A/N: This is unbeta'd sick!fic written quickly for a friend (hence the unbeta'd bit). I'm still working on my current WIP, but wanted to give this as a gift. I hope some of you enjoy!
Phil's door was locked. Despite rumors to the contrary, Clint didn't have access, so he knocked, adding a gruff "it's me" as he leaned against the door frame. He had just finished giving a three hour seminar about location setup to junior agents and was wrung out. When Phil didn't answer, Clint checked his watch. Seven at night was too late for a meeting when they weren't in mission prep or crisis mode, so he knocked again, to no avail. "Phil, hey. Are you okay?" he called.
He didn't get an answer, so he pulled out his phone and dialed Phil. It went straight to voicemail. He hung up and dialed another number. "Jasper, is Phil with you?" Over the din of bar noise, Jasper said no, and added that Hill and Fury were playing pool with him, so they weren't with Phil either. Clint frowned and texted Natasha as he made his way to the nearest vent entrance, and when she didn't know where Phil was, he climbed up and over to Phil's office.
As he let himself down into the office, he tensed automatically at what he saw. Phil's suit jacket and tie were crumpled on the floor in front of his desk and his lamp wasn't on. The only light was a weak glow from the small bathroom where the door was half open. "Phil?" Clint called because startling a level eight agent was about as stupid as startling an assassin.
A muffled, "Clint," came from the bathroom, so Clint opened the door. Phil was sitting on the floor, next to the toilet, his face matching the off-white walls and sweat beading on his forehead. His shirt was unbuttoned and he sat against the wall with one knee pulled up to support his head that he laid back down as soon as he saw Clint.
Clint knelt down next to him and reached a hand out, laying it gently on Phil's head, feeling heat radiate into his palm. He massaged carefully and said, "Hey, what's going on?"
Phil mumbled like a petulant teenager, "'m sick."
"Yeah. You need medical?"
There was silence for a moment and then: "Don't think so."
Clint took a hesitant glance at the toilet, but it was thankfully empty. He stood, reaching up to the silver shelf above the toilet and grabbed a washcloth, running cold water over it before kneeling back down. "Hey. Look up for a minute, okay?" Phil looked up blearily, and Clint pressed the wet cloth to his forehead, eliciting a low moan as Phil closed his eyes and leaned his head back against the wall. "When's the last time you puked?" Clint asked, running the washcloth over Phil's cheeks.
Without opening his eyes, Phil answered, "Haven't."
Clint raised an eyebrow. Phil had the pale, shaky look of someone who had been puking for hours. "No? How long have you been sitting there?"
"Had a meeting at four."
The answer was vague enough to be telling, and Clint sighed. "Do you wanna come lie down on your couch for a little bit? You need some rest."
Phil shrugged the washcloth away and put his head back down on his knee. "Wanna go home."
Clint sat back on his heels. It sure looked like Phil was gonna puke any second, and Clint wasn't looking forward to cleaning it off his car seats. He also knew how much it sucked to be away from home when you're sick, and he hadn't seen Phil looking this pathetic since he got food poisoning in York three years ago. He reached over and ran his hand over Phil's back for a minute before nodding. "Okay. Sit tight for a few minutes. I'm gonna go bring the car around front."
After he grabbed the small trash can from beside Phil's desk and emptied it in the larger hallway can, he carried it out to his car. Ten minutes and a tip to the doorman to keep an eye on the vehicle, Clint was lifting Phil off the floor and wrapping his arm around his waist. Phil brushed his arm away, swaying slightly. "You gonna be stubborn about me walking you out?" Clint asked.
Phil just glared through bloodshot eyes and nodded, so Clint shrugged and gathered Phil's discarded coat and tie as they left the office. Phil made it to the elevator, where Clint slid his suit jacket on for him, but as soon as the doors shut he leaned against Clint and put his head on his shoulder. With a chuckle, Clint draped his arm around Phil's waist and took some of his weight. Once the doors opened, though, Phil straightened and pulled away.
It was less about being public with their closeness and more about being too stubborn to be seen needing help, and Clint understood. He kept a hand ready to catch Phil if he stumbled, but he didn't, and he let Clint open the car door for him and close it after he collapsed ungracefully into the passenger seat.
Clint set the empty trash can at Phil's feet and then drove them home. He pulled into his assigned parking spot, and Phil had no problem letting Clint pull him out of the car and practically carry him upstairs to their loft. There were no junior agents to keep up appearances for here.
Clint dumped him rather unceremoniously on the couch and went back to lock the door and take his own shoes off. When he returned to Phil, he had shrugged his jacket off and curled up into a ball on the couch, eyes clenched shut. Clint knelt down next to him and ran his hand over Phil's shoulder. "Hey, let's get you to bed, okay?"
"Stomach hurts," Phil said without opening his eyes.
"Yeah, but you haven't gotten sick and your fever doesn't feel too high. You've got one, but rest will probably do the trick. It's better than sitting on the bathroom floor."
"Might get sick."
"Yeah, and I've got a bucket waiting for you plus I'm pretty good at laundry." He wasn't really; Phil was constantly throwing out pink socks and berating Clint for being too lazy to sort laundry properly, but Phil was clearly too tired to comment on Clint's lie. He stood and tugged Phil by the arm. "Come on. Bed."
Phil shuffled to their room like an old man, clenching his arm around his waist and leaning on Clint's shoulder, and Clint managed to wrestle him out of his dress shirt and suit pants before Phil fell into bed with a moan.
"This. . . sucks," Phil muttered, shoving his face into his fluffy down pillow and pulling his legs up to his chest again.
Clint turned the lights down and flipped on the stereo, relishing the speaker system he'd rigged when they first moved in. ("We don't need surround sound in the bedroom, Clint," "Yeah? Wait till we have some serious sex to hot music." Phil had agreed later that night.) Today, though, he found some of the new age music Phil loved, and he saw Phil relax a little when it filled the room. He stripped out of his own suit, threw on some sweatpants and Phil's Army sweatshirt and stretched out on the bed next to Phil.
"Do you want some ginger ale?" he asked, quietly rubbing circles on Phil's back.
Clint chuckled and got up, returning a minute later with the soda and a straw, along with some Tylenol, and sat on the edge of the bed. Phil took a few sips and looked up at Clint. His eyes were red and he was still sweating, but his teeth weren't clenched anymore and his hand had moved to hug another pillow close.
"Gonna try and sleep," he mumbled, letting his eyes drift shut.
Clint climbed onto his side of the bed, pulled his 3DS from his night stand and muted the volume, casting one more glance at Phil before settling into his game. He didn't want to hover, but the obvious pain Phil was in was clear, so he didn't want to go far until he knew Phil was out. After a few minutes, he looked over and saw that Phil's breathing had evened out and he was finally sleeping. Clint felt his own shoulders relax a little, and he went to the kitchen and fixed himself a sandwich and a beer.
He admittedly lost track of time as he sat and ate while he watched a hockey game with the volume turned down, so when a tired groan from Phil came from the bedroom, he started, standing quickly and rushing to the bedroom. Phil was struggling to sit up, so Clint shoved some more pillows behind Phil's head and pulled the blanket up where it had scrunched down to his waist.
"Hey, you're awake," Clint said with a smile.
"Unfortunately," Phil replied grumpily, pulling the covers almost to his chin. He was still pale and clammy, and the circles under his eyes were pronounced. Clint ran a finger across Phil's jaw, rubbed at his temple, and Phil leaned into the touch, closing his eyes and sighing.
"Thirsty?" Clint asked, leaning over and kissing Phil's forehead.
Phil nodded. "Ginger ale stayed down."
Clint stood, tucking the blanket around Phil's shoulders. "Yep. Let's get you hydrated and I bet you'll feel better."
"Bed feels good," Phil answered, practically snuggling down into the covers.
"Stay still and I'll be back," Clint called over his shoulder, and he headed to the kitchen. When he got back to the bedroom with the ice water, Phil's eyes were closed and his mouth was hanging open. A tiny snore held Clint's attention for entirely too long before he set the water on the nightstand and went to the bathroom to get cleaned up. It was ten o'clock and Clint knew he'd be up with Phil later, so he crawled into bed, wrapped his arm protectively around Phil's waist, and fell asleep.
He was surprised to wake up to an empty bed.
He got up, noticed that the glass on the nightstand was empty, and made his way to the living room. Phil was lying cocooned in blankets on the couch with the TV on and the remote dropped carelessly on the floor. Clint knelt down next to him and grinned. "Needed your movie, huh?" He reached out and ran his hand through Phil's hair. He could tell that Phil's fever was gone, and his eyes were clearer and not bloodshot anymore.
"It's my favorite," Phil said, practically whispering. "Couldn't sleep."
"Okay. Can I get you anything?" Clint asked.
"Call Fury and tell him I'm staying on the couch today, please?" Phil asked, not taking his eyes from the screen.
Clint nodded and stood, grabbing his phone. It was early, but he could leave a message. After the beep, he said, "Hey, Nick. Phil's sick and mainlining Pixar movies today, so he won't be around. I'll call his secretary and have her clear his schedule, but he wanted me to let you know."
He hung up and moved to the kitchen, pulling bread down from the cupboard and putting it in to toast, knowing Phil was on the mend if he had dragged himself out to the living room for a movie. Clint bobbed his head to the voice of Dory in the background, singing "Just keep swimming, just keep swimming. What do we do? We swim, swim. . . "
It was practically their theme song.