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Rating: 3-3-3

Word Count: None

Fandoms: All

Canons: Open/Oc's Welcome!

Bans: Howard the Duck,
RPF* Real Person Fiction; IE Apping an actual celebrity

Main Rule:Don't Be a Dick

OOC min age:18

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Phil and Clint circa 2004

106 Posts
8 Threads
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Never trust a mission to go as planned. when something seemed to be going smooth as silk, something was usually going seriously wrong behind the scenes. This one was no different; as much as Clint trusted his handler, things rarely went according to plan once the ball started rolling. So when everything turned southward, Clint was prepared, and naturally took instructions from his handler with a crisp, clear, “Yes, sir.” No matter what the order was.

The mission had seemed like a cakewalk right up until the time that it was obvious that Clint had been set up. Once that became obvious, the orders were simple. Finish the job and get out of there. Clint had still managed to eliminate the target, of course, and with a little bit of help from one Phillip J. Coulson, both of them had gotten out. But even though they’d managed to do the job successfully, things were still pretty hot, so they’d been told to lay low for a couple of weeks before they tried to make it to the extraction point.

Being told to lay low, to sit still, was similar to being tortured. Two weeks? Clint knew he was going to drive Coulson insane.

Two weeks stuck in a safehouse. And Phil was starting to think that it was going to be a very, very long fourteen days. Because sometime during day two, Clint had apparently decided to amuse himself by flirting with his handler. At first it was fidgeting with the neck of his beer bottle in a suggestive manner. It had gotten worse from there.

He tried to sit still. He really, honestly did try. But regardless of his intention, Clint began to fidget. It happened when he was nervous, especially post-mission, when he was still keyed up, and add in the fact that he was sharing a safe house with someone he was attracted to, someone he most definitely should not have a damn crush on, well, Clint was overflowing with nervous energy, and it demanded an outlet. when he caught Coulson watching (in Coulson's watching-but-not-watching way), well, that piqued Clint's curiosity.

There was an ongoing pool in SHIELD about just what, exactly, Coulson's
sexuality was, and it ranged from "he's an LMD and does not understand
human intercourse" to "prefers sheep" to "secretly married” to “secretly married to Director Fury’s sister”…

But Clint had seen plenty of people watch him. Some because they knew he was dangerous, some because he was their target. Some people watched him because he was odd, and still others watched out of appreciation for what he could do. But a whole lot of people, including some that fell into the previous categories, watched him because they found him attractive.
And the way Coulson was looking at him? That fell squarely into the last category.

Phil told himself sternly that Clint was just bored, and doing this for the amusement value. That he enjoyed being one of the few people in the world who knew Phil well enough to make him squirm visibly, and this was just the latest addition to Clint’s arsenal of ‘things that drive Coulson nuts’. As far as he knew, Clint didn’t even know for certain that he was into guys. Hell, this could even be an attempt on Barton’s part to win the rather substantial sum of money that had been wagered on determining Phil’s sexual orientation. Or at least to get enough actionable intel to get ‘asexual’ and “only screws sheep’ crossed off of the list.

But it wasn’t enough to guess, he needed to be sure. So Clint tested his theory. He made food, and asked Coulson to taste it, holding the spoon himself. Every so often, about once or twice a day for the past two days, he did something flirtatious, something he’d do to get the attention of someone he was attracted to, and paid attention to his handler’s reaction without letting on that he was watching.

He couldn’t be entirely certain. Agent Coulson was a phenomenal agent, a spy’s spy, so to speak, and even Clint wasn’t sure if he had an accurate read on him. Four days into their little exile, Clinton Barton was growing downright desperate to know what the hell was going on in his handler’s head.

Every time Clint started flirting again, Coulson took a deep breath and reminded himself that he was a highly trained secret agent, and that he knew how to withstand all sorts of physical and mental and emotional torture. That he knew how to spot a honey trap and avoid it. That it was common for people who worked together closely to develop sexual feelings, and that part of being an adult was putting that energy back into the work and not letting it cloud your judgement. Reminded himself that SHIELD absolutely, positively forbade handlers from pursuing a sexual relationship with their agents. That even if his career survived the explosion it still wouldn’t be worth it. Because until and unless he found another person he trusted to take over, he was the only one he trusted to keep Clint and Natasha alive. That more than most agents, they needed the right handler, and he was the only one who wanted the job. Which was why he had been allowed to keep his job, the job he loved, instead of getting promoted.

When Day Four of the Eternal Exile of Ecstasy and Excruciation dawned, Clint had had enough. He was through with games and guesswork. So he took a long, hot shower, towel dried his hair but let it stay sticking up just right, running his fingers through it to get the right effect, and put on the sexiest pair of jeans he had with him. The ones that hugged his ass. The ones he brought in case he needed to seduce or distract a mark.

Yeah, those.

Of course Clint knew the rules. He worked at SHIELD, he knew what was and wasn’t allowed. And he also said, with all respect, “Fuck that shit.” Because you were going to want who you wanted, love who you loved, regardless of protocols or regulations.

It didn’t take him that long to find an opportunity to see if Coulson was really and truly watching him. He needed something to do do, and checking his arrows, getting them field ready, hey, that was a good thing, something soothing and familiar. And his quiver, which held his arrows, was in his duffel. His messy, overfilled, already-dug-through, duffel. With all the confidence of a man who knows what he has to offer the eyes, Clint crossed the room and went directly for the duffel bag, leaning over to dig through it.

Phil reminded himself, once again, why it was that he could not act on his attraction to Agent Barton. That the best thing to do was to simply ignore everything. Focus on the mission. On the fact that they’d be out of here soon. Phil reminded himself of all that, and he still couldn’t stop himself from glancing over when Clint bent over to dig something out of his duffle. It wasn’t much of a glance. More a flicker of the eyes, really. Besides Clint had his back to him. Which was why he’d been checking out Clint’s ass, instead of his chest.

Aw, Nat, you packed some of your tea. That was going to come in useful! That was his girl; Clint would love her forever and ever. And right as his hands settled on the tea, and began to reach for the small quiver, he could feel eyes on him.

There was only one set of eyes in the room aside from his own. Glad for the fact that his face was hidden by his body, Clint grinned in victory, keeping his voice mostly even, though he couldn’t hint the thread of excitement that wove its way through his tone, “You’re checking out my ass.” Really, he was just as surprised as he was gleeful.

“Agent Barton,” Phil said, reminded Clint, and himself that they had a professional relationship. That their relationship did not, could not, involve him running his hands over the aforementioned ass while he kissed Clint. Repeatedly. Focus, Coulson, focus, he told himself sternly. “Agent Barton, this is a small place. It’s more or less inevitable that I’m going to look at you at some point. But the fact that I glanced in your direction does not mean that I am quote “checking out your ass” end quote.”

He had him! Pulling his face into a victorious, even teasing, smirk, Clint straightened and turned to look at his handler, “No. The fact that you’re checking out my ass is what means you’re checking out my ass. You’ve been checking me out for the entire day, matter of fact.” He hadn’t been sure before, but now? Now he was sure.

“I haven’t been ‘checking you out’. I’ve just been noticing that you aren’t wearing your shirt, and wondering if I should make sure that our next mission is in a cool climate.”

Oh? Was Clint so hot that Agent Coulson needed to cool off? Was that it? If he’d felt happy before, now Clint was almost gleeful.
“Oh, I like the sound of that.” It was the truth, spoken plainly, even if Coulson didn’t realize that. He crossed the room, moving closer to Coulson, “You and me, in a tent in the woods. Snow all around, sleeping bags zipped together so we can stay warm…” So sue him if he were mentioning something he’d dreamed about once. Or twice. Hey, Phil Coulson was a damn sexy man. No one would blame Clint. No one.

Phil closed his eyes and counted, slowly, to ten. Or started to. By the time he got to six, his eyes snapped open, as he felt the warmth of Clint’s hand on his cheek.

When Agent Coulson closed his eyes and looked as though he were trying not to murder Clint on the spot, Clint worried that he’d crossed the line. He did that… He’d be fine for a while, and then he’d do something entirely stupid without meaning to, and it would cost him something good or dear. Without thinking why he was doing it, he reached out and touched Phil lightly on the cheek.

“Dammit, Agent Barton. What is it that you think that you’re doing?” Phil snapped, his tone more frustrated than angry.

The words were bitten out, and Clint barely suppressed a grimace.
This is why you can’t have nice things, Clint. Because you fuck everything up, every damn time. And yet… He couldn’t help himself. “I want you to admit that I’m not going nuts and seeing things just because I want to see them.” He spoke carefully, as neutrally as he could, knowing that if he said this, it couldn’t be unsaid, and he could lose. Big time. He could lose all of it; his job, his friendship and partnership with Natasha, but most of all, he could lose having Phil Coulson in his life. It was a gamble, and for the first time in a long time, Clint had things he didn’t want to gamble with, things he didn’t want to lose. “That you’re into me the same way that I’m interested in you.”

Interested in. Hell, who was Clint kidding. He was gone for Phil Coulson. Had been for ages. The first and only man he respected and trusted. The one person he would take an order from without fail.

Phil knew that tone. It was the tone Clint used when he was laying down a full house, and wasn’t positive you weren’t holding four of a kind. Hearing Clint so nervous, so uncertain...it made him want to offer reassurance, even though that was the last thing he should be doing.
“And if I do that? What then?” Phil asked, “Break up the team? Inflict you and Natasha on some poor, unsuspecting soul?” because right now, at this moment, that was the only thing keeping his hands off of the man in front of him.

Please, please god, don’t let this mean he’d fucked it all up. “Not hardly. What we do,” he shook his head, using it as an excuse to case his exists one more time as well as to not have to look Coulson in the eyes, “Is we find a way to make it work. Just like we pulled it off in Santa Clara, just like we pulled it off this time. Just like we always pull it off.” He didn’t hold his breath, but it was near thing. Only training and focus kept Clint breathing evenly while he waited for Coulson to respond.

“We’ll have to keep it a secret.” Coulson replied, knowing in that moment that he’d lost, and now he was just negotiating the terms of surrender.

He’d known that. “I can live with that.”

“Even from Natasha.” Not that he didn’t trust Agent Romanov, but three was a conspiracy. And conspiracies got discovered, eventually.

Clint all but laughed. “Are you kidding? She’s the one who told me you wanted to get into my pants.” It was true. Nat was a good bro.

“Ok, not from Natasha. But she’s the only one.” On the other hand, she and Clint were the only two people in the world he’d want to conspire with.

This was too good to be true. But Clint heard himself speaking before he registered exactly what had just happened. “Deal.”

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