[Independent Coulson RP blog. MCU, post-Avengers, incorporating aspects of 616 canon and MAU.]
And that still carries weight!
Team USA: Sochi 2014
Good luck Team USA. Bring home the gold!
Secret Avengers #1 - Katie Cook Animal Variant
It’s an inane comment in the likelihood of it being true. Delivered dryly in that tone that all of Phil’s dark humor comes in as. Clint’s familiar with it from days spent on the end of a radio and hiding in fox holes together. And now, he knows what it sounds like when there’s not much space between them to sharpen the soft edges.
He huffs a laugh. “Drastic. Just try cognitive recalibration instead.”
And then there’s Phil’s warm hand prickling his stubble and he can’t complain about that nor about Phil’s lips on his. A touch damp and soft enough Clint can’t help it. He flicks his tongue across them.
There’s really no difference between Phil from others he has kissed. But he doesn’t care nor does he like to argue that the eagerness there is anything but a here and now thing.
Clint’s hand moves up and he slots in fractionally closer. He won’t think about how easy it was.
Phil himself has only ever read about Clint and his experience with ‘cognitive recalibration.’ God bless Natasha Romanoff. His hand shifts from Clint’s face to the back of his head, sliding through messy blond hairs. “Not really my department. I’ll have to try some other tactics first.”
At the brush of tongue, Phil lets out a sort huff of approval. He lets his teeth scrape quickly across Clint’s lower lip, before licking away any possible sting.
He keeps his eyes open, but lidded, as their lips glide against each other. This whole situation still feels strange and surreal. And as much as he does truly trust Clint, and as much as he has given himself over to this moment, he needs the visual reassurances and cues. He needs to watch Clint as much as he needs to touch him.
Instinct steeled Clint for an admonishment. Close quarters do not make for readied agents. They were in a war, after all. Moments can count when it comes to your hand on the trigger or theirs.
But it’s just them, alone, with the hum of engines and the still, artificial air.
And in that moment, Clint knew that something had shifted. Because it’s not an admonishment; it can’t be when you lean in and not away, right? If it was that it was fucked up. Yet he was pretty sure wasn’t.
His tongue curled and for a minute his mouth was bitter with years of unsaid wants. Jaw locked to keep them from dribbling out. He couldn’t. He wasn’t. He had never been. And yet still Phil didn’t move away and…
Clint leaned in. And said nothing. How could he when there wasn’t the space between them to?
Clint’s lips were dry and warm, chapped. Slightly rough, a testament to the work he’d been doing. When your world is coming down in flames, you generally don’t stop and pause for chapstick. It was a detail that Phil hadn’t spent much time considering, one that was missing from fantasies and one that seemed unlikely to be added to false memories. A detail that made the realness of this inescapable.
A small laugh bubbles up in Phil’s chest. Years. He’s known Clint for over a decade. Had Clint wanted this just as long as he had?
He shifts, their noses bumping, and speaks softly against Clint’s lips. “If you turn out to be HYDRA, I’ll never forgive you.”
He cups Clint’s cheek then, thumbnail scratching against his five o’clock shadow as he closes the gap once more.
Clint doesn’t remember when he falls asleep; it’s some point between Sergeant Bark’s raid on the drug ring and Tina Terrier’s discovery in the crime lab. Either way, when he wakes up it’s not Dog Cops he’s staring at but an ear.
Phil’s ear, to be exact.
He frowns, puzzled, then shifts to push away. It’s then he realizes that both hands are summarily occupied. By Phil.
It’s one thing to think about late at night and another thing entirely to do. When you envision it you don’t have the faint smell of antiseptic and dust lingering in your nose. In thought, it’s far easier to ignore the curve of a hip bone and the warmth that pools along your chest.
His adam’s apple bobs and he knows he should pull back. Get up, leave, find somewhere infinitely colder and far less like the familiar aches and pains of home. (And even that is bulky in his mouth.)
This isn’t fair to Phil though. It isn’t fair to himself, if he’s honest.
So he gathers the resolve behind his eyes and opens them with the resolve to move…and promptly finds that very resolve shredded away.
"Oh," is what he says when he meets Phil’s eyes.
Phil did not expect to fall asleep. Not when tensions have been so high, and the need to stay alert more critical than ever. But the familiar hum of the episode mixed with the warmth at his side and the quiet huff of Clint’s laughter had muscles unwinding, giving way to a contented relaxation.
He’s not sure when the tablet went slack in his hands, or if Clint was asleep at that point.
One minute he was watching Mr. Whiskers, the next… blackness.
There are pros and cons to, for all intents and purposes, living on an airplane. And when you’re a light sleeper, constantly ready to snap awake and fight off a threat? You adjust to the unavoidable con of constantly waking at the first sign of turbulence.
Which is what Phil is inclined to believe is happening when he’s dragged from a comfortable, peaceful sleep.
It’s not, however.
The tablet has fallen to the side, and he and Clint… oh. Phil’s never been much for contact while sleeping, yet here he is. He and Clint have their weight resting against each other, their arms tangled, close in a way they’ve never been before. Not unless their lives had depended on it.
He wets his lips, a nervous tic, and looks at Clint for a long moment. All he can hear is the sound of his own blood rushing in his ears.
How many years had he wanted this? And now, after losing almost everything else…
Phil Coulson is incredibly skilled at reading people, but his mind is still swimming from the potent combination of a deep sleep and dreams come true. Clint wasn’t moving away, though. That was clear.
Steeling himself with the knowledge that this could very well change everything, Phil leaned closer.
First I know nothing about Marvel comics: all my context I got from the films Thor (delightful) and Avengers Assemble (remember very little except it had good jokes and the final action scene was too long), and reading The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay.
I went to see Captain America: The Winter Soldier last night because of this which I saw a few people reblog:
(okay and also all the gifsets of Sebastian Stan crying. I WAS MIS-SOLD ON THIS FOR THE RECORD, THERE IS LITTLE TO NO CRYING AND ALSO HIS HAIR IS AWFUL.)
If Kavalier and Clay taught me anything it’s
threesomes are the best solutions to love trianglesJewish-American cartoonists in the 1930s and early ’40s were all over inventing subversively American heroes to fight Hitler, and I was very unsurprised when I got home and looked it up to learn that Captain America was created by two Jewish guys too. (I know this is really basic comics history stuff and I’m sure fifty people have written dissertations on “He’s A Mensch: The Jewish Identities of Captain America and Superman” or whatever.) What really slotted everything into place was realising that Captain America was created and entered on a cover punching Hitler in the face before America had entered the war.
Basically (right?) Captain America was created by two Jewish-Americans to shame the US into properly fighting Hitler.
Like, I am Captain America, the America you say you want to be, and I challenge you to put your money where your mouth is and actually do something about it. And yes he’s over-the-top and tacky but that’s where the challenge is, right? The chest-thumping American patriotism says “We are good and spread liberty! And also freedom!” and Captain America is like “great! I am that, and I have to point out you are not actually doing that”.
AND I think this is Jewishly on purpose, and here’s why:
Judaism has this important phrase/concept/slogan/life motto from the third-century-ish text Pirkei Avot, which goes: Lo alecha hamlacha ligmor (it’s not to you to complete the work of repairing the world) v’lo atah ben chorin l’hivatel mimena (but neither may you desist from it). You won’t be able to fix the world by yourself, or in your lifetime, but that doesn’t absolve you of responsibility to work towards it.
I feel like grimdark/anti-heroes are a response to the fact that the world is neither good nor moral, like “well if the world isn’t like that, I won’t be either”. But they’re also excuses for not working towards fixing the world: I won’t bother because it’s all fucked anyway. Lo alecha and Captain America say, yes, it is fucked, but you still have to work towards fixing it. And yes, it’s hard, that’s why it’s called work.
Which is why I think saying “Oh, if Captain America represents the US he should be a dick, because the US is a dick” or “Captain America is an imperialist symbol of US superiority and is therefore bad” are both off base and a dodge of having to do that hard work.
"If Cap = America then Cap = dick because America = dick" is basically just throwing hands up and going "right but guys have you noticed that actually America is imperialist and horrible? DO YOU SEE?!” and implying “so what can you do about that, right?”. Captain America says, “Try to make it better! is what you can do!”
And about saying he’s a symbol of US imperial superiority, I mean, he is a symbol of America but aimed as a criticism at real America. He’s the American ideal cranked up to five million - for the purpose of shaming America for not living up to what it says it wants to be. And he is aimed at Americans, so I can see a criticism for him being US-centric in that metanarrative sense, but he’s yelling at America to sort their shit out and I think him yelling at non-USAmericans to sort their shit out would be much worse? But I definitely don’t think Cap is supposed to be about how great America is, he’s about pointing out exactly in what ways and how much America is failing to be great. And then saying “but, that doesn’t mean you get out of trying harder!”
Also, how great is it that his ‘weapon’ is a shield.
so um that’s what I thought about when I saw The Winter Solder last night. that and biceps.
This is amazing on so many levels and also makes me want to have a special fandom-centric Shvi’i shel Pesach/seventh night of Passover virtual seder table on Tumblr to talk about the intersections of Judaism and popular culture with food and media crit and discussions of the diaspora. ALSO everyone should read The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay.
THIS THIS THIS THIS THIS