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Long Road Home

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Clint has one leg in his jeans as Phil comes out the bathroom. He's put boxers on but nothing else. His face downright falls when he sees Clint and the words, "I've got an early start tomorrow," so familiar, are rolling off his tongue before he can stop them. Maybe it's an automatic response to the taste of cum in his mouth.

Phil looks at him for a long moment and he can't get a read on him now; Clint tugs his jeans on properly and looks around for his t-shirt. By the time he's put it on, Phil is wearing a bathrobe and his face is softer and not disappointed anymore. He's glad that Phil is good at hiding what he thinks because he doesn't want to know what that is right now. He's still looking at him though and when Clint meets his eyes he smiles a little.

"The alarm is set for five." The man is still offering him the chance to stay but he can't now, because he's too far down the line and this is ten kinds of fucked up, because it's just like he knew it would be, because he wants to. "Would that be too late?"

"My employer is kinda demanding," he tries and manages a bit of a grin.


He finds it hard to stop staring at the lifting curve of Phil's mouth because his brain is busy replaying the movie of the man on his knees smiling up at him just before he took his cock in his mouth.

He focusses on making sure he has his wallet, keys and phone and edges his way to the front door as he does it.


The soft voice stops him with one hand on the door handle and he just wants to run, the last thing he needs is some feelings shit or to be told 'thanks' or whatever. Or worse a goodbye kiss, not now. He just needs to breathe.

Phil is standing by the kitchen counter and he's lining up the bottle caps with one finger but he's looking at Clint.

"I'll see you tomorrow, yes?"

Clint nods. That's ok. Yeah, he'll see him tomorrow and it'll be ok because they'll make it ok.

He takes the stairs because the lift would make him claustrophobic right now. In a few minutes he's out on the street in the rain and he gulps in the cold air. The temperature has dropped and he shoves his hands in his pockets and tucks his head down. It's a long fucking walk to his place and he just wants to shower and get into bed and pull the covers over his head and stop thinking.

If there are gods they're smiling on him because a woman is just getting out of a cab at the next block and he snags it and slumps in the corner and stares up at the rain as it glows in the sodium lights.

The blissed out endorphin rush is fading and his bones ache with damp in a way he remembers the older members of the circus complaining about; all those damn breaks, all of his history, catching up with him.

He scrubs his hand through his hair and drops his head back and then the driver is saying, "Bad night, man?" and the last thing he wants to do is talk about it. Really, the last thing.

"The evening was great," he says and it was, it had been, even just doing the paperwork over Chinese food and then, because it wasn't even gone eight when they were done, going for a beer and then somehow back to Phil's place and another beer and sitting together on the couch like they'd done before. Only this time Clint had sat a bit closer and when Phil came back from a trip to the bathroom they'd ended up thigh to thigh and from there he'd elbowed Phil to emphasise his very good point about how reality TV wasn't real at all and he'd been witty and smart and made Phil laugh and then they had stopped watching TV and Phil had been watching him and yeah, great evening.

"So what are you doing in my cab then?" the guy asks, and Clint knows he's being watched because ... well, he just does.

"Because I'm an idiot," he answers and stares at the rain some more and ignores the tightness in his throat.

"She kick you out? You don't look happy about it."

"He," Clint says idly and kind of feels the guy blink but fuck it, it's New York City, he can deal. "I left."

"So why do you look miserable as fuck about it?"

Clint skates his tongue over his teeth, tastes the sharpness of Phil's cum in his mouth again and he licks his lips.

"Seemed like a good idea." They're halfway back to his place now and he wonders if they should recruit the guy as one of their interrogators. Maybe he's having a breakdown of a sort and is going to start spilling his history to strangers.

"Looks pretty dumb from where I'm sitting." Under the lights the guy's eyes look black as night when Clint meets them in the mirror. "Shit man, I'm straight and I'm not sure I'd let you out of bed." Clint can't hold back the bark of laughter but he feels a sting in his eyes so he turns back to the window. The words might be creepy but the tone is warm and he doesn't get the sense that there is anything other than a compliment here.

He just needs to think about getting home and having the hottest shower he can bear, crawling under the covers and hiding away till the morning, that's all. He tries not to recall the scent of Phil in his nostrils or how soft his sheets were or how it had felt when he'd tugged Clint over to lie on him and put his arm around his shoulders while he was still gasping through the aftershocks of the orgasm Phil had ripped from him with his mouth and tongue.

"So what's the best thing about your guy then?"

Clint lifts his eyes and meets the gaze in the mirror. The dark eyes search his face and he has to tell the truth.

"He's a good man, does the right thing. I trust him with my life. And he believes in me. Makes me want to be a better man." And he's got a mouth that I want on me all the time.

The flash of white teeth indicates a brief smile but the face in the mirror is unreadable a second later.

"So why don't you trust him with your heart?"

His heart? What's his heart got to do with this? He replays the last sentences, finds the one that shocked him into the truth.

Phil as his man? He's never let himself think like that. Phil being part of his life, being more than his boss? He remembers the disappointment on Phil's face when he'd realised that Clint was heading out the door and the way he'd looked at him before he kissed him for the first time, holding his eyes, a bit unsure. Only time he'd kissed him, because no way Phil is ever going to let that happen again after the way Clint upped and left.

He shifts in the seat and ducks his head away from the flick of the driver's eyes. How did a cab ride home from what he thought had been another one night stand turn into a fucking search into his soul?

He almost asks the guy to turn the cab around there and then. They drift through the empty wet streets; the journey seems to be taking forever and the itch under his skin that drove him out of Phil's apartment has him winding down the window so he can feel the chill on his face.

"I'm no good," he says to the rain.

"Is that what he thinks?"

It's not like he's even looking at him now but he still can't lie to this guy.

"No ...." Clint sighs.

The sound of tires on wet asphalt fills his head like white noise, always moving on, moving away.

"And he wanted you to stay?"

"I guess." Lie. "Yeah, he did." This trip has to be over soon, feels like they've been going for hours. "Man, are we going in circles here?"

"You tell me," the guy says and makes a right and Clint realises they aren't far from his place at all, maybe five minutes.

Clint pictures himself walking up the stairs to his apartment, hopes he won't run into the neighbours, he tries to think of the shower, the familiarity of his mattress, of being home. It doesn't take. He sees Phil's half smile just before he'd tucked his face into his shoulder, sees him with his head tipped back on the soft pillows, the cords of his neck standing rigid, his fingers clawing the sheets as he tried not to thrust into Clint's mouth. He can hear the groan that he'd dragged out of Phil by sliding both hands up to cup his ass and lift him so he could swallow his thick cock down his throat.

He thinks how he had let himself lie on Phil's chest and just listen to the racing of the man's heart as it gradually slowed. Phil had lain in silence, looping small soft circles across his shoulders with callused fingers. He hadn't tried to kiss him afterwards. Clint's not sure what that means, but he'll figure it out in time.

"Where do you want me to stop?" the driver asks and Clint looks up in surprise as they swing round the corner and his building comes into sight. He swallows.

"Not here," he says and digs in his wallet to make sure he has the cash.

"Are we going back?" the guy asks and Clint can only nod. There is a grin in the mirror and he finds a matched one on his own face. He really is going to do this; for the first time he's going back.

When they pull up in front of Phil's building he pays the fare and adds a huge tip. For a moment he sits and stares out the window until the driver tells him to stop thinking so hard and just go. He doesn't know how to say thank you so he nods at the half lit face in the rear view and gets out into the freezing rain. In a moment the cab's gone.

Clint reaches up to press the buzzer for Phil's apartment and pauses for a only a second, the way he pauses to make sure he has sighted correctly and calculated all the variables before he lets fly.

There's a click as Phil picks up and Clint says "Phil?"

There's a hint of a pause and then the door releases and he takes the elevator because there's one waiting and Phil lives in a building where they actually work and its faster which gives him less time to think this all over again and change his mind.

As the elevator slides to a stop Clint straightens his shoulders and breathes in and out. His heartrate is up and Phil is going to see that. His heart, stupid thing.

He knocks on the door and Phil is there in a moment. He's wearing the robe still and an expression that Clint can't quite read.

Phil holds the door wide and there is the smallest lift on the right side of his mouth and his eyes are soft. Clint decides against just plain grabbing him. It's only fair to give him an explanation only that's part of the problem. He can't explain without saying too much and what if he got Phil wrong? What if Phil just wanted one night?

"Uh ..." He starts and god, he's so crap at explaining himself. He glances at the sofa and there's a dent where Phil has been lying with his head on the arm. So he'd not gone back to bed. He looks back at the man and allows himself a brief glance at the exposed deep vee of dark hair. Phil hasn't covered himself up or retightened the waist tie, no defensive moves. He's leaning on the back of the sofa, bare feet slightly apart, hands resting at his sides. He's waiting, not braced, he is just as he might be at work, just as Clint needs him to be.

Clint pictures throwing himself to his knees and begging forgiveness for one brief second and has to stop himself from grinning at just how much that move would freak Phil the fuck out.

"So," he tries again and shoves his hands in his pockets and then takes one out to scrub through his hair. "There was this guy ... on the way home ...."

He tails off as Phil raises an eyebrow and moves as if to hold his hands up and for fuck's sake, that came out so wrong.

"No, no. No." He's fierce because he doesn't want Phil thinking that.

"The cab driver was asking about you." He looks at Phil who is looking curious now and a bit concerned.

"Me?" Always the Agent.

"Who I'd been with," Clint corrects and the tension goes out of him and his watchful waiting begins again. His eyes are still unreadable but he's not angry. Clint isn't sure what he is and that's the point. Phil's pretty tough to figure out, however much he has watched over the last few months. If it hadn't been for the undeniable tension in the room earlier, for the fact that his skin had damn near crackled with electricity when Phil wrapped his hand around his wrist and Phil had felt it too because his eyes had widened and darkened, they might never have got here.

"He asked me if I'd had a bad night and I said it was a great night." Clint feels something inside him unclench a little at the minute widening of Phil's eyes and he stumbles on. "I told him I trusted you with my life and he asked ..." Shit. He needed to have thought this through before he blurted it out. He can't see a way to extricate himself from telling the truth.

Phil tilts his head a little and waits for him to go on.

"He asked why I didn't stay if you'd wanted me to." Clint shrugs and hopes that Phil will take pity on him and help him out here, least ways give him a clue.

"I did want you to."

Thank fuck for the lifeline Phil had just thrown him with a smile tossed in for luck.

"Yeah?" Clint asks and shoves his hands deeper in his pockets, although he does take a step towards Phil.

"A lot," Phil says and pushes himself off the sofa so he isn't all that far from Clint. He likes the way Phil is looking at him; he can feel the heat curl in his belly and he looks right back at him.

"I said I was an idiot."

"You probably had your reasons." Phil doesn't break eye contact and his jacket is too warm in the heat of the room so he strips it off and drops it on the bar stool. He hears it slip to the floor but most of his attention is taken up with the sensation of Phil sliding his hand up his arm from wrist to bicep and the way his lips part a little as he strokes just under the sleeve of Clint's t-shirt. His thumbnail scrapes over the skin at the curve of the muscle and Clint hears his own small gasp for breath with something like surprise.

"They were dumb," he manages through a mouth that is stuffed with cotton.

"Tell me about them later," Phil says and he sounds far too calm for someone with a look that Clint can only think of as predatory on his face as he steps right into Clint's space.

"Yeah," Clint says. Yeah, this, Phil's hand on his cheek, his thumb drifting across his cheekbone, yeah, the tightening grip on his bicep, oh yeah, the way his face goes out of focus as he leans in to kiss Clint. Fuck yeah, he's going to make sure there's a later.

Phil's kiss is demanding and dirty and he backs Clint up against the wall with enough force to make him grunt and fuck but he loves it.

He spreads his legs in response to the pressure of Phil's thigh and a whine escapes him at the sensation of firm muscle underneath his balls. Phil has one hand in his hair, tipping his head back, holding him open for his kisses and other grips his bicep still with enough pressure to bruise. It's possessive, keeps him there, and is just what he needs.

He gets one hand in the softness of Phil's robe and shoves it off his left shoulder. When he inhales he can smell the scent of sex on him from earlier. The idea that Phil hadn't washed him, them, off him, makes him even harder and he grinds down against Phil's leg and scrapes his nails across the breadth of shoulder that's now exposed.

Phil draws back from the kiss and they're both breathing hard.

"Glad you came back." It could be a question but its a statement. Phil's fingers loosen on his arm and there is a light stroke across the tender skin that is soft enough to make him shiver with pleasure and anticipation. Clint meets his gaze and nods.

"Yeah?" Fuck, he's asking for reassurance, like he needs it when they are pressed together like this and have been kissing so hot and dirty and its about as obvious as it gets that they both want this.

"Really." And Phil isn't even snarking at him for needing it, for being a dumbass. Instead he smiles and strokes his arm again and slides one hand up under his tee to sit on his waist and tug him closer so he can kiss him again.

Clint can only kiss him back, hard and demanding and grateful for his honesty.

The bed's still unmade and the room smells of them and Clint breathes it in when he comes up for air.

"Want you to fuck me," he says, shucking his jeans onto the floor, hands reaching to strip Phil out of his robe, not quite able to look at him.

Phil's fingers thread through his hair, gripping to hold him so his eyes meet the dark gaze.

"Really?" And Clint nods, enjoying the tug on his scalp, hair pulling taut.

"Pretty much since I met you," he manages and Phil practically shoves him down on the bed at that. He likes where the truth is taking them.

Phil takes his time though, lets him sweat and beg for it, when he's used to hard and fast and just needing to get there. He likes it this way, spread out, Phil's fingers sliding into him, his other palm spread across his thigh holding him open, keeping him right there.

Afterwards (and he thought his face would fall off he came so hard with Phil pinning him down to the bed and that's something else kind of new, liking that) he can't do much more than stare at the ceiling and wonder why it had taken them so long to figure this out.

It seems he actually asks Phil this because his fingers are enclosed in a warm grip and a voice close to his ear says

"We both needed to work some things out."

"You too?" He tilts his head and meets Phil's eyes and the other man doesn't look away.

"Apparently so." Phil shrugs and squeezes Clint's hand and he squeezes back.

He nods and doesn't disentangle their fingers.

He should move, clean up at least, but Phil stays put, eyes dropping with sleep and the clock over his shoulder reads 2:08, so Clint lets it go, lets everything go, and thinks that he probably won't regret it in the morning.