Fluffy, fun and not horribly depressing prompt 5: Despite being a great SHIELD agent, Phil Coulson is terrible at paper work, he must got to paper work 'guru' Clint Barton for assistance.
Phil hates paperwork, hates it the way some people hate closed spaces or going to the dentist. It makes him nervous and tense, which he refuses to admit or acknowledge in anyway, because someone who can take down five armed assailants with a coffee mug should not be intimidated by a single-page requisition form. Of the three hundred plus emails Phil gets every day, seventy-two of them are requests for paperwork, forty-eight are for clarification on paperwork he’s already submitted, and twenty-five are polite suggestions that he re-submit form X five nine dash whatever because the copy he sent is completely incomprehensible.
Barton, on the other hand, always files his paperwork at least a full twelve hours before the deadline, fills in every line flawlessly, and turns in mission reports that are legendary for their detail and clarity. It’s baffling.
“How? How do you do it?” Phil demands. There are three ruined copies of of form DR7-620 sitting on his desk, and he’s just added a fourth. Barton has his feet propped up on a corner of the desk, working on a tablet. Probably starting reports for ops that haven’t even happened yet, Phil thinks miserably.
Barton shrugs. “Do it right the first time, don’t have to do it again.”
“There’s right, and then there’s perfect. This?” Phil holds up Barton’s completed DR9-3… No, RD6-313. “This is perfect.”
He immediately regrets it when Barton answers flatly, “Well, I gotta be perfect.”
Phil sighs. “I just meant… I don’t understand how anyone stays on top of this, much less does it well.”
“I dunno. I kinda like it,” Barton says. Glancing up at Phil, he adds, “You oughta be more patient with yourself. Go too fast, the numbers and letters get all jumbled up.”
Phil blinks. “How did you know that?” he asks, but Barton hesitates. “I never said that, and I know it doesn’t happen to everyone, so how did you know?”
“I pay attention,” Barton replies simply. “Way you mix up numbers, stuff you misspell, handwriting. Makes sense.”
There’s no judgment, just an observation, and it feels different from the records director’s patient offers of assistance. After a moment, Phil holds up a blank form and puts on what he hopes is a look of charming appeal. “Help?”
Barton grins and wheels his chair around the desk. “Sure thing."