“You know Clint, Death once had a near Phil experience.” A giggle, a very manly giggle—that’s his story and he’s sticking to it—escaped Clint Barton from his perch on arm of the sofa. Bruce looked up from the mindboggling feats of science by a sleep deprived Stark (there had to be trademarking opportunities in that somewhere) and Phil held his breath until he was certain Tony had ignored the commotion.
Phil narrowed his eyes in warning at his husband, “Tasha, why are you surprised? When the bogeyman goes to sleep at night, he checks under his bed for Phil,” to absolutely no avail. Why did he even bother? He married a child.
This drew an undignified snort of laughter from Bucky which made Steve come over to what Stark had deemed The Murder Corner starring the Murder Triplets and acolytes. “What on earth are you doing over here?” he asked as he plopped down next to Bucky and dropped his legs over his lap. It earned him a venomous glare, but the former assassin’s metal hand fell on his shins proprietarily anyway.
“Besides torturing your number one fan, Stevie? Not a hell of a lot. Barton was telling us,” he made a small circling gesture to include himself, Sam, Daisy, Jemma Simmons, and Fitz—who was too busy making goo-goo eyes at the back of Stark’s head to really pay attention. Nerd love, the purest love, Simmons had claimed—“that when Nat went to work for SHIELD, these three buffoons worked with each other pretty exclusively. No one trusted her—“
A tipsy Daisy saluted Bucky with some vodka concoction she had called a Cherry Bloom after she had pouted when Phil told her she was not to badger the former Russians to make her white Russians for her amusement, “Spies. Buncha bitchy little girls.” Aaaand yep, that was Barton snorting beer up his nose.
“Watch that one, Steve. She’s a walking pop culture reference. She might fry your brain,” said Nat with a hint of a smirk.
Steve opened his mouth to reply but found Bucky’s hand clamped over it, “No. No letting her win. Barton, you tell him.”
Shooting a glare at Daisy—while muttering something that sounded strangely like “Aww, beer, no.”—he didn’t start speaking until his husband started stroking his hair with his artificial hand like he was a giant cat. “Right so, Tasha worked with us or just Phil for around 3 years?” He looked to get confirmation and both Natasha and Phil nodded. “And there’s not a hell of a lot to do when you’re holed up somewhere either waiting for your handler to give the A-Okay or wondering who screwed the pooch, so we joked around and talked. A lot.”
“If you had told one more soviet Russia joke, Clint, I would have let her shoot you,” deadpans Phil.
“Ah yes, be still my beating heart. Twu wuv, dearest,” Clint replied drily.
“Oh trust me Clint, Fitz, Simmons, and I never heard him shut up about you. I’m sure he’s just teasing, aren’t you, Coulson?” asks Daisy, turning around to look at the “boss man.”
“No, he isn’t,” said Clint and Natasha simultaneously before Nat continues, “but that isn’t the point. Jokes break the ice so we may have spread a few joking rumors about what a badass he is to some junior agents and it got around. Great idea, Clint.”
“How was I supposed to know he was going to stop an attempted robbery with delicious carbs?”
Phil just drops his head to the back of the sofa when he hears, “So, I hear you don’t have to read books.” Tony grins and finishes his joke loudly over Phil’s groan of protest, “You just stare them down until you get the information you want.”
Sighing, Phil takes a chance he probably shouldn’t. “Why do you people do this to me?” he asks, bracing himself.
“Your pal Fury upset Steve and won’t accept my damn apology. Plus I promised I’d play nice.” Bucky.
“Agent, I haven’t don’t anything. Yet.” Stark.
“…Bag of cats, each and every last one of you.” Bruce.
“Buck laughed so it had to be good.” Steve.
“I really do sometimes do what he does. This time I just here first.” Sam.
“Teenage rebellion. A decade late. I’m a late bloomer. Plus you wouldn’t let me ask the freaking Winter Soldier to make me a white Russian. Not cool, Coulson.” Sigh, Sk—damn it, he’d get this—Daisy.
“Because we love you. You’re family, right Fitz?”
Fitz glanced at Simmons, snapping out of his trance for a second, agreeing—uh huh, sure, she speaks for me too—and then getting star struck by Stark again.
Clint grabbed his prosthetic hand and kissed the back. “Fine, I’ll stop, you know why?” Oh no. “Because Phil’s hand is the only hand that can beat a royal flush and I got a marriage certificate to prove you gave it to me.”