Day 5

Title: Day 5
Author: tarotgal
Fandom: Marvel/The Avengers
Rating: PG-13ish
Pairing: Barton/Coulson
Disclaimer: Not my characters! I make no money from this.
Summary: Good morning, sunshine.
Notes: Written during my 12 Ficlets in 12 Days in 2012 project for smokeycat_430

Clint Barton is not a fan of mornings. Mornings are for goody two-shoes who go to bed straight after dinner and wake up refreshed; that’s never been remotely on his radar. He’ll suffer through a morning if he has to for the job, but most mornings he faces come from being up all night and are strung together from morning to morning with no sleep in-between at all. Mornings aren’t for people who have fun. They’re too bright; not enough cover to hide yourself in. And piercing, blinding sunbeams make it hard to focus, aim. As far as he’s concerned, mornings aren’t good for anything except lying in bed and recovering from the night before.

But Coulson’s got to leave and the horrendous beeping of his cell phone’s alarm clock goes off three times before the man finally stops it, sits up, and swings his legs out of bed, leaving the covers behind. But then he sits there, motionless on the edge of the bed. His head drops slowly, chin finally coming to rest on his chest before it snaps back up again. Clint watches with one eye open, not wanting to move unless absolutely necessary. “Phil? You all right?”

The head snaps up again. He clears his throat and nods. “Can’t seem to get started this morning.”

“Then don’t.” He closes his eye. “Just forget about S.H.I.E.L.D. and come back to bed with me.” He lifts an arm, flexes his fingers, tries to beckon Coulson back to bed. He’s sad to lose the warmth beside him. “I’m sure we could come up with plenty of things to do… like we did last night…” The memory of last night makes him smile into the pillow.

ahhh-Tixxshhh!” Coulson snaps forward suddenly, hand cupped to his face. Coulson anticipates; that’s what he does. He also rocks as another sneeze comes. “ahhhhhh-IHFschhhh!

Clint opens both eyes. “Phil?”

“Think I’m coming down with something.” He shivers and rubs his hands up and down his arms. “I can’t seem to get warm.”

Clint sits up and gathers the comforter in his arms. He ambushes Coulson from behind, wrapping it around the man.

“Mmmm.” Coulson leans back, finding himself in not just a warm blanket but Clint’s strong arms. “But I’ve got to get going. I have a meeting with a prime minister and a call with Fury and… ahhh…

“And more sneezing to do?”

He nods, cups his hand to his face again. “ahhhh-HIKKTShhhh!” He groans. “I’ve gotta get up.”

Clint pulls himself out of bed instead. “Stay put. Rest. I’ll get your clothes.”

“I can’t show up wearing tight leather pants and a sleeveless… ahhh…

Clint turns. “Jeez, Coulson. You have to sneeze again?”

ahhh-Higgtshhhh! Uhh… Sniff! A simple ‘bless you’ would have sufficed.”

The ensuite bathroom has a tissue box under the sink. It lands in Coulson’s lap already opened and with a tissue sticking out of the top.

“I’ll pick you out something respectable, don’t you worry. I know how Phil Coulson dresses for work.”

He starts with black socks, a pair rolled up nicely and tucked into the corner of a drawer. When he slides them onto Coulson’s feet, he kisses one knee and then the other while he’s there. He’s got the sudden urge to tell Fury and the Prime Minister of Wherever to go fuck themselves so he can push Coulson back down on the bed and fuck him properly, but he plays the good boy for once and does what Coulson needs him to do. And damn it if he doesn’t kind of like it.

He finds some perfectly pressed slacks on a hanger in the closet and they slip off into his hands with a slight tug. It takes more than that to put them on Coulson. But the man laughs as Clint tries. “Unlike most people, I guess I don’t have to put my pants on one leg at a time,” he says as the pants slide up to his thighs. Clint squares off in front of him, then holds up a single finger. He reaches out, pressing fingertip to Coulson’s sternum. With the slightest bit of pressure, Coulson is pushed back on the bed, in the nest of comforter. Clint slips a hand under him, at the small of his back, and up Coulson goes, arching enough for the slacks to go right up.

“Good thing I was in the circus,” Clint mutters as he mounts the bed, straddling Coulson as he tugs the slacks into place. “I’m flexible.” Fingers deftly zip and then button. Then they linger on the spot where waistband of the pants meets smooth skin.

And then Coulson’s back up, sitting, sniffling in Clint’s arms, huddling against Clint’s warm chest. Clint doesn’t want to let him go, unless maybe it leads to sex. “uhhh-Ihhgschhhh!” Clint’s pretty sure it’s not going to lead to sex. He rubs his hand down the back of Coulson’s head. “Half done,” he says.

Phil’s undershirts are neatly folded in a pile in another drawer. One comes unfolded beautifully, crisp and clean and cotton and comfortable. Phil tries lifting his arms to get it on, but he wasn’t kidding when he said he couldn’t get going. He’s so weak they don’t get above his shoulders before he drops them, coughing then breathing hard. “Damn it.”

“Hey, I’ve got you. Save your energy for later and let me do it.” Carefully, Clint slides the white shirt up one arm, then the other. He rolls it at the bottom then stretches it and eases it over Coulson’s head. He pulls it down into place then tucks it into the slacks with hands that plunge a little deeper than they should. Coulson tenses and, for a moment, Clint thinks maybe he has a chance after all.

Coulson pitches forward suddenly. “UhShxxxkkkk! H’ihhhKggshh!” Coulson’s hands barely move as he helps himself to a tissue too late. He folds it over his nose and blows in a calculated sort of way, almost like he’s only allowed to let a bit of his cold out at a time.

As the search of a shirt begins, Clint gives him room to breathe and blow and whatever else the man needs to do.

“I want the blue one.” His voice is slightly deeper; Clint can hear that from inside the closet, and he frowns. The Prime Minister of Whateversville wouldn’t notice that but Fury might. “The light blue one. On your right.”

Clint locates the shirt and frees it from its hanger. Then he returns to Coulson, who is coughing into a balled-up tissue. But as soon as Clint stands before him with the shirt, he clears his throat and straightens up and prepares to accept it. His arms go slack and are heavy to maneuver through the sleeves, but Clint doesn’t mind the touching and a button-down is a hell of a lot easier than the undershirt. He thinks maybe the worst is behind him, even though the tedious chore of doing up each of the buttons is before him. The ones on the cuffs are easy enough, buttons slipping through the holes beautifully. But the ones down the front are harder. He does two before he realizes he got the wrong first hole and has to re-do them. He feels like a five-year-old just learning how to do buttons until he gets to the top. And Phil Coulson always had his top button buttoned. Clint’s fingers graze Coulson’s chin. He could probably do with a shave. But first Clint needs to back off. Behind his face is so close to Phil’s. It wouldn’t take much for lips to touch. A kiss couldn’t hurt too much, right?

Coulson turns his head and coughs, shivers. Clint knows he has to hurry. He digs a suit jacket out of the closet that perfectly matches the black slacks. Grateful for the lack of buttons, the jacket goes on nicely. All he needs now is a tie. And Coulson lets him pick this one, prepared to live with the choice. Clint wraps it around Coulson’s neck and ties the knot. But his fingers can’t seem to figure it out. It comes out all wrong or not a knot at all, even worse. Coulson starts to chuckle at the pathetic work.

Frustrated, Clint pulls it off and straightens it out. “Shut up,” he says before another word is uttered, though the laughter doesn’t die down. “I can do this.” He puts it around his neck and ties a Windsor. He does it loose enough so he can take it off himself and put it onto Coulson. It’s magical when he tightens it. Coulson is always Coulson, even naked, but somehow it makes him more himself. It makes him everything he is, just the way Clint likes him. And then he can’t help himself. They’re kissing. Soft kisses. Tender. Sympathetic. He feels bad that Phil feels bad, but he kisses great for someone sick.

Coulson pulls back finally, needing to rub at his nose a little. “Thanks. I… I-hhh… huhhh… huhkffshhh! I’m all set now.”

“Almost.” Clint sits down on the bed and pulls a tissue out of the box. He folds it in half, in half again, in half a third time, then in half once more so it’s a neat little square. He does it again and again until there are two dozen of them. Clint stuffs them into every one of Coulson’s pockets. “Now you’re ready for the day, as long as you think you’re up for this.”

“I’m up.” Coulson gets to his feet. He sways, puts a hand out, and grabs Clint’s shoulder to steady himself. “But maybe I could use a special escort today?”

“Yeah,” Clint agrees. “I think that could be arranged. Let’s go.”

Coulson clears his throat again. “Ah, I think a little something is still missing.”

It takes Clint a minute to realize he’s still naked. “Oh shit.” He deposits Coulson back on the bed before getting himself dressed. He stuffs some tissues in his own pocket, pretty sure Coulson will need them by the end of the day.


Or maybe he’ll need them even sooner.