Warning: none to speak of.
Pairing: Hawki (Hawkeye/Loki) friendship
Disclaimer: I don't own The Avengers. I make no profit from this.
Author Notes: Just a little fun with our God of Mischief and Master Assassin Archer.
A groan of confusion broke free from tired lips.
Clint's head thrashed a little in his sleep as he dreamed. He could practically feel a presence in the back of his mind. Calling to him. Trying to comfort him.
But that didn't make sense. The only person he'd ever felt in his head had been Loki, and he'd been manipulating him from the time they met. He'd controlled Hawkeye's mind and made him turn against his friends.
And he was back on Asgard.
Clint sat up with a gasp. Legs tangled in his sheets as he looked around the room.
He was alone in his room of the Avenger's Tower. It was still dark outside and there wasn't a cloud in the sky. Granted, with this group that didn't mean a whole lot. He sighed as he ran a tired hand through his hair and untangled himself so he could stand and walk to the window.
He pressed his sweat drenched forehead against the glass and let the cool seep into him.
The feeling of eyes on him made him open his eyes and look around for where ever the threat was coming from.
There was nothing in the room that he could see. No threat. No one.
The thought made a shiver run up his spine. He never had a problem with being alone before Loki. But ever since... he'd be disquieted by the thought that he was the only one in his head. There was no one watching over him. No one to help guide him if he needed it.
And there were times in his past he wished he'd had someone to guide him. Tell him when a plan was stupid. Loki had been different. He'd been... trying to help in his own insanity twisted way. And Clint couldn't really begrudge what he'd been trying to do. He didn't want others to have to suffer the indecisiveness that had befallen the young Asgardian prince before. The feeling of the need to do better.
Have the most power.
Clint shook his head and walked out on to the open air balcony. The cold, fall air hit his face and cooled his overheated body. "Loki... if you're out there. I wish you could know that ... I understand why you did what you did. Hell, I even forgive you. Your methods were bat shit. And people don't truly need freedom from freedom. We all just need ... guidance from time to time. And the knowledge that it's okay to ask for help. We've gotten to the point that ... it's considered weak to want to get help from others." He sighed and laughed to himself. "I'm talking to someone on another planet, in the cold, on an open balcony, in my pajama pants. I sound insane. And someone I'm suppose to hate at that!"
"It's not crazy to want guidance," Loki's voice floated from the railing far to his right. The misty image of Loki sitting perched on the rail watched him. He looked regal. Elegant.
"You look good," Clint said after a few moments of staring.
"I know. But ... Father, mother, and ... Thor were able to help me. I'm not ready to leave Asgard yet. But I could feel you," Loki replied. "That's why I'm here. Like this."
"You can feel me?" Clint asked, a little shocked. Disbelief flooded him for a moment. "Why would you care about me, of all people?"
"I have my reasons," Loki replied quietly.
"You gonna share those reasons? Or is this a late night game of twenty questions?"
Loki looked distant for a few moments before turning back to Clint. "I feel bad about what I've done and I don't want you to hate me. I saw more than someone to serve me when I changed you. Even in my manic state I ... I felt a connection to you. I wanted to have you near me. To help me. Perhaps, even stop me. And in the end... you and your friends did stop me. And for that I am eternally grateful."
Clint laughed a little, the sound was frail and taken away by the wind as soon as it left the archer's lips. "A connection? To me?"
"Yes. Why is that so difficult for you to understand?"
"Because. Despite the fact that you tried to take over the Earth; Midgard as you call it, with your army of inter-dimensional aliens. You were a Prince on your Home world. A prince! I've never been anything more than ... a kid with a few tricks up my sleeve. Even amongst the rest of the Avengers. I'm completely human. There's not thing special about me. I'm an assassin."
"And that makes you more human than any of them," Loki replied. "I know I am a prince on my world. But ... I too was just a boy with tricks. No one ever took me seriously. I believe that is one of the reasons I acted out the way I did. I ... I did not have friends. Not the way Thor did. They were his friends. Not mine. Too many saw him and regarded me as someone to tolerate, for I did not often stray from my brother. He is a good person to be around. More so now."
"But you wished for people to see you as more than Thor's brother?" Clint asked. "For a long time my identity was only as a circus performer. Hawkeye ... the trick archer. Yeah, some great way to be known. No one really knew me. My brother left the circus and turned to a life of crime. When I tried to stop him, I was accused of the crime. No one would listen to me that I was innocent. And so that's what I was known as. A criminal from the circus. Until I made a name for myself as an assassin."
"Yet you help your world?"
"It's worth it for the people that never got the chance to tell their story. To make others feel safe."
"What kind of tricks did you do?" Loki asked as he watched Clint.
"Lots of different ones. All with a bow. You ever going to visit Earth again?"
"Not for a while. But perhaps you could visit Asgard. I believe there are others that would also enjoy a display of your skills."
"Maybe. But we don't have a Bifrost and we gave the tesseract back to you," Clint replied with a small laugh. "Though, it's nice to be appreciated."
"Indeed," Loki replied. He sighed and closed his eyes, almost like he could feel the wind on his face.
"Can you actually feel that breeze?"
"In a way."
"Really? That's cool. So... anything else you wanted to talk about?"
"Nothing of particular import. I enjoy your company," Loki replied as he hopped down off the railing. "I can somewhat feel the air and the ground. But not as I would if I were truly by your side."
"You like being around me?" Clint asked, disbelief clouded his voice. "Why would you want to spend time around a boring human?"
"You are far from boring, Clinton Barton," Loki replied.
"You do realize you don't have to say my full name every time," Clint replied with a small laugh. "It sounds a little ... too formal."
"Then what should I call you? Hawkeye?" Loki asked as he gave an adorable headtilt.
"Clint is fine. Or Hawkeye. Whichever. People call me both. Well, my friends call me both," he replied. He sighed as he sat down on the deck lounger and looked over at Loki. He could actually see some of the city lights and stars through the other man's image. "I can see through you."
Loki laughed at the comment. His face lit up with joy for a moment before he calmed and looked back. "Yes. That is because what you see is merely a projection of me. I told you I was not truly, physically here. Is there anything you would like to talk about, Hawkeye?"
Clint looked over and felt a swell of ... something in his chest. He smiled a little before looking over. "Thanks, Loki."
"You are welcome," Loki replied as he let a small smile grace his own features.
Clint couldn't help the smile that came to his own face as he watched the demigod smile. The expression seemed to light both their features and lighten the mood considerably.
Several minutes or hours passed, though neither seemed to mind. Clint moved between watching the stars and watching Loki at regular intervals. Both seemed to soothe his racing mind and restless body.
"You should get sleep," Loki said at last, breaking the comfortable silence as though they hadn't just spent the better part of two hours not talking. "You humans are fairly ... fragile. At least in body. Though your minds are truly fascinating."
Clint gave another head shake and a smile.
"It's true. We do need our sleep."
"Then rest well. Clint Barton," Loki replied formally. "Rest, and know that I am watching you, Hawkye."
Clint lay back on the lounger and quickly drifted off. He slept peacefully, his mind filled with some ancient song, sung in a beautiful masculine voice and the feeling of a friend watching over him.