Welcome back avid readers! First of all, goodness to Odin! the response on my last chapter was just... wow! Yes ... I do accept that leaving it on that cliffy was evil on my part. Due to numerous requests and with the spare time I've managed to squeeze in between assignments here it is! I do plan to have a chapter out every week while assignments are still strong, but worst comes to worse it will be a a few days longer. REST ASSURED I will not be one of those guys who will leave you hanging!.
Shout out to j-mercuryuk, checkeredshirts, Myth Queen, Catunia, Amberleaf le Haunt, TigerToa,DyanaRoseJill. and the the anonymos guys who I couldnt personally PM you. Just to name a few this chapter.
guys rock mah socks off -can you see it? the rocking of mah socks. *fistpump*
Loki locked his eyes on the necklace that swayed gently between Clint's fingers, before slowly moving his them to face the one who was once beneath him.
"Where did you get that?" Loki asked darkly.
Barton smiled and began to roll the stone in his palms. The necklace's chains curled together, making a noise that caused Loki to flinch his head back slightly.
"Don't ask questions," Barton said.
Loki dropped his head, sliding his feet slowly to distance himself. He took extra care to soften the sounds. In any other instance he would not have felt fear. But this time, it was not Stark who held the stone, but Barton. He had been inside the mortal's head, he knew of what he was capable of. Loki began to laugh. Was justice finally catching up to him?
"What's so funny?" Barton walked closer. He gripped the stone closer to him to intimidate Loki.
Loki took a breath to calm himself.
"You believe this petty form of revenge can satisfy your delusions," Loki stated, to avoid disobedience.
Clint gripped the stone harder.
"Revenge only causes more violence, and violence begets violence." Loki tilted his head and smiled.
"You deserve everything you've been dealt," Barton spat. "And more," he added.
Loki smiled to himself and looked Barton directly in the eyes.
"Interesting," Loki pondered.
"Oh, do tell." Barton commanded.
"This notion of justice you have perceived, it is … how I can put it, ... delusional." He said
"Tell me, Barton, how many people have you killed in SHIELD's name?" Loki ignored the green pain that sparked up his arms.
Clint stood back abruptly. Loki's words were worming their way back into his head.
"Your 'justification' for killing is irrelevant. You've taken life, just as I have." Loki walked towards Barton.
"And yet… I answer to the laws of your realm, while you evade them. Interesting, no?" Loki winced again.
"Shut up!" Clint ordered, silencing Loki, who still advanced.
"We are the same, you and I." Loki advanced as the sparks increased up his arm.
Clint backed away as Loki advanced further.
"You kill as I kill…."
"…To further your cause." Loki pushed Clint against a wall, ending their dance.
"Obey!" Clint raised his voice.
Loki brought his face close to his prey.
"Your heart is as black as mine."
Clint closed his eyes, blocking out the poisonous words.
"Down," Clint said.
Loki, taken by surprise, fell to the floor with a thud. Lying on his back he tried to make sense of the situation. Why had Barton not fallen to his words? Loki began to push himself up in confusion.
"Stay down," Clint ordered again.
Loki's back hit the floor again, and he bared his teeth in confused frustration. Why had it not worked? How did Barton acquire his stone? Questions ran through Loki's head like Thor's lightning. Clint knelt down near Loki's head. The close proximity of the stone made the god recoil. The binding contract did not allow for contact with the stone, and he feared it. Clint looked at the stone and Loki's reaction.
"Guess you can't take it after all." Clint waved the stone closer Loki's face.
Loki pushed himself away, trying to remain on the ground to obey the order. Barton stood up and walked over, keeping the stone solid in his hands as he neared Loki again. Loki looked up, gazing beyond Barton's eyes, trying to find the answers.
"Who's beneath who now, huh?" Clint taunted.
Loki's face darkened in annoyance. Before he would allow Barton to humiliate him further, Loki flipped onto his stomach and remained low to the ground. Barton reacted by trying to stomp on his hands but Loki was quicker. In one swift motion his feet caught the back of Barton's legs, causing the archer to fall in the same manner he did. Barton landed with a grunt and rolled away.
"Get up," Loki heard Barton command and obeyed quickly.
Together the two men eyed each other down. Loki readied his fingers to draw his magic. Clint's fingers hovered over his own gun. Clint knew that when Loki disobeyed the previous orders, he would do so again.
"You will believe my words," Clint said.
Loki went still, eyes widening slightly, before he realized what was about to transpire and rushed forward.
Clint held up the stone.
Loki skidded to a halt and recoiled back. He knew there was nothing to fear, but he felt it coursing through his heart, his soul. He feared Barton. Loki continued to shrink back further, like a defensive animal. Clint looked at the stone appreciatively.
"I'm surprised no one has used this to change how you think. It's quite useful."
Clint made a false sudden move and Loki put his hands up protectively near his face. After realizing his movements Loki looked at his hands. Barton was nothing to fear. No being had used the stone in such a manner to alter his capacity to think. Loki's thoughts were his only freedom, and Barton was stripping him of his final power. Clever mortal, Loki thought.
"You are nothing."
Loki creased his brows.
"You are worthless."
Loki's face fell slowly into an emotion Clint could not read.
"Thor never intends to return for you."
Loki closed his eyes, feeling the fake despair creep into his heart. It was not real, nothing that Barton was saying was real. Why did you leave me, Thor? His mind replaced his natural logic to sadness, the same feeling from when he hung from the bridge.
I am alone.
Clint walked over cautiously to assess his work. He watched as the god opened his eyes slowly and looked at Clint. His emerald eyes had glazed over with an emotion Clint was now able to recognize.
Clint leaned in close to Loki's face and narrowed his eyes.
"Now you know how it feels to have someone inside your head," Clint whispered before he swung his fist.
Loki's head snapped back, but his stance did not falter. Clint swung again in the other direction and again. He vented all his frustration on the enemy. His anger increased when he realized he was doing no apparent damage to the Asgardian, only a slight redness to where his fist connected with flesh. If it had been any other human, their face would have been a mess.
No shit, Clint, the guy's got the same DNA as Thor, Barton thought to himself. It would take something much bigger to make a god bleed. Clint withdrew his gun from the holster; cursing himself at the carelessness for forgetting his arrows … it would have made an excellent end. Clint put the gun on Loki's shoulder and fired.
A flash of light.
Clint lowered his gun and looked at the wound. So Asgardians have a higher tolerance to long range attacks. Short range seems to do the worst damage, he thought as he watched the blood seep down further Loki's tunic.
Loki's face grimaced in pain but continued to dwell on his emptiness.
Clint looked at the god's face. He didn't feel anything for the man in front of him, he knew he deserved it. Clint looked at the stone in his hands. He wondered. The best revenge would be the put him in the public and let them punish him for his crime, but Clint wanted to end this … once and for all.
"Don't move," Clint commanded before raising his gun in front of Loki's face.
Loki looked Barton in the eye but remained silent.
Clint began to squeeze the trigger.
Steve had finally found the nearest post office after much frustration. He had walked the streets of New York back in his time, but shops and other business had changed. He waited in line happily, observing the familiarity of such an errand.
"Who was next, please?" Steve heard one of the staff say, and walked over.
"Just posting a letter, thanks." Steve smiled.
The girl blushed taking the letter to begin stamping send-off.
"Writing to your girlfriend?" She asked casually.
Steve looked down and smiled softly.
"Something like that."
Steve gave one last glance at the name on the letter.
"Sir, you're not having a return address?" The woman asked, pointing at the letter.
Steve gave a pause and then shook his head.
"Not for this, no."
When Steve left the post office he just wanted to walk off whatever he was feeling. He often heard Stark comment that his walks were a waste of time, but Steve disagreed. No one really 'walked' anymore, in this time. He noticed everyone was always in a hurry, always talking on their cell phones. He guessed it was a generational thing, but he still missed the old ways.
Steve turned around to a familiar redhead.
"Natasha," he greeted.
"What are you doing here?" Natasha asked.
"Nothing anymore, why?" Steve asked when he noticed the slight worry in Natasha's face.
"Haven't you been with Clint today?"
"Not after Thor left. I thought he was with you?"
Steve winced when strangers turned to hear the name 'Thor', he forgot to keep his voice down on the sensitive issue. Natasha grabbed Steve's arm gently and led him to a more private part of the street.
"I was with him this morning, but then he said he was meeting you guys for a training session."
Realization began to dawn on their faces.
"Everyone's out today," Steve said.
They looked each other in the eyes.
"I put the stone in a safe place. He wouldn't … couldn't … could he?"
Natasha's eyes narrowed at Clint's lies. Stupid ass, she thought.
"He could, and would," Natasha said, dragging Steve as they ran back to the tower.
Clint began to squeeze the trigger but stopped when something cold and familiar touch the back of his neck.
"Put the gun away." Clint heard Natasha's angry voice.
"Not this time, Tash." Clint leveled the gun at the god's face.
Natasha pushed her gun more harshly. Steve stood behind her looking at Loki's face, but frowned … something was wrong with his face.
"What commands did you give him?" Steve asked coldly.
"Ones he deserves."
"That's not your decision. Now put the gun down, or I'll make you."
Clint turned his head to see Tash in his vision.
"Why are you on his side? Don't you want to see justice served?"
"Justice has been served. I will not argue with Thor's judgment, and I doubt you want to either. Now ..."
"Don't stoop to his level," Natasha added.
Clint sighed and dropped his weapon. Natasha quickly grabbed the gun from the archer and handed it to Steve, who put the safety back on. Natasha roughly pushed Clint aside and keeping her gun trained on the god she inspected him.
"You shot him," she said flatly.
"What!?" Steve turned to Clint, who merely shrugged.
"The stone…" Natasha held out her hand expectantly without turning to Clint.
Clint reluctantly placed the stone in her possession, not wanting to place himself in the Widow's black book, which by now he probably had.
"Everything Clint commanded, I nullify," Natasha said.
Steve watched as something returned to Loki's gaze. This time however, it was different. It was not the same as when he had returned from Thor's 'yield' command … no … this was something different. Loki made a soft noise when his proper senses of pain returned. The god placed a hand on the source of the pain and inspected his hand. Crimson liquid covered his fingers and he flicked his gaze back to all those in the room. Loki stepped back when he noticed the Widow's metal contraption and the Captain. He felt betrayed by his own false assurances that at least the Captain would have intervened.
"Are you alright?" Loki turned his gaze to Steve.
Loki opened his mouth slightly but did not utter a word. Instead he immediately teleported away to a place within the tower, to remove himself from the archer. Loki winced at the pain using magic had caused, and the realization he would have to endure more if he wanted to heal his external injury. Loki had teleported himself to another floor near the large windows. Sliding down one of the walls to the ground Loki turned to look out the window. The commands from the archer had been removed, so why … did he feel so alone?
Why had Thor not returned after so many days?
Loki looked at his blood-soaked hands.
You are nothing.
Loki squeezed his eyes shut. Only he was allowed to use words to such an effect. He had to give Barton credit, his words had stung something unknown inside him. Loki wondered - was it unknown? Or a part of him he thought the void between spaces had claimed long ago...?
Loki wiped his face when he felt something warm run down his cheeks. He looked at his hands to find only more blood and laughed to himself.
His eyes had begun to bleed again. Had he already disobeyed that many commands?
Loki laughed insanely.
Only with madness, could he lose himself. He wanted to return to the void. To solitude. To the nothingness that he had fallen through. He longed for it.
An alert gets you a test ride in Stark's Mark I, a reviews gets you a test ride in Mark VII.
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