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The Ones Worth Telling

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There's a reason Clint always brings playing cards; he knows about a thousand games, many of which make no sense. He doesn't even know how to win some of them, something that drives Natasha completely insane. She really doesn't understand the point of playing games she can't win; she's told Clint this before, fully knowing he would laugh, fully knowing that it says a little too much about her character.

They're holed up in a cheap hotel room in Tallinn; Natasha's pretty sure there aren't any expensive hotel rooms in Tallinn, but it is what it is. Coulson is across the street, down a few buildings, his mobile team with him. They're switching off on watches tonight, trying to make sure Clint and Natasha aren't too tired for tomorrow, when the target is actually supposed to be on the move. Natasha's pretty sure this is completely ridiculous, but at least it's a break, time to work on the bottle of Vana Tallinn that needs to get finished before they leave.

Okay, it doesn't need to, but it's going to get finished. She's never left good alcohol behind in her entire life, not if she could possibly help it.

"Five card stud?" Clint suggests, shuffling and bridging the cards.

"Deal it out," Natasha tells him, taking another drink.

He eyes the bottle suspiciously. "We're not playing for shots again."

"I don't see what else we have to bet with," she says, aping innocence.

"I know your game," Clint tells her. "You're better at poker and you're better at drinking."

"Thank you," she says. She looks him up and down. "I hate to say it, but strip poker has lost some of its allure."

"I'm highly offended," he says, grinning. "But yeah, I know what you mean. I think I've seen the goods too many times for it to be fun." Natasha rolls her eyes, flipping him off, and his smile only gets wider. "We could play for stories," he suggests, "but almost all my good ones involve you."

Neither one of them has to mention the bad ones.

"Let's just play," she says. "No stakes."

"Sounds good," Clint says, dealing, and Natasha's glad; they already owe each other so much that it hardly seems like a good idea to add anything else.

The hands pass quickly; there's still plenty of bluffing and trash talking, but without one-upmanship, the game is a lot faster. It's also quicker to devolve, hands played slowly moving into hands not played at all.

Soon enough, Clint is sweeping up the cards and shuffling them, setting them aside. "Unless you wanna play 52 Pickup, I think I'm done with cards," he tells her.

She looks at him in confusion. "What's 52 Pickup?"

He gets this look on his face like he can't decide whether to laugh or not. "Nah, I can't show you. This is my only deck, and one of the Jacks always gets lost." She lifts an eyebrow and lifts the bottle, taking a sip before handing it to him, and he sighs. "It's come to this, then?"

"Yep," she says. "Take a drink and tell me a story."

He swigs from the bottle, wincing a little. Amateur. "Thought we talked about that."

"You've got to have something good that I'm not in," she says. "If not, then tell me something with me in it and add more explosions." Clint snorts. "You never did tell me how you and Coulson got together," she offers.

Clint shrugs, leaning over and handing her the bottle. "I walked into his office and sat down on his lap."

She takes a long drink while she thinks about it, keeping her eyes on him. "The best part is that I know that you're not kidding," she says, when she lowers the bottle.


It actually wasn't that easy to catch Phil in his office. He was there between missions, sure, but at SHIELD, "between" was almost nonexistent.

But they'd been back from Mombasa for two days and Clint wasn't leaving for Edmonton- of all places- until the next afternoon. He'd be without Phil or Natasha on this one; supposed to be a cakewalk, something for the new guy, Sitwell, to cut his teeth on. He didn't like leaving either of them to start with, but lately his dissatisfaction with being parted from Phil was getting worse and worse. By god, this was going to be the time; he wasn't going on this mission without telling Phil what had been on his mind for months.

Well. He wasn't intending to tell him.

"Come in, Barton," Phil said as the door to his office slid open, without even looking up; Natasha and Phil were the only people on the planet that could sense Clint coming, and Clint was pretty much fine with that. Phil did look up when Clint hit the "Do Not Disturb" setting on the panel by the door. Clint didn't miss how he reached under the desk to hit the actual lock button- at least, that was what Clint hoped he'd hit, not the panic button.

Clint didn't bother pretending he'd come for something else; he walked straight over to where Phil was sitting, and Phil rolled his chair out from the desk, looking at him. Phil was a very useful kind of person, one who was always on point, efficient, but Clint knew that wasn't the full truth. Phil quietly surrounded himself with little bits of luxury, starting with his ridiculously expensive suits and moving outwards. The place where it really showed was his desk chair; it was a huge, black, leather-covered thing, looking impassive and incredibly comfortable at the same time.

Clint wasn't going to test it for himself, per se, more the man in the chair, but comfort was still a factor. It was also the reason, when Clint actually went through with it, actually sat down in the chair, right on top of Phil, he did it side-saddle; when Phil inevitably shoved him off of his lap, he could at least land on his feet instead of stumbling over backwards.

Except that Clint did it, and Phil didn't push him away at all, not even when Clint took him by the lapels and kissed him hard, all his pent-up feelings behind it, frustration and lust mixed together. When Clint pulled away, Phil didn't even look surprised. "Here," he said. "That'll be uncomfortable in a minute. Straddle me."

"I will never understand you," Clint told him, squirming around until he was properly situated- and god, it felt so much dirtier like this, Clint hadn't really been expecting that.

"Should've thought about that before you kissed me," Phil replied, putting his hand on the back of Clint's neck and pulling him down to kiss him again.

Clint had a plan going into this; Phil responding positively had only been Plan B, C maybe. Now he had maybe half a billion questions: had Phil known? Did Phil really know him that well? What, exactly, did Phil think was going on here? Because if Phil thought they were just overdue for a makeout session- well, he was exactly right, but Clint had a whole lot more in mind, hearts and flowers and anal and stuff.

But, then again, it was Phil, Phil who always had his back, Phil who knew him better than almost anyone else in the world; if Clint knew what he wanted, then Phil probably did too. Phil was also a really, really good kisser and he was pressed up against pretty much all of Clint, the chair rubbing them together in all sorts of interesting ways whenever it shifted, so all of that was a pretty good sign that he should just let go and let God on this one.

They finally broke apart, right about the time Clint was about to lose it and maybe start tearing off clothing. "Let's get out of here," Phil said, low and a little breathless, and they were pretty much the best words Clint had ever heard.


"And that was pretty much that." He smirks. "Not exactly the most professional thing I've ever done, but I'm not exactly known for my professionalism."

"It's okay," she says, shrugging. She hands him the bottle, very deliberately waiting until he takes a sip. "I had sex with Jarvis."

He puts his knuckles to his mouth, forcing himself to swallow before he can spew liquor everywhere. "How the hell does that work?"

Natasha smiles. "Very, very well."

"This I've gotta hear."


Natasha lay in bed, her level of frustration increasing; unfortunately, her level of horniness was not decreasing with it.

She'd never had a problem getting off before, always been rough and ready, but there was something different about trying to do it here, basically in the guest room of what was basically Tony and Pepper's place, though they were both still pretending they didn't live together.


She finally threw off the covers, climbing out of bed and heading for the shower. Maybe it would be better like that; the slick, chrome surfaces of the ultra-modern bathroom were less than enticing, but she certainly wasn't getting anywhere in bed.

She slipped off her clothes and walked into the bathroom, stepping into the shower and turning on the water, letting it sluice over her. She took her soap from the rack, lathering it between her hands, just to make them slick enough to slide easily over her breasts. Her palms glanced over her nipples, fingers keeping away, teasing. One of her hands snaked down her body, finding its way through her hair and onto her clit. She turned, bracing herself against the wall, steadying herself as her hands moved.

It was good, very good, much better than it had been in bed; it was just that it wasn't nearly good enough. Now she was just winding herself up, and it was getting pretty fucking ridiculous. She couldn't promise that it would be different with someone else there, but it would be worth a shot, was worth it enough to try and think about it- something else that got her nowhere. It just wasn't the same without someone next to her, someone's voice in her ear.


Natasha was known for her unconventional solutions; they were about to get a little more unconventional right here in a minute. "Jarvis," she called.

It answered instantly. "Miss Romanov-"

"For fuck's sake, Jarvis," she said. "Call me Natasha."

"Natasha," Jarvis replied smoothly. "How can I assist?"

"Jarvis," she said, her face pressed against the cool wall of the shower. "I need to get off."

There was a pause, like the AI was thinking about whether that was a good idea. "If I may," he said.

"You most certainly may," she murmured.

"The shower head is detachable and variable speed," he told her. "I could control the rate of flow and intensity without your assistance."

Natasha was sort of shocked that he was actually going along with it, that she hadn't tripped some kind of boundary- then again, it was a creation of Tony Stark, so it had probably done worse. She pulled the shower head out of its holder, taking it with her as she lay on the floor. "God, you have the best ideas."

"Strategy is one of my primary functions," he told her dryly. "Are you prepared?"

She spread her knees, positioning the shower head. "Hit me."

The setting changed quickly, the knob spinning of its own accord; it had been on a regular spray, but now it was a gentle pulse, nothing too jarring. "Gonna need to do better than that, Jarvis," she told him.

"I was giving you a chance to get acclimated, Natasha," he told her, and then it really kicked in; what was soothing when it was just a little water was pretty pounding when turned up like that. Natasha spread her legs a little wider, angling the shower head to hit just the right spot.

No sooner than she'd done it, the spray changed; now the pulse was faster, harder. It took her a second to get into it, but just as soon as she did it shut off. Just when she was ready to complain, the water came back. It kept on like that, infuriating and so good at the same time. "You fucking robot tease," she said through clenched teeth.

"This is what you requested," he told her, as innocently as a robot that she was presently having more-or-less sex with could. "I can make changes as necessary," he said, cutting the spray back until it was barely a trickle.

"You just," she said, stopping to swallow. "You just keep doing what you're doing."

"Of course, Natasha," Jarvis said, cutting the water back on again.

He teased her like that for god only knows how long; it was so good, so close, but just not enough. "I need more, Jarvis," she pleaded. "Tell me what to do."

A panel on the wall opened, a rack of metal objects sliding out. "These are soap dispensers. They are sterile and deactivated. Choose one."

Natasha ran her fingers over them; they were all smooth, rounded at the tip, small holes for dispensing whatever covered up by little irises, and, they looked, well.


"Who the hell picked these out?" She said. "Don't tell me," she added quickly. "That is not something I ever need to know." She picked one up off the rack, one a little fatter than the others; she pulled it out, its hose unspooling behind it. "I guess I'm going with-" She peered at it- "body wash."

"Good," Jarvis said. "Now fuck yourself with it."

Her mouth actually fell open in shock. "Jesus Christ," she said, "listen to the mouth on you."

"I do have the capability to swear," he told her. "You're stalling. I can retract my offer if you are no longer interested."

"I can't believe I'm getting bossed around by a robot," she muttered. She moved the shower head out of the way for the moment, Jarvis helpfully turning it down. The thing was heavy in her hand, relentlessly hard, and before she could think better of it, she positioned it at her entrance, pushing it very carefully inside of herself. She was wet now, after all that, and it slid in with relative ease. It was big, though, more than she'd taken in a long, long while, and it felt amazing to be stretched out like that, the thing moving in and out of her.slowly, pressing against her everywhere she needed it.

She picked up the shower head again. "C'mon," she said encouragingly, and Jarvis turned the water back on, a nice steady pulse. This was what she really needed, something hard inside her, something stroking her clit, the unknown factor of someone else's desire.

Even if that someone was a robot.

Having sex with a robot was pretty hot on its own.

She moved her hips, pressing down on the thing inside of her, spreading her legs wider to get more of the water where she needed it. "Do it harder, Jarvis," she said, and the water pulsed, hitting her just right; she came hard, shouting, her hips jerking.

"Don't stop," she panted, before she was even finished. "Don't stop, don't stop, more," she begged; there was no way she was coming this far and working this hard without getting off just as many times as she could possibly handle. She groaned, arching off the shower floor, pushing into it, trying to take as many, as much as she could.

Four. Four, it turned out, was as many as she could.

"Okay, okay, Jesus, that's enough," she said, taking the shower head away; Jarvis turned it down to more or less normal, the way it had been before all this started. She sighed, stretching, her abdominals sore after what constituted a pretty decent workout. "You're not programmed to inform anyone, right?" she asked warily.

"I'm not known to kiss and tell, Natasha," he said wryly. "This remains between the two of us."

"Good," she said. "Because I'm pretty sure it's going to remain between the two of us again."

"I exist to serve," he said, but goddamned if it wasn't the most smug thing she had ever heard.


Clint just stares at her for a good long while. "Does that mean you've had sex with Tony?"

"We talked about that, actually," she says, picking up the neglected deck of cards and putting it back in its box.

His eyes widen. "You and Tony?"

She snorts. "Yeah, cause there's a conversation I'd love to have," she says. "Me and Jarvis talked about it."

He shakes his head. "I do not understand that thing."

"Jarvis's personality is specially programmed not to replicate Tony's," she explains. "His personality is an extrapolation of the traits that Tony sees as positive but lacks."

He thinks about it for a moment. "So you corrupted the angel on Tony's shoulder."

"It sounds so dirty when you say it that way," she chides.

"You love dirty," he points out.

She grins. "I didn't say I objected."

Clint snorts, but then he raises his fingers to his ear. He picks up the radio on the table and switches it on. "Yes, sir," he says, holding down the button. "Situation normal, sir. Well, except for the part where you've got an assassin and a spy sitting around with their thumbs up their asses, over."

"Hang tight," Coulson says, voice a little staticky. "I'm inbound, over."

"Just missed story hour, sir, over," Clint says, a grin spreading on his face.

"That's a shame," he replies. "Bake me a cake, I'll be there in ten. Cheese, clear."

"How in the hell did he pick up a codename like that?" Natasha asks.

"I guess it's his turn to play storyteller," Clint says, smiling. "You'll love this one."

"Can't wait," she says, matching his smile with one of her own.

And they pass the bottle back and forth, biding time.