When they first moved in together, Phil’s biggest pet peeve was the fact that Clint wouldn’t put away Phil’s clothes after he did laundry. Coming home from a four week deployment and finding stacks on the dresser and in the closet, waiting for him to take care of, made Phil hurrumph and stomp around as he put them in their correct places. After having to teach Clint how to do laundry correctly – “No, you don’t put machine wash cold hang dry in with machine wash cold tumbles” and “I don’t care if it says wash in warm, the fabric will pill if you do. Put it in hand wash” – and how to fold each item so it fit into the drawers easily, Phil was more than put out by the neatly placed stacks left out.
Only after a day filled with passive aggressively leaving Clint’s things out of the sorting did Phil realize Clint was worried about making a mistake when he mumbled “Damned if I do, damned if I don’t” under his breath. Clint had spent his childhood worried about saying the wrong thing, breathing the wrong way, missing the shot, and getting punished by a slap or a punch or a shot in the gut. Of course he thought if he messed up Phil’s clothes, Phil wouldn’t want him. It was the pattern of his whole life. After that, Phil went out of his way to make sure he never complained about how something was folded or put away; instead, he mentioned how glad he was to have clean underwear when he got home and how the sheets’ smell made him want to get away to that cabin in the woods. Clint caught on quickly; even years later, when Clint was sure that Phil loved him and he could make mistakes without fear of Phil leaving, sometimes Clint would put a shirt in the wrong place, a silent thank you to Phil for understanding.
After the whole Loki mindfuck, Phil dying and coming back, the fall of SHIELD, and Phil becoming the erstwhile Director of an organization that didn’t exist, Clint’s pet peeve was the way Phil worked all the time. They never seemed to have a moment alone when Phil wasn’t on his phone, making notes, working on his tablet, or thinking about tomorrow. Even when they were in bed together, sated and sleepy, Phil would roll over and grab his phone to jot down something he wanted to remember. Too many of their already infrequent nights together, Clint would sit on one end of the couch while Phil was on the other, tapping away at a screen rather than watching the movie. And if Phil wasn’t working, he was sleeping his way through the last half of The Martian or whatever they were watching (once even a Knicks game). He simmered about it, keeping his frustration hidden (or so he thought) because Phil was the Director, inhumans were popping up,, Ultron got delusions of grandeur, and Ross was working on the Accords. Phil didn’t need Clint’s insecure bullshit to deal with on top of all that.
Then Melinda grabbed his arm, pulled him aside and said “Get the man to relax, Barton. Saving the world by himself isn’t going to make up for what’s been done.” For a guy with 20/10 eyesight, Clint could be blind when it came to people he loved. Of course Phil felt he had to justify his return from the dead – and all Fury did and risked to make it happen – because that was Phil Coulson, man who took every responsibility seriously. Arguing that Phil needed time to rest wasn’t going to fly, so Clint decided to on a different plan. Clint began telling Phil when he needed him – “Been a bad day, Phil. I could use a good cuddle” and “Got a message from Barney. Come with me to blow shit up on the range” and “No tablet in the bedroom tonight, Phil. You won’t be able to see straight after I’m done with you anyway” – and, surprisingly, it worked, not only for Phil but for him too. He felt better and Phil started to relax; of course, Phil was no dummy. He eventually recognized what Clint was doing, but he was so proud of Clint for using his words that he didn’t complain about being manipulated into taking time off. Plus, the world didn’t fall apart any more than usual.
Sexy Squizzy clip numero dos! I cropped out all the annoying plot related stuff in between so we could focus on what’s really important: NP kissing someone. (Who sadly isn’t Phryne. Still hella worth watching though)
Good God he is delicious. And as kalerider so astutely pointed out, apparently knows how to handle a woman and a gun - at the same time. Hhhhnnnnnngggggggg