When Clint woke up, his foggy brain told him he’d been asleep a long time, which was great, but also kind of worrying. Being woken up before dawn was the price you paid for sleeping next to Phil on a work night.
Clint had long since decided he was okay with that.
This morning, though, he opened his eyes and Phil was still beside him, sitting up in bed and frowning thoughtfully at his laptop.
“Um,” Clint said, clearing his dry throat and rolling onto his back. “Hey?”
“Good morning.” Phil reached out and mussed Clint’s hair without looking away from the screen. “Do you know what a Wartenberg Wheel is?”
Clint choked. Wow, that wasn’t something it was fair to ask him before he was all the way awake. “Yeah,” he tried. “I mean, um.” He sat up and leaned into Phil’s space. “What are you looking at?”
Phil pointed at the screen and yeah, okay, that was a pinwheel. Phil was researching pinwheels. And – Clint glanced up at the row of tabs he had open - apparently a whole load of other things.
“Phil,” Clint said slowly, leaning away again. “What’s all that?” He tried to make himself sound neutral and hopefully managed it. He was starting to hope, just slightly, but he didn’t want Phil to know that in case he was reading this all wrong.
Phil finally put the laptop down and turned to face him. “I thought I should do some research,” he said. He sounded nonchalant but the way he licked his top lip a couple times meant he was nervous. Clint appreciated that.
Clint swallowed. He couldn’t have this conversation in bed. He rolled up onto his knees, rubbed his hands on his thighs. “Why?”
Phil half-smiled. “I started putting things together yesterday. Then I ran it past Natasha, who would neither confirm or deny, but I’m right, aren’t I?” He waved back at the computer. “That’s what’s been missing for you, from… us.”
Clint’s first reaction was to feel seriously fucking stupid. Of course Phil had noticed something was missing too; no matter how Clint tried to fake it, apparently he just wasn’t good enough.
“I’m sorry,” he said, hating the way he sounded hurt. “I tried so hard to – ”
“Clint.” Phil poured a whole load of feelings into that one word. “Fuck. I’m saying this all wrong.” He knelt up too, reaching out for Clint. “Come here.”
Clint did, leaning into the kisses Phil pressed across his mouth. It was more careful and affectionate than Phil usually went in for; Clint wondered if it was the start of goodbye.
It was on the tip of Clint’s tongue to apologise again, to promise to get better at pretending to want what Phil wanted. He didn’t let himself do that.
“It’s okay,” Clint said steadily. “I get that you don’t want all that.” It was his turn to wave at the laptop. “I swear I won’t make things awkward at work or anything – ”
“When what?” Phil asked. He dropped his hand down to Clint’s bare knee and squeezed. “When I break up with you for getting turned on when I hold you down?”
The way he said it, soft and teasing, like Clint was being stupid, didn’t make Clint feel better. It just made him feel more and more lost.
“Phil,” he said seriously. “It’s more than that.”
Phil’s mouth twisted. “Sorry,” he said, “I’m trying to sound calm and confident. Am I just coming across like an asshole?”
Clint shook his head. “No, you sound like you. I’m just freaking out.”
Phil laughed softly. He squeezed Clint’s hand this time. “Come on,” he said, “let’s get out of here, I’m taking you to breakfast. We can start this conversation again.”
Clint frowned, confused. “It’s still Thursday, right? What about work?”
“Mental health day,” Phil told him, closing his laptop and standing up. “I already emailed Hill about it.”
“Since when does SHIELD have mental health days?” Clint asked. If that was a standard thing, he had missed so many days off. The whole Loki-and-Phil thing should have given him a month all by itself.
“Since I emailed Hill about it this morning,” Phil told him patiently. “And since the Director is in deep cover in South America and can’t be contacted to contradict me.”
Despite the anxiety bubbling in his stomach, Clint laughed. “Go you, sir. Sticking it to the man.”
The corner of Phil’s mouth twitched. Then his expression turned curious. “When you call me sir?” he asked.
“That’s a work thing,” Clint interrupted quickly, because that was less embarrassing than it’s the closest thing to an endearment I can make myself say. “Anyway, I thought we weren’t talking about this yet.”
“No, you’re right.” Phil nodded. He pulled his shirt off over his head then held out his hand. “Come on, let’s shower.”
“Together?” Clint asked. This was the weirdest maybe-break-up he’d ever had.
Phil nodded firmly. “I’m not sure you won’t run off otherwise.”
Clint wouldn’t. Probably. But he wasn’t going to turn down a chance to get his hands on a naked, wet and soapy Phil.
“Yeah,” he said, “better chain me to the towel rail,” because the easiest thing to do was turn it into a joke.
“Maybe,” Phil said thoughtfully. “We’ll talk about that later too.”
Clint stopped in his tracks, watching as Phil turned and headed for the bathroom. “I’m banging my head against a metaphorical brick wall right now,” he called.
“That’s fine,” Phil called back. “Now hurry up. The water’s warm.”
Clint waited another minute, trying to sort this all out in his head. Then he gave up and followed Phil into the shower.
Phil did actually take him out to breakfast. They went to an anonymous diner with no line at eleven a.m. on a Thursday morning, and Phil ordered the pumpkin waffles without looking at a menu.
“What?” Phil asked after Clint had ordered chocolate chip pancakes and ignored the look Phil gave him. “I used to come here a lot when I was single. Their coffee is to die for.”
He said it so matter-of-factly. “What are you now?” Clint asked, picking up his coffee mug because he wasn’t sure what else to do with his hands. It was damn good coffee.
Phil just looked at him. “Having a relationship discussion in a diner in downtown New York. But otherwise… not single?”
Clint nodded, breathing out. “Okay.” His knee was jumping under the table; he curled his toes, trying to stop it.
He drank some more coffee, watching under his eyelashes as Phil did the same. Clint wasn’t dumb; he knew what this was. One of the first things Phil had ever taught him about interrogation was that people were more likely to listen and less likely to make a scene in a public place.
“What do you want to know?” Clint asked eventually. He knew when he was being played, but the silence was getting to him. Just like it was supposed to.
“Nothing.” Phil shook his head. “I want to tell you something.” He leaned over the table and put his hand over Clint’s.
Clint stared; they didn’t usually do that in public.
“When I was twenty-four, maybe twenty-five, straight out of the military, I met a woman who told me she enjoyed being whipped.”
Clint’s head snapped up. “Okay?” he said slowly. “Is this where you tell me you’re sorry but you hated it?”
Phil shook his head. “No, I loved it. So did she. Unfortunately, she turned out not to love me very much.”
Clint had kind of a problem working out how that was possible. He took in the way Phil’s eyes were cast down, a little sad, and decided to muddle his way through trying to tell Phil that.
Phil squeezed his hand.
“You, um.” Clint tap-tap-tapped his thumb against the side of Phil’s hand. “You liked it?”
“Yeah,” Phil said quietly. “I’m not pretending to be an expert. We never did anything other than that – or, well, sometimes she liked me to use my hand to spank her – and I don’t know what it is that you need. But I’d be interested in trying, if you wouldn’t mind being patient with me.”
Clint shifted in his seat. “I don’t like whips,” he said then stopped, coughing.
The waitress had suddenly appeared behind Phil’s shoulder, and her eyes were kind of wide.
Phil and Clint watched in lip-biting silence while she set their breakfast down on the table and flashed Clint a grin before bouncing away.
Clint started laughing first. Phil joined in a second or two later.
“Crap,” Phil muttered, hand over his face. “Now I’m going to have to find a new brunch place.”
“Hey,” Clint said, peeling his hand out of Phil’s so he could hold it up in surrender. “You brought us here.”
“True.” Phil picked up his knife and fork, cutting around a square from the corner of his waffle. “So. You don’t like whips?”
Clint had barely stopped laughing, now he started again. “Dude,” he said, shaking his head. Not that he was objecting to Phil’s practicality; eating and discussing their kinks seemed like a great combination of duties. “No, I don’t like whips. I don’t like that kind of pain.”
“That kind,” Phil prompted gently.
Clint hesitated. This was going way better than he ever could have dreamed, but Phil sounded like he’d had one kinky relationship, not like he needed it to feel right in his body like Clint did.
“I like being spanked,” Clint said, remembering to lower his voice this time, “and I like nipple clamps and wax and knife play and all that shit. There was a guy in the circus who liked whips too much. So I’m not into that.”
Phil nodded and didn’t press for details. Clint appreciated that. “You like having your hands trapped.”
“More than anything,” Clint told him, maybe too quickly. Oops. He cleared his throat. “Nothing that’s going to cause permanent damage, obviously, but yeah. Yeah, I… like that.”
Phil ate some more of his waffles and nudged Clint into starting his pancakes. “When I handcuffed you the other day?” he asked.
“It fucked me up pretty badly,” Clint agreed, faux-casually.
Phil put down his fork with a clatter, only a tiny one, but still less controlled than Phil normally was. “I didn’t realise.”
Clint rolled his eyes. “Duh.” He ate some more pancakes; they really were excellent. “Don’t worry about it. You didn’t know and I’m good again now.”
“I read something about subdrop?” Phil asked carefully.
Clint nodded. “Yeah, it can be a bitch.” He watched Phil’s mouth twist up, all upset and guilty. “Look, it’s really okay. You didn’t know and Natasha fixed me up, so.”
“Natasha?” Phil asked, looking at him closely.
Oh yeah, there was another thing they maybe needed to talk about. “I didn’t have sex with her or anything. But she’s, she’s good at knowing what I need, I guess.”
“I’m glad,” Phil said, looking like he meant it. He pushed his plate away, breakfast mostly gone, and put his hand in the centre of the table. After a beat, Clint touched his fingertips to Phil’s. “I’d like to learn what you need,” Phil told him. “If that’s okay with you? I’m not prepared to lose you over this.”
Clint’s heart was beating too fast. He actually felt more anxious now that there was a shot at hope. “Me either,” he admitted quietly. “But if it’s not working for you, you need to tell me, okay?”
Phil nodded. “Yes, of course.”
“No, see.” Clint leaned closer, totally serious. “You have to promise me. I get that I’m the one who’s going to be tied up or whatever we decide we want to try, but if it doesn’t feel right for you, it could fuck you up too, okay? Promise?”
“Promise,” Phil told him, eyes locked on Clint.
Suddenly, Clint wanted nothing more than to get his mouth on Phil’s. They’d made out for a good fifteen minutes in the shower this morning, but now it felt like a lifetime ago.
“Can we go now?” Clint asked, already half out of his chair.
“Yes.” Phil threw some money onto the table and followed Clint out. Their waitress held the door for them, tipping Clint a wink that he returned easily, putting an extra bit of ridiculousness into it to make her laugh.
Phil cleared his throat and reached back, snagging Clint’s wrist. “Come on, Barton, now’s not the time to develop social skills.”
Clint laughed, letting himself be towed. “My social skills are second to none, sir,” he complained, tucking his hand into Phil’s back pocket, just for a second, because they were the anonymous faces of the Avengers and no one would recognise them here. “Just like, you know, the Hulk’s. Or Thor’s.”
Phil knocked his elbow into Clint’s. “I’ll see you back at the Tower, later on,” he said. “There are a few things I need to do.”
“Okay?” Clint said uncertainly. He still really wanted to get his mouth back on Phil’s mouth. “I thought you’d called in to work.”
“I’m going to the library,” Phil told him, smiling slightly. “And then, if that’s successful, the sex store on Seventh Avenue.”
“Woah,” Clint said, “okay.” He didn’t know why he was surprised; there was nothing as determined as Phil Coulson when he didn’t know something he felt he needed to. “You want me come with?”
Phil shook his head. They’d reached a subway station and Phil stopped, stepping out the way so he didn’t block the stairs. “I’m just going to do some preliminary research. I’m sure I’ll come to you with a lot of stupid questions once I know what to ask.”
“That’s fine,” Clint assured him. “No problem at all. Talk to me about sex any time you like.”
Phil rolled his eyes. He patted his pockets and frowned. “Lend me your Metro card?”
Clint pretended to gasp. “You mean you came outside without enough equipment to survive a real life Day After Tomorrow?” he asked.
He felt kind of giddy with relief, or potential relief, anyway. Sure, Phil could start looking into things and decide it wasn’t for him, but there was a possibility that he wouldn’t; Clint would take that.
“A Metro card wouldn’t help me in an ice age,” Phil told him seriously, accepting the card that Clint pushed into his hand and also the brush of fingers across his palm that Clint couldn’t resist.
“See you back home,” Clint said, then wanted to take the words back. Stark Tower was his home (sort of) but it wasn’t Phil’s.
Phil just smiled though. “Yeah, see you later. I won’t be too long,” he said and headed down the stairs.
Huh, Clint thought. This was why relationships were so much harder than combat missions. No matter how well he thought he understood the plays, they never worked out how he was expecting.
In this case, that might not be too bad a thing, he thought, and decided to swing by the park to climb some trees and scare some pigeons before heading home.
It was late by the time Phil got back, a couple of brown paper bags in his hands that made Clint buzz with curiosity.
Unfortunately, he’d just sat down for an after-dinner beer with Bruce and couldn’t exactly jump up and start demanding to know what Phil had bought.
“Dr Banner,” Phil said, nodding at him, “Barton.”
“Hi,” Bruce said, smiling at him. Because he wasn’t Tony, he didn’t make any comments about Phil turning up here without a convenient excuse, but he did look curious. Or maybe amused.
It wouldn’t have surprised Clint to whole lot to discover that everyone knew about them, to be honest. Clint was a goddamn professional on the clock, but even he couldn’t playact twenty-four hours a day and he maybe hadn’t worked too hard not to slip up.
“There’s curry in the fridge,” Clint told Phil, leaning over the back of the sofa to talk to Phil properly.
Phil shook his head. “I grabbed some dinner while I was out. Are you busy?”
Clint shook his head. He’d barely started his beer, but he put it down, realising he might need a clear head tonight.
“Doc,” he said, twisting back to look at Bruce. “You mind if I – ”
Bruce waved him on. “Go on. Tony leaves me for Pepper all the time; I’m used to it.”
Oh yeah, he definitely knew. Clint checked in with Phil, but he didn’t seem worried.
“Thanks, man,” Clint said, holding out his bottle to Bruce, which Bruce took with a wry little smile. Of course, everything Bruce did was wry. Or angry. He’d never demonstrated wryly angry yet, but Clint was sure he could manage it.
Phil hadn’t put down his bags, and he switched them to the side furthest from Clint when Clint joined him in the doorway.
“Really?” Clint asked. “You think I can’t take that from you?”
“You probably can,” Phil agreed mildly. “It’ll be more fun if you don’t.”
Clint smiled at him sideways. “Yeah?”
“Yeah,” Phil agreed, nodding. Clint bumped their arms together and set off for the elevators. You had to love a man with confidence.
“Okay,” Clint said, sitting cross-legged on the bed and resisting the urge to bounce. “What’d you buy me?”
“Who says it’s for you?” Phil asked, but he put the bag down in front of Clint. He waited until Clint had reached out for it, then seemed to have second thoughts. “There’s no obligation for us to use any of this. These were just a few things I found interesting.”
“Phil,” Clint said softly. “Let me look before you start freaking out, okay?”
“I’m not freaking out,” Phil muttered. He laughed under his breath, in that way that meant he was and he knew they both knew it.
There were books at the top of the bag, shiny, slim ones with titles like The Ultimate Guide to Kink. Clint grinned and handed them to Phil and didn’t say anything about Phil’s need to research everything before he did it.
He reached into the bag again and felt his eyes widen when his hand closed around something hard and cool and familiar.
“Don’t want to use yours again?” he asked pulling out a set of heavy-duty cuffs, thick bands of black, butter-soft leather, sturdy D-rings and a spring-loaded metal clip between them.
Clint’s breath felt short, his wrists already tingling as he imaged straining them against the cuffs, the rings refusing the give.
“The packaging says they’re inescapable but I imagine they weren’t tested on you,” Phil said dryly. When Clint looked up at him, he was watching Clint carefully.
“Yeah,” Clint agreed softly, hooking his fingertips through the rings. “What else did you buy me?”
This time, Phil didn’t bother arguing that they weren’t for Clint. He picked up the bags and tipped them out. A three-headed pinwheel, small and cold and surprisingly heavy, landed on Clint’s knee, but he was distracted by the set of long, coloured candles.
“Really?” he asked, picking them up. They didn’t stop his breath in his lungs the same way that the handcuffs did, but he knew the wax would, once it hit his skin.
Phil shrugged. “You said it was something you enjoyed.”
“Yeah.” Clint piled Phil’s goodies up in his lap and scooted closer. “That’s kind of a big one though. Maybe we should start smaller?”
Phil opened his mouth, closed it again, eventually shook his head. “We’ll do whatever we’re both comfortable with,” he agreed, “but we already know we both enjoy it when I hold you down and fuck you. I thought next time – which doesn’t have to be tonight – we could try something more.”
Clint’s mouth was dry. He wished he’d kept that beer. “You’re not just doing this for me, right?” he asked seriously. “Because you don’t need to, we talked about how – ”
“I’m not just doing this for you,” Phil promised him. “I’m forty-eight years old; it’s time I explored my sexuality, don’t you think?”
Clint laughed. “You’re already a bisexual super-spy with a tie fetish and a crush on a ninety-year-old super-soldier, what all else are you hoping to discover about yourself?”
“I don’t know,” Phil said. He arched an eyebrow. “Want to help me find out?”
Fuck, Phil was good. Just like that, it was no longer just about helping Clint out; it was Clint’s opportunity to help Phil. “You’re an asshole,” Clint told him, completely appreciative. “Come here.”
Phil slipped an arm around his waist, pressing them together. His hand splayed out across the centre of Clint’s back while they kissed.
“Should we talk about what we’re going to do?” Phil asked once they’d broken apart. They hadn’t gone far from each other. Clint’s forehead resting against Phil’s because Phil was in serious contention for boyfriend of the year, and Clint wasn’t keen on letting him get too far away.
“Yeah? I guess.” Clint forced himself to rocked back on his heels. “I mean, spontaneous is good. Spontaneous is great but planning is sexy too?”
Phil laughed softly. “I’ll make sure Sitwell knows that the next time he’s planning the annual SHIELD company picnic.”
“Yeah, how about no. Planning is sexy when you’re doing it. Asshole. For the record, though - ” Clint spread his hands, indicating their new toys. “You want to use any of these on me, I am absolutely on board with that.”
Phil’s shoulders relaxed, just a fraction. Probably Clint wasn’t supposed to notice, but Clint noticed everything. “What about this?” he asked, picking something off the bed that Clint had overlooked. It was a roll of tape, black like the comforter so it had blended in.
“Blindfold?” Clint guessed. He wasn’t too keen on the idea of tape in his hair, but he was pretty sure Phil would already know that.
“Bondage tape,” Phil told him. He pulled off the plastic wrapping and unrolled a strip. “The woman in the store said it’s good because it only sticks to itself. It won’t mark your skin or rip out your arm hair or anything.” He rolled it around his hand to demonstrate. The tape sat loosely on his skin but as soon as he pulled it tight and overlapped it, it stuck tight to itself, binding his fingers together.
Clint made an involuntary noise.
“Yeah?” Phil asked quietly, unwinding the tape from his hand.
It was all Clint could do to stop himself holding his hands out to be bound right now. It was only the fact that Phil would probably want him naked first that stopped him.
“Yeah,” Clint said, voice deliberately very, very level. “Please.” He could feel the familiar bubble of turned-on anticipation in his belly and he knew his stare was getting a little fixed, zeroing on Phil.
Phil looked back at him and cleared his throat. “Do you want to start?”
Clint nodded. Then he forced himself to be unselfish about this. “If you do. If you’re sure.”
Phil rolled his eyes, gentle and chiding. “How many more times? We can keep negotiating as we go along, right? We don’t need to plan everything right now?”
“No.” Phil started to pile the books and things he’d bought on the floor by the bed so Clint helped him. “I mean, sometimes, you can plan out a whole scene but. Spontaneity is good. I feel like I maybe already said all this?”
“You did,” Phil agreed. He cleared his throat. “Take off your clothes, then?”
It was too much of a question to be really hot. Or it should have been. Phil didn’t sound hesitant; for all that he was still testing the waters, there was command in his voice.
“Okay,” Clint agreed, starting on his shirt, folding it automatically before moving on to his pants. Natasha had a thing about not leaving a mess and she’d drilled it into Clint pretty good.
“Good,” Phil said quietly when Clint piled his shirt and trousers on the desk, for lack of a better place to put them.
Clint was still in his boxers and socks but he hesitated, not sure if Phil was changing the directive. “Sir?”
“I’m sure I didn’t say stop, Barton,” Phil said pleasantly. “You’re not naked yet.”
Clint bit his lip, grinning down at the floor so Phil wouldn’t see, and shucked his underwear, kicked off his socks.
“Come here,” Phil said, holding out his hand. Clint stepped up to him, sucking in a breath when Phil ran a hand all the way down from the dip of Clint’s collarbone to the base of his dick.
Clint wasn’t all the way hard yet, but he didn’t think he was going to have any problem getting there, not with the way Phil cupped his balls, careful but certain of his welcome.
“Phil?” Clint breathed, looking up at Phil and licking his lips.
“I’m looking at you,” Phil told him, touching Clint’s cheek with his other hand. “You don’t normally stand still long enough to let me.”
Clint could have made a wisecrack there, but he didn’t. He stood still, just breathing, while Phil looked for whatever it was he was hoping to see. Clint had no idea what it might be, but the idea of Phil really seeing him wasn’t as terrifying as it probably should have been.
“Sit on the bed,” Phil said, after a minute or so that felt much longer. Clint's skin was itchy and restless under Phil’s gaze.
Clint sat. He watched Phil pick up the tape and immediately offered up his hands, palms down. He didn’t know what Phil had in mind, but he was pretty sure he wanted it.
“Hands in front or behind?” Phil asked. Clint opened his mouth to say that that was kind of Phil’s call but Phil shook his head. “In your professional opinion.”
“In front,” Clint told him after thinking it through. He really liked the idea of binding his hands behind his back, the extra pull in his shoulder, but it would be harder to get himself free that way, and there was still always the chance that Phil would freak out.
Phil nodded. “Put your hands together.” He put his hands on Clint’s wrists, guiding them where he wanted them anyway, pressed together palms and forearms, softer skin prickling. “I need you to tell me if you don’t like this, okay?”
Clint nodded automatically, watching rapt as Phil looped a strip of tape around Clint’s wrists, tying them tight and then working his way up, binding Clint’s hands together, just his thumbs and the tips of his fingers free, then down again, arms immobilised almost to the elbow.
The tape felt cool, slick and almost silky. It wasn’t particularly substantial, not like cuffs or some of the rope Clint had used, but it was strong. Clint pulled experimentally and the tape flexed like a second skin but it didn’t give. He choked back a sound.
“Okay?” Phil asked quickly. “Is that too tight?”
Clint tipped his head back, staring up at Phil. He was probably telegraphing way too many of the things he felt about Phil right now.
“It’s great,” he promised. He couldn’t move his arms at all. A familiar feeling of panic, not-panic rose up in his throat and he rode it, breathing out and gasping a huff of a laugh.
His adrenaline was already starting to spike. He felt fantastic.
Phil’s hand cupped his cheek again, and Clint tipped his face into it. He wondered if touching him there was something Phil found reassuring.
“What does it feel like?” Phil asked him, less like he wanted dirty talk, more like he really wanted to know.
“Like.” Clint shook his head, trying to think of the words. “It’s grounding? It’s like being up a mile off the ground but completely steady.”
“Safe?” Phil asked.
“So safe,” Clint promised, so keen for Phil to know that that he talked right over the end of Phil’s question. He stared up at Phil, trying to read his expression. “It’s like, when I’m like this, I don’t have to make any decisions and I’m, I don’t know, wanted and stuff?”
Phil nodded. He looked thoughtful but Clint didn’t know if it was the good kind or the bad.
Clint nudged his knee against Phil’s. “I’m kind of asking a lot of you, I know that.”
“No,” Phil told him quickly. “No, I have no problem with you asking. I just hope I can live up to it.”
Clint looked down pointedly at his arms, at the way Phil had gone out and researched all this shit, just for him. “You already are.” He tipped his head up pointedly, hoping Phil would get the message.
Phil smiled slowly. “Did you want something?”
Clint licked his lips. “A kiss?”
“A kiss, what?” Phil stepped back, just far enough that Clint couldn’t touch him with his legs anymore.
Clint didn’t like the suddenly-cool, empty air all around himself. “Can I kiss you, please? Sir?”
Phil’s eyes darkened, just a fraction. That was interesting but Clint wasn’t going to press him on it, not when his skin felt like it was pulling away from his bones, trying to get to Phil.
“Yes,” Phil said, but he still didn’t move closer.
Clint could work with that. He pushed up onto the balls of his feet, flexing his thigh muscles, and lifted himself off the bed, just far enough that he could mash his mouth against Phil’s. It wasn’t graceful, but it didn’t need to be; it just needed to be contact.
Phil leaned right into the kiss, sucking hard on Clint’s bottom lip, pinching it between his teeth until Clint was very aware of the blood flowing just beneath the skin, of the way that Phil could bite just a tiny bit sharper and send blood pouring down Clint’s chin.
“Do you have a safeword?” Phil asked suddenly, pulling back.
Clint would have laughed if he were more present in his head. It was as if Phil had a checklist in his head that he kept getting derailed from. “Yeah,” he said, blinking and sinking back down onto the bed. “Nat made me.”
He’d never bothered before; Natasha had been furious when she found that out.
“Good,” Phil told him. He kissed Clint again, face hovering just in front of Clint’s when he pulled back. “Do you want to use it or pick another one?”
Clint shrugged, movements made jerky by the way his arms were tucked in close. “I like it.” He smiled up at Phil. “It’s Budapest.”
Phil laughed, shaking his head. “All right. At least I know we’re unlikely to accidentally say that in bed.”
“Right,” Clint agreed. That was why he and Natasha had picked it too. Except, since they’d stopped sleeping together, they’d reclaimed it, kind of. They dropped Budapest into conversations when they wanted to remind each other that they were there. It was a safe word for them these days, not a safeword.
He was okay with sharing it with Phil, and he was pretty sure Nat would be too.
“All right,” Phil said again. “And you’ll use it if – ”
“Yes,” Clint told him. “I might use it right now if you don’t hurry the fuck up.” He didn’t mean it. The fact that Phil cared about this shit warmed Clint’s heart in places he’d been sure were long dead.
“Good.” Phil nodded thoughtfully. His eyes roved around the bed and when he nodded again, he looked like he had a plan. “Lie on your stomach.”
Clint obeyed, rolling over awkwardly since he couldn’t use his hands to help. He had to settle with his arms pinned between his chest and the comforter, and it was uncomfortable but not unbearably so.
“Does that feel okay?” Phil asked. There was nothing soft about the question, just practical.
“Feels fine,” Clint promised, tilting his head down until all he could see was comforter.
“Do you want me to tell you what I’m going to do or surprise you?” Phil asked, still in that same clipped, Agent Coulson tone. Clint was going to be fucked at work from now on.
“Surprise me,” Clint decided quickly.
Phil’s hand rested on Clint’s flank. “It won’t be anything we haven’t discussed tonight.”
Clint nodded. “S’okay, I trust you.”
There was a beat where Phil didn’t do or say anything else, but then he shifted suddenly, stepping back from the bed. Clint closed his eyes and breathed and forced himself to keep still, despite how much he wanted to fidget with anticipation.
The fact that Phil started with a spank wasn’t a surprise. The fact that it landed on the sole of his foot, not his ass or either thigh, kind of was.
The slap jolted through him, from the arch of his foot all the way up to the startled sound that he barely swallowed down.
Phil hummed and then did it again, a stinging clash of flesh on flesh, and Clint’s leg twitched, muscles tensing then immediately relaxing.
The next slap landed on the other foot, higher this time, right below his toes. It didn’t work as well for him, the skin there thicker and less sensitive.
“No?” Phil asked, quietly like he was talking to himself. “Okay. We can – ” This time, the hit landed on the back of Clint’s ankle. It stung like fuck but he didn’t have time to react before the next came, and then the next. Phil was working his way higher and higher until he reached the backs of Clint’s thighs.
Clint only realised he’d let his legs drop open in response when Phil slapped him hard on his inner left thigh, the tip of his forefinger just scratching the edge of Clint’s left ball.
“Oh fuck,” Clint breathed, curling around his bound arms and groaning into the mattress.
“I can see my handprints on your skin,” Phil told him, sounding a bit lost and dazed himself.
“Fuck, Phil,” Clint mumbled, turning his head blindly looking for Phil.
“What?” Phil asked. He cupped his hand around the side of Clint’s neck, forcing him to keep his eyes on Phil, even though it was a strain on his neck muscles. “Tell me what you’d like to do.”
Clint’s eyes started to drift away from Phil’s so Phil tightened his grip, thumb pressing hard into the back of Clint’s skull.
“I didn’t say you were going to get what you want,” Phil reminded him.
Clint stared at him, suddenly riveted by every flicker of expression crossing Phil’s face.
He tried to get his brain back online. “Hurt me more?” he asked. “I just… more?”
Phil’s eyes went very dark, and Clint had somehow earned a kiss for that, though he wasn’t sure how. “Lie back down,” Phil told him. “Tell me how you feel right now.”
Clint groaned. He fucking hated being made to talk when he was this close to flying out of his head. “Good,” he said, and hoped that would be enough.
He could hear Phil moving around the room, a soft click that he was pretty sure was Phil lifting the lid on his laptop, and then a rustle of plastic.
“What?” Clint asked, letting the question hang.
“Preparation,” Phil told his shortly. “Keep going. Tell me about your hands, how do they feel.”
“Fine,” Clint decided, after the couple of seconds it took to relocate his hands and then the part of his brain that registered stuff like that. “Warm. Kind of achy.”
Another rustle, and then the unmistakable snap of a lighter. Clint hadn’t smoked in twenty years, but he still knew that sound. “And your feet?”
Clint wondered if Phil was doing this deliberately. Making Clint think about parts of his body was waking him up out of the place he’d been sinking into in his head. He wanted to go back there but he couldn’t, not until Phil wanted him to.
“Hot. Tingly.” Clint turned his head since Phil hadn’t told him he couldn’t look. “Phil, please.”
Phil turned around from the laptop he’d been kneeling in front of. He was holding a lit candle in his hand: the white one, the one that would hurt least. Phil had definitely done his research; Clint just wished he’d been there to see it.
“You promised to tell me when something isn’t working for you, remember?” Phil reminded him. His eyes kept flicking back to the candle flame like he couldn’t completely drag his eyes away.
Crap, so he had. Clint actually kind of enjoyed dragging himself past the point he was comfortable with, using stubbornness as masochism, but he had promised. He should probably be good this first time.
“Stop making me answer questions?” he asked. “I can’t… it’s not fun.”
Phil nodded seriously, looking like he was cataloguing that away in his memory. “Okay,” he agreed. “Do me a favour in return. Roll onto your back.”
Clint went, using his shoulder and the muscles in his back to pivot himself around. He rested his hands on his chest and let his legs splay.
“Good,” Phil said softly. When Clint looked back up at him, he was – holy shit – tilting the candle, holding it a very regulation eighteen inches above the back of his own hand and letting wax drip slowly onto his skin.
Phil hissed, shaking out his hand then frowned curiously at the faint red mark Clint could see forming where the wax had landed. “I actually don’t know how that should feel,” Phil admitted, making a face at himself. “Also I’m having bad baby formula associations.”
Clint huffed out a laugh. He nodded down at his own expanse of naked skin. “Try it on me, I’ll tell you.”
“Will you?” Phil asked, tipping the candle again, deftly controlling the melting wax.
“Promise,” Clint said, meeting his eye.
Phil stood up and carried the candle carefully over to the bed. He sat down on the comforter near Clint’s hip and reached out for Clint’s bound hands. Pulling them closer, he repeated the tipping process, clear wax dripping onto Clint’s exposed knuckles.
It was hot and it stung but it was nowhere close to unbearable. It didn’t do much of anything for him, actually, because knuckles weren’t exactly a sexy zone.
“Try that on my balls,” he suggested, mostly just to see what Phil would say.
“Or not,” Phil said immediately, making Clint smile at him. “I was thinking your thighs.”
Clint swallowed. That worked too.
“Yes?” Phil prompted.
Clint nodded. “Yes.”
“Okay.” Phil took a breath. He looked nervous. Not uncertain or unwilling or anything that might make this one giant mistake, but definitely nervous. Then he shifted backwards, straddled Clint’s lower legs and dribbled a thin line of wax down Clint’s right thigh.
Clint inhaled sharply, starting to draw his knee up toward his chest and forcing it back down.
“Good?” Phil asked.
“Good,” Clint promised. He wanted to ask Phil to bring the candle closer, to make it hurt more, but he knew Phil, knew he wouldn’t do it. “Again.”
Instead of following along, Phil narrowed his eyes and straightened the candle up. “Are you giving me orders now?” Phil asked, sounding dangerously amused.
Clint watched the wax roll down the outside of the candle until it hit the space between two of Phil’s fingers and couldn’t stop himself making a protesting noise even though Phil didn’t give any sign of how much that must have hurt.
“No,” Clint said quickly. He shook his head. “No, Phil, I… Are you burned?”
Phil switched the candle to his other hand and held his right up so Clint could see. The webbing between his fore- and middle fingers was pink but the wax flaked off easily when Phil worried at it with his thumb.
Clint nodded and relaxed back into the bed. Phil hurting him was one thing – a great thing, potentially – but Phil getting hurt in the process made Clint’s skin crawl.
“That’s it, that’s good,” Phil said softly and poured another line of wax, criss-crossing it over the first.
Clint groaned and felt his thigh muscle tense, throbbing with the need to peel the wax away, stop the burning, except he couldn’t, wouldn’t, except it felt awesome and he choked on the feeling of the pain seeping away, leaving him strung out and floating.
“Good,” Phil said again, almost to himself, and then he lifted his free hand and raked his nails through the hardening wax, tugging at skin and the fine hair covering Clint’s thigh, blunt nails scraping newly sensitive skin.
Clint groaned, cock twitching, suddenly and sharply reminding him that it was still there, still waiting for attention.
“Phil,” Clint begged, no idea what he was asking for but needing it. The edges of his vision were hazy but he could make out Phil still, watching him like he wanted to take notes or film him or… shit, Clint didn’t know. He couldn’t think.
“You look gorgeous,” Phil said, completely sincerely and poured a pool of wax into the hollow of Clint’s hipbone.
It was almost too much, which meant that it was almost enough, and Clint bit his already-bruised lip bloody so he didn’t cry out too loud. Pooled, the wax was thicker; it felt like it was burning straight through his skin down to the bone, like it was going to burn straight through but –
But it wasn’t, obviously. Because Phil was here, Phil was looking out for him and he wouldn’t let Clint get more hurt than he needed to be.
“That’s too much,” Phil told him, like Clint might not have noticed – Phil had noticed; it was okay – and dragged his fingers through the wax, smoothing it out between their skin, taking away the sharp, stinging pain of the burn.
“Phil,” Clint said again, and then Phil’s mouth was on Clint’s throbbing hip, sucking kisses over the tight, sensitive skin and Clint was just fucking gone. He was pretty sure Phil was talking to him but it seemed like too much effort to listen, he just let himself get rolled over, back onto his stomach.
More wax now, this time on his ass, then the backs of his thighs and the small of his back – which, weirdly was the most intense, satisfying pain yet, good enough to have him groaning down into the bed, rubbing his hips helplessly against the comforter while Phil scraped the wax off again, getting freer with his nails as time wore on.
“Stop that,” Phil said, slapping Clint hard on the ass, right over a freshly burned patch of skin.
Clint moaned, managing to stop rubbing himself off with the kind of effort he normally kept for herculean, saving-the-world-type efforts.
Phil leaned forward, mouth brushing Clint’s ear. “Don’t come until I tell you to,” he said quietly. “You showed me you could do that the other night, remember?”
Clint nodded quickly; he was way beyond words.
“Clint?” Phil repeated. There was just enough of a question in his voice to make Clint drag his eyes open.
It didn’t do a lot of good, since he couldn’t focus, but he managed to kiss back – kind of – when Phil kissed him, which seemed to satisfy Phil that he was still in here somewhere, anyway.
“I’m going to fuck you now,” Phil told him, “but you can’t come.”
Clint was apparently beyond moaning even, but he managed it somehow. He’d been curled forward for a long while now, and his muscles all protested when Phil hooked an arm across his chest and pulled him backward, up onto his haunches and then further back into Phil’s lap.
Clint just dropped his head onto Phil’s shoulder and let himself be draped wherever Phil wanted him. Apparently where Phil wanted him was just like this, chest bowed out and ass nestled into Phil’s hips, Phil’s cock nudging between his legs and the scratchy material of Phil’s pants rubbing the still-raw slap and burn marks covering Clint’s thighs.
Phil kept one arm braced across Clint’s chest, and the other hand dropped down to Clint’s ass. Clint didn’t remembering him putting down the candle or picking up the lube, but Phil’s fingers were wet and slick now so it must have happened.
“How much lube do you need?” Phil asked, fingering Clint with much less care than he had yesterday.
Or, no, that wasn’t right. There was still definitely care there; just none of the unnecessary gentleness that might have set Clint’s teeth on edge.
“None,” Clint told him, rolling his head and pressing the word into the side of Phil’s neck. It was a lie, but he wanted it to be true.
Phil pinched his nipple. Hard. If that was supposed to make Clint behave, it missed its mark.
“Here,” Phil said, pulling his fingers free, “sit back and – fuck.”
“Fuck,” Clint agreed, sinking down all the way on Phil’s cock in one smooth, too-fast move.
“Shit,” Phil hissed, sliding his hand up Clint’s chest and fitting his hand lightly around Clint’s throat, squeezing with a barely-there pressure. “Careful.”
Clint worried his teeth against Phil’s throat, mindlessly scraping them across lightly stubbled skin. Phil was thick and solid inside him, thighs shaking against Clint’s with the effort of keeping his hips still.
“I’m not going to do all the work here,” Phil told him shortly. He dropped his hands to Clint’s hips and pushed his nails in toward the bone. “Come on, Barton, get me off.”
Clint’s stomach turned over, horny and exhausted and so very willing to do exactly what Phil wanted. He dug his knees into the bed and started to fuck himself hard on Phil’s cock, rolling his hips and deliberately avoiding his own prostate because Phil had told him not to come and so Clint wasn’t going to come.
Phil was making harsh noises in Clint’s ear, hands catching and releasing on Clint’s hips, letting Clint have control of the pace but reminding him that he was there.
Like Clint could have forgotten.
“That’s it, that’s, fuck – ” Phil’s hands rubbed along Clint’s thighs, following the movement, scratching and pinching in time with Clint’s thrusts.
It was much better than anything that Clint had had in so long. His cock was leaking steadily, his balls tight. He needed to come but he didn’t want to, not until Phil said it was okay.
He squeezed tight around Phil, grinding down into his lap, rolling his hips, pulling out all the tricks he knew to make Phil come apart inside him.
“Clint,” Phil groaned, thrusting up once, uncontrolled, into Clint. “Clint.”
There was nothing Clint wanted more than to get his hands on Phil right now. He wanted to reach down between both their legs and play with Phil’s balls. Phil loved that and Clint wanted to make him feel great, wanted to do this as well as he could.
But his hands were tied and as much as he twisted his wrists and pulled against the tape, they weren’t going anywhere. He couldn’t hold back his whine of frustration but it didn’t slow the movements of his hips; he could find another way of getting Phil off, he knew he could.
He pushed up suddenly, rising up so that just the head of Phil’s cock was still inside, then sank down, fucking them both together while Phil grunted into his ear and touched him all over, exploring his chest and his belly and his cock.
“Phil,” Clint protested but Phil ignored him, looping his fingers lightly around the base of Clint’s dick.
“You’re doing so great,” Phil told him, craning his neck and kissing Clint’s mouth, “don’t come.”
“Won’t,” Clint breathed, pushing through the feeling of Phil’s fingers on his cock, skin on skin and so damn good.
Clint’s legs were starting to feel the strain, but he would keep doing this as long as it took. It didn’t look like it was going to take much longer, not from the way Phil’s breathing was deepening, speeding up, muscles locking and tensing all along Clint’s back.
“Fuck,” Phil said succinctly and then clutched Clint’s hips, coming inside him in a series of a-rhythmic jerks.
Clint collapsed back against Phil once he was sure Phil was spent, relaxing and letting Phil take his weight because he couldn’t, not anymore.
Phil let them both sag back against the nearest wall, breathing hard.
“That was fantastic,” he said and brought his hand back to Clint’s cock. “Do you want to come?”
Of course Clint wanted to come, he was so keyed up he was shaking with it, but he wasn’t sure he could. Everything felt too far away, impossible and unreachable.
“Clint?” Phil asked then, when Clint still couldn’t work out words, “Barton, answer me.”
“’m good,” Clint slurred, “I’ll wait, you can…”
“No.” Phil sounded steely. “No, I want you to come. Now.” He started to move his hand, jerking Clint steadily.
Clint was so hard it hurt, and he caught a sob behind his teeth. He was too distant from everything; he needed to touch Phil but he couldn’t, and he pulled sharply at his wrist restraints, needing them off, needing to touch, needing -
“I’ve got you,” Phil promised and then he was pushing his left hand between Clint’s bound ones, giving it to Clint to cling to while his other hand moved on Clint’s cock.
“’m good,” Clint said again, “right? Right, Phil, I’m doing good?”
“You’re doing so good,” Phil assured him. “You’ve done so well. And now you’re going to come for me.”
Clint shook his head. He couldn’t. It was all too much and he couldn’t.
“Clint, I’m not asking,” Phil told him and squeezed the head of Clint’s cock firmly.
Clint started to shake. It felt like his orgasm began in the centre of his chest and just kept radiating out, shaking through his fingertips, his skin where it was pressed to Phil’s skin, lighting up every fading burn and still-throbbing bruise until it was screaming through him and he was coming, all over himself and all over Phil’s hand.
The world was spinning hazily when Clint managed to open his eyes.
“Easy,” Phil said softly, sliding out from behind him and guiding him down to lie on the bed.
Clint made a noise, wishing he’d told Phil earlier that it kind of sucked to be left this soon after. Phil didn’t go far, though, just knelt on the bed and deftly unwound the tape from around Clint’s hands. It came off easily; falling away and leaving Clint’s skin feeling clammy in the sudden shock of air.
Phil dropped the tape onto the floor and reached for Clint’s hands, rubbing the feeling back in for them, bending his joints and checking his circulation.
Clint smiled up at him lazily. “Okay?” he asked, knowing that it would be.
“Okay,” Phil told him seriously. He kissed Clint’s wrist before giving him back his hands and standing up. “I’ll be right back.”
Clint watched him make his way toward the bathroom, drifting in the fog of a damn good scene and barely more than half awake still.
Phil wasn’t gone long, or maybe Clint just lost time. The next thing he knew, he was being coaxed under the comforter and Phil had stripped down to his boxers, pulling Clint in to sit up against his side.
“Here,” Phil said, pushing something into his hands. “Drink up.”
Clint blinked, fingers curving unconsciously around the glass. “You’re a natural,” he mumbled. It was a struggle to find the words, he felt like he had to search for each one separately, but he wanted Phil to know.
“Just drink,” Phil says, hand still supporting the base of the glass. “We can talk in a minute.”
Clint drank half the water, then pushed it back to Phil. “You too,” he insisted, since Phil probably didn’t know how to take care of himself after a scene yet.
Phil looked amused, but he obeyed. “I preferred you when you weren’t being bossy, Barton,” he said, once he’d put the glass down on the nightstand.
Clint smiled. “No, you didn’t. You love all sides of me.”
“Yes, I do,” Phil said simply, like it was a matter of fact, “but I can love some parts more than others.”
Clint didn’t know what to say, so he just leaned further into Phil’s side, pressing his face into Phil’s chest.
Phil pulled the comforter up further around them, making sure Clint’s shoulders were covered and then hugging him closer anyway, rubbing his back.
Clint smiled against Phil’s skin. Phil had definitely done his How To Be a Good Dom homework.
“How are you feeling?” Phil asked quietly. He hadn’t sounded unsure while he was pouring wax onto Clint’s skin, but now he did.
“Fucking fantastic,” Clint told him honestly. He was relaxed down to his core, sleepy and content and just kind of… right. He made himself tilt his head back and meet Phil’s eyes. “You didn’t hate it, right?”
He held his breath, waiting, even though he was pretty sure Phil had had a good time.
“Yes, Barton, I hated every second of watching you come undone for me,” Phil said archly, raising his eyebrows.
Usually, Clint was a big fan of sarcasm, but right now he couldn’t take it. “Phil,” he said softly, watching as Phil winced and shook his head.
“Sorry.” Phil cupped the back of Clint’s skull and pulled him in for a kiss. “I loved it,” Phil told him seriously, pulling back so Clint could see his face, see that he was telling the truth. “Thank you for giving me that.”
Clint shook his head. “Pretty sure it was you giving it to me.”
Phil rolled his eyes. “I see you’re not in the mood for conversation,” he said, kissing Clint again and then again. “Do you think you can sleep?”
“I think I am sleeping,” Clint admitted, curling up closer. He hesitated before asking his next question, but he knew he wouldn’t be able to do it tomorrow. “So, what are the chances of you breaking up with me?”
Phil sat up, rolling over to look at Clint properly. “There was never any chance of that,” he said seriously.
Clint sank down into the pillows, reaching up for Phil. “Yeah?” He’d already been pretty damn relaxed but somehow he managed to feel even better when Phil stretched out beside him, shaking his head fondly.
“Never,” Phil promised. He pulled Clint over until Clint’s head was on his shoulder again, and pushed his hand under the comforter, finding Clint’s wrist and squeezing it slowly. “Especially not now. I have a long list of things I want to try with you.”
“Yeah?” Clint asked, trying to swallow back his smile and blaming the fact that he was still mostly in headspace on the way that he failed. “Sounds good.”
Phil smiled back. “Go to sleep,” he ordered.
“Sir, yes, sir,” Clint mumbled then ruined his own sarcasm by falling asleep straight away.
When Clint woke up the next morning, Phil was still asleep. That was pretty unusual but Clint had always figured topping had to be exhausting, probably especially the first time.
“Hey,” Clint whispered, leaning over and kissing Phil’s cheekbone.
Phil murmured something but didn’t wake up, rolling further onto his stomach and pulling the comforter tighter around himself.
Clint grinned and rolled out of bed. He found some clean sweats in his closet and picked up Phil’s WSC baseball league t-shirt from the floor, shivering at the light scrape of fabric over last night’s bruises when he pulled them on.
It was mid-morning, which meant nothing in the world of the Avengers. Still, he managed to get to the kitchen without bumping into anyone, and the coffee machine was already hissing happily by the time the elevator door opened and Natasha stepped out.
“Hello,” she said, dropping her leather jacket onto the sofa and kicking off some killer heels, before padding across the floor to lean across the breakfast bar and grin at Clint. “Sleep well?”
Clint rolled his eyes and turned back to the coffee machine, sticking the nearest mug under it and then handing it to Natasha, hoping to distract her.
“Thank you,” she said, smiling at him pleasantly. “Did you know that Phil called me yesterday afternoon to ask my opinion on floggers?”
Clint choked. “He – ” He laughed. Of course Phil had done that. “What did you say?”
Natasha took a careful sip of coffee. “That you have a lot of opinions about them and he should take you with him when he goes to buy one.” She raised her eyebrows, questioning. “Is it working?”
Clint chewed on his bottom lip, not because he didn’t want to tell her but because it mattered to him that she thought he was doing the right thing. “It’s really working,” he assured her. He rubbed his hip, where there was still a faint pink burn mark shining on the skin currently hidden under his t-shirt. All the other burns had faded to nothing, but that one had stuck around. “Apparently he has things he wants to try.”
“Of course he does,” Natasha told him, not looking surprised at all. “You’re the only person who ever thought Coulson wouldn’t be interested in tying you up and making you beg.” She grinned, bright but brief. “Have you mentioned gags, yet?”
Clint flipped her off. “Funny.” But she was right; Phil probably would like that too. He added it to his own mental list.
“I am,” Natasha agreed. She pushed up onto her hands so she hung halfway across the counter and tipped her chin at him, beckoning him closer. When he leaned in obligingly, she kissed his cheek. “I’m pleased for you.”
Clint swallowed hard. Before he could decide whether to be flippant or sincere, whether to answer or not, in fact, she picked up the mug and saluted him with it before sauntering away.
“Love you too,” he called after her, finally finding his voice. She didn’t answer, but he didn’t need her to. He just hummed while he filled two more mugs with coffee.
He kept humming as he walked down the corridor and was singing by the time he reached the elevator, but he managed to tone it down before he let himself back into his room.
It turned out that he needn’t have bothered, since Phil was awake, sitting up in bed and laughing silently as he watched Clint open the door with one elbow and close it again with his ass.
“Hey,” he said. He held out his hands, whether for Clint or for the coffee, Clint didn’t know, so he gave Phil a quick kiss, then pushed a mug into his hands.
“Hi.” Clint refused to let himself smile stupidly, absolutely refused.
They were silent for a while as they drank their coffee, then, “I didn’t actually mean for us to take another day off,” Phil told him, sounding resigned but not really worried.
“Eh.” Clint sat down cross-legged on the bed and shrugged. “We’re working on team cohesion. Not even Fury can object to that.”
“Are we?” Phil asked doubtfully. He nudged Clint’s thigh with his knee. “Is that what you’d call it?”
“Phil,” Clint said, fiddling with the handle of his mug. “I fucked up two missions this week because I was distracted. Working our shit out is going to help with the team.”
Phil frowned. He took Clint’s mug away and put them both out of the way. “You didn’t fuck up the Hydra mission,” he said, “I did. I shouldn’t have cuffed you, when you asked me not to. The Zombie Army thing was a bit more of a fuck up, sure, but again it wasn’t all on you.”
Clint shook his head. “Stop being nice to me, sir. That’s not how we roll.” He waited for Phil to argue again but he didn’t, just nodded slowly instead.
“Okay, then let’s make a deal: let’s agree to talk more, okay?” He must have noticed the face Clint tried not to make because he laughed. “Don’t worry, Barton, I’m not suggesting we talk about our feelings every evening over dinner. I don’t think either of us would survive that, but I want us to talk about the important things. Okay?”
“Okay.” Clint blew out a breath. “I can do that.” He smirked suddenly. “In the interest of full disclosure, then, Natasha thinks we should look into buying me a gag.”
“Huh.” Phil tipped his head. “Is that something you enjoy?”
“Well.” Clint crawled across the gap between them and pressed his mouth to Phil’s. “You said you wanted to try everything, right?”
“Right,” Phil agreed. “I was thinking we could try floggers the next time, though.”
Clint paused mid-nibble on Phil’s jaw, taking a moment to think about Phil’s biceps and how much force he’d be able to put behind a flogger. It was a good thought.
“No?” Phil asked, obviously misreading Clint’s silence.
“Yes,” Clint said firmly. He tackled Phil back onto the bed and straddled his hips. “Fuck yes, in fact.”
“Fuck yes, huh?” Phil teased, pushing his hands under Clint’s t-shirt. “Well, that’s promising.”
Clint leaned in and kissed him, keeping his eyes open and smiling when Phil did the same, even though smiling fucked up the kiss.
It was promising. If they kept on like this, he thought maybe they were going to be just fine.