sinope: a hundred thousand fireflies (A hundred thousand fireflies)
Title: if you do it right, it is sublime
Pairing: Hawkeye (Clint Barton)/Phil Coulson. Explicit.
Length: 4194 words
Summary: He’s had far too few good men in his life, he tells himself, wincing at the way the handcuffs are biting into Clint’s skin. He deserves at least one.

Note: This is a sex pollen fic, which means fundamental issues of consent, so be warned. That said, Phil is very aware of those issues, and I would not personally classify what happens as dub-con or non-con.

Also available at the AO3.




The worst part of Phil's job is retrieving agents after jobs gone wrong. When he's very lucky, all that's wrong is a blown cover and maybe a few bruises. When he's unlucky, the agents he retrieves are in body bags.

Then there are jobs like this one.

Through the warehouse's security cameras, he can see the chemical vat explode near Barton without being able to do a thing about it. Barton still manages to take down the last two guards, punch in the safe's security code, grab the stack of folders inside it, and hurry out of the building before the next round of guards shows up. When he hops into the van outside, where Phil's been waiting, he's dripping with a viscous pink liquid, but he still gives Phil a nod of got it, I'm fine, let's move. So Phil does.

Driving back to the safehouse while losing their tails occupies most of Phil's attention, so it's only when they arrive and he turns back to Barton that he realizes something is very wrong. Barton's breaths are coming fast and shallow, and the pink stuff on his skin glistens, mingled with a sheen of sweat. He's still sitting on the floor of the van, eyes fixed on a blank spot on the ground; his hands grip each other with a tense desperation. "Barton, talk to me," Phil says, and Barton honest-to-god flinches at the sound of Phil's voice.

"It's," Barton says, then cuts himself off with something like a choked whimper. He takes a deep breath and starts over. "It's the chemical from the warehouse, sir. I think -- fuck," he bites out, "-- I think it's got some kind of hormone or pheromone thing going on. I -- sorry, sir, I don't know how much longer I'll be able to control myself."

Barton glances up at Phil, and his eyes are practically black, pupils wide and helpless with what Phil recognizes now as undiluted desire. (And yes, he's imagined that look on Barton's face more than once, in the privacy of his own mind, but he never wanted to see it like this, when every twitching muscle of Barton's body is shouting that he's fighting it as hard as he's able.) Before Phil can say anything, though, Barton looks away again. His fingernails are digging so hard into his hand that they're probably starting to draw blood.

"Okay, it's all right," Phil says, using his calmest voice. "We'll just get you indoors and safe, and then we'll call in for an antidote. We'll be okay. Now, I need you to get inside the house now and go wash off the chemicals. I'll get you clean clothes. Can you do that for me, Barton?"

The response doesn't come at first, just a few shuddering breaths, but then -- "Yes. Yes, sir."

Phil hops out of the van and opens the door to the house, a small building out in the countryside near Atlanta. The heat's brutal outside the air-conditioned vehicle, but the house itself is cool and dark. He clears a path to the first-floor shower, shouts out for Barton to come in, and gets out of sight. No need to tempt fate here; the last thing he wants is for Barton to do something he'll regret once the effect wears off.

From the kitchen, Phil listens as his agent enters the house, and he doesn't leave until he can hear the shower running. Then he heads back outside, locks up the van, and cleans up the house, careful to wipe up Barton's tracks without touching them. By the time that the shower stops, he's left a pile of clean clothes right outside the door.

Phil's typing up an encrypted e-mail to SHIELD's medical and biochemical divisions, asking for advice and antidote suggestions, when he hears the pad of bare feet at the entrance to the living room.

He looks up, and -- fuck. There's temptation, and then there's Clint Barton standing ten feet away with mussed damp hair and a few trickles of water sliding down his bare chest. Barton's lips are pink, as if he's been biting them to restrain himself, and the towel around his waist does nothing to hide his hard-on. "Please," Barton says, and suddenly he's striding forward and kneeling in front of Phil, those perfect pink lips inches from Phil's fly. "Please let me touch you, sir. I'll make it so good for you, I swear."

Phil closes his eyes, and he takes a deep breath, and he lists to himself all the reasons why reciprocating would be unethical and irresponsible. (Reason number one: Phil knows what "capacity for consent" is, and doing this would be tantamount to raping his -- his Clint.) He takes another deep breath, then speaks. "Barton, you're under the influence of a drug. We need to keep you contained until the effects wear off, and I'm working on getting us help right now."

"Don't need help, sir," Barton says, and then he licks his lips while looking pointedly at Phil's tented trousers, Jesus. "Need you. Want to taste your cock so bad, want to swallow you down until you come. Need to feel you fucking me, inside me, hard and deep. Please."

Pushing Barton away may literally be the hardest thing that Phil's ever done, but he does it, and he stands up. "Follow me," he says, and leads Barton upstairs to one of the bedrooms, the one that locks from the outside rather than the inside.

When they're both in the room, Phil turns to shut Barton in. But Barton's always had a slight edge on him for speed and agility, and Phil finds himself pressed against the wall, receiving the most eager, wet, desperate kiss of his life. Barton -- fuck, at this point, he might as well give in and call him by his first name -- Clint rubs up against Phil like a cat, gripping Phil's head to hold their lips together, and his towel fell off somewhere along the way, so there's nothing but the thin layers of Phil's pants and boxers between their cocks rubbing against each other. Phil musters his strength and twists out of Clint's grip, backing out into the hall. "Agent Barton. Listen to me. I don't want this. You're a good man and a good agent, and I need you to control yourself."

"You know I don't believe you," Clint smirks, looking pointedly at Phil's erection, but he backs away and onto the bed, sprawling back like a pornographic model. His hand's working up and down his cock now, using precum to slick himself up, and the harsh breaths that quicken in pace with his hand are intoxicating. "Wish this were you," he pants. "Wanted you for so long, Phil -- lay in bed at night, imagining you using your hand, your mouth, anything, just touching me. I'd even -- ah, finger myself open, pretend it was your hand, your cock." He curls his free hand around to press one finger into his hole, dry, not pushing too deep, and it's the most erotic thing that Phil has ever seen. "Don't suppose you know if this place came stocked with lube?" Clint grins a bit at his own question, looking so much like his normal self that it hits Phil like a punch to the gut.

Phil closes his eyes again, calculating strategies. "Okay," he says at last. "Let me get you something. You wait here, all right?" It's a short walk to the upstairs bathroom, where there's a small jar of Vaseline. He brings it to the bedroom, tosses it at Clint, then has the door shut and locked before Clint can make another move. Phil hurries to the other bedroom, ignoring the yell of dammit, you bastard, and locks that one from the inside. Then he sits down on the bed with a frustrated exhalation and resists the urge to either bang his head into the wall or masturbate furiously.

Instead, he checks his phone. He's gotten a couple new e-mails. Medical says that chemical aphrodisiacs like this shouldn't be permanent or harmful, and that hydration and lubrication are the best bets to avoid injury; Biochem says that the description matches a black-market substance that they've been tracking through the Eastern seaboard, and that its effects usually taper off within a couple of hours, although Clint's high dose may mean it lasts longer. Neither department reminds Phil of the extensive ethics guidelines that SHIELD has for these situations, for which Phil's grateful; now he just needs to live up to that infallible image that they seem to have of him.

Hydration and lubrication. He can do that. The kitchen downstairs is stocked with lemon-lime Gatorade, which Clint lives on for reasons that Phil can't fathom, so he heads downstairs to grab a couple bottles. (He can hear the urgent moans echoing from the other bedroom on his way down, and he does his best to ignore the effect that they have on him.)

Bottles in hand, Phil starts to head back up, then pauses with an idea. The pantry's stocked with a bottle of olive oil, which will give Clint extra lubricant -- and guarantee that Phil doesn't give into temptation, since he's pretty sure that the only condoms around are latex, and he knows better than to mix oil and latex. (Contrary to popular belief, Phil Coulson does have a sex life. Really. It's just one that happens to have been dormant since he developed certain frustrating emotions around his best field agent.) Phil trusts his self-control, but he's always believed in back-up plans.

He returns upstairs and knocks on Clint's door. "Is it safe for me to open the door?" he asks.

The next thing he hears is a guttural cry and the rapid squeak of bedsprings, followed by a half-groaned "Phil," and Phil knows somehow that this is it -- this is what it's like to hear Clint come to orgasm.

A few seconds of silence, and then -- "Yeah. It's safe for now."

Phil unlocks the door, and knowing what to expect doesn't stop the sight from filling him with a pulse of pure desire. Clint's utterly undone, nude and dripping with sweat and cum; his chest rises and falls with shallow breaths, and his lips and eyes are both lazily half-open. The jar of Vaseline is open beside him, with two -- no, god, three -- of Clint's fingers slick with it and still twitching slightly. Phil knows he's been staring for too long, but even if Clint never speaks to him again, this image is going to haunt his wet dreams for years.

"I," he says, then has to cough to moisten his dry throat. "I brought you some things. Make sure you stay hydrated. They say it should get better within a couple of hours." Phil tosses the bottles onto the bed, not trusting himself to step any closer.

Clint glances at the bottles, then picks up one of the Gatorades, uncaps it, and drinks half the bottle in one long, smooth chug, his adam's apple bobbing steadily as he swallows. His gaze never leaves Phil's eyes. When he finishes, he wipes off his lips with one hand, and Phil takes that as his cue to leave.

"Wait," Clint says. "Listen to me." His voice is still half-breathless, but it sounds calmer than before. "I know you're trying to do the right thing, so believe me when I say that I want this. I want you. All I can think about is you touching me, and I swear I won't regret it when I'm better, I swear. Please." Clint's cheeks are a feverish red, and his eyes still shine dark with lust.

"No," Phil says, before he can give himself the chance to think and say yes. "Barton, there are two ways this can play out. Option one, you stay in this room and take care of yourself, and I bring you whatever you need, but I don't come inside. Option two, if you can't control yourself enough to do that, I put you in restraints until your body's back to normal."

Clint nods and rises from the bed, gloriously naked and already hard again. (A brief inappropriate thought runs through Phil's mind: this stuff could beat Viagra out of the market.) "Okay," Clint says. He lifts up his right hand, the one sticky with his own cum, and licks the fingers clean one by one; Phil succeeds at not moaning at the sight. "I choose option three."

"What's option three?" Phil asks, as if he doesn't already know.

"Option three is that I remind you how much you want this." Clint's advancing on him, step by careful step, until he's bare inches away. "Option three is that I blow your mind, and your cock along the way." He curls one hand around the hard length in Phil's pants, and Phil has to use every ounce of self-control not to buck forward into the touch. "Option three is that you let me touch you the way I've wanted to for years, because I swear that if you do, neither of us is ever gonna regret it." Clint tilts his head up for another kiss, but where the last one was hard and demanding, this one is seductive, sweet, a question rather than a statement.

"Okay," Phil breathes, just before Clint's lips touch his. "Okay. But we're going to do this my way."

Clint grins in triumph. "Anything."

"I know you think you're in control, but earlier you were pushing me around, even when I said no." Phil keeps his eyes on Clint, careful neither to lean in or back away. "So if we're going to do this safely, I want to tie you up first. Then, when you're all spread out for me, I'll ride you as hard and fast as you want. Got it?"

After a sharp gasp at the words I'll ride you, Clint's expression turns skeptical. "How do I know you won't just tie me up and leave me like that?"

"Because I wouldn't lie to you, Clint." Phil uses the name deliberately, conscious of how rare it is, and he can see in Clint's wide eyes that he knows it too. Clint nods and spreads himself out on the bed, limbs stretched out in sweat-sheened perfection.

Phil keeps two pairs of cuffs on him, so those restrain Clint's wrists; a couple of his less-favorite ties go around Clint's ankles. As he's securing Clint in place, he can't ignore how beautiful Clint is like this, so vulnerable, so trusting. Phil has to resist the urge to kiss each taut wrist before he puts the cuff on it.

When all four restraints are in place, Phil tells Clint, "Go ahead and test them for me." Clint tugs each limb, but nothing budges. "Good," Phil nods. He sits down on the bedside next to Clint, and he can't keep himself from stroking Clint's face, smoothing the damp hair off his forehead. "I am so sorry for this."

Then Phil stands up, walks out of the room, fetches his laptop, and sits down on the floor of the hallway. He can see enough of Clint to know whether he's injuring himself or escaping, but he forces his eyes to focus on the computer screen, instead of the rippling muscles of Clint's arms as he strains and curses. He's had far too few good men in his life, he tells himself, wincing at the way the handcuffs are biting into Clint's skin. He deserves at least one.

Clint continues to fight against the restraints for several minutes, but Phil knows how to make them secure; even dislocating a thumb wouldn't get Clint free. Eventually he flops down on the bed, panting, and regroups. "Remember that mission in Tel Aviv?" Clint asks. Phil doesn't respond. "We went out for falafel on our last night there, and the air was so hot and sticky that you had your shirtcuffs rolled up. I could see the sweat trickle down your throat, and all I could think was how much I wanted to lick it away. I wanted to bite your throat, make you gasp. I wanted you to hold me down with those bare arms of yours and take me slowly, until all I could do was beg."

Phil's been rereading the same line of text on his laptop for the last five minutes, but he refuses to look up. Clint doesn't stop talking, though. "I've wanted you so bad for so long. And I know it's not just me, I do. I notice things. I see the way you watch me. I know that you love to look at my arms. Do you want me to hold you down with them, sir? It'd be so easy -- push you down into the mattress, or hold you up pushed against the wall, trapped against me. Or maybe you like them like this, tied up for you to use and touch and taste. Want you to taste -- want to feel your tongue slide over me, feel your lips wrap around my nipples and bite them until they're hard. I'd be so eager, so good for you -- suck you, beg you, whatever you wanted, just so I could feel your mouth -- fuck, your mouth, all around me, swallowing me down, wet and tight and --" Clint's voice turns inarticulate, just a loud sob, and Phil doesn't have to look up to know that he's coming without a touch.

Phil gets a few minutes of blessed relief then, nothing but the ragged panting of Clint's breath to distract him. He manages to make his way through an e-mail, word by painstaking word, with only a glance upward to make sure that Clint's wrists aren't bleeding from straining against the cuffs.

Then it starts all over again. Phil's not even sure whether Clint's giving him the filthiest dirty talk of his life to persuade Phil to join him, or just for his own sake, a lifeline to cling to as he works his way through three more orgasms without a single touch to his cock. After the second hour, Phil steels himself and gets up to hydrate Clint.

Clint's a wreck. The bedsheets under him are drenched with sweat, his eyes are unfocused, and ropes of white cum streak across his chest. His whole body's tense, twitching with energy expended and pent up again. "Hey, Barton," Phil says, calm and quiet. He doesn't ask how Clint's doing; his rigid, still-dripping cock is enough evidence that it's not over. Instead, he picks up the Gatorade and tips it into Clint's mouth, slow enough that Clint can swallow without choking. After the bottle's empty, he wipes Clint's lips with a bedsheet corner, then uses the sheet to pat Clint's face dry of sweat. Neither man breaks the silence.

With Clint silent and still, it's easier for Phil to keep his focus. He moves to each of Clint's wrists and ankles, gently massaging the sore skin and clenched muscles until they relax. Phil focuses on the skin beneath his fingers, rather than the dark eyes watching his movements, and it's -- it's bearable. But the longer he stays in here, the harder it is to keep himself from cradling Clint in his arms. Phil forces himself to step out of the room again, just as Clint's quickening breath indicates the beginning of another wave.

By hour three, the surges are softer, quieter, and Clint's gasps sound less like desire and more like pain. After a half hour of silence, Clint speaks up, voice hoarse. "Okay. You can let me out now." Phil can hear the difference in his voice right away, and he rushes to the bedroom. A minute later, and Clint's free of the restraints and wrapped in a bedsheet, shivering.

Phil looks him in the eye -- and god, but it's good to see Clint's eyes back to normal, clear and blue. "I'm going downstairs to get you some hot cocoa," he says. "Just stay where you are."

The ritual of heating up milk and whisking in cocoa powder gives Phil a few minutes to regain his bearings. He reminds himself that today doesn't mean anything; Clint was drugged, not in control of himself, and the best thing he can do for Clint is forget that anything happened. They've developed a good rapport over the years; he doesn't want Clint avoiding him out of embarrassment for something he couldn't help. Before Phil returns upstairs, he takes a moment to splash his face with cold water from the sink, then scrub it with a towel. The air conditioning feels bracing on his damp skin, grounding him.

Clint's sitting on the bed upstairs, wearing a pair of sweatpants and a faded SHIELD t-shirt. He doesn't look up when Phil enters. "Here you go," Phil says, and Clint still doesn't look up, so he leaves the mug on the bedside table. Phil starts to leave the room, because really, what the hell can he do, other than give Clint space. At the doorway, he pauses without looking back. "I know it wasn't you," he says. "You have nothing to be ashamed of." Then he does Clint the favor of leaving before he has to respond.

For the rest of their op, Clint's quieter than Phil's ever heard him. They exchange the amount of communication necessary to do the job, nothing more, and they're back at SHIELD headquarters by evening, acquired data in hand. Phil hates this feeling, hates seeing Clint -- no, Barton now -- so distant, but for once he feels utterly helpless to help. He tries one more time, as he's dropping Clint off at Medical to check for after-effects. "I do understand," he says. "You would have said anything, with that drug. It's nothing I would hold against you." When Clint still avoids his eyes, Phil tries his last-ditch effort, the possibility he's been dreading most of all. "Did I take advantage of you? I swear, I did my best, but if I was out of bounds in any way at all, I am so very --"

"You didn't take advantage of me," Clint says, voice quiet, gaze fixed on the door to the medbay. "That's why -- never mind." He raises his hand to push the door open, but Phil steps in front of him and grabs his wrist.

"That's why what?"

Clint's still actively avoiding Phil's gaze, which is starting to piss Phil off, but at least he answers, slowly. "That's why I'm feeling like shit. Sir."

"Pardon?" Phil's genuinely confused now.

"It was me, is the thing," Clint says. "Everything I said was me. Just a me that I couldn't control, couldn't stop from saying everything I never said. And you saw everything, and you fucking told me up front that you didn't want any of it."

"But I --" Phil says, but Clint cuts him off, talking faster.

"It's okay, sir. I just need time, but I won't let it interfere with things. Just -- give me some time, okay? It's not like I really thought I'd get a happy ending, but I still need time. So how about you forget about today, and I'll go steal a bottle of Tasha's vodka, and our next mission will go just fine. Deal?"

Phil knows he's blinking, the way he does when there's too much new information to process and not enough time. Then everything clicks together, and -- "No. No deal."

Clint's face goes blank, then angry. "You're seriously going to transfer me to another handler over this? I can be a fucking professional, you know I can."

"Barton. Clint. Listen to me. You're going to step into Medical now, and you're going to get a clean bill of health, so I know the drug's out of your system. Then you're going to come up to my quarters, since they're larger and better soundproofed than yours, and I'm going to feed you a damn sandwich before you pass out. And then, if you still want everything you said, you're going to tell me so, and I'm going to show you exactly what I want from you. Now that you're capable of real consent. Got it?"

Clint stares at him for a few moments. Then he grins, wide and unexpected, and Clint's so gorgeous like this that Phil's sorely tempted to kiss him here and now. "Yes, sir. Turkey and swiss if you've got it."

"Whatever you want," Phil says, and he punctuates it with a small smile.

Clint raises an eyebrow. "That might be a lot. Not sure if you can handle it."

"How about you let me decide what I want to handle?" Phil says, and Clint bursts out laughing.

"You -- you actually made a joke. A joke about sex. I don't know if I can cope with this."

"Get into Medical, Agent Barton," Phil says, keeping his face straight this time, and he heads back to his quarters to the echo of Clint's laughter.

It's funny, he thinks. Of all the beautiful, delicious sounds that he's heard coming out of Clint's throat today, that's the one he wants most to hear again.

 

(end.)

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