First Avengers fiction - I'm a little nervous! I hope you guys enjoy my little tale because I enjoyed writing it.
This was not beta'd so all the mistakes you find are mine...
I do plan on having this beta'd...I am in the market for an Avengers' fan to do beta work for more possible Avengers' fic's. PM me if interested. Thanks! Me and grammar have never been friend's, but we do try to get along as best we can.
I do not own or profit from anything Avengery...
Depravation Chapter One
Silence and darkness surrounded Clint 'Hawkeye' Barton – the perfect combination of torture for someone whose survival relied so much on his hearing and sight. Clint wasn't sure how long he'd been in the claustrophobic space – minutes, hours, or days it was all the same. The lack of sight and sounds made it impossible for Barton to know how much space was around him. It felt small but Barton could be in a warehouse for all he knew.
Clint was upright in a chair held in place with heavy chains bolted into what he assumed to be the floor. The clinking of the chains vibrated off of the walls once he got his stiff muscles to obey him once again – so it was a small space he was trapped in. The archer's arms were secured in heavy manacles behind his back and Barton was pretty sure his left wrist was either sprained or broken – it was hard to tell after the loss of circulation.
Whatever had happened had left Clint's body worse for wear. The pain went bone deep in his right knee, his left side and right arm. His face was relatively unscathed apart from a cut just above his right eye that leaked blood sluggishly down the side of his face. For the most part nothing other then his wrist appeared broken – cracked and painful yes, broken not so much.
Even though the room was already darker than night the 'bad guys' had decided a heavy blindfold was necessary – the scratchy fabric tied painfully tight over Clint's closed eyes. A thick rag – or two – had been stuffed into Barton's mouth with a thick strip of silver duck tape pressed over the archer's lips to secure the gag. It was impossible for the assassin to call out and demand his captor's attention or form a sound that reflected a word in general – if only to prompt someone to give him the knowledge of what the hell he was doing there and why.
When Clint had regained consciousness he quickly realized that 'they' were purposefully depriving him of his senses and control – whoever 'they' were. Clint had taken to humming around the rags to break the silence and rebel against his captor's plans on keeping him mute. In his mind Barton figured there was a camera or something that allowed his captors to watch him.
Most psychopaths enjoyed watching their hostages suffer. Honestly most of the people who had taken the time to chain the assassin up also took the time to torture and taunt him in person – the silent treatment was a new tactic and oddly it worried Clint more than he let show on his blank expression.
The humming lasted for a few hours or so – Clint mostly hummed his favorite songs from Tony's rock collection and a few of his personal favorite oldies – only to stop when the air began to get noticeably tight.
It took Clint mere minutes to come up with a short list of reasons for the air being thin in the room. The top reason was the one the Hawk feared the most – he was in a container buried in the Earth completely separated from fresh air.
Of course there were other, more probable reasons for the air being thin. The bad guys could simply have rigged the ventilation system in some way that they could control it and mess with his head and get him to break. There were probably other perfectly logical reasons as well – though Clint couldn't really think of any more. The master assassin was still hung up on his top fear.
To die in silent darkness trapped in what would end up being his coffin – unable to move or fight as he suffocated to death – was a nightmare.
Beads of cold sweat broke out over Clint's body as the panic rose within him. It took every ounce of self-control the master assassin had to slow his breathing – in and out deep through the nose – and hopefully buy himself some more time.
The team had to be looking for him – help was on the way.
Pushing the panic of his current situation aside Barton tried to remember the events that had led him to this place.
The day had started out normally enough. Except that Natasha and Thor were absent from the tower. Natasha had been called off to use her talents on a solo mission and Thor had gone home for some sort of festive occasion.
That left Clint, Steve and the Science Brothers on call in the Avengers' tower.
Steve spent the morning reading, grateful for the solitude since Bruce and Tony were locked away in one of the labs working on some project. Once the Science Bro's started working on something it was very difficult to get them to stop until it was completed – threats to the world were typically the only thing that worked.
Clint had spent most of the morning in the shooting rang – personal one on one time with his bow and arrows cleared his mind better than a breath of fresh air could. It was something that kept him levelheaded after the whole ordeal with Loki. Having your mind raped was not something someone got over quickly – Clint wasn't sure if he'd ever manage to atone for the murder and devastation he helped cause.
The other Avengers were more than supportive – they were the reason Clint Barton was still alive.
Natasha had barely left his side that first month – his silent period. After Thor had escorted his torturer back to Asguard Hawkeye had stopped talking – there was nothing to say. With his hands Clint had killed Shield agents – many of those agents were people he considered friends – as well as innocent people – saying 'sorry' just didn't seem to be enough.
Tony had insisted he and Tasha move into the grand new Avenger's tower with the others – which they did mostly because Clint was no longer welcomed among their coworkers in the barracks of Shield. Though most of the agents understood it hadn't been Clint killing their friends and comrades by his own free will there were those who didn't understand how Clint hadn't been punished for his rouge actions.
Ironically it was Tony that had finally gotten Clint to break his vow of silence. Where Natasha had been patient and silently supported her partner during his morning period Tony had taken Clint's silence as a challenge of sorts. His constant prodding and poking had eventually broken through Barton's thick walls made up mostly of self-loathing and overwhelming guilt.
With Stark and Natasha's supervision and the support of the rest of the team Clint slowly returned back to the land of the living. It wasn't long after he regained his voice that Clint 'Hawkeye' Barton regained his smile and the ability to laugh once again. Even Barton's dark sense of humor had been restored – much to Tasha's pleasure and the surprise of the other Avengers who hadn't known him before Loki.
Things had gotten better in some ways, but the nightmares still plagued Clint every time he closed his eyes. Flashes of memories of the time Hawkeye spent unmade – the things Clint had done and the things that he'd let Loki do tortured his still healing mind.
That night's imagery had been particularly hard on the archer's heart – thus Clint had turned to his favorite kind of therapy.
Another arrow flew through the air slamming in the blue center of the target. There were nearly twenty arrows filling up the space in neat rows – Clint had started at the bottom of the center circle and slowly filled up the space arrow after arrow.
"Nice shot, Birdbrain." Stark's voice sounded from the doorway.
Turning Clint smirked a bit as he eyed the casual figure of his comrade. "Finished with your little science project?"
"Hit a snag." Tony shrugged, pushing off the frame of the door to walk closer to his friend. "Turns out the materials we were working with have quite the explosive reaction."
A light chuckle escaped the archer as he turned back to the target. "Oh, so that's why the building shook a half hour ago." Clint loosed another arrow and lined up his shot. "I had figured Thor had returned." The new arrow was released into flight and landed solidly next to the previous arrow.
"Ha, well – " Tony shrugged off the comment. "No Prince of Thunder, just a couple of crispy scientists."
Barton snorted, eyeing Tony again. "A silly mistake for two of the world's smartest men to make, wouldn't you say?"
Acting hurt Tony grasped the front of his shirt over his glowing heart. "You wound me!" He claimed, but sobered and stepped closer to play the tip of an arrow lying on the table. "Mistakes happen when working with alien substances and that's all I'll say in our defense." Stark glared playfully at Clint before clearing his throat. "Well, that and it was Bruce's fault. Anyway, I came to ask if you'd join the rest of the guys and myself for lunch. Steve wants to try out some Japanese stake house downtown."
"The Captain, huh?" Clint narrows his eyes skeptically but places his bow aside as he sheds his armguard.
"Okay," Tony raises his hands in a sign of defeat. "I was craving sushi and got the Capsicle and Bruce to agree. So, you in?"
"Why not?" Clint nodded lightly. "It has been a while since I've had a good Dragon Roll."
As it turned out lunch didn't go exactly as planned.
Apparently the Avenger's Science Brothers were not the only scientists in the city experimenting with unstable materials that day. Except instead of a small controlled explosion the other idiots in the city accidentally turned themselves into freak-show super villains that warranted the Avengers stepping in to save the day.
One of the scientists had gained the ability to touch anything and spark a charge within its molecular make up that would cause it to eventually go boom. Thankfully Tony figured this out before any of them got to close to the guy – several pigeons weren't so lucky.
The second man grew twice his size and was currently demonstrating his new-found and rather impressive strength too Captain America and the newly transformed Hulk.
Basically the four Avengers had their hands full.
While Captain America and Hulk led their monster-scientist away from his partner Tony and Clint worked together to try and subdue Molecular Bomber – and yes Tony, that was a lame super villain name – from a safe distance. Hulk Wannabe for the second guy was worse though. Tony hovered around in the safety of his Ironman suit as Clint perched himself on top of a three-story parking garage and shot an assortment of arrows at his target.
Apparently MB got tired of being shot at from afar and changed his tactics – charging the entire first floor of the parking garage Hawkeye was shooting from before bounding away.
"Ironman!" Hawkeye growled, trying to get a lift before his perch blew him sky high, but Tony was still getting used to the gently – grabbing – someone – at – high – speeds – without – slamming – into – them thing. One minute Clint was standing on the edge of the building the next he was hit by the human-suit equivalent of a semi truck.
"Shit, sorry!" Tony fumbled mid-air to maintain his hold Hawkeye as the shockwave of the blast hit them. Dazed Clint tried to breeze through a checklist of his bones and what might be broken from the impact of his friend. Of course it took the assassin a second to realize Ironman still hadn't actually gotten a hold of him yet.
With a frantic final grab Tony managed to snatch the Hawk's free arm causing Clint to stammer squawk up at his supposed savoir. "Loosen – loosen your grip, fuck Stark, you're crushing my damn arm!" The grinding of his wrist bones nearly caused the archer to scream and his only relief was when Tony dropped him unceremoniously on the street.
Unable to get his feet under him the normally graceful Hawk rolled on the street – curling in tight to lessen the damage to his body.
"Gee, I save your life and the first thing you do is yell at me! That's gratitude for you!" Ironman ranted, landing next to Clint as he rolled to a stop on the ground.
"I really need to buy you a dictionary." Hawkeye hissed up at Ironman whose head was tilted downward looking at the assassin's sprawled out form.
If Tony's mask wasn't blocking his face Clint could imagine a look of confusion. "That wasn't at all completely and frighteningly random – exactly how hard did I hit you?"
"Hard enough." Clint snapped climbing slowly back to his feet.
"Okay, so why the dictionary?" Tony pressed curiously stalling while Jarvis covertly ran a quick scan of Hawkeye's body for signs of serious injury. Apparently the collision hadn't done too much damage – just badly battered Hawkeye's body. Bone deep bruises and a possible slight concussion depending on what Clint said next.
Hawkeye flexed his painful wrist – the skin already bruising into the shape of Ironman's hand – before glaring back at Tony. "You clearly need to reacquaint yourself with the word 'soft.'"
"I'm called Ironman, not Fluffy-Pillow-Man." Stark shot back as he moved closer to get a better look at his teammates abused wrist. At least Clint didn't seem concussed – at least no more then usual. "How bad?"
"I'll be fine," Clint switched his bow back to his injured hand before glancing around at the quiet street. "Where'd Molecular Balls go?"
"Bomb, not Balls."
An explosion cued them in on Clint's question and the duo were off to rejoin the fight.
As it turned out the affects on the scientists of mayhem – also a lame name Tony – were not permanent. Once they reverted back into boring old – although still significantly insane – scientists the men were easily subdued.
After the fighting had finished Captain Bully and Ironmotherhen both forced Hawkeye to be checked out by a waiting Shield medical personal and promptly abandoned him as they tried to go un-Hulk Banner.
Sitting the back of the med-bus Clint silently allowed his wrist to be manipulated and several of his more painful bruises to be poked. His only protest sounded when one of the men pulled out a syringe.
"There's no need to give me anything." Barton waved him off quickly the archer always had an aversion to pain meds. They tended to cloud his mind, which was dangerous for someone in his profession. Clint couldn't aim if he couldn't see straight.
The man glanced at the others with him for what looked like reassurance before turning back to Clint. "We insist." The man's sharp little smile was enough to catch Hawkeye's attention – something was not quite right about these medics.
Hawkeye wasn't sure, but he believed he fought with those men until one of them managed to stab him with that damned needle. Everything else was a drug haze blur before he woke up in this silent dark hell. Whatever they had given him had been fast acting and was probably the reason why his mouth was so damned dry now.
A hopeful sound broke Clint out of his thoughts – a solid metallic thud on the top of his cage.
At first the assassin was relieved, thinking he was finally being rescued – dug up from the Earth and would be freed from his would-be grave. However after the sound of scraping metal Clint's situation became much more dire. Water poured down over him like a waterfall, thick sheets of saltwater rained down soaking his skin as it quickly filled in the darkness – measured only by how fast his body was being submerged.
Clint's theory about being buried in dirt was wrong and his frantic heartbeat agreed that this reality was much, much worse.
Unable to successfully scream out his frustration Clint put his full effort into stopping himself from hyperventilating from his growing terror. His head was spinning unable to get a sufficient amount of oxygen into his shallow lungs – only able to inhale the quickly vanishing air through his nose.
Without being able to see Clint's torment only grew in intensity – he was going to drown in this silent darkness lost and completely alone.
Not silence – Barton reminded himself weakly. Over the rushing sound of the water filling in his coffin Clint could hear the sound of metal striking metal muffled outside of his cage. Unsure of what was creating the noise Clint decided to think on the positive side and die believing that the sound was Tony attempting to rescue him.
When the water reached his chin Hawkeye had a choice – prolong his death or give in. Never one to do things the easy way Clint took in a couple of deep practice breaths through his nose before holding onto the air as the salt water covered his face.
Fully submerged Hawkeye's lungs began to burn painfully as the sound of metal on metal came to a sudden stop.
Silence fell over Clint again as the darkness and water suffocated his life away. In that moment of painful realization Clint recognized the sound had probably been some sort of machinery built to open his cage and let the water in to snuff out his life – not Tony. There would be no rescue and he was really going to die in this watery hell – it was over.
And then suddenly there was a new noise – a high-pitched hum that was joined by a shrilling scratchy metal sound. When his arms were freed Clint immediately used them to rip the blindfold from his face. Iron manacles still circled his wrists heavily but Hawkeye was grateful he could move them once more. Ignoring the sharp sting of saltwater in his eyes Clint opened them and looked around to see Ironman had joined him in his coffin and was currently using a lazar to cut through the metal bindings still holding his ankles firmly to the chair.
Hawkeye's lungs felt like they were going to explode within him as he waited impatiently to be completely free. He struggled to hold on for a minute more before he reached out to Tony's suit – the dark spots in Clint's eyes were over powering him and Tony hadn't freed his legs yet. Grabbing the man's shoulder Barton hoped that Tony wouldn't feel too bad that he was too late.
Darkness consumed Hawkeye as he finally exhaled the air from his body and the water rushed freely down his nose and into his lungs – Clint knew that he would die but was grateful in his death he could once again see and that he didn't have to die alone.
I think this is the worse cliff hanger I've ever done...I'm sort of proud in a twisted way. ^^;
There will be more to the story, I promise! Probably not until next week though. This week and weekend is going to be mega busy!
Thanks for reading! Drop me a line if I managed to make you smile ^^