Lucidity

-Maven Alysse

Avengers fanfiction

Summary: Loki's imprisoned on Asgard and his magic is bound – but that won't stop him from taking his revenge on a certain Agent.

A/N: Warning: DARK fic. This is a 'non-redeemed' Loki story, who wants revenge. As such, there will be mention of of torture, sexual assault, attempted rape, and mental manipulation [nothing graphic, though]. Deliberate mutilation of a character.

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Lucidity

Loki paced his room, fingers clenching and unclenching in his fury. No one had visited in months, not after he'd nearly killed the attendant who brought his meals. They'd left him alone "to contemplate his sins". He had nothing to occupy himself with other than his own thoughts. Thoughts of his true parentage, of being rejected by the man he thought of as 'father', of Thanos, of his humiliation upon Midgard.

His magic hummed beneath his skin, suppressed by the choker around his neck that tightened at each attempt at a spell.

A moment of thought and a crazed smile crossed his face. His magic couldn't react outwardly, but perhaps … inwardly …

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The whisper caressed his ear. "Hawkeye. My Hawk. Never forget, I don't give up that which I call my own."

Clint Barton woke with a start, shivering in the cool air. The hairs on the back of his neck stood at attention. Tri-colored hazel eyes darted around the room while he shuddered with cold in his bed. Nothing. The room was empty. The feeling of being watched slowly faded and Clint scrubbed his hand over his face, knowing he wouldn't get any more sleep that night.

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Loki sank into his trance the following night, having regained his energy, winding down the thread, slipping into Barton's subconscious, whispering, whispering, until he could find a way to do more than just whisper. "You're mine, my Hawk. You will always be mine. I don't let go of that which is mine. You will never be rid of me." He could feel Barton's unease, and he smirked.

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Stark glanced blurrily up from his mug of coffee to see Barton shuffle into the kitchen. The archer grabbed a mug for himself and deliberately sat in a sun beam, soaking in the warmth like a large cat. Tony frowned at the long sleeved sweatshirt, long pants, and socks the other man sported, and blinked at the shiver that raced through Clint's body as the man took his first sip. Tony tilted his head, knowing JARVIS kept the Tower at a constant 73 degrees. "Cold?"

The Agent nodded, hands around the mug. "A bit." A sigh. "Probably coming down with something." He basked silently for a few minutes before rising to his feet, taking the mug with him after another shiver wracked his form. "I'll check in with Medical once I hit headquarters. See you later, Stark."

Stark nodded at the retreating form, putting the odd occurrence out of his mind.

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Loki discovered that he could either send himself to whisper to his Hawk every night, or be patient for a day or two and visually manifest himself within the dreams. He smirked, knowing what his choice would be.

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He stood on a roof in full uniform, but without his bow. A quick check told him he had no communications, either. The city lay preternaturally quiet and his skin prickled as the air turned cold.

"Hawkeye."

He smoothly spun about, body tense. "Loki."

The trickster god stood before him in green and gold robes. He smiled sharply, teeth gleaming in the light. "We have some unfinished business, you and I." He paced closer, eyes roaming over his form.

Clint held himself ready, unwilling to show his unease. "I owe you an arrow in the eye. Beyond that, there is nothing between the two of us."

A low chuckle made him tense further. "Ah. That isn't so. You are one of mine. I chose you. I don't willingly give up that which is mine." He took a step closer.

"I'm not yours, Loki," he stepped backward, maintaining the distance between them, painfully aware of the edge of the building behind him.

The god kept pace, "On the contrary, my Hawk. You always will be." He reached a hand out to stroke his face.

Clint shook himself awake before the god could connect, brow furrowed, shivering as cold air touched his skin. He rubbed his face as he swung his feet over the edge of the bed. It had been a dream. Just a dream. Wasn't it?

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Unable to touch, yet, Loki took his amusement in taunting the archer and changing the scenery in his dreams at random moments to throw him off-balance. The taunts were returned with equal venom, which delighted him; and the archer regained his equilibrium quickly. He found his fascination for the man increasing; his Hawk's defiance set his pulse racing and he found that his motivations for visiting had changed. No longer content to merely punish the mortal for the audacity of escaping his hold and attacking him; to use the dreams to set him off-kilter and unhinge him, perhaps cause him to commit suicide – now he wanted the mortal to writhe beneath him; to crave his touch and call him Master as he took his own pleasure from his body. For a mortal, his Hawk had a magnificent physique, honed to perfection through his vigorous training regime. If the man did well, perhaps he would keep him.

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A few weeks after the first encounter, Tony was once again in the kitchen making love to his caffeine goddess when Barton stumbled in looking half-dead. Tony cast a critical eye over the archer. Clint wore winter-weight clothing, despite the current temperature. "You feeling sick, Legolas?"

Barton frowned, rubbing one hand up and down an arm. "Nope. Just cold."

Tony handed over a mug of coffee and flinched. "Dude, your hands are like blocks of ice." He peered closer at the other. Dark circles had begun to show beneath the man's tri-colored eyes. "You're beginning to look like I do after a marathon inventing spree. Not getting enough sleep?" He leaned forward, eyebrows waggling in a leer. "Is the lovely Agent Romanoff keeping you from your beauty rest? And if so, please share details."

A wan smile was the response. "No. Just … odd dreams."

"What kind?"

A shrug. "Not really sure. Just that they're disturbing; I get that itchy sensation between my shoulder blades like someone's watching me. When I wake, I feel like I haven't slept at all. Don't suppose you know anything about it?"

The engineer snorted. "I have better things to do than watch my teammates sleep." Tony leaned back in his chair. "Well, maybe Natasha, but she'd gut me if I did. Not to mention Pepper. So, nope. You must just have an overactive imagination."

With a shrug, the Agent rose from his seat and gave a lazy salute, cradling the mug between long fingers as he left the room.

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It had been five days since his last visit and Loki felt his anger grow as Barton ignored his taunts. The man had curled up in a window seat in a treehouse, staring down at a field of wild flowers. An odd dream, in Loki's eyes. Storming over to the mortal, he reached out and grabbed him by the shoulder to pull him from his seat, startling them both when he actually connected.

Barton rolled out of reach, eyes wide, his body posture defensive.

Loki grinned as he advanced.

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The two figures moved smoothly across the mat as they sparred back and forth.

A faint frown crossed Natasha's brow and she took a half-step back. "You're dropping your right guard." To anyone else, her voice sounded curt; annoyed, even. The fact that she'd commented on the weakness rather than relentlessly exploiting it was her way of expressing her concern to her partner.

He flashed her a tired grin, "Sore muscles. Must have slept wrong."

"I thought you looked tired." Strange since they'd had nearly two weeks of downtime from their last op and she knew Clint had gleefully taken to his bed. She stepped forward again, aiming a punch at his midsection.

He twisted, let it pass him, then trapped her arm between his side and his arm. "Odd dreams."

Ducking, she freed her arm and rolled forward, coming to her feet behind him as he whirled to face her. "Oh?" she let the faintest hint of a question color her tone, inviting him to explain if he wanted.

"Felt like someone was in my room watching me. I couldn't settle." He dodged her first punch, caught the second on his shoulder with a wince, but hopped over her leg sweep and barely managed to block her roundhouse kick.

Her frown deepened at his slower reflexes. Granted, she was the better of the two in hand to hand combat, but he usually managed to tag her a few times during their sessions. If he wasn't sleeping, it could affect him in the field, and she wouldn't accept that. "How long?"

She ducked and weaved away from his own two punch combination. "A couple of weeks."

She held a hand out, indicating a time out. He leaned over, his hands on his knees; she could hear his breathing a touch harsher than normal and pursed her lips. "Stark?"

Clint shook his head. "I asked. He said no." At her narrowed gaze he raised his hands, "Hey, I believe him. He's spent the last week or so holed up in his lab with Banner. He's trying to convince the good doctor to let him run some experiments. From what I got from his babbling, he's hoping to be able to open communications between Banner and his alter ego. Get them talking to one another." He shrugged. "It might be the key needed to keep the Hulk from going off the rails."

She mirrored his shrug, then attacked without warning, grabbing his arm and flipping him to the ground, pleased when he automatically rolled with the motion and came smoothly to his feet. "JARVIS?"

Again, he shook his head. "JARVIS' active scans feel different from his passive scans. And neither of those felt like this."

She blinked at that, off-balanced. "You can tell the difference between when JARVIS is passively scanning and actively scanning?"

"Yeah," Barton blinked at her. "Can't you?"

Her response was to dive at him again.

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Clint struggled as Loki grabbed him by the wrist with one hand and his throat with the other, slamming him into the wall. Effortlessly, Loki lifted him several inches off the floor, dangling him by the throat, his skin so cold, it burned. With his free hand, the archer clawed at the hand around his neck, desperate to take a breath. The fingers tightened, cold as iron bars and just as unmovable. Clint's vision darkened as his lungs burned to take in air.

Loki laughed, the sound echoed mockingly in his ears. Just as he thought he might pass out from lack of oxygen, the god pressed himself flush against him, pinning him to the wall with his own body. The fingers loosened, allowing Clint to gasp for air, only to choke once more as frigid lips pressed tight against his own. The trickster's tongue, as cold as any icicle, slid relentlessly between his lips and plundered his mouth, numbing him from the inside. He began to shiver as his body temperature dropped.

Loki pulled back to smirk at him. "Oh, this is fun," came the dark murmur. "Helpless and at my mercy." He ground his hips against him, groaning. He kissed him again, bitingly, and Clint could feel the god's arousal against his thigh.

The room began to warm and a flare of annoyance shone in emerald green eyes. "It seems we are out of time for tonight, my dear Hawk. But do not worry, sweet one. I shall return and we will eventually be united." He caressed Clint's cheek in a parody of affection, Clint turned his head away, hearing the god laugh.

Then, he was alone.

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Clint woke, shivering, feeling bone cold. He felt warm air blowing from the vent above the bed. "JARVIS?" his teeth chattered and he pulled his blankets closer about him.

"I wish to apologize, Agent Barton. My sensors indicated that your room had become dangerously cold. I'm attempting to rectify that situation. Are you well?"

He felt the shivers slow as he warmed. "I'm fine, JARVIS. Thank you."

"You are quite welcome, Agent Barton. If you have no objections I shall continue monitoring the temperature within your suite."

"No. That's fine." He rolled over onto his side, attempting to ignore JARVIS' scan and fell into a fitful sleep.

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The next morning, Barton grabbed a mug of coffee and left the kitchen without even a nod in greeting. Tony was used to anti-social behavior, he'd practically invented it, but this was odd for the archer who acted as if he'd never even noticed him sitting at the table.

Tony frowned. "JARVIS?" He pulled his Starkpad closer.

"Yes, sir?" the AI inquired.

"Pull up the footage from just before Barton retired last night and run it side by side with his kitchen appearance this morning."

"Yes, sir."

He had not been imagining things. Barton had bruises around his wrist and throat that were not there the night before. They had not been called to assemble in a few weeks and any bruises Natasha might have inflicted would have appeared long before the man retired.

"Are you detecting anything odd in Hawkeye's suite?"

"There have been some issues with the temperature control in Agent Barton's room. Scanning the data, it appears that approximately once a week over the past several months, the temperature gauge registers his bedroom as being ten degrees colder than the rest of his suite for sixty to ninety minutes before returning to normal. Last night, it dropped nearly twenty five degrees. I had to increase the heat in order to keep him from hypothermia."

"Hang on, just the bedroom?"

"Yes, sir."

"That's not right. The whole Tower has central air. Whatever temperature they set their suite for, the entire floor should maintain that temperature." He muttered to himself. "Have maintenance check the sensors, will you, JARVIS? If the air conditioning is acting oddly who knows what else it might affect. It would explain why Barton's been so cold lately."

"Very good, sir. They should arrive later today."

"Good." He finished up his coffee and dumped the mug in the sink. "I'm going to talk to Barton."

"I'm sorry, sir. But it appears he has left the Tower. I believe he had a meeting with Director Fury."

"Damn." Tony scrubbed at his face. "Alright. I'll talk to him later. Let me know when the repairmen arrive, JARVIS."

"Very good, sir."

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Three months passed and through trial and error, Loki realized that four days of rest before attempting to visit his Hawk meant that he could physically touch the mortal within his dreams. They'd fought on several occasions, with Barton giving as good as he got. Loki had even woken to blood upon his lips, to his delight.

However, when he could be patient, he found that a six day rest gave him partial control over the dreamplane, including manipulating some of what the agent could or could not do.

He'd whipped the man on two separate occasions; the sound of the leather whistling through the air to crack against flesh, wringing cries of pain from the proud mortal, brought him to ecstasy, but left him wanting more.

On the two following visits, he forced Barton to his knees, grabbed him by the back of his head, and shoved his organ down the man's throat, choking him; callously using the man's mouth to bring himself to completion.

Watching the man's helpless struggling against his control, as well as the rage within blue green gray eyes, filled him with satisfaction as he forced the other to kneel at his feet and worship him.

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Loki slid into the dreamscape, and stepped into Barton's subconscious, the action becoming easier with practice. With a thought, he froze the archer's astral form; this, also, becoming easier with practice. "Hawkeye," he purred, running a hand across the broad shoulders, fingernails catching lightly along the back of Barton's thin cotton t-shirt and the nape of his neck, leaving behind light pink welts. "Aren't you glad that your Master has returned?" The man glared at him and Loki smirked at the barely repressed shiver beneath his palm.

He gently traced his Hawk's lips with the pad of a finger, marveling at the control he had over the mortal as the man tried to pull away. This was so much better than the tesseract; fighting against Barton's will added spice to the domination. "While our last few encounters have been … pleasurable. We've played long enough, I think." He grinned at the flare of panic and leaned closer, his breath ghosting along the shell of Barton's ear. "It's time to show you exactly who you belong to, and after tonight you will never have a single doubt about it."

He clamped one hand around the agent's forearm in a bruising grip, and tugged him closer delighting at the flare of pain and hatred in greenish blue-gray eyes.

With a pointed thought, he twisted the dreamscape to suit his whims, smiling at the large four poster bed that now dominated a luxuriously appointed room. Manacles hung from each post in silent promise.

Barton's breath stuttered in his chest and he actually broke free from the other's mental hold and managed to dig his feet in to keep from being dragged forward. The agent twisted his wrist slightly, giving a yank, and Loki had to scramble to keep his grip on the man. Snarling, he grabbed Barton by the shoulders and slammed his back up against one of the poles, earning a pained grunt and re-establishing his mental hold on the other. "When will you learn, Barton, that you are no match for me? I shall do what I wish with you, and today, I wish to claim you." He leered, "If you choose not to fight, you might find it pleasurable as well, but either way, you will ever be mine, my dear Hawk."

With hooked fingers, he grasped the collar of Barton's shirt and tore the fabric; his nails scored three long gashes along the archer's left pectoral. Blood welled up from the scratches and with a smirk, Loki dragged his tongue over the wounds, delighting in the flavor. He felt a shudder run through Barton that caused ripples throughout the room and he chuckled, lapping up a few more drops.

His voice dropped to a whisper as he pressed himself closer, trapping the agent between himself and the bed post. "I will have you chained at my feet; kneeling and doing as I say, for all of eternity. By the time I am through with you, you'll not even give a thought to disobeying. You'll willingly obey my every whim, and submit to me as your Master." He shamelessly ground himself against the man as he captured Barton's mouth with his own.

A sharp pain startled and alarmed him as Barton's teeth clamped down on his tongue. A muffled scream clamored it way out of his throat as he tore himself away, reflexively backhanding the mortal and sending him to the ground.

Blood welled and dripped down his chin. Through garbled shrieks of rage, Loki clapped a hand to his mouth and stared at Barton in horrified shock. The archer crouched a few feet away, bright greenish blue-gray eyes boring into his own with a gleam of avid fascination. The mortal hawked and spat blood and a piece of tongue onto the floor, absently wiping at the blood on his chin, smearing it into a deathmask.

Hawkeye rolled smoothly to his feet and stalked toward the trickster god. "My turn." The agent connected with a powerful uppercut, and sent the mage staggering backward.

Instead of the soft mattress of the bed, Loki landed harshly upon his back on a metal table. Straps instantly appeared across his chest, trapping his arms, as well as across his waist, thighs, and ankles. Bandages wrapped around his hands from wrist to fingertip, hampering their movements. He struggled against the bounds, mouthing threats and imprecations, ignoring the fresh stabs of pain from his damaged tongue, ignoring, also, the panic that welled in his chest as he was unable to manipulate the dreamscape.

"Thanks," came the graveled voice beside him. "I wondered when you'd do that." Barton stared dispassionately down at him, arms crossed over his chest, one finger absently tracing one of the gashes.

Loki blinked, brow crinkling as he stared, swallowing convulsively as blood continued to well in his mouth.

A faint sardonic grin lit upon Barton's lips. "You tasted my blood," he said, as if that explained everything. "You had the upper hand on the dreamscape due to the remnants of energy from the damned tesseract."

Still not comprehending, Loki shook his head, but he felt his skin turn cold at the gleam that appeared in green blue-gray eyes.

"Do you know what lucid dreaming is? No? It's when a person who is dreaming realizes that they are dreaming. In a few rare occasions, they can even direct how the dream will go." His gaze pierced the bound god. "I've been vaguely aware that I was dreaming of you for months, but until some of the injuries you inflicted carried over to my waking life, I hadn't realized it was more than that. So I started to research." He paced away for a moment, returning with a small rolling table. Upon it sat a covered tray, that made the mage squirm in the straps in foreboding.

"And I found that you would have continued to have the upper hand on the dreamscape had you not tasted my blood. You allowed the connection to work both ways." A harsh edged smile cut across his face "And as this is my mind, I have home court advantage, so to speak." The smile slid into a cruel smirk, "Not that you can, or will. Speak, that is."

With mounting horror, Loki watched as Barton removed the towel to revealing several sharp scalpels, needles and thread, and a small brown bag folded closed. The agent examined each instrument in minute detail. "I've spent quite a bit of time the last couple of weeks at the local university talking to the Professor of Mythology and Folklore." A thin razor sharp grin flashed. "It's amazing what information there actually is that relates to Asgard in general, and you, specifically. Loki, god of fire. Mischief maker. Chaos wielder. Born to two Frost Giants. 'Course, our information is a bit off. We have you listed as a close companion to Thor, but not raised as his brother. Did dwarves really sew your mouth shut?" the question was so dispassionate, it took a moment for it to register.

Once it did, Loki twisted and strained, trying to break the straps, or loosen them enough to free a hand, where he could then cast one of his few non-verbal spells, but the bandages and the straps held firm.

"I'm not sewing your lips together," Barton mentioned, testing a scalpel's sharpness. "It's been done before and obviously had no effect on you." He raised the scalpel, letting light gleam off the blade. "God of Lies. Silvertongue, they call you. Let's see if that's true, shall we?"

Loki screamed his rage and terror, until he was no longer able to as he suffered through the agony of having his tongue and vocal chords removed. Nearly insensate from the pain, he barely noticed when the archer made deep cuts along the backs of his wrists, as well.

Barton tapped his cheeks, bringing him back to awareness. "You still with me?" He flashed a smile, one as cold as a Jotan winter. "I told you I did some research, right?" Barton's calm voice was in startling contrast to the harsh exhalations the maimed god issued forth as he continued to 'try' to scream in his pain. "Well, apparently there used to be this plant up on Asgard that when left in a wound could even keep an immortal's accelerated healing from working. Not even magic could help. According to the legends, the gods had it destroyed." Barton picked up the brown bag and opened it, pulling out a sprig of leaves with a few red berries clinging to the stem. "Funny thing, though. It's pretty abundant here on Earth. We decorate with it during our winter celebrations."

Loki closed his eyes in despair, recognizing the plant as mistletoe, the very plant he'd used to kill Baldr.

Barton crushed the plant and pried open Loki's mouth, coating the root stump of the mage's tongue. He then proceeded to pack the hollowed out area in his throat where his voice box once lay, as well as within the cuts made on his wrists. The sap burned like molten lava, causing him to convulse as his body reacted to the shock. He barely felt the sting as Barton carefully sewed the incisions closed.

"I thought about killing you. And I'm sure at some point I'll probably regret leaving you alive. But for now I'll just take satisfaction in having hurt you nearly as much as you've hurt me." The conversational tone was more chilling than if the archer had ranted and raved.

Loki wondered if he'd snapped the mortal's grasp on reality with all his mind manipulations and abuse. If he had, he felt no little satisfaction at his accomplishment and of having chosen the archer to be his own. Even insane, if that was truly the case here, Barton still possessed the dedication to detail that made him so formidable at his job. His Hawk was even more fearsome when wounded – he would take great delight in breaking the man once he'd recovered from this.

It wouldn't be easy, he could already tell. Once he woke, he'd have to take stock of what damage bled through the astral. Only by having the afflicted step outside their body and have someone cut free all of the damaged tissue could you cure an Asgardian, or a Jotun, of mistletoe poisoning. He'd then have to have that someone heal at least his hands so he could heal the rest himself. Difficult, indeed, but Thor still thought Loki could be redeemed. It would be child's play to get his brother to help him. Then he would return to punish his Hawk.

"Oh. Before I forget." Barton traced a rune on his forehead that burned with sap. He felt his limbs grow heavy and something knot in his chest. His eyes flew open, locking on Barton. Still solemn, the agent answered the unspoken question. "It's to keep you from wandering. Once I kick you out of here, you won't be able to astral walk anymore. Not without reciting the proper incantation with your own tongue. I don't plan on telling you what that is and..." He snapped his fingers and the removed organs burst into flame.

Loki wailed silently, horror stricken, though a small part deep inside quietly applauded at the trickery.

"I told you I did some research." Barton backed away from the table. "Goodbye, Loki." The archer vanished, leaving him alone in his bonds.

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"Brother? You must waken. Father wishes to speak with you."

Loki blinked awake, flat on his back on the stone floor to the feel of Thor's large hand shaking his shoulder. He rolled onto his side, struggling to sit up. His limbs ached, especially his wrists.

Thor pulled him to his feet, where he swayed, his shocked gaze locked on where he could see shiny white scars along the backs of each wrist.

"Brother? Are you unwell?"

Loki raised his gaze to meet Thor's concerned look. He swallowed with difficulty, horrified by the empty feeling in his mouth where his tongue used to be.

Thor reached a hand out, brushing hair from his forehead. "What mischief is this, Brother? Why do you carry the rune of binding upon you?"

Loki tried to speak, mouthing the word, 'Barton', before dark spots darted over his vision as his throat exploded with pain. He grasped at his throat with clumsy fingers, hearing his brother's alarmed shout as he collapsed into oblivion at his feet.

started: 11/23/2012

ended: 12/16/2012

word count: 4784