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Title: First Aid
Pairings: Steve Rogers/Phil Coulson
For: Happy Halloween, [livejournal.com profile] fairyniamh! <3
Word Count: 1,730
Content: Nothing worth warning for, except perhaps a really bad pun. ;)
Summary: There’s only one man to go to when you needed a little reassurance and a very steady hand.

First Aid


“Fighting enormous, bloodthirsty sea creatures—I gotta admit, this is a new one on me,” Clint remarked. He aimed at the monster in the bay; “Well, no use talking about it; let’s get Kraken. Get it? Kraken?” He loosed a few arrows at the thing, but it didn’t seem to help much. “Well, I thought it was funny.”

Coulson said nothing, sweeping his binoculars over the scene. They were fighting what seemed to be some kind of super-sized squid, courtesy of Loki’s magic. Tony was doing some damage from above, and Steve was leaping from pier to pier, dodging blows, while Natasha fired from the shore.

“Oooh, nice one. Right in the tentacle,” Clint said as Natasha scored a hit. Unfortunately, this only made the creature angry. It lashed out in pain, tentacle whipping through the water. The pier shattered, sending a crash of wood and water and Captain America hurtling through the air.

“Damn. Cap’s down,” Coulson said into his walkie-talkie. “I’m going to get him. Back me up, Barton. Aim for the eye if you get the shot.”

“Sure thing, boss.”

Coulson sprinted toward the water, ignoring the angry appendages waving above his head. His sole interest was the unmoving form of Steve Rogers buried under a pile of rubble. Then the rubble shifted, and Coulson huffed in relief. When he reached Steve’s side, he crouched, shooting any time one of the creature’s arms got too close. “Okay there, Cap?” he said as calmly as he could manage.

Steve had pulled one of his boots off and was examining his foot. “I have a slight problem,” he admitted.

Coulson glanced down to see a fragment of wood as big as his finger sticking out of Steve’s ankle. It looked bad, but he wasn’t going to say so. It was important to stay calm—important to keep Steve calm. “You’ll be okay,” he promised. “I’ve got you.”

“Thanks. It’s good to know you have my back.” For just a moment, Coulson was rendered speechless by the warmth in those big blue eyes. It took a second to clear his head and regain his focus. He had to admit; when Steve Rogers turned it on, he really turned it on. Coulson doubted the man knew how appealing he was, though. He probably wasn’t trying to be gorgeous and charming.

A big, green tentacle crashed down beside them, littering them with debris, and Steve’s expression changed. “You should clear out of here,” he said. It was obvious he couldn’t walk.

“Not without you.”

“That’s an order,” Steve responded with a brusque edge to his voice.

Coulson gave him his most impassive smile. “I don’t actually have to take orders from you. Sorry.” Without another word, he holstered his gun and, with a grunt, threw Steve over his shoulder. He did his best to dodge the monster as he hobbled away. He wished he could be more suave about it, but sometimes you just had to be practical.

“Thanks,” Steve told him.

“I’d have preferred to do this bridal-style,” Coulson joked, panting, “but you’re going to have to settle for caveman today.”

“I’ll take it,” Steve grunted.

“He okay?” Clint asked as Coulson jinked around him and lowered Steve behind a wall.

“He’s got a hell of a splinter,” Coulson said.

“A splinter,” Barton repeated without inflection. “Are you serious?”

Coulson examined Cap’s bloody sock. The wood had gone in through the back of the man’s heel, where he would have had a hard time reaching it himself. “It’s actually somewhat serious.” Cap tore the sock to get a better look at the injury. It was pretty gruesome, but Coulson had seen much worse.

“He’s been attacked by aliens and Nazis with guns,” Clint pointed out.

Steve, on the other hand, looked grim, his face pale. “You can die from a splinter. A shard could get into my bloodstream and then into my heart.”

“That’s an old wives’ tale,” Coulson assured him.

A muscle worked in that perfect, manly jaw. “Are you sure?”

“Fairly certain. Look, I’ve got a lot of field experience. I’m pretty sure if something like that could happen I would have seen it by now.”

“There are a lot of things I was sure couldn’t happen right up until I got frozen and woke up in a different century,” Steve said dryly. Dry was a new one; Coulson found he liked it when Steve was a little sarcastic. It added a whole new dimension to the rather sweet, serious superhero.

Unable to resist, Coulson reached out and squeezed Steve’s hand. “Do you want me to get it out, or would you rather wait to see a doctor?”

Steve squeezed back. He was quiet for a long moment. “I’d rather have you do it. I trust you.”

Outwardly, Coulson remained the picture of a passive professional; inside, his heart soared. Steve trusted him to do this. What an honor.

“Whatever you’re gonna do, I’d appreciate it if you’d stop giving each other cow eyes and start backing me up,” Clint informed them.

Coulson let go of Steve’s hand and worked off his sock. God Almighty, even his ankles were devastatingly handsome. Phil glanced up and saw that Steve was very pale. Trying to lighten the mood, Phil gave a wolf whistle and leered at Steve’s ankle. “Bet you flash one of these whenever you need a ride, huh?”

Steve barked a laugh. “For some reason, I never thought to try that.”

“Probably for the best. You don’t want to start any riots or anything.” Coulson took out his penknife, which he kept very sharp. “Better to do it fast,” he said, knowing that Steve was healing over the wood even as they sat there. “Want to close your eyes?”

“No.” All the same, Steve reached out and put a hand on Phil’s shoulder, his grip tight. He took a deep breath. “Do it,” he instructed.

Coulson drew the knife along Steve’s skin, making the cut deep, but fast. He checked on Steve, who was enduring this with his usual stoic demeanor, not looking at the wound, but at Coulson. Coulson worked the piece of wood out as quick as he could. There was a bit more blood than he expected. All the same, he had a lot of experience in keeping his face expressionless when the chips were down. It wasn’t the first time he’d done triage in the field, though he’d never expected Steve to need it. “All done,” he said when he’d wiggled the last little bit of wood out.

Steve’s eyes had never left his face. “Really?” The man glanced at his ankle and smiled a wavery little smile. “Hey, look at that. Thanks. Thank you.”

“Great, now can we get back to business?” Clint said, firing another arrow. “Or are you gonna kiss his boo-boo first and make it better?”

Steve was so relieved he was practically boneless, his body rather limp, leaning back against the wall. Phil realized he’d really believed that old yarn about a splinter getting into the bloodstream. Apparently he needed another moment to gather himself.

Phil ran a finger over Cap’s ankle, and the man shivered and gave him another smile. On a whim, Phil bent his head and pressed his lips to the man’s foot, relishing the feeling of Steve Roger’s skin touching his lips, even if it was just a foot. He kissed it very softly, taking the opportunity to caress the swell of Steve’s calf. He sat back, smiling. “All better,” he said, watching skin seam up and heal completely. “I’d offer you a band-aid, but it looks like you won’t need one,” he teased.

Now there was an entirely new look in those baby blue eyes, and it wasn’t one Phil ever expected to see there. “Thanks,” Steve repeated, his voice low and husky.

“Any time.” Coulson got to his feet and cheerfully offered Steve a hand up.

Any time?” Steve said archly, accepting his hand. He didn’t let go right away.

As they stood there, grinning at each other like idiots, there was a small explosion in the background, followed by an almighty splash that left everyone drenched.

“Bam!” Clint shouted. “Did you see that? DID YOU SEE THAT, STARK? Right in the giant eyeball! Calamari for dinner tonight!”

Phil laughed, feeling a little unsteady. Things had been a little intense there for a moment. Maybe this was the universe’s way of telling him to cool off or maybe go soak his head. He offered Steve another uncertain smile.

But there was nothing uncertain about Steve’s answering smile. “Calamari, huh? I like Italian,” the man remarked. “You?”

“Me? W—I—I love Italian,” Phil stuttered. He rubbed the back of his neck. “I’m not too sure about deep-fried Kraken, though.”

Steve shrugged, putting his boot back on. “So I’ll take you somewhere else,” he offered with adorably forced nonchalance.

“Yeah. Yeah, that . . . sounds good.” Phil tried to mimic Steve’s casual attitude and slipped his hands into his jacket pockets which, as it turned out, were completely sodden. He barely noticed.

“So I’ll pick you up at eight,” Steve was saying. Tony had flown down and was now listening avidly as Clint gave him a blow-by-blow account of his moment of triumph.

Phil nodded absently, thinking he should probably go change. And he’d have to wear something nice. He had a date! With Cap! “Yeah, eight works good for me.” Steve could pick him up at four in the morning; he’d be dressed and shaved and bright-eyed and ready.

“Great!” Steve sauntered past and, after a moment, got up the nerve to give Coulson a brief but steamy kiss. “See you then,” he said with a grin. “I should probably go and . . . find some less bloody socks.”

“Sure. Sure. See you tonight.” Coulson watched him go. The man was an Adonis, and the seawater had served only to accentuate that; the suit was clinging to every inch of him and was so sodden that it was surprisingly translucent. Coulson couldn’t help himself; he ogled without shame. The others were too busy talking to care, anyway.

“Coulson! Did you see that shot I made? That was the world’s sweetest shot!” Clint crowed.

Coulson gathered his woolly head up the best he could and went to join the group. “Yeah—that was good,” he said. “Good job, Barton.” Even saying so, he couldn’t help his head turning, eyes following Steve’s wet, muscled form as it walked away.

He had a date with Captain America. Tonight. Phil grinned widely, ignoring the looks of concern from his coworkers. It wasn’t their business, anyway. All that mattered was that he’d taken a chance, and now he had a date with the most amazing guy in the world.

Phil clapped Barton on the back and made his way to the parking lot. He needed his car, and a latte, and a shower, a really slick suit, and maybe some flowers. He couldn’t get over it. Steve Rogers had asked him out. He could kiss the man’s feet all over again. Grinning, Phil opened his car door.

Maybe he’d wait until their third date to try that.
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