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Guiding Like a Lighthouse

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"Clint?" She calls through the half cracked door into the darkened apartment. And, when she receives no answer, is immediately in and standing in the middle of the living room. "Clint! Come on, this isn't funny."

No answer. Which means that there's probably, assuming there hasn't been another disaster, only one place he can be. At night. In the middle of a storm. Without anybody else to watch him.

Shit.

She marches over to the window and yanks it open. Steps a touch tentatively onto the fire escape. And then, when it holds her weight, scrambles the rest of the way up at high speed. It's a bit terrifying, in the dark and the cold and the wet, but she can vaguely see the lights of the city through the pouring rain and she can probably catch herself if she falls. Probably. It's not worth worrying about, really.

The roof, when she gets to it, is even darker than down below and seemingly empty. She wraps her arms around herself, bounces up and down on her heels in frustration. Dammit, if he isn't here… "Clint?"

"...Katie?"

But no, wait. There's a slightly darker patch of shadow right by the edge of the roof. One that she missed in her initial panicked scramble, when she was too busy losing herself in thoughts of serious disasters and dead sort-of-but-not-really-well-mostly crushes.

She lets out a low sigh of relief, carefully picks her way over until she can crouch down next to him. "Clint. Thank god, I thought you'd gone off the building or something. What are you doing out here?"

"'Jus thinking," he says, a trifle blearily. Drunk? Or just crushed, as he usually is, under the pressure of being his chaotic self? "Hey, is Lucky okay? I probably shouldn't leave him in the apartment alone in this weather, he'll get scared."

"You dropped him off with me a few days ago, remember? Billy and Teddy are looking after him at the moment, so he's probably having the time of his life." She hesitates another moment, gently reaches out a hand to lay over his. "What were you thinking about?"

"Things," he says vaguely, remains silent for another moment as she valiantly fights the urge to just scream at him. "You know, what a sad sack I am. Why anybody puts up with me. Why I ever considered archery a useful skill. Those sort of things."

She's struck silent for a long moment, staring at him in the gloom. It's one of those days again, evidently.

"If archery is a useless skill then we're both out of a job," she says gently, and tightens her grip on his hand. "And, believe me, I'm not going to let that happen. Want to go downstairs and have some coffee? Or a pizza, or something? It might help you brood a bit better."

He just stares at her through the darkness, with an intensity like he can see more than just the vague outline of her through the pouring rain, and then gives a long sigh. "Why do you put up with me, Kate?"

"Because you're my best friend, doofus," She informs him lightly, instead of yelling how much she loves him right into his face, and carefully clambers to her feet. "Come on, let's see about getting you warmed up. I'll even make the coffee this time."

He remains in his heap for a long, worrying, moment more. And then heaves another heavy sighs, pulls himself up again. "Okay. I think I still have some in the cupboard."

It's not much, but it's a start. She smiles, and takes his hand as they head for the fire escape again.