When Clint pushes open the door to Phil’s office he’s not even remotely surprised by the sight that greets him. The room is a decent size, and could probably even be called spacious if not for the plush brown sofa that takes up most of the free space that isn’t occupied with his desk and chairs. The office itself is spartan and lacking in any sort of personal touch other than said sofa. (Phil insists that the sofa isn't personal, it's practical. He sleeps in his office more nights than he doesn’t, so he might as well be comfortable. Clint and Natasha are working to break him of the habit.)
The older agent is seated on the end of the sofa nearest to the door. He types with one hand on the laptop balanced on the arm. To his left Natasha is curled up like a kitten with her head pillowed on Phil’s thigh. His free hand is absently carding through damp strands of her auburn hair, leaving a wet spot on his slacks. Natasha flicks one eye open when Clint enters and promptly closes it again.
Phil looks up from his laptop and quirks an eyebrow as Clint moves into the room and locks the door behind him.
“Got the sitreps from the rest of the team,” Clint says, dropping the folders on the desk. “Well, the ones that were awake enough to give sitreps, anyway. FUBAR is putting it mildly.”
He glances down at Natasha. His sharp eyes take in the bruising across her cheekbone and the ghostly pallor of her skin. There are four stitches across her scalp, barely hidden by her hair line, and a faint tremor in her hands where they are tucked against her chest. She’s dressed in a pair of sweatpants that are too long for her, dark blue with U.S. NAVY* emblazoned along the side, and an equally large threadbare, red sweatshirt. The shirt was apparently pilfered from Clint's gym locker, and the pants are Phil's.
Phil nods. “Director Fury is sending out a team to track Johnson now. He won’t get far.”
Clint makes a derisive sound before moving to the other end of the sofa and flopping down. Natasha wastes no time tucking her bare feet between his back and the sofa cushions. He moves over so her shins are pressed against the side of his thigh. He slips a hand under the hem of her sweatshirt and rubs gentle circles along her spine. Her skin is warm and smooth under his calloused palm. She makes a soft, approving sound and arches her back into the touch.
She opens one eye and gives him an expectant look. Clint looks up to see Phil giving him an identical expression from the corner of his eye. He huffs, smiling, and begins to sing.
“Some folks like to get away, take a holiday from the neighborhood,
Hop a flight to Miami Beach or Hollywood.
But I'm taking a greyhound on the Hudson River line,
I'm in a New York State of Mind..."
The three of them stay like that for almost an hour. Natasha is, to all appearances, sound asleep. The only sounds in the room are Clint's voice, low and smooth, and Phil’s typing. He sings two more Billy Joel songs before moving on to Stealer's Wheel and Journey**.
Finishing his report, Phil closes his laptop and sets it down on the floor. He lounges back his seat and shifts so that one hand is resting on Natasha’s shoulder while the other continues to pet her hair. His face has lost the bland, professional mask he usually wears, and his expression is soft, fond, and relieved as he looks down at the small woman at his side. He turns his eyes up to meet Clint’s gaze and gives him a small smile that is more than a little bloodthirsty. Clint returns it.
FUBAR, indeed. If the wetworks team didn’t find Agent Johnson, Clint and Phil most certainly would. Johnson’s double-cross had cost three agents their lives and got Natasha captured by the same people she’d defected from six years ago, when she first joined SHIELD. She’d managed to escape before being secured by the KGB agents and had contacted the back-up team for an evac, but Clint had read the sitreps of the surviving agents as well as Natasha’s. They may not have had time to do any physical damage beyond the bruising, but being captured by her old handler had ripped open old scar tissue that she’d done her best to ignore.
Natasha, without opening her eyes, grumbles and digs her toes into Clint’s back at the same time she jabs Phil in the thigh. “Vengeance later,” she mutters. “And I get first dibs. Shut up and be good pillows.”
Phil rolls his eyes. Clint smirks and gives her a gentle pinch in retaliation. “Yes, dear.”
She grumbles once more before drifting back to sleep.