Author's Note: Little drabble I wrote to go with an idea I have. It's not going any further than this, I had nowhere else to put it, so, ta-dah. Excuse mistakes. Enjoy.
The Hunger Games/Avengers
For days and days, he runs. He can't stop or they will find him. His muscles are aching, his lungs feel like they are on fire, but still he runs. In his hand is his bow but the quiver on his back is empty; it has been for days now. He pauses briefly, throwing himself at the trunk of a tree, leaning against it, trying to catch his breath.
There is only silence. Has he lost them? He cautiously edges out of his hiding place, eyes darting around him, waiting for a threat. He grips his bow in two hands now, ready should he need it. He dreads it though. He's never been good at close, hand-to-hand combat - that was always Natasha's forte. Clint wonders briefly if she is alright; he hasn't seen or heard from her in weeks.
Slowly, he edges out into the clearly, staring back the way he came, hesitant. It can't have been that easy? He looks behind him, in the direction he was running. He's completely surrounded by trees and he has no idea where he is. He frowns, still panting slightly, and starts to walk, deciding he won't be caught of guard again. He feels vulnerable without ammunition, too exposed in this forest. There is no path but he can clearly see the sky, which worries him. If the Chitauri are still following, they will be able to reach him easily.
Clint moves through the trees, relief flooding through him as the canopy gets thicker and thicker. He feels safer, if only slightly. He is cautious as he travels through the forest, still unable to identify where he is. He swallows, his hands clench into fists, and he thinks about the other Avengers. He hasn't seen Banner since the incident on the Helicarrier, but even then he was under Loki's control. Stark and the Captain stuck around until the very end, until it was completely over. Until it was obvious they had lost. He hasn't seen either of them since. Thor has disappeared. Natasha stayed with him for as long as she could until they both decided it was safer they split up.
Clint regrets making that call.
A branch snaps to his right and he tenses. Has he been followed? He grips his bow again, lifts it in front of him, and turns towards the sound. He hates having an empty quiver. If he had arrows it would all be over in seconds. He stares into the trees, slightly crouched, ready to run again.
There's movement but he doesn't run.
It's a girl. She is watching him warily, stepping out into the open. She has a bow, an arrow nocked and ready to fire. She looks no older than sixteen. Maybe seventeen? He is tense, bow still held in front of him but he doesn't know what he will do with an empty quiver. She might shoot him before he gets close. But she's so young-
He remembers how young he was when he started and decides he shouldn't judge. She has yet to say if she's friend or foe. Her dark hair is pulled into a braid, grey eyes narrowed. None of them move. Finally, he lowers his bow, sensing no danger. If she wanted to kill him, she would've shot long ago.
"You going to shoot me?" he asks but he can see her grip loosening on the string. She points the arrow at the ground, but keeps it nocked. She doesn't speak. Clint frowns, watching her intently.
He watches her, eyes fixing on her bow. It's homemade but magnificently crafted. Her bow has nothing on his, obviously, but he admits that it probably works as well as it should.
"Who are you?" she asks suddenly. Clint starts. This time he doesn't answer. They stare at each other and time seems to freeze. His training prevents him from giving his name - and he doesn't trust her. She doesn't trust him.
They've reached a stalemate.
They are each trying to stare one another down - and failing. The girl's face is impassive, indifferent. Stoic. He nearly believes that she's a spy with how easily she can conceal her emotions. She continues to stare at him, giving nothing away. He frowns.
"Barton," he says.
She raises an eyebrow. "What kind of a name is that?"
They fall into silence again as he waits for her to give her name in return but still she says nothing. He decides he'll change the subject.
"You any good?" he asks, gesturing to her bow.
"I'm alright," she replies. He nods.
"Prove it." He looks about him, eyes looking for a target. He points to a tree where he can clearly see a knot. He wanders over to it and points. "Shoot it."
She sighs and lifts her bow, pulling the arrow back. He holds his breath, refusing to move from the tree. She releases the arrow and it whizzes through the air, embedding itself next to his head. Right on the knot. He whistles.
"Only 'alright'? he asks. She gives a hint of a smile. He wonders if her skills are praised very often.
She's quiet, looking at him, clutching her bow in her hand. She seems to be arguing with herself.
"Katniss," she says. Her voice is soft, quiet. He cocks his head. She repeats, louder, "My name is Katniss."
He smiles. "Well, Katniss. It's nice to meet you."