Chapter Ten – Iscariot
Hel watched in amusement as her avatar left her father terrified, slowly beginning to withdraw from the connection that bound him to her. Once finished, her avatar mortal once more, she turned the grey orb of power that was their connection over in her hands. As she did so, her gaze fell upon the angry red orb pulsing at eye level about five feet from her throne, almost a foot closer than it had been before the battle.
Sighing softly, she murmured, "Oh, mine Avatar, mine Will in the mortal realm, what shall you do when you finally come face to face with the one who seeks to steal mine soul?"
Phil is vaguely aware that he is floating, his body a distant tether of which he is even less aware.
Sometimes, during his clearer moments, he can hear the beeping of machines and the whispers of the doctors and nurses, but it is always subdued and distant. However, he does know that they are wondering how he is still alive. Not that it really matters to him, because he's more concerned with how long Clint's going to take before getting around to pulling his soul out of the inky darkness.
Then, all at once, he is slammed back into his body, violently awake and so very alive – and unfortunately staring at Clint's unrepentant smirk.
Tony is not quite sure how it happens, but somehow his tower becomes The Tower of Homeless Superheroes/heroines. (Because Tony does not want to consider what Natasha would do to him if he were to forget to include her.) Frankly, only one of them was supposed to be living with him, so he's got no idea how the rest of them thought they had an invitation too.
Anyway, it starts like this.
Bruce does not get to leave Manhattan, because Tony refuses to let the one person in a 300 mile radius who can speak proper English just up and leave. And he refuses to believe that Bruce doesn't want to stay, because what sane person would want to leave his awesome research labs. (Not to mention his generally amazing self.)
About two weeks later, Tony leaves his lab at around midnight after a two day suit upgrading marathon to grab a cup of coffee so that he can power through for a third day, only to find Barton hugging his coffee machine whilst sleeping on his countertop.
Tony stops and just kind of stares at him for a moment before coming to the conclusion that he's suffering from a hallucination, and decides to get some sleep. Unfortunately, Barton is still there come morning and Tony can't say anything, because Bruce is just so damn happy looking, sitting there, talking to Barton and eating eggs, bacon, and are those pancakes? Which, of course, leaves Tony wondering where the hell Barton managed to find all that food in his bare-ass kitchen.
So, he doesn't bother complaining when he realizes a few days later that Jarvis, the traitor, went behind his back and gave the birdie a room. After all, pancakes. (However, he is somewhat disturbed by the knowledge that his robots have buddied up with the archer to make sure he eats. Damn traitors, the lot of them.)
Following that, he also knows better that to say a word when a certain spider appears at the breakfast table and tells him that she will be staying.
It ends with the Capsicle walking in sheepishly following behind a miraculously alive Coulson, like he's an overgrown puppy in need of a home during the middle of breakfast. (Something about an attempted kidnapping of the Capsicle?) This, Tony does protest. Well, tries to, at the very least. But the Capsicle's got these blindingly overwhelming puppy dog eyes and Coulson's wearing this really scary smile that makes Tony fear for his boys.
…And his life, but mainly his boys. So he shuts up.
Of course, this is when Coulson shows he really is capable of ruling the world, near death experience and lack of superpowers be damned.
Follow You Down
Phil, satisfied with his quelling of Stark, turned to the table where the rest of the Avengers, barring Thor, were gathered. (Even Steve had taken a seat, and, as usual, Clint had already begun the mothering process by giving Steve a stack of pancakes larger than his head.) "Mr. Banner, you are enjoying your most recent stay in New York, are you not?"
The man blinked slowly in confusion, but nodded as the rest of the Avengers shot Phil questioning looks.
"And your intent is to remain here, for so long as you are a member of the Avengers?"
Bruce nodded again, as Natasha and Clint fixed Phil with a hard stare.
"And, I presume that you are not averse to continuing to spend time in Agent Barton's company?"
Bruce gave a final, incredibly confused nod.
Phil smirked in response, before turning to Rogers. "And you Captain? What would your answer be to those questions?"
The two men shared a confused look as the rest of the team continued to stare are Phil.
Eventually, Steve nodded. "Yes, but what does that have to do with anything?"
Phil ignored the question. "Agent Barton, I have your new standing orders, which are to be followed at all times – barring the introduction of new elements such as missions and other extenuating circumstances. Agent Barton, effective immediately, you are to remain within 5 miles of Dr. Banner and Captain Rogers, as backup in the event that hostiles attempt to attack, harm or otherwise remove them from the equation. Agent Romanov and myself will assist you with this mission, as necessary. Your current base of operations is Stark Tower, although the location is subject to change. Also, on an unrelated note, Director Fury is no longer amused, Agent Barton, and is demanding that you come in for your debrief which should have happened almost a month ago. The Director has authorized me to use whatever force I deem necessary to bring you in. So if you aren't following me as I leave the building, I will tase you and drag you in by your feet."
Clint, gods love him, didn't even have the good grace to look sheepish as he stood to follow Phil.
Fury usually doesn't dislike his subordinates and agents, because for the most part they work together like a well-oiled machine and don't bother him. Of course, he doesn't count that damnable Agent Barton in with the rest of the organisation. In fact, right about now he could say that he actively despised that man. (And he thanked all the gods he knew that he had pawned Barton off on Coulson all those years ago.)
Case in point, Agent Coulson's... "survival". As if the man hadn't given Fury enough headaches over the course of his SHIELD tenure, Barton seemed to be going out of his way to give his boss an unremitting migrane. And Barton didn't even have the good grace to look remotely apologetic when faced with the evidence of his iniquity.
Most annoyingly, however, Fury couldn't even yell at the shit. Because no matter how impossible it was that Phil miraculously "got better" after Barton visited him, there was no way Fury was going to let those obnoxious little toadies that made up the Council know about magic.
That was why Fury couldn't legitimately ream Barton for the migrane he was currently sporting as a result of having to logically explain Coulson's almost resurrection, because technically Barton had nothing to do with it.
AN: Pancakes, the wonder food. (I will hear no argument otherwise!)
Anyway, I'm sorry this chapters so late, but my computer finally up and died, making it hard for me to type and post. (In fact, I'm only getting this posted because of the lovely school computers at my college, but such is life.) Which means that, not by choice, this is going to be my last chapter for a while. That said, I will still be writing, so hopefully I can have plenty to post once I get a new computer.
Ok, now that I'm finished with the serious stuff, on to reviews!
silverbluerose - Currently, Thanos is unaware Clint exists as anyone but one of the people who caused his plans to fail. Hopefully, this chapter cleared up some of your confusion, and I will say that the Tesseract would react - if he had been MoD near it. I am still working out exactly what being MoD means for this story, which unfortunately means a lot of holes. But I am working on closing those up.
Anon - First, let me say that your reviews give me so many evil ideas. I am, obviously, already working in mother hen!Clint, and giving Fury a permanent migrane. And of course Clint will continue being both BAMF! and MH!Clint. Unfortunately, the updating is getting even more sporadic, but I WILL try to keep up with it!
Everyone else - Thank you so much for reviewing! Seeing them all in my inbox makes me dance with glee! So, I hope everyone likes this chapter and please don't forget to review!