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18 August 2015 @ 08:09 pm
FIC: New Routine (I Missed You) (MCU, Phil/Clint, Sitwell), PG-13 (Part 1/2)  
It's finally finished! ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥




Title: New Routine (I Missed You)
Author: megan_moonlight
Date of Posting: August 18th, 2015
Rating: PG-13
Fandom: Marvel Conematic Universe (The Avengers, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.)
Characters/Pairings: Phil Coulson/Clint Barton, Jasper Sitwell, Melinda May, Leo Fitz, Jemma Simmons, Maria Hill, Felix Blake, Lucky
Disclaimer: All the characters © Stan Lee, Jack Kirby. I make no money from this.
Summary: Phil came back and Clint felt lost. More than lost. It was difficult to actually describe everything he felt right then. They had a lot to talk about, and he would make sure they talked, but before they did, they had to save their friend.
Spoilers: Spoilers for The Winter Soldier (and MCU in general)
Warnings: Swearing, Mentions of Torture
Beta: lil_1337 (thank you so much for help! ♥)
Author's Notes: Here is a fic I worked on for a few months.
I love Phil/Clint, I adore Sitwell, and I just had to write some sort of a fix-it fic. It got a bit longer than I expected, but I really enjoyed writing it. I included some of my headcanons, too (such as Lucky being awesome or friendship between Jasper and Melinda - I'm a big fan of that one). Enjoy!
Comments are appreciated.
Mentioned at: At AO3 *HERE*




*NEW ROUTINE (I MISSED YOU)*


February 19th, 2014

Clint leaned against the wall and hit it with his fist. Hard. For the tenth time now. Or was it more? He had lost count. He didn’t even have his hearing aids in. He was aware that his knuckles were bloody and he was leaving equally bloody marks on the wall of his apartment, but it didn’t matter at the time. The almost empty apartment he moved to when each Avenger kind of went their own way usually felt small but not uncomfortable, but now for some reason Clint felt as if he was lost in it and it was making him even more irritated. The apartment might have been cheap and unassuming, but it just wasn’t… his, if it made any sense. He slept there and it was somewhere to get back to, but it wasn’t anything special. But he got used to it after some time, and it could have been worse. As long as he paid for it he still could ruin it all he wanted, right? Not like anyone would hear it.

Especially since after this evening he really needed to hit something.

The apartment was usually pretty quiet unless Clint was watching something, so it wasn’t anything new. Natasha visited him from time to time to crash or just simply to hang out, but since she had gone on a mission with Steve, no one else was around. Clint was all alone, not counting Lucky, the dog that kind of stuck around after Clint had found him. He loved eating, sleeping on Clint’s bed and knew how to use his puppy eyes to get Clint to let him get away with almost everything.

One night, after Clint had gotten back home and had taken out one hearing aid, he had started preparing spaghetti for himself and some chicken for the dog. He had gone shopping and decided they both deserved something nice for supper. Cooking was not only relaxing, but Clint was actually quite good at it. For a moment he considered taking both hearing aids out, but it was always better to be prepared, just in case. He had found out it was a good decision, when he had heard the door to the apartment opening quietly. It was strange, since Clint was pretty sure he had locked it after he got back. He remembered, because Lucky tried to steal potatoes from the bag when Clint had told him to wait for Clint to lock everything first.

Besides, no one had ever tried to break into his apartment before. Most of his neighbors probably weren’t even aware that he’s been living there, since he rarely talked to any of them and avoided contact, keeping himself off the radar as much as he could. Even more surprising was the fact that he hadn’t heard anything until the door opened. Not even Lucky had reacted to the uninvited visitor. Clint had left being angry at himself for not paying attention for later and quietly put the plate down.

He stepped closer to the door, hiding one kitchen knife in the pocket of his pants before entering the living room. After snagging the gun from the nearby drawer and taking the safety off , he moved to the door quietly, keeping the gun ready. He was looking around when he had heard a voice he thought he would never hear again. Maybe there was something wrong with his hearing aid, because this was the voice he should have never hear again…

“Clint.”

Clint turned around, pointing the gun at the visitor.

Phil Coulson was standing there, looking a bit tense. He was wearing a dark grey suit that was pretty similar to the one Clint had bought for him a few years ago. Phil’s eyes were focused on Clint, but there was something else in his look, something that was difficult to read, and Clint hadn’t liked it at all. But he hadn’t been thinking about it, lowering his gun instead.

Before he realized he was moving, his fist connected with Phil’s body. Three times.

The first one was aimed at his face, because Clint was furious. Phil stumbled back and leaned against a chair for support, but had not reacted otherwise. The second time because Clint was scared; scared that it was all a trick that someone was playing on him. Phil just closed his eyes after the second blow to the jaw, still not saying anything, only closing his eyes, even as blood started to run down his face. The third blow was the weakest and aimed at Phil’s arm. Honestly? Clint had no idea why. He had no idea how else to react, so he just kept hitting. But Phil was still there, still looking at him, tightening his grip on the back of the chair a bit, as if waiting for Clint to get everything out of his system.

Clint couldn’t control his breathing right then. He wanted to say something, anything, but when he had opened his mouth no sound came out, so he just gave up talking. He looked at the other man’s face, trying not to blink, just in case Phil had disappeared again.

They were standing face to face, so close that he could hear Phil's breathing, which was as uneven as his. Only then Clint touched him. He was aware he’d hit the man, which meant he had touched him already, but now that he had slowly placed his hand on Phil’s chest, over his heart, that was when he felt like collapsing.

Phil’s heart was beating steadily.

He looked at his hand on Phil’s chest.

“I wanted to let you know,” Phil said quietly, barely above a whisper and Clint probably wouldn’t have heard him if he weren’t standing so close. “I had no idea how, but now I do and…” Phil’s voice, usually composed, was breaking. Somewhere deep down Clint was glad that he wasn’t the only one who was affected. “…and I just wanted to make sure you’re okay.”

“I’m not fucking okay. I am so far from okay that I don’t even know what I’m even feeling right now,” Clint looked up from Phil’s chest to look into his eyes. “You’re really here, you stupid asshole.”

“I’m sorry, Clint.”

Clint let his hand fall as he exhaled. He sat down on the couch, tiredly, and closed his eyes as he leaned back. Controlling his breathing was harder than he had expected.

“Do you want me to go?”

“I don’t know,” Clint answered after a while, opening his eyes again. “Shit, I really have no idea. I should, I think. I should hit you in the face one more time, break your nose again and just… throw you out of here.”

At least he hadn’t lied. He really had no idea what to do or how to react to all of this. Phil was there. After everything that had happened, after all the mourning, distancing and blaming himself… Phil was really there. With him. He was still standing in the middle of Clint’s living room, a streak of blood running down from his nose, but he made no move to wipe it off.

Clint had been imagining this moment. When he had tried to fall asleep he sometimes imagined what it would have been like, what he would have said or done if he knew Phil was alive. He had prepared speeches trying to think of something to say, to do. But now that Phil was really there, he had forgotten almost all of it. He couldn’t bring himself to voice anything.

Right then he had remembered the last time Phil had touched his arm, as he pressed their lips together in a good morning kiss, when Clint was making pancakes. Sometimes when he closed his eyes he could hear him in his ear during an op, making plans about dinner, teasing Phil, Phil telling him to focus on the job… and now that Phil was there, all of this came back to him.

“You can sit down, you know,” Clint said some time later. He had no idea how much time had passed actually, but since Phil hadn’t moved from his spot, he felt like he should say something at some point. And nothing else had come to his mind right then.

“Thank you.”

Phil sat down slowly, keeping his distance, but close enough for Clint to be aware of his presence there. Not that he needed any more reminders of the other man’s presence. He was startled when he felt a wet tongue on his fingers and Lucky leaning against his hand, but he opened his eyes and scratched the dog’s head gently. Lucky seemed to always sense when Clint was upset or unsettled and at first it was a bit strange, but soon he started to really appreciate it.

“Hey, dog,” he murmured.

Lucky continued to nuzzle against his hand, and suddenly he turned his head to look at Phil. Clint noticed they were looking at each other for a while, before Lucky just ignored the other man and gone back to leaning against Clint.

“What’s his name?” Phil asked quietly, still looking at the dog.

“Lucky. He’s weird, but a total goof ball,” Clint replied and Lucky waggled his tail then, which made Clint want to smile. The dog was a sucker for compliments and scratching behind the ear. “Wait. Shit. I forgot to give you your food, didn’t I. Come on.”

Clint stood up right away, patting Lucky’s head and went to the kitchen, appreciating the momentary diversion. It had given him time to try to collect his thoughts. He still felt uneasy, but as he knelt down and put the food into the bowl and set it on the floor, right next to the fridge, he managed to pull himself together. Lucky snuck up on him and managed to lick his face, which made Clint roll his eyes at him, but he scratched the dog’s head again.

“Thanks, buddy. I really needed it,” he said quietly, leaving Lucky to his bowl and after taking a deep breath he went back to the living room.

Phil was still there, sitting right where Clint left him, the only difference was that he had wiped the blood from his face, though Clint noticed a few red spots on the front of Phil’s light blue shirt. He had been looking around the room, thoughtful, but at the same time a bit lost, and Clint, even after everything that had happened, still hated seeing this look on the other man’s face. Their eyes had met when Clint had stepped closer. He had sat down, regretting not drinking anything before facing Phil again. His throat felt dry.

He had wondered what to do next. The silence had been slowly killing him, but on the other hand, he still had no idea what to say to his… to Phil. With the corner of his eye he had noticed Phil’s hand moving closer to his, but still not touching it. What Phil had been thinking? Suddenly Clint had felt tired. So tired. But he knew sleep was out of the question for that day.

“If I tell you to go right now,” he started, turning to look at the other man, “would you come back here tomorrow?”

“If that’s what you want, then yes, I will,” Phil answered right away, and Clint could see it in his eyes that he meant it. He was still afraid, but he didn’t want to lose it in front of Phil. He really needed some time to think about… everything, really. “Just tell me when.”

“Come back tomorrow evening, but only if you plan to tell me everything. The truth, this time,” he said and Phil nodded shortly. “I need to know what had really happened, Phil. And don’t… don’t lie to me again. If you want to lie then just… don’t come back. Because, honestly, I have no fucking idea what to do now and I need some time. Shit, Phil, I mourned and I thought I was losing my damn mind. And now you’re here and I am so fucking furious right now. All of this is seriously messed up, okay? I just need...”

“I understand.”

“I need time,” he repeated. “And I think I need to hit something again.”

As he had leaned back against the back of the couch he noticed that Phil seemed to want to say something, but for some reason decided against it. It looked like he wasn’t the only one affected by this meeting. There was something comforting in the way Phil had let himself be open around Clint once again, especially since he knew that, considering everything, all of this must have been difficult for the other man as well. Phil had been looking at his hands, the pain evident in his eyes. Clint had let himself put one hand on the couch, right next to Phil’s.

Phil sighed and stood up slowly.

“I’ll come back tomorrow,” he said. “I’m sorry, Clint. For everything. You don’t even know how sorry I am.”

Right after Phil had left the apartment, Clint leaned against the wall, closing his eyes. He lost it. He totally lost it. He started punching the wall, one, two, three, four times. He kept hitting until he felt his eyes burning and the blood dripping down his hand on the floor.

As he opened his eyes, he noticed Lucky looking at him, tilting his head slightly. Maybe taking a walk with Lucky would help him clear his head.

***

April 11th, 2014

Since Phil had told him about what had happened to S.H.I.E.L.D. Clint couldn’t stop thinking about it. Nat had briefly mentioned that something was wrong and S.H.I.E.L.D. had more problems than they were aware of, but she couldn’t tell him much when she was still on the assignment. When Clint heard what Phil knew about it and confirming what Nat suspected, Clint couldn’t believe that there were people who had betrayed them, people he had talked to, who could have been HYDRA agents this whole time and he had never noticed anything. What kind of agent had that made him? And how much had Natasha known? It had been some time since she had sent him last message, but he knew she would contact him as soon as she could. But if she knew much more and she didn’t mention it to him… this was not what he wanted to think about right then.

Clint was sitting on the couch, Lucky lying with his head on Clint’s lap, demanding petting. Clint was scratching the soft fur, but he kept thinking, wondering if he could have known or found out that something was apparently wrong? Could he have done anything, fought against the HYDRA agents, if he were there with the others? He had no idea. His mind was completely blank.

The first thing Clint had done after Phil had left his apartment after he told him about the HYDRA agents, was to find a computer and do something he knew was good at, something he had realized he should have done a long, long time ago. He needed more information. He found his laptop and that night he had ended up reading everything he could find about what had happened to other agents. His hacking skills were never as good as others, but he knew enough to find clues about the attacks and the traces of deleted files. He needed answers as soon as possible.

The only good thing about the current situation was that he knew Phil was alive. After telling Clint he was more or less okay, the other man actually stayed in touch as much as he could just as he promised, calling Clint and updating about his status. It helped a lot to take Clint’s mind off most of what was bothering him. Yes, it was still difficult to come to terms with the fact that Phil hadn’t contacted him for so long, but he tried to understand. He really did. And now, with both Phil and Natasha keeping in touch with him, he wasn’t as nervous anymore, even if he really hated sitting in his apartment when they were out there, fighting. But he knew they needed him to stay there, just in case they needed backup.

He wondered if Phil had told Nat that he was alive. He had considered contacting her at some point, but in the end decided to leave it for Phil, and he knew it would be better for all of them this way.

Suddenly Lucky sneezed, jumping off his lap so abruptly that Clint got up as well. When Lucky only looked at him, waggling his tail as if he was proud of himself, Clint rubbed his eyes.

“Seriously, dog? You scared me,” he said, but Lucky just padded to the kitchen

Clint sat back on the couch, sighing. When he felt his phone vibrating on the table, he answered right away without looking at the screen.

“Yeah?”

“Clint, can I come up?”

Clint opened his eyes when he heard how at the strange tone of Phil’s voice. He sounded worried and there was definitely something off about the situation.

“Hey, what’s up?”

“I would prefer not to talk about it over the phone. Are you in the apartment?”

“Yeah, I am. Come on up.”

When Phil entered the apartment a few minutes later, Clint was more surprised by the blood stains he saw on the sleeve of Phil’s shirt, barely hidden by his suit jacket, than by the fact that the man wasn’t alone. Not saying anything, he looked outside the corridor to see if the two were followed and after he locked up the door, he went to the living room.

Phil and Melinda May looked at him, the expressions on their faces confirming his feeling that something was very, very wrong. He did not like that look at all.

“Barton,” May said in greeting and Clint nodded at her.

“May.”

Phil must have noticed his slight uneasiness at their presence in his apartment and stepped closer to him. Only then Clint saw how tired the older man looked. His tie was slightly crooked, and Clint guessed that he hadn’t slept for a day or two. He fought the need to wrap his arms around Phil, like he would have done in the past, because it was definitely not the time for that. And he really didn’t need it right now, doesn’t matter how much he wished he could just embrace the other man.

They stood there for a while, completely silent, save for the sounds of Lucky eating in the kitchen. Clint looked at the blood stained shirt and Phil made a move adjust his jacket, so that it covered the dark spots.

“It’s not mine. Not all of it at least,” he explained quietly, looking down briefly. “There was an… accident, and I had no time to change.”

“Do you need me to get the first aid kit or something? Or something for the pain?” Clint pointed at the bathroom door, but Phil only shook his head.

“No. No, thank you. I took care of it already,” Phil replied. “But… do you maybe have a spare shirt? Anything would be good.”

He sounded really uncertain, as if he wasn’t sure if Clint would actually say yes. But he just nodded and left the room. He hadn’t done laundry yet, but he had some clean t-shirts and considered getting one for Phil, but then he remembered a shirt laying in the back of the drawer. One he had hid there after… he sighed. He took out the shirt, looked at it briefly, and went back to the living room. He had heard May whispering something to Phil after he had left, but now they were both silent.

“Here,” he said, handing Phil the shirt.

Phil’s eyes widened slightly as he looked at it, his mouth opening slightly. “It’s mine. You kept it?” he asked quietly, looking up at Clint.

“Yeah,” Clint shrugged. “I couldn’t just leave it at your place after you… left. I have your cufflinks, too, if…”

Phil didn't say anything to that.

After Phil changed his shirt, Clint brought water for the three of them, wondering what the other man wanted to talk to him about. And why May was even there.

Phil had mentioned his new team when they had talked before, which at first made Clint angry. Why wouldn’t it? These were people who knew Phil was alive when Clint had been oblivious as he had been sitting in his apartment and taking his dog for walks. And now May was here, letting them talk while observing the whole apartment.

Clint knew how she operated, even if they hadn’t worked together before, save for occasional consulting on the same ops. He had heard enough, though. She was a person anyone should be wary around and she knew how to gain the advantage over her opponents. He realized right away that May knew much more than she let on, and from the way she kept an eye on Clint when Phil stepped closer to him, she did not trust him at all. The feeling was mutual.

“I believe Natasha has informed you of at least some details about what she’s working on, am I right?” Phil said and only then Clint looked away from May to nod.

“Some, yeah. It’s been some time since she contacted me, though. Why?”

“Has she told you about suspected HYDRA agents?”

Clint shook his head to that, leaning against the table. “No. She just mentioned working with Falcon and Steve on getting to them, but not much else. She’s been busy.”

May and Phil exchanged glances. Well, that was definitely not good.

“They believe Sitwell was HYDRA.”

Clint blinked, surprised.

“What?” he looked first at Phil then at May. “But that’s not possible. He couldn’t. He wouldn’t have…”

“He… disappeared,” Phil sighed. “After encountering Natasha and Captain Rogers. Everyone assumed he had died because of the height he fell from, but when we had checked for his body, we couldn’t find anything. Not even a sign of him even being there.”

“What we had managed to find was that Sitwell met with Fury, but it was mentioned only briefly, without any records from the meeting. They wanted to keep it low profile,” added May.

“So, what, you think Fury knew about Sitwell?”

“It is a possibility,” May nodded, but other than that she had not said anything else.

Clint ran a hand through his hair and sat down on the couch. He closed his eyes and pinched the bridge of his nose, but as he felt Lucky’s cold nose on his fingers, he put a hand on the dog’s head and scratched behind one ear.

“Jasper wouldn’t do that, would he?” he asked finally, looking up at Phil.

“We want to find him,” May reached into her pocket slowly, taking something out. It was a comm. link.

“Would you help?” Phil’s eyes were focused on his right then and Clint saw the shadow of insecurity that was still there. He understood. Things between them were still… rocky, but did Phil really think Clint would say no? Probably. After everything, Clint understood. But still…

Phil exhaled as Clint took the earpiece from May’s hand and looked at it. They were standing close to each other, and he took comfort in the sound of Phil’s slow but steady breathing.

“Just tell me what to do, Boss,” he finally said, closing his fingers around the device. How could he not?

Phil nodded in answer, a small smile tugging at his lips.

Clint let himself smile, too. However, right then he couldn’t stop thinking about Sitwell, and what they’d been through when they worked together…

***

September 21th, 2007

“Shit, Sitwell, you better wake up soon,” Clint murmured quietly and looked around. When he saw no trace of anybody following him he exhaled quietly and put a currently unconscious Jasper Sitwell on the ground and maneuvered him in a sitting position against the biggest tree. He knelt in front of him and unbuttoned the first three buttons of Sitwell’s shirt. Just as he expected, the bruise was clearly visible, red and purple and Clint winced. He couldn’t do anything about that now. At least Sitwell was breathing.

He stood up and regretted it right away, as he felt a sharp pain in his right leg, right below his knee. Sitting down he cut off the pants leg to check the wound. It wasn’t very deep, but it was bleeding heavily. Too heavily. He shook his head.

“Just great,” he groaned. He took the pant leg and cut it in half, wrapping one around his leg. The piece of material was not enough to make it stop bleeding, he knew, but he really hoped it will be enough until could think of something to save them. Or until Sitwell woke up.

Clint sat on the ground next to Sitwell.

It was supposed to be an easy mission. His target was a drug dealer who was also selling information about the double agents from various organizations, and could have blow covers of various S.H.I.E.L.D. agents. Williams was leading the op, but it was Sitwell, who agreed to go undercover for the mission, was to give Clint a sign after got the information Fury wanted from the guy. Clint was there just to shoot. But, just as Clint thought, it all looked too easy right from the beginning.

Everything went well until Sitwell asked for the flashdrive. Two thugs caught Sitwell by his shoulders while the third one had hit him in the stomach. Clint reacted right away, shooting their target right in the eye. Three other men left Sitwell on the ground, kicking him in the ribs, as they had no weapon on them (a part of their deal), and Clint left his nest and run to check on Sitwell. He had hoped the rest of the team could handle everything else.

He knelt down and checked for pulse. Sitwell was alive. He sighed, relieved. Suddenly something in his comm link started to click and he had realized the line went suddenly dead. He gritted his teeth, his head starting to hurt as he took the earpiece out. At least he still had the second hearing aid with him. Before he could do anything else there was a loud explosion and the ceiling was falling on them. One big piece fell near them, shattering into smaller pieces, hitting Sitwell in the chest. When he felt pain in the back of his neck, he screamed. They had to get out of there.

Clint grabbed Sitwell and as quickly as possible left the building. He didn’t even notice when he’d gotten hurt, only after they left the building he’d felt sting and had to kneel down, nearly dropping Sitwell. He couldn’t stop. He stood up, and focused on walking towards the nearby forest. There wasn’t much else he could do now. He tried to focus on walking instead of on his leg or the pain in the neck where one of the pieces of the ceiling must have hit him. He didn’t turn around even when he heard the building falling down behind them.

Clint shook his head and looked at the unconscious agent, trying to think of anything that would explain their current situation, but his head was hurting too much. He checked his comm. link again, but nothing. They were alone. At least they weren’t followed. It was better than the alternative, that’s for sure. He put his bow next to him, his head falling back against the tree. Shit. Opening his backpack, he took out his half-empty water bottle. He took a sip.

He patted Sitwell on the cheek, but when it didn’t work he poured some water on his hand and wiped it across Sitwell’s forehead . “Come on, wake up,” he said quietly. “Damn it, Sitwell, we have to get out of here and you’re sleeping. Not cool. Wake up…”

There was still no reaction. He leaned against the tree. There was nothing he could do now… in his current condition he wouldn’t be able to support Sitwell’s weight for long enough to get out of the forest and leaving the other agent here was out of question. And he had a feeling he’d start feeling the effects of the hit to the head. Just great. It wasn’t how he had planned to spend this Friday.

He had no idea how much time had passed. He shook Sitwell gently.

“If you don’t wake up soon, Sitwell, I promise you, I’m going to tell Coulson that it was you who ruined his expensive, awesome pen and…”

“…shut up, Barton…”

The answer was very quiet, but Clint let out a relieved sigh as he helped Sitwell sit up more comfortably against the tree. The long groan escaped his lips as the Clint gently touched the bruise on his collarbone to check how bad it was.

“Next time choose a better time for a nap, asshole,” Clint said, sighing in relief as Sitwell swore quietly, but sat up more comfortably against the tree, but using his own strength this time. “How are your ribs?”

“Hurt, so it means they are still there,” Sitwell took the bottle from the ground and took a sip. “Why the hell are we here? What happened?”

Clint closed his eyes for a moment. “You were hit on the head and kicked in the ribs. I shot the target and went inside. The comm link went dead, the ceiling almost fell on us and I had to carry you out. You have bruised ribs and collarbone.”

“And you?”

Clint shrugged. “I’m fine.”

“Barton, I can see you clenching your teeth.”

“I’ve been worse. Better think of how to get out of here. What the hell happened there anyway?”

Sitwell sighed. “It was a trap. I noticed some kind of wire coming out from the pocket of the guy’s jacket and heard beeping. I pretended not to notice and asked for the info. I moved my hand and I guess they thought I was reaching into to my pocket…”

“Did you have something in that pocket?” When Sitwell shook his head Clint cursed again. “So it means they were prepared better than we were and just assumed we were up to something… shit, I knew something wasn’t right. It was too easy. But who could have… you know what? It doesn’t matter right now. Let’s focus on getting out of here.”

Sitwell checked his comm. link but no such luck. It was out as well. Somebody must have know how to jam the signal. It was all a part of the plan, apparently. Somebody from their team must have worked for their target, there was no other explanation for it. But they could take care of it later. After they both are safely back on the helicarrier.

Sitwell, took off his jacket, which was now ruined, and groaned as he tried to stand up. “I managed to send a signal to Coulson. Right after I noticed the wire… I just hope they were able to trace it. Come on, help me stand up. We don’t know if they’re gone or not, better not stay in the open for too long.”

Clint nodded and stood up, turning from Sitwell so the other agent wouldn’t see him wince in pain. Damn, maybe the wound wasn’t as superficial as he had thought. He could feel he was bleeding, but there was no time to waste. He has been telling the truth, he'd gotten out of tougher situations with worse damages. He could handle a wounded leg and a small headache. He bit his lip to keep himself from groaning in pain, took his backpack and his bow and caught up with Sitwell who already headed towards their original rendezvous point. Maybe someone from their team had managed to trace the signal and get there somehow.

Sitwell walked slowly, still on shaky legs and obviously weak. He was probably still feeling the pain from the blow to the head, but kept looking around, making sure they’re alone. Clint had his bow ready. They were walking quietly for about five minutes and Clint had to do something to distract himself from the sudden tiredness that overcame him.

“Fuck,” he murmured and stopped to lean against the nearest tree. Sitwell must have noticed, because he turned around.

“What are you… Barton!” He was next to Clint right away, brow furrowed. “I asked you, you said you are fine enough to walk.”

“I am. Just… I may be a bit dizzy?”

“Dizzy? Why?”

Clint closed his eyes briefly, hoping that everything would stop spinning so they could get out of here. “It’s really nothing. I’ll be fine in a minute,” he made a move to walk away, but Sitwell’s hand held him in place firmly. His hands were still shaking.

“Damn it, Barton, you tell me now, what is wrong! Is it your hearing aids? Your head? What?”

Clint sighed. “I still have one hearing aid. A piece of the ceiling may have hit me on the back of my head when I picked you up in the building.”

“A piece of… shit! Fuck! You shouldn’t be moving right now,” Sitwell said, but winced as he blinked a couple of times as if trying to focus. He must still have feel pretty weak, he had been unconscious about a half hour before, after all. He also shouldn’t be moving right now, but they couldn’t afford that. They both knew that.

“We can’t waste time Sitwell. I’ll be fine.”

“And how will I explain to Coulson that a ceiling fell on you?” Clint only looked down breathing heavily and soon he was sitting by the tree, Sitwell looking into his eyes. “You have a concussion. I have no idea how you managed to walk for as long as we did and feeling dizzy only now… it would be easier if you weren’t wearing pants.”

“You know I’m already taken, right?” Clint tried to joke, but Sitwell only rolled his eyes.

“Oh, believe me, I do. Though I still have no idea why Coulson puts up with you.”

“My cooking skills.”

“And your conversation skills as well, I’m sure.”

Clint laughed, but groaned as Sitwell unwrapped the material from around his leg, trying to be gentle, but he couldn’t really do much more at the moment.

“Fuck, Barton! This is not ‘nothing’! You shouldn’t be walking at all! That’s it, we’re staying here and I’m going to wrap that properly. Shit, you lost a lot of blood…”

Clint sighed, already feeling sleepy. He could feel his eyes closing. Shit. “Jasper, we need to find a more secure location, you said so yourself.”

“Changed my mind. Right now we have a higher chances of surviving by staying here. The trees and the bushes shelter us and I think we’re deep enough to be able to hide if we need to,” Sitwell said, looking around, but it was obvious he felt nervous as well.

“I’m not…”

“I don’t care, Barton,” Sitwell interrupted him and put his head in his hands for a while, leaning against Clint a little bit. “We’re staying here. Sit still or I’ll tie you up, got it?”

“Hm, kinky.”

Sitwell shook his head, but got back to wrapping Clint’s wound.

“Jasper, I think I’m going to pass out…” Clint murmured after a while, just as the other agent finished wrapping his leg again. “Tell Phil I’m sorry?”

Sitwell blinked, shocked. “What? Come on, Clint, don’t pass out now. Tell Phil what? Talk to me.”

“It was my turn to cook… wanted to make salmon for him. With lots of vegetables and all…”

“Don’t worry, you’ll cook it for him when you get back. Because if I don’t get you back to Phil in one piece, he will kill me.”

“Nah, he won’t… too messy. He’ll just make you do paperwork forever.”

“That is exactly what I meant. So stay awake, okay?” Clint blinked and saw the worried look on Sitwell’s face. He wanted to stay awake, he really did.

“Shit, sorry, Jasper…”

“Clint. Come on. Clint!”

Clint didn’t even have strength to reply as his eyes closed.

***

September 25th, 2007

When Clint woke up, his head hurt. It was a throbbing pain that always ended up making him even more tired than usual, and he couldn’t even open his eyes without feeling like his head might explode when he moves it. And his leg hurt as well, but at least it meant it was still there. Other than that it wasn’t too bad. At least he thought so.

Only when his fingers tightened on a comforter he realized he was in a bed. Yes, he felt the soft sheets, and when he exhaled deeply, the familiar, clinical smell of rooms in S.H.I.E.L.D. medical filled his nose, which was actually much more comforting than he expected. It was something. He let himself relax against the warm bed and the pillow, sighing quietly.

He mostly remembered what happened before he passed out - explosions, collapsing building, Sitwell getting hurt, trees, leaning against the tree - but if he was in a bed, he must have been okay. Or at least okay-ish. Where was Sitwell anyway? And Phil? How did he get to medical in the first place? And where were his hearing aids?

He had no idea how much time had passed since he woke up. It was hard to tell when he kept his eyes closed all the time, but at least the headache seemed to pass a bit. He tried to open his eyes again, but the light was quite overwhelming. As soon as his eyes got used to the bright room he noticed two familiar figures outside of the room, which made him sigh in relief.

They were talking, Sitwell’s brows furrowed as Phil put a hand on his shoulder. Clint squinted and focused on their lips to read what they were saying. Phil was the only one who was standing in a position that allowed Clint to actually read parts of what he was saying, but it was better than nothing.

“… get some sleep…will stay with him now.”

Clint had no idea what Sitwell’s answer was, but it looked like Sitwell was clenching his fists.

“Jasper… you have a week off…” Phil said, shaking his head, looking pretty much as if he were talking the junior agents. “…should be staying in bed… the next two days, at least… don’t look at me like that… doctor’s report sooner or later… go.”

Sitwell raised his hand slightly, but Phil shook his head.

“Don’t… I know that?” Phil snapped at Sitwell, looking very tired right then. Clint hated it. He blinked and focused on Phil once again.“…already dealt with everything pressing… coming here and schedule… Maria and Blake can handle everything… will let you know when he wakes up…”

Sitwell must have said something then, because he turned rapidly and left, leaving Phil standing in the corridor, looking worried. Clint closed his eyes again, still feeling slightly tired. Shit. He hated headaches.

When he opened his eyes again, Phil was sitting right next to his bed, one hand on the sheet next to Clint’s. Clint wanted to say something, but then he felt a piercing pain in his chest and a sudden coughing fit made it impossible for him to breathe. His throat was dry and irritated and he couldn’t stop coughing, damnit!

“Clint!”

Phil’s warm hand was on his back, helping him sit up a bit. He had no idea what the man was saying, but he could guess, judging by the way warm fingers wrapped around his wrist gently.

Clint took a few deep breaths and he finally could lie back against the pillow more comfortably. Phil helped him drink some water and told him to lie down again, his hand not leaving Clint’s shoulder. But Clint didn’t feel like lying down, so Phil sat down right on the edge of the bed, next to Clint’s hip, then wrapped his fingers around Clint’s, squeezing gently.

“How long were you awake,” Phil signed after a while, making sure Clint had a clear view on his hands.

“Not long. Ten minutes. Not sure. My hearing aids.”

Clint glanced at Phil quickly and seeing the worry in the other man’s eyes made him feel bad, even if technically, none of it was his fault, really. Still, he hated being the reason Phil felt bad. Phil reached into the pocket of his jacket and took out Clint’s spare pair of hearing aids, which meant the other one was ruined.

After he put one in, Clint cleared his throat and took a sip of water Phil offered him again.

“How are you feeling?” Phil asked quietly, as always making sure not to be too loud after Clint put the hearing aids in.

“Could have been worse. My head still hurts a bit. How is Sitwell?” he asked, remembering more of what had happened. “He carried me for while, but was unconscious before that. They had been prepared, Phil. They beat him up. He was dizzy but…”

“We know. He stayed in bed for a while and took a couple of days off. He was here just now. Sometimes he can be as stubborn as you.”

“Yeah, I saw you talking,” Clint smiled, but soon he groaned. The whole op went wrong. “Fuck, Phil, someone had to tell them about our plan or something. They must have been prepared. The building was cleared, like they had wanted it to collapse, or to trap us. I dunno. We haven’t seen anyone after we got out and lost contact with Williams…”

“Jasper told us. We had managed to track the signal Jasper had sent, but we had to check the area first. Apparently they had left right after the building collapsed, which means they probably had assumed you’ll stay in the building. Williams had made sure to get you out as soon as possible,” Phil said quietly and moved to press a gentle kiss to Clint’s lips, making sure not to lean against him too much. “You should get back to sleep, Clint.”

“Hm, later.”

“Okay. Let’s call the doctor first, and then we’ll talk.”

Clint still didn’t feel too good, but nodded. Better to get all of this over with. His leg felt less numb, but doctor Lance told him he’d have to stay in bed for at least a month to let the leg heal anyway and gave Phil instructions to keep Clint off his feet as long as possible. Clint knew there was no arguing with Phil about that, a habit developed over the years of working together and Clint trying his best to get himself out of medical. Fortunately Clint also managed to find a few ways to persuade Phil to at least let him go to the range from time to time. Though from the stern look on the other man’s face, this time getting out of bed earlier might not be as easy.

As soon as the doctor left, Clint told Phil everything he remembered from what had happened, waiting for the other man to write everything down. A couple of minutes later Hill was there, too. The sooner he told them everything, the sooner the asshole that sold them out would be caught, right? For the whole time as Clint was talking Hill was going through something in her phone, looking at him occasionally, but it was obvious she had been alarmed by what she’d heard.

After she left to decide what to do next, Phil stayed by Clint’s bedside. Apparently he sent a text to Sitwell to let him know Clint woke up. Doctor Lance brought Clint pain medication and Clint wanted to tell him that he was fine and a bruised leg is nothing, really, but then Phil, as always, promised the doctor he would keep an eye on Clint, silencing all his protests. When he said it, he also squeezed Clint’s knee, and okay, Clint could not complain about a couple of days off if Phil would be there with him. Besides, his head was still killing him and sleeping it off did not sound so bad. He sighed quietly, trying not to think about the killer headache.

“Hill will be working on this, right?” Clint asked, when Phil handed him a glass of water again. “I could help.”

“Yes. She got authorization from Nick to take over from Williams. We need to find out who is responsible for all of this and Maria has analysts on it already, and Blake was assigned to help her as well. You’re staying off your feet.”

Clint rolled his eyes at that. “When can I leave?”

“Clint, you only woke up about two hours ago,” Phil stated, putting the glass on the bedside table, then turning to look at Clint again. “And judging by the look on your face, your head must still hurt. You should get more sleep.”

“Oh, come on, Phil… you know I sleep better in your bed,” he smirked when he said it and glanced at Phil, who shook his head, but it was obvious he was trying not to smile. “I promise to try to stay in bed. But you have to admit, it would be much easier if you were there with me. To make sure I’m okay, you know.”

“If you don’t take him with you, he’ll just keep complaining until someone throws him out of here. How about you just save everyone time and nerves?”

Sitwell entered the room and Clint grinned at the amusement in the man’s tone. Phil snorted at that, but did not argue.

Overall, Sitwell looked much better than a few days ago, that much was sure. It was obvious he still must have been a bit exhausted, but other than dark rings rounding his eyes Clint saw no other signs that would indicate he was attacked days before.

“How are you?” Sitwell asked, signing the words at the same time. Clint smiled at him then. Sitwell’s signing skills were a bit… rusty, but it was a nice gesture nevertheless.

“Fine. I will get better when Phil gets me out if here, though. You?”

“I got a couple of days off. Go, Coulson, I’ll babysit him until you get his clothes.”

“Thanks, Sitwell,” Clint winked at the man when Phil promised to bring him clothes and something to eat after he finished Clint’s paperwork.

“You’re welcome, Barton.”

PART 2/2



 
 
*Mood*: excitedexcited
 
 
 
Julie: Original ★ fanfictionragnarok_08 on August 18th, 2015 06:47 pm (UTC)
Whoa - this fic was just so fantastic :DDDDDDD
Megan Moonlight: phil/clint2megan_moonlight on August 19th, 2015 05:32 pm (UTC)
Thank you :)
verdande_miverdande_mi on August 18th, 2015 08:57 pm (UTC)
This will be my reward for continuing painting my room tomorrow and if I was not dead on my feet I would probably cave and read now :D
Megan Moonlight: phil/clint2megan_moonlight on August 19th, 2015 05:33 pm (UTC)
I hope you'll like it! :D
verdande_miverdande_mi on August 29th, 2015 06:31 am (UTC)
I did, I did :) Sorry for the late comment, RL happened! Even though I know very little about canon in the films and even less anything about Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, still somehow these two work for me even when not AU. I enjoyed the uncertainly between them in this, and that the trust and familiarity had time to rebuild. :D
Megan Moonlight: phil/clint2megan_moonlight on August 29th, 2015 06:25 pm (UTC)
I was sticking only to a part of the canon, actually - in the end I ignored Season 2 of AoS and Age of Ultron because I haven't seen them, but I did some research for everything that happens before them.

I'm very glad it still worked for you :) I really loved writing the relationship development and how they worked together. Even writing a fic about Phil and Clint makes me emotional *lol*