Phil's cellphone rang, emitting the chwirk of a hawk's mating call. With a smile, he let it ring a couple of times before answering, knowing that had it been any sort of emergency his phone would have rung with a completely different ringtone. Then he pushed his keyboard forward slightly and answered. "Yes, Clint?"
"Tony's kidnapped me," came Clint's voice, his tone the almost-bored of a post-mission debrief.
It wasn't exactly what Phil was expecting, but he'd learned over the years that anything rational or sane simply was no longer in the cards for him. He just asked, "Why do you say that?"
"Well, he's locked me in his lab and won't let me out. Correction: the first two times I escaped, he dragged me back and now I'm chained to a chair. Luckily, JARVIS saw fit to allow me my one phone call."
"I see." Phil thought about returning to the report he'd been working on and giving Clint only half his attention. But he was due a break and talking to Clint rated very highly on his list of break-time activities no matter what the topic; that included talking about Tony Stark. "Did he say why he kidnapped you?"
It was possible Stark was going to need some retribution -- no, not possibly, it was definite, no matter what Clint had done to instigate it. Even when Tony's actions were harmless, it didn't do to let him think he could get away with harassing Phil's boyfriend whenever he wanted without payback.
There was a pause before Clint answered, sounding very much like he knew exactly what he'd done. "I might have...accidentally answered one of his questions? Without using a calculator?" Phil knew that Clint was giving him a cute look, as though Phil could even see him over the phone.
Phil sighed and pressed his hand over his face. "And why would that lead to Tony Stark trying to kidnap you?"
"Because when he tried to hire me, I said no. I already work for you -- I mean Fury, who is a wonderful and generous employer," Clint raised his voice slightly, speaking clearly for the phone-tap on both of their phones. They both knew that saying Fury's name would trigger a copy of the conversation to get reviewed by a special team and, despite Phil's assurances that Fury had better things to do than listen to them all himself, Clint was convinced that Fury heard everything Clint said about him.
Then again, knowing Director Fury and Clint, Phil suspected that Clint was probably right.
"So you turned down Stark's offer of employment," Phil prompted. "Because you did math in your head."
"Then he said he wanted to adopt me and I pointed out he'd have to argue that one with your folks."
At that, Phil nodded. The first time Phil had brought Clint home, Phil's mother had taken Clint right into the kitchen and begun feeding him -- despite the fact Clint was well-fed and healthy and just fine. Phil had previously told her the barest bones of Clint's history and she'd decided that from then on Clint was her second son who needed a lot of extra spoiling.
It didn't help that Clint was the one who remembered birthdays and anniversaries, bringing Phil cards to sign and placing phone calls and thus becoming her favorite son.
"So, instead of arguing with my mother, he kidnapped you," Phil said. He didn't blame Tony in the slightest. Tony had actually met Phil's parents twice, and Phil had enjoyed every last second of watching his mother out-fox Tony, keeping him in his place and making him sit down, sit up straight, keep his feet off the furniture, and say 'thank you' every time she gave him a slice of pie or cup of tea.
Phil deliberately didn't think about how his mother was wrangling to adopt Tony as well.
"He said something about keeping me as a pet," Clint said, thoughtfully. "Which, given how he takes care of his other toys -- please rescue me."
Torn between laughing and hanging up on Clint, Phil asked, "Isn't there anyone in the mansion who can help? I do have a lot of work to get through."
"Nat laughed at me, and Banner's helping. He said something about teaching me nuclear engineering and he and Tony started talking at each other in physics and I just wanted a new set of boomerang arrows," Clint whined.
Phil blinked. "Boomerang arrows? What-- no, I'm not asking. So, you say you're being held against your will in Tony's lab, and no one in the mansion proper will bother to save you, so you want me to drive all the way over there to come do it."
"Isn't that part of your job description? Saving your boyfriend from fiendish villains?"
"Technically, Tony and Bruce are fiendish heroes," Phil said. He glanced at his computer screen and did a few calculations of his own. The reports could wait until tomorrow, though he'd need to come in early -- which meant dragging himself out of bed at four a.m. and leaving Clint under the covers making cruel 'not getting up yet' faces at him. Compared to being forced to negotiate with Stark over possession of Clint -- but then Phil would get to spend the rest of the day at home, and maybe they could get a pizza from Rufio's for dinner.
"I thought we'd agreed you weren't going to do math in front of Tony," Phil said, making his decision and reaching out to close his files.
"I didn't mean to?" There was that 'cute look' tone again; Phil laughed and shook his head.
"All right. Tell Stark and Banner that I'm on my way and I expect you to be untied, unharmed, and in our apartment by the time I get there."
"They could leave me tied up?" Clint suggested.
"I am ending this phone call," Phil said, and he hung up. Then he shut down his computer and sent a text to Fury, letting him know that if the Avengers were needed in the next twelve hours, it would be lovely if Ironman and Hulk were the first two called in.