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28 August 2015 @ 08:03 pm
FIC: (Not) Like an Open Book (MCU, Phil/Clint, Sif/Darcy), G  
Title: (Not) Like an Open Book
Author: megan_moonlight
Date of Posting: August 28th, 2015
Rating: G
Fandom: Marvel Conematic Universe
Characters/Pairings: Phil Coulson/Clint Barton, Darcy Lewis/Sif, Sam Wilson, Steve Rogers, Natasha Romanov
Disclaimer: All the characters © Stan Lee, Jack Kirby. I make no money from this.
Summary: Phil Coulson owns a bookstore. Clint Barton always comes in five minutes before Phil is about to close said store.
Spoilers: None
Warnings: None
Beta: lil_1337 (thank you so much for help! ♥)
Author's Notes: Here is my work for selenic76's Writerly Summer Fling 2015.
It's based on one of the AU prompts found *HERE* at potentiality_26's tumblr:
"That one asshole costumer that always comes in 5 minutes before the store is about to close au"
I always wanted to write a bookstore/library AU for Phil/Clint, and I finally did it. It was lots, lots of fun, and so was including Sam and Darcy, who are wonderful. I ended up loving this idea so much!
Mentioned at: At AO3 *HERE*


Phil Coulson put down the notebook and sighed, satisfied. He had managed to finish everything for that day, catalogue all new books, check all new orders they had received and complete all the paperwork. It was a very successful day overall. Also, fifteen more minutes and he would be able to close the bookstore and head home, enjoy the donuts he had bought during his break, and watch whatever was available on his DVR.

The contentment and satisfaction must have shown on his face, because Darcy Lewis, his employee and friend, smiled as she walked past him towards the windows. She already had her jacket on and seemed to be ready to leave as well, but decided she would not leave until she arranged the new books in their shop-window display.

“Boss, you look like can’t wait to leave already. Should I be offended or something?”

She waggled her eyebrows at him, walking backwards to look at him briefly, before she turned towards the window again.

“Never,” he replied, as he finished closing out the cash drawer. “I just can’t wait to sit down for a while and maybe watch something.”

“Oh, I know what you mean. But we sold so much stuff today! It was awesome. I think bringing the display closer to the door was a good idea – Sif, Fandral and Volstagg agreed, too. Hogun kind of grunted, but it didn’t sound like he hated it, so that’s cool.”

“I’m very glad they approve,” Phil adjusted his glasses. “Their opinion is very appreciated, as always.”

“I’ll tell them you said that,” Darcy grinned. “Oh, by the way, if we’re talking relaxing and doing an awesome job in general, could I get a day off next Friday?”

Phil raised one eyebrow at her, as she stepped back a bit to admire her work. She always did have an eye for composition and details.

“Yes, I believe so. As long as as we manage to get everything done by Thursday, I’ll handle the rest.”

“Great,” she turned to look at him, taking her phone out of her jeans pocket. “Thanks, boss. Sif has reservations for us in some really fancy restaurant already and she’s preparing a surprise for me! She asked Pepper about it, but she wouldn’t tell me anything else. It’s one of those very, very romantic places, with candles and music. Look.”

Darcy stepped closer to the counter and showed him pictures of a restaurant on her phone. It was a very nice place, indeed. However, Before he had a chance to comment, the door to the bookstore opened slightly and Phil had to fight the urge to sigh. Wonderful.

The man who came in, Clint Barton, was one of their usual customers. He had been coming in to buy books at their shop for at least two months now. And there wasn't anything wrong with that, of course, it was wonderful, but the man had a habit of always coming in right before Phil was about to close the shop. He was in about once or twice a week, browsing, buying, or collecting the books he had ordered, and he always did so on days when Phil was standing behind the counter. Or at least Darcy has never mentioned him being in on days where she was the one closing the shop.

But Phil cared about his customers and was a professional, so he always stayed until Barton had picked whatever he wanted. After about a month Phil had started to wonder what the man was doing with the range of books he was buying. It was difficult not to wonder when every time he had been picking books from different genres. At first he was buying cooking books, and he seemed to be interested in baking, too. After that he had also started picking out books about dogs, about traveling, road maps, spy fiction, science fiction, history books, books about cars, technical manuals… it was intriguing. Annoying, too, since Barton always stayed late at the shop, but still intriguing.

“Hello, sorry. Are you still open?” Barton entered the shop, smiling. Today he seemed to be even more cocky than usually. “Is it too late to pick up the books I ordered on Wednesday? I’m kind of in hurry, so it would be great if I had them today.”

Darcy smiled at Barton and for some reason winked at Phil as she disappeared behind the door to the back of the shop. He should have expected that.

He glanced down at his watch and smiled politely at Barton, trying to hide his annoyance at the other man’s attitude. He was a professional after all. “Of course. I’ll get them right away.”

Before he could enter the back of the shop, Darcy opened the door, already holding the parcel addressed for Barton, a huge smile still on her face. He took it from her and she waggled her eyebrows at him again. It was definitely not as amusing as she thought it was.

“Here are your books,” he said, looking up at Barton, who stood by the counter, drumming his fingers against the counter top. “That would be 35.20.”

“Sure, yeah,” Barton started searching his pockets. He took out the money and handed them to Phil, their fingers touching for a second. Phil definitely did not pay attention to how Barton licked his lips briefly, nor to the way the man slightly flexed his very well built arms. “Here you go. I’m really, really sorry for making you stay late for this. I planned to came in earlier, but work keeps me kind of busy lately.”

‘You never come earlier than ten minutes before the closing time,’ Phil wanted to say, but he stopped himself. It wouldn’t be a nice thing to say to a customer who spends a lot of money in your shop.

“It’s fine, Mr. Barton,” he said instead.

“Just Clint,” Barton said, as Phil murmured “Phil Coulson” and shook his hand. The other man glanced at the books as he picked them up, along with the change Phil put on top of the parcel. “Thanks again. Have a good night.”

“You, too,” Phil replied and as soon as the door after Barton, Clint, closed, he turned to gather his jacket from the chair and put it on right away, hiding the money in the pocket of his jacket. He could deal with rectifying the shop’s income the next day.

“You should totally talk to that guy, boss,” Darcy said after locking the door, handing him the keys. “He looked like he felt bad about coming in late when you gave him the books. Maybe if you talked to him or something…”

“Darcy,” Phil checked his pockets and left the shop, checking the alarm and locking the door. He sighed quietly before answering. “Customers can come in as late as they want for whatever reason. It’s not my business why he does, and he doesn’t have to explain himself to me. I doubt he would want to discuss something like that with a stranger, anyway.”

“Well, you’re not total stranger, but… oh,” Darcy bit his lip as she looked up from her phone. “So you did think about talking to him, you just don’t want to meddle! Come on, do you like him?”

“I don’t know what you mean, Darcy,” Phil hid the keys with the money, not looking at his friend.

“Please. I know you.”

“Most of it you know from Pepper.”

“And Pepper knows and me and you. See? It all makes perfect sense. Come on, you must have looked at his arms.”

“Good night, Darcy.”

“Night, boss!”



Phil looked up from his book to see two people coming into the bookstore. The redheaded woman seemed to eye him up and down before turning to browse the geography books. He had a feeling that even if she was focusing on the books, she still closely observed his every move. It was a bit intimidating, but Phil didn’t think about it, only put down his book.

The man, on the other hand, walked up to him right away, smiling.

“Hi, I wanted to pick up books for Clint Barton.”

Phil blinked at that, brows furrowing. Well, that was just strange.

“Does Mr. Barton know you want to pick up his order?”

The man blinked, clearly surprised, but he recovered soon enough. Phil noticed the woman glanced at him once again, but remained silent.

“Yeah, he does. My name’s Sam Wilson, I work with him. Here’s his number, if you want to check,” the man handed Phil an already prepared piece of paper with a number on it, a number Phil recognized right away, since he was reading it every time Clint has ordered something.

“I do have Mr. Barton’s number, thank you.”

Phil looked at the piece of paper again, then up at Sam, who was still smiling, but turned to look at the leaflets lying on the counter briefly. He seemed genuine, too. There was just something about this man that inspired trust.

From the way the woman kept glancing at them he assumed she knew Clint as well.

However, their visit made Phil a little bit worried, too. For a moment he wanted to ask what had happened, since Clint always came in himself to get his books, but then he reminded himself once again, that it actually wasn’t his business at all. Neither Sam nor the redheaded woman would probably even tell him anything anyway, because why would they?

“He won’t be able to get here himself today, so we volunteered to bring him the books,” Sam explained, pointing with his thumb in the direction of the woman that came in with him, confirming Phil’s suspicion. “He reads a lot lately. He’ll probably need a second bookcase, soon.”

When the door opened again, he blinked a couple of times, barely believing who just came to his shop.

In was Steve Rogers. Steve Rogers, the artist whose pictures Phil had hung in the bookstore. And in his apartment as well. He had admired the man’s work for a few years, since he had first saw the man drawing in the park nearby. And now he was standing in Phil’s bookstore.

He heard the door to the back of the shop opening, and then closing and only then he looked down on his papers, realizing he might have been staring. He sighed, adjusted his glasses and looked up again.

“Hello,” Mr. Rogers said, a brilliant smile on his face. He tilted his head slightly then, and Phil knew what he was looking at. Phil had hung one of his favorite of Steve’s paintings right there near the counter.

“Good morning, Mr. Rogers,” Phil said, shaking the man’s outstretched hand, grateful that his voice was not shaking. “It’s… very nice to meet you. How can I help you?”

“Call me Steve, please. Actually, I’m here with Sam and Natasha to pick up Clint’s books,” Steve answered. “He said it shouldn’t be a problem when we show you his phone number.”

“Of course,” Phil glanced first at Sam then at Steve, and then at the redheaded woman who must have been Natasha. “If Mr. Barton is fine with it.”

Phil put the books on the counter and Sam picked them up, as Steve signed the receipt. Just in case, to give it to Clint later if he wanted it.

“Every time Clint wants to get here before the closing time he runs out of work, you know,” Sam said.

“He likes coming here,” Steve said smiling at Phil. “I don’t remember the last time he was as excited about anything as about coming to your bookstore. Clint isn’t the type to stick around in one place for long, so I’m glad he has something to do besides his work.”

“Well, I’m glad,” Phil replied, not knowing what else to say. The way Sam and Steve talked about Clint was not the impression he got from seeing the man come in to his shop at all. Clint seemed to be extremely confident, mostly cocky, but now that he thought about it, there were moments when Clint’s eyes became a bit sad, but Phil felt like he wasn’t in a position to ask about something as personal. There was much more to Clint than he had thought at the beginning.

And now Phil wanted to find out even more about him. Apparently Clint really wasn’t coming in late just to be an asshole. Looked like he was working late every week day, or else he’d have been picking up his books on days that weren’t as busy to him.

“He will be back next week,” the woman, Natasha, said, looking him straight in the eyes, as if she was searching for something. She must have found it, because after he said he would prepare the next list of book recommendations for Clint, she nodded, and followed Sam and Steve out.

After they left Phil sat down on his chair, sighing. Wonderful. His… crush, as Darcy has called it on numerous occasions, on Clint wasn’t going away anytime soon, looked like.

“Boss, you know that was Steve Rogers, right?” Darcy leaned against the counter, still looking where Steve, Sam and Natasha disappeared just a moment ago.

“Yes, Darcy, I do know.”

“And he was with Natasha Romanov and Sam Wilson.”

“Wait, do you know them?” Phil raised one eyebrow at her and she sat right there on the counter, shrugging, but there was a spark in her eyes.

“You mean you don’t? I thought you would have seen one of them when you visited Pepper,” she blinked. “I mean, I’ve never met them, but I’ve seen them when I’ve visited Pepper. Sam is working as a security guard, that much I’m sure of. Do you know what that means, boss? Maybe your guy works for Stark, too.”

“He’s… he’s not my guy.”

“Well, not yet. Soon, though, considering how much you both can’t wait to see each other and ‘talk about books.’”


“Hey, boss, you busy?”

Phil looked up from the list of books he’d just printed out.

He still had four cardboard boxes of books to check and catalogue, and he had wanted to finish it as soon as possible. Honestly, he was a bit excited about their new supply and the orders people were doing. They received more of comic books and science fiction this time, and it was refreshing, to say the least.

“A bit, but I will stay late today anyway. What is it?”

“There might or might not be someone waiting for his books. And for you, too, considering he asked where you were,” she stage whispered, winking at him.

Phil looked at his watch. It was about five minutes to closing of the shop. And it was Wednesday.

“I’ll be right out,” he said, putting the documents away and sighing quietly.

It would be the first time they had seen each other since Clint’s friends came to his shop. He might have been a bit more nervous than he thought at first. And he might have been over thinking all of this. Darcy could have been wrong, after all, and maybe Clint was there only to buy books, nothing else. He was too old for this.

He exhaled quietly, grabbed the parcel addressed for Clint and opened the door. Darcy was already pretending to be busy with preparing the new display, as if she had already forgotten she wanted to leave a few minutes earlier. Phil, however, focused on Clint Barton who was waiting by the counter, looking at the new books lying there.

“Hello,” Phil said and Clint looked up, a small sheepish smile on his face. Not like the ones Phil was used to seeing before.

“Hi,” Clint run a hand through his hair. “I’m kind of late again…”

“It’s not a problem,” Phil smiled back, but this time it actually wasn’t him just being polite. “Here are the books you ordered.”

“Thanks,” Clint took the parcel, but his hand stayed very close to Phil’s. If he moved it just a bit their hands would be touching and Phil noticed a slight blush appearing on Clint’s cheeks. The other man hid the parcel in his backpack, bit his lip and turned to look at Phil. “Listen, about Sam, Steve and Nat getting my books the other day? Was everything okay?”

“Yes, it was. I kept the receipt if you wanted it,” he opened his notebook and took out the receipt.

“So, I guess they also talked to you? I mean… I heard they did,” he briefly glanced in Darcy’s direction, hand tightening on the receipt. “I honestly had no idea they would do that. I mean, I could have suspected, but I hope you weren’t weirded out by that.”

“No, of course I wasn’t. It’s good to have friends like that,” Phil smiled. “Though I admit, I was a bit surprised to see them. I was ready to call you.”

“I bet. I know you’re a fan of Steve’s work,” he pointed to one of the paintings with his chin.

“Well, it’s difficult not to be. It’s spectacular how he works with layers and colors. The way he chooses the perspective and shadows is really impressive.”

Clint blinked, and only then Phil noticed that the man’s smile faded a bit. “Oh, well. Yeah. I don’t know much about art, but he’s great, I guess. He works on them a lot. I mean, I could bring him with me the next time or something, and you can talk to him…”

As Phil looked down on the counter, he frowned. It would be nice to see Steve again, of course, and maybe talk to him, too, but he hoped Clint wanted to meet him. Maybe he misunderstood something…

“Oh, come on,” Darcy turned from the display, looking disbelieving between them, still holding two books she didn’t manage to arrange. “Boss, I love you, you know that, but that was just awful. You just can’t tell the guy you have a crush on about how awesome you find his friend.”

Phil blinked, surprised. “I didn’t do that. I mean, I do, but not…”

“You kind of did,” Clint winced, turning to look at him again. “Wait, you have a crush on me?”

Phil couldn’t remember the last time someone looked at him like Clint did right then. He could feel his cheeks redden a bit, as he adjusted his glasses.

“Well, yes. Even if you coming here five minutes before closing was beyond irritating. But you started buying a lot of books and I might have started wondering what are you doing with all of them.”

Clint ran a hand through his hair, looking down, clearly embarrassed.

“I have a new place. It’s not much, but I thought books would make it more lively, or something. I never read much, I always had other things to do, but I kind of changed my mind,” he said. “And Getting from Stark Tower to here takes more time than I expected. Sorry for that. I just...”

“It’s okay. I understand. It takes a bit to get here.”

After that they were just standing in silence for a while, looking at each other. The way Clint smiled made him smile right back, even if they weren’t doing much. He realized they must have looked ridiculous, but he couldn’t bring himself to care.

“So… would you like to get some coffee? I promise to actually be on time and all,” Clint asked after a while, leaning against the counter slightly, still looking sheepish.

“I’d like that.”

The smile on Clint’s face grew and thinking that he was the one who put that expression on the other man’s face felt… very good.

“So, I’ll see you on Saturday? Is that okay? 6PM?”

“It is. Here,” Phil took a piece of paper and wrote down his number, handing the paper to Clint. “Just call me and we’ll decide the details.”

Clint nodded, took the piece of paper and hid it in the pocket of his jeans. He made a move to leave, but then stopped, as if he was reconsidering it. He bit his lower lip again. “Phil?”

“Yes? Changed your mind already?”

“What? No. No way. I just…” he exhaled, as if he was thinking about something then leaned in over the counter and pressed his lips to Phil’s cheek quickly. “There. I… really wanted to do that. See you on Saturday, then?”

Phil nodded, smiling at him, and as Clint left the bookstore, he turned briefly to wave in goodbye. Phil was smiling even after Clint left. It was half an hour after closing time, but he didn’t really care. He had a feeling the good mood he was in wouldn't pass anytime soon.

“Well, that was just sweet,” Darcy said as she tapped something on her phone, before hiding it in her pocket. “Finally. I’m happy for you, boss.”

“Thank you, Darcy.”

“Well, now you can talk about books forever! Isn’t that exciting?”

“I’m happy to provide amusement for you.”

“Oh, me too, boss. Me too,” she grinned and snagged the list of books from Phil’s hand and opened the door to the back of the shop. “Come on, let’s finish all this, so you won’t miss your date because of a few not catalogued books. That’s just too tragic to think about, considering how long it took the two of you to actually talk about something other than him being late and you being annoyed.”

“Why do I have a feeling you’re not going to let us forget that?” Phil shook his head, following her.

“Because we know each other, boss.”

“That we do, Darcy. That we do.”

*Mood*: excitedexcited
Julie: AoE ★ the skiesragnarok_08 on August 28th, 2015 07:37 pm (UTC)
I love this <333
Megan Moonlight: phil/clintmegan_moonlight on August 29th, 2015 04:43 pm (UTC)
Thank you! :D I'm glad.
potentiality_26potentiality_26 on August 29th, 2015 02:25 am (UTC)
Clever use of that prompt! I loved all the little appearances.
Megan Moonlight: phil/clint2megan_moonlight on August 29th, 2015 04:48 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I'm very glad you liked it :)
I couldn't help including Sam - I kind of have a headcanon that he and Clint are friends and it fit the fic so well :D

And thank you so much for reposting the prompts! I wouldn't have found them otherwise, most likely. When I saw this one I just couldn't resist writing something for it.
verdande_miverdande_mi on August 29th, 2015 08:14 am (UTC)
Ah, this made me smile. Very sweet and adorable :D
Megan Moonlight: phil/clintmegan_moonlight on August 29th, 2015 06:09 pm (UTC)
Thank you :) I wanted to write something sweet and happy for those two for a while now, so I'm very glad it worked!

As soons as I found this prompt I knew I want to write something for it. It was such a fun idea to work with.
Selenic76: HeartCandyselenic76 on August 29th, 2015 02:28 pm (UTC)
What a sweet story! ^_^ I loved the AU idea, and having Phil and Darcy work together, so much fun those two! :D It was also fun tho have those little appearances from Sam, Natasha, and Steve, and I wouldn't have minded reading more about what everyone was doing in this setting. I really loved that Steve had become an artist ^_^

Both Phil and Clint were adorably awkward, good thing they had Darcy to move things along ;) This was wonderfully happy making story, and I'm glad to have played my small part in making it happen, yay! ^_^
Megan Moonlight: phil/clint2megan_moonlight on August 29th, 2015 06:38 pm (UTC)
Thank you :D

I always wanted to try writing a Bookstore or Library AU and when I found the prompt I thought it would be fun to try writing it for Phil/Clint <3

I had fun including some of my headcanons (Phil and Darcy being friends, and Sam and Clint being friends).
I love the idea of artist!Steve myself :D

I'm very, very glad I managed to finish it, really. I wanted to write something sweet and happy for Phil/Clint... and since people like it too, I'll consider writing something more for this 'verse. It's pretty fun!
Three Days of Violence Against Vegtables: Avengers - ClintxCoulson/Watchinglil_1337 on August 29th, 2015 08:19 pm (UTC)
It was my pleasure. I always enjoy reading your fics and add in Clint, Coulson, snarky!Darcy and books and I am totally hooked. I do hope we see more from this universe.
Megan Moonlight: phil/clintmegan_moonlight on September 1st, 2015 07:29 pm (UTC)
I wanted to write a bookshop!AU or a library!AU for such a long time now, since it's my favourite kind of AUs, so I'm very glad it worked.

I admit I have been thinking about writing something more in this universe - there is so many possibilities and I ended up loving this idea very much. I could include so many of my headcanons, too! :D
Three Days of Violence Against Vegtables: Reading - Tori on bookslil_1337 on September 2nd, 2015 02:06 am (UTC)
I would totally encourage you to do more!
Megan Moonlight: sammegan_moonlight on September 2nd, 2015 06:37 pm (UTC)
I might come up with some ideas :)
I'm kind of wondering if I'd prefer to add one more ship, or rather add an OT3 instead. So many possibilities XD
Three Days of Violence Against Vegtables: Brain on Fandomlil_1337 on September 3rd, 2015 07:12 am (UTC)
What one were you thinking of or is it a surprise?
Megan Moonlight: phil/clintmegan_moonlight on September 4th, 2015 07:04 pm (UTC)
Well the first choice:
[Spoiler]Sam/Steve or Sam/Steve/Bucky

and the second one:
[Spoiler]Jasper/Maria or Jasper/Melinda

I just can't decide at this point... or maybe I won't add them at all, since I don't want to make it too crowded, if that makes any sense. So many choices...
Three Days of Violence Against Vegtables: Brain on Fandomlil_1337 on September 6th, 2015 08:10 am (UTC)
I like all of those, but I get what you mean about crowding too. Whatever you do I'm sure I will enjoy it.
Megan Moonlight: sammegan_moonlight on September 6th, 2015 05:44 pm (UTC)
Thank you, I hope so :D