Clint earns a Jonas Brothers pen from Ms Carter for coming to talk to her – he has no idea why, but it’s sparkly so whatever, he’ll keep it – and a chance to redo his presentation.
He’d kind of hoped to get out of the part, where he was going to have to stand up and talk in front of the class, but then she’d gone on about extra credit and he’d caved.
The shit he’ll do for a passing grade in English, seriously.
That plus the call from the USAA plus getting to kiss Phil this morning means that Clint’s in a pretty good mood when he gets home that afternoon.
Ben’s car outside the house, which is worrying, since he’s been picking Peter up from school then heading straight back to work this week. Next to it is a white Audi that Clint doesn’t recognise.
Curious, Clint lets himself in the front door, then stops. The study door is shut. No one ever shuts the study door. Slipping off his shoes, he shuffles over to bend down and fit his ear against the door.
He can hear at least two people talking, maybe three, but his ears have never worked as great as his eyes, and it’s all muffled, so he can’t make out anything more.
The loose tread in the top step on the staircase creaks and Clint snaps up straight, not wanting to be caught eavesdropping.
It’s Peter. He makes a guilty face when he realises that Clint’s spotted him and turns on his heel to scramble back upstairs.
Clint follows him, catching him just outside his bedroom door.
“Who’s in the study?” he asks quietly. “Is everything okay?” He has a sinking feeling that he knows what this is, but he tells himself firmly not to jump to conclusions.
Peter shrugs expansively. “I don’t know,” he says, chewing on his lip.
Clint thinks about shaking his shoulder – just gently – but he’s not going to do anything even slightly threatening to Peter.
“Sure, you do,” he says instead. “Tell me.”
“I…” Peter shakes his head. “I promised I wouldn’t.”
Fuck. Actually, seriously, fuck. “It’s Dawn, right?” he asks. “My social worker?”
Peter opens his mouth then closes it again. That’s all the answer Clint needs, but he waits to see if he actually gets a real one, too. “Yeah?” Peter says slowly. “Don’t tell that I told?”
Clint’s insides feel frozen. He knew it was coming. From the second he moves in with a new family, he expects to get sent back, and he knows that he hasn’t been what the Parkers were expecting from their first try at fostering. But May and Ben are everything he’s wanted from foster parents. He was stupid to let himself start to hope.
“Okay,” he says. His voice sounds too dry to be his. “Thanks for telling me.” He steps back, bumps his ass into the banisters and straightens up.
“No, wait, um.” Peter reaches out for Clint’s sleeve but Clint brushes him off. “I’m not supposed to tell you what they’re talking about, but please, just wait until they’re done and then everything will make sense.”
He looks so hopeful and Clint is so ridiculously fond of this kid that he’d usually do anything not to disappoint him, but Peter’s going to have to get used to not having Clint around again soon. And Clint’s pretty sure he’s not going to be able to stand here without doing something shitty, like maybe crying or yelling or something, and he doesn’t need witnesses for that.
“I know what they want to tell me, Peter,” he says and takes the stairs two at a time, not bothering to be quiet about letting the door slam.
Phil’s dad frowns at Clint when he opens the door. He’s short and stocky and balding and reassuring-looking, somehow, and he’s been nothing but really welcoming to Clint.
“Phil’s not home,” he says. “Are you okay?”
Clint nods. He’s pretty sure his eyes are red, but if Mr Coulson doesn’t mention that, Clint won’t either.
“Come in.” Mr Coulson steps back and ushers Clint inside. Clint sniffs and pulls his sleeves down over his hands to wipe at his eyes. He did that before he rang the doorbell too, but it’s not doing much good.
“Thanks,” Clint mutters and kicks off his shoes in the hallway. “Can I, um. D’you mind if I wait for Phil?”
He doesn’t want Phil to see him like this, but he doesn’t know where else to go. If he were mad, he’d go to the gym and shoot arrows into things, but he’s not angry, he’s just so fucking sad, he’s not sure how to function.
“Of course not,” Mr Coulson says. “Do you need anything? Juice? Tea? A supportive pat on the shoulder?”
Clint snorts out a wet laugh and shakes his head. “Can I go wait upstairs?” he asks, waving a hand up toward Phil’s bedroom.
“Sure,” Mr Coulson says. Then, when Clint’s got two feet on the stairs, “Clint? I’m just down here if you need anything.”
Clint’s throat goes so tight he can’t even force out anything more than a strangled sound, but he hopes it sounds vaguely like, thanks.
Phil’s bedroom is nothing special. It has a bed and a computer desk and a bookcase full of spy novels and comic books, but it has a door that closes, and it smells vaguely of Phil, and Clint won’t be disturbed here, so it’s basically the best place Clint’s ever been.
He sits down hard on the floor and lets his head tip back against the bed. He hasn’t felt this empty since he woke up to find that Natasha had left him behind, with a note to say she’d told CPS where to find him.
Before that, it was when Barney took Clint off his approved visitors list.
Clint closes his eyes and balls his hands into fists, punching his drawn-up knees once, twice, even though it doesn’t change anything.
“What happened?” Phil asks, dropping down onto the carpet next to Clint.
He’s back earlier than Clint was expecting, but Clint’s not going to question that. He drops his head against Phil’s shoulder and doesn’t answer.
“Okay,” Phil agrees, and slides his arm around Clint’s back. “You don’t have to tell me. I can deduce it telepathically.”
Clint manages an almost-laugh and tries not to think about how much he’s going to miss Phil being sarcastic at him.
“Come on, Barton.” Phil gives him a little shake. “I skipped out on a fascinating student council debate about the flickering lights in the girls’ first floor bathroom.”
Clint definitely means to laugh at that, too. He’s totally horrified and humiliated when it sounds more like a sob.
“Shit, okay, I’m doing this wrong,” Phil says. He slides his hand up into Clint’s hair and strokes his scalp. “Just tell me if you’re hurt or Peter’s hurt and then I’ll stop asking.”
“Everyone’s fine,” Clint manages. He doesn’t want to say it. He really doesn’t want to say it. “They’re going to put me back into the foster system.”
“What?” Phil asks, the question tripping out of him like it’s the last thing he expected. That doesn’t make Clint feel better. “Are you sure?”
Clint nods. “My social worker was there when I got home.”
Phil’s arm tightens around him. “That’s bullshit,” he says, which is so unlike Phil that Clint tips his head up to look at him. Phil looks shocked and a little pale. Because Clint is a bit of a bastard, it makes him feel better that Phil will apparently be upset when he goes.
“I’m sorry,” Clint hears himself say.
Phil frowns. “What? About what?”
Clint shrugs. “I shouldn’t have started something with you, not when I knew there was no guarantee I’d get to stay and…”
“No,” Phil says sharply. He’s lost his shocky look and now his expression is more determined than anything. “I don’t want to sound like a Nicholas Sparks novel but even if you do go, the last couple of weeks have been… for me, they’ve been worth it.”
Clint closes his eyes. There’s nowhere better to hide his face so he sticks it back into Phil’s shoulder.
“Would your dad notice if I just stayed here forever?” he mumbles into the soft fabric of Phil’s sweatshirt.
“Probably,” Phil says, massaging the back of Clint’s ear. Clint doesn’t know why, but it feels nice. “But he said you can stay tonight.”
Clint doesn’t know whether Phil means in Phil’s bed or on the couch or what, but it doesn’t matter, the idea of getting to stay here, stay with Phil a bit longer is what Clint clings to.
“Cool,” he manages, because he doesn’t know what else to say.
Phil’s house is always really peaceful. It’s not quiet exactly, but apparently Coulsons don’t bustle the ways Parkers do.
The three of them sit down to dinner and Clint picks at his rice noodles while Phil and his dad have sensible conversations about school and Mr Coulson’s job and, like, the state of the fucking economy.
It should seem formal, maybe, but it doesn’t. Phil and his dad are clearly really used to each other’s company, but they don’t make Clint feel awkward for not joining in.
Phil’s left hand rests on Clint’s thigh the whole way through dinner, which Mr Coulson definitely notices, but doesn’t comment on.
Clint wonders if he could maybe move out of the Parkers and in here instead without CPS or Mr Coulson minding.
“Do you need help with the dishes, Dad?” Phil asks, when they’re done. Clint drops his fork onto his plate, grateful that he doesn’t have to try to force any more food down past the knot in his stomach.
“Unless you have something you need to do,” Mr Coulson says, looking at Phil with a question written obviously across his face.
Clint looks down, trying not to notice that they’re talking about him.
“No, I think we’re good,” Phil says. “Clint?”
“Dishes, yeah, awesome,” Clint agrees quickly. Anything to be moving.
He takes a handful of plates into the kitchen but doesn’t miss the way that Phil hangs back, talking quickly and quietly to his dad, like Clint’s problems are theirs to solve.
They drag out the time it takes them to do the dishes, not really talking, just Clint with his hands in hot, soapy water, and Phil leaning against the counter, hip against Clint’s hip while he’s taking plates from him.
It’s dark by the time they’re done, but not all that late, so Clint can’t explain why he’s so exhausted.
“Is your dad really okay with me staying?” Clint asks, leaning against the fridge and watching Phil watch him.
“It was his idea,” Phil says dismissively. “He likes you.”
Clint blinks. “He does?” he asks doubtfully. So far, all Phil’s dad knows about him is that he needs Phil’s help in English class, and that he has epic family dramas. That can’t be what dads look for in a boyfriend for their son.
Phil just shakes his head, looking resigned. “Idiot,” he says fondly and quirks a little smile at Clint.
Clint totally fails at swallowing back a massive yawn and makes a face at Phil. “How much would your dad hate me if I took over your sofa already?”
“Not much at all,” Phil says, putting away the last glass and draping an arm over Clint’s shoulder. “But you’re sleeping in my bed tonight, not the sofa.”
Clint hesitates, trying to work out if Phil will be there too.
“I’ll take the sofa,” Phil adds, like he hasn’t noticed Clint’s confusion, or like he has and is trying to make things easier for him.
“No, dude, come on,” Clint argues automatically. “It’s your bed. Give me the sofa.”
“Barton,” Phil says firmly. “If you sleep on the sofa, you’ll have to wait for my dad to go to bed, which will be a couple more hours. If you take my bed, you can go sleep right now.”
Clint opens his mouth to say that he’s not that tired, but he can’t get it out because he’s too busy yawning some more. “Yeah, fuck, fine,” he sighs and leans into Phil, pressing their foreheads together.
Phil kisses him hard then takes hold of Clint’s wrist, braceletting it with his fingers.
Clint lets himself be led back out to the living room, where he awkwardly stumbles through a good night to Mr Coulson.
“Good night,” Mr Coulson says, smiling at him before switching his attention to Phil. “Phil, you can go up with him for a while, if you’d like.” He pauses then adds sternly, “With the door open.”
Phil rolls his eyes. “Like that would actually stop us,” he says, which for some reason makes Mr Coulson laugh. Clint has like, zero hope of actually understanding their relationship, but it seems to make them both happy enough.
“It’s okay,” Clint says quickly. “I’m really tired. Phil can stay down here.”
“Sure?” Phil asks, raising his eyebrows.
No. Clint wants Phil to himself all night, if possible. But he really, really wants Mr Coulson think that he’s a good boyfriend for Phil. He needs to believe that Phil will visit him wherever he ends up, and that’ll be easier with parents approval.
“Sure,” Clint says, grinning widely, fakely, at Phil and not letting himself kiss him again. “See you in the morning.”
“See you,” Phil agrees, looking worried about Clint all over again, but he lets Clint go.
Clint doesn’t manage to fall asleep. He borrows the spare toothbrush from under Phil’s sink and steals a clean t-shirt to sleep in. Then he lies on his back under Phil’s comforter, and stares blankly up at the ceiling for what feels like hours.
After a while, he hears the sounds of people moving around, Phil or his dad – or both – getting ready for bed and waits, wondering if Phil’s going to come in for some PJs.
He’s just starting to give up hope and telling himself firmly to get some damn sleep, when there’s a soft knock on the door and Phil slips inside.
“Hey,” he says, leaving the light off. “Sorry. Dad took forever to go to bed.”
Clint sits up and watches Phil through the dark. Phil’s not doing much other than leaning against the door, hands in his pockets.
After a minute, Phil sighs. “I’m coming over there to kiss you,” he says decisively. “Yell now if you don’t want that.”
Clint lifts his head and waits. He doesn’t know what he wants, but he knows he always wants Phil.
Phil crosses over to him and flicks on the lamp by the bed before putting his hand on Clint’s shoulder. When he leans down, Clint tips his face up, expecting a kiss, but instead Phil frowns and touches the skin under Clint’s left eye.
Clint wants to duck away, because he’s still fucking embarrassed about the crying, but he’s held still instead by the look in Phil’s eyes.
After a second, Phil’s cheeks turn pink, and he drops his hand, finally giving Clint the kiss he’s been waiting for.
It’s dumb, probably, because it’s not like Phil kissing him is going to fix anything, but it feels like it does, or like it can. Maybe.
Clint sucks Phil’s bottom lip into his mouth and grabs hold of Phil’s collar, holding him as close as he can.
Phil doesn’t seem to mind, just kisses Clint back harder, until Clint can’t breathe, but he still doesn’t want to stop.
“Hey, hey,” Phil says, nothing else, then pushes lightly, experimentally on Clint’s shoulder.
Clint falls backwards onto the bed but doesn’t let go of Phil’s collar, so Phil falls down with him, crawling over Clint and still kissing him. He bites kisses down Clint’s jaw and along his throat until Clint can’t breathe, shaking with how much he wants him.
It takes a serious amount of effort, but Clint forces himself to turn away from Phil’s mouth, toward the door that’s still half-open.
“Your dad said to keep the door open,” he says uncertainly. If they keep kissing like this, Clint’s pretty sure they’re not going to stop. He always wants to climb inside Phil, but right now that’s not an abstract thing like it normally is; he wants them as close as they can possibly get.
“He didn’t mean it,” Phil says. He chews on his lower lip, looking uncertain. “Want me to close it?”
Clint swallows. “Yeah,” he says. “I mean, if you want?”
Phil kisses him hard, fingers turning fumbly on Clint’s collar, but he rolls off Clint and goes over to close the door. There’s even a little courtesy bolt, which Phil clicks into place.
“Seriously?” Clint asks, holding out his hand and beckoning Phil back to him. “Your dad’s not going to break down the door and shoot me?”
Because we’re having sex, he doesn’t add. Even though he’s pretty sure that they’re going to be having sex.
Phil takes off his sweatshirt and comes to lie back down on the bed. This time, he ends up next to Clint rather than on him, which isn’t as good, although Clint’s not sure how to say that.
He props himself up on his elbow and looks seriously down at Clint. “There was a boy, who I was seeing last year,” Phil says and Clint makes himself nod and not feel horrible with jealousy. “Dad told me that he’d rather we were here and being… safe than somewhere else taking risks.”
He blushes hard at the word ‘safe’ but doesn’t back down.
“Do you really want to?” Clint asks. “Because I really want to, but I don’t want you to… I don’t want you to think that you have to just because I’m going or – ”
“This is not going to be our last chance,” Phil says fiercely, but the way he kisses Clint says that he doesn’t believe that.
Clint’s hands are shaking, but he manages to get them under the back of Phil’s thin black t-shirt, palms on the sweaty skin of Phil’s back.
Most of Clint feels kind of numb. He’s nervous about what they’re doing, terrified about the future and wherever he’s going to end up next, and it’s making it hard to concentrate, but the more of Phil he gets to touch, the easier he can breathe.
“Can you? Please? Just?” he asks, tugging at the hem of Phil’s t-shirt.
Phil pulls off his t-shirt and then takes Clint’s off him too, rather than waiting for Clint to undress himself. It makes Clint’s breath catch in his throat, but they’ve done this before, this bit’s okay.
“Don’t, let’s not come in our pants this time, okay?” Phil says, with a wobbly attempt at a smile.
Clint nods and swallows down a moan when Phil unzips Clint’s fly. Clint’s wearing stupid Superman boxers, because he didn’t know this was going to be happening when he got dressed this morning. They’re cheap, thin things, so his hard cock is really, really obvious.
Phil sucks in a breath, but he doesn’t touch. He finishes peeling back the v of Clint’s jeans and then stops, looking uncertain.
Clint thinks he’d kind of like to be manhandled out of his jeans, but it’s nice that Phil’s not just going for it. Clint wonders if he was considerate like this with the boy from last year. Then he wonders if there’ll be a different boy again next year and has to grab Phil and kiss him, pouring all his shaky, possessive feelings into Phil’s mouth.
Phil kisses him back, but tries to gentle it, skimming one hand up Clint’s belly, over his sternum before just kind of resting at the very base of Clint’s throat.
“What?” he asks against Clint’s skin. “Okay?”
“Okay,” Clint says, even though he’s not. He’s not okay, but he’s okay with this, which is what Phil means, anyway. He wants to reach up and open Phil pants like Phil just opened his, but he’s suddenly shaking so hard that he thinks he’d fuck it up really badly.
“Clint?” Phil asks, sounding concerned.
Clint tries to kiss him until he stops asking, but that doesn’t work this time. Phil holds back, holds himself above Clint and watches him, expression worried.
“I just,” Clint tries. Words are stupid; he hates words. “I really.” He’s not going to be stupid and selfish and tell Phil how he feels about him; he’s not. “I want this to be good,” he says instead.
Phil’s expression goes all soft. Clint wonders what it would have done if he’d bandied about the L word instead. “It’s good,” Phil promises him.
He sits up and looks at Clint for another second, takes a deep breath and shrugs out of his jeans. His legs are pale and hairy with solid thigh muscles that Clint wants to touch.
Then he remembers that he can touch and does, sits up and runs his hands up Phil’s thighs, feeling soft, dark hair crinkle under his palms. He curves his hands around the tops of Phil’s thighs when they reach that high, thumbs stroking up toward his hips.
“Clint, yes,” Phil gasps, pushing up and forward into Clint’s hands. His boxerbriefs are holding his cock in better than Clint’s boxers are, but it’s still really obvious how hard he is.
Clint feels good about that. He did that. Even if he goes away and Phil forgets about him, he made Phil feel this good in this moment.
“I don’t – ” Clint shakes his head. He doesn’t know what he wants to say. “Let me?”
Phil nods even though he doesn’t know what Clint’s asking for. Clint touches the backs of his fingers to the curve of Phil’s cock, stroking over the shape of it, fascinated although it shouldn’t feel any different from Clint’s own.
Phil screws his eyes shut, almost like it hurts, but his mouth falls open and a soft sound spills out, so Clint thinks he likes it.
“I’m pretty sure we just agreed to not come in our pants,” Phil says, eyes still closed.
Clint smirks, proud of himself. “Pretty sure you’re not in your pants,” he says and then he makes a startled sound when Phil grabs him, pushing him down onto the bed and kissing his stomach before carefully peeling down Clint’s jeans.
“There,” Phil says, sounding satisfied once Clint’s pants are on the floor.
“Better?” Clint asks. His breath is coming fast, so turned on he can’t remember how to do it right. He can see his stomach dropping in and out below his ribs with the speed of his in- and out breaths. “Got me where you want me?”
He’s trying for teasing. It doesn’t work.
“Yes,” Phil says simply and, fuck, what’s Clint supposed to say to that?
“Come here?” he asks. He can’t make fists in Phil’s skin like he can in his sweatshirts, but he tries anyway, blunt nails pressing into the smattering of hair between Phil’s pecs.
“I’m already here, I’m not going anywhere,” Phil promises and kisses Clint hard. “I’m not going to want to move off you again, though. So maybe, maybe we should – ” Phil breaks off, looking frustrated.
Clint swallows hard. “Finish getting naked?” he asks.
“I was going to say it more subtly than that,” Phil protests. “But yes.”
“Okay,” Clint agrees, and tries to pretend that it comes out steady.
Getting naked with Phil is awkward, but lying down after, Phil stretched out between Clint’s spread legs, is amazing. Phil is kissing him all deep and slow and it’s incredible, Clint doesn’t even stop to care who taught Phil to kiss like this because it’s amazing.
Phil’s dick is hard against Clint’s stomach, almost uncomfortably solid, digging into the soft skin below Clint’s belly, but Clint wiggles closer to it, kind of hoping it’ll leave bruises.
He doesn’t know what he wants – except that this is good; Phil kissing him and stroking the back of his neck and holding him, this is good – maybe he just wants more.
“Can you, shit, can you move, just – ” Clint shifts his hips and puts his hand on Phil’s back, showing him where he wants him, and then Phil’s waist fits snug between Clint’s drawn-up legs and Phil’s cock is lying next to Clint’s cock, and okay, no, this is the best thing ever.
“Shit,” Phil says, choked.
Clint nods back at him, forehead bumping Phil’s. “Shit,” he agrees.
“What do you want to do?” Phil asks into Clint’s mouth. “What do you like to do?”
Clint tries to think of something, but he can’t. He’s watched a lot of gay porn, he could probably fake it, but he doesn’t want to, not lying like this, with Phil all solid and hot on top of him.
“I’ve never done this before,” he admits, looking at the bridge of Phil’s nose rather than his eyes. “With a guy, I mean.”
Phil doesn’t recoil or anything – he wouldn’t, he’s Phil – but he does pull back a little. “Am I rushing you?”
Clint snorts. “Dude, you’re the one who wanted to take it slow. I would have had you out of your clothes the first time I met you.”
Phil laughs softly. “We were in school, the first time you met me.”
“Yep,” Clint agrees and touches Phil’s mouth. “So you’re really not rushing me.”
Phil nods and doesn’t look exactly like he believes Clint. “You’ve been with a girl?” he asks. “What did you like doing with her?”
Clint gets a brief, vivid picture in his head of Natasha, tiny but so strong, sitting on his hips and fucking herself on him while he stared up at her in wonder.
He doesn’t want that again. He wants Phil to need him more than that.
“I don’t know,” he lies, turning his head, and kissing Phil’s cheek. “Sex?”
Phil snaps his teeth at Clint’s nose, like he’s going to bite him and ends up kissing him instead. It should be sappy, but Clint likes it so much, he doesn’t care.
“No.” Clint shakes his head. “Yeah, there was a girl but she and I, we. We ran away from foster care together and fucked our way across Middle America for a couple weeks. Then she realised I was slowing her down and went on without me. I don’t want what I had with her with you. I just. I just want you. I don’t care.”
Phil’s eyes go soft. “I just want you too,” he says, and it sounds bigger than what they’re doing right now, but Clint pretends he doesn’t hear that.
All of a sudden, Clint knows what he wants.
“Fuck me?” he asks and feels Phil jerk against him. “That’s what I want.”
Phil doesn’t look like he’s breathing. His eyes are dark and wide. “Seriously?” he asks. “That’s kind of, I think you normally work up to that.”
Clint laughs bitterly and arches up against him. “We don’t have time,” he says urgently. Then, he loses certainty. Maybe Phil’s just not interested in doing that with him. “But if you don’t want to?”
It’s Phil’s turn to laugh, but this time it’s soft and affectionate. “You have no idea how much I want to,” he says.
And apparently that settles it.
Phil doesn’t have lube, but he has hand lotion and condoms. He also has infinite patience. By the time he’s worked two fingers inside Clint’s ass, fingertips blunt and steady, Clint’s about ready to kick Phil in the head, but Phil just hums against his stomach and kisses him there.
“Phil,” Clint hisses. He can’t yell as much as he’d like to because Phil’s dad really doesn’t need to overhear any of this. “Shit, fuck, I’m ready already.”
“How would you know?” Phil asks mildly. His voice is shaking, but his hands are so steady, Clint feels totally safe with him, even vulnerable like this.
“Fine,” Clint bites out, “I don’t know. But I want you now. Please.”
When Phil nods, it’s kind of jerky, like maybe he’s not holding it together as well as he wants to look like he is. He drops the condom the first time he tries to roll it on, and curses at himself under his breath.
“It’s okay, you got this,” Clint says, awkwardly patting Phil’s wrist with his fingertips.
Phil glances up at him, one big hand still wrapped around his lovely, leaking cock. It’s quite a picture.
“Are you giving me a sex pep talk?” he asks.
Clint nods solemnly. “I am.” He watches as Phil rolls on the condom, no problem at all this time, waits until he’s done to say, “And it’s working.”
Phil looks down at his own cock and laughs. “So it is.”
He leans forward, kissing Clint like that’s all they're here for, like they’re not in a rush. He’s still holding his cock and the back of his fist bumps the inside of Clint’s thigh. Clint automatically spreads his legs wider and then the head of Phil’s cock is right there, sitting against his asshole.
“Shit,” Clint breathes, sucking in a noisy breath. Phil doesn’t say anything at all and, when Clint looks up at him, his eyes are screwed shut. “Okay?”
“Are you?” Phil asks, the lines around his eyes relaxing into something more peaceful. He slips his fingers into Clint, spreading him again before nudging forward with his cock.
“I’m - ” Clint starts to say, but then Phil pushes just inside and Clint loses all his words. It hurts a bit, or maybe more than a bit, but not in a way that feels wrong, definitely in a way that Clint wants more of.
Phil thrusts a tiny bit, uneven and helpless, then makes a harsh sound and holds still. “Sorry, sorry, I’m trying not to move.”
Clint forces himself to breathe out slowly; he fists his hands in the sheets and arches up toward Phil. “Please move.” Somehow, he knows that it’ll feel less weird if Phil moves.
Phil stares down at him, gorgeous eyes glowing with something Clint doesn’t recognise. “Tell me, if it gets too much,” he says and starts in with short, careful thrusts of his hips.
It’s fascinating. Clint didn’t know his body could do this. He’s watched porn and he knows all the mechanics, but he didn’t know that his legs would lift automatically to draw Phil in closer, that he’d have to let go of the comforter and clutch hold of Phil’s back, smooth his hands over the warm, flexing spread of his muscles.
They don’t talk. They kiss and make cut-off grunting noises into each other’s mouths, but there’s nothing to say that they’re not already saying with every touch.
After a couple minutes, Clint starts to feel really good. He already loved it, but now his cock does too. He wants to touch himself, but he doesn’t want to let go of Phil. He braces his heel against the fleshy part of Phil’s thigh and arches up toward his belly, trying to get some friction.
It must shift them around, or something, because the next thing Clint knows, Phil’s pushing into him again and a spark of something licks through him that’s so good that he thinks for a second it must be pain. It’s hot and liquid silver and he moans, forgetting to be quiet.
“There?” Phil asks, sounding ragged. “Clint, there?”
“Holy shit do that again,” Clint begs, all in one breath.
Phil makes a sound that might be a laugh. “I’m trying,” he says, kissing Clint again, lots of tongue this time, like Clint having a prostate is somehow really hot.
He doesn’t nail it every time, but now he knows where it is, Phil’s aim improves like crazy, and Clint has to drop one hand from Phil’s back, has to drape his forearm over his mouth so he can bite down and not let Mr Coulson know exactly what they’re doing and exactly how good Phil is at it.
Phil noses the side of his face, biting kisses around Clint’s ear now he can’t get to Clint’s mouth. “I wish I could hear you,” he whispers. “I wish you could make all the noise you want.”
Fuck, that’s not fair. Clint’s never been loud, but he wants to be now. He lifts his arm to say, “Phil,” then has to bite down again, because now Phil’s hand is on his cock.
It doesn’t take either of them long after that. Phil seems determined that Clint will come first, and Clint is okay with that, so close and desperate he’s shaking with it.
His orgasm feels like it comes from everywhere at once, from his cock, from his ass, from his fucking ear, which Phil is still exploring with his tongue. He sucks in a couple desperate breaths and groans, spilling over Phil’s fingers, knowing he’s clenching down too hard around Phil, but not able to stop.
“Fu-uck,” Phil sighs, broken in the middle, and goes still as he comes.
He doesn’t pull out as he’s catching his breath and Clint doesn’t ask him too. He lifts trembling hands to stroke down Phil’s back, spreading sweat around.
“A-plus,” Clint says, turning his head to nose sleepily at Phil’s temple.
Phil laughs, shaking with it. “No room for improvement?” he asks. He reaches down and wraps his hand around the root of his dick, keeping the condom on while he pulls out.
Clint makes a face. “Well, you could work on making that feel less fucking weird.” Phil starts to sit up and Clint grabs for him before he can stop himself.
Phil stills, turning back to him and smiling. “I’m going to toss this in the trash. I’m not going far.”
“Right.” Clint unhooks his fingernails from Phil’s elbow, feeling kind of dumb and exposed all of a sudden.
It takes Phil three seconds to drop the condom in the trash, then he’s back, pulling Clint up and into a hug that feels too tight and too desperate for someone who just got laid.
“Neither of us are going anywhere,” Phil tells him firmly, not letting go even when Clint thinks that they’ve passed the non-embarrassing length of time for a hug and starts to pull back.
“How are you going to work that?” Clint asks, leaning his head on Phil’s shoulder and deciding to stop pretending he wants to be anywhere else.
“I don’t know yet,” Phil says, “but I will.” He pulls back just far enough to look Clint in the eye. “Do you believe me?”
Clint believes that Phil believes it and that means a lot to him, anyway. “Yeah, sure,” he lies. “You’re Superman, right?”
“Please,” Phil says, “I’m Captain America.”
Clint laughs and drags him in close again, all their sticky, naked places pressing together. Phil’s warm and he smells exactly like what they were just doing, which means he smells perfect to Clint. Clint breathes him in and tries to remember this moment forever.
Just in case.
Clint is so damn tired that he sleeps straight through the night, not waking until Phil squeezes his shoulder.
“Mm?” Clint mutters, very unwilling to be awake. He turns his head, managing to land his forehead on Phil’s wrist and closes his eyes again.
Phil laughs, but keeps poking him, not letting him fall back to sleep. “It’s nearly ten,” he says, “if you don’t wake up soon, I’ll refuse to make you breakfast.”
Clint groans and rolls onto his back, blinking up at Phil and the sunlight streaming in the window behind him. It’s very bright.
“I’m boycotting life,” Clint tells him automatically then realises that he’ll have to face the Parkers today and decides that he really means it.
Phil rolls his eyes. “That’s a shame,” he says, brusquely unsympathetic. “I make the best French toast on the East Coast.”
Clint makes himself sit up and opens his mouth to banter back. Nothing comes out.
Phil sighs at him and sits on the bed next to him, slinging an arm around Clint’s shoulders. He’s wearing soft jeans and a plain black Henley, not the usual smart sweatshirt and slacks that he wears to school.
“Wait,” Clint says belatedly, “it’s nearly ten?”
Phil hums in agreement.
“You’re skipping school?” He wants to add for me but that seems kind of presumptuous, even after last night.
“Don’t look so shocked,” Phil says and touches the side of Clint’s neck, sliding his hand around to cup the base of his skull and pull him into a slow kiss.
“But,” Clint tries to say against Phil’s lips, except it doesn’t come out right and he ends up mostly mumbling around Phil’s tongue and then giving up on that entirely because tongue. It turns out that having sex with someone doesn’t make just kissing them any less hot.
He maybe whines a little when Phil pulls back.
“Get dressed,” Phil says. “I’ll make a start on breakfast.”
“One last meal for the condemned man?” Clint tries to joke. It doesn’t come out very funny though, and he looks away, before Phil can start looking all pinched and worried about him again. “I like bananas and chocolate syrup on my French toast.”
“Well, I like gold leaf in my coffee, but we don’t always get what we want,” Phil snarks back at him. He leans in and kisses the corner of Clint’s mouth, completely ignoring Clint’s whole stoically-looking-away-from-him thing. “Don’t be long. And make sure you actually wear clothes; my dad’s still home.”
Clint groans, even though Mr Coulson has been nothing but awesome to him. “He’s going to shoot me,” he mutters, because it’s much easier to worry about that than it is to think about what’ll come after breakfast.
“Nah, my mom’s the one with the gun licence,” Phil tells him cheerfully and leaves him to get dressed.
When Clint gets downstairs, there’s a stack of French toast in the middle of the table, filled with what smells like banana and dripping in butter and chocolate sauce.
Clint doesn’t know what to say. No one’s ever made him his favourite breakfast just because he asked before. (That’s maybe because he’s never told May what his favourite breakfast is, but whatever.)
“You didn’t tell me you can cook,” he settles on, sliding into a chair and wondering if he’s allowed to eat it all. Sex and worrying do a lot for his appetite, apparently.
“It’s a secret,” Phil tells him, sitting next to him and stealing a slice of toast. He waves for Clint to help himself to the rest, so Clint does. They don’t serve food like this in group foster homes.
“His mother and I are terrible cooks, so I think he learned out of self-defence,” Mr Coulson says, appearing from absolutely nowhere and making a lump of half-chewed bread lodge in Clint’s throat.
“Good, good morning,” Clint chokes out, making wide eyes at Phil. He could have warned Clint that his dad was behind him, seriously.
Phil just smiles at him and stands up, pouring a mug of black coffee from the jug on the counter.
“Good morning,” Mr Coulson agrees. “Phil was just telling me how comfortable the sofa is to sleep on.”
Phil closes his eyes, looking supremely annoyed and embarrassed, the same way that Peter sometimes looks at the Parkers. It’s the fuck, my parents are embarrassing expression and it makes Clint have to look down at his plate.
“Yeah, it was great,” Phil lies flatly and sets Clint’s coffee in front of him.
Clint gulps it down until he can breathe again. “Thanks for letting me stay,” he says to Mr Coulson, deciding to play along with everyone else that there was no naked bed-sharing last night.
Mr Coulson’s teasing smile slips to something more serious. “It’s no problem, Clint. You’re always welcome. Also, if your school asks, you and Phil had bad Chinese last night.”
Clint manages a laugh. No one’s parents have ever lied for him before; it’s pretty awesome. “Thanks.”
“Don’t mention it,” Mr Coulson says, leaning over Clint to steal some toast. “I also called Mr and Mrs Parker. They’re anxious to see you.”
Just like that, Clint isn’t hungry anymore.
“I’ll drive you, when you’re ready,” Phil says, but for now, he sits down next to Clint again and nudges their bare feet together.
Clint really, really doesn’t want to get out of Phil’s car, when they pull up in front of the Parkers’ house. Ben’s car is still in the driveway and, when Clint risks a look, he can see Peter’s face pressed against his bedroom window, staring down at them.
“Want to run away to Paris?” Clint asks Phil, kind of desperately.
Phil reaches over and squeezes Clint’s hand. “Yes,” he says, “but your passport is probably in there.”
“Ugh,” Clint groans. His knees shouldn’t be able to shake, since he’s sitting down, but they still are. He’s terrified, way more terrified than he wants anyone, even Phil, to know. Sure, he knows what the Parkers are going to say, but he still doesn’t think he can deal with hearing them say it.
“Hey,” Phil says and pulls on Clint’s hand until Clint looks at him. “It’s going to be fine.”
“You know that?” Clint asks, voice climbing kind of hysterically. He takes a breath, then another.
“I know that,” Phil promises. “I told you I was going to fix it, and I will.”
Clint stares at him helplessly. “I fucking love you,” he says, seriously. He’s leaving; it doesn’t matter if Phil freaks out.
Phil doesn’t freak out. Phil smiles slowly and squeezes Clint’s hands, getting their fingers all tangled up. “You’d better,” he says, then pulls Clint closer, kissing him, murmuring, “I love you too,” against Clint’s mouth like something that’s private, just for them.
Clint closes his eyes, leans into Phil. “Okay,” he says, “I’m going in.”
“I’ll be here,” Phil promises.
Clint opens him mouth to tell him that it’s okay, he can go home. Phil just gives him a look, though, so he snaps his mouth shut.
He gets out the car without another word and makes himself keep his chin up the whole walk up to the house. Peter’s watching, even if no one else is, and Clint doesn’t want him to think Clint’s afraid.
May flings the door open before Clint can search his pockets for his keys.
“Clint,” she says, sounding relieved and worried all at once. She puts her hand on his arm and ushers him into the house. “We’ve been so worried. Are you okay?”
“I’m.” Clint swallows. “Sorry.” He looks over her shoulder and sees Ben standing in the hallway behind her. “Sorry,” he says again to him.
It’s dumb, he knows it’s dumb, how shitty he feels about having worried these people, even though they don’t want him anymore.
Ben shakes his head. “I think we need to have a talk,” he says. “Come and sit down.”
Clint plants his feet. He’s gotten this far, but no matter how brave he tries to be, he’s not sure he can walk any further.
“It’s okay,” he says, shrugging like it doesn’t matter. “I know you want to get rid of me. You don’t have to make a big thing of it.”
“Clint,” May says. Her eyes look so sad, but she doesn’t try to touch him again. If she did, he thinks he might crack down the middle. “We don’t want to get rid of you. We never want to get rid of you.”
“They want to adopt you,” Peter says quietly from the top of the stairs.
It takes Clint a couple of seconds to process the words. Then his hand finds the wall, before he’s realised he’s wobbled.
“I, um. Can I just.” Clint gestures vaguely at them and turns right around again.
“We’ll be right here,” Ben says softly and Clint nods, even though he’s not looking Ben’s way, anymore.
Clint makes it out onto the front steps before he has to sit down, curl forward and wrap his arms around his legs.
Vaguely, he hears a car door click open and slam closed, and then Phil’s there, Phil who didn’t leave, sitting down next to Clint on the top step and leaning into his side.
Clint twists around and puts his head on Phil’s shoulder, breathing out hard into his neck when Phil wraps both arms around him.
“They want to adopt me,” Clint mumbles.
Phil’s hands still on his back for a second, then he squeezes Clint even tighter. “That’s good, isn’t it?”
Clint shakes his head. Of course it’s good, it’s the best thing in the world, but Clint’s wanted it so long: a family, and not just any family, this family. It’s too much to take in.
“But they want to adopt me,” he repeats. Maybe Phil will get how huge this is, if Clint keeps saying it. “I get to stay.”
Phil kisses the top of Clint’s head. “That’s a good thing,” he says firmly. “You deserve it.”
Clint is shaking and he can’t stop. He lets Phil take more of his weight and, for once, doesn’t worry that he’s asking for too much.
After a while of just sitting quietly together, the front door opens, and Clint reluctantly turns his face away from the warmth of Phil’s neck to see who it is.
Peter smiles uncertainly at him and comes to sit down on Clint’s other side, squeezing onto the step with them. “Aunt May says you’re freaking out because you’re happy,” he announces. “You are, right? You don’t want to leave?”
“No, fuck, are you kidding me?” Clint demands. “Of course I want to stay.”
Peter ducks his head and actually fucking beams down at his lap, like that’s what he wanted to hear. He scoots closer and pokes Clint in the side until Clint works out what he wants and lifts his arm up.
Peter curls into his side and doesn’t say anything else, so Clint puts his head back on Phil’s shoulder and they go back to sitting outside together in silence, only now there’s three of them instead of two.
Eventually, Ben comes out and tells them that they’re going to make the neighbours think someone’s died and that there are perfectly good stairs inside for them to sit on, if they want.
Then he stops and looks down at Phil. “We haven’t been introduced.”
Phil doesn’t miss a beat. “Phil Coulson,” he says, manoeuvring a hand around Clint to offer to Ben.
Ben shakes hands firmly and nods. “You should come in too, kid, my wife would like to meet you.”
Oh god, Clint thinks, but he doesn’t really mind if they embarrass him. Maybe he won’t feel like that forever but, right now, it turns out that he actually sort of wants to have pseudo-parents to be embarrassing at his boyfriend.
They follow Ben into the house and Phil and Peter make themselves scarce while Clint stands in the kitchen and mumbles through, “I meant to say yes, just now? Before I, before I ran away, I meant to say yes. Please. To you adopting me.”
May smiles at him so wide that her eyes wrinkle up at the corners and she holds out her arms.
Ben gets to Clint before Clint can get to May, though, pulling him into a tight hug. Clint doesn’t know where to put his hands, so he just fists them into the back of Ben’s sweatshirt and holds on tight, while May laughs and comes over to slide herself under both their arms.
It’s… Clint doesn’t know how to describe how this feels. It’s everything he’s ever dreamed of, but he still never knew it would feel as good as it does.
“Thank you,” he says, even though it’s honest and sincere and he’s no good at that.
“Oh, Clint,” May says. “No. I’m so sorry we ever let you doubt how much we love you.”
“We didn’t want to get your hopes up,” Ben tells him. “There was some trouble with the paperwork since you were born out of state, but it’s fixed now. Your social worker will need to talk to you, obviously, but assuming you don’t tell her you secretly hate us, we’re all set.”
Clint swallows. “I don’t, I don’t secretly hate you,” he says, his voice getting stuck so low that they probably wouldn’t hear him if they weren’t all wrapped up together.
“Good,” May says and squeezes him hard before stepping back. “Now, come on, I want to meet this young man of yours. His father sounded charming on the phone. I think we should invite them both to dinner soon.”
“May,” Clint groans but he can’t keep it up. That actually sounds really nice. Normal. “Yeah, okay, that’d be. Yeah.”
Ben pats him on the shoulder. “Just nod and smile, son, she won’t be stopped.”
“That’s okay,” Clint tells him, feeling kind of dizzy because Ben called him son. He’s never done that before.
They find Phil and Peter having a quiet chat in the lounge, Peter making wide, solemn eyes at Phil.
Peter turns to May as soon as he notices them. “Phil says we can go out for breakfast. Can we, Aunt May?”
“I just meant that I’d take Peter out, if you needed some privacy,” Phil says, managing to sound apologetic and like he’s totally got this, all at once.
“That’s a fine idea,” May says, smiling at him. “The boys deserve a treat and it’ll give me and Ben a chance to get to know you better.”
Phil nods easily. He doesn’t look like the idea of that freaks him out. Clint wants to kiss him, but not quite badly enough to do that in front of May.
“Peter, go find a coat,” May says, clapping her hands together. “I’ll tell Ben our plan.” She leans up on her toes and kisses Clint’s cheek, beaming at him like he’s made her happy somehow.
As soon as they’re alone, Phil grabs the back of Clint’s belt and pulls him down to sit on the sofa beside him.
“Okay?” Phil asks, looking at him seriously. He has his eyebrows set in a firm line like he won’t appreciate Clint bullshitting him.
“Yeah,” Clint says slowly, dragging it out while he thinks. “Kind of overwhelmed, I guess? But definitely okay.”
Phil kisses him. Everyone keeps kissing Clint this morning. “Looks like I don’t need to fix things for you, after all.”
“Eh.” Clint rubs the back of his neck. “I kind of attract trouble. You’ll probably need to fix tons of shit for me eventually.” He peeks up at Phil from under his eyelashes. “That okay?”
Phil shakes his head at him, looking fond. “I think I’ll cope,” he promises.
“Yeah?” Clint asks. He laughs suddenly. His life’s ridiculous. He shouldn’t get Phil, and archery, and the Parkers all at once. He definitely hasn’t earned this much good luck.
“Come here,” Phil says and drags him into a hug, breathing out hard into Clint’s ear like he’s relieved too.
They hang like that, Clint grinning into Phil’s shoulder, until Ben calls out to say they’re ready to leave.
“Coming,” Clint calls back and links hands with Phil, tugging him up, and out to join Clint’s new family.
Clint wouldn’t exactly say that he was skulking in the hallway outside the student council meeting, except that okay, maybe he’s skulking.
It’s just that Phil said he’d be done by four and both Coulsons are coming over for dinner tonight, so Clint is maybe a little nervous. If by a little, you mean shitting bricks.
He has his phone in his hand, because Phil’s been texting him updates every five minutes (they’re still talking about the bake sale and Pepper just pulled out the highlighters and oh god, someone mentioned prom) and it makes him jump when it rings this time, rather than buzzing with another text.
Bucky Barnes flashes across the screen and Clint frowns.
“Yeah, hi?” he says, stepping back from the closed classroom door and pacing a couple steps away.
“Well look at that, you are alive,” Bucky says, “I owe Kate ten bucks.”
Clint winces, because he’s kind of fallen off the grid this last week. “Yeah, man, sorry,” he says, “been kind of a week.”
Bucky laughs softly. “Forget about it. I know how that goes. So…”
“So?” Clint asks.
Bucky swears at him. “Did you get into the fucking programme or not, Barton.”
“Oh.” Clint drags it out, starting to grin. “Sure, ‘course I did.”
“Ha,” Bucky says, chuckling, “sucks to be you, buddy.”
Clint frowns, turning all of his attention away from the hallway and to the phone. “Why?”
Bucky makes a sound that’s like a spoken shrug. “Heard there’s some pretty stiff competition, s’all.”
Clint huffs out a laugh. “Shit, you got in too?” He doesn’t mean to sound so pleased about that, but since he’s staying (he’s staying), it’d be cool to have a friend.
“Like that was ever an issue,” Bucky scoffs. Then his voice goes softer, “See you at the range on Tuesday?”
“Maybe if you’re lucky,” Clint says and laughs, when Bucky hangs up on him.
He’s still laughing softly as he tucks his phone away, when the door he’s been hanging around bangs open and Tony Stark sticks his head out. His eyes find Clint and then narrow.
“Oh,” he says, “it’s you.” He leans backwards and shouts into the room, “Coulson, it’s your boytoy, who’s making all the racket. Come deal with him.”
“Hey,” Clint starts to protest, but then Phil’s there, pushing Stark out the way and smiling at Clint in that same pleased way that he always smiles at him.
“Sorry about Tony,” Phil says, lips turning flat and disapproving even though his eyes are still dancing. “He has no manners.”
Clint shrugs. He doesn’t know how to react with Stark still looking at him. The ‘boytoy’ comment kind of threw him, like Stark actually knows who he is and, who he is to Phil, or something.
“We’re going to be a while longer,” Phil says. “As soon as someone mentions prom, we never get away. Do you want to wait inside? There are doughnuts.”
“I…” Clint starts, hesitating, but Phil's happy, dancing eyes start to dim and Clint can’t have that. “Yeah, sure. If I won’t be in the way?”
“You can be the deciding vote on how big the bake sale posters should be,” Phil says, mouth tilted wryly like he’s not even joking. He reaches out and snags Clint’s sleeve, fingertips brushing Clint’s wrist in a way that makes Clint shiver and makes Stark snort at them both.
“Sounds awesome,” Clint drawls, but he follows Phil into the classroom, where Pepper Potts and Maria Hill seem to have taken over one whole corner with a stack of print outs, and Bruce Banner is sitting on the floor, scribbling busily in a ledger.
There are doughnuts, though, right in the middle of the abandoned teacher’s desk.
“Clint, hi,” Pepper says, breaking off her conversation and smiling broadly. “It’s good to see you again. Do you know everyone?”
“Um, no,” Clint says, which leads to Phil being made to introduce everyone while Clint waves awkwardly.
“Sorry,” Phil says softly, leaning into Clint’s side once they’re done.
Clint shrugs, and tries to act like he’s totally blasé about meeting all Phil’s friends at once. “It’s cool.”
Phil smiles at him and then, before Clint knows to expect it, presses a kiss to the corner of Clint’s mouth.
Stark wolf-whistles but Pepper smiles and no one else seems to have noticed.
“Oh, um,” Clint says then makes himself trail off before he can say, I guess you’re not hiding me, then? “I’ll just… I’ll.” He sits down in the teacher’s chair and grabs the nearest doughnut.
“Won’t be long,” Phil promises. He gives Clint one more smile before turning away.
Clint puts his feet up on the chair and swivels back and forth, munching on chocolate sprinkles and watching Phil slot himself seamlessly into the middle of Pepper’s argument with Maria about the right shade of purple for Spirit Day.
He did his presentation in English class today and his grade from Ms Carter is sitting at the top of his bag. He’s excited to find out what kind of reward Phil gives for an A plus.
NB: if anyone’s worried about what might be going to happen to Uncle Ben in four years’ time, don’t be, I have a plan.