saone: (;P)
[personal profile] saone
Title: Things Said in the Aftermath
Author: [livejournal.com profile] saone77
Fandom: MCU, AoS
Summary: Phil may have returned to work early, but he's still limber enough to put his foot into his mouth.
Pairing: Clint/Coulson
Spoilers: Pilot ep of Agents of SHIELD
Rating: PG
Warnings: Not betad, grammarians beware.
Word Count: 2099
Disclaimer: This is indulgent, cracktastic fiction.







Phil's just about to wrap up the briefing when Pat Benetar starts singing from inside his jacket. Ward looks disgruntled, Skye looks intrigued, Fitz and Simmons look confused, and Melinda looks smug.

Hit me with your best shot. Why don't you hit me with your best shot.

"You should probably get that," she says.

Hit me with your best shot. Fire away.

There's something about the tone of her voice and the sunny smile she pastes on her face that has Phil's guts curdling. He takes his phone out just as the music stops. Phil waits for the chime that tells him he has a new voicemail. Instead, Clint's ringtone starts again. It's the same bit of song that was playing just a few seconds ago, but it seems angrier somehow.

"You really should answer that," Melinda says.

Phil narrows his eyes, and he thinks about letting this call go to voicemail as well. But he and Clint rarely indulge in personal calls when one of them is in the field, and that, coupled with the self-satisfied smirk on Melinda's face, tells Phil that putting off this call might not be in his best interest. He thumbs at the screen and Clint's agitated voice is coming through the speakers even before he gets the phone up to his ear.

"--Never again allowed to get pissy at me when I jump off of buildings!"

Phil raises one eyebrow at Melinda. She points to the still healing cut on her lower lip, then she points to Phil, then she makes a rather rude gesture.

"Give me just a minute," Phil says to his phone. Clint sputters, but Phil ignores him. "No more involving significant others in retaliation tactics, Agent May."

Melinda has another moment of looking smug before she realizes what Phil's done. The four youngsters around her, who previously had no idea about Phil's private life, are looking at her like she's a juicy, knowledge-filled bone. Phil smirks as Melinda glares, and he wanders off towards the back of the bus to take his call.

"Sorry," Phil says once he's out of earshot, "what was that?"

"I said, you are never again allowed to get pissy at me for jumping off of buildings."

Phil almost winces at Clint's tone. Almost, because he's not entirely sure what this phone call is about, and wincing might not be warranted quite yet. "I'm not sure what-"

"I saw security cam footage from the train station, Coulson."

Phil still doesn't wince, but it's looking likely to happen in the near future. It also looks like he's going to have to have a talk with Melinda about ratting him out. "I know what you saw probably looked bad-"

"Oh, you mean the part where you walked right up to the living bomb guy? No special suit or protective gear, just do do de do, hi, I'm Agent Phil Coulson, I just came back to life recently, think you could fix that? Is that what you think probably looked bad?"

"Clint-"

"No. You can't do shit like that. Not after what we went through. What I went through. Phil, you know I'm not..." A deep, heavy sigh comes through the phone, and when Clint starts talking again, he sounds a little calmer. "I hardly ever ask for stuff for myself, you know that. I'm usually fine with going along with what you want because I love you, and the one thing I care about is that you're happy. But now, I'm gonna be selfish, and I'm gonna ask. Don't risk yourself like that again. Please. For me, Phil."

"Dammit, Clint, you know I can't promise that. And I don't think it's entirely fair that you asked." Okay, now Phil winces. "No, I didn't mean-"

Clint makes a soft, strangled sound, and the connection drops. Phil pulls the phone away from his ear and stares down at the screen. Clint had ended the call. Oh, that wasn't good. Over their years together, Phil could count on one hand the number of times Clint had abruptly ended phone calls due to anger or frustration - calls abruptly ended by spontaneous gunfire didn't count - and the majority of those times, Clint had called back in a minute or two, after he had been given the chance to cool off a little bit.

Phil waits, but his phone stays silent. The only other time Clint hadn't called back right away was when Phil had refused to agree to Clint's plan to bring in the Black Widow. That time, Clint hadn't called Phil back because he was busy calling Maria and getting her to okay his crazy, yet ultimately successful, scheme. Clint had eventually forgiven Phil's shortsightedness. And Phil had eventually forgiven Clint's recklessness, though he did give him numerous lectures, and not a few guilt trips to try and get him to curtail that kind of behavior. Clint had listened patiently each and every time, his fondness for Phil overriding his annoyance at being told what to do.

Phil winces again. He considers calling Clint himself, but the hole he just dug can't be filled in over electronic means. This is going to require in-person groveling. He puts the phone back in his jacket and returns to the briefing room. The chatter of four curious voices stop when he enters, and Melinda looks up. There's a grateful expression on her face that quickly morphs into something hard and scary when she gets a look at Phil.

"You were just supposed to get yelled at," Melinda says. "What happened?"

"I handled something very badly," Phil says. "We're going to need to make a detour to New York."

"That's not really a detour," Ward says. "That's more like going in the exact opposite direction of where we need to be going. Are you really going to delay a mission for a... a... relationship?"

Phil stares at him until Ward's eyes drop down to the table. "I'm going to delay the mission to secure the continued support of a high-value asset. Who I happen to be in a relationship with, yes."

Skye rubs her hands together. "The plot thickens. Is it scary boss lady? It's scary boss lady, isn't it?"

Melinda snorts as she leaves the table. "Wheels up in twenty." She claps Phil on the shoulder as she passes him.

"Not scary boss lady?" Skye says. "Okay, um..." She looks towards Fitz and Simmons, who seem more than a tad befuddled. "You two know more SHIELD-type people than I do; help me out here, guys."

"It's Hawkeye," Phil says before the speculation goes further. "And, yes, as in the Avenger's Hawkeye. We've known each other for almost eight years, and we've been together for nearly six of those eight. You'll be meeting him sooner or later, so there's no point in any subterfuge. His hazing is mostly harmless. Try not to be alarmed if he suddenly starts dropping down from ceilings in front of or behind you; that's usually a sign of affection."

Ward's mouth gapes open a bit. "You... Wait, you and... Wait. You and... Wait..."

Skye nods approvingly. "Super hot. Get it."

Fitz looks distressed. "When you say 'drops down from ceilings', um-"

"Do you think I could do some tests on him?" Simmons says. "Nothing too invasive, just, you know, maybe scrape some cells off of one of his eyeballs? Or both of his eyeballs? Both would be better. Not that I'm going to try and clone them or anything. Heh."

"Ew. Gross," Skye says.

"Wait," Ward says, "so you and Agent Barton... are together? Like, together?" His face scrunches up. "Agent Barton? And you? Really?"

Phil sighs. "Poop with knives," he mutters as he leaves the room again. He takes his phone back out and dials a number he memorized the last time his head migrated to his ass. "Hello... Yes, I'm going to need you to send every purple flower you have to the following... Yes, this is Mr. Coulson... Everything's still on file? Oh, good... The message? Um, I'll be home in a few hours; please don't booby trap the door... Yes, exactly like that. Thank you."

_______


Phil gets his palm and retina scanned, then he gingerly touches the doorknob to his and Clint's apartment. When nothing happens, he grasps it more firmly, lets out a sigh of relief, and enters the foyer where his legs are immediately taken out from under him. Phil lands hard on his ass, but hands cushion the impact of his upper back and head. Clint swings a leg over Phil's hips and straddles him, pinning him to the floor.

"I can't believe you did the purple flower bit again," Clint says.

"Did it work?"

"It stopped my packing."

Phil swallows. "Clint-"

"I wasn't going to go anywhere. Not really. Maybe over to the tower for a bit. It just felt good to throw some things into a bag. I would have been back before you came home again."

"I'm sorry," Phil says, his voice suddenly rough.

Clint ducks his head. "No, I'm sorry."

"No, don't you be sorry, because I'm the one who needs to be sorry. What I said to you was-"

"Can we both be sorry?" Clint says with a little huff of a laugh.

"As long as you understand that I'm the one who needs to be sorrier." Phil pushes at Clint's hold on him. They both sit up, but when Clint tries to pull away, Phil clings to him. "I like when you're selfish, Clint. I like when you want things, and you ask for them, and I get to give them to you. And I should have never said that you wanting me to be safe wasn't fair."

"But I shouldn't ask you to change who you are," Clint says. "And I definitely shouldn't use your feelings towards me to try and facilitate that change. That was low."

Phil smiles softly. "I think the word I would use is desperate. Seeing that footage was probably-"

"It scared the crap out of me, Phil. Even knowing it was after the fact. Even knowing how everything went down, and that the threat was neutralized, and you were safe." Clint shrugs. "I guess I just got so used to you being the guy who runs things... Knowing you're out in the field again will take some getting used to."

"Especially after what happened the last time I was on the front line, right?"

"I just barely got you back."

"I know. And I'm sorry I put you through that. And I'm sorry I made you worry again. Confronting Peterson like that was a risk, but it was a calculated risk. The people I've surrounded myself with, they're good, Clint. I trust them, and you need to trust me. Trust that I love you, and I will always do everything, everything, in my power to return to you."

Clint nods once then tucks his face against Phil's neck. Phil moves one of his hands and lets it rest on the back of Clint's head. They sit there, on the floor, just quietly breathing each other in.

Finally, Clint pulls away. His eyes are a little red, a little moist. "You need to leave."

"I can stay a bit longer."

"The longer you stay, the longer I'm going to want you to stay."

"You could come with. I've already told the others about you."

"You've got a job to do. I'd just be a distraction."

Phil smiles. "I learned how to deal with being distracted by you years ago."

"I still... You guys are new. You're still learning how to gel together. I don't want to add to any tensions."

"You could help me troll Ward. It's super fun."

"Tempting," Clint says. "You're always so tempting." He buzzes Phil's cheek. "But the answer's still no. I'll crash your party soon enough."

"If you mean literally, don't do it around Fitz; he's kind of twitchy."

"Noted."

"And Simmons might want to scoop out your eyeballs for science."

"Ew. Gross."

"Maybe it might be best to keep you away from Skye for the time being."

"I definitely want to meet her."

"God help us all."

Clint kisses Phil again, this time on the mouth. It's long, and lingering, full of promises, and affection. Phil can feel it in his fingertips and his toes. This man in his arms adores him, and the feeling is very mutual.

All too soon, Clint pulls back. "Go," he says softly. "Save the world."

"And you'll be waiting for me when I'm done?"

"Of course."

_______

end

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