gelbes_gilatier: (Just another Lorne)
[personal profile] gelbes_gilatier
Title: Who Knows No Mercy
Fandom: The Avengers (2012)
Rating: T
Genres: more gen than het but with Clint and Natasha, one never knows...
Summary: "Since the day the world nearly ended, the ship is silent. It has nothing to do with her engines having been temporarily taken out of service for a complete overhaul and everything with so much being so loud in Natasha Romanoff’s head."
A/N: Oh, look, I wrote another one. I, uh, don't know where they're coming from but they're suddenly just there. Anyway. This was... difficult. Natasha was being a little difficult and Clint had his share of it as well. But, as you can see, they didn't keep me from writing it, I hope you enjoy this coda for them.

PS: You'll find the translation of the lyrics used as an introduction below the story.

Who Knows No Mercy

Ich brauch einen Freund mit weiten Armen
Ich brauch einen Freund, der kein Erbarmen kennt
Der mich zu Boden ringt, ich tob und rase
Ein Tuch mit Äther über Mund und Nase

Ich brauche tiefste, schwarze Nacht hinter meinen Lidern
Ein Gift gegen den Schmerz in meinen Gliedern
Ich brauch einen Schuss Feuer in meine Venen
Ich brauch eine Bahre, Blaulicht und Sirenen


Ich brauch, ich brauch, ich brauche Licht
Bring mich nach Hause
.“

Wir sind Helden, „Bring mich nach Hause“

Since the day the world nearly ended, the ship is silent. It has nothing to do with her engines having been temporarily taken out of service for a complete overhaul and everything with so much being so loud in Natasha Romanoff’s head. The thoughts that populate her mind are loud enough to drown out any sound the ship might give off and Loki’s voice is the loudest of all.He keeps screaming at her, telling her how he would use Clint against her, to end her existence.

He’s loud enough that he keeps her from sleeping, at night when the graveyard shift runs the ship and the rest of the crew is sleeping soundly.

So Natasha takes up the habit of spending the night moving one way or the other, calculating that the steady rhythm of footsteps or punches or shots would lull her mind into the detachedness this usually brings her.

Natasha is wrong.

Instead of pushing all the voices – Loki’s and Banner’s and even Clint’s and a million more – out of her mind it gives them rhythm, structure, repetition. With every step and every punch and even every shot, Loki taunts her, manipulates her and Banner growls and crouches and is about to kill her and Clint asks her how many agents he killed. Their screams and grunts and questions mix with hundreds of death screams, surprised gasps, pleading voices…

Step for step for step for step for step for step

I won't barter Barton! Not until I make him kill you. Slowly, intimately, in every way he knows you fear. And then he'll wake just long enough to see his good work, and when he screams I'll split his skull!

Step for step for step for step

Tasha, how many agents?

Step for step for step

You brought the monster.

Step for step

He’ll wake long enough to see his good work.

Step

Do you know what it’s like to be unmade?

Step

When he screams

When he screams I’ll split his skull! I’ll split his… I’ll…

Kick. Hard. Against a wall. Resounding with a metallic clang along the entire corridor. The sound of her breathing mixing with the echoing clang, being left behind alone after a split second. Breathing. Breathing. Breathingbreathingbreathing. Frustration pouring out of her and promptly forming anew finds its outlet in another kick and a slap against the wall and Natasha recognizes the corridor by the sound her hand makes when it connects with the metal.

Her only reaction is taking up the run again, listening closely to her feet and trying to ignore the pull towards a door, ten feet ahead of her. It beckons her and appeals to her, even pleads with her and maybe it’s the first time ever the Black Widow listened to someone pleading to her because she finds herself stopping at the door and opening it after all.

There’s quiet here, and a slight chill and eerie cold light from several feet away seem to be the only things welcoming her for a moment until a figure seems to peel out of the shadows surrounding the ledge she’s standing on. She doesn’t move, knows she’s in no danger from him. After all, Natasha knows Clint almost as well as, maybe even better than herself.

He doesn’t wear a hood but he might as well. Natasha expected piercing blue eyes, rivaling the chill in the room but she gets clouds in his eyes and just the merest hint of recognition before he readies his bow and perches himself at the edge of the balcony again, aiming into the twilight of the empty hangar they’re in. A hawk in his nest ready to strike and she doesn’t even cringe at the analogy. What’s the use if it’s true, after all?

She stands motionless in the bulkhead frame, watching him as he draws his bow, an arrow between his fingers and after an hour or maybe just in the blink of an eye he lets fly. There’s no sound of impact from the depths of the hangar but they both know Clint hit his target.

When he takes another arrow from the quiver, she considers leaving. Leaving him with his demons, the agents he killed, the civilians he couldn’t save, the god he couldn’t kill. They don’t always do that; talk about mission, that is. Often, their brand of therapy rather involves a work out or maybe violence that only includes the two of them. But usually, Clint doesn’t ask Tasha, how many agents? and usually a god doesn’t ask her Is it love? and she tells him love’s for children because she thinks it isn’t for her.

Silently, she closes the bulkhead and walks to the opposite side of the balcony, passing Clint by. He doesn’t move, keeps his bow trained at a target that’s probably there only in his mind. But she knows him. Knows his body. Knows how to detect a microscopic shift of his stance that acknowledges her presence, lets her trespass into territory he’d have slit other people’s throats for.

She sits down on a crate to his left and watches him emptying his quiver. Arrow after arrow goes down into the dark, fighting off an invisible army of demons and ghosts and Natasha is torn between wanting him to stop because the voices in his head won’t be that much different from those in hers and he won’t quiet them with either of his arrows and urging him on, hoping for deliverance from the voices in her head if he just shoots as many arrows as he can.

In the end, she keeps sitting on her crate, her back against the railing around the balcony, silent. At the almost undetectable sound of his string when he releases an arrow and draws the bow again and his steady rhythm she feels her breath evening out, deep and relaxed and she doesn’t lose awareness once, not even when she closes her eyes but it does take her a moment to open them again when the string doesn’t sound anymore and she feels Clint’s gaze on her.

When she opens her eyes, she does it slowly. She doesn’t stare at Clint but she holds his eyes with a steady gaze, searching for the clouds from before and only finding weariness. There’s an inexplicable amount of relief deep down in her heart. It increases inexplicably when his mouth turns into an equally weary smile. “Miss the sound of the engines, too?”

Natasha doesn’t shake or nod her head, just turns to the depths of the hangar bay. She hears a rustle of fabric, his suit’s fabric and a click she knows to be the sound his bow makes when he folds it to put it away. “Tasha?” She forces herself to look back at him and the look in his eyes reminds her enough of the look he had when he asked her Have you ever had someone take out your brain and play? that it tugs at her heartstrings. “I shot a couple for you, too.”

His quiet admission, almost offhandedly, too, elicits a smile from her, knowing whoever he wanted to hit with those arrows wouldn’t have gotten the mercy of a fast death. She thinks he deserves an actual verbal answer for that. “I hope you shot some for Agent Coulson as well.”

There’s a cloud across his face again, and this time it’s a dark one, like a thunderstorm. It’s only there for a moment and then it’s back to weariness but traces of it can still be heard in his voice when he rasps, “Enough that they’ll haunt Loki even in Asgard, wherever that might be.”

Natasha smiles again, more sad than anything else, remembering the moment she heard that Coulson was dead and the moment she had to tell Clint about it. She didn’t cry and she’ll most likely not do so now but she admits that she’s pretty close to when Clint sits down next to her, close enough that their thighs are touching and draws her to him, no buts allowed.

He keeps an arm around her shoulders but doesn’t apply pressure, just lets it rest there when she turns away from the deep dark whole the hangar is and to the warmth penetrating Clint’s suit and the scent of leather and a bit of oil and Clint. She lays her head down on his shoulder and she closes her eyes and never fully relaxes. It’s okay, though, because Clint doesn’t either and as long as she doesn’t let go of all the tension inside, she’ll stay awake enough to take comfort from his presence and the arm around her shoulders keeping her close.

Love, she thinks finally, may truly be only for children but what she has with Clint is only for her and him. And it’ll last them longer than what Loki might have thought they had. She realizes, after breathing Clint in and feeling him doing the same at the top of her head that the secret to quieting down the voices in her mind enough that she doesn’t have to fight them with movement and distraction is to listen to that one voice and to never let go. As long as they don’t, not even Loki can defeat them. Natasha smiles, just for a moment. She knows that even days and weeks and months after this they’ll still draw strength from this one moment. They’re going to need it.
~*~ 

“I need a friend with wide arms
I need a friend who knows no mercy
Who wrestles me to the floor, I clamor and tear
A rag with ether on mouth and nose
I need deepest, blackest night behind my lids

A poison against the pain in my limbs
I need a shot of fire into my veins
I need a stretcher, blues and sirens

I need, I need, I need light
Take me home.”

Wir sind Helden, “Take Me Home”

Date: 2012-05-13 10:15 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mileya.livejournal.com
I so, so love this. The characterisation is spot on and this is a scene that wouldn't seem out of place in the movie (in fact, I'm kind of sad we didn't get to see sth like this)

I love how they are stronger together and I love the way they communicate without a lot of words. Just perfect.

Please keep writing them! I need more Clint/Natasha in my life.

Date: 2012-05-14 08:57 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] gelbes-gilatier.livejournal.com
Aw, thank you! I'm so glad people like it :D

Please keep writing them! I need more Clint/Natasha in my life.

I might have one or two more bunnies... ;)

Date: 2012-05-13 10:15 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] workerbee73.livejournal.com
the secret to quieting down the voices in her mind enough that she doesn’t have to fight them with movement and distraction is to listen to that one voice and to never let go.

Gah, I love it. I'm so glad you wrote another fic. :)

Date: 2012-05-14 08:59 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] gelbes-gilatier.livejournal.com
Gah, I love it. I'm so glad you wrote another fic. :)

Thank you! I'm so glad you wrote your fics (and hopefully keep on writing them ;))!

Date: 2012-05-14 12:50 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sgteam14283.livejournal.com
I love this. You did such a wonderful job with both Clint and Natasha and I can really see this happening between them.

Date: 2012-05-14 09:04 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] gelbes-gilatier.livejournal.com
&hearts I'm so glad you like it! You're like... my first fellow Clint/Natasha fan :D

Date: 2012-05-15 04:03 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sgteam14283.livejournal.com
hee! We can squee over them together and how awesome they are at kicking ass :D

unrelated(ish) note: I really need a Clint/Tasha icon...

Date: 2012-05-14 12:12 pm (UTC)
inkvoices: (avengers:hawkeye and black widow)
From: [personal profile] inkvoices
So many gorgeous ideas and phrases in this, like Natasha recognizes the corridor by the sound her hand makes when it connects with the metal and But usually, Clint doesn’t ask Tasha, how many agents? and usually a god doesn’t ask her Is it love? especially, I love those, and I love how you've kept their words verbal exchanges brief but loaded, just as in the film.

“Miss the sound of the engines, too?” and “I shot a couple for you, too.” Fantastic and oh, kids.

I like how you kept the edge of tension going all the way through as well, right to the end line of They’re going to need it, not letting the reader relax any more than Clint or Natasha could.

Date: 2012-05-14 09:36 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] gelbes-gilatier.livejournal.com
So many gorgeous ideas and phrases in this

*blushes bright red Thank you!

I love those, and I love how you've kept their words verbal exchanges brief but loaded, just as in the film.

Thank you! I was trying to achieve exactly that impression and I'm so glad you saw it like that :) I figured that they know each other so excruciatingly well that they don't need big meaningful words to have big meaningful conversations. That's what I love about them.

Again, thanks so much for your review :)

PS.: Love your gorgeous icon. In fact, all the icons you posted at [livejournal.com profile] be_compromised are gorgeous!

Date: 2012-05-15 06:55 pm (UTC)
inkvoices: (avengers:natasha)
From: [personal profile] inkvoices
Yes, there scene together after Clint recovers is so sparse verbally, brilliantly done! And you capture that really well :D

Aww, thank you! This film has taken over my brain. I swear I spent the whole weekend just playing with pretty pictures, heh.

Date: 2012-05-17 12:26 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rodlox.livejournal.com
a perfect examination of her mind...you opened her brain and took a look around, but in a way far better than Loki did.
(that came out wrong)

I enjoyed the way she deals with the voices, and the understanding she has with what Clint doesn't say (ie about the lack of a quick death)

this was very touching, very heartwarming the mutualness of them.

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