Phil’s face fell when he read the flyer Nick had shoved into his hand.
"It was knitting classes or watercolours," Nick said bluntly. "And you already own enough ugly sweaters." Phil looked up at Nick and grimaced. "Don’t make that face at me. You’re signed up and paid for." Nick crouched down beside Phil’s armchair, and Phil braced himself for the ‘I’m worried about you’ talk.
"I know you’re a grumpy asshole at the best of times," Nick said bluntly. "But I’m worried about you. You spend all your time sulking around and watching Super Nanny. It’s so sad you’re getting me depressed, Cheese."
Phil gave Nick a pointed look, and Nick sighed heavily through his nose. “If I could have you back at work, I would. Get you working through some of the damn persnickety paperwork your accident generated. So consider this the first step to making both our lives easier. Painting involves arms and sitting up and shit.”
Phil studied the flyer again, and wrinkled his nose. He didn’t talk a lot, but he doled a pair quiet and creaky words to express his feelings on the matter. “Pastel landscapes,” he said, and the twist of his mouth made the assessment seem completely scathing. But Nick laughed at him, his white teeth easily the brightest thing in Phil’s dim and drab apartment.
"Not even," he assured Phil. "I asked. I was actually hoping it’d be taught by some old wrinkle who smells like that flower stuff and only paints cats. But they got a young graduate student taking this semester while he works on his thesis." Nick gave Phil a look that was pointed and smug. "He does comics.”
Phil rolled his eyes and sighed heavily, but he handed the flyer to Nick, and Nick stuck it to Phil’s fridge with a tarnished magnet advertising some tourist trap, and they parted on the unspoken agreement that Nick would be by the following night to prise Phil out of his armchair and drag him along to the class.
(But Phil was not one to suffer alone. He e-mailed the coordinator of the evening classes, and signed Nick up for the Intermediate Knitting Techniques course. One could never have too many ugly jumpers, after all.)
start writing oh gohd and maybe people will see your brilliance and follow suit?
Some characters seem more likely to use it then others? Like
Kate frowned at Phil. “What do you mean, ‘no’?”
Phil gave Kate a sharp look. “I mean, ‘You refused the necessary medical treatment when it was provided for you, and you failed your physical assessment as a result of scar tissue that could have been avoided. So, no, you will not be part of the team on the next mission out’.”
Kate slumped right down in her chair on the visitor’s side of Phil’s desk, stubbornly ignoring the pain in her shoulder that the position caused. It was hard to get an appointment with someone whose office was inside of a plane. “Oh gohd,” she moaned, dragging the word out with an exasperated sigh. “You are such an asshole.”
"And you," Phil replied in an idle tone as he worked his way down some SHIELD-sanctioned list of ways to be a jerk, "are benched."
"I hear you’re going by a different name these days," Lenox says, toying with the delicate chain around her neck. She had been determined and shrewd when Phil had first met her, only just entering her autumn years. Those traits remained, though they had been softened by a lazy kind of amusement.
"Yes," Phil says by way of agreement. He had done a thorough job of being French when he had been entwined with her, though being American had eventually suited his needs better.
"I don’t suppose it’s your real one?" she asks, watching him keenly. There’s something laid-back and predatory in her gaze - a cat watching a mouse that it has no real desire to catch at the moment.
"No," Phil admits easily.
"And the first name I knew you by?"
Phil’s smile widens a little, fondness for his memories of her showing plainly on his face. “No,” he says again, shaking his head in a slight gesture of apology.
Lenox curls one side of her mouth up into something of a rakish grin. “Good,” she says firmly. “There’s nothing sadder than an interesting person becoming common.” She finishes her drink, sets it down beside Phil’s own untouched glass, and then rises from her chair with the same fluid grace she had possessed many years ago. She looks down at Phil contemplatively and he gazes up at her patiently, awaiting her judgement.
"I expect I shall see you around," she says at last, a little glimmer in her eyes, and Phil smiles warmly up at her. He has a job to do, of course. But one can always find the time to accommodate old friends.
"Would you stop cringing," Kate hissed. "You look fine. Slightly more fine than usual."
"I know," Phil replied simply, and Kate made a show of rolling her eyes at him before following his gaze as it flicked around the dance floor. After a moment, she cringed as well.
"I’m going to go get him," she said firmly.
"Don’t you dare," Phil returned, and while his voice was calm, almost mellow, there was that thread of authority in it that had Kate settling back in her seat without even meaning to. "It’s better to let him enjoy himself than to cause a scene."
Kate tried to pull her eyes away from Clint, and failed. He had solved the problem of dancing in his tight skirt by pulling it up so everything from the top of his ass down was on display. Including the pair of lacy underpants he had apparently borrowed from Kate. Not all of him seemed to fit in the panties at once. It was kind of hypnotic, watching everything shift around as Clint ground and wiggled and snaked in his own little world.
Finding out that her not-really-mentor and fellow Hawkeye wore dresses had been a bit of a non-event. Kate had been digging through Clint’s wardrobe for a jacket, had seen the dresses still in bags from the dry cleaners hanging up, and asked who they belonged to. “Me,” Clint had said simply, and had given Kate a kind of perplexed look that said ‘who else would they belong to?’. So Kate had said “Cool,” and found a sweater to wear, and just added it to the small pile of things that she knew about Clint Barton.
The pile was a lot bigger these days, and it was tangled in some places with the (admittedly smaller) pile of things she knew about Phil, and also with the general clutter of things that she thought she knew about herself. It was odd sometimes, realising which parts of her piles were common knowledge and which were secret. Everyone knew that Clint would wear a dress if the occasion allowed, but practically no one knew that the reason he skipped breakfast most mornings was because it took a while for his brain to wake up and deciding between toast and cereal was just too hard for him. If you gave him food he would eat it, but if you gave him a choice you could be waiting for hours for the cogs to clank into place.
And now, everyone in the room was having another item added to their Clint-pile. And for most of them it would be that Clint could jiggle one testicle back into the panties and pop the other one out with a sharp snap of his hips. It was hypnotic to watch, and judging by the smirk on Clint’s face (when Katie finally managed to lift her gaze) he knew exactly how engrossing his dance moves were. Kate blushed, largely out of frustration and embarrassment and a little bit of anger. Because she didn’t often get invited to these things and she’d never been invited to one this fancy and it was the first time that both of her dates had been there, and she hadn’t expected to spend the whole evening flushing and having to hold her chin stiffly up as people smirk at the Hawkeyes. She felt fingers brushing against her leg under the thick layers of her gown, and jumped a little as Phil leaned close to her.
"You look like you just bit a lemon," he said quietly.
Kate snorted, and then made an effort to straighten her face out, and then felt some of the annoyance in her loosen. It was hard to be angry at someone for being carefree, and since it was a SHIELD social function she was technically on Clint and Phil’s territory. Looking around the room again, she could see that while plenty of people were amused or bemused by Clint shaking his stuff, only a few people remained surprised or flustered by it. Clint, Kate was slowly realising, probably did this kind of thing all the time. Which also explained why every now and then a pair of her nice underpants would go missing.
"Come on," she said, and then grabbed Phil’s arm and stood up without allowing any further questions. Phil allowed himself to be pulled to his feet, and while he hesitated when Kate set course to the dance floor she was able to tow him along and that meant he wasn’t completely opposed. "I know you can dance," she told him, giving him a stern look. "We’re not going to let Clint hog the spotlight."
Phil gave her a doubtful look, but didn’t disengage from her grip. The DJ, a cool and remote Agent May who Kate had never spoken to, smoothly transitioned into a new track, serendipitously timing it so the new song started just as Phil’s shiny shoes clicked onto the dance floor. Or, given the betrayed look Phil shot at the DJ booth, maybe it wasn’t serendipitous at all. But Phil put a hand on Kate’s waist, and held her fingers against his palm, and before Kate could even open her mouth to boss him around he had her swept up in the fast skips and circles of electroswing. Clint caught her eye from across the dance floor, and the grin he gave her was infectious.
one character freeing another, or the other way around, or something among the lines [be it freeing them from jail, from handcuffs, from a trap, from a curse, feel free to specify.]
" ‘Stick to the plan, Hawkeye’,” she sneered as she crouched down beside them, Clint cuffed to a chair and Phil on the ground beside him. ” ‘Don’t do anything stupid, Hawkeye’,” she continued as she tucked her fingers under the tie being used to gag Phil. He gave her an exasperated look and, after taking a moment to enjoy it, she tugged the tie down and let Phil to clumsily spit out the hanky that had been stuffed in his mouth.
"For the record, those statements were directed at both of you,” he said as Kate started picking the lock of the cuffs around his wrists.
"For the record," Kate parroted back, "I’m totally saving both of your asses right now." Clint bobbed his head and made a muffled noise of complaint, and Kate reached over and ruffled his hair. "I think we should keep him like this," she said. "He’s less trouble this way."
"I think we should get out of here," Phil returned as he climbed up Clint’s body in order to get upright.
"Fine," Kate huffed as she started working on Clint’s cuffs. "Cut my moment of glory short."
"We’ll worship you later," Phil assured her in a dry tone, and Kate let her mouth curl into a grin. She’d make sure they delivered on that promise.
one character watching over another [as a ghost, watching from a distance, or otherwise, feel free to specify.]
It was an interesting feeling, being mostly dead. Her spirit apparently had a few days worth of living left in it, leaving her as a ghost roaming the mortal plane. That was probably how so many people failed to stay dead - fix the body and the soul has something to step right back into. Not that it was likely. Not enough left to fix.
She went and saw her dad, her family. Seemed like the thing to do, but they couldn’t see her and it didn’t make her feel any better. Phil was more depressing. Working away with the steady patience that Kate had thought characterised him. He could be a firecracker when he wanted to be, but he was damp and soggy all through. She watched him take reports from underlings, make reports to higher ups. Return to a dim little room that was his office (she’d never seen his office before; Phil had always lied and said he didn’t have one) and sit at his desk, surrounded by work and clues and trinkets and piles and piles of important things. He looked weary. He often did. She laid her thing, silvery hand on his shoulder and Phil pressed a hand to his face, sat slumped forward and breathing shakily with his eyes covered by his hand. Raw, and there wasn’t enough of her left to feel anything about that. She left him to his moment.
Clint was easier to find. He was Hawkeye and she had been and there was a long, dark thread that tied together birds of a feather. He was in a bar, a woman leaning close to him and his nose in her hair. She looked old, though Clint wasn’t young and Phil was less so. Clint probably didn’t care. Kate wondered where he’d take her. Back to his own apartment with its cold sheets and thick layer of dust. Maybe to her place with a thousand knick knacks he’d never notice. Maybe they wouldn’t go anywhere, just rut against one another behind the building. He wouldn’t take her to Phil’s tiny apartment. Wouldn’t even mention it, though when Kate made herself thing about it she was sure that Phil would know. Would know even before Clint did what his plans were.
She stared at Clint, one of his hard hands splayed across a pale back, his pinky finger pressing down the back of tight jeans. She watched hands shift over bodies that were rich with history and glowing with life. Watched as her vision started to blur and colours slipped away. Things ended, of course. Things ended all the damn time.
I will write a drabble out one character fighting with/or against another.
"You’re being an idiot!" Kate yelled.
"It’s none of your business!" Clint yelled back.
Kate’s expression shifted into one of indignant rage and she spun on her heel to face Phil. “Well?!” she said sharply. “What do you think, Phil?” Kate was radiating anger, and Clint had a surly tension rolling off him in waves.
When faced with such ominous options, Phil decided that honesty was the best policy. “… I think you’re both scary when you yell.”
a drabble about one character dressing another, or the other way around
"I can do this myself," Phil protested for at least the third time. "It’s not the first time I’ve busted a knee."
"It took you twenty minutes to change your underpants last night," Clint protested as he dug through Phil’s closet.
"I was putting on a show."
"The part where you fell over and banged your shoulder on the dresser was really sexy," Kate chimed in, tugging his socks up. Phil waited until she was completely satisfied with the even height of his sock around his calves, before lifting his good leg and using his heel to scrunch the sock on his other leg back down.
"I didn’t want to use the same old moves on you," Phil replied with a straight face. An expressed that cracked when Clint emerged triumphantly with a pair of jeans. "No," Phil protested. "I’m going into work later."
"No you’re not," Kate cut in. "You’re on leave for the rest of the week."
"Yeah, but he’ll go in anyway," he said as he tossed the jeans to Kate. "May as well make it look like he wasn’t too keen to get back to it." He stood next to Phil and bent down to get his hands under Phil’s armpits, preparing to heave him to his feet.
"Fucking Christ, Clint. I can stand on my- Oof!" Clint, built like a wall and with all of the delicacy of a brick, yanked Phil up off the bed and held him up as Kate crouched down and batted at Phil’s feet one at a time, coaxing him to step into his pants. Leaning against Clint did support him a little when he had to rest his weight on his good leg (though his original plan of just sitting on the fucking bed until his slacks were up to his knees and then standing on his good leg would have been perfectly fine), and he suspected that the Hawkeyes were keen to help.
The way Clint wrapped his arms around Phil’s middle and kissed the side of his neck wasn’t the most helpful thing he’d done that morning, and the way Kate paused in fastening Phil’s jeans to nuzzle at the skin below his bellybutton was definitely slowing the whole operation down. But, Phil would grudgingly admit, it did make him feel better.
one character watching over another [as a ghost, watching from a distance, or otherwise, feel free to specify].
"Reminder to all Hawkeyes to please stick to the protocol," Phil said over the comms. "This is recon. Hawkeye I need you to get your hand out of your purse and look charming," Phil instructed, only to hear a vague grumble from Kate in return. “Hawkeye, back away from the buffet and resume circling the room, please.” Clint responded with a similar grumble, and loaded up a small plate with everything he could grab before dusting his pants off on his pants. Phil sighed loudly, hoping to send the message that he was deeply disappointed with them as a pair of operatives and that he felt he deserved better. Clint glanced up at the security camera and gave Phil a not-at-all subtle wink, and Kate lifted a hand to her mouth in a poor effort to hide the kissy noises she was sending in Phil’s direction. Phil rolled his eyes and sighed again.