearly does want from him.

The thought leaves a bitter, choking taste in Phil's mouth – but Clint moans softly under him and pushes back into his touch, widening his legs. Just this last time, then, before he sits Clint down and they have the talk Clint has so clearly been avoiding. Better make it a time to remember, for when memory is all Phil has to prove this happened once; that this incredible, vivacious, loyal, beautiful man chose him, even for a short time.

"Clint," Phil sighs, nearly inaudible over the pounding of his heart. He has three fingers inside Clint now, stroking him open and even looser while Clint complains and swears breathlessly at him.

"Told you, you don't need to prep me. I—I did that myself, before coming here. You know, Director, just this once I wish you'd just pull my pants down and sink your cock inside me. C'mon, sir, I can take it. I want it."

This is not the Clint who used to stay on his knees for hours in the corner of Phil's office, gratefully losing time when it got to be too much. Phil wonders what else he's missed that has obviously changed. And yet, Clint doesn't move, doesn't back up his urging with actions. He still lets Phil bend him over his desk and take him any way he feels like. Phil is officially confused, he isn't gonna lie.

But he's also so very hard, verging on painful. 'Fuck now, think later,' he tells himself, breath hitching as he lets himself imagine the picture Clint painted for him with his words. God above knows how much he wants to just fuck into Clint's hole, feel it struggle to loosen and take him. And Clint definitely feels relaxed enough to let him...

Phil pulls out his fingers at the same time as stepping back, dragging his cock away from Clint's grip. Clint lets out a noise that's less complaint and more encouragement; he knows what's coming. With shaking hands, Phil rolls a condom down his length, still poking out through his fly. He dips the elastic of his underwear under his balls, so it's less of a vice around them, and lines himself up.

He used plenty of lube, and Clint's muscles part like butter for him, caressing him all along his length. Clint exhales sharply, canting his hips to make the slide easier for him. Phil pushes in until Clint's ass presses against his pelvis, taking him down to the root. Clint is groaning now, hole twitching around Phil so deliciously that he feels his control slipping another notch.

"Yeah, sir, fill me up, fuck, make me take it," Clint keeps murmuring, voice nearly gone with need. They've barely started, and already Phil can see that this isn't going to last very long. Pretty pathetic for a man his age, but damn it, he defies anyone to have Clint Barton spread out under him, begging so sweetly, and not be on the verge of coming from nothing more than sheathing himself inside.

Phil pulls out and shoves back in at the same time as Clint fucks back onto him; the friction is enough to draw a desperate groan from Phil's chest, hands clenching tight on Clint's hips to keep him grounded.

"Come on, come on, fuck me, give it to me," Clint growls, ass clenching around Phil's cock even as Clint's hands flex behind his back, one around the opposite wrist, and the other clenched into a white-knuckled fist as Clint clearly struggles not to flip them and take over. Phil doesn't pretend to understand what Clint gets out of all this, giving up control and yet pushing for it, making Phil relinquish himself just as much in the process. All he can do is make sure Clint leaves his office relaxed and unburdened, less trapped in his skin with no way out.

Phil fucks him now in earnest, slamming inside, feeling the rim of Clint's ass catch on him every time he pulls out. He grabs his hips and tilts them a little, enough to get to the angle he memorised nearly a year ago, and thrusts in again. Clint's back arches like one of his bows, mouth open in a silent scream.

"Oh, fuck me, Coulson," Clint moans voice sounding destroyed, and Phil's balls tighten, snapping his hips faster.

"Take it, take it, Clint, take all of me," he murmurs hoarsely.

"Yeah, yeah, your cock feels so good, come inside me, sir, deep where I could never get it out."

Phil has no hope whatsoever of resisting that. He pushes brutally inside Clint's body a few more times, before he bottoms out and spills himself, feeling his cock jerking against Clint's muscles. Clint is making small gasping sounds, rutting as far as he can with only the table for leverage. Still buried to the hilt, Phil takes one hand off Clint's hips and reaches under them, curling his palm around Clint's cock. It's slick with precome and hot with arousal, and Phil's fingers slip around him as he twists his wrist, squeezing as tight as he can. Clint lets out a moan like he's turning inside out, pushing back against Phil until there's nowhere left for him to go, and twitches in Phil's hold, leaking his release over his knuckles.

He's panting like a freight train when he's done, muscles gone abruptly loose, so Phil pulls back and out, getting rid of the condom and trying to catch his breath before Clint realises just how affected he is by the whole encounter. Clint, meanwhile, is still shuddering on Phil's desk, trying to get his legs under him enough to straighten. He lets go of his wrist, twisting his arms to the front with a whimper at the change in position. They must be sore from the strain of Clint holding himself in place. Without thinking too much about what he's doing, Phil leans down to grab the waistband of Clint's pants, pulling them back up over his ass. He tugs Clint upright, bracing him against his chest as he walks around the desk to drop in his seat, shifting Clint to sit in his lap. It's not exactly a comfortable position for two grown men, not to mention the way the chair creaks under their combined weight, but Clint curls in his arms all the same, bringing his feet up to brace them against the edge enough to balance them both. Phil shifts a hand through his sweaty hair, tidying the strands back in place.

"You're all right, Clint, you did beautifully," he murmurs, unsure if the aftercare is still a requirement but unwilling to let Clint leave his sight before Phil's made sure he has pulled himself back together.

Clint just lets out a rumbling hum, as close to a purr as his human voice box can produce. He also tucks his head under Phil's chin, and Phil has to squeeze his eyes shut with how much he wishes they could just stay like this forever.

"Clint," he says, because if he doesn't say this now, he might never gather the courage to try again. "I'm aware that things have changed. If you don't want to do this any longer, or if you wish to change the parameters of our encounters, I'd like it if you'd just tell me. I don't want to stop," he clarifies, when he feels Clint tense up. "I just need to know that you're getting what you need out of this."

Clint pulls back, looking down into his face. "What I need," he repeats thoughtfully. Then, he pushes out of Phil's arms, getting to his feet. Phil's heart drops to his gut. "And what about what you need, Director? You just gonna switch me out for another body willing to play your game?"

The words cut Phil to the quick. He fights not to let any of that show on his face.

"Don't play me for a fool, Barton," he says quietly. "I know you know how I feel about you. It won't become a complication," he says, because fuck, he won't let it, but "you are not obligated to carry on with this if it makes you uncomfortable. I am no longer your superior officer; the Avengers initiative does not lie under the SHIELD aegis. This isn't about what I need from you. It's about what you're comfortable taking from me, always has been."

Clint watches him with an unreadable face, standing tall and powerful despite the way his pants are still open over his soft, slick cock.

"The way you feel about me," he repeats again, in the same thoughtful tone. His eyes flicker; Phil knows that look, is intimately familiar with the experience of Clint Barton putting together puzzle pieces with lightning speed in his mind. He braces himself for whatever's coming, wishing he had taken the chance to put himself away, rather than been distracted by Clint yet again. He raises an eyebrow, darling Clint to get it over with.

The next second, Clint is stalking forward again, climbing into Phil's chair to sit astride his hips. Their cocks slide together, spent and vulnerable; the feel of it makes Phil shudder, and clench his hands on the armrests not to reach for Clint again. Clint braces his arms against the headrest, looking down into Phil's face for a long moment before he leans in.

They don't kiss, outside of what they're doing together. Much as Phil has longed for it, there hasn't been a slow, thorough exploration of each other's mouths, learning all the ways he can make Clint exhale roughly over his lips. There hasn't been this closeness, this intimacy, before. Clint is warm and alive, pressed against his body, but he's also calm, centered, a far cry from the man who had been crawling in his own skin at the start. Phil kisses him back, because he can't not; because he isn't certain, after all, that this isn't goodbye. A clean break, the snap through a bone, the unwinding of two strands that had grown together despite their owners' best intentions.

'I'll miss you,' he tries to say in the way he licks inside Clint's mouth. 'The taste of you, the smell of your shampoo. The way you touch me like you aren't afraid I'll break. The way you trust me. You think more highly of me than I ever did of myself, even if I don't deserve it. I'm lost in you, Clint Barton, and I can't leave, but you can, if that's what you want.'

Clint pulls back, breathing hard.

"The way you kiss me," he says hoarsely, shaking his head a little. One of his hands traces Phil's face, strokes a forefinger over the wrinkles in the corner of Phil's eyes. Phil wants to say, 'What of it?', but he's not sure he wants to hear the answer, even if this is the last time he'll have Clint like this, hard shell cracked open for Phil to slip inside. He just looks up at Clint, and hopes his eyes aren't begging the way his heart is.

"Skye to Director Coulson," the intercom crackles, and they both jump.

Phil's hands feel like lead when he lets go of Clint's waist (when had that happened?) and flicks a switch on the unit on his desk.

"Coulson," he replies, grateful that his voice doesn't shake.

"We have a situation, Sir. We need you in the control room."

"On my way," Phil says. Clint moves back to get off him, and Phil's hands clench into fists not to reach for him again. He gets up, tucks himself away and smooths the front of his suit and shirt, straightens his tie. When he looks up, he sees that Clint has tidied himself up, too, and is standing by the door. He gives Phil a small smile, a curl of his mouth, and slips out.

"Goodbye," Phil whispers, before taking himself up top, where he belongs.


He isn't surprised when sleep doesn't come for him that night, once Talbot has been dealt with yet again, and Phil has endured another lecture from May over his supposedly-self-sacrificing nature. He's a selfish bastard, and he knows it; it's frustrating when no one else acknowledges that side of him. For example, he has his finger on the speed dial for Natasha, and he doesn't even feel remotely guilty for what he's about to do.

"Yes?" Natasha answers, sounding alert – which isn't saying much, since she can sound alert even when she'd been deeply asleep a second before.

"It's Phil," Phil says. "I need you to take Barton on a mission."

Natasha is ominously quiet for a long moment. "Is this a kick-Hydra's-ass kind of mission, or a 'take him away before I murder him' kind of mission?"

"It's a 'we both need some space and he needs to get his head straight' kind of mission, actually."

Another speaking silence. "You sure you weren't just talking about yourself there, Coulson?"

Phil narrows his eyes, trying to parse out her tone. Definitely annoyed, somewhat exasperated, at least thirty-percent warning him not to lie or else.

"Quite sure," he says blandly. It's been years since he was intimidated by Natasha, which he knows bugs her even if she won't admit it.

"Mm-hm," she says. She isn't fooled, but Phil isn't trying to fool her especially hard. "Well, there is a situation in Italy that needs checking out. An argument can be made that a sniper would be useful to have."

"Thank you," Phil says sincerely.

"Oh," Natasha huffs, rich with amusement. "Don't thank me yet."

Something cold slithers down Phil's spine, but he ignores it with the ease of long practice. "I'm sure he'll enjoy the cannoli," he says, and hangs up.

Well, that's that dealt with. He lies on his back in the cot, rubbing an absent hand over his chest, and wishes he felt better about the next year of his life, or however long it'll take to get Clint out of his system. He refuses to contemplate it being longer, because he knows with some certainty that said year is going to make his own team want to murder him in his sleep. It would probably be a mercy, too.

He doesn't know when he slipped into a doze, only that it lasted a couple of hours before his door is thrown unceremoniously open and slammed shut again. He jerks upright in bed, one hand already levelling his gun on the intruder. He thinks about leaving it there when he realises who it is, but that's not really going to help, since he knows he isn't going to shoot Clint, not even if he has to. He drops the gun onto his nightstand and groans long and loud as he flops back onto his pillow. Well, shit.

"I cannot fucking believe you, you utter asshole," Clint grates out.

"You've known I was one since the day you met me. I can't think of why stating that is important right now." Phil rubs over his eyes, feeling exhausted and really not up to having this conversation right now – or, at all.

"Yeah, and I like the fact that you're an asshole, so you know I mean it when I say this: you try something like that again, I will fucking cut you off without a second thought."

Phil drops his hands and raises an eyebrow at the furious man glowering at him from the foot of his bed.

"Again?" he says, because he'd thought he knew what was going on here. He'd thought he wasn't going to see Clint again for a very long time.

Clint shakes his head, looking skywards and throwing his hands in the air.

"What am I even supposed to do with you," he complains, sounding equal parts furious and genuinely baffled.

Phil can't help him there. He knows what he wants Clint to do with him, and he also knows they're past that phase of their lives now.

Clint wipes a hand over his face, then scrubs it through his hair.

"You are such a dumbass, I'm having trouble reconciling you with the Coulson I know."

"What is it that you want here, Clint?" Phil asks tiredly. He tried to let Clint go. He tried to help him leave, pull back, end their interaction. What more can Phil do?

Clint sighs, shaking his head. "I want to know if you want what I want," he says, not helpfully at all.

"You're going to have to be a little more specific," Phil says; his innate hunch for where people stand with regards to him has always been broken where Clint is concerned.

Clint stares at him through narrowed eyes. To be the focus of all that intensity... Well, it shouldn't feel as good as it does. Phil wills his body not to react.

"I want you to want to be with me. Actually be with me, the way I've been dreaming you would for years."

Phil's heart flip-flops in his chest.

"And what way is that?" he asks quietly, holding his breath.

He doesn't know why, but that makes Clint smile.

"Up to and including going to sleep with me and me waking up in the morning to find you practicing your octopus impression. Coffee and dinner and lazing around the house in each other's space. Fucking me because you want to, not because you think I want you to."

"You think I don't want to fuck you?" Phil says, incredulous. Of all the obvious ways to give himself up over the years, that one has to have been the least covert.

Clint's smile widens, and he comes closer, crawling over Phil again to look down at him from all fours.

"How 'bout I ride you this time, huh? Fresh start and all that."

Phil's traitorous cock perks up at the mere thought of that.

"Because you want to?" he says hopefully. He knows he isn't making much sense, but Clint leans in to kiss him softly, as if he knows exactly what Phil is trying to say.

"Because I want to. And because I know you want me to. And because you need to be disabused of the notion that I don't want to be right here, with you, all the time that I can manage."

Phil melts into the kiss that comes in the wake of that pronouncement, letting his hands curl around Clint's shoulders and stroke down his biceps like in every wet dream he's ever had.

"What about the sniper?" he pants once they stop for breath and Clint starts mouthing over his jaw, leaving behind damp, hypersensitive patches.

Clint doesn't ask what he means, but he does grin wickedly. "Well, Barnes needed a walk. Steve needed a walk, too. Nat has them both well in hand, don't you worry."

"Oh God," Phil groans, torn between horrified and mindblowingly aroused. "Are they actually-"

Clint puts a finger over his lips. "The only dicks I'd like you to think about right now are mine and yours, Director."

Phil can't help it; he twitches. It still spikes lust down his spine and into his balls when Clint calls him that; Phil doubts it will ever stop.

Clint, of course, seems to know what that does to him, because his grin widens. "Now, I'd like you to lie on your back, Director, and not think of America while I take your dick for a ride. Think you can manage that?"

Phil swallows dryly, eyes fixed on the beloved face beaming happily down at him.

"I honestly doubt I could help it if I tried."