Oh boy oh boy, I’ve never written for Clint or Phil before, so this should be an exciting challenge! Let me know how I did :’) Unfortunately it’s not very long, as I have other projects (thank you for the well-wishes, btw!), but I hope you enjoy it just the same.
Clint is annoyed.
It’s not that he doesn’t like Phil, because he does—don’t even get him started on that—but there’s one major problem: Phil is too damn affectionate. Sure, it’s fine in the mornings when they’re alone with no one but the four walls of their sort-of-but-not-technically shared bedroom to hear Phil coo, but when they’re doing something with the rest of the crew, it becomes a problem.
"You’re overreacting," Phil had once said lazily into his hair. They’d managed to keep the whole thing a secret for six months by then so maybe he was right, but Clint simply did not want to hear it, nor does he now. To him, every look, every whisper is a danger to the secrecy they have so carefully maintained, and it doesn’t help that Phil acts somewhat akin to a lost puppy whenever he’s even remotely close to rejected.
One can imagine that, on this particular job, Clint is especially annoyed when Phil bats his eyelashes at him from across the room. He has to use all of his willpower not to stomp his feet and holler at him, focusing on evening out some damaged fletching on an arrow instead and trying not to audibly grit his teeth.
"Did you get one yet?"
He looks up from his arrow to see Natasha, her brow arched and her mouth set in a this line. In her outstretched palm is a small, circular silver device. He shakes his head and picks it up, rolling it between his fingers carefully.
"A communicator. Update on the previous one. Easier to activate or something."
Knowing Tony it probably isn’t actually that amazingly different, but he does like flaunting his innovations, no matter how small. The rest of the team just humor him, really. After all, who wants a sulky Tony in the tower?
"Thanks," Clint replies, looking up after he fits the device in his ear. Natasha’s lips curl into a small, tight smile and she nods, the gesture distant but somewhat affectionate as far as Natasha went. As he watches her walk away he feels a pang of guilt in his stomach because of his secrecy, the way he’s been sneaking around—it’s like she deserves to know after being so good to him for so long.
He wrinkles his nose. It’s his personal life! Why should he be compelled to tell anyone about any of it? He is perfectly in the right to—
"Fancy," a familiar voice says over the intercom, one he knows backwards and forwards and inside-out and upside-down, one he’s heard fall apart and come back together again countless times, one that’s instantly comforting and irritating at the same time: Phil.
"Mm," is all Clint says in return. He doesn’t trust a new comm system with words of any level of intimacy. Syllables will just have to do.
Phil, it seems, has no such qualms, because he’s suddenly taken off on some very, very inappropriate tangent, something about peanut butter and chocolate sauce that makes the tips of his ears go pink.
"I’ll use a whole bottle, too. You know I will."
Clint is about to protest very, very furiously when he hears another voice cut in.
"Sorry to break you two lovebirds up but, uh, the channel’s public. Still haven’t worked out the kinks in the private communication area and all that." Clint’s jaw nearly drops when he realizes that Tony—and probably the rest of the team, too—just heard every single word.
"Yeah, so it’d be cool if you could keep that stuff relegated to the bedroom until I get that all set up. Don’t worry, you’ll be the first to know, trust me.”
Clint’s mouth really does fall open now. He tries to say something, anything, but the words were like flies in his sticky paper throat. He can’t speak, can’t breathe, can’t do much of anything, and when his gaze meets Natasha’s, he can only sit and seethe.
Her eyes are sparkling.