“Barton, be careful,” Phil says, and Clint meets his eyes for a moment before starting to climb the fire escape to find his position. The same as he’s done every other time Phil’s said it since he got cleared for field work three weeks ago.
“He is never fucking talking to you again,” Sitwell says on comm.
“Shut up,” Coulson replies.
“You will die with the bluest balls in the world,” Sitwell continues. “This is why you don’t fake your death, asshole.”
“You were in on it!” Coulson snaps.
“Yup,” Sitwell agrees, completely unrepentant.
“Damnit,” Coulson replies.
“I gotta tell you,” Stark cuts in, “I love these SHIELD domestics you all have. So much fun to have in my ear as I’m trying to take down a dragon.”
“It’s not a dragon,” Coulson replies. “Dragon’s breathe fire.”
“Acid counts as fire,” Stark replies.
“Stark, just blast the damned thing.”
Tony does, but it only singes the thing. It’s an arrow to the neck and a blast of lightning that finally take it down.
“Meet at the perimeter,” Coulson says. He hears a clatter behind him and turns to watch Clint jump the last few feet to the ground. “Good job, Barton,” he says. Clint barely looks at him. He’d said nothing over comms during the whole op.
Coulson wonders how much more time he’s got to give Clint before Clint gives him another chance. Clint walks over and looks at him from very close up. “Yes?” Coulson asks.
Clint reaches out a hand and touches Phil’s bare forearm. Phil’s jacket was a victim of one of the acid-spitting moments, and he’d rolled up his sleeves out of habit.
“Yes?” Phil asks again.
Clint stares at him, swaying towards him just a little.
“Come here,” Phil says, and he tucks a thumb into one of Clint’s belt loops and pulls him forward, kissing him for just a moment, relieved beyond all thought when Clint kisses him back.
“Adorable,” Sitwell says over comms. “You know we’ve got media watching, right?”
“Hope they got my good side,” Clint says as he pulls away, his fingers curling around Phil’s bicep, a warm smile on his face.
“Hi,” Coulson says.
“Hey,” Clint responds.