Bottled Lightning – Ch. 8
Phil tried not to read anything into how easily Clint and he slid into a domestic situation. They hung out at his apartment trading back and forth who cooked which meal and who did dishes without complaint. Clint fell asleep curled against him each night and sometimes caught naps when Phil was reading, each curled on separate sides of the couch, legs warm against each other’s.
It would be such a small step to push it into a real relationship yet Phil held himself back. Clint was finally getting stable and healthy and he would rather carve his own heart out then send him into another downward spiral. He didn’t want the possibility of a relationship to ruin their friendship either; the archer really was his best friend in all the ways that counted.
“Time for bed?” Clint asked, stretching and flexing his toes against Phil’s thigh.
“Yeah, might as well. We still have another day before we have to head to the tower. Was there anything you wanted to do?”
“Nah, just lazing around is fine.”
“Alright, that sounds good to me.” Phil said heading in to brush his teeth, swapping places with Clint when he was done and changing into a pair of sleep pants but leaving off the tee shirt, Clint put out enough heat at night that he didn’t really need even the sheets to stay warm. Clint was wearing only boxers, letting Phil appreciate the expanse of golden skin with a mental sigh.
“Good night, Phil.” Clint said tugging the sheet into place as he climbed into bed.
“Good night, Clint.” Phil said, shifting until he found a good position and slowly relaxed into sleep.
Phil woke up warm and relaxed. The body in his arms shifted slightly and he held on a bit tighter, throwing a leg across their hip to tangle with the other man’s shins and letting him hitch his hardening cock along the warm fabric and skin between them. His hands mapped the muscular stomach and chest while he buried his nose in the soft head of hair, his hips rocking slightly against a perfect ass.
This was perfect, Phil hummed softly, breathing in the musk of the man in his arms. He stroked along his chest and side absently as he let himself enjoy the moment. The man shifted, rocking back into the motion making Phil moan. He grumbled when the body in his arms pulled away for a moment but he was just turning so that he could wind his arms around Phil and press sleepy kisses along his jaw.
Yes, that was nice. They slowly rocked and ground against each other, slowly stroking every bit of skin they could reach for some undetermined time. Phil decided he loved this dream and had no intention of ever waking up.
A soft gasp of ‘Phil.’ against one ear jerked him out of sleep, rearing back slightly, blinking at the sleep mussed form of Clint Barton spread out beneath him, red lipped and stubble burned. “Shit,” he bit out trying to pull away, “Sorry.” Clint’s arms locked around him forcing him back down against the other man.
“Don’t, please.” Clint said, hands stroking lightly against Phil’s back. “You don’t know how long I’ve wanted to do that. Hell, Phil, I’ve loved you for years. I just never thought you would want to date me.”
“I’ve wanted to date you since you first walked into my office.” Phil said, collapsing against the other man and burying his face into his neck. “I didn’t think you would want to date your boss. We worked so good together I didn’t want to screw that up.”
“We don’t work together now.” Clint said softly rubbing one thumb in slow circles against Phil’s hip.
“I didn’t want to lose you if things didn’t work out.”
“I don’t want that either, you’re my best friend, Phil. I never want to lose that. Hell, you’re the only person on the planet right now who knows everything about me and isn’t terrified or trying to use me.”
“Exactly why this is probably a bad idea. I don’t want you doing this just because of me knowing your past.”
“Hell, Phil, I’ve wanted to date you for the last ten years. Adding in this week just makes it that much better.” Clint said pulling the other man up to press a quick kiss against the corner of his mouth. “I don’t care; I want you, now and for as long as you will put up with me.”
“I just got you back, Clint. I don’t want to be the reason you run next time.”
“Then that will be our rule. If I have to run, I have to call you first and I keep a phone handy so you can call me.” Clint said slowly like he was feeling out the idea as each word left his mouth.
“You would promise that?” Phil asked, pushing away so that he could see Clint’s face.
“If it means I get to keep you, yeah. You never push when I run and I think I could deal with calling you. If things are that bad you’ll probably know about it anyway.”
“I don’t know if I can go slow with this.” Phil said, dropping slow kisses against his neck and jaw.
“Then don’t we have the next twenty four hours to take our time. Heck, we can have every night the both of us are in the same room for the rest of the month knowing Fury.”
“Rule one, no talking work in bed.” Phil said with a laugh.
“Deal, but I doubt we’re going to be able to keep it.” Clint said nipping softly along Phil’s neck.
“Then let me give you something else to think about.” Phil said with a grin, kissing Clint fiercely as he reached between them to grasp Clint’s cock in one hand, stroking and gently squeezing through his sleep pants.
“Want you in me, fuck, please, want you in me.” Clint panted when they finally came up for air making Phil groan and bite at his lips before breaking away.
“Are you sure?”
“Positive. Do you have lube?”
“Yes, but no condoms. I wasn’t exactly expecting this.” Phil said with an embarrassed laugh.
“I know you’re clean and I can’t catch anything and haven’t been with anyone in a long time. Shield always kept us too busy to have a real relationship. I didn’t want just a quick fuck, I don’t want that now.”
“Good, I have no intention of giving you up now that I have you.” Phil growled kissing him hard for a moment before pulling away to get the lube out of the night stand. Clint reached for the bottle only to have Phil push him back into the mattress.
“Let me, please?”
“Shit.” Clint whined as he relaxed into the mattress watching as Phil quickly stripped out of his sleep pants tossing them to the side before he dropped to his hands and knees, nosing and mouthing at where Clint’s erection was straining at his boxers.
Clint watched barely daring to breathe as Phil slowly pulled his boxers off pressing a kiss to each new inch of skin exposed. He tugged them off in a rush once Clint’s cock slipped free tossing them carelessly behind him as he pressed a sucking kiss to the head jerking a strangled whine from Clint’s throat. Phil sucked and licked as he slid one lube slick finger in gentle circles against the rim of his entrance.
He shuddered and moaned as he was ever so slowly breached and stretched. His hips hitched with the burn of two fingers being added but the discomfort was quickly overrode with pleasure as Phil stroked gently at his prostate with his fingertips. Phil held Clint’s hips down with his other hand when he tried to push back further.
“God, you are beautiful.” Phil hummed pressing kitten licks to the tip of Clint’s cock to catch the welling precum. “Look at you.”
“Need you in me, please.” Clint whined hands fisted in the sheets.
Phil surged up, removing his fingers and kissing Clint hard, all teeth and tongue. He backed up slicking his length with lube. He pressed one last chaste kiss to his lips before lifting Clint’s legs. Phil froze for an instant cupping one hand against his cock as Clint proved just how flexible he was, pulling his knees up to his chin and reaching for Phil.
He licked his lips and stroked that perfect ass for a moment before he braced himself and started a slow push in. They both groaned as Phil slid in steadily until he bottomed out, pressed as close as they could get. He held there barely daring to breathe as he adjusted to the tightness and heat.
“Please, Phil, god, fuck me.”
“Don’t think I can do slow.” Phil bit out shifting slightly as he started tiny rocking thrusts while Clint clung to him like he never wanted to let go.
“Fast is good, come on fuck me hard.”
“You want it hard.” “Want to feel it for the rest of the week, want to know I’m yours.”
“Gonna mark you up until everyone knows you’re taken.”
With a growl Phil pulled out until only the head of his cock was still buried in that delicious heat before slamming back in. Everything dissolved into the steady pounding thrusts, the sweat coating his skin, and the rhythmic gasps and slap of skin on skin. He knew he wouldn’t last at this pace and he snaked a hand around to grip at Clint’s cock, letting each thrust push it through his tight hold.
Clint’s body snapped tight as a wire, his vision whiting out as he came with a shout, cum striping his stomach while Phil cursed in his ear and fucked him through the aftershocks. He shuddered as Phil came, his cock twitching within him as he moaned his own release. They lay there slowly coming down exchanging slow kisses before Phil went to grab a washcloth to clean them both off.
“Something I need to know?” Phil asked when he came out to Clint lazily stroking himself back to hardness.
“I don’t really have a refractory period.” Clint said with a lazy grin, hips jerking as he thumbed at the head of his cock.
“We might have to confirm that.” Phil said wiping down the other man’s chest and stomach but he couldn’t resist pressing a kiss to the tip of his straining cock.
“It could take a lot of trials.” Clint agreed pulling him up to kiss and lick his way into the man’s mouth until they both were moaning.
“I won’t be able to get it up that many times.”
“Doesn’t mean we both still won’t enjoy it,” Clint said pressing another kiss to his lips, “and when you do recover you can fuck me again.”
“If we do this we’re taking breaks every hour to make sure we’re both hydrated.”
“Don’t sass me brat, or I won’t be letting you fuck me.”
“Oh god yes, you’d let me?”
“After I give you a mind blowing blowjob.” Phil said tweaking a nipple just to see Clint squirm, “Let’s put that theory to the test.”
“Death by sex sounds good right now, fuck.” Clint moaned as Phil pinned his hands above his head and sucked a bruise against one side of his neck.
They spent the next twenty four hours tangled together having sex or curled against each other talking. Phil had never spent such a relaxed weekend with any of his previous lover and it only proved how compatible they were together to him all over again. He pressed a chaste kiss to the corner of his lover’s mouth and absently wondered how long he needed to wait before he asked Clint to move in with him.
Friday morning they made love again, slow and gentle with each other. There was no telling how the day would play out with the rest of the team but they would have each other from now on. Clint clutched Phil to him afterwards and tried to not let himself worry; Phil wouldn’t let him get railroaded by the team or worked up enough to run. He was tired of running and being alone.
They showered together stealing touches and kisses as they cleaned up and got dressed afterward. The drive to the tower was done in silence. Phil suddenly pulled Clint into a deep kiss before they got out of the car.
“What was that for?”
“Luck, I have a feeling we’ll both need it today.”
“Natasha’s going to take one look at us and know we’re together.”
“Did you want to keep it quiet?” Phil asked trying to read behind the blank mask his partner was wearing.
“I don’t want to hide you away like a dirty secret but I don’t want to listen to Tony ribbing us for the next three years either.” Clint said with a sigh.
“Leave Tony to me. You go in and play assassin twins with Natasha; it makes her happy and scares Tony which is always a bonus.”
“You always have the best plans.” Clint said with a grin climbing out of the car.
They were silent in the elevator, deliberately not looking at each other so their masks were firmly in place when they stepped out of the elevator, Clint paused so they walked in side by side. The team was waiting for them spread out across the common floor. Clint made a beeline for where Natasha was seated on one of the couches.
He dropped carelessly next to her, dropping an arm over the couch behind her and offering her a knife with the other hand. It was one of his that he’d never allowed her to use. They’d argued about it a few times but it had been a favorite that he wasn’t willing to loan out.
She took it silently, eyes scanning him as she thumbed the edge. Nodding once, she turned to face the rest of the room, the knife disappearing into some hidden pocket. Clint let his mouth twitch in an aborted smile before he got his mask back in place, he was forgiven and she would have his back with the others if they got in their way.
“Good to see you again, Clint.” Steve said from his spot the couch across from them.
“You as well, Steve.” Clint said with a small grin at the team leader, he was still looking the archer over like he was hiding injuries but that was normal when one of them came back after a mission away.
“How was your trip? Did Shield keep you busy?” Bruce asked coming in and setting a tray with cups and a tea pot on the central coffee table before he took his own cup to a chair to one side.
“It was pretty uneventful, standard runs.” Clint said ignoring the way Natasha shifted minutely beside him; he’d have to give her the full details later.
“You here for a few days, Katniss or are you headed back out?” Tony asked from his spot near the windows.
“A few weeks probably, I’ve earned a bit of a break since I’ve been doing missions pretty much back to back since I left.”
“You look like you could use the rest.” Bruce said softly, looking the man over with concern.
“I’m fine, just a little burnt out and tired. A bit of time off should set things right.”
“So what, Phil just swooped in and took you home as soon as you landed? Wasn’t aware you needed a babysitter, Merida.” Tony said his eyes sharp as he scanned over Phil and Clint. Clint asked Phil silently with his eyes how he wanted to play this, he’d never liked hiding things but he would if Phil wanted.
“It’s normally customary to spend a small bit of time with your significant other after a long time away, Stark.” Phil said with a one of his thin sarcastic smiles, “Even you saw Pepper first when you got back from your last business trip.”
“Wait a minute, you and the Hawk hooked up? When did that happen?”
“Those two have been dancing around each other for years, Stark.” Natasha said with a smirk, “I’m glad you finally decided to make a move, Coulson.”
“Good to see we have your blessing, Natasha.”
“As long as you both understand that if you hurt each other I’m going to have to kill the non-injured party.”
“Okay, shovel talk over, who’s for pizza?” Tony asked breaking the awkward silence with his normal over the top air.
The next few days at the tower were tense as the rest of the team tried to not set Clint off like they had last time. It finally came to a head when they were all in the gym working out. Clint had been determined to keep things low key but Natasha insisted he spar with her so she could see how out of shape he was.
He tried to lose himself in the fight, grinning as they traded blows slowly working up to the more complex holds and take downs. He let his vision narrow until the only thing that existed was the woman he was fighting, the brisk air in his lungs, and the smooth flow of each motion. He couldn’t lose the knowledge of the others watching him however, feeling the sharp edge of their gaze against his back.
When they finally broke apart they were both bloody and grinning like idiots. Bruce was looking on with concern clearly listing out each injury to himself while Tony was working on his phone ignoring them completely. Steve was the one who was looking on with a blank expression like he wasn’t sure how to react.
Clint went and took a shower afterward taking his time to see which Avenger would break first. He ignored everyone as he dropped next to the wall and started to meditate. Tony had left but Steve and Bruce were still hovering to one side.
He did his best to ignore them and let a thread of power loose to heal his injuries. He double checked all his mental locks while he was at it, letting the feel of the power thrumming in his bones calm him. Bruce and Steve were waiting a few feet away when he opened his eyes.
“I just wanted to check that you healed yourself and didn’t need any help?” Bruce said with a raised eyebrow.
“I already healed everything, I’m good.”
“Good, are you joining everyone later for dinner? I think it’s Stark’s turn to order so we’re getting take out probably.”
“Yeah, I’ll make sure to head down.”
“Good, I’ll see you then.” Bruce said with a smile heading out of the gym and to his lab.
“What do you need, Rogers?” “Why didn’t you offer to heal Natasha?”
“She didn’t ask and she was rather adamant that I not heal or affect her with my powers without telling her first.”
“You still could have offered.”
“If it bothers you that much I’ll offer the next time I see her but she’s going to turn me down.”
“Why would she do that?” “She spent most of her life having people experiment on her, Rogers. I get why she doesn’t want some random ability used on her until she gets comfortable with it. I’ll offer when I see her.” Clint said with a huff, pulling himself upright and pushing back the other man.
“Are you still planning to visit local hospitals?”
“When I’m not on mission or trying to recover.” Clint said stepping into the elevator and slumping against the metal when the doors closed.
Why did Steve have to be so focused on Clint using himself up to help the rest of society? Was he just seen as some machine that worked for Shield, the team, and healed as many people as possible without ever bothering to have a life? Clint had tried to do that for a while when he first discovered his powers and it meant he was almost too run down to heal himself when his brother and mentor decided to leave him for dead.
He wasn’t God and he would have to figure out a way for Rogers to realize that. He couldn’t raise the dead or perform miracles. He manipulated energy in small ways, healing and helping but most of the time it just wound up hurting someone, either Clint or the people around him.
Clint had never been so relieved to see Phil waiting for him when he got to his floor. He froze and watched from the door as Phil took off his tie and toed off his shoes. Phil turned to watch him with a smile and Clint was walking into his arms before he’d fully decided to move.
“Bad day?” Phil asked mildly, pulling the other man into a tight hug and burying his nose in his hair.
“Long,” Clint said with a groan, “We’re invited to dinner with the team.”
“It’s a good thing I got home early then.” Phil said with a wicked grin, sucking on one of Clint’s earlobes suggestively.
“Fuck, want you in me so bad.” Clint groaned as he thrust his rapidly hardening cock against the other man’s hip.
“I think we have time for a quick shower. Go get the water running while I finish get undressed.” Phil said with a hum, pressing a kiss to the shell of Clint’s ear.
Clint all but ran to the bathroom stripping as he went while Phil followed at a slower pace savoring the sight of his naked lover as he disappeared into the bathroom. He stripped quickly but took the time to put up both his and Clint’s dirty clothes before snagging a bottle of lube and heading into the bathroom. Clint had the water up high and the room was quickly filling with steam.
“How was your day? Did the team behave?” Phil asked as he set the lube to one side and grabbed the body wash.
“Steve’s still being a bit pushy.” Clint said groaning slightly when Phil pulled him flush against him and started to gently wash his chest and shoulders, massaging lightly as he went. “He wanted to know when I was going to start healing at the hospitals again.”
“I’ll talk to him, you need to be back up to a normal weight first.”
“I don’t think he cares if I burn myself out, he just wants to see the people healed.”
“He out of everyone should understand that everything comes with a price. I’ll talk to him.” Phil said with a sigh going back to his slow massage.
They cleaned each other slowly while exchanging lazy kisses. It was only due to the never ending hot water at the tower that they weren’t chased out to the bed in a hail of icy water as they lazily stroked and teased each other. Phil was just pressing into Clint using one of the benches in the large shower when Jarvis interrupted.
“I’m sorry to interrupt, sirs, however Sir wished to know if you will be joining the others for dinner?” “We’ll be there in ten minutes, Jarvis.” Phil bit out as Clint cursed in several languages.
“I’m going to kill you if you don’t start moving.” Clint ground out tightening his legs like he would be able to pull Phil deeper by will alone.
“Hold on.” Phil snarled back as he started thrusting in short harsh jabs against Clint’s prostate that left him a screaming mess.
It didn’t take long for both of them to cum after the long buildup. Phil pulled out and let his seed stripe along Clint’s neck and chest. They kissed shakily before he pulled Clint up and they cleaned up for the last time that night. Twenty minutes later they were downstairs accepting a plate from Bruce with a smile and trying not to blush as Tony kept tossing innuendo laden comments their way.
Phil watched Clint grin at some comment Natasha had made with a small private smile. Clint was healing and relaxing back into the team’s dynamic like he’d never left. Most of the team seemed to be accepting that Clint was still the man he’d been before the revelations of his abilities. The only outlier was Steve Rogers who was hovering to the back of the group watching Clint like he was an unknown variable that might explode at any moment.
“Do you have a moment to talk?” Phil asked softly when he reached the super soldier’s side.
“Just by the windows if you like.” “Sure, is something the matter with Clint?” Steve asked trailing Phil across the room and out of hearing distance of the team.
“No, actually the issue is you, Captain Rogers. I spoke with Clint and he said you were pressuring him to start healing again.”
“It’s not that I don’t want him to get back to full strength but why can’t he be helping others while he recovers?” “Healing expends a massive amount of energy, energy he should be using to recover.” “But doesn’t his ability generate massive amounts of energy? He could be using that while he recovers.” “Would you want someone operating heavy machinery or weapons while exhausted?” Phil asked his tone mild and inquisitive. “Of course not.” Steve said sharply blinking in shock.
“Then why are you asking Clint to do the same?” he asked raising one eyebrow, “He’s exhausted from his missions and you’re asking him to use his abilities, abilities which can kill as easily as heal, when he’s not at his best. If anything happens because he’s too exhausted to fully control himself he would never forgive himself.”
“That’s not what I’m asking.” Steve said frowning.
“Isn’t it? You want him to use his abilities while he’s exhausted and still recovering. Do you really want to force him into a situation where he’s forced to choose between saving lives and his own recovery?”
“No, I just thought he could continue to help in some capacity. There are so many incurable diseases right now and it seems a waste to have such an ability and not be using it to help where he can.”
“He can help those in need, but he’s got to be the judge of when he’s fit to start healing again. If you rush him you will be forcing him into a situation where people could be hurt simply because he’s not fully recovered.
“Good, I’ll talk with Clint and see when he thinks he will be up to continuing healing but for now he needs to concentrate on healing himself.”
“Of course, I’m sorry if I was implying that his recovery wasn’t as important. We need him at his best in case there’s a mission or battle he’s needed in. I guess I just assumed that is ability would sustain him.”
“Everything comes at a price, Captain, even if you can’t see it. Clint will be fit for missions if he’s needed but let him decide when he restarts healing again.”
“Very well, I just hated to think of those he could be helping.” Steve said with a frown. “He will be back healing soon, he just needs to recuperate himself fully first.”
“I understand, I’ll try and back off.”
“That’s all I’m asking.” Phil said letting himself relax out of what he thought of as his Agent Mask.
“I would like to go with Clint when he is back up to it however, I’ve been volunteering a good bit in our downtime and I’d like to help if I can.” Steve added earnestly, the man really was too good hearted for this day and age.
“Of course, I’ll make sure you’re invited.” “Thank you, Agent Coulson.” Steve said with a small smile.
“Steve.” He said extending his hand and shaking Phil’s with a grin.
Later that night Clint and Phil lay curled around each other in bed simply enjoying the comfort of being held by someone they loved. Phil was surprised at how willing Clint was to be held and touched, he’d always avoided physical contact with other agents if it could be helped. He seemed genuinely happy to be held but outside of the bedroom restricted himself to small touches to a shoulder or arm and nothing that could be called demonstrative or lingering.
“You’re thinking too loud.” Clint muttered into his neck, tightening his arms for a handful of heartbeats before he relaxed back into the bed, “Did Steve say something?”
“No, he agrees you need to recover fully before you go back to healing but he wants to accompany you when you start back. Apparently he’s been volunteering at several hospitals.”
“The eternal boy scout.”
“I’m afraid so.” Phil said untangling himself and propping himself up on one arm so he could see Clint’s face.
“He made me ask Natasha if she needed me to heal her after our spar, I thought she was going to shoot me.”
“He does mean well.” Phil said with a sigh.
“Was that the only thing on your mind?” Clint asked with a frown, shifting onto his back so he could see Phil easier.
“I know it’s kind of early in a relationship to be asking this but… do you want to move in with me?”
“You mean here at the tower?” Clint asked gesturing to the rooms around them, they’d been staying in Phil’s rooms since Clint’s were still mostly guest rooms with little personal touches or even belongings. “And at my apartment since I would like to keep it so we can get some time away from the tower if we needed it.”
“Are you sure, I mean I know I can be messy and even Natasha tells me constantly that I’m annoying.”
“I want you to move in, Clint. I want to spend as much time with you as possible and once we both go back to work living together will make that easier. I want to be with you, Clint. You in all your messy, annoying glory. I don’t want you to change a thing. I want you.”
“For as long as you are willing to put up with me.” Phil said pressing a kiss to the other man’s temple, “I’m not perfect either, Clint, and I can’t promise that we won’t fight and have our own issues but I can’t see anything that would make me want to leave you. I want to be here for better or worse.”
“Till death do us part?” “Only if they finally allow gay marriage in New York.”
“You’d be willing to if they did?” “If that was what it took to keep you at my side for the rest of my life? Yes.”
Clint fell silent and just let himself be held. No one had ever offered to stay, they tolerated him until finally he was kicked to the curb. No one had ever asked to keep him.
“I know it’s a big deal and you can take all the time you want to think about it.”
“Marriage or moving in?” Clint asked with a faint smile unable to resist needling his friend and now lover.
“Moving in but if you want I can do a proper proposal.”
“Let’s see how things go. If at the end of the week you still want me to move in I’ll make a decision.”