Notes: Written for my friend, suruberry, who was looking for a Clint/Coulson fic and provided the prompt behind this fic. Somehow, this lingerie set got involved, along with these stockings.
Title: Seeking Attention
Fandom: The Avengers
Pairing: Clint Barton/Phil Coulson
Words: 3932 words
Prompt: I want a cute possessive behavior fic of Clint and Phil. Just Clint being a child and pretty much clinging to Phil and being all pouty when Phil's attention is devoted to the rest of the Avengers.
Two days after their last mission hadn't exactly gone to plan, all of the pens disappeared. Every single one of them was gone, there was no sign of them.
Steve was still in medical, recovering from some rather nasty burns he'd gotten from the explosion. But he was sitting up, aware, and reassuring the others when they stopped by to visit him. The only other occupant of his room was Bruce, who was still out of it from the tranquilizers he'd been given.
Coulson sat up with them, skimming through the mountain of paperwork he had sitting next to him and reading through the files that medical handed him. He occupied his time with typing up the mission report alternating with reading something on a tablet that Natasha had brought him.
"Is someone going to tell me why all of the pens have grown legs and walked off?" Tony asked, the morning that Steve came back to the tower.
A couple of steps behind him, Coulson strolled in, attention riveted to whatever it was on his phone. He didn't glance up as he replied, "Have you checked the nests?"
"I checked them two days ago when they first started to go missing," Natasha replied. She looked up from the magazine she was reading, "Wherever he's hiding them, they're not there."
Thor was hovering in the doorway beside Bruce, a careful hand at his back. Bruce, for his part, just looked exhausted and yawned, "Who's hiding what?"
"Clint stole all of the pens in the tower," Natasha replied. She looked at Coulson, "You should probably talk to him; I think he's feeling a little... neglected."
Her eyebrow quirked and there was the smallest of smiles on her lips; Tony took a step back. It was never a good thing when Natasha smiled or, at least, it never promised good things for him. He gave her a wide berth.
"I haven't seen him," Coulson replied, handing a file to Natasha. "He didn't stop by medical after the debriefing."
Natasha took the file, flipping it open. Her brows creased as she read, eyes flicking quickly back and forth, "If you haven't seen him, then he's in the vents. He'll come out when he's ready."
There was no sign of Clint in their room when Phil walked in and flicked on the light. He, though, was exhausted and wanted a shower more than anything before tumbling into bed and just sleeping. It would have been perfect if Clint was there.
He left his clothes strewn across the bathroom floor and stepped into the shower stall as he cranked up the hot water. Stepping under the stream of hot water, Phil sighed in contentment and closed his eyes. He could feel the tension and stress from the past several days wash away with the water. For several minutes, he simply stood under the spray and enjoyed the feel of the heat and just relaxing.
Although, it didn't erase that niggling feeling of worry and concern that had wedged itself deep inside his skull.
Unless something about this mission had really upset him, had triggered a very visceral reaction in him, Clint wouldn't have taken to the vents. Clint was very good at disappearing when he felt like it was needed; there were just times when he needed the space, needed the time alone. When he was ready, he'd come find Phil.
Eventually, he finished up in the shower. It was with a certain amount of reluctance that he turned off the shower – and really, there was something to be said to living in the tower, because the shower in their old apartment had a terrible habit of randomly spurting out cold water.
Phil stepped out of the shower and reached for the towels on the rack to dry off. He wrapped one around his waist and dried his hair with another. He noted, somewhat surprised, that his clothes had disappeared from the bathroom floor.
Cautiously, he emerged from the bathroom, unsure what to expect.
Looking at the bed, he realized immediately where all the pens had disappeared to. Each and every single one of them had been stabbed into a cork bulletin board – that Phil was unsure of the origins – in a perfect likeness of his face that was set on the bed next to his neatly folded pajamas.
Honestly? Phil was torn between being extremely flattered and exasperated beyond all reason.
"This is why you stole every single pen in the building?" Yes, he was impressed, but it was still a ridiculous reason to go through all that trouble and cause all that inconvenience.
As expected, he got no response. Phil simply sighed and began to get ready for bed. He tossed the towel into the laundry bin and got into his pajamas, moving the bulletin board from where it was leaning on the bed to the chest of drawers. Before he crawled into bed and collapsed, he took a surreptitious picture of it with his phone. Just because he didn't approve didn't mean he didn't appreciate the sentiment.
He turned down the covers and continued to speak to the childish agent he knew was hiding in one of the overhead vents, "I expect that everything will be back where it belongs by tomorrow evening."
There was no answer, which he'd expected, and he climbed into bed after flicking off the lights. It didn't take long for him to fall asleep; he really was exhausted.
When he woke up the next morning, there was a bright purple post-it note nailed to the wall with a pen and a sad face drawn on it. Phil rolled his eyes and got dressed for the day.
He'd have to talk to Clint about not touching his Captain America boxers.
The arrow struck true, sticking to the back of his laptop. Phil glanced up and noticed the post-it note wrapped around its shaft. He plucked the arrow off, the suction cup coming off easily enough. Glancing at the message, he rolled his eyes.
'Are you busy?'
Phil set the note to the side and discarded the arrow to the other side of him on the couch and turned back to checking his emails and filing a handful of backlogged reports. There was also the fact that he was trying to deal with yet another media circus courtesy of one Tony Stark; he could feel an oncoming headache forming behind his eyes and a dull thud in his temple. It was looking like it was going to be a long day.
Another arrow was shot and stuck to the back of his laptop. Phil pulled it off and checked the note.
'I'll take that as a yes. Do you want coffee? I can make some. Or get some. Which do you want?'
Phil glanced at his half-full cup of still hot coffee and turned back to his work, discarding the arrow and note to one side. He just wanted to focus on getting his work done so he could enjoy what little downtime he did have.
The next arrow he easily caught before it could stick to his laptop.
'Are you mad at me? Am I annoying you?'
Phil sighed and shuffled through the reports he had stacked on the coffee table, "Agent Barton, if you keep bothering me like this, I'm never going to finish this."
Another arrow. Another note. Another damn sad face.
Finally, Phil looked up and gave the spot where Clint was hiding a hard glare, "Coffee would be nice. The usual."
Clint was practically bouncing on his feet as he shot up from his hiding place behind the couch across from Phil. He dropped a quick kiss to Phil's cheek before skipping out of the living room.
With another put upon sigh, Phil picked up his mug and took a long drink. He looked at the pile of reports on the coffee table and then looked back at the ever growing number of his emails in his inbox. Another twenty-five had come in since the last time he checked; this was the last time he ran press control for Tony Stark, it just wasn't worth it.
He finished the last of his coffee in one long swallow. Rubbing his eyes, he turned back to his email, sorting through the spam and replying to the critical ones in short, concise sentences. He'd have to call for a press conference later to sort everything out.
Clint returned twenty minutes later, hot coffee in one hand from the little coffee place on the corner and a bag from the deli down the street. His stomach growled in appreciation and Clint was practically beaming.
The bag and coffee were placed on the table and Clint leaned over the back of the couch, resting on his elbows, "Are you going to be much longer?"
"It's Stark," Phil replied, not looking up from his screen. "I'll be surprised if I finish this today. He knows how to start up a media circus."
Silence fell between them except for the soft tapping of Phil's typing. Eventually, Clint drifted away back to where he'd left the little toy bow and suction cup arrows.
Another two arrows hit the back of Phil's laptop in short succession. Phil shot Clint a sharp look; he was never going to finish if Clint kept interrupting him.
'I can shoot him in the foot next time. Non-fatal, I promise.'
'Are you ignoring me?'
Phil said nothing, simply kept on working. If he was lucky, he'd have this finished by midnight and, hopefully, the emails would have stopped by then. He appreciated Pepper and what she did all the more now; he'd never enjoyed dealing with the media before and this just cemented his opinion on the matter. Next time, he'd think twice before offering to help lighten her workload.
There was another arrow. Phil studiously ignored it, but it was followed by three more.
'You are ignoring me.'
'This sucks and I hope you know it.'
'I'm going back to an empty bed tonight, I know it.'
Again with the damn sad face. Phil rubbed his temples and continued working. He just wanted this entire mess over and done with.
The day was shaping up to be another long one. Nothing seemed to be going right. First he had to make the rounds at medical – again – to make sure Bruce was alright after a long fight. After that, he had to check on Natasha, who was propped in bed with her arm in a sling and a bandage on her forehead.
Luckily, she was completely alert and looking completely bored.
"They said they want to keep me for overnight observation," Natasha replied. "I told them it was unnecessary; I don't have a concussion."
She easily read Phil's disbelieving expression and continued with a roll of the eyes, "I'm well aware of the symptoms of a concussion. It wouldn't be the first time I've had one and I certainly don't have one now; I'll be just as fine at the tower as I am here. JARVIS can monitor me just as well as any doctor."
"JARVIS isn't a trained medical professional," Phil replied. "I know you want to go home, Natasha, but I think that you should listen to the doctor. If you want, I can stay here with you for tonight if you're concerned."
Natasha raised a brow, "I really think you should go home to Clint, he's missed you."
"Agent Barton has been behaving like a child as of late."
She smiled, eyes glimmering with mirth, "I think he's jealous that he's no longer the centre of your attention; he's got competition now. You know how he is, you've known him the longest."
That was true, but it didn't excuse Clint's childish behaviour, "I'm aware."
"Go home, Phil," she said at last. Her smile faded into one of those half-smiles that promised mischief, "Don't worry about me, I'll be fine. Go see what Clint's done now."
"I'm almost afraid to find out."
As it turned out, he had every right to be concerned. When he returned to the tower, he found that each and every wall of their room had been plastered with photos. Phil sighed and ignored them, leaving his case in the bedroom and heading to the bathroom. He needed a shower.
All of the photos were of Clint and had obviously been taken in a hurry. The majority of them were incredibly blurry and out of focus. It would take a lot of time to take them all done and he didn't really care to.
Instead, he ignored the photos and went into the bathroom to shower. He emerged twenty minutes later, clean, and with a towel wrapped around his waist. All of the photos were still up, but a message had been added in post-it notes over top of them. Phil sighed.
'Miss me yet?'
"There are more mature ways to tell me you miss me," Phil said, pulling on his pajamas and crawling into bed. "Now, are you coming to bed or not?"
Phil woke up the next morning to find that an extremely clingy sloth had taken up residence in his bed and was wrapped tightly around him. A quick look told him that the sloth in question was actually Clint who was holding onto him tightly, like he was an overgrown human-shaped teddy bear.
One of Clint's legs had wiggled between Phil's and he had an arm slung around Phil's waist, holding on snugly. Any movement on Phil's part resulted in Clint's hold tightening; he wasn't going anywhere any time soon.
A glance at the clock told him that it was a quarter past seven and if he didn't leave soon, he'd be late for his meeting with Director Fury. He also wanted to stop by medical to make sure that Natasha had actually spent the night. It wouldn't surprise him if she'd already checked herself out.
However, every time he tried to shift towards the edge of the bed Clint would make a small noise and pull him back.
"Clint," Phil said. "I need you to let me go; I have places I need to be."
He didn't get a coherent response, just a grumble against his shoulder and the hold in his waist tightening. The leg between his curled around one; Phil wasn't going anywhere anytime soon.
"I have a meeting with Director Fury at 0900."
A grumble was his only response. Clint held onto him tighter.
With a sigh, Phil wiggled his way out of Clint's grasp. It was as though Clint had grown suckers on his hands, because it was a challenge to get out of his arms. Once he was, Phil looked back with a small smile, "I'll be back after, hopefully with Natasha. Try not to get into trouble."
Clint was blinking blearily at him; he looked exhausted. "Fine..."
"Oh, and Clint?"
"What?" Clint flopped over and threw an arm over his eyes, a yawn cracking his jaw.
"Go back to bed; you need the sleep."
The day turned out to take longer than he'd thought and by the time Phil returned home, everyone else had retired for the night. JARVIS welcomed him home and kept the lights low, though he paused as Phil arrived at his floor and stepped out of the elevator.
"I hope you enjoy the surprise that Agent Barton has prepared for you, sir," JARVIS said. "He's been rather excited about it the entire day."
Phil blinked, "A surprise."
"Yes, sir. I hope that you enjoy it."
The first thing that caught Phil's attention was the pair of black lace panties lying on the floor. A short distance away, slung over the back of the couch was the matching bra. Looking around, Phil realized that there other pieces of lingerie thrown around the common area of the floor in a trail leading towards the bedroom.
For several minutes, Phil wondered just what had happened to cause the explosion of a lingerie store in the tower.
The answer came when he felt arms wrap around his waist from behind and a body press up against his back. Clint's arms were bare and he radiated heat, making Phil want to relax back against him. He was just so very tired; he would've been happy to just fall asleep right there and let Clint carry him to bed.
Before he could, Clint pulled away, his hand trailing along Phil's waist as he came to stand in front of him. Everything about his posture was seductive, including the cant of his hips.
Phil blinked once, twice, and then stared.
Clint was wearing a bright violet lingerie set, red accents on the suspenders drawing attention down to his stocking-clad legs. He looked great and Phil would have appreciated it a lot more if he was more awake. Not even the quick shot of arousal he felt shooting through his veins was enough to wake him up.
"I thought I'd show you how much I appreciate all the hard work you've been doing lately, Agent Coulson." Clint grinned, one hand on his hip as the other slid up Phil's chest and grabbed his tie, tugging on it lightly. He leaned forward and pressed a light kiss to the corner of Phil's mouth, then, using the hold he had on Phil's tie, he gently pulled him down the hall towards the bedroom.
With a full view of the back, Phil realized that there was something written down the back seam of Clint's stockings. He couldn't read all of it, but he could just make out 'eat me' and 'tease me' in the dim light. He felt heat rise to his cheeks.
Clint kicked the bedroom door shut once they were safely inside and turned to Phil, a dark glint in his eyes. He smoothed both hands up Phil's chest as he slowly backed him against the door.
The mood was ruined when a giant yawn cracked Phil's jaw.
Stifling another yawn, Phil managed an apologetic look, "Sorry, maybe another time?"
Clint's shoulders slumped and the corners of his mouth were tugged down, but he nodded. "Yeah, sure. Sorry. Do you need help?"
There was a calculated precision to the way that Clint stripped Phil down to his boxers, but he was completely gentle as he helped the exhausted agent into bed and tucked him in. Phil was asleep before his head hit the pillow.
The last thing that Clint remembered was the explosion and the sky tilting at an angle over him as he fell. Clint woke up in medical hooked up to what seemed like a dozen machines and IVs – he felt a bit like a pin cushion with all the needles stuck in him – and with more skin covered with bandages than uncovered.
Everything hurt and the only one at his side was Bruce who looked wide-eyed and more than just a little bit panicked.
"What happened?" Clint asked. His voice was raspy and cracked; then his throat felt like it was on fire.
"It's Hydra," Bruce replied, sounding incredibly relieved. "Steve and Thor were... shot at during their run this morning. Natasha's investigating with Phil, while the others went to help with the rescue efforts."
Clint thought back, remembering that he'd been out picking up lunch for Phil when everything had gone to hell. The tilt of the ground as he'd rolled and the windows shattered, shouting for everyone to get down and under the tables. The explosion had knocked him back and that was all he'd remembered.
"Hydra, huh...?" Clint wanted to push himself up so he could sit up, but his limbs screamed in protest at every little movement and he felt sluggish and exhausted. He grimaced, "Just how many drugs are they pumping into me?"
"Just something for the pain and a couple of things to ward off infection," Bruce said, moving to sit on the edge of Clint's bed. "They pulled a lot of shrapnel out of you; there... was the concern that you might not make it."
A sudden realization and, if he'd been able, Clint would've shot up in his seat, "Everyone else?"
"Everyone else is fine, thankfully. You're the only one who was hurt, though Thor got grazed but he insisted on going out to help."
Bruce looked concerned, "I would've gone with them, but the... other guy isn't much help in rescue scenarios. I said I'd sit up with you, make sure you were alright."
Nodding, Clint relaxed back against his pillows, "That's... good. 'Tash and Phil'll find 'em..."
"You should probably get some more sleep, I'll let the doctors know you're awake and call the others to tell them. Do you need anything?"
"Water?" Clint asked. He was just so thirsty and his throat was so dry; it felt like he'd swallowed a handful of sawdust.
"Yeah, hold on." A few seconds later and Bruce carefully held the glass to his lips and Clint swallowed gratefully, the cool water soothing his dry throat. He downed half the glass before relaxing back against the pillows, feeling comfortable enough that he felt like drifting back off.
"M'tired..." Clint murmured. He blinked and struggled to open them again.
He could almost hear the smile in Bruce's voice as he drifted off again, "Then get some rest, Clint. You're going to need it."
Clint wasn't sure how much time had passed when he woke up again, but Bruce wasn't at his bedside when he woke up and the lights had been dimmed. He raised his head from the pillow and tried to look around, but was arrested by a firm hand on his shoulder.
"If you move, you'll make your injuries worse."
The familiar voice made Clint smile and he automatically relaxed, leaning back against the pillows and letting his eyes drift closed.
"Phil, what are you doing here?" He felt like hell and just wanted to curl up with Phil and pretend that everything was normal again. He was tired, but he just wanted to reassure himself that Phil was there and forced his eyes open.
He looked over at Phil, who looked tired and there was a small rip at the shoulder of his suit. Besides that, though, he was untouched and, with that, there was an immense sense of relief. He just needed to be able to see that Phil was alright to completely believe it, it was a long held habit.
"You're alright." He breathed out a small sigh of relief and smiled. "That's good."
"And you're not."
"I'll recover. This isn't the worst that I've been through."
Clint was aware of the thin line of Phil's mouth and the tense set of his jaw that always came with such flippant comments about his health and injuries.
"I believe that we've had this conversation before," Phil said. There was the sound of shifting fabric and the side of the bed dipped as Phil sat down. "You should think better of yourself."
"I've always said you were the better one; I'm just the weapon. Aim and fire."
"You're more than that to me." Phil's voice was soft, more dangerous than any weapon. "And the other Avengers feel the same way. You know, Bruce wouldn't leave your side until I got here."
Clint huffed out a laugh, "I can see that. You find 'em?"
"We got them."
Letting out a heavy breath, Clint relaxed and let his eyes closed. "Good. Know how long I'm going to be stuck here?"
"Until you're better."
Gently, a hand smoothed back his hair and fingers trailed down along Clint's cheek. Clint opened an eye to look up at Phil, "You gonna stay with me?"
"I've got nowhere else to be," Phil smiled.
Clint nodded and relaxed; he was still so tired with all the drugs pumping through his system. He'd feel better in the morning, hopefully good enough to convince the medical staff to take him off some of the drugs. He hated feeling this drowsy and vulnerable.
The two of them settled into a comfortable silence and Clint started to drift off again. He was stopped when Phil spoke up.
"You still have that lingerie set?"
Clint grinned, "Yeah, I do. I'll pull it out just for you when I get out."
"I look forward to it."