C/C Anon Love Letters
They keep showing up. Phil isn’t sure where they’re coming from, but he only ever finds them in his office. He’s even started to collect them in a designated folder. Each are carefully taped to a page with the date and location above them.
You handled the Branson op well. I find your skill and knowledge to handle something like that ridiculously attractive.
It was the first one and he had flat-out laughed when he read that. Was this some joke? And it’s not like he could have figured it out, that operation had at least a hundred known personnel on it.
He didn’t take the note seriously and tossed it in the trash—only to dig it out half a week later when he had another to go with it. He had to check the handwriting, that’s all. Right?
I know you prefer tea. Here’s a spiced blend that warms you from the inside out—like your smile does for me.
A flush creeps up the back of Phil’s neck. He hasn’t told anyone that he preferred tea. He only ever drank tea at home or after a mission when he could get a take-away cup that could be filled with anything.
Maybe he should feel unsettled. He doesn’t. He feels comforted. Someone out there has taken the time to get to know him and isn’t trying to exploit him for it. It worries him more that he’s not worried about all this. He slips the note in with the first and returns to work.
The notes continue to appear for months and occasionally hold hints to Phil’s anonymous ‘beau’. Some are admiring (I heard Agent Wu cried when you came to rescue him. More assets need handlers like you. Many of us tend to think we’re expendable. (And that little hint about who is writing these has Phil on edge)), others are straight compliments (Did I ever tell you that I think you’re beautiful? Just seeing you makes my heart pound.), and a few are gifts that reference operations that just might help him narrow down his possible admirer (I saw you try this in Tomelloso, Spain. I was there recently and thought you’d like a momento).
After nine months of receiving notes, Phil finds this one taped to the underside of his computer mouse.
It was this day, ten years ago, I fell in love with you. I still am. I always will be.
It’s overwhelming. Phil slumps back in his desk chair and covers his mouth. His hands are shaking, he can feel his mouth quiver until he rolls his lips together and lightly bites them. He can’t do this here, however. He can’t… he can’t cry over some unknown admirer. His door is half open and he’s too exposed to do this.
At the same time he wants to shout “fuck it all” because he’s almost frustrated with this person. He wants to know who they are. Who they are to make him fall for them through little notes that had made his days better. He wants to talk to them, touch them, get to know them to see if he could love them back. (He wants to love them back. Some of the notes had been tinged with such longing and heartache that he wanted to fix it all. (Someday, I’ll get you to see yourself as I do. You’re such an amazing man, I’m blessed to know you. I remind myself of that every day. And if that’s all I get? I’ll still be happy.).)
A soft rapping at the doorjamb makes Phil tense. He rubs a hand over his face and braces his index finger along his brow to help hide his face a little.
"Sir?" It’s Barton. Phil listens to him step inside softly and shut the door behind him. "My report wouldn’t go through electronically, so I finished it the old fashioned way."
Phil clears his throat, rubs his eyes so he just looks tired and not that he’s rubbing a few stray tears away. He blinks a few times and looks up. “Thank you, Barton.” The man isn’t looking at him, but at the note. His stance is very stiff and Phil picks up the note and slips it into his breast pocket. There’s no need for prying eyes.
Clearing his throat, he reaches out for the report. Barton hands it to him and when he looks down at the page it takes a moment to sink in. “Oh.” Barton’s handwriting matches the hundreds of notes he has carefully taped so he can reread them over and over again. He looks up and takes in the bright red ears and the way Clint won’t meet his eyes.