Hey everyone, here's another new story! I don't know what's going on right now, but the new ideas won't end! This time, it's about Phil and Clint. I've been thinking about them for some time now and wondered what would happen if they had been a couple before the events in New York. Of course Phil's death would hit Clint pretty hard then.
This story if part of my series "Together, We're Stronger", but it can also be read alone. It takes place after my version of Age of Ultron (mentioned in the first chapter of 'Knowing You', though you really don't have to read it), which isn't so different from the real movie until Clint leaves, so you won't miss anything. Just know that Tony and Steve are a couple.
I really hope you like this story, please let me know! I have to admit that I've been listening to lots of sad love songs lately, so maybe this story can also be a little sad at times.
I don't own the characters or places!
It was a dark and cold night in the streets of the city. In the distance, he could hear the thunder roar. And was that reflection in the shop window next to him lightning or just a defect billboard? Without really thinking about it, he fastened his steps, not wanting to get wet if it would start raining. He felt a tingle in his shoulders, but didn't turn around. He didn't expect that someone would follow him today, but he was always prepared for the possibility. He checked if his gun was easy to reach – it was.
Next to a few cars driving on the street and the radio of a taxi driver who was smoking out of the window, his footsteps were the only sound that could be heard. He turned his head away when he passed the man in the taxi, even if he would surely forget his face again after a few seconds. He wasn't wearing a hat, but the darkness should make it more difficult to recognize him. The long coat made him look like every other man who was on his way home late in the evening. Just that he didn't carry a bag, but that also wasn't unusual.
Inwardly, he cursed that the meeting point was so far away. They should have chosen something better, but the others had insisted that it would attract too much attention. They couldn't risk being seen in the city, too much was depending on that.
He heard laughter in front of him and moved out of a way when a young couple stumbled out of one of the bars. They were clearly drunk, he had his hand on her back to steady her. She was only wearing a short, thin dress and high heels. Not fitting for the weather, it was unusually cold. And then there was the upcoming storm.
When he thought of that, he could hear the thunder roar again. He hoped that he would arrive before it started to rain. His coat would be wet within seconds and he had only this one, which he would also need again the next day.
A movement from the corner of his eyes caught his attention and he stopped, but it was only a cat vanishing behind the next corner. He breathed in deeply and tried to relax again – he didn't even notice that he'd tensed. Slowly, he began to walk again, not daring to look around. If someone was watching him, that would be far too obvious.
His mind was racing. Where on his path could someone attack him? Most probably in the narrow, long alleyway between two buildings he had to walk through to get to the meeting point. Yes, there he would set the trap. But only if it was possible to block the way from both sides, otherwise the chance that the target would escape was too high.
He thought of the others again. He was already late, but surely they wouldn't look for him just yet. After all, they trusted his abilities. Besides, they also weren't expecting trouble. Not really, anyway. Just that the conversation he'd listened to hadn't been that... promising.
He considered not walking through the alleyway, but it would take him at least twenty minutes more to reach the meeting point then. Honestly, he was tired and was looking forward to a soft, warm bed. He decided to risk it.
In the alleyway, his footsteps seemed to be even louder since they echoed back from the walls. He kept his hand under the coat, close to his gun, already waiting for an attack. However, nothing happened. He stopped for a few moments to listen, but there also weren't any unusual sounds. Just the rustling of the city, someone closed the door of a car, then there was the thunder... Everything seemed to be calm. But why did he feel like he was being watched then?
When he left the alley and turned to the right, he released the breath he'd been holding. From here, it wasn't far to the meeting point. Maybe five minutes, then he would see the others again and laugh about his foolishness. He buried his hands in the pockets of his coat again, thinking that he wouldn't need the gun anymore. However, he was still ready to defend himself if there was an attack.
Suddenly, an especially loud thunder roared right above him, followed by lightning. That's when he saw him. For half a second, when he'd been looking up, he'd seen a man in the street. Clad in black, with a dark hood hiding his face. He stopped in his tracks and scanned his surroundings, but he could still see nothing. Maybe I should have just called the others... He thought, but then he shook his head. Whoever was following him, he could deal with that person himself.
This time, he had the feeling that everyone close to him could hear his footsteps easily. Just another corner, then he could see the hotel where they would be meeting. There was only one thing he didn't consider. Right before he rounded the last corner, he noticed it. Another dark alley between to buildings, leading into darkness.
He'd noticed it too late. Two hands grabbed his shoulders and he was pulled into the alley where the unknown person pressed him against a wall. Before he could even think of fighting back, he felt something sharp and cold on his throat. Whoever he was dealing with knew what he was doing. When he wanted to reach for his gun, he noticed that it was gone, as well as his phone.
"If I were you, I wouldn't move." A dark voice whispered and the blade moved along his throat slowly. He couldn't quite place it, but there was something oddly familiar about the sound of the voice...
"What do you want?" He asked coldly, waiting for an opportunity to fight his attacker. Everyone made mistakes, he knew that it would happen.
"I just want to talk." The man said. "It wasn't easy to find you."
"If you want to talk, why are you threatening me with a knife?" He hissed back. To his surprise, the cold metal vanished.
"You were going to run away otherwise. Maybe you would have even called your friends who are already waiting for you impatiently."
So he knew that he wasn't alone. But why did he draw back the knife? He decided not to question this any longer. Apparently, the other man wasn't holding it anymore. He was still far too close to him, but he was just keeping him there with one hand...
He moved fast, but the other man had already expected his movements. Before he could even start a fight, the other man had pressed him against the wall again, this time with his chest, and was holding his wrists behind his back. He was stunned, knowing that there weren't many people who could move that fast...
"I thought we'd agreed that you wouldn't run away, Phil Coulson." It hit him with full force. The fast movements, the ability to follow him without making sounds, that familiar voice... He'd even known where he'd hidden the gun and his cellphone immediately.
"Clint?" Phil whispered incredulously. His heart was beating furiously in his chest, but this time not from fear. Was Clint here? But how on earth did he find him? How did he know that he was still alive?
"Surprise." Clint said without emotions in his voice and let go of his hands. He heard him take a step back and Phil turned around slowly, fearing that this was just a dream. But he was still there, right in front of him. It was dark in the alleyway, but there was still enough light from one of the street lamps so Phil could see his face.
Clint was smiling slightly, but it didn't reach his eyes. As expected, he was clad completely in black. However, the hood wasn't on his head anymore. His hair was a complete mess and there were dark rings under his eyes, Phil could see that even in the dim light of the street lamp.
"What are you doing here?" It was the first thing Phil could think of in this moment. Honestly, he didn't know how to react at all. He didn't see him for such a long time, always telling himself that it would be safer not to let the other man know he was alive... Knowing that it would only cause more heartbreak. But when he looked at Clint now – who'd always smiled when Phil was around, even in the worst situations – he wondered if he didn't make a huge mistake by not contacting him.
"I already said that I want to talk to you." Clint stated. "It's not been easy to find you, you've erased nearly everything that could lead to you. It took me nearly a year and in the end, I even had to ask Tony for help."
"Stark." Phil said dryly. Of course Tony Stark could find out more about him and his team. Most probably, they also knew that he was Director of SHIELD now. When he'd let Skye delete the files, he honestly didn't expect this man to search for him. But somehow, Clint could convince him to do it.
"Took me some time to convince him about that. He was only willing to help me after we'd defeated Hydra in Sokovia." Clint was still staring at him with an unreadable expression on his face which made Phil nervous. He'd always been able to tell how the other man was feeling.
"Why now?" He asked. "Why didn't you come earlier? You've defeated Hydra some time ago, I heard about it."
"So Hill told Fury, who informed you?" Clint crossed his arms. "I know, as new Director of SHIELD you have to know those things." He noticed that Clint didn't answer his question, but he decided not to ask again. At least not now.
"I didn't tell you that I'm still alive for a reason, Clint." He began slowly, but he stopped when he finally could interpret an emotion on Clint's face. It was anger. Pure anger, mixed with desperation.
"Let's hope that it's a damn good reason." Clint growled and Phil saw that he tensed. Most probably, Clint would be shouting if they weren't in this alleyway with his team close by. "I thought you were dead, Phil. Dead!"
"I know, and I'm sorry -" He started, but Clint interrupted him.
"DON'T TELL ME YOU ARE SORRY!" This time, Clint was shouting. However, he gained control over himself again very fast. "Do you have any idea what it's been like for me those past years? How I felt all this time, thinking that the most important person in my life is dead? And do you know how it felt when Tony told me that you're still alive? How much that hurt?" Clint clenched his fists painfully tight. "The only thing which kept me alive all this time was Natasha! And she suffered as well!"
Phil reached out with his hand to touch Clint, but the other man backed away with surprising speed. "Don't!" Clint hissed. "Don't touch me."
If Phil's heart didn't break until now, this was the moment. For half a second, Clint let his mask of anger and hate drop. What Phil saw there made him want to throw up. Pain. An unbearable pain. He'd never seen Clint like this. The only thing which kept me alive all this time was Natasha, he'd said. What did that mean? He refused to finish that thought.
"I couldn't tell you." He noticed that he was begging now, begging him to give him a chance to explain, to make Clint understand, but he didn't care. He would also fall to his knees to make the man in front of him listen to his words. He was already afraid that Cling would just leave again without hearing him out. "Please, let me explain!"
Clint just opened his mouth to say something, but then he fixed his gaze on the end of the alleyway and moved further into the shadows. "You're getting help." He muttered darkly and from his movements Phil knew that he was getting ready to attack.
"That's my team." He said calmingly. At least he hoped that those were just the others and that it wasn't someone from the meeting he'd been spying on earlier.
May was the first one to reach the entrance to the alleyway, followed directly by Skye. Fitz and Simmons also came in sight, both breathing heavily. It was obvious that they'd been running.
"We heard someone shouting!" Skye said and looked first at Phil with wide eyes before she noticed the figure behind him.
"What's going on here?" May demanded to know.
"It's fine, I just met someone." Phil said calmly and took a step towards them. "You can go back to the hotel, I'll follow you soon."
"Who is this?" Of course May wouldn't just leave him alone.
"He's not going to hurt me. I think I can't be safer than when I'm with him." He smiled slightly, despite all the pain in his chest. It was true, he still trusted that Clint would defend him if it was necessary. That they could fight side by side. Even if lots of things were standing between them now. "I don't think that many people can win a fight against one of the Avengers."
"The Avengers?" Skye asked dumbfoundedly and behind her, Fitz and Simmons stared at them.
But then Clint stepped out of the shadows with a sigh. "Let's not discuss this." He muttered and crossed his arms. However, his eyes were focused on Phil. He thought that he could see wonder in them, but he wasn't so sure.
"Agent Barton." May said when she recognized him and relaxed. She was the only one in his team who knew about his relationship with Clint. "Good to finally see you again." Her words made it perfectly clear that she'd urged Phil to tell Clint the truth much earlier. Which she did, he'd just ignored her protests, not wanting to bring Clint in even more danger. And maybe, just maybe he'd also been afraid of what his lover would think of him now, knowing that he'd come back from the dead.
Behind May, the others stared at Clint in wonder. "I think we have to talk about the things I found out tomorrow morning." Phil said. "You can all go to sleep."
"And what...?" Skye didn't finish her sentence, but the questioning glance in Clint's direction said it all. What would Phil do now?
"I've got a room not far from here." Clint said. "Don't worry, I'll bring him back to you in the morning." To Phil, his smile was obviously fake, but the others didn't seem to notice it. When did Clint become such a good actor? They all nodded reluctantly and Phil followed them out of the alleyway. Before leaving, May shot him one last look. The message was clear. If he causes problems, call me and I'll beat him up.
Phil smiled at her before she turned around again. Then he glanced at Clint. "Lead the way?" He asked, knowing that Clint would never lead him into any sort of trap.
"You still trust me?" Clint said without moving. Instead, he was staring at Phil.
He frowned. "Of course I do." He replied simply, knowing that it was the truth.
Clint looked like he wanted to say more, but then he just shook his head and started walking towards another hotel, which was also small, but much more comfortable than the one they'd chosen.
In the hotel room, Clint took off his jacket and placed Phil's gun and phone, as well as his own knife and the gun he'd been hiding under his clothes, on the table. After watching him for a few moments, Phil also took off the coat, not after receiving a frown from Clint.
In the past months, he'd pictured seeing Clint again millions of times. However, he'd always imagined that the other man would be happy to see him and not this... distant. And cold. The atmosphere between them was icy and Phil steeled himself for another fight. He knew that he deserved it. After all, he'd been an idiot.
He followed the other man into the room and Clint poured himself a glass of water in the small kitchen. Without glancing at Phil, he took a second glass. He used the time to look at Clint more closely, this time in the light of the room.
Yes, his lover looked tired. More than he'd ever seen him. The dark rings under his eyes looked even worse in the light and there were new wrinkles on Clint's face. Most probably not from laughing. His hair was a little longer than the last time they'd seen each other, and was he thinner? Then he fixed his brilliant blue eyes on Phil and for a few moments, nothing else mattered. He noticed that Clint hesitated for half a second before he handed him the glass of water, but then the moment was over and Clint walked towards the two armchairs in the room.
"Thank you." Phil muttered and followed him more slowly. They both sat down and for some time, no one said anything. It seemed as if they were both waiting for the other one to talk first.
"You risk the failure of your mission for me." Clint said suddenly.
"Excuse me?" Phil asked, not understanding what he was talking about.
"Those men you've been watching. They're planning something and because of me, your team can't continue with the mission tomorrow morning." Clint stated.
"We've been watching them for nearly two weeks now, it doesn't matter." Phil threw in. "And I'm sure the others would also be able to continue without me."
"Would it be alright for you? Letting them continue on their own?" There was curiosity in Clint's voice.
"Of course, I trust them." Phil said simply. When Clint didn't reply again, Phil decided to do the talking for now. "As I trust you. Those past years didn't change that, Clint."
When he'd relaxed before, the tension in Clint's shoulders returned now. "You already said that before, to the others. That you would trust me with your life." His voice sounded odd and Phil knew that he was trying to hide some kind of reaction from him. Outside, the thunder roared again.
"Because it's true." He emphasized. How could Clint not believe him? They'd always been a team, since the moment they met.
"I don't believe you." For the first time since they sat down, Clint looked into his eyes again. "If you would have trusted me, you wouldn't have let me believe that you were dead for years, Phil." So here it was again. Did Clint really believe that he didn't trust him anymore? This made him feel sick again. He placed his glass on the table carefully, but he knew that Clint had noticed that his hands were shaking.
"I do trust you, Clint. I always did."
Clint scoffed. "I really hope your explanation why you didn't contact me is good."
"It's not a nice story." Phil warned him weakly. Honestly, he tried not to think of everything that happened to him after his death. Telling it was also still difficult.
"I'll be the judge of that." Clint said shortly. Phil hated seeing him like that. He missed his smile.
He sighed and leaned back in the armchair. "It was Fury's doing all along." He started and then he told him what they'd found out about project T.A.H.I.T.I. That it had been to bring back a dead Avenger and how it all didn't work out. The signs the people had seen. The attempts to delete their memories. How Fury had used it to bring back Phil from the dead, also deleting his memory of it in the course of that. "We thought it would help, but it didn't. Fury knew about the risks, but he decided to bring me back anyway. It took us some time to find out more about it." He finished his tale. While he'd been talking, he couldn't bear to look at Clint, afraid to see some kind of horror or disgust on his face. "I know that I should have told you, but it took some time until all the memories came back to me and then..." He didn't finish his sentence.
"Then what?" Clint asked quietly. "Phil?" He barely noticed that his lover's voice didn't sound as cold anymore.
"It was quite a shock, knowing what they'd done to me." He looked at his hands. "I asked them to let me die, you know? In the process of it."
He heard a sharp intake of breath and finally looked up again. There was sadness on Clint's face, but also still anger. "I always told myself that I would contact you once we knew what happened to me. But when we found out after months... I couldn't do it. I had the phone in my hands millions of times, but I could never press the call button. I thought... I was afraid that you'd hate me." So he said the words now, as difficult as it might have been.
He looked right into Clint's eyes and tried to ignore his furiously beating heart.
"Why should I hate you for something you couldn't control?" Clint frowned. "It brought you back." Such a simple statement, but it made Phil's lips twitch anyway. Though he was still a little afraid.
"I thought you'd be disgusted. I also saw those signs, Clint. Even I have been horrified by the things I did." He swallowed.
Clint ran a hand through his hair. "I would have never been disgusted by you." He stated. "I would have just been happy to have you back. We all would. Your death affected all the Avengers. And Fury never saw the need to tell us..." He clenched his fists.
"It was top secret." Phil muttered, trying to defend Fury.
"I don't care!" Clint hissed angrily. "I had a right to know that!" Suddenly, he jumped to his feet. "Hell, I had every right to know that! We're married, Phil!" And just like this, Clint let his mask drop and let the desperation he felt show. "I thought you were dead for years!" He breathed in shakily and Phil stood up to walk to him, but Clint backed away, just like he'd done in the alleyway.
"Don't." He muttered. "I just can't..." He began to walk around the room restlessly. "I've missed you so much! And then I heard that you've been out there all this time, going on adventures with your new team..." Clint sounded like he was close to crying now.
Phil watched him with wide eyes, unable to move. He'd never seen his husband this worked up. "What you must have thought of me..." Phil muttered and closed his eyes. Now he understood why Clint was so surprised to hear that Phil trusted him.
"It would have been one message, just to let me know that you're fine." Clint said. "Was that too much to ask for?"
Phil didn't reply at this. No, it wasn't. He knew that now. The guilt was weighing heavily on him.
"I bet you knew what I've been doing all this time, didn't you?" Clint was starting to get angry again. Most probably to make the desperation disappear. Phil knew how much he hated that feeling. "As the new Director of SHIELD? And before, Fury must have told you what we were up to."
"I didn't know." Phil whispered. "At least not in the beginning. Only later, when Hydra took over SHIELD I could follow your actions." Though there hadn't been much time for that.
"I've been looking for you. For months. But of course I didn't find anything. All your belongings just vanished out of our house!" Clint muttered. "It was like you never existed at all. They just left me the wedding ring..."
Oh no. All his things he'd gotten after his death had been from their house? How dare Fury to take them from Clint!
"I didn't know that." He said quietly. "If I would have known..."
"Did you never ask yourself about the ring?" Suddenly, Clint pulled a small object out of his pocket. It was indeed Phil's wedding ring. "Didn't you want it back?" That's when he saw the tears on Clint's cheeks.
Phil also felt like he was close to crying. "I thought I'd lost it, in New York... Fury said -"
"DON'T SAY HIS NAME AGAIN!" Clint shouted. "I can't hear it anymore! Do you know how many times I confronted him with all this? And he never said a single word! NEVER! Then, one day, Tony came to me in the Avengers Compound, saying we needed to talk. I knew immediately that something was wrong. Normally, he's never that serious. Especially since he got together with Steve." Clint breathed in deeply. "I didn't believe him at first, you know? I even tried to hit him, though he never told anyone about that. As well as that I'd been crying my eyes out on his shoulder. He promised to get me your location as soon as Hydra was defeated. Which he did. So don't say anything about Fury! I never want to see this man again! I've got other friends now who help me."
After hearing this, his heart broke completely. It shattered into millions of pieces. Phil stood in the middle of the small hotel room and watched Clint helplessly. "I'm so sorry, Clint." He whispered. "This is all my fault..."
"Yes, it is!" Clint growled. "I nearly couldn't stand it, you know? Sometimes, even Nat couldn't stop the dark thoughts. She and the other Avengers were the only thing that kept me sane." Did Clint want to torture him with his words? Because if he did, it worked really well.
"Do you want to know the worst thing about all this?" Clint didn't try to hide his tears anymore and took a step towards him. "The thing which made it a hundred times worse?"
Phil nodded hesitantly, thinking that it couldn't get worse.
"I still love you." Clint whispered. "I tried to hate you so hard. Tried to blame you for all the misery in my life. But it didn't work. I can't stop loving you." He shook his head. "And I hated myself for that."
They were standing so close to each other now and Phil couldn't hold back any longer. He just had to do something. He couldn't stand watching Clint this sad only a second longer. So he took a step towards his husband and reached out to touch him, but of course Clint saw it coming. He grabbed Phil's wrist to stop him once more. "If you come any closer now, I might do something I'll regret later. So please, keep a distance." Clint muttered and he looked at him more closely. The tension in his body, the guarded posture... as if he was preparing for battle. Why didn't Phil notice that? What the hell was wrong with him.
"I love you too." He said and took a step back slowly. "I never stopped, Clint. I thought of you every day. It kept me going." He smiled sadly. "I understand that you want to hate me now. I can't blame you. It seems like I've done everything wrong, even if I was trying to do the right thing..." He sighed. "It must have really messed up my mind if I didn't consider how you would feel in all this time. I thought that Natasha would help you through it. And the other Avengers. I saw you on TV sometimes, but nothing else. When I became Director of SHIELD, Maria Hill told me a few things. About Hydra, what you were doing to defeat them... She even mentioned a few missions."
"Let me guess, the ones which went terribly wrong." Clint said dryly.
"She mentioned something like a tower crashing down on you all." Phil threw in.
"That was Tony's fault." Clint muttered. "Someone threw stones at him and he crashed into it with full speed. Wasn't nice, I think we were all injured on that day."
"She also told me about missions that had a good ending." He said to change the subject. Hill had told him that Clint had been injured several times in the last years, being far too reckless, but hearing it from him was something else entirely.
"Otherwise, we wouldn't have been able to win." Clint crossed his arms. "So now tell me what you were up to." He demanded to know and slowly, he sat down again.
Phil looked at him in surprise. "You want to know that?"
"Of course. I have to know what kept you so busy, after all." Clint replied.
So Phil told him about the other things they'd done in the past years. Not just TAHITI, but also how they'd met Skye, the discover of Hydra taking over SHIELD, how he became the Director in the first place and what they'd been up to after that. They'd also helped the Avengers to bring down Hydra, just out of the shadows. And of course they were still dealing with every form of paranormal activity, just like SHIELD always did.
"You were really busy." Clint muttered when Phil finished his tale. In all the time he'd been talking, Clint didn't interrupt him once. He'd just listened silently.
"You didn't expect that?" Phil asked with a slight smile. "Did you think that we were on a holiday?"
"No." Clint shook his head. "Honestly, I didn't know what to think." There was still this distant look on his face.
"I'm really sorry, Clint." He tried once more. "Please tell me what I can do to fix it. To fix us."
"You already apologized far too often for my liking. First step, stop it." Clint muttered and stood up once more. "I don't know how to trust you, Phil."
"I already thought so..." He sighed in defeat and cursed himself for everything he'd done ever since New York. So now Clint was going to leave him? Could it really end like this? After everything they've been through together, would this be the end? Yes, Phil had messed up badly, but anyway...
"Which doesn't man that I don't want to try." Clint continued suddenly and ripped him out of his thoughts.
"You..." Phil stammered and also stood up to look at Clint who was standing on the other end of the room now.
"Maybe I even still trust you." Clint admitted without looking at him. "Time will have to show that."
"I don't deserve you." He whispered without really thinking about it. That's also when he couldn't hold back his own tears any longer. "After everything I've done to you, you're just going to forgive me like this?"
"Phil, are you crying?" He sounded shocked now.
He laughed shakily. "No, of course not. Everything's fine." Suddenly, he felt like his knees were about to give in every second and sat down on the bed, burying his face in his hands.
"Phil..." Clint's voice was closer now and then he felt the bed shift under him. After a few more moments, a hand was paced on his back carefully. "Don't cry, love."
"You're far too good for me." Phil muttered without looking up.
"The other way around." Clint argued. "And yes, I may forgive you, but you still have lots of making up to do."
"I can live with that." Slowly, he looked up again, just to see that Clint was also crying once more.
"I've missed you so much." Then Clint wrapped his arms around Phil to pull him closer. Phil had just buried his face on Clint's neck when a loud noise startled them both. They flinched and froze, just to start laughing hysterically when the sound of thunder was followed by the crash of lightning.
"If I wouldn't know it better, I might say that Thor is battling someone." Clint muttered, still laughing and then his lips were on Phil's. He'd imagined this many times in the past years, but it didn't do the reality justice. Once Clint's lips touched his own, Phil's heart was about to stop. They weren't as soft as he remembered, but warm and his taste...
Phil wrapped his arms around Clint's shoulders to pull him closer. "I love you." He whispered between the kisses and when Clint parted his lips, he deepened the kiss. The hands of his husband started to wander over his body, but Phil didn't mind. Apparently, Clint needed this just as much as he did. He bit his lower lip and then Clint actually growled, pushing Phil down onto the bed.
He knew that they had to talk again about everything, but in this moment, neither of them wanted it. Most probably, it would also have been of no use. They were both too worked up with their feelings. It would only lead to more anger or sadness – or maybe both?
"I love you too." Clint muttered and started to unbutton Phil's shirt without hesitation. "Even if I am still mad at you." As soon as possible, Clint ran his hands down his chest – just to freeze immediately.
Inwardly, Phil cursed because he knew exactly what Clint saw now. He also saw it every time he looked in the mirror! Where Loki had stabbed him was a big, ugly scar. And not just on his chest, but also on his back.
Clint was deadly pale and his hands were shaking when he touched it carefully. "Phil..." He whispered sadly and closed his eyes.
"It's not your fault." He said sternly.
"But I helped him back then. I let this happen."
"You were controlled by Loki, don't forget that. And besides, I went after him on my own. It was my decision." Phil touched Clint's cheek carefully. "Let's not do this now, Clint. Please." He begged and after a few more moments, Clint relaxed again.
To distract him, Phil shoved his hands under Clint's shirt and pulled it up. When he realized what he wanted to do, Clint chuckled and helped him with it. There was a small smile on his lips – the first he showed ever since they saw each other again.
This time, it was Phil who inhaled sharply. There had always been many scars on Clint's body, but not this many. One of them, on his side, looked newer than the others. The skin was still red, as if it had just healed properly. "Sokovia." Clint said when he noticed Phil's faze. "Wasn't that bad, could still fight and knock out a witch with it."
"A witch?" Phil asked incredulously, but Clint didn't give him time to think of it any longer. He shoved Phil's shirt down his shoulders and ran his hands down his chest afterwards. Just before his hands could reach Phil's pants, he flipped them around so he was the one on top now. Then he pressed their bodies together tightly and Phil smiled. "I've missed you, my husband."
"Wait a second." Clint whispered suddenly and reached for something in his pocket. Then he took Phil's hand and placed the wedding ring on his finger where it belonged. The brilliant smile on Clint's lips made his heart melt. "That's better." For the first time in many months, Clint Barton looked happy again.
Phil took his hand and squeezed it. "I have to agree." He whispered and smiled mischievously. "Shall we continue then?"
That night, they both didn't get any sleep. They made love more than once. Outside, they could still hear thunder roaring and sometimes, lightning lit up the room, but they didn't care. They forgot the world surrounding them. All that mattered was that they were together once more. And they would stay like this now, that was for sure.
They knew that they still had to talk about so many things, but for now, being together was enough. They would talk within the next days, but not yet.
Unfortunately, they could forget the world, but the world wouldn't forget them. Phil's phone rang the next morning. His team was waiting for him impatiently. And Clint had a text from Natasha, telling him about so called Sokovia Accords and an attack in Vienna. She also mentioned Wakanda and Steve's old friend Bucky, but he had no idea how that should be connected.
Two weeks later
"We have to go in now!" Skye insisted. "Otherwise, they'll kill all of them!"
"She's right." May agreed. "But we need a good plan."
"We're far too few people for a fight!" Phil muttered and looked at the building in front of them. The men they'd been spying on for weeks now were in there, together with far too many civilians. They'd threatened to kill all of them if Phil and his team didn't leave them alone.
"We can also help!" Simmons exclaimed.
"Yes, of course!" Fitz agreed with her.
Phil's mind was racing. In this moment, he wished that Clint was there with them. He had to leave again a few days after their reconciliation. The government wanted to force the Avengers to sign the Sokovia Accords and they had to prevent that. However, the team had to be complete for that purpose. Apparently, Pepper Potts had organized a press conference. Phil didn't get the chance to see it on TV, they'd been busy with their mission. He planned to do that soon, though.
Clint had promised to come back to him as soon as possible and they'd talked every day since his departure, but Phil couldn't stop feeling afraid. What if Clint changed his mind and decided that he couldn't trust him after all? They didn't have much time to talk yet and there were still so many things between them...
"We have to act now!" Melinda May said forcefully and checked her weapons. "There's no other way!"
"Alright, let's go in." Phil breathed in deeply to focus on the situation at hand. He stood up and reached for his gun. "May, Skye, you will take the main entrance, while Simmons, Fitz and I will –"
"What about me?" Someone behind him called and Phil turned around slowly. Right in front of him, in his fighting gear, bow in hand stood Clint Barton. He was smiling slightly.
"May, Skye, Fitz, you'll take the main entrance. Simmons, Clint and I will go through the backdoor." Phil decided, his gaze never leaving Clint.
"This big building has only two entrances?" He asked incredulously.
"Yes, indeed." Phil nodded.
"The architecture in this city is amazing." Skye muttered dryly.
"Let's go!" May didn't wait for another word and ran off, followed by Skye and Fitz.
"We should also go." Phil decided and they started to move. On their way, Clint touched Phil's shoulder carefully.
"I told you that I'd come back." He smiled.
"I'm glad you're here." Phil agreed. Even if they were running towards a battle, he was happy. After all, his husband was by his side.
So what do you think? Please let me know, that would be awesome! Since this is part of my series, we'll see Phil and Clint again in the next longer story!