“I did not request a video file sent to my phone.”
Clint grinned down at the cutting board. “Well, no, but this is just me being proactive. I was told to work on being proactive on my last quarterly review, why is Hill giving me quarterly reviews now, by the way?”
“It has something to do with a conflict of interest,” Phil said. He sounded like he was chewing nails. “In that Director Fury seems to think that me having to give you your reviews might interfere with our working relationship.”
“But doesn’t that define our working relationship?” Clint spun the knife on the flat of his hand, catching it neatly and stabbing downward with an efficient use of force. The potato never saw it coming. “You’re my boss. You boss me. Then you tell me how I fucked that up.”
“Then we go home and sleep together,” Phil pointed out.
“It’s the natural order of things,” Clint agreed, dicing the potato with a few flicks of his wrist. He considered double dicing, but that was probably a bit much, what with the phone call and all.
“As it turns out, SHIELD is not sure I’ll give you an honest quarterly review, because of the sleeping together part.”
TRAGIC Shieldhusbands moment in Secret Avengers #5!! Phil is suffering from some mild PTSD, Clint tries to talk to him, Phil stonewalls him, Clint goes down to the range to work out his sadness, Phil flies around in Lola to work off his… it’s like all the best sheildhusbands fanfic!
Phlint Prompt: Lucky is Clint's service dog. They go nearly everywhere together, outside of Clint's superheroics. Clint just hopes that his hot date doesn't get put off by it.
Clint can say without a doubt, the one he loves more than anything in this world is his dog, Lucky. Lucky is the most dependable non-human he’s ever met–in fact, he’s probably more dependable than many humans he knows too. He also has three jobs, which is more jobs than some people he knows has too.
Lucky is, in the plainest, broadest term, a Medical Assistance Canine. He’s a Hearing Dog when Clint isn’t using his hearing aids (or when they’re lost or broken or out of battery) and he’s a Seizure Response Dog as well, because he gets them sometimes. After all, you can only get out so healthy after being hit in the head as many times as he has. He’s got some scar tissue, and medication to prevent it. But sometimes? It just happens. It’s rare, but just in case…
Lucky’s last job is a Brace/Mobility Support Dog. He usually only has this job when Clint’s injured himself in the line of duty (read: Avengering). Like that time he fell off a roof and broke his femur–among other things. Once the cast was off and the brace was on, well, Lucky’s a lot easier to walk around with with his harness than crutches.
He’s a bit of a mutt, but he’s large, solid, mostly Golden Lab-ish. One eye is squinty, like he’s winking all the time, but he’s been tested and it isn’t a blind spot. (If it had been, they might have protested training and licensing him as a Medical Assistance Dog.)
Lucky is family. He’s family to the point that Stark designed him protective armor so he can join Clint out in the field when they’re saving the world from the villain-du-jour. When the harness is off and he’s off-duty, he plays fetch with Steve, he lets Natasha use him as a foot rest, he dozes next to Bruce when he meditates. He plays tag (a slow and careful version) in Tony’s lab with the ‘bots and he eats pizza with Thor.
Lucky is always around, Clint always stays with him when he goes to visit the other Avengers, but mostly they can always be found within a few feet of each other.
It’s because of that that Clint is so worried. Because tonight? Tonight Clint has a date. Clint has a date with Phil, the really hot, older gentleman who is the liaison with the Avengers who Clint has been crushing on for months and months and months and is maybe just a little bit in love with him too.
Clint doesn’t want to screw this up. He really doesn’t. But, hell, showing up with Lucky must be really weird. Especially because he’s only ever seen Lucky in the battle armor or in just his collar around the Tower. Tonight Lucky has his vest and his pockets with medications and Important Info and… and state law says the vest has to be bright fucking orange.
At least he doesn’t have to be wearing the brace.
Clint shows up at the fancy restaurant and feels out of place. It’s not too fancy, it’s dress casual and he’s allowed to skip the tie and leave his shirt unbuttoned at the throat (his compromise with Natasha was a vest in a deep grey with lilac pinstripes). He’s not completely uncomfortable, but he does have a bit of an issue when he tries to bring Lucky in.
Clint tried his best, but Lucky does look a little mangy. Shit.
“What seems to be the problem?” Clint almost jumps because Phil’s materialized as his elbow and his hand is suddenly resting lightly against the small of his back. Clint and the maitre d both open their mouths to say something when he cuts them off. “Is there something wrong with our reservation?”
“No, just Lucky.” Clint can feel his ears burn and he’s painfully aware of his hearing aids as he clenches his jaw to keep a straight not-blushing face.
Phil scoffs and smiles a tiniest bit down at Lucky. “There can’t be anything wrong with Lucky, can there? He’s helped save New York as much as the rest of the Avengers. He helped you out when those electro-squids shorted out your hearing aids. He even saved the mayor.” He turns a firm, unsmiling look at the restaurant staff, “Plus, he’s a service dog, plain as day, and works very hard around the clock to keep one of, if not all the Avengers safe. He’s as good as an Avenger himself. Why would there ever be a problem with him?”
It’s almost laughable how smoothly things progress from there. Clint thinks he can count the number of times he blinked between there and being seated on one hand.
“I…” Lucky rests his head on Clint’s foot and thumps his tail across Phil’s under the table. “Uh.”
“Clint.” Phil gives him a borderline shy smile as he takes his hand. “Natasha told me you were worried about having to bring Lucky along. I’m sorry you got all worked up for nothing. He’s an amazing dog who has the most important job in the world.”
Clint returns the shy smile. “Oh yeah?”
“Yes.” Phil squeezes his fingers. “He keeps you safe.”
Clint can’t respond, he doesn’t know how. Lucky just keeps wagging his tail against Phil’s foot. It’s all that needs to be said anyway.
(happy birthday to dr-kara who knows I’ve been working on this)
“Give me one good reason to go through with this.”
Natasha’s sigh was audible even through the closed bathroom door. “Because this is a benefit for the New York Public Libraries, and the Friends of the Library are counting on our presence to raise funds?”
Phil glared at the mirror. He looked amazingly stupid. Glaring, he said, “No, they’re counting on the Avengers’ presence to raise funds. No one will care or notice if I’m there or not.”
“Really?” she asked. “You’re going to leave Stark with the general public and untold scores of children and no adult supervision?”
Phil’s eyes rolled up towards the ceiling. “You count as an adult, I’m quite certain of it.”
“Above my pay grade, Coulson. Besides, I’ll be responsible for Clint, or Tony, but not both. Not alone.”
“Steve is very excited about this benefit,” she said, her voice full of doom. “Steve is very enthusiastic about the power and possibilities of the free library system.” There was a beat of a pause. “Did you know that Steve still has his library card for the Carnegie Library in Flatbush?”
Phil’s head fell forward. “Of course he does.” He straightened up. “What’s his costume?”
“Buck Rogers. He’s very please with how it came out.”
Phil shifted his weight, trying to get used to the heels. “Do children even remember Buck Rogers?”
“Probably not, but Steve might just revive the property. He’s very enthusiastic.”
“If anyone can, it’s him.” Phil tugged at his neckwear. This was unnatural. “Director Fury can be your designated adult.”
There was a pause. “Director Fury is dressed as Long John Silver. Do you really think he counts?”
“That’s almost enough to convince me to put in an appearance,” Phil said. “Almost.”
“Really? Your boss, dressed as a pirate, with a robot parrot that Stark programmed, that’s not enough to get you out here?”
“Not quite. Get me a picture.”
“You picked a fine time to evidence shame, Coulson.” The bathroom door opened with no further warning. Phil glanced up, catching sight of her in the mirror. She was stunning in a lovely ballerina costume, a brilliant design of scarlet and gold silk, tule and feathers. Crystal and ribbon curled through the feathers that framed her hair and face, and her makeup was suitably stunning. She smiled. “Hill decided on Princess Leia.”
He stared at her. “No.” She arched an eyebrow. “What-”
“The white one from the beginning, do not even bring up the metal bikini.”
Phil held up a hand. “The hair?”
“Oh, yes.” Natasha leaned against the doorframe, her arms crossed over her chest. “Cinnamon bun braids.”
Phil considered that. “Dammit,” he said. “I’m going to have to attend this thing. Aren’t I?”
“There was never any chance you weren’t. You are a man of your commitments.”
(So in Grumpycake’s stream the other day we brought up adorable things. ADORABLE THINGS. So this one’s for her.)
“I’d like to point out that I wanted to take the mission in Fiji.”
Clint gritted his teeth as another gust of icy wind sliced at them, finding every gap, every seam, every weak spot in his gear. “Why didn’t we take the mission in Fiji, sir?”
Phil shifted against him, and Clint knew he was trying to find some angle that allowed him to get between Clint and the wind. It was impossible, and stupid, and he wasn’t sure that Phil knew he was doing it, but Clint grinned behind the protection of his balaclava. “Because you are not a nuclear physicist and my Latvarian is lousy,” he said, crisp as ever over the comms. “We would have died.”
“We’re going to die here, sir,” Clint pointed out, amused. “At least in Fiji we would’ve died warm and possibly naked.”
I have had a very crappy afternoon that included fucking up a quote and dealing with a customer who wouldn’t stop talking for half an hour after closing time, and if someone would like to write me a tiny wee ficlet where one of the boys has a crappy afternoon and the other one makes it better, I would be very, very grateful. Please and thank you. *puppydog eyes*
Phil’s pen scraped across the page. “No,” he said at last, and it took him far too long to dredge up that single word. Some discussions with Clint were like getting a concussion while drunk; he could almost feel the brain damage setting in but couldn’t work up any concern about it. He set his pen aside. “Is this something you knew about and participated in, or something that was done without your knowledge or consent?” he asked, because that was really the first priority.
He did not allow himself to think about what the next priorities were. Probably murder if this question wasn’t answered properly, but he doubted that was going to be necessary. Clint didn’t seem upset or angry. Just amused.
Clint threw himself onto Phil’s couch. “Aw, are you going to defend my honor?” he asked, grinning as he folded his hands over his flat stomach. “That’s a losing fight there, Phil.”
Phil arched an eyebrow in his direction. “I’m good at those.” He leaned back in his chair, studying Clint. “They’re kind of a specialty.”
“They are, aren’t there?” Clint grinned. “St. Phil, Patron Saint of Lost Causes.”
“I love you sideways daily. Sideways because I have to beam my love in all directions, hoping it bounces off of something and eventually finds you.” - Richard Siken, The Long and Short of It
(cover art by M. Walsh from Secret Avengers (2014 run))
01. Science/Visions - CHVRCHES / 02. Next to Me - Civil Twilight / 03. Bloodstream - Stateless / 04. Rolled Together - The Antlers / 05. Maps - Yeah Yeah Yeahs / 06. How to Embrace a Swamp Creature - The Mountain Goats / 07. And Then You - Greg Laswell / 08. Hounds of Love - Andrew Vincent / 09. Slow Show - The National / 10. The Great Exhale - Great Lake Swimmers / 11. Wetsut - The Vaccines / 12. Float - The Neighborhood / 13. I know I know I know - Tegan and Sara / 14. Together - Patrick Wolf/ 15. More Than Life - Whitley / 16. I’m Here Now - Motopony / 17. Gospel - The National / 18. Death - White Lies / 19. (Bonus Track) The Great Escape - Woodkid