It’s almost been eight months since Thor took Loki away. Eight months since Director Fury banned me from S.H.I.E.L.D HQ "for my own good." I still want to beat him to death for that comment even though it ended up being true. Eight public months, of the Avengers going around "saving" the world from S.H.I.E.L.D criminals. Ironically, myself included. Banned from S.H.I.E.L.D is not banned from Avengers. Thanks Steve... But in all that time, Natasha and I have been living with Tony Stark, Steve Rogers, Bruce Banner and Pepper Potts. And all that time, everyone had been checking to see if I was fine.
A week or so after having gotten free from Loki, I was taken by someone in S.H.I.E.L.D. We still have yet to figure out who. But whoever it was, used some tech from Tony’s father to basically mess with my mind. It’s taken almost this long to really figure out what had actually happened to me during that entire day... What was real and what wasn’t. The questioning at the end, the time it seemed I was in debrief with unknown voices was apparently real. But everything else (Loki and torture), wasn’t. From the moment I woke after being taken from Tony’s place in Miami to waking in the Council room on the Triskelion was fake. In a surprising move, the Council had given Fury their ‘investigation’ into what they had asked and how I had answered. Being drugged out of my mind, I was actually perfectly honest with everything I remembered. Honest to the point that Nat was mad at me for a little while considering I had lied to her about a few of the things I told the Council. Whoops.
After having been captured, given a hole bunch of chemicals, and waiting until Tony cleared me from the chemicals from his father’s device, was a highly boring week. But, when Fury allowed me to come back on Avengers duty, he claimed: ‘I can't treat Agent Barton any different than Dr. Banner or Dr. Eric Selvig now can I?’ That got a few heads rolling (mostly the stupid Council, but who cares about them?). It wasn’t like I was gonna be taking missions with S.H.I.E.L.D, just working with the Avengers. I still have, I think a year or something until I’m allowed that. Also kinda helped that Fury knew I was not good at sitting back and relaxing. I'm one who ‘works’ through my problem by doing other things. He learned that after my actual brother ‘died’ a few years back. When he tried to give me grief time, all hell broke loose until he sent me on a mission.
But everything has been rather easy lately; nothing like going against Loki and the Chitauri. Going on Avengers cases with the others has shown me more about them then just spying on them during our socializing times. Seeing them in battle, I get to see them open up a lot more. When in Stark Towers (now more considered Avengers' HQ), Steve seems rather shy and sullen but in the battle field he becomes a strong and confident leader. Tony goes from cocky ass, prankster to ‘call me and I'm there to help.’ Natasha's rather closed off spying, ‘leave me alone or I'll kill you attitude’ changes to ‘come here and I'll really show you what sexy can do’ (so pretty typical for how she was in S.H.I.E.L.D). And Bruce... Well, we all know what happens to Bruce.
I was rather surprised to learn how well the others hid behind masks. Though I knew Natasha hid behind one, I never knew about the others. As I watch them from my distant views of the battlefields, I see them all getting along. It makes me miss the times when it was just me and Natasha and Coulson on a mission. And sometimes, it made me almost want to jump down from wherever I was perched and stand by her side. But, considering eight months ago I had been the enemy for a short time, I still wasn't sure I wanted to get really close to these guys. No matter how much they all seemed to trust me.
So in times like this (when there are no bad guys to go after), and there is nothing to do but wait, we all tend to get a little antsy. Tony and I have already been pretty much banned from pranking anyone; especially when we started teaming up. The billionaire had been rather surprised to know that I was an expert pranker. But after a few months of living with him, he just kind of went with it. I mostly tended to go after Natasha and Tony tended to go after Pepper or Bruce. But when we joined forces we liked to go after Steve. His super soldier serum couldn't make him fast enough to catch both of us when we took off in two directions.
But now, with the pranking banned (damn you Nat), Tony and I had kind of gone our separate ways. We didn't really have anything else in common outside of that (that I had noticed so far). Since we all still didn't really know each other well, we all tended to keep to ourselves. Thinking about it, I wondered now where everyone was.
Right now I figured Bruce was in his own private bio lab. When he mentioned to Tony that he was still looking for a cure, Tony made sure that a private lab was designed into the redecorating. Tony was more than likely in his own lab or garage. Probably working on one of the suits or designing a new one. Hell, maybe the guy was modifying something else that honestly didn't need modifying. When you walk into a kitchen with a walking and talking toaster, you know who to blame. Steve was either in the downstairs training room that was specifically designed for him, cooking dinner (or attempting too as he was too used to the 1930s way of cooking) or catching up on some of his missing years by either reading a book or trying to watch TV. And Natasha... She was definitely training.
Tony had gone above and beyond when he heard that none of us had a safe place to go. When Thor left with Loki (and after a few other things that I'd rather not talk about), he told us that Stark Towers would be ready in a few weeks. We weren't sure if we believed him (ie: we all thought he was joking) but we all ended up meeting up in Miami until the tower was ready. The place was entirely done and refurbished to fit all of us just in time for me to get a clean bill of health from Tony and Bruce. In the end, Tony went too far for all of us. Not only did we all have our own private rooms but we also had our own different areas as well. Tony built a gym for Steve that could handle the super soldier strength. He built Natasha an infiltrator's camp/gym set up that would automatically change if it noticed that she was going through it too easily.
And then there was my area; a huge archery range that encompassed the whole base of the tower. It connected to multiple computers and JARVIS so that they could all not only be controlled by someone watching me but they could follow me and challenge me to a higher level. Not only did this range have targets set up in random areas, but I didn't have to stay in one spot. Well, actually... Tony pretty much forbid me from being in one spot for too long. After thirty, sometimes forty, seconds of standing in one spot, something would tend to attack me. The first time, I had an arrow shot at me. Almost shot through my ankle because I wasn't focused on looking for attacks at me. The second time it was an explosion. Thankfully, I was waiting for that and all I got was the concussive blow throwing off the trajectory of my jump.
But right now I wasn't down in the range. Too much time down there shooting with my bow can actually hinder me more than help. Or at least that was what Coulson always told me. So, for now, I was up on the roof, my newest hiding spot in a seemingly unending list. But it was quickly growing into my favorite. Up here I could see nearly all of New York. Not many of the other Avengers had found their way up here yet (not including the easy stair access to the other side of the roof), so it was all mine so far. I could stretch out. Be more myself. And the best part, so far I couldn't find a single trace of JARVIS up here. It was nice, peaceful, open. A perfect spot to find a hawk.
'Speaking of,' I thought to myself before slowly turning to the south end of Stark tower. I had noticed, about two days before, a rather large collection of twigs, leaves, strings and other such randomly light objects were beginning to merge in between two decent sized air condition units. Normally, I would never have noticed it but when you see a small feather sticking between the grates of the units, you tend to investigate. So now, when I remember to check on it, I briefly stop by to see what type of creature was creating such a mess. As it happened, I hadn't had any luck as of yet, but today I was feeling lucky.
The air conditioning units weren't directly available from the area where I normally hung out. Mostly, because I don't take the normal route of stairs and doorway to get to the roof. So, I had to twist and slide my body slowly and gracefully across different types of pipes and tubes that did different services for the building. Some were labeled, some weren't. But on every single one of them, I acted like they'd explode if I even jostled them slightly out of place. As I got closer to the two units I began hearing sounds of twigs snapping and rustling of leaves. Someone was moving the collection around. It meant that someone was home. Moving quieter than ever before, I slunk closer and was shocked.
"Hawks?" comes my startled voice as I looked upon the beautiful pair of hawks that now faced me with little to no fear in their hazel brown eyes. For a moment, I freeze as realization hits me that I just invaded the territory of actual predators trying to set up a nest. To make it worse, it wasn't just one of them, it was both of them. And then I see the reddish brown on their tails. 'Red-tailed hawks. Now what did Coulson tell me about them...' I thought but before I could think of anything my old handler said, the hawks went back to building their nest as though I wasn't there. My mouth almost dropped down in shock before I noticed the little ID tags on their legs. They had been around humans before.
'Could they really be that desensitized?' I wondered before shifting closer. The smaller of the two hawks looked to me. Almost as if it realized that I'm not going to leave, it hopped closer to me. I kept perfectly still as I watched the hawk move toward me. Unsure of what else to do, I had made sure to focus my eyes near its gaze but not centered completely on it. Then the hawk gave a small kree-ing sound and turned back to making the nest. Stunned, I blinked my eyes a few times and just went back to watching them. After a few minutes and no more odd occurrences of behavior, I decided to leave them alone. My mission was over; I now knew what was going on. But that just meant a new mission had started, when were the babies going to come?
As I backed away from them and began my trek back toward my normal hiding spot, I had to stop and laugh. Before my thoughts had been clouded with the fascination of telling Natasha all about the hawks, but now I wasn't sure. This was something that Natasha and Tony would really get a kick out of. Did I really want to tell them? Because really, only something like this could happen to me. Just my luck, that the Avenger "Hawkeye's" favorite private spot would get invaded by actual hawks.
It was about a week after I discovered the hawks on the roof that Thor finally returned from Asgard. At first, we had all been happy to him, Tony had even started to plan a huge party. Hell, he was going to throw a week long fiesta by the sounds of it. Even Pepper sounded like she'd allow him too, which was a surprise. Normally she tried to limit him but she was going to let him go all out on this. But when Thor wasn't really sharing our happiness and he willingly told us why.
Apparently during Loki's trial, many Asgardians had felt that they had indeed been wronged by the Royal family. Most also admitted they didn't care about Midgard. A few only cared about Loki's past misdeeds around the realms and wanted him punished for those. But basically it all turned out that Loki's trial was a total sham. And now some 'mysterious' woman, Amora, with magic powers almost as strong as Loki's has vowed vengeance against the Avengers, but mainly against me.
"Why me?" I asked when everyone focused their attention on me. Natasha looked worried. Tony seemed a little put off. Steve was rather stressed. Bruce kept trying to keep his eyes focused on everyone as if doing so would change the outcome of what was happening. Pepper just looked sorry for me. And Thor almost acted liked he wanted to be in my place instead. They all knew what had happened to me previously. Why was it going to continue? What was it that made the world... Universe, against me?
"I fear I do not fully understand her reasoning, my friend," Thor despairingly answered. I frowned, half at his answer, the other half at his use of the word 'friend.' The man had only met me a few times and even then we barely spoke. And hell, I even told him I wanted to kill his brother in a very slow and painful fashion, which had made Loki laugh, but we won't get into that.
"Hey, we kicked Loki's ass. I think we can handle this woman too," Tony bravely stated. I felt a bit better at his bravado until Thor shook his head in sadness. 'Why did he have to do that? Why?' I thought to myself with a silent groan. Natasha focused on me for only a second before she looked back to Thor. Steve and Bruce never stopped watching the thunder god.
"Amora is as crafty as Loki. And the Loki we battled before was not the Loki I remember well. I fear we could be out matched. But I have asked Heimdall to help watch over you, my friend," Thor responded as if this other Asgardian watching me would make me feel better. I could only nod, praying that Thor doesn’t see my discomfort at being watched. In fact, now that I knew about it, I couldn’t get the feeling of being watched to vanish again. It was just stuck there. Damn it. Thor had mentioned Heimdall before, when he was transporting Loki back to Asgard, so I knew that the blonde god trusted whoever he was. But, I wasn't sure that I was in such a trusting mood. Too much shit had happened. First Thor in New Mexico, Pegasus, mind control/Loki, and then the Chitauri. Yeah, fuck it all.
"This Himale? Can we trust him in battle?" Steve questioned, completely butchering the poor guy's name. Tony and I hid behind sniggers as Thor shook his head. Natasha lightly slapped me when she heard the sound and sent me a sharp glare. But the hidden joke between Tony and myself did help calm me. We loved when Steve messed anything up. Hell, there had been times we created fake names or words just to listen to Steve try and state them after us. It wasn’t anything bad and at this point, I was willing to bet Steve kept doing it just to fuck with us.
"Heimdall guards the Bifrost and must always stay in Asgard. But like our friend, sees all from above," Thor briefly explained, stressing the correct way to say his friend's name. Steve frowned (mostly at Tony) but nodded. I rolled my eyes. 'Great, so this guy was only an informant,' I thought to myself as I turned away from Thor. Natasha gently touched my shoulder. A sign that she was asking if I was okay. I twitched away, silently telling her that I wasn't and I wanted to be left alone. She looked away but I didn't miss the brief flash of hurt on her face. Sighing, I knew that I was gonna have to apologize for that later. There was a lot I had to apologize for lately.
"So, Thor, when can we expect this... Enchantress to attack?" Bruce wondered aloud. At that Thor shrugged. Groaning, I leaned back in my seat. Tony did the same so no one actually noticed when I did it (except Natasha who glared at me). I ignored her as Tony spoke.
"Come on! You come here, claiming there's gonna be a battle and then say you have no idea when it's gonna be?" Tony cried. Thor frowned. I had seen that the next words were going to be even worse than finding out there was a price on my head. Sighing, I waited for the god to speak.
"Amora is... Different. She can be very patient when the time comes. Sometimes, she has waited months to attack. Other times, she declared an attack and then proceeded to attack. She is..." Thor stopped. I noticed he was having trouble with this next word. Almost like he was searching his mind for the proper statement. Rolling my eyes, I settled in for Tony's long guessing game. I thankfully didn't have to wait long as Tony didn’t even get to start.
"Unpredictable," Pepper provided helpfully. Thor smiled at her and nodded. That apparently had been the word he was searching for. I sighed deeply and turned my chair before getting up. This was getting annoying. Almost like a meeting with Fury about my disrespect around S.H.I.E.L.D. I was done with it all.
"Clint?" Natasha asked as I walked away from the group. I paused to look back at her over my shoulder. Everyone was now looking at me. I almost felt like it was the first day back from Loki's take over when I was still at S.H.I.E.L.D HQ. They were all just waiting for me to snap. Natasha slowly got up and began to walk over to me. But I couldn’t deal with it all. "You okay?"
"Just need some air."
"Look, Legolas, you can't disappear anymore," Tony suddenly remarked. I frowned, turning to glare at the genius. "Hey, you got some insane lady with magic after you. I can't guarantee that my security can stop her!"
"Oh, that makes me feel safe," I snapped back before Tony could retort, my fear having gotten the best of me. Natasha's hand quickly snapped across my face. The stars that followed the attack reminded me of the stars that got me out of Loki's control. Shocked, I look to her. Her eyes are rimmed with anger and what possibly seemed to be tears but I knew that couldn't be true. Natasha never cried.
"Don't be an ass. We're worried," she growled. I couldn't help it. I laughed. My laughter made them all pause. The anger slowly faded from Natasha's eyes. My laughter died out once it vanished from her body as well. Here was the moment when they finally realized what was going on. That they didn’t need me. Honestly I had been surprised that it took so long.
"You guys, worried about me? Hawkeye? The guy who fades into the background? The guy no one sees? Who cares about me? Who the hell cares? I could vanish off this team right now and it wouldn't make a lick of difference. You guys could still fight. Could still win. Could still be one hell of a team. No one out there would give one flying FUCK! WHO CARES ABOUT FUCKING HAWKEYE!" I screamed at Natasha. Each statement had been thrown out of my mouth with so much force and unbridled fury that I was surprised she didn't try to slink away from me in fear or even viciously attack me to make me see sense. Her shock kept her frozen to the spot.
That was when it hit me what I had done. Natasha was going to unfreeze as soon as the statements sunk in. I knew I had only seconds before her anger kicked in and she began to beat me senseless. And that was all the time I needed. The vent above me was already loose. I made sure of that weeks ago, not that I knew something like this would happen. Had originally done it to escape Fury but this worked as well. Within seconds, I was up and gone.
This has a somewhat slow start but I needed to set up some background to this. I promise, it gets better. As I've said in After Loki, this story has been posted on Fanfiction.net but this is a very edited version. So, ignore what is posted over there. Hope you all enjoy.
Darius is doing good. Currently making a food mess in the house... But, good. We had an adventurous weekend. Sunday we saw Trans-Siberian Orchestra which was an amazing show! We sat front row so the band members could really see us and tended to wave to Darius when they had a second to do so. Monday night we went to Monday Night Raw. We sat third row TV side. If you watch Raw then look for the woman in purple and blue hair with glasses. That's me. Darius is the child in the purple Firefly Funhouse shirt. Had a troublesome week just because of lack of sleep for all of us, but we seem to be catching up pretty good now. Baby Jason is doing good. Yesterday, everyone had him laughing by playing various games. This morning, he threw up on his parents after being put in the car. Hopefully he isn't ill.
I hope you all enjoy. I plan on posting every day or every other day. But I can't promise. I keep forgetting. Whoops. Anyways, till next time!
Chapter 2: Are You Kidding Me?
It took me only a matter of minutes to make my way all the way up to the roof. I was surprised how easy it was this time to sneak through the ventilation system and get up here. Normally I did it from my room, which was only a floor below the roof. The living room/kitchen, which was where we had been, was three floors below that. I knew that Natasha was going to check the archery range and then her gym first because of all the tension I had shown her. Usually when I had built up tension like this, I headed to one of those two places and work it out. If not there, then she'd go to the garage and make sure no car (or motorcycle) was missing.
Tony'd cheat and check in with JARVIS. 'Too bad JARVIS lost track of me as soon as I hit the vents.' I thought with a smug smirk. Course, I knew this because I kept updated on JARVIS just as much as Tony and Bruce did. No one but Coulson knew how much of a computer guy I really was. I pretty much hacked right into JARVIS on my first day. Didn't really help that Tony gave us almost unlimited access anyways. Probably because he didn't think we'd be all that technically savvy like Bruce and him and a little of Natasha (being a spy and all). But I kept a private log of what everyone did and when JARVIS lost track of any member of the team in different areas of the building. Just so that way I also knew their hiding spots. Sides, as a spy, it was always good to know where the blind spots are in any security system.
Bruce would more than likely stick close to Tony. If not, then he'd more then likely try and get into my room. That'd be funny to see. I kind-of set up a little trap on my door that made it if you didn't open it a certain way then... Well, you'd get a bucket of ice cold water dumped on your head. And it was always kept cold thanks to JARVIS. Got to love a computer that can set control to one A/C unit in order to cool down a bucket of ice sitting at the end of it's pipe and then not go and tell it's boss that it's doing said job. Thanks JARVIS!
Steve, if he hadn't gotten the bucket of ice water, was more than likely aimlessly wandering around the tower calling my name into the vents. He may be trying to use JARVIS for help but like Tony, he’ll find the AI has lost all track of me. Course knowing the poor Cap, Steve will think that he somehow broke JARVIS. Thinking of that, made me feel a little better, even if it was at Steve’s expense. But, unless Tony was around, I’ve actually noticed that Steve was rather adept at technology. It’s like he’s just falling into Tony’s assumptions just cause Tony is a dick about it. Which, to be fair, I’d do the same thing.
Thor and Pepper were a mystery to me, even after spending so long with Pepper. I imagine Pepper might be by Tony's side or maybe in the living room calling Fury. Hell, she could just be sitting there in the living room watching TV not giving a fuck for all I knew. Thor could be anywhere. I had only met the guy a few times before. And even then, it hadn't really been on good terms. First New Mexico, then Manhattan. And he may have appeared at one point when I was getting all angst-y after his brother... Or I should say, when my mind used his brother to attack me.
As I finished wondering what the others are doing, I realized that I wanted them to find me. I didn't actually want to be alone. Hell, I wanted them to prove me wrong about everything I had just yelled at them about. But, I’ve been doing this ‘test’ for the last eight months. Even though it was the team that got me back and fixed from the shit show of a kidnapping where I was mentally tortured, I still couldn’t help it. There had to be a stopping point. A point where they’d just think that I’m not worth the effort. I had done this with Fury and Coulson and even Nat. But, I just couldn’t trust easily. Not after everything I’d been through.
Slowly, I began to curl up into a little ball. I couldn't believe it. This was exactly what happened to me all those other times. I got comfortable. And it suddenly hurt. Hurt worse than any injury I had ever gotten in my entire life. It was like my heart was being ripped in two. I wanted to cry. So badly did I want to cry. But I held the tears in. Assassins didn't cry. Hell, we couldn't cry. Well, actually no... We can... And I have... But Nat... She’d cultivated the ability to push back her emotions so she didn’t cry. And if she did, she did it alone.
Depression settled on me as I sat there. I knew how it felt. Felt it a lot in the weeks after learning about Coulson. Didn't want to feel it, wanted to move on but I couldn't. Coulson and Natasha were all I had had left and now he was gone and it had been all my fault. So, here I was up on the roof and I just screamed at the group of people that I was beginning to trust just as much as I had trusted him. It hurt. But what hurt more was the thought in the back of my head that I was going to betray them like I had betrayed Coulson...
The longer I waited there, the more I suddenly felt like maybe I should get up and go find one of the others. I knew they'd never find me on the roof. None of them knew about this little corner of Stark Tower. Well, maybe Tony did, but I wasn't sure if he knew of any access over here other then using his suit. Sighing, I stood and looked toward the air conditioning units. I could always go over there and make it seem like I was checking on the hawks. With another deep sigh, I started the long trek over to the small nest.
I arrived by the nest just as the male hawk swooped in for a landing. I knew it was him because of the coloring on his chest. He had a bit more red feathers coming down in an arch than the female. I had nick-named him Lex (don’t ask, don’t really know why I chose that name) and her Star. She's Star because one of the markings that she has is a small star like scar on her right leg but you can only see that when you get really close to them. As I neared the nest, I saw that she was all curled up on the nest itself and Lex seemed to be dropping something off in front of her. When she reached down for it, I noticed that it was a dead rat. Shocked, I realized that they were preparing for the eggs. He had gone hunting for her.
That made me smile. At least something was going right. Even if everything else was crashing around me, these hawks could still go on as if nothing was bothering them. Lex and Star would go on unconcerned. And their family would one day take flight and create another family. The knowledge warmed my depressed soul. It was a wonderful feeling and it was because of this, I suddenly understood what most parents meant when they claimed that kids were special.
"Clint Barton," called an unfamiliar female voice suddenly from behind me. I nearly jumped in fright but my S.H.I.E.L.D training kicked in and I hunkered down into the coils closest to the A/C units. The male hawk let out a shrill cry before taking flight as the female spun around to see what was going on but she didn't move off the nest. Likely she had already laid her eggs (and I missed it, damn). Figuring the voice must belong to ‘Amora,’ I knew I needed to get away from the hawks. Wouldn’t do to have a stray attack hit them. Slowly, I turned to see if I was right before beginning to move away, slipping between the coils and pipes to hide myself.
Standing there, in the middle of the roof was a blonde woman with horrible emerald green eyes (what was with villains and having green eyes?). With one look I found I was focused on her eyes, almost as if her eyes were spelled to make me still. In her right hand was a large staff that looked like it could double as some type of wand, almost like Loki's scepter could double as a spear. As I stared at her, I could feel the similar energy that I had felt when Loki first arrived. The energy that I now associated with magic. My snarl was so low that I almost didn't hear it myself.
"I know you are here. I can still feel the presence of my ex-lover's magic," the woman informed. Using her words to cover me, I shifted even further away from the hawks’ nest as I tried to grasp the idea of Loki loving this woman. I shivered at the idea of this woman being with Loki. If Thor was right, then the two of them would be near undefeatable. Good thing Loki didn’t bring he with him. But, something had always nagged me after I remembered every detail. The way Loki acted... It wasn’t typical for an actual villain. Like something held him back. Well, I forgot that line of topic for instead focusing on the potential attacks happening right now.
"So, you must be Enchantress?" I mocked loudly before slinking into a new shadow further away from where I spoke. After spending so many months up here, I knew my way around. Amora snarled as she focused on the area my voice had come from. I knew she couldn't see me. The male hawk landed on the A/C unit and she spun to face him, staff raised, ready to attack. Lex looked at her curiously. When she realized it wasn't me, she scoffed and I couldn’t help but wonder why she didn’t do anything to him.
"I come to seek vengeance!" she declared. I snorted. Did she not realize that Thor had already told us this? Maybe she wasn't as tough as Thor had claimed. It helped to enforce my bravado. "You mock me?"
"No. I mock Loki," I answered back. Always a good idea to piss off a villain. Or well, maybe not the best idea but it was the method I always used. Sides, I should probably stall. JARVIS did have a small amount of camera’s angled to about where Amora was standing, so he should know she was there. This time I wasn’t as fast as Amora magic blasted three inches from where I had been. Stunned, I waited until the smoke faded to see the damage. The coil was completely destroyed. Thankfully, I knew it wasn't important for the continued running of the Tower. Couldn't remember what it was used for exactly, but I just remember it wasn't that important.
"No one is allowed to mock him!" she cried. 'Testy, this one,' I thought to myself before shifting once again. I needed to be constantly on the move to keep her distracted.
"Why not? You were lovers. We were lovers," I lied to her, as my mind flashed to the fake memory I had. She blasted an inch away from me again. This time I could feel the magic touching my boot. The feeling had me pale a bit but I still needed to move. Suddenly, Lex cried out and swooped down on Amora. She screamed and tried to swat him away but didn’t use her magic. That seemed odd to me. If Amora was this all powerful witch/enchantress or whatever, why wouldn’t she just magic Lex away? Star cried out as well but still didn't get up from the nest. Lex's talons then caught Amora's face. Her scream pierced my body but I didn't move. When her hand finally connected with Lex, it sent the poor hawk tumbling into a nearby coil and I couldn’t stop my twitch of anger at her.
"You insolent creature! I was going to leave you be!" Amora screamed before leveling her staff toward Lex. My gaze harden and before I realized I was going to make a really stupid decision, my body snapped into motion before I could think it through. Hands wrapped around Lex and I rushed forward. I think I made it maybe four more steps before Amora had her hands around my throat. No even thinking, I tossed Lex away from me. He took flight and I was slammed into a pipe labeled Water.
"Ow," I grunted softly when she lessened the grip on my throat so as to not strangle me to death. Her eyes glinted in humor as she looked to the hawks. Lex had now flown back over to Star and the two were now cuddling up against each other in extreme worry.
"Didn't think you'd have a soft spot," Amora commented. I coughed out a small laugh at her.
"Didn't think you would either," I grumbled just as the door to the roof access slammed opened. ‘Fucking finally,’ I thought as my eyes flicked over to the group. Amora, while still gripping my neck tightly, spun to see what was going on. Thor had come out first, wielding his mighty hammer (Mjolnir). He looked more than pissed. I don't think I've ever seen anyone so angry. Not even the Hulk. Then came Steve, in surprisingly full Captain America gear. First thing I noticed was he looked me over for injuries (thanks Cap), then looked at Amora, then looked her over and proceeded to blush... 'Really... Life or death situation here and you are checking out the bad guy?'
Natasha literally flew out the door next. She was in her full battle suit as well. 'Guess that's explains what took them so long.' The second she looked over the scene, I could tell all she wanted to do was get her hands on Amora and pound her in the dust. Bruce was next, peeking out from behind the doorway but not fully coming out. His eyes glanced over the situation and then he held his hand to his ear and whispered something. I could only assume he was telling Tony where Amora and I were located. But when Tony came up from behind Bruce in full Iron Man suit and stood behind Thor, I wondered what exactly Bruce was doing. Then I realized that he might have been talking to Fury or Pepper. Okay...
"Enchantress!" Thor boomed angrily at her. She didn't even seem fazed. Hell, she even looked like she rolled her eyes at him. ‘How close did Thor say he was with her?’ Was it possible that Amora had known Thor since he was a child? If so, would Thor really protect me?
"Thor. How wonderful to see you again," Amora chuckled in a sultry tone of voice, as if speaking to an angered lover. I noticed that Thor tightened his grip on Mjolnir. He was beyond pissed. That made me feel better. Thor would defeat her. Right?
"Let my friend go," Thor told her. Amora looked down at me. I looked up at her. She smirked and I knew this wasn't going to end well for me. No matter what happened next, Amora would never let me get off easy. And I doubt Thor or the others would be fast enough to help. "Enchantress, I am warning you! Midgard is under my protection!"
"Yes, and I have officially declared vengeance against these traitors to my other lover. You are not allowed to interfere," Amora snarled. Everyone but Thor paused at this. Thor's eyes narrowed in hesitation. What was going on? Why wasn’t Thor disputing that and coming after her? Focusing again on Thor I realized what was going to happen. There had to be some type of Asgardian bullshit that made it Thor couldn’t help. Why he didn’t say that before.... Well, I’ll beat him up for that later.
"Goldilocks? What the hell is she talking about?" Tony asked. Thor shrugged it off for only a second. But when he saw that Amora was waiting for him to explain as well, Thor growled. Hell, we were all waiting for an explanation. Something was going on, something that really wasn't good.
"Asgardian rule is that you may declare vengeance in court against a particular party. If it is accepted then you may take vengeance without the protector of the area interfering in any way," Thor grounded out. My eyes must have widened in fear.
"Jesus, Thor! People agreed to allow this?" I choked out even as Tony demanded that Thor should have led with that. Amora laughed as the others tensed. Thor looked slightly ashamed. I didn't care though. My life had been voted on one too many times without my ability to even state my case.
"But that clause is wrong here. For I am part of the party you have declared vengeance upon, Amora!" Thor declared, ignoring my and Tony’s statements. That really ticked me off but Amora tightened her hold on my neck just long enough to make me stop and think.
"No, my dear one. If you had listened in court, I never once uttered your name," Amora told him with a nasty smirk. Thor's glare turned so dark and evil that I shuddered under it. But Amora wasn't fazed. "Now if you don't mind."
"What are you going to do with him?" Steve called. Amora smiled and pulled me close to her. I tried to pull myself away, fearing in the pit of my stomach that she was going to turn me against my friends just like Loki had done. But in the back of my mind, I feared she may even do something worse than that.
"Let us see if we can really call you Hawkeye," she whispered in my ear. My eyes widened even as I felt the build up of magic on my skin. Amora tossed me aside, done with me as her toy now. I could feel the magic still there on me. Even in mid flight, I could feel my body shifting under the force. I just hoped she couldn't actually do the spell she claimed. Looking toward the Avengers my eyes locked onto Natasha's just before the blinding flash from Tony's ARC reactor as he attacked Amora. My friend's eyes were wide in fear as she opened her mouth and screamed.
Third Person POV
The last thing any of the Avengers saw of Clint before the blinding flash of Tony's attack was him falling into a mess of piping and coils near the edge of the building. No one knew if he had landed on the roof or if he had fallen off. But before anyone could check, Amora took charge of the battle. Tony tried to slip past her but she grabbed him by the ankle and tossed him right at Thor, the only other flyer. Natasha rushed toward the area but was stopped when a magic blast hit right in front of her. Steve moved in next, intent on distracting her with his shield and hoping that Natasha, Tony or Thor would be able to slip past.
It took about three hits for Natasha to realize that Amora was toying with them. That frustrated the spy more than anything. They were Earth's Mightiest Hero's, and this woman was toying with them. Steve kept on calling out battle plan after battle plan through the comms but Natasha started to ignore them. They weren’t working anyways. All she could focus on was the fastest way to get to Clint. Her mind kept on screaming, 'get to Clint, he's hurt, get to him.' But she couldn't. Amora would always get in the way.
Natasha wasn't the only one having trouble finding their way over to Clint's side. Steve was working his way over as well. Thor, somehow, got what seemed to be his feet cemented to the roof as if a spell had been laid on him. He looked majorly ticked off but unable to actually do anything, like search for Clint. Natasha was also trying to get to Clint, doing whatever was needed. But it was like Amora could predict what they were gonna do. Steve just did his best to keep on telling Tony and Bruce (who surprisingly was holding himself together rather well and was now shooting Amora with a gun) to cover Thor and Natasha as best as they could. And when he didn't think Amora had enough attention on him, he'd make a break for Clint only to find Amora was waiting for him.
Tony was getting far from frustrated. JARVIS kept on telling him of multiple systems inside Stark Towers that were shutting down because of fried circuits or destroyed pipes and other such damages that kept on happening on his beloved roof. But the one thing that he wanted to be updated on was the one thing JARVIS couldn't tell him about. And that was Clint. Up in the sky, Tony couldn’t see exactly where Clint landed. He knew the archer had to have landed on the roof as there was no evidence of him having fallen off. He knew this cause JARVIS was tapped into local news and a body falling from the tower would hit the news within seconds. But no matter how many times he looked and no matter how many times he scanned, JARVIS could find no human life scans nor no human remains; only a few hawks.
Thor had to stop himself from crying in frustration as he tried release himself from Amora’s spell. The declaration of revenge that Amora had said in court made it so that she could defend herself against any attackers but she also could not harm an innocent. So, she had every right to lay a spell on the thunderer to keep him still. He could do nothing about it. No matter how much he wanted to simply go check on the missing archer. But, he needed to stop her. No, he wanted to stop her. Even, if it killed him. He'd do it for Clint.
Bruce tucked himself back into a corner and breathed deeply. The other guy was stirring in the back of his consciousness but he really couldn't risk changing right now. Clint was somewhere on this roof. Whether he was alive or not, Bruce didn't know, but he wasn't going to let the Hulk finish the archer off. So for now he gripped the gun holster tightly and thanked whatever higher being out there that he had taken a few shooting lessons from both Clint and Natasha as he followed Steve's orders.
They all fought for well over what seemed to be an hour but actually ended up only being about ten minutes before Amora just vanished. One second she was there and the next she was gone. Poor Steve was in mid punch when she left too. He was sent stumbling to the ground before spinning around for more of a battle until he realized she had left. Not even a word goodbye. It left the Avengers stunned for a moment. Natasha was the one to break the trance.
"Clint," she called before rushing off toward where the poor archer had been tossed. Steve and Bruce were quick on her heels. Thor and Tony stayed back, everyone could tell that they feared Clint was dead or maybe Thor was blaming himself and Tony feared he'd get in the way. Either way, they didn’t follow after them. "CLINT!"
"He did land over here, right?" Steve cried, sounding almost a little panicked as he began to try and dig through some wreckage from the fight. Tony slowly walked over as he raised his face plate. Natasha looked at him.
"During the battle JARVIS and I scanned the area... We couldn't see any trace of a human landing here..." Tony admitted. Natasha's eyes glazed over and she dropped to her knees. Steve spun and spotted the two. He had heard the whole thing.
"No. We will find him. Tony, look at your building... Maybe he found a way inside the building. He could be in the vents or something!" Steve called his mind frantic as he wondered what happened. Why did things keep going this way? Tony frowned but slid his face plate down and rocketed off. "Thor, come help with the digging!"
As Steve turned to keep digging, he didn't notice Thor swinging Mjolnir and suddenly take off. But Bruce did. He closed his eyes and sighed deeply before going over to Natasha. Her normal cool façade was cracking a bit. For a moment, she looked highly upset. But, then her stiff mask fell into place. Unsure of what to do, Bruce stopped and then turned back and began to help Steve with the digging into random areas of where they thought Clint might have landed.
"Kree-ee,"called a loud voice. Steve and Bruce froze before looking up. There, sitting on the tallest part of the pile of rubble was a small hawk with red feathers coming down in an arch on his chest. Before either male could move, Natasha had made her way over.
"Hey, there, you must be Lex," Natasha whispered as she quickly and elegantly made her way up the pile. The hawk turned its head in confusion at the name but looked down to the right behind him before focusing on Natasha again. Clint had only recently told her about the pair of hawks that made a nest up here. She hadn’t seen them, nor had she planned on looking for them. He just let her know and she was fine with that.
"Lex?" Bruce asked before shifting to try and follow Natasha's path. He quickly traded a glance with Steve as he moved along. Steve seemed as equally confused but wasn’t going to argue.
"Clint mentioned briefly that a pair of hawks had been making a nest up here," Natasha sniffed. Bruce and Steve mouthed 'oh' and the super soldier slowly started to follow her up. The soldier caught up to Bruce fairly quickly. Bruce had only been a few steps behind Natasha. "Maybe he saw where Clint landed."
"Could a hawk really tell us that?" Steve wondered. Bruce shrugged. Wouldn’t hurt to follow the bird. Not like they had any other idea or plan.
"Either way, in this mess, I think we should help by moving their nest indoors and caring for them. Tony’s gonna need to do a lot of overhaul to fix the damage and they won’t be safe up here," Bruce mentioned. Natasha gave a soft laugh.
"Clint would do that," she softly answered. Now that they had all reached the top, the three looked down to where Lex was looking and saw the nest was still settled perfectly between the A/C units. Nothing was damaged and Star looked up at them curiously. Not even a single feather was out of place on her body. But what stunned them the most was the very human shape dent on of the units but the damaged body of a smaller male hawk laying inside of it.
"Jesus," Steve muttered before quickly looking around. Had Clint hit this other hawk? If so, where was he?
"Clint didn't mention three of them," Natasha murmured.
"Maybe he came by at the wrong time," Bruce responded before shifting over the rubble and beginning the trek down. He was careful not to shift anything out of place and when he got to the unit and looked down on the injured bird. Quickly analyzing the bird, Bruce groaned. "I may not be a wildlife expert, but I can tell this guy's hurt real bad. His right wing looks broken and I wouldn't be surprised if there are internal injuries. I'm not sure if he'll make it on his own."
"Well, take him inside. See what you can do..." Steve replied. Natasha glanced at him. "I'll stay out here and keep on looking for Clint. Hey, has anyone seen Thor?"
"He took off when you asked him to help dig," Bruce answered as he gently lifted the hawk and turned to begin his climb all over again. Steve groaned just as Tony flew up on the side of the building. Star screamed out in protest until Tony landed a good five feet away and slid up his face plate.
"What's with the birds?" he questioned.
"They are hawks and they've been nesting here for about two weeks now," Natasha countered. Tony frowned. News to him.
"I hate animals. Which reminds me, JARVIS, remind me to install you on the roof and in the vents," Tony distantly intoned. Natasha, Steve and Bruce rolled their eyes as they heard JARVIS's weak confirmed reply. When Tony came back and noticed Bruce was bringing the injured hawk closer to his tower home, Tony's frown deepened. "What are you doing?"
"I'm bringing this hawk inside for medical treatment," Bruce explained like Tony should have known that. Tony shook his head and took a step forward.
"Uhuh, I hate animals," Tony repeated as though that explained everything. Bruce frowned and Natasha came down from the rubble pile and slid up in front of Tony.
"Clint loves these hawks," was all she needed to say and put in a good glare before Tony groaned and waved Bruce away. Before the billionaire could say another word, Bruce took off into the tower. Steve came down from the rubble pile right after that.
"Honestly, Cap? Nothing. Not a single trace. It's like he just vanished," Tony blankly stated. Natasha spun around and tried not to show any emotion but she could feel herself slipping. She held herself in for Coulson. Coulson hadn't been all that close to her anyways. He had always been closer to Clint. But Clint had saved her. He had been everything to her. Even though she didn't romantically love him, she did love him like family. Steve placed a hand on her shoulder.
"We'll find him. I promise you that," Steve told her, reminding both of them of the time that Steve had said this before. It was true then. Why wouldn't it be true now? Tony and Steve sighed as Natasha could only nod at them before she ran away from them and disappeared into the tower.
"Yeah. We'll find him. Thor, our magic resident, is missing. Bruce is caring for an already dying animal... Yeah, JARVIS told me. Natasha is mourning. I can't freaking track the damn guy and you... What are you going to be doing?" Tony asked. Steve looked to him with a withering gaze. Groaning, Tony placed a hand on his head. "Sorry. Guess the guy got a hold on me too."
"We're all worried. That's why we had the meeting in the first place. We wanted to help. It's Agent Barton who never seemed to understand that," Steve responded. Tony frowned.
"After eight months, you still call him Barton?" Steve sighed.
"I'm use to formalities," the Captain moaned before looked back to the rubble pile. Tony looked back as well.
"Don't bother. Clint isn't in there," Tony told him. Steve nodded.
"I realize that now. But Bruce said we should move the hawks inside. If, you're okay with that?" Steve added as an afterthought. Tony paused for a moment and then began thinking. His sudden bark of laughter made Steve jump along with the large smile that appeared on the genius’s face.
"Only if we can put them in Clint's room!" Steve even had to laugh at that before the two quickly began to go and collect the two birds and their lovely nest from the A/C unit.
Okay, we're getting a bit into the actual story/story of this. Sorry there wasn't any Clint in this chapter.... But, he's gonna come back, lol. Anyways... Happy belated Thanksgiving to those who celebrate it. And I hope those who are shopping are getting good Black Friday deals. Personally, I'm waiting for Cyber Monday, lol.
Darius is doing great. Real excited that his Granddad could take him after our thanksgiving meal and now he'll stay over there till Sunday evening. Or, at least I believe that's what is planned... He's been having a blast at school and daycare. Finally hitting the stage where getting him ready in the morning is hard, but... Once dressed he's all excited. Hubby and I saw Frozen 2 last weekend. Amazing movie but dear lord, I wish someone warned us about Anna's song... I think both of us cried as it pretty much explained our past year. And getting my husband to cry over something like that is pretty much near impossible. Ugh. Baby Jason is well. Slobbering all over the place. I could care less but it seems like every other second his parents are trying to clean him up. He's a baby, gaining teeth. He's gonna drool all over the place, lol.
Until next time! No idea when that will be as I keep forgetting to post, but I promise at least weekly as I am posting my other stories at the same time.
Chapter 4: Figuring Things Out
It took Steve and Tony around forty minutes to do the whole move. Mostly because Star wanted nothing to do with Tony and then Lex kept on sliding off of Tony's suit and Steve didn’t want to move a single twig out of place on the nest. In the end, Tony had to go inside, take off the suit, get a couple of gloves, grab a large bin of some kind, come back outside and then get Lex before helping Steve move the hawks downstairs. Then, come to find out, Clint had ‘broken’ his door and so Tony had to hack his way in. Thankfully, Steve had taken Lex away from Tony when he did so because once the door opened; a bucket of ice cold water was dumped onto Tony's head. Tony didn't appreciate the joke, but Steve sure did. So while Tony was changing, Steve set the hawks up on Clint giant bay window. Neither one of them seemed stressed about the move.
"Do you like his room?" Tony asked when he came back to see Steve admiring the archer's room. Steve paused and began to blush.
"I've never been in it before," Steve admitted.
"I haven't been in it since after I showed it to him. He admitted to me that it was bigger than all the rooms he's ever stayed in, combined. I thought he was joking until Natasha showed me the rooms on the Helicarrier. When I was designing everyone's rooms, I hacked S.H.I.E.L.D's databases to try and find out what you guys would like best. Not surprising, his tended to stay more toward his hawk-like nature," Tony joked. Steve nodded, a small smile on his face. Clint could really take his code-name to heart.
All about Clint's room were different landings and shelves big enough for a person to crouch on, or even sit on. Some were even big enough for a person to lie on. The wall opposite from the door was a complete bay window with a view showing the whole of New York. Clint's room was on one of the upper most floors, where as Steve's had been placed on one of the middle floors, so he didn't have as good of a view. Already, Lex was flying about, checking out the new place and all it’s landings.
"So that's why my in designed for the 1930s?" Steve asked, looking blankly at the genius. Tony snorted.
"Do you know how much that room cost me? Your room is the most expensive of all the rooms! Even mine!" Tony laughed. Steve raised an eyebrow at that. Tony sighed when he realized that Steve wouldn't get the joke. "Never mind."
"Okay. Do you know if Thor has returned yet?" Steve muttered as he looked back to Lex and Star. The two seemed to settle nicely into Clint's room. He had been rather surprised when they easily allowed the two to handle them and bring them inside.
"JARVIS, location on everyone," Tony automatically intoned. Steve frowned but said nothing as JARVIS answered.
"Rogers and yourself are in Agent Barton's room," JARVIS began. Tony rolled his eyes, having already known that but didn't feel the need to tell the computer that he already did. Steve couldn’t help but snort at that as well. He enjoyed when the AI became slightly snappy with Tony. "Agent Romanov is in her bedroom. Thor is just now landing on the outside walkway. Miss Potts is coming up the elevator and to the communal living room. Dr. Banner and Agent Barton are in the medical area."
"Wait, wait, wait... Clint?" Tony called as he and Steve processed the new information.
"Yes, sir. Agent Barton is in medical with Dr. Banner," JARVIS responded. Tony and Steve traded a glance. They weren't sure if it could be real. Could they really let their hopes rise up that high though?
"What is his condition?" Steve questioned.
"Right arm broken. Two broken ribs. Possible concussion," JARVIS mentioned. Tony nearly choked. All Amora had done was toss the archer to the side. Had she really done that much damage to him when he had been hit much harder before? But Steve was pondering what Bruce had mentioned about the hawk. Those injuries sounded like the injuries on the hawk.
"JARVIS, show me feed from medical!" Tony cried. Right away there was an image of medical that appeared before Tony and Steve. They looked on and saw that Bruce was sitting there, wrapping gauze around the right wing of the red-tailed hawk. The hawk was still unconscious, so it wasn't fighting or fidgeting, so Bruce was easily working away. But Steve could see that the doctor was worried about the damages he couldn't see. "Do you see Clint?"
"No," Steve murmured in despair. Bruce was just finishing up wrapping the gauze.
"JARVIS, where is Clint?"
"Agent Barton is in medical. He is receiving treatment from Dr. Banner," JARVIS intoned. Tony and Steve traded another glance.
"JARVIS, scan your systems. You may have a virus," Tony called.
"Yes, sir," JARVIS answered before going silent. Steve watched Tony. The billionaire was suddenly looking very nervous. It was reminding Steve of when they were at the meeting. Though he hadn't shown it much then, Tony had been very frightened when he learned of Amora's threat. Steve guessed it had something to do with his past.
"While JARVIS is scanning, we should go check out medical. I'll go get Natasha and Pepper, you go get Thor," Tony declared before taking off and disappearing down the hall. Steve sighed and turned to look at Lex and Star. Star had now begun to sleep but Lex had been watching them. He seemed almost suspicious of them. Not really a surprise but maybe soon they could bring the hawks back to where they had originally set themselves up.
“I am sending up a staff member to bring the hawks food and prepare a way for them to get water,” JARVIS informed before Steve could leave. It made the Captain give a weak smile. At least something was getting taken care of. With another deep sigh, Steve took off.
Clint stirred slowly. He could tell right away that something was wrong. His body was wracked in pain but the pain felt different then it normally did. Like he could tell that his arm was broken and that he had some broken ribs but the pain only felt like there was some minor bruising. Sniffing, Clint smelt the normal stale and chemical smells of the medical area that Tony had set up for the Avengers. Clint hated being in any type of medical area but at least this one was a little easier to be in.
As he slowly opened his eyes he quickly found himself closing them again. Something was really, really wrong. His vision wasn't right. It was split and in totally different colors. It was odd, but not as odd as his peripheral vision that had been extended far beyond what a normal human was capable of. More aware of his sight, Clint tried to open his eyes again. This time he kept them open longer, trying to analyze what he could see. There on his left side, he noticed a mirror and spotted the vision of a small hawk sitting on a hospital bed. As Clint focused his attention on it more, he twisted his head slightly. The hawk did the same. Clint turned to face the mirror and noted that when he did, the split vision made it impossible to focus on it. So he turned back so that only his left eye was staring at it again. Every movement he did, the hawk did as well. 'No. This can’t be what I think.'
"Hey, you finally awake there?" a voice suddenly asked. Clint spun to see who had spoken and almost forgot about the whole split vision. It took him a few seconds to shake the resounding headache that was beginning to form. And then he focused his right eye on the person now moving closer to him. When he finally did notice that it was Bruce, he began to calm.
"Bruce, what happened?" Clint tried asking but what came out what some type of 'kree-ing' and ‘cooing’ sounds. Surprised, Clint shook his head as he went to move his right hand to try and hold his head. But when he went to move that arm (or well wing), something restricted him. He looked down and noted the white gauze. Stunned more than anything, Clint tried to shake it off and spotted the feathers lying underneath all the gauze. Crying out in shock, Clint nearly started panicking but suddenly Bruce was there, right in front of him.
"Hey there, calm down. You were injured. I may not be an expert in animal physiology, I did what I could," Bruce explained, even though the scientist knew he was talking to an animal that more than likely could not understand a word he was saying. But Bruce did this more as a calming mechanism for himself that anything. Lucky for the doc, Clint could actually understand every word. He just about stopped himself from nodding as his mind registered what he was told. "There may be more I haven’t noticed. We... I should probably find help."
"Is there anything you can do for him?" questioned a female voice as suddenly Natasha appeared. Bruce nearly jumped a mile high and even Clint jumped. His feathers ruffled in annoyance at her sudden appearance. Bruce grabbed for his heart as he backed away from the assassin and stared at her in stunned silence for a moment as he tried to catch his breath.
"Jeez, are you trying to get everyone killed?" Bruce commented when he was certain the 'other guy' wouldn't make an appearance. Natasha briefly looked over at Bruce before going back to looking over Clint. Clint watched her as she looked him over. Slowly she brought her hand up. At first he leaned away from her, afraid that she was going to attack him but then she began to try and stroke his chest. Stunned, Clint froze.
"He seems nice," Natasha noted. Bruce nodded.
"Seems rather tame. Glad for that. But, I don't know what to do about this wing. We may need to call an actual wildlife expert. JARVIS scanned him, there is no internal bleeding or anything, so he is stable, just... Bone damage," Bruce admitted. Natasha sighed as Clint began to enjoy the stoking on his chest. He began to lean in to her hand. As he moved closer, Natasha's smile grew. He really didn’t care. All he knew was her ‘pets’ felt awesome and he wasn’t going to let her stop. "Where did they put the other two?"
"In Clint's room," Natasha answered as if Bruce shouldn’t have even guessed. Clint's eyes snapped opened.
"What?" he cried but Natasha didn't understand and quickly snatched her hand away in fear of being bitten. Course Clint seemed more shocked then anything and Natasha looked to Bruce. The doctor was focused on Clint, eyes narrowed as he wondered what set the hawk off. Clint simply looked back and forth between the two as he realized what he had done. They wouldn’t be able to understand him and considering how placid he had been so far, the cry he made must have made them really nervous. Mentally berating himself, Clint watched and prayed that Natasha would try and go back to stroking his chest.
"I don't think he was going to attack you... It's almost like he understood you," Bruce muttered. Natasha frowned as she stared the hawk on the examination table. She shook her head and looked back to the doc.
"That's impossible," Natasha replied. Bruce focused on her and so they missed Clint hanging his head.
"Just like Loki taking over Clint's mind was impossible," Bruce countered, glancing at her with a side eye before focusing on the hawk. Natasha grounded her teeth but didn't argue. She looked back to Clint. His grey blue eyes still stared back at her from the hawk's body. She shook it off as being paranoid as an extremely annoying voice spoke up.
"So, how's our new little pet?" Tony suddenly declared as he entered into the medical area. Clint fidgeted at Tony's voice. The need to move and get away suddenly overwhelmed his now tinier body. Clint couldn't understand where the feeling was coming from. It was just Tony. But the hawk part of him didn’t seem to care. Somehow the presence of the billionaire seemed to scare the bird part of his mind.
"Seems a little nervous, but doing well considering the damage. I've noticed he seems rather tame. Doesn't seem to mind Natasha and I poking around," Bruce responded as he began to clean up his mess. Natasha backed off. She could tell that the hawk was tense. Tony, on the other hand, was too stubborn to notice. He moved closer to Clint. As he leaned down to stare at the bird, Clint felt his instincts shift. Tony was now a threat. Unable to stop himself, Clint angrily cried out and jumped to the air, sticking his talons out a the billionaire. Tony quickly stumbled back with a cry of his own. The genius tripped and feel back onto his butt with an undignified thud. Bruce spun around at the sounds of a fight and noticed the hawk flapping around ungracefully toward the back of the examine table, Tony was sitting on the floor and Natasha was moving to calm the hawk but it just seemed to make it worse. "What did you do?"
"Nothing!" Tony honestly answered. Natasha rolled her eyes as she attempted to grab the hawk before he fell off the table. Her efforts got her nearly scratched and so she backed off. "I didn't touch him! He freaking attacked me!"
"Hey there, it's alright," Bruce cooed to the hawk as Clint felt himself loosing steam. He had just about gotten himself settled when Bruce moved in to check the bandages on the right wing. Clint tensed a bit but looked down at the white wrap in confusion. Moving hadn’t hurt as much as it should have with an injured wing. But then again, when he ever encountered injured birds, even if their wings were damaged, their light body's could still be lifted off the ground for a few seconds. But, it always had seemed so painful and pathetic. Now he just hoped he didn't look the same. Cause right now, he felt wicked stupid. "Flying wasn't the smartest thing to do, little one."
"Yeah, neither was attacking your host," Tony growled as he began to stand. Bruce shook his head before backing away from Clint. Tony carefully watched. He made sure to avoid being near the hawk, but still, Clint found his gaze couldn't leave the playboy. Though, he was completely amused that Tony seemed to be fearful of him in this tiny form, it also bothered him that he couldn’t seem to settle with him around. Clint was so focused on Tony that he missed Pepper and Steve enter the room.
"Oh my god! What a cute little hawk!" Pepper called before rushing forward and stopping at the side of the table. Clint shifted to stare at her in surprise. He had half been afraid that he would attack her as well, but the hawk side of him allowed him to merely watch her. As though it was waiting to see if she'd pose as big a danger as her boyfriend was.
"Be careful! That thing is-" Tony shouted to his girl as Pepper reached forward. Her delicate hand reaching out and stroking Clint's chest feathers similar to how Natasha had before. Natasha smirked as Clint shifted closer to the woman. He could really grow to like this type of attention. Steve and Bruce focused on Tony who was still mid sentence. The genius's shocked face was all it took to make them snigger. Clint hopped even closer as Pepper moved to back away. "Dangerous."
"Seems rather tame to me," Steve chuckled. Pepper giggled as well when she shifted her other hand down to help Clint get on her. Clint hesitated for a moment but when she stopped rubbing his chest, he found himself stepping swiftly onto her hand. Carefully, he squeezed his rather large talons around her delicate hand, surprised when his feet ended up being larger than her hand so that the talons weren’t even close to stabbing her. Once she moved, he held on while tight until she was a certain distance away then she began stroking the hawk's chest once more. Natasha shifted closer and began to stroke Clint's forehead. Stunned for only a moment, Clint suddenly found he was enjoying the attention. He cooed lightly as his new body filled with such exhilaration at the touches. Unbeknownst to him, his feathers ruffled in a pleased motion.
"He really seems to enjoy the girls," Bruce noted. Steve sighed as Thor finally entered. He paused at the hawk sitting on Pepper. A little surprised, but he got over it quickly. Having seen the hawks briefly during his battle and then again when he took off, Thor simply figured they were taking care of it for a short while.
"Yes, he does," Steve agreed. Tony moaned as he watched Pepper's face brighten at petting the exotic bird. Bruce and Steve focused on their friend. The billionaire threw his hands in the air as though he was giving something up. He shouted and everyone focused on him. Clint tensed, even if still being carefully considerate of where his talons were placed.
"Fine! We'll keep it! But I ain't feeding it! Or the others!" Tony loudly declared. Pepper's arm dropped a bit in surprise at the admission. Clint almost squawked in fear but held it in. Bruce shifted away from Tony as the genius began to pace. Steve moved closer to Thor, and the doorway out. Natasha placed a hand on Pepper's shoulder, tensing at Tony's quick movements. Her eyes kept shifting back to the hawk, making sure he wasn't going to do something.
"Others?" Pepper questioned.
"Yeah, we have two more holed up in Clint's room," Tony mentioned. Pepper's gaze shifted from happy to concerned in a flash. Tony winced as he realized what he said. Steve now stood next to Thor, Bruce was on the other side of the room, and Natasha was slowly lifting the hawk off the other woman's hands. Clint easily stepped onto his partner and before she could grip his talons in her hands, he calmly and carefully walked up her arm and perched himself on her shoulder, making sure his ‘feet’ were twisting the sharp ends of his talons away from her body. Natasha simply quirked an eyebrow but didn't stop him. Clint knew this wasn’t regular behavior for a hawk, but he just wanted to be up high and it didn’t look like Thor (the tallest of them) would be willing to have him on his shoulder.
"Where is Clint? Does he know about this?" Pepper questioned. Everyone quickly turned away from her. She hadn't been at the battle, nor did she get updates. So, there was no way she could have possibly known. Course, it didn't make the others feel better. They had been standing there, watching as poor Clint had gotten attacked. To all of them, it was their fault that their friend had gone missing. It was almost like last time. "Is he okay?"
"Peps, we don't know," Tony admitted. Pepper stared at her boyfriend in silence. She had been told this once before and everything turned out fine. It would turn out fine again. All she could do was believe that it would be alright. "Enchantress was on the roof when we got there. She already had Clint. She must have done something to him, cause she tossed him aside and he vanished."
"What about JARVIS? Doesn't he know where Clint is?" Pepper begged. Tony and Steve traded a look. They hadn't mentioned what happened earlier to anyone as they hadn’t had the chance. When they went off to get the others and bring them to the medical area, the two had agreed to only explain it once.
"Well, that was the reason we asked you all to come down here," Tony began. Steve nodded.
"Our archer friend can be found by this, Jar-vest?" Thor inquired, having never really encountered the AI before. During the Manhattan incident, Tony had mentioned the name in passing but Thor figured it was someone similar to Heimdall. But now, he was unsure. This was actually the first time he had spoken since the battle with Amora.
"Well..." Tony hesitated. Giving in, he looked up toward the ceiling. "JARVIS, where is the location of Clint?"
"Agent Clint Barton is in medical, along with Agent Romanoff, Dr. Banner, Captain Rogers, Miss Potts, Sir Odinson and yourself," JARVIS reported. The room went silent and still as they all focused on what JARVIS was saying. Meanwhile, Clint was rather overjoyed, JARVIS could at least still tell it was him. Now if only he could communicate that with the others.
"But, I don't see him," Pepper moaned, looking about. Tony nodded. Natasha reached toward Clint and wrapped her hands softly around his wings and body. Not liking where this was going, he began to fidget a little, still mindful of his talons. But before it became dangerous for either assassin, she placed the hawk back down on the table and walked closer to the billionaire. Steve looked over at Bruce, who was gazing around the room looking for something. Thor sighed. "How can he be here? JARVIS, is your system alright?"
"I have done four scans of my system and checked even the backup sections of my programming. Nothing is wrong. I have no virus, no signs of hacking and certainly no damages. And with all of this, my scans still report to me saying that Agent Clint ‘Hawkeye’ Barton is in medical," JARVIS responded. Clint winced. If a computer could sound annoyed, that's what JARVIS would sound like at that point. Clint ruffled his feathers as the others turned their backs on him. He 'kee-ed' but still, everyone was focusing on each other, not him.
"Could he possibly be in the air ducts?" Natasha suggested. Tony shook his head.
"JARVIS can't find him once he goes into the vents. A blind spot I intend to fix, soon," Tony growled more to himself then to anyone else. Steve nodded.
"That will be helpful in the future. If we had that technology now though, we may have been able to stop all this from happening," Steve harshly pointed out. Tony turned a glare on the solider but stopped as Clint made another pathetic noise that was once again ignored. The genius paused closing his eyes, repressed his anger and then turned away from the Captain.
"The Lady Enchantress's spell did hit our friend. We do not yet know what the side effects are," Thor announced. Pepper gasped in surprise.
"She was here? Already?" Pepper whispered. Tony looked at her, when she focused on him, he mouthed that he had said that before. She whispered back an apology and mouthed that she hadn't heard that part. Tony rolled his eyes. Bruce stepped forward now as Clint let out another soft cry. ‘How hard is it to get their fricking attention?’ Clint thought to himself as he 'kree-ed' again just a bit louder.
"Thor, what do you know of her spells? What could she have done to him?" Bruce asked. Thor focused on the hawk for a moment. Clint nodded his head quickly, growing dizzy at the fast motion. But the god didn't seem to care, or maybe even notice. Hell, he might not even understand that what Clint had done wasn’t normal hawk behavior. Damn Asgardian...
"Invisibility, body switching, de-aging, memory-loss, death, among other such things," Thor answered. Everyone moaned. Clint hopped forward and squawked in agitation. This time, Steve noticed. He had no idea why the hawk was demanding attention now, but he made him curious. Thor had mentioned body switching. Could there actually be a chance of what he was thinking? Frowning, he looked to Thor.
"What about, changing him to an animal?" he questioned. Thor focused on the hawk. Clint was desperately shaking his head yes now, taking another hop toward Steve and Thor. Bruce moved forward to check on the bird of prey. The doctor feared that there may have been some type of brain damage now. Not many birds would ever do something like what he was doing now. Clint paused only long enough to glare at the doctor before nodding again towards Thor. How he desperately wished Thor could understand him.
"No. Amora may be a powerful spell caster but she cannot change one's physical form such like that," Thor admitted. Steve sighed. It had been the best lead outside of invisibility, which seemed too strange to give your enemy. ‘That had to be too useful a curse. I mean come on, they wander around, no one can see them. Hell, they'd be the perfect spy!’ Clint thought briefly before hopping again and crying out, still ignored. "My brother would have been able too. But he is locked away."
And that was when Clint finally slipped. His lighter hawk body dropped off the table and down onto the floor, three feet away. And due to Clint’s already bad luck, he landed hard on his head, falling unconscious quickly. Bruce, who was closest, was the first the react. He quickly leaned down and picked the now unconscious bird up. Pepper cried out at the thud and focused on Bruce and the hawk. Natasha had jumped in surprise at the sound before she also noticed what Bruce was now holding. Tony, Steve and Thor merely shifted their attention.
"Is it alright?" Tony muttered. Bruce shook his head no.
"We need to get him to an actual professional. There could be more wrong with him than I or JARVIS knows," the doctor ordered. Nodding, everyone moved to allow Bruce access out of the medical bay. Tony and Pepper were next to follow, the later already on her phone. Natasha followed next, back into her daze that she had fallen into after learning of Clint's disappearance. Steve and Thor traded a look before walking off after the group in front of them. The two were almost beginning to wonder if everyone had forgotten about Clint.
It didn't take the wonder of Pepper Potts long to find an animal hospital that would take the likely ‘dying’ hawk. She even made sure they understood that the place wouldn't kill the poor creature until that had done everything possible to save the hawk. And she made sure that they understood that the hawk wasn’t owned by a zoo. But, she also couldn’t admit who owned the hawk.
“Okay, I got a place. It’s near the zoo in Central Park. They should have someone on staff that can handle him by the time we get there,” Pepper informed.
“We?” Tony questioned even as the group loaded into the elevator to head down to the garage. Pepper nodded her head.
“You expect any of us to stay behind?” she demanded. Tony glanced to everyone else.
“I shall stay, would be best if I continue to look for our friend...” Thor replied before quickly glancing at the still unconscious hawk. Steve nodded.
“Same here. We shouldn’t all forget about Clint,” the Captain mentioned. Bruce glanced down at the bird and it was clear he wasn’t going to stay behind. Natasha seemed to give off the same air. Pepper glanced to Tony. The genius winced, looking everyone over before sighing.
“Uh... I’d... I’d like to go with the bird,” the genius muttered.
“What?” Steve asked, surprised. With how often Tony mentioned he didn’t care for animals, this was certainly a strange twist. Tony shrugged, glancing back to the bird.
“Wouldn’t do to have a hawk that Barton was watching pass away,” the genius explained. “Sides, what if they try and give you all issues about caring for it? Just me being there could help.”
“Thank you Tony,” Pepper admonished knowing the big secret of Tony. He actually loved animals, but Howard had instilled such a disinclination of owning or sometimes even being near any pet that Tony had a hard time accepting an animal around him. With that settled, they headed for one of the cars, a surprisingly normal silver Cadillac. Natasha slipped into the driver’s seat before anyone could stop her. Bruce took the passenger seat so that he and the hawk would have more room. Tony sat behind Natasha and Pepper behind Bruce. Leaving the others behind, Natasha squealed the tires as she roared out of the tower’s parking garage.
"Jeez, you trying to kill us all?" Tony cried when Natasha whipped the vehicle around the tight bend leading out of the garage. The spy ignored him as she pressed down harder on the gas. "Hey, just slow down!"
"We need to get there soon, Tony. This little guy might possibly be dying. I have no idea," Bruce reported. Fearing that the hawk may actually pass soon, Natasha spurred the machine faster. It would to be a good thing that she rushed, if Bruce had been right. But, he wasn’t and so, she was actually putting them in more danger. Still Natasha took another tight turn at a horrifying speed. Tony yelped as he slid toward Pepper and almost completely off his seat. Pepper gripped tightly onto the newly deemed 'oh shit' handle above her door while Bruce pulled the injured hawk tighter to his body. For once he was glad that he had gotten used to this type of driving in the third world countries he used to visit. Tony cried out once again as Natasha jerked the wheel to send him slamming into the door beside him. Looking up desperately, the billionaire noticed his handle was missing. He turned to glower at his girlfriend.
"Why? Why do you get the handle?" he accused darkly as Natasha suddenly slammed on the brakes sending his face right into the back of her own seat. The two grunted before Tony fell back into his seat and grabbed his nose before anyone could see the damage. "AH! YOU BROKE MY DAMN NOSE!"
"I highly doubt that," Natasha countered as she slowly pulled forward and turned into a small parking lot. She parked the car in the nearest spot to the door and turned the vehicle off. "Come on."
Bruce and Natasha were quick to jump out and head inside. Tony, still gripping his nose, took a moment longer as Pepper got out and circled around to inspect the damage.
"Let me see," Pepper begged when Tony moved to walk away from her. "Anthony Edward Stark, let me see your nose!"
"It's ruined! I'll never sniff that sweet perfume I gave you for your birthday again!" Tony whined as Pepper finally gripped his hands to pull them away. When the sentence caught up with her, she paused.
"You mean the one you gave me over six years ago?" she questioned. Tony stopped now and focused on her.
"Was it six years ago?" he asked as his hands dropped down. Pepper nodded as she focused on his 'ruined' nose. It was perfectly fine. Not even bleeding. She tensed.
"You're not even bleeding," Pepper accused before smacking Tony's chest playfully. Tony reached up and pressed against the bottom of his nose and winced.
"Well it still hurts," he moaned. Pepper rolled her eyes and spun on her heel to enter the building behind her. She ignored him now. "Does no one care about my pain?"
Once inside the genius saw Bruce was sitting on a bench nearby, the hawk still curled up in his lap. Natasha with Pepper now at her side were double teaming the man at the desk. Tony quirked an eyebrow before joining the other scientist. The genius leaned over to get a better look at the hawk and Bruce’s tense face. "What's going on?"
"Someone came in with a pet dog who was vomiting every three seconds or something, not that I saw it, and now they aren't sure if they have room for this guy," Bruce mentioned as he looked down at the bird in concern. Tony 'ah-ed' as he focused on his more than pissed off girlfriend. With a seconds pause, Bruce turned to see Tony's nose in near mint condition. He smiled lightly. "So, it's not broken?"
"Hmm? Oh, my nose? Yeah, Peps said I wasn't even bleeding," Tony responded off hand. Bruce nodded. "So they trying to rush this?"
"Well, that's what Pepper’s trying to get. I think Natasha is trying not to kill the poor guy," Bruce joked tensely as he jerked his head back to the desk. Tony smiled and glanced back at the women. Both of them looked to be getting really upset now. He winced.
"Well, maybe I should go help," Tony said as he started toward the desk. He slid up behind Pepper while she was pleading with the gentleman behind the rather tall desk.
"Please, he might be dying," she was saying. Tony frowned and looked to the hawk. Could it really be dying? Right now it just looked like it might be sleeping or something. Not that Tony could really give a crap. The 'beast' did try to attack him. But deep inside Tony knew the truth, he really did give a crap if something happened to the bird. And if he was dying, Tony would make sure it was fixed, asap.
"Miss, I'm sorry. We only have a limited amount of space and mostly all of it is set aside for paying customers. Many of the animals here are also dying or are very sick. There isn't much more we can do," the man tried explaining for the fifth time.
"Please. He is a beautiful and wonderful bird. He won't take up too much space," Pepper begged. The man shook his head. Natasha snarled.
"Listen, you told us that you could take him. Why would you tell us that if you had no room?" she snapped. The man was now beginning to look a little fearful.
"I'm sorry. A paying customer came in with their very sick Pekingese. Meaning we needed to take the poor thing," the man said. Tony frowned and looked up as an extremely tearful woman stepped out from behind one of the doors. She waved back to something inside.
"I promise, Mommy will be back for you, once you get better darling," the woman called. Tony grimaced. The whole time she spoke, she had been in this high pitched voice that he had heard mostly used for babies or kids. All it made him want to do was punch her.
"What if we were paying customers?" Tony interrupted suddenly, still having not looked back to the desk. Pepper, Natasha and the man looked to him. The man's eyes widened as he recognized the highly known figure standing before him. Tony slowly turned to look back at the three. Sighing at their different, and varied, reactions, Tony asked again. "What if we were paying customers? What if I said that hawk was mine and I wanted to pay to save his life?"
"We could make room for your lovely pet hawk, Mr. Stark," the man calmly responded. Tony smirked and looked over at Pepper and Natasha very proudly. Natasha rolled her eyes while Pepper gave him a brilliant smile. That just made Tony feel even better and his smirked turned into a smile. "What is the name of your pet?"
"Uh," Tony replied as his mind just suddenly blanked. "Joe? No... Bruce? Nah... Jack? Nope... Rotti? No way... Ha! Merlin, wait... Never mind, didn't mention that one."
"You don't know the name of your bird?" the man blandly asked as he watched Tony fighting over a name.
"No, I do... It's just..."
"We just got him and our dog decided to try and see if he was a new chew toy," Natasha cut in. Tony gave her a relieved look. The man tutted and looked back to the hawk on Bruce's lap. Even though he was a good distance away, the worker could see that the injuries on the bird was not likely from a dog attack. Natasha narrowed her gaze at the curious man. "If I said a dog got him, then a dog got him."
"Xavier! Wait, no. TAZ! No... Shit, this is really hard," Tony whined. Natasha rolled her eyes. "I've got it! Tony."
"Barton, his name is Barton," Natasha demanded and sent a dark stare over at Tony that pretty much read if he was going to argue, then he was going to get punched. Tony paused before slowly nodding. It almost made him find it funny that not only were they going to put this hawk in Clint's bedroom when they got back but now it was named after him. Even Pepper gave a light smile at the name. Though Tony couldn't tell what her smile was about. It could have been the same as his, or it could have been from something else.
"But Tony flows off the tongue," Tony mentioned. Natasha glared at him.
"We only need one Tony, not two," she growled. Pepper chuckled.
"Are you sure?" the man questioned. Natasha nodded. Slowly he lifted a clipboard with a bunch of papers on it and aimed it toward Tony. "Okay. Here is the paperwork, please fill this all out."
"I don't like being handed things," Tony quickly responded and looked toward Pepper. She sighed and grabbed the clipboard and walked off. Tony smirked and followed. "Thanks."
"What happened?" Bruce asked as he stroked the still unconscious hawk's head. Tony sighed and flopped down next to the other scientist. He really didn't want to talk about it. Pepper sat down a little further away from the group and began working on the paperwork.
"They wanted to know his name," Natasha answered as she moved closer to look at the bird. Slowly he began to stir. Eyes fluttered open as Clint began to fight for consciousness. Natasha smiled softly. "We decided on Barton, cause the other choices sucked."
Clint barely heard Natasha but he caught his last name when he finally began to come too again. Blearily, he tried to focus on his partner to see if maybe his name was mentioned cause they figured out it was him. But when he saw her softened gaze, he knew that they hadn't. Bruce chuckled lightly as he focused on the waking hawk. Tony just frowned, still put out that he couldn’t name ‘his’ bird.
"I thought my next name would have been cool," he moaned. Natasha focused on him with a raised eyebrow. "Raptor."
"No," Bruce and Natasha said at the same time. Tony groaned and leaned back against the seat. Bruce sighed.
"Have you never had a pet?" Bruce inquired. Tony looked away. Bruce frowned realizing he went into a topic that Tony never wanted to bring up.
"Dad could barely stand watching me... Why would he want to watch me and some creature that would be, using his words, 'just as annoying and in the way?'" Tony answered even going so far as to use the air quotation marks. Bruce shook his head in disgrace. He had known Howard wasn’t all that great of a father but Maria was well known as a sweetheart. So, why wouldn’t she have allowed it? Natasha sighed. She went to speak but was interrupted before she could even get a syllable out.
"Barton?" someone cried into the nearly empty room. Bruce gripped 'Barton' closer as he stood. Tony was next to stand and together they headed over with Natasha and Pepper not far behind her. As Bruce slipped past the woman welcoming him inside, she lifted her arm behind him. "Only three people outside of the vet and her helper can fit inside. So that leaves room for two more."
"Well, Tony, you're the owner," Natasha responded, shoving the billionaire into the rather tiny exam room. He looked back at her with an angry scowl. "And I would like to make sure he's okay. So that’s two."
Pepper before looking down at the paperwork. She still needed to get through a bunch more. Apparently saving a pet hawk had much more paperwork than saving a pet dog or cat. Sighing deeply, she nodded consent even as Natasha slid into the room. Pleased at the results the ‘nurse’ allowed the door to close with a echoing click. As she moved through the narrow room, Tony, Bruce and Natasha sifted to more comfortable positions. Tony went and stood by the door, the furthest spot from the small table that Clint now sat on. Bruce placed himself in the corner, not even thinking about how he was trapping himself. And Natasha stood between the two men.
"Hey guys," Clint softly 'kree-ed' as he focused on his teammates. Bruce smiled softly down to the bird. He had been worried about how long the creature had been out, but now everything seemed fine. Just that the hawk was a little weak. Natasha reached forward and began to stroke the bird's chest. She felt so bad that this had to happen. "What's going on?"
"Shh," Bruce softly murmured. "It's okay. You're safe here."
"That kind of worries me even more," Clint moaned as he looked up at the doctor. Bruce turned and gave Natasha a sad smile. Natasha shook her head.
"You know he can't understand you, right?" Tony questioned as he watched Bruce. The other scientist nodded. "So why bother talking?"
"Sometimes the vibrations from calm speak can calm a creature," Bruce answered as a door across the room from Tony opened and two people entered. One was a woman in a white lab jacket. The other was a young man in a dark blue shirt. Nodding a greeting at the two new people, the others simply assumed that this must be the vet and tech that were going to be helping.
"Hello, my name is Helen Eve," the woman introduced herself as she moved further into the room. Her green eyes gazed over the three and she smirked when she noticed that Thor was not among the group now before her. The man with her also smirked. "This is Hans Grubervelt. What seems to be the issue?"
"My hawk, had a little run in with something much larger than it," Tony responded before anyone else could. The woman smiled to him as Clint shifted to focus on the woman. When he spotted her green eyes he froze. ‘Helen’ looked down to the hawk and was pleased to see his fear in his still greyish blue eyes.
"Don't worry dear, I'm here to help you," she softly muttered to Clint. Clint tried to stand and move toward Bruce, but his weak frame barely had the strength to grip the cool metal surface. Bruce placed a reassuring hand down on Clint's back and lightly pushed him closer to the vet. Clint looked back, feeling slightly betrayed now.
"Guys! This is AMORA! THE ENCHANTRESS!"
"Oh hush little one. I'm here to help," Helen cooed as she reached for Clint. Clint tried to squirm backwards but Bruce's hand was still holding him back. Trying so hard to escape, Clint scratched at the table as his talons slid across the slick surface. Even feeling dizzy and weak, Clint’s panic was forcing his body to keep moving. Helen smirked. "There, there. It's be alright, let us see what is going on."
"NO! GET AWAY FROM ME!" Clint screamed until finally Natasha reached forward and grabbed him. Her hands wrapped around his small body and lifted him off the table to hold him steady. Clint, still desperate to get away from 'Helen', kicked his talons through the air. Natasha growled lightly as the hawk fidgeted in her grasp. She didn't want to hold him too tightly but if she held too loosely, he may slip out of her hands and fall. "NATASHA! DON'T! PLEASE!"
"I'm so sorry! He hasn't ever been like this. He's been so patient and kind," Bruce called as Clint continued screaming, shifting to try and help Natasha even though there wasn’t much he could do. Helen smiled softly at the doctor. Clint turned back to Bruce as he tried to continue escape from Natasha's hands. Tony was in the background smirking.
"It's fine. Many animals get confused," Helen said.
"Yeah sure. He hates me too," Tony muttered. Helen smirked as she focused on Clint. She stared at the bird form still thrashing in the assassin's hands. There was no way that she was going to touch him. Slowly she looked to the tech next to her and nodded. Hans nodded back and reached forward for the hawk. With a bunch of trepidation, Natasha began to hand Clint over. Clint screamed again as he threw his talons out at the other man. Hans snarled as one raked across his skin and pulled back a bit. "Yup. Seems familiar."
"NO! I will not go with that insane bitch!" Clint cried out as loudly as he could. Natasha frowned as she felt the hawk struggle harder. It was actually beginning to turn rather surprising that even though he was injured and had passed out just recently that he was able to keep up this strength. "LET ME GO!"
"STOP!" Natasha screamed at the hawk in anger. Clint paused and looked back to his human partner. His eyes literally weeping in fear. "You need help. She can help you. Just let her."
"But Tasha," Clint whined, still not moving. He didn't even notice when she handed him off to the male tech. Helen smiled and waved Hans and Clint away. The archer slowly watched as the three other Avengers were beginning to move further and further away. Well actually, he was moving further and further away. They silently watched him go until the door closed. No one was moving to help him and it made him want to weep. He was being betrayed but they didn't even know it. Maybe he had been right all along. They didn’t care about him... Once the door closed, Clint started struggling again. Even inside the room, the Avengers could hear the hawk's cries.
"Don't worry. We'll keep him overnight to check on him and call you in the morning," Helen told the others just before the door closed and blocked out most other sounds from the other side. Clint's cries were still rather loud but they were quickly fading. No one could be certain if it was because of distance or because he stopped calling out.
On the other side of the door, Clint fought Hans with everything he had. As they got further away, the human image began flickering though. Clint stilled when he saw what the tech actually looked like. An Asgardian warrior. Unconcerned with Clint's sudden revelation, Hans quickly brought the hawk over to a travel cage and tossed the injured creature roughly inside before slamming the door close.
"I will get out of here!" Clint snapped at the tech, ignoring his sudden knowledge. Sudden laughter made him look back toward the door that he had passed through before. Helen was standing there with a huge smile on her face. Slowly she waved her right hand over her body and turned into the same woman he had seen before. "Amora."
"Yes. How are you? I heard you might be hurt?" Amora called with her smile turning into a smirk. Clint shifted to the back of the cage as she reached forward to touch him. When she got close enough, Clint lunged forward, snapping his beak around her finger. Amora shrieked in pain as Skurge reached forward and swatted Clint’s head, dazing the hawk enough to let go. The sound of Amora’s pain drew someone closer. Silently cursing, Amora redid the image magic over her and her partner. Clint's eyes gleamed with joy as another tech came into the room. This one was a female with long brown hair and hazel brownish eyes. Her overweight frame probably meant she was alone but Clint's sharp eyes caught the gleam of a rather large 1 karat diamond and matching wedding ring on her right hand ring finger.
"Ah, this must be the special patient that Doc Steel was called for?" the woman called as she moved closer. Amora snarled so softly that Clint almost missed it. Skurge shifted nervously. He had no idea what to do. Amora had previously ordered for him to not get involved with the actual workers of this place. If he grabbed the cage while this strange woman was looking, then he'd be involving himself. Looking to Amora for a clear order, he noticed she was glaring. "Want me to bring him in back? He seems a little feisty here. But the paperwork said he was a sweetheart. Why would they lie?"
"I have no idea. But we can bring him back," Amora cooed as she tried to get the woman away. The woman turned to officially look at the Enchantress. Above her right breast was a name tag. "Amanda, we're good here."
"It's no problem, I can bring him back. I'm headed that way anyways," Amanda calmly stated before reaching for the handle. Clint shifted himself a bit to show his head to her, basically asking for pets. Amora growled lightly, giving the archer a dark glare even as her injured hand twitched. She needed to get rid of this woman or else she'd loose her prize. "Sides, you should get that hand checked out."
Amora paused. Slowly looking down, she noted that her hand was bleeding. She had forgotten that Clint had done that when the other woman arrived. Frowning, she went to heal it but stopped. Healing it with Amanda watching would clue her in on the fact that Amora wasn't from this place. So for now she had to wait. But in the meantime, Amanda had lifted the cage and began to walk further into the vet hospital. Clint turned in the cage to give Amora a gloating look. If he had the ability too at this point, he’d totally stick his tongue out at her. The Enchantress snarled. Realizing she wasn't going to get him today she looked to Skurge and with a wave of her hand, the two vanished.
Apparently I'm gonna end up posting this once a week.... Sorry. I will try and get more posts in. I promise.
This week has been strange. Started our annual Stitch Trouble (copy of Elf on a Shelf without the Elf). Can't really think of what to do as of right now... Hope I'll figure it out soon. Anyways, Darius has been great. Currently upstairs drumming away and making a ton of noise. He seriously has no idea how to keep his voice down. Which has been bad for me this week as I've had migraines each day. But, best way to get him slightly calm was to give him a tablet or phone. Wish it could have been something else but no. That's the only way to keep him quiet for a good amount of time. Hubby has been spending his nights in Darius's bed so that I don't get either of them sick. Darius is loving it. He says he's having fun at school and at daycare. And poor hubby is 'insulted' that whenever he goes to pick up Darius, Darius runs to hug me, blowing by him. It makes me feel good considering when Clint went to this same daycare he did the same to me. Baby Jason is doing well. Apparently giving his parents trouble sleeping but otherwise, good. Pretty much set on a schedule of when to do certain things. And getting shaken out of that routine can throw him and his parents into a bit of a tizzy. But, that's general with babies.
Well, that about sums everything up! Can't wait to see you all next week.
Chapter 6: Check Up
Natasha, Tony and Bruce all traded a look as Helen disappeared into the back after ‘Barton.’ They were beginning to wonder if this was actually the right idea. The hawk really didn't seem to want to go. But, then again, most animals wouldn’t either and they knew this was the only way to get him healed. Slowly, the group began to leave. As they entered back into the main room, they were met with a rather panicked Pepper. They couldn't tell the reason for her distress, only that she was upset.
"Oh Tony," Pepper declared as she rushed over and grabbed the billionaire into a harsh hug. Tony was barely able to hold the two up as she forced all her weight against him. Slowly, almost curiously, Tony began to hug her back. “What happened?”
“The hawk really didn’t want to go get checked out,” Tony mumbled. Pepper relaxed a bit.
“He seemed so calm at the tower,” Pepper called, pulling away from the genius as a phone began ringing. It was Natasha’s and the spy quickly pulled it out. The name read Fury.
"He knows already," she growled. After a moment of thought Bruce and Tony figured out. What she meant. Either Fury knew that Clint was missing (most likely option) or he had heard about the hawk’s random appearance.
“How the hell did he learn about that so fast?” Tony hissed. “Are you still spying on me?”
“No! Why would I want Fury to know about this? Clint going missing again isn’t a good thing! He’s still under scrutiny from the Council,” Natasha snapped, not even answering the phone as the ringing ended. They’d need to explain to the Director what had happened, eventually. This was the second time that Clint had vanished under their watch. They could only hope that it wasn't as bad as before.
"Let's just go. Not much more we can do here tonight," Bruce implied. Everyone nodded. The scientist had a point. Slowly, Pepper untangled herself from Tony and the two left.Natasha and Bruce all looked back toward the door that Clint had disappeared behind. They were all still wondering if he'd be okay. "They'll call if there is any changes."
"Why do I feel like we're abandoning him into some horrible nightmare?" Natasha curiously mentioned as she turned to look at the doctor. Something felt wrong. Bruce winced. He felt similar but.
"We needed help. As much as we all like to believe that I know what I'm doing, humans and animals are two entirely different things. They can handle whatever was going on much better then I could," Bruce explained. Nodding, Natasha slowly made her way over to them. She just had to remember that this was for the best. Even if it didn't seem like it was. "We'll see him tomorrow if you want."
Nodding the duo left and entirely missed a large woman walking out from the back as she went to the front desk. She seemed rather frazzled but tried not to show it.
"Hey, you ever meet a Helen on our staff?" the woman inquired. The front desk guy shook his head no. The woman nodded. "I thought not. Where are the owners of that red tailed hawk?"
"Just left. What's going on Amanda?" Amanda shook her head and headed out the doors after the Avengers. Sadly she was too late. The Cadillac was already turning away. She frowned, watching them drive off. Not knowing what else to do, she went back in. "Find them?"
"Missed them. Why'd they drop the hawk off?" The man gave her a curious look before looking over the forms that Pepper had filled out.
"Attacked by a dog," he stated. Amanda hummed to herself. "What's up?"
"That hawk had no signs of a dog attack. Somethings going on here and I think it has to do with that Helen character," Amanda mentioned. The man sighed as he sat back in his chair.
"Let me guess, you believe in Bigfoot, Area 51, the aliens in Manhattan?" Amanda growled.
"There were aliens in Manhattan. I was there," she snarled before storming back into the back room. She hated that no one believed her. Hell, she had almost gotten bombed by a few in a small bank. Some guy dressed in Red, White and Blue had saved her, and everyone else there. But if some people wanted to continue to live in a world of delusion, she wasn't going to stop them.
Clint sat in the back of the cage after Amanda had dropped him off. It was weird being there. All his life, he had wanted to see what happened in the back room of a vet's office. Had been ever since his pet dog (actually a dog Barney and him had found on the side of the road) had been brought into the back and was never returned to him. His father had ‘claimed’ that the dog had died. Clint later found out that the old man had ‘put him to sleep.’ But now, as he stared at the other animals locked up in cages ranging from large to rather small, Clint wondered why he ever wanted to come back here. It just seemed like animal jail.
"Okay, Barton... Barton, Barton, Barton..." A voice called out through the sharp barks and mournful meows that echoed through the room. Clint leaned forward a little and through the bars of a few cages, he spotted someone coming closer. This time it was a male, in a large white coat. Clint assumed this was the actual vet on duty. His thoughts were confirmed when the man stopped outside his cage and he spotted the embroidered name above the small pocket. 'Dr. Steel'. If Clint had the ability to, he would have laughed at the name. But sadly, all he could do was watch as Dr. Steel grabbed for his medical forms that hung on his cage door. "Attacked by a dog. First visit. New pet. Hmm. Well, let's check you out."
Slowly, the man lifted his hand to the handle of the cage and started to move the small enclosure away from where it had been placed. Clint's talons gripped against the cold metal harder as the cage began to rock back and forth in the doc's hand. Steel didn't even seem to notice. He just lowered Clint down to his hip and began walking off toward an empty room. As they arrived, Amanda reappeared.
"Mind if I join you?" she inquired. Steel gave her a soft smile and shook his head. He held the door open for her and she easily slipped by him. As Steel entered, Clint noted that Amanda was closing the door on the other side of the room. The door leading to the back room closed by itself. Clint had no way out. It almost made him panic before he looked up and noted the entrance to the vent system above. "Does he really look like a dog attacked him?"
"A lot of times the actual outside of the bird doesn't get damaged. We need to check everything," Steel mentioned as he opened the cage door. Clint didn't waste a second. Releasing his talons from the metal bottom, he began hopping out the cage. Once clear, he watched as Amanda moved the cage to the floor. "He seems rather tame."
"For some people," Amanda noted as she remembered the injury on the fake doctor's hand. Clint's eyes glinted with joy and he only wished he could have smiled. He was so distracted by Amanda though, that when Steel grabbed for his right wing (which was still bandaged) he jumped and almost attacked. "Whoa, there. Just Dr. Steel. He's checking your wing."
"Whoever did this knew their stuff. Perfectly bandaged. Not even bothering the plumage," he noted. Amanda nodded, taking in every word. Though she was a tech, she was training to be a full vet with a zoo accredited license. And seeing as hawks aren't normal pets, it was best to get the experience in while she had the chance. Steel began maneuvering the wing around. Clint just watched curiously but didn’t really feel any pain. Steel hummed as he checked the wing for something else. "Doesn't even seem to need this."
"Are you going to take it off?" Amanda questioned. Steel shook his head.
“Best not to risk it yet. I want him x-rayed to make sure there isn’t any hidden damage,” Steel ordered as he began stroking the hawk’s chest. Clint closed his eyes as he relaxed at the motions. Amanda frowned, looking the hawk over again. She couldn’t see anything wrong but if Steel ordered it, he needed it. “Okay, back in the cage.”
Clint didn’t even hesitate, as much as he should have. Something about being in the cage felt... Soothing. So, before Steel or Amanda could encourage him into the rather small cage (as much as the size bothered him), the archer hopped inside. Steel and Amanda paused. The female turned to the doctor. "Is it just me, or does this hawk seem to be understanding us?"
"I think it might just be you. All though, that was very odd," Steel commented as he began to lock up the cage once again. Amanda nodded and reached for the handle on the cage. “I want pictures on both wings and his chest.”
“Okay,” Amanda called before hefting the cage up and heading deeper into the office. Clint tried his best to stay still and calm when the tech pushed the cage against her chest. The hawk inside nearly made him go and attack her. But he refused. Once at the x-ray station, Clint slipped out of the cage as soon as they opened the door and hopped over to the waiting area.
“I’m gonna need to knock him out,” a man informed as he entered the room. “Wouldn’t do to have the guy twitch mid pic.”
Clint winced and shifted backward a bit when they came over. But like before, he wanted to make this easy and fast. He had to not fight whatever they were doing. Amanda actually moved in to help. Like she had done with Steel, she rubbed his chest, distracting him as the other guy grabbed something. Then a small mask was placed all the way over his head. He nearly freaked the fuck out then but it quickly began smelling like ‘laughing gas’ or something was being pushed through. A moment later he was out. What felt like a few seconds after, Clint was already coming too. Steel and Amanda were standing outside his cage, looking something over. Smoothing out one or two feathers that got ruffled while unconscious, Clint tried his best to get up.
“Oh, don’t move too quickly,” Steel ordered, moving to point a finger at Clint. The archer paused, confused even as he felt a bit dizzy. Blinking rapidly, the archer tried to get back to normal. Blearily, he noted he was back in the examine room from before.
“How long will it take for the gas to wear off?” Amanda wondered. Steel glanced at a clock in the distance.
“Well, he went out at around 7. It’s 10:30 now. So, maybe another hour or two,” Steel informed before looking the x-ray image over again. "Welp, we got a fractured humerus. Nothing too big to worry about. Should heal within a few days or so."
"Will it still need to be wrapped?" Amanda asked. Steel shook his head, placing the picture down before opening the door. Gently, he took Clint out of the cage as he spoke.
“Keeping it wrapped will likely cause more injury than just leaving it as the fracture doesn’t look like it will increase too much with some small fluttering. We’ll take it off and inform the owners tomorrow that he should be good to go but to not let him fly for a few days,” Steel answered as he gently removed the wrappings. Clint stayed still, tiredly watching the events unfold. Once the wrapping was gone, Steel then went into testing the wing's range. Clint winced when he accidentally pulled to far back but the man quickly released his wing. Realizing that the doc didn't need it anymore, Clint instinctively curled it up by his side. Steel smiled at the action. "He might have been trying to escape but in his panic, couldn't fly right. So they suspected that something must have been seriously wrong with his wing."
Clint watched as Steel moved closer to his chest but Clint fought to not attack or even run. He was going to wait this out and have them call the others back. There was no way he wanted to spend the night in that creepy-ass back room. Wrapping his hands around the hawk's small body, Steel began pressing against different areas as lightly as possible. He was waiting for the creature to make or noise or even attack his hands if he hit a sore spot. For a good three minutes, everyone waited. Clint didn't even twitch. Steel had now run his fingers over pretty much every inch of Clint's new body twice before giving up. Amanda sighed, wondering what took so long. "Doesn't appear to be any external injuries. I think he’ll be perfectly fine."
"So should we call the owners and have them pick him up?" Amanda mentioned. Steel shook his head no. Clint balked at the idea of being forced to stay.
"We should run some blood tests. I want to check him for any diseases and make sure is actually is as healthy as he appears. Also, we need to make sure there is no adverse reactions to the sedatives," Steel informed her. Amanda nodded and went off to prepare some things for the order she had been given. While she was busy doing that, Steel got down on his knees so that now he was eye to eye with the hawk. Clint cocked his head to the side as he watched the doc. He had no idea where this was going. "What happened to you? Were you even attacked?"
"Not by a dog," Clint answered even though he knew that Steel wouldn't understand. He just felt like answering. Steel smiled.
"So, you can speak. I was wondering if you'd stay silent," Steel muttered. Clint focused on the doc wondering what he meant. Could the man actually understand him? Or was the man just humoring him? "Your owners must be really worried about you."
"Not my owners. They're my friends... But they don't know I'm me," Clint cautiously answered. Steel nodded.
"Yeah. I thought so. Don't worry. If your tests come back fine, you'll see them in the morning," Steel replied. Clint rolled his eyes. The guy was humoring him. Not at all surprised, Clint looked away. That was when Amanda came over. Steel held out his hand and she dropped the prepped needle in it. Clint shifted back. Even as a human, he didn't care for needles. "Shh, shh. It's okay. This won't hurt unless you fight me."
Clint mentally groaned but held back against the overwhelming urge to just run (fly) away. S.H.I.E.L.D doctors used to tell him that all the time. They lied every time too. It always did hurt. But this time, Clint wondering if a new body meant that he wouldn't feel it. Cause, he hadn't felt the hurt wing until he tried to flap with it. Maybe this body was immune to most pain.
Steel carefully reached for Clint's left wing. Not really wanting to cause more pain, the vet didn't want to risk prodding at a possibly already sore spot. Trying to keep the needle out of the bird's line of sight, Steel carefully moved it closer until the cool metal was lightly touching the hawk's bare skin under his feathers. Slowly, he pushed it in. Clint kree-ed in annoyance as he felt a sharp prick.
"Liar! I felt that!" Clint angrily told the doc. Steel wasn't even fazed. He quickly drew the blood and pulled the needle out. Clint glanced over at it and noted that a small dot of blood appeared but then stopped. As Steel backed away, Clint looked up to the man. "You done? Can you call Tony and get him back here?"
"Okay, Amanda. I think he can be brought back to the back room. I'm gonna get started on this blood work. Hopefully by opening tomorrow, he can head back home," he told her. Amanda nodded and lifted the cage back onto the table. Clint glared at it. Steel sighed. "Get him a bigger cage back there. I think I saw a Shih-Tzu in a large cage."
Amanda nodded again as Steel took off for the back room. Not knowing what else to do, she encouraged Clint inside the small cage. Clint glared at her for a second. He really didn't want to enter that small of an enclosure again. Sighing, she lightly pushed the hawk forward. Clint's talons scrapped along the table before he finally gave in and hopped into the cage. She smiled and closed the door.
"Sorry little guy. I'll change your cage out soon," she told him. Clint mentally frowned.
"You better. I ain't gonna calmly stay locked up in this thing all night."
The next morning, Bruce woke to his phone ringing. At first, he didn't know what it was. Having never really heard the ring tone before because anyone who would be calling him, and had the number, lived in the tower with him. Then he remembered that Clint went missing yesterday. Maybe it was the archer who was calling now. But now it was a matter of finding it. Bruce normally never left the phone in an easy to reach place. Nor did he usually carry it around with him because JARVIS could connect to it where ever he was. But this morning, he forgot to ask JARVIS for help. Quickly, the scientist rushed to get up. As he was working his way around the room, he heard the ringing getting louder. Thankfully he found it in his dirty clothes and snatched the offending device while on it's second to last ring.
"Hello?" Bruce asked, having not even looked at the caller-ID.
"Hello, is this Mr. Tony Stark?" an unknown voice answered. Bruce frowned. Why the heck would someone trying to reach Tony be calling his phone? Hell, why the heck would they think that it was possible that Tony's number would be his? Tony's number is literally his name.
"No, this is Dr. Bruce Banner," he responded calmly. The voice made a disapproving sound before Bruce heard papers being ruffled in the background. Staying silent, Bruce waited for an explanation. The other person still had yet to introduce themselves. Not that Bruce was going to be bothered by that.
"Ah, I see your name now. Barton is okay to return home today," the voice informed him. Bruce's frown deepened. What the hell was this person talking about? Clint was missing. Unless, these people had found him. Joy surged through the doctor's frame until he realized that Natasha had called the hawk, Barton. He sighed. This was just going to be one of those days.
"Okay. Yeah. When can I come get him?" Bruce questioned, not even thinking about asking what happened to the poor guy. The person on the other line chuckled. Apparently they had been assuming that this was going to be his question.
"As soon as you are able," the voice replied. Bruce nodded as a smile spread across his face. Their hawk was coming home. Slightly surprised at the large amount of joy he felt, Bruce said his goodbye to the other person and quickly hung up. Nodding in pleasure, Bruce turned to get dressed. Once he was fully ready to go, he headed down toward the communal kitchen. Steve and Natasha were already there and chatting over pancakes.
"Good morning!" Bruce greeted happily as he entered to make his tea. Natasha and Steve turned. Their faces looked displeased with his joy. It slightly diminished his feelings but he didn't stop smiling at them. Something big must be going on. He just hoped it wouldn't affect leaving the poor hawk at the vet's longer then necessary.
"What are you so happy about?" Steve asked as he watched the scientist continue to make his tea. Bruce finished the tea and poured it into his mug before looking to the super solider and assassin. They were both now watching him with worried expressions.
"Uh," Bruce answered as the smile dropped off his face. "Barton can come home..."
"What?" the two inquired. Bruce's smile returned at their shocked reaction. It reminded him of how he was shocked. But before he could clarify what he meant, someone else spoke.
"Did I hear that the Eye of Hawks can return?" Thor boomed as he entered the small room. Everyone else winced. He smiled brightly, glad that Clint would be returning. All day, he had still been worried about the archer, wondering where he had gone. But if Clint had returned, Thor knew he would protect him better then before.
"No, we named the hawk Barton," Bruce corrected. Thor's joy faded. Now there was nothing to do but feel even more guilt. Everyone could see it eating Thor away. Not that it was his fault that Amora had gotten to Clint. Nor was it his fault that he had been just informing them when she attacked. So, all the others could do was ignore the poor Asgardian's feelings.
"Good to hear. We can pick him up on the way to the Helicarrier," Steve replied. Bruce nodded.
"Uh, the vet's office is in the opposite direction of the Helicarrier," Natasha calmly stated. Bruce frowned as he felt his anger begin to rise. There was no way he would leave that poor hawk for another day. His eyes turned slightly green as he focused his gaze on her. Actually, he was in no way about to change over, but threatening everyone with the other guy tended to help get his way. Ironically enough, it was Clint that told him that. He’d done it once or twice before on accident but Clint said he should just embrace it. And it’s worked rather well.
"We can pick him up on the way to the Helicarrier," the doc ordered. Natasha frowned, seeing that Bruce was indeed faking the change but Steve nodded his head. The super soldier, one of two who can partly hold back the other guy, wasn't going to mess with him.
"Pick up who?" a new voice called as he entered the room. Everyone looked to see who it as and spotted Tony hanging lightly off of Pepper's shoulder. He almost looked drunk already. But that couldn't be, unless he didn't sleep all night... Again.
"Is the hawk really ready? I thought he had been seriously injured," Pepper mentioned. Bruce shrugged, his ‘anger’ fading quickly at the duo’s appearance. Natasha stood, shaking her head as she dropped her plate off by the sink.
"That's what I thought as well. But the vet just called me and said that we can pick him up whenever we wanted today. And they know better than me," Bruce mentioned. Tony nodded.
"Okay! Everyone eat breakfast and we'll be on our way to pick up the dangerous creature before we head off to see the Scourge of the Seven Seas!" Tony happily declared before sliding off Pepper and heading toward his over the top of the line coffee maker before anyone could ask about the nickname for Fury. And actually the coffee machine was a Keurig that he fashioned to not only think for itself, but also to technically be a female AI. Sadly, Tony didn't think of a better name then Keurig and it couldn't actually speak. It just beeped in different pitches. The best part though was more times then not, Tony couldn't get it to make him coffee. "Hello Keurig, my beautiful! How bout a nice black coffee?"
"Tony," Pepper admonished before she went over to the machine and began working with it. Tony groaned as he was pushed aside. Thor entered further into the kitchen in the billionaire's place and went to the cabinet beside Pepper and grabbed a box of Wild Cherry Pop-Tarts. As he left, Pepper turned with a ready mug of coffee for Tony.
"Ah!" the billionaire cried before stealing a kiss from Pepper as he grabbed the mug. Pepper simply laughed lightly as she allowed her boyfriend do such actions. Feeling a bit better, she began helping everyone set about getting their breakfast.
It was almost an hour later that everyone was ready to go. Bruce, Steve and Thor were waiting in the garage for everyone else. Tony had been busy taking a shower when they were last upstairs. Natasha and Pepper were arguing about if Pepper could come or not. The CEO of Stark Enterprises wanted to come and pick up the hawk with the group, but Natasha knew that they were going to be heading straight to the Helicarrier after getting Barton.
"Natasha, please. I can easily bring the hawk back here while you guys go," Pepper argued. Natasha shook her head, knowing that the other woman would not actually do that. Instead, Pepper would follow them straight to the Helicarrier. Fury would be pretty upset if Pepper followed them and Natasha was already worried about how he'd react to the hawk.
"No, Pepper. You have CEO work to do and we both know you'd follow us. Honestly, you should stay here. Besides, who would take care of Lex and Star?" Natasha added.
“We had a member of staff feeding them yesterday,” Pepper pointed out.
“I apologize Miss Potts, but Mr. Knight has refused to help feed the birds again,” JARVIS informed. The duo paused but before they could ask, JARVIS continued. “It seems Master Lex took a dislike to Mr. Knight getting close to Mistress Star’s nest.”
“See,” Natasha mentioned. Pepper sighed but gave in with that. She couldn't help but agree with the fact that the other two also needed caring.
"Okay. What should I do for Lex and Star?" Pepper questioned. Natasha smiled now.
"There is a small pet store downtown. They sell feeder mice and I think rats. Ask the owners how much you think they’ll need and buy them," was all the assassin could say before Pepper squealed. Natasha's smile turned into a smirk as she waited for the rest of the reaction she was expecting. Steve and Bruce even smirked. Thor cocked his head to the side as he waited for a reason as to her freaking.
"Eww! Mice?" Pepper called. Natasha laughed along with Bruce and Steve.
"What else do you think hawks eat? They are meat eaters, not vegetarians," Bruce told the CEO over his laughter, not even willing to mention that there were other meats they could give the hawk. Such as snacks, rabbits, lizards, and other small prey. They’ve also been known to go after smaller birds. Pepper scowled.
"What's up?" Tony questioned as he finally appeared behind the freaking out Pepper. The laughter calmed slightly at his presence but once Pepper explained, it came back with a vengeance. In her embarrassment, Pepper scoffed at the group and turned to leave. "Oh, come on Peps! It's funny!"
"I'm going to get the hawks food, you go and pick up Barton and do your meeting. I'll see you later," she called back before heading off to her car, which was parked on the other side of the garage. Tony's laughter began to stall as he watched his girlfriend walk off. But Natasha was still chuckling, and Bruce and Steve were also laughing. Giving up on his girl, Tony turned back to the others.
"Shall we go?"
Clint stirred into awareness, trying to place where he was and why his body felt a bit off. Hearing the sounds of barking and meowing really didn't help him in the task of waking. He almost kept on thinking he was in a dream. But one particular cry actually fully woke him. It was of the Shih-Tzu that had been changed out of Clint current cage and placed into his old much, much smaller cage. And now the poor dog was wailing as loud as she could. She really seemed to hate the small area.
"Shh. You're okay," Clint cooed at the dog. But the Shih-Tzu couldn't understand his hawk speak. Not that the poor animal could have understood his human speak, but it still felt good. They had all been left alone for most of the night when the place closed and at this point he was beginning to wonder when someone would come and check on them again.
"Good morning, you lovely creatures!" someone cried into the noisy room. Clint perked up and looked to see who was speaking. It was the woman from the day before, Amanda. Glad that it was a ‘familiar’ face, Clint relaxed and watched her as she went around visiting the various cages. At each cage, she stopped and spoke to whoever was inside. "Hello, Ripper. Morning Mr. Fuzzy-kins. How are you feeling, Miles? Why didn't you eat your food Binxs? Hey there, Killer."
Clint continued watching her as he heard others enter the facility. It took her a few minutes until she reached his cage. Clint cocked his head to the side as he waited for her to speak. At first she said nothing. Her hazel eyes focused on his medical papers, which had been hanging on one of the two doors in the cage. When she reached for them, Clint found himself shying away from her. Amanda frowned lightly but didn't comment at first.
"Good morning, Barton. How did you do last night? You seem fine right now," Amanda pointed out. Clint slowly looked himself over. After thoughtfully assessing himself, Clint nodded to her. Amanda snorted in humor. "Did you just check yourself out?"
"No... I was making sure I was fine," Clint called. Amanda laughed lightly.
"You sure do seem to understand me," she remarked before moving on. Clint rolled his eyes. 'If only you knew,' Clint thought to himself. As she continued to move away, Clint shifted forward to continue watching her.
"Hey, Amanda. How are you this morning?" a new person asked as they entered the back room. Amanda looked up and smiled to them. She seemed pleased to see them and it also looked like she knew them. That knowledge helped Clint focus more on this other person. The other person was a female with blonde hair and green eyes. That mixture alone made Clint freeze. It was too close to Amora. But, judging by Amanda's reaction to this woman, he could only believe that it wasn't her.
"Susan, I'm good. And you?" Amanda responded. Clint mentally scowled. Now that it was more than likely confirmed that this woman talking with Amanda wasn't Amora, he still wasn't going to risk it by bringing extra attention to himself. Not that it would matter.
"I'm good as well. Did you hear about that hawk?" Susan questioned. Amanda nodded and pointed to Clint's cage. Clint tensed and watched as Susan carefully walked over, staring at him. Amanda was only a step behind. "Oh my god! He is beautiful. I wish I had been here when he came in."
"Oh, is he actually leaving today?" Amanda inquired. Susan nodded with a small pout as she began wiggling a finger in front of Clint’s cage like she wanted to either tease him or pet him. Either way, it was really aggravating. Especially cause he couldn’t really remember when he last ate anything.
"Josh just called the owners. They should be coming around soon," she answered. Clint sighed deeply. The others were coming. 'Thank the lord,' Clint sarcastically thought to himself. He couldn't wait to head back to the tower. Once there, he'd be able to seriously work out how to get the others to figure out who he was. He could only hope that JARVIS would be a good source of help.
"Oh, that is great. I'm glad that he can go home so quickly. Did you know that they said he was attacked by a dog?" Amanda mentioned. Susan looked closely at Clint before turning back to face Amanda. Surprise was clearly on her face.
"A dog got a hold of him? I highly doubt that. He looks as healthy as a wild hawk can be," Susan commented. Amanda shrugged.
"It could be that he had gotten attacked but they were able to quickly diffuse the situation," Amanda added as she moved back to join Susan in staring at the hawk. Clint shifted toward the back of his cage again. Hawk mind or not, he didn't like being crowded all that much. "I just hope that when he goes home, he'll be okay."
"Well, seeing as they brought him here as soon as they noticed the situation, they have a chance. He'll be in a good home," Susan told her. Amanda nodded and slowly, the two headed back up front. Clint sighed and leaned back in the cage. Slowly, his eyes wandered about the cage and noticed a bottle of water hanging on the door. Feeling slightly thirsty, he hopped over and tried to figure out how to get water. Knowing that it was a little ball at the end of the silver pipe, Clint tried to lean down and stick his tongue out far enough to hit the ball. Sadly, he still wasn’t all that used to his body, so he ended up being stuck with a beak that seemed too big and a bottle just outside of his reach.
And there we go. Another chapter down.
Darius has been annoying all week. Especially right now. Right now he is in bed, trying to go to sleep but he just won't settle, so I have to hear him crying for something he's already been denied. Otherwise, he has been annoying in the fact of, whenever he is with someone else, they can get him to go on the potty. I have tried seven times today, each time with him asking to go. Not once did he go or even seem to attempt to go. While three other times today he lied to me about having gone. Argh. I really dislike that kids express themselves to a comfortable environment when it is something that bothers me. WHY CAN'T HE DO IT FOR ME? -_- Oh well. Baby Jason, we have just learned, is having too many large bottles of formula and no way to increase food intake. Stressing out his parents as he refuses to be limited. And while all this is happening, Baby Jason's dad and I are stuck at the house while my buddy and Baby Jason's mom are off working holiday hours at a toy store and restaurant. Course, the hours are only going to get longer before the holiday season is over.
Okay. That's everything! Have a good week, until next time!
Chapter 8: Back to the Tower
Another chapter down. Still no idea how many chapters are left... Story is fully done though, so... Yeah.
Darius has been doing good this week. Giving me issues with bathroom problems still but otherwise only upsetting me when I'm tired or in pain. Which, I have been in pain. But, again. Good. Baby Jason is just as good as well. Currently watching his father put together a bouncer cause he needs one. Hope he likes it.
Might post another chapter later this week... Don't fully expect it as I might forget. So, at least until next time. Have a good week!
It took the Avengers more time than before to actually arrive at the office. Mostly due to the fact that Tony refused to allow Natasha to drive again. She had offered, mentioning that they would get there faster, but Tony and Bruce were still a bit frightened in her last set of driving skills. Thor and Steve even mentioned that they would drive but when Steve tried to sit in the driver’s seat, he had to push it back to the point that no one could fit behind him, even Natasha. And of course, Thor didn’t have an actual license. Bruce said he would drive if need be but he had actually accidentally allowed his license to expire while on the run. So really on Tony and Natasha could legally drive. Which, was kind of surprising that Tony had his license considering Happy Hogan normally drove him everywhere. Anyways, Tony carefully drove them to the office.
"Hello, how may I help you?" Josh asked as he carefully put down the phone to hang up. He was sitting behind the front desk and noticed the group coming through the double doors in a rather hurried manner. Tony was the first to walk forward. Bruce was fast on his heels and Natasha was by his side. Thor and Steve hung back, as though they were bodyguards for the other three.
"Hi. Yeah, I'm Tony Stark," Tony began but stopped and turned to her when Natasha scoffed.
"I think he knew that," she scowled at him. Tony frowned but out of the corner of his eyes, he noticed Josh was nodding his head. Snarling at her for interrupting him, Tony looked back toward Josh.
"Yeah, well... I dropped a hawk off here yesterday and got a call earlier that I can pick him up. So, I'm here to do just that," Tony told the man. Josh nodded, remembering the phone call he placed only an hour or so before. He smiled to the group before getting up.
"I'll go get the paperwork and let the doctor know," Josh responded before heading toward the back room. It took a minute before Tony frowned and looked over to Bruce. He waited another moment before Bruce faced him. Seeing the other man's eyes narrowing on him, Tony nodded back toward the desk and spoke.
"I don't do paperwork," he told the scientist. Bruce sighed before rolling his eyes. As he moved closer to the desk, Tony backed away. Natasha smirked and turned to go sit down at once of the waiting benches. Steve and Thor quickly joined her. Tony leaned back against the desk and watched the three. He was quickly growing bored. "How long does it take to find paperwork and a doc?"
"Could be a while. Give the man some time," Bruce explained as Josh reappeared with a rather small file of papers in his hand. As he returned to his seat, Josh placed the file down in front of him.
"The doctor will like to speak to you before you can go," he mentioned. Bruce nodded as Josh picked out one page and then placed it down in front of the two men. Before he could say a word, Tony examined the sheet.
"Are you kidding me? Two thousand dollars?" he cried in shock. Natasha's head jerked up in surprise as Thor and Steve traded a glance. Bruce frowned. That price couldn't be right. There was no way.
"Sir, please excuse the price. Red tailed hawks are highly unusual pet animals to be seen here. We were lucky to have our doctor on staff who was willing to come in considering he had not been scheduled to work and so the normal price had to be doubled to call him in. There was also blood work and x-rays taken. All the rest of the bill was for keeping the hawk here overnight," Josh answered. Tony frowned and looked over at Bruce. His eyes told the other scientist that this hawk better be worth the price. Bruce also frowned but didn't dispute anything with the billionaire. Heaving a great sigh, Tony dug out his wallet.
"You're really going to pay that?" Natasha called from her seat. Tony looked back.
"Do I have a choice?" he asked before looking inside the leather pack for something. Natasha shook her head and watched as Tony handed over some type of credit card. "Swipe this."
"Are you sure that you would like to pay all right now? We do have a lovely payment program," Josh began explaining but when Tony settled a glare on him, he stopped explaining. Figuring that Tony Stark easily had the money, Josh swiped the card without another word.
"Barton?" a voice echoed through the waiting room. Before the man could speak again, every Avenger was standing and staring at him. The man smiled. He had been warned that there had been too many people at the clinic dropping the hawk off the day before. So, it was no surprise that there were nearly the same amount coming to pick him up. He opened his mouth to explain that situation to the group but Natasha raised her hand.
"I know, too big a group. Only three people?" she asked. The doctor's smile widened.
"Actually, only two today," he answered. Natasha frowned.
"Can I go?" Steve meekly questioned the other Avengers. That started a full blown war on which two were actually going to go pick up the hawk.
"I just paid two thousand dollars, I am going!"
"But Man of Iron, you were able to go last time."
"Thor has a point, Tony. I don't think we can involve money in this. But, seeing as I helped treat the little guy, I think I should go."
"For Clint, I should be in that room. He really did care for those hawks."
"Please, that is no excuse! I am worth it to go in with the creature. Besides, I need to score brownie points!"
"Brownie points? Do you even care about the hawk? Besides, I'm the leader of this team and I should help care for everyone and everything that you guys care about."
"Really, leader? You're gonna pull that crap? Come on, sides. I do care, I just paid for his freaking treatment!"
"Are you two serious? We need to figure this out," Bruce finally snapped at the group. Everyone quickly focused on him. Was he turning green? Bruce didn't feel like it. Then again, he's also normally never snapped unless he was turning. Bruce took a deep breath to show that he had control and the others could stand down. "Look, Steve and Thor have a point. We all were in there before. As much as we want to show support, we should also let them have a shot."
"Thank you, green one," Thor responded making Tony chuckle at the nickname. Bruce blushed as Natasha smirked and Steve shook his head. Very carefully, the super soldier placed a hand on Thor's shoulder.
"You don't need to call us by our Avenger's names. You can just call us Steve, Bruce, Natasha, Clint and Tony," Steve softly explained. Thor frowned.
"I am confused. We warriors of Asgard only call each other by our names given to us by our mothers. Your name is not America's Captain?" Thor muttered. Steve shook his head. "Never have I heard of two different names."
"We'll explain it all to you later," Steve added before walking toward the doctor who had patiently waited through the fight. Thor nodded, anticipating the explanation just as much as returning the hawk back to the tower in perfect healthy. As the two entered the room before the doctor, they spotted a woman standing by a silver table holding the one and only Barton.
"Hey, Steve. Thor," Clint chirped happily at the two. He was content right now. Of all the staff members that could have taken him out of his cage and hold him, the archer had been pleased that it was Amanda who did so. Even though the glove she wore weren’t very comfortable underneath his feet. The doctor, who had waited in the room, was also the doc he had seen last night.
"Ah, he looks well," Thor boomed just as happily as Clint had moments before. Amanda and Dr. Steel winced at the noise. Steve noticed the motion from the two humans and also noted that Clint had narrowed his gaze for only a second. Placing a hand back on the larger Asgardian, Steve sighed.
"Thor, we've talked about this. Inside voice," Steve mentioned. Thor smiled and nodded to his team leader.
"Ah, yes. Sorry," Thor responded, much softer this time. Clint nodded, agreeing that this was now an acceptable level.
"Actually, that is a very important item to note with a hawk around. These creatures have very sensitive hearing as they have the best hearing ability in all the animals of the world. If you speak to loudly or allow noises such as the TV or radio to play too loudly, you may actually make them frightened to the point that they become violent. There is also a chance you may damage his hearing and make him deaf," Dr. Steel explained. Thor gasped as Clint even twitched to look at the doc. Thor had no idea that his voice could cause so much damage. Nodding, he mentally vowed never to speak loudly again. Thinking it over, Clint twisted to look at the floor. Could he go deaf by hanging around Thor?
"So, how is he?" Steve asked, changing the topic when he noticed Thor's distress.
"Barton is doing wonderful. He doesn't even look like he got attacked at all. You must have been very quick to get that dog away from him. There is a small fracture on his right wing but it will heal on it’s own in a few days. Just, keep him grounded for a bit and it will all be fine," Steel commented. Steve nodded, remembering the lie that Tony, Natasha and Bruce had created. Thor on the other hand frowned. He didn't remember a dog attacking the hawk. He remembered Amora, but no dog. But, before he could speak, Steel looked over at Amanda and she moved the hawk forward. Steve held out his arm (denying the use of a glove) and Clint quickly walked over to the super soldier's larger hands.
"You're gonna want to wrap your fingers around at least one toe so that he can't fly off. Normally, you wear the glove so as to not have the talons ripping into your skin," Amanda told the two. Steve nodded and focused on the bird sitting on his hand.
"I have pretty tough skin, ma'am. I don't think that will be a problem," Steve retorted. Amanda looked to Dr. Steel, wondering if they should allow them to leave with the hawk. She was really starting to get nervous with these two. Steve sighed. “I am Captain America, after all.”
The room dropped into silence for a moment as Steel and Amanda looked over who they were speaking with. Barton’s owner was Tony Stark... And a secondary call could be made to Dr. Bruce Banner, the well known second side of Hulk. So, it shouldn’t surprise them. So instead, Steel just lightly laughed at Steve's response and acted as if Steve hadn’t mentioned who he was.
"Your skin may be tough Captain Rogers, but I doubt it is tough enough to handle a hawk's talon ripping into it," he replied. Steve shrugged but when Steel went to hand over the glove again, he accepted it. Though, much to the chagrin of Steel and Amanda, he did not put it on. "Well, onto a different subject. Do you have any questions?"
"It was mentioned that hawks eat mice? Is that true and what else should we be feeding him?" Steve inquired. Steel nodded.
"Very good questions. Out in the wild, a hawk's main diet is on mice. But they will go for any other small mammals such as squirrels, gophers, chipmunks and the like. They will also go for smaller birds and sometimes even reptiles like snakes. In captivity, hawks are typically given larger meals than really needed and may only eat every other day. But, if you go to feed him and he doesn't want to eat, don't force him or he may get sick. Also, hawks are predators. At least once a week give him the chance to hunt his own food. But, of course wait till he is healed," Steel answered. Steve nodded.
"Um. How about exercise?"
"Ah, that is simple. Once fully healed, Barton will want to fly as much as possible so make sure you have nothing dangerous in the flight zone. So no more vases, glass plates or bowls, and any other type of decoration can be about the place. We wouldn't want him knocking over a vase and then turning around to have it hit him, would we?"
"No. We shall remove those things right away," Thor responded, his voice so soft that the others almost had a hard time hearing him. Steel nodded. He was glad that these two were so willing to do absurd things to take care of their new hawk. Now he just hoped that the others in the waiting room would be as willing.
"And that dog?" Amanda suddenly questioned. Thor frowned, he still had no idea what dog they were talking about. Steve spoke before the Asgardian could ruin anything.
"He will be able to venture to different floors from the hawk. Don't worry, he is already comfortable there and Barton will be safe on the main floor that has higher ceilings," Steve answered. Steel smiled as Amanda shook her head in humor. Feeling much better for this group, Amanda walked over to Steve and began to stroke Clint's chest. Clint pretty much just followed her hand over and over.
"Okay, so I heard your bill is paid off. And as long as there are no more questions, you are free to go," Steel mentioned. Steve shook his head signaling that he was done. Thor smirked as he held out a hand to the doctor. Steel focused on it for a second before realizing that Thor meant to shake it. After another moments hesitation, Steel grasped the god's hand and shook it. With everyone happy, Steel turned Steve and Thor to the door. The two Avengers got the hidden meaning and with a nod, they left.
"So? How is he?" Bruce inquired the second Steve and Thor walked out with Barton hanging onto the super soldier's rather large hands. The two traded a glance before smiling. But as they looked back at Bruce, Clint took things into his own wings. Healing or not, he quickly took off from Steve's hand and flew across the waiting room and straight to Natasha's shoulder. As he landed, he was glad that she didn't wince away from him like Tony did.
"DID YOU GUYS SEE THAT? HE WENT TO ATTACK ME!" Tony shouted. But everyone ignored him, because Clint's path around the clinic actually never brought him anywhere near the billionaire. Clint ruffled his feathers as he tried to make himself more comfortable on Natasha's shoulder and while he did, he mentally kept reminding himself not to hurt her with his talons.
"Well, we know who he likes best," Bruce muttered as he stared at the hawk. Natasha shrugged, knocking Clint slightly off balance but he quickly corrected himself. Realizing her mistake, the female assassin couldn't blame the animal when he accidentally dug his talons into her shoulder. All she did was hide the wince. Sadly, everyone noticed.
"Sorry," Clint softly cooed into her ear.
"I would hand you the glove, but it won't help with him on your shoulder," Steve mentioned as he showed her a leather glove that would be two sizes too big for her smaller hands. Natasha shook her head. She was fine. Didn't need a stupid glove to deal with a hawk. All she wanted was to get out of the office.
"Let's just go," she told the group before turning and heading straight out of the clinic. Steve, Bruce and Thor were quick to follow but Tony stopped back at the desk. He wanted to know a few things.
"Hey, who was that doc that helped the bird last night? A Helen or something," he asked. Josh looked at Tony like he was insane.
"Only Dr. Steel works with birds. We also don't have a Helen in employment at the moment," he answered. Tony frowned but thanked the man. If Helen wasn't real, then what was going on? Was someone trying to steal the hawk? And if so, why? Forgetting it for now, Tony rushed off after the others. When he got outside, they were already piling into the car. He sighed and headed over to the drivers seat but was shocked to see Bruce sitting there.
"Thought your license expired!" he called. Bruce smiled and looked to the passenger seat where Natasha was getting comfortable with the hawk on her lap. Clint looked up at Tony and really wished that he could smile. Instead, he just 'kree-eed' at him in pleasure.
"It is, but do you really want to sit next to a bird that supposedly hates you?" Bruce joked. Tony growled in anger before heading toward the second set of doors, only to see Thor and Steve comfortably settled in the second row.
"Ah, hell no. One of you two move and sit with the fricken bird!" Tony demanded. Steve pointedly looked up at Clint who had moved to lean in between the front seats and watch. Thor smiled.
"I am sorry Man of Iron, but you may be safest in the back," he declared. Tony snarled at Clint before getting into the car. After a few moments of trying to get around Thor's overly large frame, Tony was able to slip into the back seat, squished between Thor and Steve. Thor gave Tony another warm smile before shutting the door and giving Bruce a thumbs up. Bruce nodded and started the car before backing out and heading on the path towards S.H.I.E.L.D.
"Explain to me again why I have to babysit this... Motherfucking bird while you are on the mission?" Nick Fury menacingly asked after informing the group that not only had they been called for information about Clint, but that they had a mission to go on. The Avengers all held their ground. They had gotten too used to Fury's self righteous tones. Hell, they heard that tone in daily conversation with the Director. Well, then again, when your group was the main reason for his constant annoyance, you tend to speak to him a lot. But now, as they stood there watching the director for any true signs of hostility, they wondered why he focused on watching the bird rather then Clint being missing.
"No one can really watch him. He had been injured last night and needs to be watched almost 24/7," Bruce lied, which was rather surprising considering he normally sucked at it. Tony simply smiled at the old man as he spotted Fury's one eye narrowing. Thor shifted slightly as he just wished they could leave without talking about the hawk anymore. Even looking at the hawk reminded Thor of his failure on the roof. Steve stood at attention still as he waited for Fury's response. Natasha, who still had Clint sitting on her shoulder, just stayed in the background. She really didn't want Fury to try and unleash his anger on her and the sensitive bird on her shoulder. Meanwhile, Clint just kept looking around. There were too many people walking around, their conversations reaching his increased hearing, and he was getting seriously antsy. Maybe he should just try and convince the team to bring him.
"I ain't having no motherfucking bird on my motherfucking boat!" Fury nearly shouted at the group. Clint couldn’t stop his wince. Having trying to keep his focus on everyone in the office, Fury’s shout seemed like he had been standing right next to Thor as the Asgardian gave his fighting cry right in his ear. Thor cleared his throat.
"Please keep your voice down, the animal has sensitive hearing," Thor explained when the Director turned a harsh glare on the Asgardian. His voice was soft and nothing like his normally loud self. Fury growled. He really didn't want to have to deal with this right now.
"You will all leave my office right now and go prepare for the mission," Fury told the group so harshly that Bruce, Steve and Natasha already turned to leave when Tony spoke up.
"What about the hawk? What about Clint being missing?" he cried. Fury stood up from his chair.
"GET OUT!" With that, the Avengers scrambled out of the room with no answers about either Barton.
Clint sat back in the woman's locker room spying around the area like he hadn’t been in it before. Yeah, Natasha had brought him here once or twice to secretly talk. This time though, Natasha had been forced to bring him in with her when she left Fury's office. Yes, she had to go get changed for whatever stupid mission Fury was sending the team out on (Clint didn’t pay attention to that bit). But, she couldn't just drop the hawk off anywhere. And there was no way in hell that the hawk would be left in her bunk of the Helicarrier. She had thought about Clint's bunk, up until she remembered he tended to like to booby-trap his doorways and no matter how often he explained how she needed to open the door, she just couldn’t do it. Climbing through a vent would be near impossible with the hawk, so into the locker room he went.
The first time Natasha brought him here, Clint acted like any other man. Filled with such glee at being brought into such unknown territory. But as soon as he had gone inside, all that happiness vanished. The room looked just like the guys locker. Disappointed, Clint had to wonder what he had expected. Some room with a huge fountain, or jacuzzi or something. Clint didn't know, but seeing it so bare, he had almost wished he had never been brought in so he could still dream jealous dreams.
"Okay, Barton. I know you're just an animal but you are male," Natasha stated as though Clint didn't know he was a guy. Rolling his eyes, he turned so that his back was to her. She had never been body shy with Clint or even with Coulson, but Clint had noted that she was with nearly every guy unless she was seducing them. Natasha snorted at Clint’s movements before frowning. The hawk shouldn't be able to understand her but clearly it did. Why else would he react that way? Wanting to think she was wrong, Natasha turned her back to the bird and began getting ready.
"This is so boring, Nat! I want to go do something," Clint whined as if she could understand him. Natasha sighed, if the bird had been Clint, she knew exactly what he had just said. But in her mind, this was just another bird who was more than likely asking for food, or attention, or wanting to go fly around. Either way, he response would work well.
"I know. I'll be done soon," she called. Clint stiffened. Did she actually understand him? Could she possibly know it was really him? Without thinking, he turned to look at her. His eyes widened when he spotted her bare back. Yeah, he had seen it before but for some reason, it seemed wrong or more intimate or something... Natasha spun around to open her locker that was situated behind her. As she did so, she looked up. "Hey! No looking!"
"Sorry!" Clint cried as he turned back and even held his left wing over his head to show he really wasn't going to look back again. Natasha smirked. That was so a Clint Barton reaction. Rolling her own eyes, Natasha returned to getting dressed. She shouldn’t keep comparing this hawk with Clint. It was just getting her more upset. But, maybe she should talk to Bruce about it. The hawk was just too smart. It took about another two minutes before someone else entered the room and Clint dropped his wing to look. It was Maria Hill.
"Natasha?" she softly whispered into the room. Natasha stiffened as she searched her memory for the name that went with the voice. Recognizing it was Hill after a few moments, Natasha smiled and set her belt up, making sure it didn’t slid down her hips when loaded up.
"Over here," she replied. Hill smiled before entering deeper into the locker room. Finding Natasha in front of the woman's locker, Hill nodded a hello. Natasha nodded one back and continued to get ready. "What's up?"
"Well, I heard Barton was missing," Hill bluntly stated. Natasha frowned but continued setting her things up. Hill noticed. "So it's true. You all have no idea where he is?"
"When I return to being human, I am so going to block that damned vent," Clint grumbled as he looked down on the two women. Hearing the strange noise, Hill tensed and looked around. Her hand was close to the gun at her hip and she was just waiting for a reason to take it out and kill someone. Clint winced, moving away just slightly. That should have probably been and internal thought... Natasha looked up and noticed the tension between Hill and the hardly visible hawk.
"That's just Barton," she muttered before going back to getting ready. Clint shifted forward again a bit so that he be better view-able.
"What?" Hill questioned, her gaze snapping to attention on Natasha as the spy began clipping various weapons to her.
"Barton, the red tailed hawk sitting on top of the lockers," Natasha explained as she pointed up to said creature. Hill slowly looked up and watched the hawk. Seeing the second in command's gaze was focused on him, Clint nodded his head in a hello. Maybe the more he acted like himself rather than a hawk, people would figure out who he was. JARVIS knew... And for a genius, it was hard to believe that Tony hadn’t figured it out. Steve had gotten close, till Thor got in the way. Hill frowned.
"Wait, Barton? As in..." Hill began. Clint preened. ‘Come on Hill! Finish that thought!’ Clint silently begged but Natasha interrupted.
"No. We needed a name for him when we went to the vet's office. Barton was the best choice," Natasha mentioned as she finished and stood. "Listen, we asked Fury to watch him but we didn't get a straight answer. Is it okay if you watch him?"
"Well, we are very busy right now. Still training new agents, sending out at least 50 different missions, and still working on the last few," Hill started but seeing Natasha looking at her, made her sigh. "I'll see what I can do."
Natasha and Hill chatted about random things all the way back to the central command center of the Helicarrier. Clint, sitting on Natasha's shoulder, was rolling his eyes and letting out a mournful cry every few seconds like he normally would at their choice of conversations. Whenever he did such though, it just made the women laugh at him. But, as they neared the central hub, Clint could easily hear the voices of everyone talking. The closer they got, the louder and it and he began tensing really bad. If Natasha noticed, she didn’t say anything. As soon as they reached the end of the hall and Clint noticed the opened ceiling way, Clint took off, ignoring the fact that he really shouldn’t be flying like this. He just needed to get as far away from the noise as possible.
"BARTON!" Natasha cried as he took wing and flew up to rafters. He slowly dropped down onto one of the metal pipes and looked down, trying to ignore the small ache from his right wing. Natasha's face was supposed to be small and unreadable from this height but Clint could see it as clearly as if he was standing before her. It was pissed. She was mad that he had taken off on her without permission and now he was in an area of the Helicarrier that no one could reach. Well, actually even as a human, Clint could reach this spot but he was the only one. He used this spot to pull a lot of pranks.
"What the hell did I tell you? Get that fucking bird of my boat!" Fury demanded as he spotted Natasha staring at the wayward hawk. Natasha focused her gaze on him.
"Well, you catch him and I'll bring him back to the tower," Natasha smartly retorted. Fury snarled.
"Sir, we really should be able to allow the hawk to stay. I doubt he'll bother us," Hill mentioned as she watched both the bird and her Director. Clint nodded, having heard the whole conversation. Though, it was completely untrue. Already he had some great plans for scaring the different agents working below him. The biggest thing will be trying to get Fury. Feeling the glee of beginning to plan his pranks, Clint missed the other Avengers appearing and then the group heading into the briefing room to get better details on the mission they were being sent out for. A mission that Clint was supposed to go on in the first place.
"Ah, man. I really wanted to know what that mission was," Clint whined when he finally noticed that Fury, Hill and the Avengers were gone. Knowing that in this form he couldn't open things like doors or vent covers, Clint was stuck looking down on the chaotic work force below him. Most of the agents below seemed to actually be doing work. Work like checking on the Helicarrier’s engines and the like or checking over some sort of information. But there close to the glass windows, an agent wasn’t actually working on anything. It almost looked like they were playing Minesweeper. If Clint could, he would have smiled. Perfect target. "Here I come."
With those last words, Clint jumped off the rafter and began to circle around the top of the room as slowly and as methodically as possible, still ignoring the twinge from his right wing. It wasn’t bothering him as much as it had the first day but Doc Steel had said he should rest. But, that’s future Clint’s problem. Seeing that no one was looking up at him, Clint took his chance and dove straight down toward the distracted agent. When he was within a few feet, Clint let out an awful cry making all the near-by agents look up in shock as well as his victim.
"Oh shit!" Clint's victim cried as Clint splayed out his talons and continued his dive as if catching the guy off the ground like a mouse. Just as Clint was about to reach the point of no turning back, he jerked his wings back out and stopped himself from hitting the poor agent in the head. As he began flapping and rising back up (okay, that hurt this time), he heard and even joined in the laughter that was bubbling from below. "Who the hell let a damned bird in?"
"I think the Avengers," someone else responded. Clint mentally smirked and began tracking a new victim. He kept on circling the area but now everyone was watching him. And his wing was starting to bug him, so he should probably go rest for a minute.
"Why would they bring a bird on the Helicarrier?" another person questioned.
"I heard something about it needed to be babysat," a new voice answered. Clint groaned. With everyone watching him there was no way he'd be able to find a new person to attack. But just as he was going to go back to his rafter, the door to the briefing room opened.
"Find a way to do this mission without Barton!" Fury shouted at the Avengers. Clint mentally smiled. There was his new victim. Circling once more, to make sure that Fury actually entered the more open space, Clint focused on the black man. Fury walked quickly over to his four screened computer station as Hill and the other Avengers came out of the room. Clint dove. He got about halfway down before Fury pulled out his gun and aimed it directly at the bird. Clint panicked, he threw his wings out and quickly scrambled backwards in the air. "Don't you fucking dare."
"Sir?" Hill asked as she noticed him pointing a gun towards the ceiling. Natasha was the first to spot who he was actually aiming for. Holding out her arm, she whistled to him. Clint, not wanting to prank anyone any more, quickly flew over to her and landed on her outstretched arm. Wow, it was really scaring to be flying right at a gun that your boss had trained on you. Fury followed the path with his gun still pointed at the hawk.
"I told you, get that motherfucking bird off my boat," he growled. Natasha frowned before nodding a thanks to Hill and turning to stalk off down the halls. Seeing that the hawk was leaving, Fury holstered his gun. Clint was still warily watching the Director as a just in case. So of course as revenge, once the gun was fully put away intentionally Clint took a shit.
"Okay, so that went well," Tony mocked as they proceed to board the Quinjet that was prepared to take them to Indonesia for their mission. After watching Clint shit on the Helicarrier floor (something that Clint now realized was probably a bad idea cause they’ll know once he’s human again), the genius had been the first one kicked off the Helicarrier for an indeterminate amount of time all cause he laughed. Thor had been next, guffawing just as much as Tony. Followed by Bruce, who couldn’t hold in his chuckles. Actually, out of the whole Avengers team, only Clint could ‘officially’ return. And even then, due to Clint’s ‘ban’ from S.H.I.E.L.D, he couldn’t be there unless another Avenger was present. So that literally meant that none of them would be returning, which was fine with nearly everyone but Steve.
"I can't believe that I got banned," Steve moaned as if he had never been in trouble with a higher up. Which they all know as bullshit, but they humor him. Natasha simply moved toward the front of that craft, a quirk of her lips that showed she thought the whole thing was amusing. Without Clint to fly them, Fury had to assign another pilot who, at first, had been thrilled with meeting the Avengers but... After finding out what they were like (and the appearance of the hawk), the pilot was less then pleased to be stuck with them for a few hours.
"Oh, buck up Cap. We all got banned," Tony told the miserable solider. Steve just looked up at the billionaire with a look that pretty much read how that information did not help him what-so-ever. Tony shrugged, he had tried. That's all that ever counted in his mind. Sighing, Steve focused on the floor and was slightly surprised to see the hawk standing there looking up at him. Noticing that the leader's eyes were on him, Clint cocked his head to the side as though questioning if the Cap was okay. Steve gave him a pathetic smile before reached down and stroking the hawk's chest. Clint slowly leaned forward into the movement, he really did enjoy that too much. God forbid they ask about that when he returned.
"Tony, just because you are used to getting banned, doesn't mean that we are. For some of us, it may be unusual, or our first time," Bruce countered. And it actually was Bruce’s first time being banned by Fury from the Helicarrier rather than him doing it himself. Tony scoffed. What did he care? It happened to him all the time. Even Thor didn’t seem bothered. Which for a prince they figured he might be upset about.
"Does anyone really care? I mean outside of Steve. Who really wants to return to the Helicarrier?" Tony asked the remaining Avengers. No one spoke. "My point exactly."
Clint rotated from person to person the whole flight, carefully avoiding Tony whenever he needed to get close to the billionaire. It wasn’t that he didn’t want to be near the genius it was just that whenever Clint did, Tony would tense up and basically glare at him. So, Clint would move on. Many times, the people he hit up would stroke his chest, something that he obviously loved. Other times, they'd pretty much ignore him until he moved on. About an hour into the flight, Clint went over to the front and flew up to sit on the dash area for the passenger seat. Natasha had moved into the back when she felt that the pilot knew what he was doing.
"Hello, little guy. Who are you supposed to be?" the pilot commented when he spotted the hawk looking out the windows. Clint slowly focused an eye on the man. Noting that the man just seemed curious, Clint looked back out the window. "Okay, fine. Don't answer. But, I wouldn't stay up there too long."
Clint glowered as he found the pilot's voice was rather annoying. It took only a few minutes more of the man's babbles before Clint hopped back down and began to try to walk into the back area. Judging by the pilot still talking away, Clint could tell he hadn't noticed. Once in the back, he looked for a place to perch and fall asleep. Just over Tony's head was a small alcove for storage. Right now it was empty, so without thinking, Clint jumped into the air and flew for the alcove, scaring the crap out of Tony.
"Damn bird! Want nothing to do with me this whole flight when I'm watching you. Then the one minute I stop, you go and attack me again!" Tony hissed. Clint rolled his eyes. He was done listening to Tony. Maybe when they get out of this, he’d start hanging around Tony a bit more, get the genius used to being around him and make Tony understand that Clint wasn’t attacking.
"He's not doing it intentionally. He's just being him," Bruce commented, as he lowered his book that he had been reading for the past half-hour. Tony looked back up into the alcove before gathering his things and shifting to a different seat with a better view of the bird. Clint cautiously watched as his ‘friend’ moved but did nothing else.
"Just in case, I'm sitting here," Tony stated as though his move affected the whole jet. Bruce rolled his eyes and went back to reading. Natasha, deep in the back, had already drifted off to a very, very light sleep. Thor was sitting near Steve trying to understand why laughing at what Clint did got them all banned. Feeling like he wouldn't be bothered anymore, Clint slowly drifted off.
"You welcomed me into your head with open arms," Clint heard Loki hiss into his ear. Stunned, he looked around. He was back in that warehouse from eight months ago. The warehouse that lead to the worst experience of his life. Too lost in the moment, Clint kept looking around at the familiar place and completely missed the smirk that Loki was giving him. But it wasn't long before Loki got bored, watching him.
Clint felt Loki beside him before he even looked. The archer panicked. Throwing his arms out, he caught Loki on his chest with bare palms. Rather then be pushed back, Loki latched onto Clint's wrists. Clint started shaking as he stared up into those green eyes he so feared. Loki smiled before leaning forward and jamming his lips down onto Clint's. The archer was shocked. He couldn't move. Loki held his wrists in place but his taller body gave him easy access to Clint's warm lips. Humming in appreciation, Loki opened his mouth slightly. His tongue darted out and played against Clint's skin. The archer gasped, opening his mouth for Loki's assault. As the tongue wandered about the new area, Clint's mind caught up with him. He jammed his jaws closed.
Loki screamed into Clint's face. Quickly, he released a wrist to slap the archer. It made the jaw loosen in time for Loki to pull away. When Clint looked back, he was pleased to see a small line of blood coming out of Loki's mouth. The archer smirked in joy. Oh how he loved that he had hurt Loki. It was such a wonderful feeling. But in the back of Clint's mind, he knew what was coming. Loki's eyes flashed angrily as he looked up and spotted the smirk. The god barely noticed when the smirk diminished slightly. Growling, Loki decided it was time.
"Wipe that smirk off your face," Loki snarled. Clint felt like his smirk widened before his body betrayed him. The look vanished but reappeared on Loki's face. Confused, Clint focused on Loki. Though he remembered this moment, Clint couldn't stop reacting how he once did. All he really wanted to do right now was jump up and attack the god before he touched him. But, his body was not moving one inch, because back then, he didn't move. "You welcomed me and all my glory."
"No," Clint muttered as he backed away from the god. Feeling like he might have control, Clint tried to stand but no. His body was still following the memory. All he could do was think different thoughts. Loki laughed, straightening his body. Clint's eyes focused lower and froze. There, within the folds of his Asgardian ware, was a throbbing large erection. Clint back peddled, his mind blanking. "No!"
"Don't tell me you don't want this. Just sit still," Loki purred, his clothes vanishing in a small gold flash. Clint whimpered as a cool breeze struck his body. Looking down, he noticed his clothes had also vanished. Crying out, Clint tried to curl in on himself but his body didn't move. It barely even shook. Loki laughed. He was truly going to enjoy taking the archer as his. "Now be a good boy. Follow my orders again."
"You ordered me to kill those men," Clint whispered so softly that Loki could barely hear him. It shocked the god for a moment. Loki frowned, but Clint still had his eyes closed. But just as the archer looked up, Loki knew what to say and smirked. Clint narrowed his eyes.
"I didn't order you to kill anyone. I ordered you to take down the Helicarrier. I ordered you to get the iridium," Loki smartly pointed out. Clint stiffened.
"But, Director Fury..."
"All on your own. All I did was look at you," Loki said with a laugh as Clint looked away. The god could tell that the archer was thinking back to that moment. It was only a few weeks ago, so the memory was still fairly fresh. Too bad the memory was tinged with blue. Blue that Loki put there in the first place. Clint wasn't sure if he could fully remember if he didn't he an order or not. For all he knew, Loki mentally told him to shoot Fury but never verbally said it. Either way, an order was an order. But if Loki did nothing except look, Clint was stuck with all the guilt of shooting his boss.
Clint groaned as he tried to get up and run, but his body obeyed Loki now. It was completely still. He didn't want this. He didn't want Loki. But he also didn't have a choice. Loki moved forward once again as the archer felt his body shift over so he was on his hands and knees. His arm lowered so that his ass was sticking into the air. Clint squeezed his eyes closed, the only piece of his body he could control.
Loki leaned down, his warm erection pressing against the sides of Clint's ass. The archer let out a sob as he shook his head no. Loki ignored it. The archer jerked when he felt soft hands touching his own limp member. It expertly pulled and pushed, rubbing until blood began to stiffen it. Clint mentally wanted to just leave right now. He wanted to wake up from this nightmare, but no. He was stuck in the worst moment of his life.
Wanting to just disappear, Clint barely noticed when his dick leaked out some pre-cum. Loki, however, did notice and smiled as his own erection leaked some of the same fluids. Clint could feel the roar of Loki's lust filling his own body. He tried to deny it, but then something pressed against his hole. With a slight jerk, Loki slipped a solitary finger in. Clint couldn't stop the moan of pleasure.
"Yes, pet. Enjoy it," Loki whispered as he leaned his taller frame down to kiss Clint's back and neck. Clint groaned and closed his eyes as his body pushed back against Loki's chest. Another finger was added and they quickly scissor-ed away at Clint, opening him for the Asgardian. Clint tried to hold back his moaning but the god was too good. He couldn't help but like it. Hearing Loki speak this second time around, Clint heard the order of 'enjoy it.' All these months, he had thought that maybe he liked Loki in some way. Maybe it was his fault that he enjoyed it. But now he knew. Loki made it all happen. And that pissed the archer off.
"Fuck, no," Clint whimpered as he tried to pull away. He couldn't enjoy this. It was wrong. He hated Loki. He didn't want to make love to the god. But he couldn't pull away. His body would instead move closer to Loki. Whining now, Clint tried to stop his own ever growing penis. He didn't even notice when Loki changed from scissor-ing his hole to simply jerking in as deep as he could.
"Come here," Loki ordered as his fingers left the hole open. Clint's body jerked back onto Loki's erection. Both men gasped in pleasure. Clint couldn't help it. Loki was great. He knew what he was doing. And Clint couldn't deny that. With a jerk, Loki fully entered Clint. Again, they both cried out. This time one was from pleasure, the other pain. Clint's eyes tightened closed as his body got used to Loki's larger shape. The archer wanted nothing more then to tighten his muscles and yank the throbbing member off of the god. Clint's mind was slowly beginning to dissolve into the memory. His anger was still burning through him but he could also remember what would happen next all to clearly. He didn't fight the fading memory. For he didn't ever want to know what Loki did. “I knew you had heart.”
"Stop," Clint muttered as his mind began to crumble against the onslaught. He couldn't take much more. No more guilt. No more being used. But certainly, no more Loki. The god ignored the archer's plea. Even the own archer's body ignored him. It tightened around Loki, spurring the god to move. Instead he pulled out slowly and jammed back in hard enough to cause a clap of skin on skin. Clint's mind began to shut down as Loki went again. The god barely noticed. It took three more lunges before Clint finally could block the idea of what was happening. He just wished he could fall limp in Loki's grasp and make it harder for the god to enjoy this. Both the memory Clint and current Clint blanked out. It was over for now.
Clint became aware again, Loki's gasps became too loud for his mind to ignore. The god was coming in quick hard pushes. Groaning, Clint noted that Loki had abandoned his now limp member. The god's hands were wrapped around the archer's hips, using the grip to push the man down harder against him. Whimpering again, Clint tried to block it out. Loki smiled as he realized the archer's mind was now back. He would have made a snide remark about the man's absence if he wasn't so busy. Focusing on Loki, Clint could feel the bulging tissue was ready to burst. He moaned.
Loki came with a victorious shout that echoed through the warehouse. Clint let out a dark sob even as Loki continued to milk himself with a few more pumps. Slowly, the god pulled out and let the man drop to the dirty floor. Loki laughed at the sight. Desperately, Clint looked up at Loki. This couldn’t be the end. No, it wouldn’t be the end.
"Just know, I wouldn't have been able do this unless some part of you wanted this," Loki whispered into Clint's ear. Clint shook as he felt Loki's warm breath pass by his ear. Loki backed away and redressed himself. Watching the archer for another minute or so, Loki began laughing. His laughter echoed through the warehouse long after he had already disappeared. Feeling better that it was over, Clint allowed himself to feel the depression settle over his dream form.
Dream Clint sobbed in humiliation as he curled against himself. He was an Avenger. A highly trainer sniper. One of the best agents at S.H.I.E.L.D. Yet he had allowed this to happen. His cold skin wasn't warmed by the reappearance of his clothes. He curled tighter, barely noticing. He still felt naked. Ripped in half, destroyed, utterly ashamed. Another sob racked his body as tears began to show in his eyes. Not caring about the emotion, Clint let them fall. But before he fully drifted off into his shattered mind, he let out one last sob:
But the dream was far from over. The scenery changed to a dank dungeon. Clint stiffened. This wasn't a memory. Of all the times he had been kidnapped and tortured, it had never really happened in a dungeon like this. Looking around, he ended up being distracted by the details of the prison to note that he wasn't alone. A soft snickering allowed the archer to figure it out. Spinning around, Clint spotted him. Half hidden in shadows, most of his appearance was gone. But there, glowing lightly were two eyes of green eyes. Clint immediately knew who it was: Loki.
Clint stiffened when he heard the familiar voice. As much as he had hoped that it wasn't who he thought it was, he knew that that hope was diminishing. Stepping forward, Loki completely came back into the light. He looked thinner, less nourished and certainly tired. But Clint didn't care. He wanted Loki to suffer, even if it meant that Thor would be upset as well. The god deserved it after everything that had happened.
"Loki," Clint growled in a greeting. Loki smirked. Noting that Loki was taking some sort of pleasure in him, Clint took a few steps away. He really didn't like being in the same room with this god. In the back of his head, he wondered what would happen if he called for Thor.
"I wouldn't do that if I were you, my hawk," Loki purred as he moved even closer to Clint. The archer backed up until he hit something hard. Quickly glancing back, Clint realized he had hit the wall of the dungeon. Even though he looked away for a second, when he looked back, Loki was right in front of him. A soft cry of surprise echoed from Clint's lips before he could stop it. Loki chuckled. "How adorable. You are still frightened of me."
"I'm not frightened. You just... Startled me," Clint lied. Loki hummed and lifted his right hand and moved his index finger back and forth before Clint's face. Clint recognized the symbol for a no-no sign. Scowling, Clint looked away from the god again. Loki smirked.
"Don't lie to me pet. I can see it in your eyes. The so-called, window to the soul," Loki cooed. Clint looked back to his enemy and focused right into his eyes. At first all he saw was nothing but the color. Then he noticed something. Looking a little deeper, he noted it was getting easier to see until suddenly he recognized it. The Tesseract Blue was coming out of Loki. Snapping his head away, Clint scurried around the god. Loki laughed. He had done that using just the slightest bit of magic that he had. As much as he hated wasting the magic on something so easy, Loki was pleased with the results. "So it's the Tesseract you fear."
"No!" Clint shouted at the God of Mischief and Lies. Loki laughed. It took a second before Clint realized he had rushed in commenting. A rush that clearly meant he was lying once again. Frowning deeply, Clint mentally berated himself.
"Oh, how you think you're so smart. But my dear sweet one, give it time. I'll show you how much you and your people really needed me," Loki told the archer. Clint growled. He had been backing up once again and this time got himself stuck in a corner. Loki moved in and blocked him before Clint could try to escape. Slowly he lifted his left hand and used it to stroke Clint's warm cheek. Clint froze for about a minute before he reached up and slapped the god's hand away.
"This won't be like last time, Loki," Clint snarled. Loki smiled.
"Oh, I hope it won't be. I do so enjoy breaking you," the god whispered as he pushed Clint back against the wall. Loki’s leg lifted and pressed lightly against the middle of the archer’s legs. Clint growled but found he couldn't move. Loki smirked and placed his hands on the archer's chest. Slowly, he began rubbing the whole area. Clint's body shuddered out of disgust but Loki took it as something else. The god shifted to get closer, dropping his leg back down to the floor, and Clint felt it. It was the same feeling as before. A hard member throbbing between Loki's groin. Whimpering, Clint straightened himself to try and get away. "I thought you said this would be different?"
"It is," Clint answered before his own knee jerked up hard into Loki's body. The god let out a high pitch whine before dropped back and grabbing at his injured member. Not once in his long life had Loki ever been hit there before. Always it was a slap across the face, never there. And so the pain was much more intense then anything he had ever felt. Clint smirked at the reaction before rushing out of the corner and headed over toward the dungeon's cell doors. Not sure if he wanted to look stupid or not, Clint hesitated in trying to open the doors. Just as Loki began to come to grips with the pain, Clint decided to try. The doors, surprisingly, opened. "Ha!"
As he exited, Clint shut the doors. When he spun back to face Loki, he noted the god was standing at the doors. With an evil smirk, Loki tried them and was stunned to find they didn't work. He was still stuck in the dungeon. Even in Clint's dreams, he was still trapped in that retched place. Seeing that the god wasn't about to get out, Clint smirked back at him. Loki snarled.
"You can't keep me away forever, my hawk. I will get back to you," Loki said. Clint now laughed. He leaned in close.
"Yeah, but all I have to do is walk out this door and you're stuck," he responded before turning and walking away. Loki rattled the cage doors.
"Clint, darling," a female voice called through the darkness. Clint's head jerked up. He knew that voice now just as well as he knew Loki's. It was Amora. Clint only had a second to realize that the Loki behind bars had turned into Amora and she was throwing a spell at him. As it hit, his body filled with unimaginable pain and he woke screaming.
My house is still a mess from Christmas. Had gotten all the wrapping paper and most of the boxes of things cleaned up but there is just so much stuff! Maybe I went a bit overboard with shopping. Whoops. Well, Darius certainly enjoyed it. Still got some of his gifts out in the car cause I'm a bit too lazy to get it all right now. Sides, I need to clean up the mess that was left over from Christmas. Gotta find some places for a lot of the toys that he doesn't seem to be playing with like some stuffed animals. And also gotta clean up the rest in general. So much work! @_@ Baby Jason got a bunch of gifts as well. Certainly not as much as Darius had gotten but a good amount. He's currently laying in a small ball pit thing that has different growing stages. I think most of what he had gotten was clothing. I think one of the best gifts that Darius ended up getting was the gift my father made for him. It's a wooden Jeep Wrangler. He liked playing with it at my brother's house and I enjoyed looking at it. The best gift my hubby seemed to enjoy was a Bray Wyatt Severed Head Lantern. Mike really seemed to enjoy both a San Diego Comic Con exclusive box of Ghostbuster figures and a book from Transformers. Janice really liked the coat from WWE with 'I Am The Man' written on it. As for me... Jesus, I don't know what the best gift was... I got two different Etsy made Hawkeye stuffed animals. Two different Hawkeye figures, two Disney books, tickets for events happening during my trip to Disney in February and a pillow/blanket Mickey Mouse gift where the pillow has like a felt and nice and soft feeling too it.
See you all next Friday!
"What the hell is that noise?" Natasha groaned as she rested her pounding head against the cool metal behind her. The Avengers had just finished the mission in Istanbul, which Fury was right, it was difficult without Clint there to watch over them. Steve had a dislocated shoulder that Thor had to put back into place before it healed wrong, Bruce was still unconscious from whatever weapon hit him and forced Hulk to retreat. Thor had a few cuts and bruises but the biggest was his blackened right eye. Natasha felt like she might have a concussion along with a few either deeply bruised or fractured ribs and a strained ankle. Nothing she wasn't used to. And Tony... Well, Tony made it through, his suit didn't.
"Not from me, fixing my suit!" Tony growled as he looked at the broken remnants of his beautiful toy. The two looked around. Steve was resting peacefully over by Bruce. Thor was up front and could not be seen nor heard from the back area. So that only left the hawk which was still hidden in the alcove above. Steve lifted his head up at the noise but watched as Natasha grudgingly stood and headed over to calm the poor hawk. "Shut him up."
"I will," Natasha snarled as she reached into the alcove and began stroking the closest bit of feathers she could find. It was Clint's chest and as his bearing came back to him, he realized how lucky Natasha was that he didn't automatically strike out at her. As she pulled her hand away when the noise died down, Clint moved closer to the exit. "See, I shut him up."
"Thank fucking god," Tony grumbled before going back to his suit. Clint frowned and slowly jumped out of the alcove to land on the seat below. Natasha was already heading deeper into the back. He hadn't realized that he had been crying out. Nor did he realize until this moment that he had slept through the whole mission. At least it didn't take them that long (or so it seemed), but it made him wonder if the team really did need him or not. They could apparently function without him. Yeah, right now they were hurt but they'd get used to it. They’d learn how to deal.
Moping, Clint moved toward the back. As much as Natasha was in a bad mood, Clint still wanted to be near her. His talons clacked on the floor as the hawk walked across the Quinjet, knowing the area was too small to actually really fly through. When he got close enough for the noise to bother the red headed assassin, she turned an evil death glare on her once human friend. Clint sulked for a moment, as though asking permission to move forward. It took a minute. But once Natasha rolled her eyes, Clint gladly hopped over to the seat beside her.
"Hmm. That seemed rather familiar," Steve commented, having watched the bird the whole time. Natasha shrugged, really not wanting to think about much at the moment. Her head was pounding and all she wanted to do was rest. But, she couldn't relax. Not without Clint around. Groaning, she began absently stroking the hawk's chest.
"How long till we get back? I need JARVIS," Tony suddenly complained. Natasha snarled. She was so not in the mood to deal with Tony's incessant whining. Steve smiled when he saw her upset face.
"We're almost back to the Helicarrier," he responded softly, briefly forgetting they were all banned. Tony moaned, making Natasha cringe and accidentally stroke Clint to hard. He didn't make a noise though. Instead, he just focused on Tony, wondering when the man would actually be killed by one of his own teammates. "Once there, we'll get medical treatment, then debrief, and after all that-"
"We go home? Why not just go to my tower right now? I have a medical wing and we can debrief on the phone," Tony whined, also having forgot. Steve rolled his eyes. It was like talking to a three year old. He just didn't understand.
"And face the wrath of Fury? Really, Stark?" Clint squawked as though the others could hear him. No one commented to the bird. Which was fine with Clint, for now. Especially when Natasha made him shush by stopping petting him. When he focused his still grey eyes on her, Natasha frowned but began petting him once again.
"But I want to go to my tower," Tony added, unfazed by the hawk. He just watched as Steve and Natasha began glaring at him. Frowning, he stopped. But everyone knew it wasn't over yet. Tony would start complaining again. It was just a matter of time.
About thirty minutes passed in relative silence. Steve managed to fall asleep and Natasha was relaxing more then she had on the whole flight. For some reason, the hawk at her side was helping her calm down. Just like Clint used to. As she thought about it, it just made her miss Clint even more. Too bad she didn't even realize that her best friend was sitting right beside her and that she was petting him as she carefully watched Tony mess around with his completely destroyed suit.
"Ugh, this is useless! I'm gonna need to build a whole new suit!" Tony loudly called out in the cabin. Curious as to the noise, Thor returned to the back.
"But Man of Iron, do you not have others?" Thor questioned, now leaning against the doorway into the cockpit. Tony groaned and leaned against the table before him.
"Yeah, I have other suits. But those are all older models... I don't have one like this one," Tony answered as though it was obvious. Thor frowned. He simply did not get why Tony needed the newest model. He would use Mjolnir for thousands of years. Just as his father used Gungnir and there had been no problem with that.
"Man of Iron, why not simply use an older model? Take time to learn it's uses?" Thor asked. "They always have seemed to be in order."
"They are. I always fix my suits back to working order but... The technology is outdated. I mean, what if your dad came out with a Molner-"
"Whatever... Version 2.0? Would you still want the outdated model?" Tony countered expecting a similar answer to his.
"No. Mjolnir and I have been though many battles together. I would not simply abandon Mjolnir," Thor retorted. Tony frowned, not getting what the big deal was. Thor, noticing that Tony was just not going to understand, shook his head and headed back toward the cockpit. He was done speaking. Just before he completely vanished, he called out to the entire group. "We are to land in ten minutes."
They did land in ten minutes. Just not on the Helicarrier. Nearly all of them had forgotten that Fury had banned them from ever stepping foot there again. It didn't bother Tony in the least as this was what he wanted. He just grabbed his hunk of junk (I mean Iron Man suit) and headed down to his labs to get started on repairs. Bruce, who had finally woken, took Steve and Natasha down to the medical wing that Tony had installed during the refurbishment of the towers. And Thor. Well, he had the wonderful duty of bring Clint back to his room to join Lex and Star. Too bad Thor didn't know about the water bucket, nor could Clint warn him. (*I forgot to mention that this water also could replenish itself that to JARVIS.)
"COLD!" Thor boomed, forgetting that he must keep his voice down when near the hawk. Thankfully, Clint's ears were slightly blocked by the water and so the sound didn't seem as loud as it should have been.
"Yup, freezing," Clint agreed as he shook some water off his feathers. Inside, Lex and Star were staring at them. Clint nodded a hello but said nothing, especially since it seemed Lex was glaring at him. Thor smiled and waved to the other two raptors before bringing Clint deeper into the room. Once inside, he placed the hawk near a table in the center of the room. Clint jumped onto it and watched as Lex's feathers began to ruffle. Freezing, Clint watched, wondering what the other bird would do. Hawks were very territorial. Would Lex attack him?
"No. He is friend," Thor softly commanded Lex. Lex turned a curious eye on the Asgardian. He had never been told no before. Looking back to the other male hawk, Lex decided that maybe the large man was right. This new hawk seemed familiar, but not family.
"Hey, Lex. Can you understand me?" Clint called to the other bird. Lex faced him once more with a glare but did nothing else in reply. Sighing, Clint looked to Thor's now retreating back. "Oh, yeah. This is just great."
It was an hour or so later that Clint began to get really bored in his room. As a human, Clint would have been fixing some of his arrowheads, sleeping in his bed, or watching Dog Cops. But, without having human hands, two of those things were scratched off the list. And while he could now fly, a dream of his, it wasn't going well for him. With nearly every twitch, Lex would glare at him and make some sort of ‘growling’ noise or whatever hawks did when mad. Star also glared at the archer whenever he got too close to them. Not wanting to get attacked by them, Clint hopped out of the living room and into the bedroom. Maybe he could distract himself in here.
That was when he noticed it. His computer, tucked away in a dark corner of his bedroom. It must have fallen there during one of his morning flails when Natasha woke him for training. Feeling joy for the first time in a long while, Clint flue over to it. It was laying upside down, so Clint took a minute figuring out how to not only right it, but open the top. Once that was set, he stared at the darkened computer screen and wondered how he was going to turn it on.
"Hello? Anyone in here?" came a meek sounding voice from the doorway. Following that was a scream of shock. Clint mentally sniggered before feeling a little bad. Maybe he should take that down and change it with something less... Uh, wet. But what could replace it?
"I warned you about that Pepper!" Tony declared loudly before barging into the room and startling Lex. The other male hawk kree-ed angrily before taking flight and landing on a platform just underneath a vent above Star. Hopping into the room himself, Clint focused on the larger male hawk. He knew that that was the vent he had loosened from all his travels in the air ducts. There was also one in his bedroom. Huh... That is something he could do. He could escape and wander around the tower.
"I know you did! I just... I don't know, didn't believe you," Pepper finished arguing lamely. Tony chuckled as he watched his girlfriend enter the room dripping wet. "We're gonna have to take that down."
"No. I like that there! Do you know how long it took me to hook that up?" Clint cried in childish rage. But, to his consternation, he was ignored. Sighing once again, Clint turned back to the computer just before he heard some soft squeaking noises. Lex and Star also shifted when they heard the noise. Turning back to the humans, all three saw Pepper taking out a small cage filled with at least six small mice. Clint balked at the idea of having to eat a mouse, but then again... When he was at the vet's they did hand him something that looked similar except it didn't really move or squeak like these ones were doing now. Jesus, had he already eaten mouse? Bleh...
"I can't, Tony..." Pepper moaned, sympathetically looking at the frantic mice. Tony smiled as if he had won some sort of bet. Clint huffed, wondering who would bet that Pepper could handle it?
"I knew you couldn't," he gloated. Pepper groaned before backing away from the mice cage. Once the humans were a good enough distance away, Lex took flight once again and headed over to the cage. Clint just watched. What was Lex thinking? He wouldn’t be able to get the mice through the cage. But all Lex did was lock his talons around the metal bars and lift, bring the whole cage into the air. Clint stilled. No... NO!
"Oh my god!" Pepper screeched as she watched. Tony's jaw dropped as Lex lifted the cage to the top of the room and then promptly, let go. The cage shattered and six mice scrambled about the room. Pepper screamed, Tony even screamed. But Lex and Clint quickly took off after the creatures. In the end, Lex ended up getting three while Clint grabbed one. The other two had gotten themselves under some furniture just in time. While Clint sat there happily munching on his mouse (totally ignoring the fact that he now had two loose mice in his room), Lex shared two of his three with Star, whom never left her nest.
"Okay, that's just sick," Tony muttered making Clint pause. Pepper sobbed softly. Mentally frowning at himself, Clint looked down at the nearly completely eaten mouse. Yeah... Yeah, this was sick. Clint backed away from the meal, unable to finish it.
"Now we have mice in the tower," she softly pointed out. Tony moaned and looked over to Clint, who was now looking at the remains of his dinner in absolute disgust.
"You should have been a better hunter," Tony declared. Clint looked up and glared at the billionaire. Fuck him! Fuck him and the high horse he road in on!
"Oh yeah, why don't you give it a shot?" Clint argued back before jumping back into the air and circling the room before landing back at the computer. Tony bristled, even though he couldn't understand what the hawk said, he was positive it was an insult.
"Hey! Don't touch that, you'll break it!" Tony snapped. Clint looked over at him. Why the hell would Tony care? This was his laptop. But then he figured this was a good way to get back at Tony for making fun of his ‘hunting’ skills. Slowly he lifted a talon-ed foot. Tony's eyes widened. "Don't you dare."
With a mental smirk, Clint dropped his foot across the keyboard and was rewarded with breaking every key he touched. Even though it was his computer, it was totally worth it. Tony cried out in anguish. Clint just smirked. Tony never liked when any bit of tech (outside of evil attacking robots) ended up destroyed.
"Tony, leave him alone. He didn't know better," Pepper muttered as she held the man back. Tony looked ready to pluck every feather off of Clint's smaller body. Clint just lifted his foot and did it again. This time, Pepper could barely restrain him. "Tony! He's just an animal!"
"No! He's doing this on purpose! Do you not see how he's making eye contact with me?" Tony snapped. Pepper groaned and began dragging her protesting boyfriend out of the room. "No! I will get him back! I swear it!"
"Just like you swore revenge on Clint?" Pepper countered just before she and Tony slipped back out the room. Clint perked up. Revenge? Revenge for what? Mentally, Clint racked his brain for what he might have last done to the genius, outside of killing his own computer. Was Pepper referring to the incident where Clint ‘spiked’ his coffee with sugar (like normal) and Tony stole it without asking and downed it. Tony hates sugar in his coffee. Pure black, like his soul is how he took it. Huffing again, Clint headed over to the furniture that he knew one of the mice had hidden under. Maybe he could get Lex to kill the remaining two. But his attempt failed and only had Lex glaring angrily at him the entire time.
“And here I am trying to help feed you,” Clint snarled, jumping back into the bedroom so Lex couldn’t see him anymore. What to do now? He was stuck in this room. Stuck with two territorial hawks that have laid eggs. Yeah, he might really need help. Glancing to his computer again, Clint winced. Maybe it hadn’t been worth upsetting Tony with attacking it. He may not be able to now use his computer or any of the StarkPads (Note: most tablets need the skin contact to work, talons and scaled feet would not work) but there had to be another way to communicate.
It took another hour or two before the door to the room opened but rather than a squeal of cold wet water hitting someone, it more sounded like it brushed off something. Curious, Clint hopped back into the living room, the area that Lex had basically hinted that Clint was banned from. Didn’t matter that it had been Clint’s ‘territory’ first, Lex had claim on it now. The person, whoops, people who came in were Bruce and Natasha.
“I find it interesting that I never thought of doing that before,” Natasha muttered as Bruce closed his umbrella. Clint mentally laughed. Yeah, the water trap was gonna have to go. But what to put in it’s place? Has to be something that JARVIS could easily refill...
“Sometimes the simplest solution is the answer,” Bruce chuckled. Natasha rolled her eyes but chuckled herself.
“So, do you really think Barton will let you check him over after all that flying?” Natasha wondered, glancing over to see Clint on the floor of the doorway to the bedroom. Bruce shrugged.
“Doesn’t hurt to try,” Bruce admitted, walking over. But when he got halfway through the room, suddenly Lex snapped. The larger hawk launched himself at Clint. Squawking in terror, Clint jumped to take flight but he wasn't fast enough. Lex's outstretched talons scrapped along Clint's open chest. Crying out, Clint fell back against the attack. Lex flapped back a bit before moving back into a dive. Tucking into a ball, Clint tried to protect his head with his wings. Because of that, his back was clear for Lex to keep on scratching.
"HEY!" Natasha screamed at Lex before lunging forward and trying to scare the hawk off. As she flapped her arms around, Lex saw her as another hawk trying to attack him, so he turned on her. His talons ripped through her skin on her hands and arms as she reached up to protect her face. Bruce rushed forward as suddenly Steve and Thor appeared. Apparently they had been coming to check on Clint as well. Seeing what was going on, both men jumped into the fray as well. With everyone waving their arms, Lex turned on them as well. But this time he was overwhelmed, and so the attack on the two men was faster then the attack on Clint and Natasha. Lex flew back to Star's side and glared at the group as if daring them to try anything. "God damned hawk!"
"What the hell was that about?" Steve snapped as he glared back at Lex. Behind him, Bruce snuck out of the room. Steve, Thor and Natasha had gotten the worst of it, outside of Clint.
"Star is laying eggs. He was protecting his nest!" Clint tried answering, forgetting that they couldn't understand him. His back and chest felt like they were on fire. It hurt to move his wings back to his sides. Damn hawk might have done far too much damage. ‘I hope I don’t have to go back to the fucking vet...’ Clint thought to himself as he limped/hopped over to Steve, who was closest to him.
"I believe he perceived us as a threat," Thor responded. For a moment, no one spoke. They just kept watching Lex. When he suddenly ruffled his feathers, Natasha stepped toward the door. Her arms were bleeding pretty badly and she didn't want to make them any worse by tangling with the angered hawk again.
"I think we should get out of here," she mentioned. Steve nodded as Thor and her slowly began to back up towards the door. Turning to look at them, Steve realized that neither of them were going to grab Clint. Sighing, he offered his currently healing arm to Clint. Nodding, the hawk stepped onto the offered arm, being sure to not aggravate Steve’s or his own wounds or create new ones. But once Clint moved, Lex launched himself at the two again. Crying out, Steve ducked, nearly losing Clint in the process. Wrapping his other arm around the smaller body of the archer, Steve rushed out of the room. Thankfully Natasha and Thor had ducked out as soon as Lex took flight again. As Steve slammed the door closed, Pepper came down the hall to see what was going on with the hawks. Bruce was missing. Likely he had either headed off to his lab, or he was in the Hulk out room. It took less then a second for the CEO to take in the situation.
"Oh my god! What happened?" she cried before rushing toward Natasha and grabbing the other woman's arms to get a closer look at the injuries.
"Lex attacked Barton and when we went to help, he attacked us," Steve answered, lifting Clint a bit as if ‘Barton’ was a different bird. “We need to get him to medical.”
“Okay, I’ll call that vet, see if he can come here. Maybe we can get some advice on what to do with Lex and Star,” Pepper replied. Nodding, Steve and Clint headed off. Natasha looked back at the room. Maybe it was a bad idea to bring the hawks inside.
Happy New Year! I totally had mentally planned on releasing this chapter on the 1st... But I stayed up till four cause I couldn't sleep and basically couldn't think. But, you at least get it today!
Darius is doing great. Having extreme fun playing with all his toys. Also still trying to clean up boxes and stuff from Christmas. Ugh, there is just so much!!!! I'm finally able to get him on the potty and actually having him do something. Only problem... He does it during our nap time and seemingly waits till I get comfortable before saying he has to go. It's so upsetting! But I can't deny him the ability to go just cause I don't want to get up. Today I tried having hubby take him to the bathroom before going to nap with me. They said he went. They were wrong.... Like five minutes into laying down... 'Mommy, I have to go potty.' ARGH! But, hey. He's doing it so can't fully complain. Baby Jason is doing good as well. Being a bit of a punk in the morning. His parents are giving him four ounces of baby food and when Baby Jason finishes it, he cries until he gets four ounces of formula! And sometimes, he cries after the formula!!!! So, I suggested giving him the one ounce of water that his doc had told them to start giving him. Seems to be working so far.
And, well... That's it! See you next Friday!
“So, you brought a mated pair of red-tailed hawks inside and figured this guy would be safe with them?” Steel asked as he shifted Clint’s wing. Clint couldn’t stop his wince as the movement bother the muscles on his back that Lex had apparently gotten a good dig into. Steel frowned, glancing up at the group. Pepper, Bruce, Natasha and Steve were the ones waiting. Thor and Tony decided they were gonna focus on finding Clint.
“We didn’t know that they would attack each other,” Pepper moaned. Steel shook his head.
“The female has either just laid her eggs or is in the middle of doing so. That means, the male will be highly aggravated and protective of her,” Steel continued, shifting Clint a bit to get a look at the damage to his chest. Clint moved with him, intent on not cause him an issue no matter how much it hurt. And then it hurt.
“Ow,” Clint muttered, his voice a very soft coo. Steel paused, looking at Clint’s ‘face.’ Clint tilted his head a bit and then glanced down at where Steel was still touching.
“Uh... Is he telling you that it hurts?” Steve questioned. Steel frowned.
“We noticed this in the office. He seems really... Odd for a hawk. He keeps doing these things that no other hawk would do,” Steel mentioned before lightly touching the same area again. Clint again cooed an ‘ow.’ Steel’s frown deepened.
“Is that a good thing?” Natasha wondered. Steel sighed, backing away from Clint to simply stare at him. Clint again tilted his head a bit in question.
“Honestly, I’m not sure. But, most of the damage is superficial. The hits to his back are the most worrisome but there isn’t much one can do about it but keep it clean and wait for it to heal on it’s own. As for flying, limit it even more until the cuts heal over on both his back and chest. We wouldn’t want to make it worse or reopen what has healed,” Steel began listing. Clint rolled his eyes but hopped across the table to get near Steve. He was already healed from Lex’s attack so he wouldn’t be bothered by Clint climbing up on him.
“And the other two?” Bruce asked.
“I understand that there was damage to the area they had originally chosen to nest in and... While it seemed right to bring the nest inside, that was highly dangerous. Now that the make has attacked you, whenever you enter his territory, he will do it again,” Steel informed. Bruce and Pepper winced. Natasha grimaced. “I suggest calling Central Park Zoo and see if they’d be willing to house the duo until they can be released.”
“Thank you, we will do just that,” Pepper replied. Steel nodded.
“I’m willing to keep doing home visits for your guy but honestly, the next time he gets hurt, I may have to discuss the idea of re-homing him,” Steel told them. Clint winced, quickly climbing up Steve to get on his shoulder and rubbed his head against the Captain. Steve chuckled lightly and reached up to pet Clint’s chest feathers as softly as possible. Steel sighed. “Be careful with him. If you weren’t the Avengers I would have already taken him away.”
“We promise, we will take care of him,” Steve stated with all certainty. Steel huffed but nodded.
“I’ll be back in two days to check on how he’s healing,” Steel informed. With that, Pepper led Steel out of the medical room. Bruce, Natasha and Steve waited until he was gone before looking to Clint, still perched on Steve’s shoulder. Steve sighed and looked to the other two.
“So... What are we gonna do with him now?”
“No. Nope, nadda, ain’t gonna happen,” Tony argued. Steve sighed.
“He can’t stay with Lex and Star. Dr. Steel said he’s gonna contact the zoo to see if they could take them. But Barton...” Steve started and then paused.
“Barton is staying here,” Natasha growled, moving over to Steve and offering her arm out to the hawk. Clint paused, unsure if he should move to his still injured partner. But, if she was offering, he figured she was willing to ‘pay the price’ of pain. Slowly, Clint climbed down off of Steve’s shoulder and onto Natasha’s arm and then up to her own shoulder.
“I don’t care if he’s staying here. He ain’t staying in the common rooms,” Tony pressed.
“I don’t see what’s wrong with him staying here. It is the common rooms and you said we could do whatever we wanted here. And we want Barton to stay here,” Bruce mentioned. Tony growled at his science bro. “Look, we’ll clean up whatever mess he makes.”
“Tony,” Pepper begged, putting in her two cents finally. Tony gave her a a betrayed look and then glanced at Thor who had his arms crossed over his chest.
“My father has ravens, Huginn and Muninn, that are free to fly the palace. They have often visited my room for days,” Thor informed. Tony threw his hands in the air.
“Do none of you care that the damn thing hates me?” the genius whined. Clint winced. Since the first interaction with Tony in the medical area, he hadn’t felt threatened by the genius. But, apparently it was too late to change what the genius believed. It seemed that Clint would forever be a threat to Tony.
“Other than at medical, I haven’t seen him once attack you,” Bruce pointed out. Tony huffed.
“He tried on the Quinjet.”
“Other then flying up to rest on the shelf above you, he was nice enough to avoid you when he went through the rounds of pets,” Steve mentioned. Tony snarled now. “Look, your relationship with Barton won’t improve unless you try and accept that he isn’t always going to attack you.”
“And when he does, I’ll blame you,” Tony snarled before stalking out of the room. “Gotta go find Clint.”
“Agent Barton is in the common rooms,” JARVIS intoned. Everyone paused, trying to understand what the AI meant. Clint got over it faster and began nodding his head, trying to get them to figure out the AI was correct. He was there with them.
“I’m totally gonna go through your code. Something is up,” Tony grumbled before continuing on his quest downstairs. Clint felt his wings droop in sadness. They were never gonna figure it out. He was gonna be stuck like this forever! Damn Amora. Damn Loki. DAMN ASGARD!
“Well, I’m gonna go get some training in. Amora was playing with us on that roof,” Natasha huffed, shaking her shoulder a bit once she got over to a recently emptied shelf. Clint panicked for only a second before stepping off his friend and onto the area. “We might all want to do some soon. That mission was shit and we all know it.”
“Clint would have helped,” Steve whispered, eyes downcast. Clint mentally frowned, looking over at the Captain.
“Natasha, you have a concussion, training right now would not be a good idea,” Bruce chastised. Natasha looked at him with a raised eyebrow that pretty much said ‘you’re seriously gonna argue with me right now?’ Bruce sighed deeply. “If you don’t rest, I’ll drug you like we drug Clint.”
“What? You fucking drug me?” Clint squawked in anger. Steve looked to the hawk with a frown.
“Do it and it’ll be on your life,” Natasha growled before turning and walking away. Bruce angrily huffed before turning and following her, intent on making her rest rather than overdo it with training.
“Captain, if you do not mind, I feel I should begin my search for Amora. She shall have the answers we seek with finding our missing comrade,” Thor requested. Steve nodded his head. It made sense to have the Asgardian go look for her. Out of all of them, he’d have the best luck. The thunderer headed off to the balcony attached to the common rooms. At the door he paused. “I fear that Amora may have done something strange to our friend.”
“Almost like he’s still here,” Steve added. Thor nodded. “Yeah, I’ve been noticing that too. And... If JARVIS still can sense him...”
“I do not believe Amora would have given him invisibility as the Eye of Hawk would have given us a message,” Thor continued. Steve nodded with a huff.
“That’s cause I don’t fucking have hands anymore...” the archer huffed, annoyed. Thor and Steve glanced over to him with frowns on their faces. Clint looked away from them, sick and tired of getting his hopes up at this point. They just weren’t getting it.
“You sure Amora can’t transform someone?” Steve grumbled. Clint’s head snapped back to look at Steve.
“I feel I must begin checking on such. Last I remember, neither her nor Loki had the ability to do such,” Thor muttered. Clint glanced over at him and let out an angry cry. Steve and Thor winced. “It shall take a few days for me to find such information.”
“Okay. Thanks, Thor,” Steve said just before Thor turned around and headed out to the balcony. He cried out for Heimdall and was quickly snatched up by the flashing colors of the Bifrost.
“Tony’s gonna be pissed when he sees those,” Clint commented at the same time Steve mumbled the same words. Frowning, Steve looked back to the hawk. Clint tilted his head at Steve, waiting for the Captain to say anything. After a moment, Steve just sighed and headed over to the couch.
“Feels weird to leave you alone,” the Captain stated before sitting down and grabbing the TV remote. Clint watched as Steve started flipping through the channels. Bout five channels in, Clint caught sight of Dog Cops and he let out another loud cry even as Steve moved to the next channel. The sound made Steve drop the remote and look back at the hawk. Clint did his best to glare at Steve as he nodded his head to the TV. “You... You wanna watch something?”
Clint nodded his head again before walking down the length of the shelf and jumped onto the next one down. He followed that one to it’s end and quickly (and painfully) he flue over to the end table. Steve sighed, reaching down and picking up the remote. Out of the corner of his eye, Steve watched as Clint carefully came off the end table and got himself on the top of the couch and then moved to sit near the Captain’s shoulder. Huffing, Steve went back one station and paused. Dog Cops started playing it’s theme. Apparently there was a marathon happening today. Clint mentally whined. Why was it that every time he was attacked, that’s when a marathon happened? When Steve went to change the channel again, Clint quickly and softly slapped his beak onto the Captain’s head.
“Okay, okay,” Steve chuckled as he dropped the remote down onto the seat beside him. Clint nodded and relaxed a bit to start watching. Steve sighed. “Natasha really did name you right.”
Clint snapped his attention back to Steve but the Captain was already turned back and facing the TV. The archer paused as he thought about it. Everyone seemed to be noticing that when he acted like himself, they pieced that he was himself. But it hadn’t been enough. What did he have to do? Well, whatever it was could wait. For now, Dog Cops.
Steve and Clint spent most of the rest of the day watching Dog Cops by themselves. A few episodes in, Bruce had joined them for a bit, eating some more food in an effort to catch up on all the nutrients that Hulk had used up on the mission. He gracefully shared some of it with Steve and didn’t comment on the fact that Clint seemed to be more focused on the show than Steve. Maybe six episodes after Bruce arrived, Natasha came in, freshly showered and dressed in a stolen shirt from Clint and some loose fitting pants. Clint barely even looked over at her.
“Are you guys watching Dog Cops?” she couldn’t help but ask as soon as she realized what was on the TV. Steve shrugged.
“Barton wanted to watch it,” Steve commented. Bruce looked over.
“I... Barton wanted too?” Bruce wondered. Steve nodded. “You’re watching a show that a hawk wanted to watch?”
“Yeah,” Steve grumbled. “He seemed really interested.”
Natasha rolled her eyes and headed over to grab the remote off the seat. Now Clint noticed she was in the room. But when her hands closed over the remote, he let out a cry of distress. Natasha paused and looked up at him. Slowly she moved back and Clint turned his head to seemingly focus on the TV again. But when she went down again, Clint cried out again. Steve snorted.
“This is ridiculous. Birds shouldn’t have a favorite show,” Natasha hissed, glaring at Clint now. Clint tried his best to return the favor.
“Actually, there has been mention that many animals when exposed to certain shows enough that they would chose to watch them again rather than try something new,” Bruce commented. Natasha snarled and quickly snatched the remote.
“HEY!” Clint screeched making Steve wince cause he had done it mostly by the super soldier’s ear. Natasha raised an eyebrow but backed away from the couch and all of them watched as Clint jumped off the back of the couch down onto the seat and then onto the floor before he started hopping toward the spy.
“Natasha, just let him watch it,” Steve bemoaned even as Natasha began ‘evading’ the hawk. Clint got more frustrated. He really wished he could fly. Fucking Lex. “Come on, it’s not hurting anyone.”
“It’s hurting my eyes,” Natasha joked, jumping away from Clint again. Clint cried out, extremely pissed now. At least when he was human, he could keep up with her and even tackle her. As a hawk, he could hardly keep up with her.
“Natasha,” Bruce muttered beginning to worry that Barton would start trying to fly. Something the hawk shouldn’t be doing yet. Natasha shook her head.
“No hawk is gonna control what I watch.”
“No! Give me the damn remote!” Clint shouted as best he could. Again, Natasha just laughed before turning and changing the channel. Clint screeched again and lunged. “You are declaring war!”
“There, see. We can watch something that isn’t Dog Cops,” she proclaimed happily. Clint stopped at her feet, glaring at her as best he could. She didn’t seem phased. He then turned to look and Steve and Bruce to see if they’d be willing to help him. And it was then that Clint noticed Bruce had left at some point. And Steve certainly didn’t seem interested in helping. Shaking his head, Clint went and headed off down the hall. Steve turned and watched him.
“Look, you made him upset,” the Captain noted. Natasha turned to look as Clint just hopped away.
“He’ll get over it,” the spy stated before going back to watching TV. Figuring that Clint wouldn’t be able to get off this floor, Steve went back to watching as well. Clint got to the elevator doors before realizing his issue. Without hands or fingers, he wouldn’t be able to press the button. And even if his talons could work, he couldn’t fly up and hold himself up long enough to do so. Same for the stairwell, not that his little body would be able to open the reinforced door. So Clint was surprised when the elevator doors opened and no one was inside. He paused.
“JARVIS?” he called. There was a beat.
“I am assuming you wish to go to Agent Romanoff’s floor,” the AI intoned as if he knew what was going on. Clint let out a kree of thanks and jumped inside. Once settled, JARVIS closed the doors and Clint nearly jumped out his feathers when he felt the elevator move. A moment later, the elevator stopped and the doors opened. With another chirp of thanks, Clint hopped out. And like the elevator, when Clint got to Natasha’s door, JARVIS opened that. If Clint could smile, he totally would have. JARVIS was an awesome bro.
The first thing Clint grabbed, without even looking at anything other than Natasha’s weapon station, was a gun magazine/clip into his beak and hopped down onto the floor. Flicking his head to the side, he tossed it under her bed, all the way into the back. Nodding in satisfaction, he painfully flew back up to the table and snagged another piece. Looking around, he spotted the slightly open underwear drawer. Feeling rather devious, he took off for over there and promptly dropped the item into the fabrics. Noticing that the item was still rather visible, he then moved a foot down to shift the underwear around to cover the piece. It worked, but not after a thong got caught on a talon. Panicking, Clint flung his foot around and hopped all across the vanity's top. It took him calming and putting his other foot down on the fabric and lifting the caught foot to release himself. Too bad it ruined the thong.
"Ah shit. Now she's really gonna know who did this," Clint muttered as he stared at the ruined item. Trying his best to forget about the underwear, Clint moved on to hiding the rest of Natasha's guns and cleaning equipment. A lot of the pieces were hidden underneath furniture but some made it to different areas. One cleaning cloth found its way into the bathroom and sat atop the mirror. Another gun part was precariously sitting on one part of the lighted ceiling fan. The bottle of cleaning agent was hidden in the shower stall, behind Natasha's hair care products. And the piece-de-resistance, a gun silencer was added to the wires behind Natasha's TV, DVD player and CD player. “And I’m done.”
“I feel I must complement your strategic hiding places. But, you seem to have opened some wounds, so I must bring you to medical,” JARVIS warned. Clint rolled his eyes but willingly hopped over to the elevator. His back was hurting a bit. He must have done too much flying. The elevator ride down was a bit lost on Clint until he felt hands closing on his wings. He jerked and looked up to see Bruce was standing there.
“Guess we should be more aware of where you go,” the doc commented, gently picking Clint up. The archer fought to keep himself still as Bruce refused to let Clint climb up onto him. Not that Clint blamed him. Got forbid Clint’s talons pierced into Bruce’s skin and released Hulk. Wouldn’t be good for anyone, especially Clint. The walk to the medical area was short, a fact that Clint was happy with as he was just starting to get on the edge of panicking. Once there, Bruce put Clint down on one of the metal tables before turning and getting some tools to clean up whatever opened.
“Sorry,” Clint cooed after a moment. Bruce stilled before looking back.
“Uh, you... You okay?” the doc wondered. Clint nodded. Bruce did a quick chuckle. “Okay. Let’s get you cleaned up.”
Another chapter down.
Darius is doing great. Currently annoying me because he wants me to do stuff I don't want to help him with at the moment. He just isn't listening to me saying no. But, he'll have to get used to that at some point. We've had some small issues with him, basically regarding sleep and last night bathroom issues. Overall though, he's great. Baby Jason is giving his parents a bit of a hard time at night but... That's what babies do.
Short note, but that's all I can really think of... Until next week!