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Sweep the Kitchen

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The first time Phil sees Clint standing on the edge of the roof, his heart stops beating and promptly relocates itself to his throat. The only thing that stops him from going into a full out panic is that Natasha, eyes closed and face tilted towards the setting sun, is lounging on the parapet by Clint's feet. The small part of Phil's brain that isn't gibbering in horror calmly informs him that if fierce and protective Natasha isn't worried about Clint's well-being, he probably doesn't have to be either.

Phil swallows and walks forward. He doesn't get more than a few feet before Natasha's stirring from her repose and poking at Clint's calf.

"You're causing your boyfriend palpitations, Barton," she says, without giving Phil a glance.

"What?" Clint spins on his heel, and Phil's fingers reflexively clench even though he's nowhere close enough to grab onto cloth or skin if Clint fell.

But Clint doesn't fall. He grins, bright and happy, as he - thank God - hops down onto the roof and swiftly crosses the distance between them. Phil automatically tilts his head and closes his eyes as Clint's hands reach for his waist and he's pulled into a kiss. Phil's own hands flex against Clint's wide shoulders, and when Clint tries to pull back, he clings a little bit.

"You okay?" Clint asks against Phil's mouth.

"Oh, yeah," Phil says. "I'm fine." He hears Natasha snort. "I'm fine," he says again.

Clint frowns. He keeps his arms around Phil's middle, but twists enough so that his head can swivel back and forth between him and Natasha. Phil tries to keep his face neutral, but Natasha cuts her eyes from Phil to the edge of the roof then back to Phil before she ever so slightly quirks one eyebrow.

"Oh." Clint's cheeks flush as his expression turns sheepish. "Uh, did I ever tell you that I really like heights?"

"No," Phil says, "you didn't."

"Huh. Did I ever tell you that the trick I usually got the biggest applause for was the one where I stood on the back of a galloping horse and still bulls-eyed every target because I have an incredible sense of balance and aim?"

Phil knows that Clint's trying to put him at ease, but his mind still can't help but think of broken bones, and dislocated things, and Clint's apparently long-standing lack of self-preservation. "No, you never shared that story either."

"Hmmm." A slight wickedness starts to overtake the hangdog in Clint's expression. "Did I ever tell you that when I was twenty I had a torrid love affair with an aerialist from Belarus who taught me some tricks on the trapeze and tightrope?"

Now Phil's mind is helpfully providing him with much nicer images. Twenty year-old Clint. A torrid affair. Good God. "I'm fairly certain I would remember anything that involved you and the word 'torrid'," Phil says, hoping that Clint doesn't pick up on the added roughness to his voice. "So, once again, no."

Clint smirks. "You're totally picturing hot, barely legal me right now, aren't you?"

Phil sighs, extracts himself from Clint's grasp, and ignores the question. "I appreciate what you're telling me, and I admire and respect your skills, however, for the sake of my health, could you maybe not-"

"Walk on the edge?"

"Or anywhere close to the edge," Phil says. "Or maybe not come up here at all. Maybe you could stay inside. Where there are always four walls around you. And we could cushion the floor."

Clint chuckles.

"I'm kind of not joking," Phil says.

Clint keeps chuckling and now he's also looking at Phil like he's the most adorable thing Clint's ever seen. Phil sighs again.

"What are you two doing up here, anyway?" he asks.

"Nat and I are thinking about putting a garden in," Clint says, glancing around. "Wouldn't that be awesome? It would take a lot of work and effort to get it set up, but you can grow almost anything in containers, even some fruit trees. I could have fresh herbs, and we could have a green space to relax in." That bright, happy grin is back. "What do you think?"

Phil thinks it's a great idea. But he also thinks that if Clint is up here too much the temptation to do more stunts might grow right along with his plants. "Will you look into putting in a higher railing? Maybe something iron. With spikes. That you can't walk on." He hears Natasha snort again.

Clint rolls his eyes and looks exasperated, but it's a good-natured kind of exasperated, so Phil doesn't think he's really upset or put out.

"I need to find a gym with the right kind of equipment," Clint says, "and then I am going to blow your mind with what I can do, Phil."

"And then, when you're properly awed, he'll blow something else," Natasha adds.

Before Phil can become too mortified, Clint darts in close and presses a quick kiss to his mouth. "That's actually a pretty good idea." He tugs sharply on Phil's tie. "You wanna go downstairs and have our own torrid affair, officer?"

Phil would love to be witty right now, but Clint's got heat, and hunger, and promises behind his eyes, and all that manages to come out is a softly gasped, "Yes, please."

Natasha snorts again, but Phil really doesn't care. He's far too focused on how Clint still has a hold on his tie and is using it to pull him towards the stairs.





"Why do you look so smug?" Maria asks Phil the next morning in lieu of her normal greeting of a barely caffeinated grunt.

Phil tries to wipe the smile off of his face. He fails. "Oh, you know. Things. Stuff. Reasons. Hey, Clint and Natasha are going to put in a rooftop garden."

"Huh. Nice."

"Yeah, I think so."