saone: (;P)
[personal profile] saone
Title: Did You Hear the One About...
Author: [livejournal.com profile] saone77
Pairing: Clint/Phil
Summary: It's not that Ward didn't get the joke; it's that Phil tried to tell it in the first place.
Rating: PG-13
Spoilers: Slight for Agents of SHIELD
Warnings: Not betad, grammarians beware.
Word Count: 1518
Disclaimer: This is indulgent, cracktastic fiction.
Notes:This came to me after I saw the extended clip of Coulson and Agent Ward that's been going around. I swear, this was just supposed to be something light and fluffy...









Did you hear the one about the guy who's afraid of flying?



Phil checks the 24 hour news networks, social media sites, and Google before he takes out his phone and places the call he's been itching to make for hours. There's no guarantee he'll get an answer. Clint could be at the gym, or it might be one of the impromptu movie nights that happen when somebody - usually Tony or Clint - realizes that somebody else - usually Steve or Thor - is lacking some vital bit of pop culture knowledge.

Phil absolutely does not feel a pang of longing at the thought of missing so many of those nights. He just doesn't.

The phone he's trying to connect to has rung three times, and Phil's getting prepared to leave a message - something that straddles the delicate line of just how much he misses Clint, but that isn't pathetic enough to leave Clint compelled to 'borrow' a quinjet and fly out to see him - when a breathless voice answers.

"Phil? You there?"

The mere sound of Clint's voice has Phil's lips curving into a helpless grin and his body relaxing into his chair. "Hey. You busy?"

"For you? Fuck no. Hold on a second." There's a shuffle and the muffled sound of Clint speaking to someone away from the phone. There's another voice, then a laugh, then more mumbles sprinkled with some surprisingly clearly enunciated curse words. Clint's voice comes back, loud and strong in Phil's ear. "Sorry, 'bout that. Steve says hi, by the way."

"Did you just call Captain America a dickmunch?" Phil asks, only slightly horrified.

"Captain America is a symbol of justice, and freedom, and virtue, and puppy kisses. Steve is a dirty, rotten, shit-talking bastard who only wins at basketball because he's a big, stupid cheater." There are more mumbles, then Clint starts squawking. "Gah! No, don't... Dammit, Rogers! Fuck, get your ball sweat away from me!"

As Phil waits for the commotion in New York to die down, he very carefully does not examine the feeling of jealousy that's rearing its ugly head. He's seen Clint laugh, and roughhouse, and play plenty of times in the many years they've been together. Not being privy to that kind of behavior at the moment isn't anything to get upset about.

"Uncle!" Clint yells. "Uncle! I give! Jesus Christ, I fucking give!" Phil hears a muffled sound that he can only describe as a cackle, and since Clint is currently panting in his ear, he knows it must have come from the Captain. "Yeah, that's hilarious. Ha, ha. Get your nasty ass in the showers!"

"Do I want to know?" Phil asks, hoping that he's kept the acidity in his voice to a minimum.

"Ugh. Your childhood hero just stuck his hand down his pants then tried to rub it on my face."

"Don't bring my childhood into your kinky sex games, Barton." Phil winces, and he wonders if it would be too much to hope that Clint didn't pick up on the harshness in his voice. There's a short but significant pause on the other end of the call. He picked up on it. "Clint, I-"

"Baby, don't be that way," Clint says, his voice pitched low and practically purring. "You know I'm only interested in playing kinky sex games with one person, and Captain Spangly-Pants ain't him."

Phil sighs, glad that Clint doesn't seem to be interested in digging at the moment. "It's the Hulk, isn't it?" he says, more than willing to banter for a bit.

"Uh, no. God, no. Just... No."

Phil blinks at how serious Clint sounds. "Has something happened, or-"

"Yeah, I can't look at zucchinis without blushing anymore."

Phil ponders that for a moment, and when the answer comes to him, he's ashamed he had to think on it at all. "Clint."

"You think I'm joking? I'm not joking. It's green. Green. And huge. Like an extra limb or something. The Hulk's dick haunts my dreams, Phil."

Phil snorts and covers his face with his free hand.

"And the worst part," Clint continues, "is poor Bruce. He keeps apologizing. Like, I'm sorry my alter-ego continuously waves his giant-sized, verdant-hued dong in your faces."

"Verdant-hued?" Phil manages to choke out.

"Thor's words, not mine."

"Ah."

"Yeah, so Bruce, who manages to look like even more of a kicked puppy than Steve sometimes, keeps apologizing for the whole nudity thing, which just ends up ratcheting up the awkwardness to new and exciting levels."

"I can imagine."

"And he keeps cooking for us, which is another way of apologizing, I guess, but...

"I thought you like Bruce's cooking?" Phil says.

"Well, yeah, but not for practically every meal. There's a lot of vegetables and... you know... stuff...." Clint makes a small, frustrated noise. "Let's just say... Let's just say that it's a good thing you're currently sleeping on the other side of the country."

"That bad, huh?"

"Dude, Lucky couldn't even stay with me last night."

Phil outright laughs at that.

"I'm serious," Clint says. "He went to the door and whined until Jarvis let him out. Somehow the emissions he releases after he steals half a meat-lovers from Pizza Guys is perfectly acceptable, but heaven forbid a human has gastrointestinal issues in his proximity."

Phil's smiling so hard the muscles in his cheeks, which had perhaps atrophied during his time away from New York, ache from it. "God, I miss you." Phil blinks. He hadn't meant to say it, but now that it's out it's easy to acknowledge the truth in those few simple words, and in the empty feeling that's taken up almost permanent residence somewhere in the vicinity of his heart.

"I miss you too," Clint says softly. "You up for telling me why you decided to call?"

Phil sighs. If he tells Clint to drop it, he will. There will be no more questions, and he and Clint will chat for a bit longer, and then they'll hang up, and Phil will still have this itching wrongness at the base of his skull. He called Clint for a reason, but he doesn't know if he can just come out and say what that reason is, especially since it seems so... petty. "I can't just want to hear your voice?" he says lightly.

"You're made of sterner stuff than that, Coulson. You said you wanted to cut back on the phone calls once your team formed, so what's got you so tied up in knots that you're going against your own directive?"

Phil winces. "I said that it would be easier to-"

"I remember your reasoning," Clint says, his voice coming out with a bit more bite this time. "I still think it's stupid and shitty, but that's just my opinion."

Phil sighs again. "You're doing important work, Clint. And so am I."

"And we can't do that important work together because Saint Nick would have a shit fit."

"Because I'm still anonymous, and you're not. I can still go places you can't anymore."

"Whatever."

"Clint-"

"I said, whatever, Coulson."

"This won't be forever."

"Jesus. You really think that's the best card to play for people in our line of work? Especially considering... Just forget it."

Phil rubs at his temple and hates himself a little bit more than usual. That bitterness in Clint's tone, he's responsible for that, and he knows it. "Ward doesn't laugh at my jokes."

There's silence on the other end of the call for the longest time. Finally Clint says, "Are you fucking with me right now?"

"No," Phil says. "I've called you because Agent Ward is a humorless asshat with the social skills of an emotionally stunted rutabaga."

Clint groans. "Oh, God, don't mention rutabagas."

"Sorry."

Clint huffs. "If you don't like the guy just get rid of him. Find someone else. Fury's given you carte blanche, right?"

"It's not a question of me liking him, Clint."

"Yeah, you wouldn't want to be unprofessional or anything."

"It's a bit late for that," Phil says. "Ward is a good agent. An exemplary agent. He's just... He's not you. I had gotten used to having you around me, and now you're not. And I know that if I say the word, you'll be on the next quinjet-"

"Fuck quinjets; I'll take one of Tony's spare suits. Jarvis'll hook me up."

Phil smiles despite himself. "You would, wouldn't you?"

"Phil... If me staying away from you isn't proof enough of how much I respect you and your decisions, I don't know what would be. But I also love you, you self-sacrificing idiot. More than pretty much anything. And if you need me-"

"I know."

"I mean it."

"I know. And I might end up holding you to that."

There's a soft chuckle in Phil's ear. "No, you won't."

Clint's right. He probably won't. But knowing that it's an option has Phil feeling lighter than he has for a while. He may well be a self-sacrificing idiot, but he's a self-sacrificing idiot who's loved by an amazing man. Phil knows damn well how lucky he is.

"Phil, is this a moment? Are we having a moment right now?"

"I'm shuddering at the thought," Phil says. He clears his throat, trying to clear away some of the roughness that's creeped into his voice. "So, I have to ask..."

"Yeah?"

"What does Captain America's ball sweat smell like?"

"Freedom, Phil," Clint says. "It smells like freedom."

"I figured."

_______

end

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