moonlettuce: (Avengers: Clint v2)
[personal profile] moonlettuce
Title: Epilogue
Author: Claire
Fandom: The Avengers
Pairing: Clint Barton/Phil Coulson
Rating: PG-13
Word Count: 734
Summary: There are times it feels like every scar, every mark on Clint's body that's been put there since he joined SHIELD, has Phil's name across it in some way.
Notes: Written for [livejournal.com profile] kink_bingo for the Possession / Marking square.



The bruises stand out against Clint's skin, red and stark in the brightness of the bathroom light, with ragged edges purpling in a way that settles into his body. There are other marks on him, ones Clint's eyes skim over as he comes back, time and again, to the finger-shaped prints that wrap around his hip, grounding him. (If he closes his eyes he can still feel the weight of Phil's fingers holding him down, the thickness of the body pressing into his. Can still feel the way Phil's lips moved across the back of his neck, murmuring words into his skin, with yes and now and mine muffled into Clint's flesh.)

There are times it feels like every scar, every mark on Clint's body that's been put there since he joined SHIELD, has Phil's name across it in some way. Fingertips skirt across the jagged slash that runs the length of his ribs courtesy of a knife in Kandahar. (There are nights he still remembers the press of Phil's fingers against his skin, hot and careful, as the white shirt he held against Clint's side steadily turned a deeper shade of red; still remembers Phil's voice, quiet and steady as he told Clint he wasn't allowed to die, not on Phil's watch, not while the extraction team was on their way to get them out.)

He goes from Kandahar to Belize, and the starburst on his thigh that's a memory of a lucky shot from the group they were trying to take down. (It was the last mission he and Natasha ever did without Phil or Sitwell or Hill as their handler. I'll make sure, Phil had said. There may have also been words about never again having to work with junior agents who didn't know what they were doing with two of SHIELD's top assets due to said junior agents being assigned to the ass-end of nowhere for the next five years, but Clint had been flying high on morphine at that point so it's a little hazy around the edges. There had also been the words that Phil wasn't saying as he'd looked at Clint in the hospital bed with Natasha half-draped over him, her hand wrapped around his, but that's because Clint didn't need to hear them. He didn't need to hear them because he knew what they were anyway. He's always known.)

He watches the progress of his fingers in the mirror, watches the slow drag of skin across skin, even though he could do this in the dark, with nothing else to guide him except the well-worn tracks in his skin. (His fingers follow the same path Phil's take when they're lying in bed, a feather light touch that moves from scar to scar, pausing briefly over each one, touch barely there and yet still enough to brand Phil Coulson's name across every part of Clint's body.)

There's a story that's written across his body, from the first tumble he took in the circus (they'd told him he wasn't ready, but he'd done it anyway, climbed high and flown through the sky, laughing as he'd fallen) to the Doombots that the Avengers had taken on the day previously (crappy pieces of tech, according to Tony, that had exploded into beautiful shiny pieces of sharpness that had sliced through the air and made the blood drip warm down Clint's arm).

Clint's never needed the words to tell that story because they're written on him for all to see, from the faded scar across his back, that Phil likes to rub his fingers along as Clint tells him of warm days breaking down the big top and of Anya's laugh as she made chilli for everyone over an open fire in the middle of the camp (Phil's never once made fun of the fact that Clint's first crush was on the bearded lady that travelled with Carson's) across to the butterfly bandages on his arm (the ones that Phil had watched medical place on him as they'd picked slivers of metal out of him).

So, no, Clint's never needed the words, but when he walks back into the bedroom, light peeking in through the blinds and falling in soft slashes across Phil's still sleeping body, falling on the marks that bear Clint's name just as surely as the ones on Clint's skin bear Phil's, he knows he's found them anyway.
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Claire

May 2017

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