OOM

Sep. 27th, 2015 11:01 pm
hasthehighground: comfortable in a crowd (at home in a crowd)
Clint walks out of the building with Doctor Jan Li, walking together but not talking. He looks tired, but otherwise well -- he's healed up, so his gait is easy.

He spots Natasha about halfway down the sidewalk, and a smile curls in the corner of his mouth.

He turns to Dr. Li, who looks and spots Natasha as well. They exchange a few words, and shake hands.

Clint tucks his hands into his jeans as he gets closer, stopping a couple yards back.

"Hey."

Avengers 5

Aug. 2nd, 2015 10:24 pm
hasthehighground: In SHIELD gear, looking serious and tired (Default)
He doesn't find out from Fury, or Hill, or even Natasha -- he finds out in a half-destroyed shawarma restaurant from Stark. Mid-conversation, mid-meal, haphazardly eating because there's still food in front of them.

"What?" he asks, to Natasha, who's gone still. Her leg muscles bunch up under his foot, her face cautious, and that's how he knows Stark isn't just -- isn't wrong.

"Clint," she says, and breathes. "Phil's -- Loki killed him."

He shoves back from the table, Stark and Rogers' voices a blur behind him. Maybe Rogers tries to follow, but no one actually does.

An abandoned mid-town, one night only.

He stands up, wiping the vomit off his mouth, and rests himself against the bus stop shelter. It's almost cold outside, and his eyes close.

19 years, and Coulson's just...

He didn't know.

--

Eventually, Natasha comes out first, and silently takes up watch by his shoulder. They don't speak, and the sound of the other Avengers talking as they come out is muffled like his hearing aids are miscalibrated.

He reaches up to touch one, then decides against it. Even if they are, he doesn't want to fix it.

Natasha catches it, though, and leans slightly against him, tilting her head towards him.

He shrugs her off, gently.

They keep watch on each other for the rest of the night.

Avengers 4

Aug. 1st, 2015 10:05 pm
hasthehighground: Natasha emotionally grounds Clint ([natasha] sometimes the world falls)
She knocks him out, and she talks him down when he wakes up.

You can't think about that, Clint, she says, like he won't drag up the numbers once this is done.

Once this is done.

He has to wait for this to be done.

She sits with him, shoulder to shoulder, and he asks what Loki did to her -- her eyes, the green of old Coke bottles, look away.

Phil once told him Natasha would burn the world down for him, and maybe Clint didn't believe it.

"Tasha," he says, voice rough.

He kisses her before he showers -- soft, against her cheekbone by her eye, hand cupping her chin, and again to her lips. She breathes out, like relief. She's precious to him. She'd dragged herself back into war for him, and he'd forgotten.

He has to find a way to tell her.

Once this is done.

He has to wait for this to be done.

Avengers 3

Aug. 1st, 2015 05:16 pm
hasthehighground: ([heartwashed] intense)
Clint doesn't pace. He stands, steady in the purloined Quinjet as it signals its arrival to the Helicarrier.

It's easy. They should have changed the codes.

(In an operation this large, codes remain active for up to 48 hours post-change. It's just not feasible to change them in time. He helped run those calculations last year.

He almost smirks.)

He motions to the pilot to lower the back and walks out, positioning himself. He sights the turbine casing, and breathes as he feels the wind currents. Then he turns, to loose the arrow in the direction that will force the turbine to bring it to itself.

He doesn't look back. He can feel it hit. The pilot lands, and he detonates the package.

--

Sitwell's sitting at the computer Clint needs. Sitwell's the one who suggested the USB arrow.

Clint wonders if Sitwell knows he's turned. If he has, he'll have told Fury about the arrow.

(But if this doesn't work, he can do close to as much damage by putting the next one through Sitwell's neck.)

The arrow works perfectly. SHIELD R&D has never been anything if not efficient. Fury has never been anything if not closed mouthed.

Sitwell has never done anything less than trust him entirely, eyes widening at the arrow as he glances back up.

One of Fury's bullets ricochets off the wall next to Clint, and he withdraws.

His boss is in the holding cells, and Banner will be unleashed soon enough.

--

Clint's striding down the catwalk to the detention center, listening to the thrum of the turbines through the metal walls. Something's wrong. The back starboard engine is being restarted. It's sick, but it's coming to.

That's all right. Thor and Banner have been managed. Rogers and Stark are small game, in comparison. And the goal of this mission is to eat up time for Loki's allies to make their mark, for Loki to escape. Clint's going to facilitate his boss's transfer now.

Clint doesn't speed up, pace steady, but he feels -- there it is. A whisper of fabric behind him. Someone who can take advantage of the range of his hearing aids.

Romanoff.

He turns.
hasthehighground: facing away from the camera thinking (the sacred geometry of chance)
Clint hasn't been hanging out in the cells today, beyond a brief pit-stop in the morning to say hi. He knows she gets let out and, frankly, probably doesn't want him there while she talks to Security about what she promises her best behavior going forth.

He wouldn't want her there, at least. She might laugh at him.

Instead, he has the table closest to the exit from the hallways to the Security office, with a book he's reading and headphones he's not actually listening to. He's just not really interested in talking to anyone other than Nat.

And a pair of purple headphones won't dissuade her.
hasthehighground: leaned back casually, expression neutral (yeah I'm cool)
It's been a day since their talk, and Clint still hasn't figured out what to ask her (or even what he's supposed to ask her).

He has, though, remembered something he needs to tell her.

Clint finishes wiping down the kitchen counter -- Natasha cooked, he can easily clean -- and tucks his hands into his pockets, walking out of the kitchen proper to lean against the bar, watching her.

She's on the sofa, reading some book, and overall looking pretty peaceful. He feels, briefly, guilty -- but this is important.

"Hey, Tasha?"
hasthehighground: SHIELD logo (S.H.I.E.L.D.)
Clint didn't sleep great last night. Natasha was jetlagged, so she claimed the couch, and he woke up a couple times wondering if that's really why she did it. If Natasha's uncomfortable sharing a bed, that should be fine -- she's full capable of making her own decisions. But... he didn't mean her to think she wasn't welcome.

("Do you want to see me?" she'd asked, as if he might actually say no.)

It's stupid. He gets over it.

-

Clint doesn't concentrate that well at work, either. The coffee doesn't seem to be helping as much as it should be, and what they're currently doing isn't strategy-oriented, it's just... the standard stuff.

Clint likes the standard stuff (when it's not expense reports), but it's not exactly engaging.

The intra-office chat client on his computer blinks after lunch (he didn't really eat lunch).

"Clint," Beamon writes. "I can hear you stressing."

Clint looks down at his hands, which are completely still, and can see what she means. Metaphorically.

"Take the lady to the zoo or something. We have three meetings Monday, and I need you on the ball."

He acknowledges the message, and packs up his stuff.

-

Clint has a cigarette in the area just outside the doors before he leaves, because these days in San Diego he can basically only smoke here and on the roof of his apartment, and he's pretty sure the last one might be illegal.

After that, he buys a hot dog, and sits on a bench as he thinks about whether or not he should head back. Natasha might not want him there.

It's his house.

He goes back for his car.
hasthehighground: Natasha and Clint being quiet and happy at each other ([natasha] relaxed)
After lounging on the couch, they get a grab-bag of bagels and fancy cream cheese from the bar for breakfast.

("Living the high life," Clint says, pulling out a packet of cucumber dill cream cheese.

"I told you," Natasha replies, corners of her eyes crinkling as she purses her lips as if to hold in a smile. "Glamorous.")

If they were less tired, the conversation after storing their food would be longer, and Clint would be laughing into Natasha's calf as he massaged her worn legs instead of into her ear as he promised he'd take care of them in the morning before putting his hearing aids on the bedside table.

But the fact that they end up sprawled on the bed, with Natasha curled over Clint and his free hand loosely in her hair, more comfortably asleep than they would be anywhere strange alone, well. That doesn't change.
hasthehighground: In SHIELD gear, looking serious and tired (the job)
It's a day. It's a beautiful day. The sun is shining, the air is breezy, and Clint's sitting in his cubicle trying to complete his latest expense report.

It's a Thursday. His reading glasses are sliding off the end of his nose, and Henry is humming/muttering Carly Rae Jepsen songs in the cubicle across from him. Clint's pretty sure he hasn't realized.

Life as usual in the glamorous world of clandestine activity.

Clint stretches after finishing the fifth section (out of seven). When he goes to get an apple from the breakroom, Schmidt's sitting on the counter, watching the television with the hyperfocus of any good sniper.

He feels obscurely proud of his sort-of-protégé, then he realizes she's watching "--Golf?"

"Shh," Schmidt says, putting a spoonful of yoghurt into her mouth, freezing. Clint shushes obligingly, and leans back against the counter.

The guy putts the ball into the hole. The crowd cheers, and Schmidt swallows her yoghurt.

"Fascinating."

"Shut up."

Clint bites into his apple, intending it as a sarcastic reply, then his work cell rings. He pulls the apple right back off his teeth and puts it down; Schmidt hops off the counter and mutes the television.

"Barton," he greets.

"Has Romanoff contacted you in the recently?" Koskinen's voice is tighter than normal, urgent.

"No," he says, immediate and surprised. Schmidt tilts her head to the door, offering to leave, he shakes his head. "Should I expect her to?"

"Unsure. If she does get into contact, let us know."

"I will. Can I ask what's going on?"

"No. Try not to be stupid." Koskinen says, and there's the buzz of an empty phoneline.

So his best friend is missing, and he isn't being told why.

Life as usual in the glamorous world of clandestine activity.

Fuck.
hasthehighground: leaned back casually, expression neutral (yeah I'm cool)

After Clint writes his notes but before he comes back from the bar, he grabs some bread, eggs, and maple syrup, because when a man promises French toast he's sure as hell gotta deliver.

There's no noise from the bedroom, and the clock says it's still the same time he left, so Clint grabs a sheet of note paper and writes a third note. Knowing Natasha has something on her is going to calm his nerves a bit.

This letter takes a lot longer to make than the other ones, because Clint has no idea what jobs Natasha is going to take in the near future or who he should pretend to be for the letter. He edits, and re-edits, several times in his head before settling on what he finally writes down:

 

Civilian letter )



Clint narrows his eyes at it, scanning it back over. Yeah, he's pretty sure that's soppy enough. Romance has never been his strong suit. He folds it and unfolds it a couple dozen times to give it a worn look, while listening to the early morning news, then sticks a salt shaker on it to weigh it down.

He starts work on breakfast, once he hears the shower start up. The only thing worse than no french toast is cold french toast.

hasthehighground: Natasha and Clint being quiet and happy at each other ([natasha] relaxed)
Following on from this post.

In the rafter over her head, there's a guy in civvies reading a book (something old, battered, and by Louis L'amour) and drinking coffee out of a thermos.

Not that she doesn't know that-- one thing he likes about Natasha is that she can be trusted to look up. It's been a long couple days; it's nice to just relax. Clint figures they'll actually talk when he gets a refill, or if she gets bored.

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hasthehighground: In SHIELD gear, looking serious and tired (Default)
Clint Barton

February 2017

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