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Clint darted through the trees, running as he did. He weaved among them people fleeing in the opposite direction. A roar erupted through the trees and Clint made sure the mask he wore was tightly around his face. He had his swords on his back, one long one short. A belt of shurikens were nestled tightly. He moved toward the sound, his booted feet running a lung the fresh snow and dead leaves.
The police radio has listened a disturbance. But it was still early into a call. It would be a while before the police arrived. They'd shut down exits and deal with it then. Clint came to a clearing and ducked low behind a tree, dressed in all black he blended in with the shadows of the dark sky. Out ahead he could see the source of the large roars.
Out before in a small clearing was a bear. It stood thirteen feet tall on its back legs, letting out another roar. The beast covered in a mixture of fur and scales. It hard large green pustules showing beneath the skin, in clumps. This matched the green in it's eyes. Clint followed the eyes to the mouth, two large rows of teeth lined it. Snarling and drooling. He shook his head, this was a lot different than thugs, but should be nothing he could handle. Right now he was really wishing for his bow.
Rushing forward he drew his short sword. Sliding underneath the beast's legs as it came down he tried to cut the underbelly. It didn't budge, didn't cut. The blade barely made a scratch. The bear dropped down on all four legs and turned quickly on the man. Clint rolled out of the way just in time for it to come down with its front paws. It swatted and pawed at him, but Clint rolled and dodged as it did.
Moving back Clint got to his feet. He tried to run but the bear was faster. Moving past him and skidded to a stop and let out a roar. Clint stopped in his tracks and started to back peddle, reaching for his shurikens. Grabbing three he stuck them between his gloved fingers and launched them at the beast. They bounced off but it was enough to stop it from attacking. Clint just had to get close with his blade, this was the only way.
He was in way over his head. Some kind of mutant bear with claws and teeth. He had swords and nothing seemed to hurt it. He needed backup, but he couldn't exactly call Wanda or Sam. Hell he couldn't call anyone, his phone was at home. But this was well above what he could do. But he couldn't leave, and he couldn't let it leave the park. Very least he could preoccupy it till someone else showed up and then flee the scene.
What he wouldn't give for Tony or Rhodey right now. Hell even Scott going big would be better than flicking rocks at it. He was going to die
Although life in New York was very, very different to Asgard - and most other cities throughout the Nine Realms, truth be told - Thor liked to think that he was adaptable. He had not broken any of Tony's technological aids in the past week, for example, and he had made an effort not to step into traffic so much after the incident with the taxi driver who had gotten irritated with the dent that Thor had made on the bonnet.
Technically, he was still fairly sure that one had not been his fault but the Midgardian had been very insistent and apparently an apology had not been good enough. Immense respect was not something he expected from his human friends, let alone from strangers on the street, so he had merely stood through the abuse, apologised one more time and offered to fly the man's passengers to their destination.
That had shut them up.
Another Midgardian custom he had come to expect was the presence of sirens. When the sharp klaxons sounded, there was either trouble that needed their law enforcement, a flaming danger or someone who required immediate medical attention. Thus, when he heard them, he tried to drop whatever it was he was doing (today, coffee) and head (fly) in their general direction to offer assistance. He had not made it to the source of the noise when he came across civilians running through the street below and sharply changed his direction.
Seconds later and he was nearly above the scene - once a public park, now almost empty save for one lone man, with a familiar gait, and the formidable beast that he was facing. Green. Fur and scales. Thor could not identify it - as Midgardian or anything else - and the man seemed outmatched. Crashing to the ground, he landed between the pair and spread out his arms, facing the creature. "Friend, this need not escalate into further violence," he said, staring up at it and doing his best to calm it. "The humans mean you no h-"
A swipe of the creature's paw sent Thor flying, his side crashing into a tree and causing it to topple over. "Very well," he muttered, standing up again and dusting himself down before throwing Mjølnir at its chest. It was at this point that he got a good look at his human ally and Thor's face spread into a wide grin, opening his hand to return his hammer to him. "Clinton! It is good to see you again! How have you been?" It was strange to see the man without his bow. Perhaps they had fallen out of fashion on Midgard.
Clint felt the beast above him. He braced for the blow, raising his arms to protect himself. He anticipated the blow but it never came. Before he knew it there was a sound of something crashing to the ground. He looked up to see a man before him. Though it wasn't a man, it was a god. More importantly Thor. And he had a hair cut.
Rolling back Clint jumped to his feet. He spun his sword and looked at the man as he spoke. Lifting his mask he shook his head. Seemed there really was no point of wearing this anymore, the mask didn't work. Pulling it up so it sat on his head with a beanie and looked at Thor. He had to say it, it was a happy sight.
"Thor buddy. You don't know how happy I am to know that it was you dropping down." He spun the blade again and lunged at the bear monster. When it deflected off he leaped back. "This armours tough, I don't think my sword it doing much but pissing it off. You want to use your magic toolbox. Maybe a have a screwdriver to pierce it." He smiled to himself as he moved around the beast.
Rolling to the side he launched some shurikens only to have them bounce off as well. "How have a been? Like today? Well I was enjoying pizza and now I'm fighting a demon bear from hell. So that's how it's going." Moving around the beast he had an idea. With it distracted by Thor, Clint started to run.
Leaping into the air and landed on the back of the beast, within seconds of him landing it start to stand on its hind legs, throwing Clint to the ground. It left its underside exposed as Clint rolled back and prepared for another attack. "How have I been, well on the run, wanted by my government. Rogers and Stark were at odds and that was fun. Sort of been in hiding, or trying to. Mask was supposed to protect my identity. How'd you know it was me?"
He looked back at his old friend. "Don't tell me my groans of pain are really that identifiable." He needed something to mask his voice, maybe he should work on that.
"What about you Thor how you been? Dig the new cuts. Suits you better, highlights your eyes." He smiled and looked at the beast. "Also you brig Bruno here with you? Seems like something you would be up agaisnt. What did you call them? Bridgesnaps? Sludgepipes?"
Thor grabbed Mjølnir as it came back towards him, smiling a little before beginning to swing heavily around his head. Dark, heavy clouds slowly began to form above their heads as he did so, the draught from the swing creating something that would have looked great had Thor's hair been as long as it once was. A shame, really, but life went on. Eventually, the hair would grow back. Soon would have been nice but, until then, the mark that Sakaar had left on him was still plainly visible.
"There may be something I can do," he quipped in return, noting that the impenetrability of the armour. Stabbing weapons would not work well against this foe. Fortunately, lightning was not primarily something that cut. There was no room for a clean shot whilst Clint was so close so Thor could only side-step, doing his best to hold the creature's attention for long enough. He caught the paw before it could strike at him a second time, forcing it back again. "An ordinary day for an Avenger, friend," laughed Thor, taking a second to glance aside. He noticed that the man (face now visible) had barely changed over the past two years, save for perhaps ageing a little. Barely noticeable, definitely not worth commenting on.
Then Clinton had given him an opening and Thor seized it. Raising his hammer into the air, he called down the lightning. The power left a tingling in his fingertips but Thor chose to channel its blast through Mjølnir rather than himself, pointing his hammer out horizontally and aiming for the exposed underside of the creature. "Make way!"
It let out a howl of pain, charging at him on all fours, and Thor could not stop himself from grinning. "We fought together. Neither your stature nor your style of movement has changed," he replied, wanting to question further about the disagreement between the two of them (Clint's opinion was likely to be different to Tony's) but putting it off until the battle was over. Then he, himself, pushed off the ground, dodging out of the way of the charging creature and letting it run headfirst into the trunk of the same tree that it had swatted Thor at.
He turned round, backing away until he was by Clint's side once more. "The cut was not my choice," he admitted, shaking his head but smiling anyway. "But no, this creature is not of Asgardian origins. Bilgesnipes are of a similar size but with tusks. If you distract it, I can place Mjølnir on its back and that should keep it still long enough for us to find a weakness." A chink in the armour, perhaps. It was on its feet again and Thor raised Mjølnir, ready to defend if he needed to.
"You do you buddy, I just need an opening if I'm going to do any damage here," Clint said as he moved around the beast. He kept his blades close to him, and weaved through the legs of the mutated bear. But he did his job and got it set up for Thor. As his former teammate yelled out Clint rolled back, coming to his feet sword drawn. He watched the lightening strike. Once again, wishing he had powers even close to that. Swords and arrows could only do so much.
"Maybe I should keep that in mind. Don't want Tony or Vision dropping in on me because the remember how I walk and move." He smiled and spun the sword. Yeah, being arrested now was the last thing he wanted. They may not actually do anything but it wouldn't help being seen with them. Thor on the other hand he trusted. He doubted the man was full force into being a task force lap dog. He probably cared little for human relations and problems. He was to cheerful to be caught up in all this.
The beast charged after the blast of lighting and Clint continued out of its way. As it charged to a tree he watched it hit, bouncing off shaking it's head, stunned and confused. It prepared to,charge again and Clint just looked to his companion, nodding along.
"No I dig it. Has that modern look. Bet the girls love. Not to say the manbun wasn't working for you, but this just seems fresher. Like a new you." Clint spun the sword again, eyeing the beast as it stumbled, still trying to regain itself. Yeah, this wasn't a normal bead. "Bilgesnipes. That was the word. Thought maybe you brought a friend with you." Smiling to himself he gave another nod. "Yeah I can distract it. I've been told I'm quite the distraction anyway."
Leaping back he ran, taking off towards the side of the beast. Once he did he slid up before it, a few feet away. Launching his shurikens he let them bounce off, tiny pings as they did. The beast let out a roar and turned towards Clint. As it went to swat him he dodged the paw, jumping over it and launching more shurikens.
"Thinks is distracted enough yet. Any time now." Clint said launching more at the beast until he felt his belt was empty. Well this wasn't good. Twirling the sword he watched the beast start to get closer and closer until it was only a few feet away. It let out one final roar and went to strike.
Thor's face fell slightly at Clinton's evident disdain for their two teammates. Sure, he tried to keep himself focused on creating the opening that the (ex?) archer wanted but it was still disconcerting to hear, firsthand, the consequences of the Midgardian government and the Captain's disagreement. One day, he was sure, their friendship would return just as strongly as it had once been.
Until then, he was happy to try and mend those bridges himself. It would probably be easier than attempting to fix the Bifrost. "I think Vision's skills could be advantageous to us," he commented mildly, retaining eye contact with the creature as it launched its attack. "And if you should disappear in the aftermath, those holding the whips can blame it on my own blunders." If it took creating a storm and torrential rain to give Clint a clean - Thor chuckled a little at that, certainly being doused with water ought to make the man clean - getaway, then that was what he would do. Hesitation was not necessary.
Thor touched it again, almost self-conscious. Memories of the shameless old man with the razor-hands were just a little too fresh for him to make fun of. That, and Jane's dumping made the topic of woman a finicky one. "I have had new experiences." Servitude for a man - whose, uh, friendship with Loki still baffled Thor in a way that he did not want to put thought into - instead of being a recognised prince certainly counted as new, in his (newly-humbled) opinion. His face brightened at the mentioning of friends, thinking that he did have, at least, some good news to share. "Loki is likely to visit at some point - he still lives, I know not how but I have learned not to question it."
Once the creature had decided Clinton was the one it needed to watch, Thor knelt down, intending to launch himself into the air but he managed to catch one of the stars in his free hand and inspected it a little. It was interesting. The sharp edges were obviously effective against Midgardians and yet-
Clint was talking. Grinning, he tensed his legs and leaped upwards, raising Mjølnir above his head as he did so, and landed... On the creature's back. His timing had been off, Thor chastised himself, holding his hammer in both hands around the creature's neck for dear life. Mistake. This had been a mistake. "I am sorry, friend," he said, pulling a face at the potent stench of its fur that he had unintentionally breathed in before jabbing his fingers into its eyes. "Please stop struggling."
The creature ignored him and fought all the more, incensed, blind and seemingly with nothing more to lose.
"Oh he'd definitely be useful. Don't think there's anything that guy can't do. How's he doing by the way. He holding up okay? His hearts in the right place, but you didn't see the look on his face when Wanda wanted to leave. Don't get me wrong I trust he guy. I trust all of us, but I know what I saw. And I didn't like it. A little advice, stay out of it, wish I would have," Clint didn't mean it. He would have done exactly the same thing time and time again. He'd help Steve, help Wanda. Everyone was believing their own thing. He just wished it would have been over, and they could get past what happened. Didn't look like it was going to be that way though.
"Appreciate it, but I don't want you getting in trouble becuase of me. If something happens I'll deal with it." Clint looked to his friend. "Let's just make sure it doesn't come to that." Clint smiled. They'd handle it. Maybe he could take a note from Sharon get Thor to distract and trick who ever showed up that Clint wasn't who he was. A trainee Avenger or something.
"You'll have to tell me about them. We can swap stories. You ever heard of Wakanda? It's an interesting place. Leader is an interesting guy. Think you'd get along." Maybe not, T'Challa seemed to have his own opinions on people. Either way they'd appreciate that Thor was a warrior.
Clint looked to Thor again as he mentioned his brother. He froze in place at the thought of Loki. Yeah he wasn't looking forward to meeting him again. It would be hard to not put an arrow in his eye if he showed up again. The last meeting was a nightmare. It was something that kept Clint up at night, even now. "As long as Loki stays away from me, then I'll be happy. I don't want him in my mind again. Yeah that's not happening."
He paused swinging his sword in his hands, "When you say he's coming to visit is he going to bring a space worm through a black hole again? Does Toy know about this? Or is Lokie coming in more the just to say high visit." Why couldn't he just pop by and bring pizza or drinks. Clint just hoped he wasn't looking to destroy New York and take over the world again, or whatever his plans were. If Loki showed up, Clint would stay far away.
Looking to Thor on the beast Clint smiled to himself. Thor was bucking around on the beasts back. He was sure it wouldn't appear comical to anyone but him, and he bit back the want to mention a rodeo joke. As his companion drove his fingers into the beasts eye though he winced. The beast continued to thrash and move around.
Clint took Thor's distraction tomget underneath the beast. It came down almost on top of him but Clit saw what he needed. Rolling from underneath he sheathed his sword and moved to where Thor could hear him. He waved his arms to get the asgardians attention.
"Hey think you can flip it. The underside is exposed. Soft skin, I could probably cut through it. It's not armoured like the rest of it." He just hoped if he cut it open that the beast would actually go down. Drawing his sword again he twirled it and waited for an opening.
It was too late for Thor to truly heed Clint's warning about keeping his distance. His face remained in its small smile, conflicted between the two sides of things. On one hand, Vision was a friend (and worthy, lest they all forget that) but on the other, he had no reason to mistrust Clint and the man had more hands-on experience with Midgard and its customs. "He is well. Affected by this strangeness as the rest of us are but mostly well."
Thor considered commenting on how the troubles here were of little concern to him. Whilst he, himself, had very little problem with being on the wrong side of Midgard and its authorities, there were other factors in play. For one, he was still a prince and intergalactic relations between their two realms were important. For another, Tony had been kind once again and Thor did not want to repay that with creating more stress for him, if he could find another way. "Aye for the two of us are truly brilliant at avoiding trouble," he laughed jovially. The name, however, meant absolutely nothing to Thor - a hidden country in a realm where his geography was already patchy? "Unfortunately not but if you are recommending the place, I shall ask Google for more information."
Clint's reaction to Loki was the same as most on Midgard and Thor could understand that, even if his own feelings were (and always would be) markedly different. "Understandable, friend. When he appears, I shall find out what his latest plans are and keep you informed." Prepared, really. Not that Loki would ever reveal his true schemes but Thor could take the opposite of whatever he said as the truth. It made sense. "He rarely pulls the same trick twice so I doubt that there will be more Chitauri."
That was a good point, actually. This was information that he probably should have shared with Tony. Next time they spoke, he would have to do that. Although admittedly, Tony was not on his mind all that much as he struggled to keep his grip on the creature, copious amounts of goo coating his hands. Hearing the advice, Thor rocked his weight from one side to the other, intending to throw the creature off-balance, before dropping his grip and slipping down. As he did so, he kicked sharply at the back of the creature's shins just before he hit the ground himself.
Fortunately, the manoeuvre did manage to get the creature to fall on its back, belly facing the sky. Unfortunately, it had fallen backwards on top of Thor, who received a face-ful of fur, grime and armour. "Ugh..." Hopefully Clint would finish it off soon.
"You check if he's still worthy," Clint motioned to Thor's hammer. "You check that after coming to all this. Keeping Wanda as a prisoners doesn't seem like a worthy act to me." He knew Visions heart was in the right place. He only wanted Wanda safe. He was listening to Stark and everyone else talking. Still, he was changed. "As long as he's okay though. Has to be pretty empty around there with onl Tony and Vision around."
Clint smiled. "Let's keep it that way. Stay out of trouble, let everyone else fight." He knew that wouldn't be the case. There wasn't going to be a day any time soon where he wasn't dragged in. He hadn't spoke to Cap in a while, was keeping to himself. But sooner or later he'd drag himself back in or get involved one way or another. It was a work in progress.
"It may not be the easiest to find. I don't know if they even have a map. They also don't take kindly to visitiors. But besides that I think you'd love the place. Lots of bright colours, warriors and fighting. Maybe when this is all over, and the team is a team again. Maybe then we can pay the nation a visit, see if T'Challa will let us stay a few days. I didn't get to see what kind of drinks they have there." It was a hopeful aspiration.
"Thanks. I'm not your brother's biggest fan. What he did to me, I had nightmares for years. I know he's your brother. I got an annoying brother as well, I get it. But if my brother did what Loki did I wouldn't hesitate to lock him up. You can guarantee that. With the way the world is now, Loki isn't coming back to the same earth he had once before." Clint looked to Thor. "No aliens are a plus though. Who knows, maybe that's what we need. Something big to bring us together again." Maybe with out someone dying though.
Clint watched Thor bring the beast onto its back. It fell with a roar, crushing the Asgardian beneath it. It was enough to act though, Clint sprung into action. Pulling the sword from his back he jabbed it as far as it would go into the beast. He cut, sliding down the stomach until the beast stopped moving. It laid still and Clint looked to Thor, hoping he was okay. He had a feeling he was, but it was still comforting to know it or not.
Taking a second to while the green blood on the leg of his pants he sheathed the sword and looked at the beast. Maybe subduing it would have been better, but it was dealt with. It was down. Dead, he didn't know. But it wasn't moving and that was good enough for him. It was an animal, one hurting people. Autopsy's worry now. He rubbed his chin as the beast started to move. It was wounded, walki slower and weaker.
"Hey bud. Want to give it a good smack on the head. Put it down for the count. Then maybe call SHIELD or whoever deals with mutated bears."
Thor frowned at that. Whilst he, himself, did not know Wanda all that well, she had fought at his side during the Battle of Sokovia. True, he had been gone two years and perhaps she had done something wrong during that time but, especially given his recent stay in Sakaar, Thor was sympathetic to those wrongfully-imprisoned. Still, he said nothing on the subject for now. It was better to wait until his opinion was fully-informed before passing judgement.
The day that Thor wilfully ignored trouble would be, as he had heard said, 'the day hell froze over'.
The recommendation was positive and Thor noted the name down for another time. Wakanda. "Perhaps I can venture there as a form of diplomacy. As a legate for Asgard." It was unlikely that those on Midgard would refuse the intelligence, after all.
His next words, however, were awkward. There was no time to explain how he had thought Loki dead (and imprisoned beforehand) since before Ultron only to have him revealed as alive. Then came Hela, Sakaar and Asgard's near-destruction. There was even less time to explain the millennium he had spent with him as brothers. "I am sorry for what he has done." Had done, thought about doing, would do in the future - there was no way of knowing with Loki. "Perhaps. But I would like to give negotiations another try first. There are beings stronger than us and the last thing we should do is lure them here because we cannot solve our own squabbles."
Thor took a moment to catch his breath (and let Clint launch his attack) before pushing the creature off of him with a mighty groan, feeling the thud as it hit the ground as he rolled away. After this, he knew that he was going to spend about at least an hour bathing. He got to his feet, Mjølnir in-hand as he walked after the beast. The stench had been foul and his skin felt contaminated. And itchy.
Raising his hammer one more time, he acted as Clint had suggested and threw it at the creature's head. It collapsed almost instantaneously, Thor summoning Mjølnir back to his hand before turning to Clint. "I would not be surprised if they were already on their way, you should make yourself scarce." A slight pause. "I intend to acquire a telephone in the near future. It would be nice to remain in contact."
"Yeah I don't know if that'd be a good idea. They are sorta strict. Very few people actually visit their country. If I wasn't with Steve they probably would have never let me stay. Ask Tony about it. Maybe he can set up a meeting between you and T'Challa though." Very least Thor meet on neautral ground. Secure diplomacy that way. Maybe Asgard and Wakanda weren't that different. Both removed, doing their own thing.
Clint looked at the knocked out bear. Hopefully it wasn't actually dead. As much as it was attacking stuff and being a threat, it hadn't actually hurt anyone. It was probably just confused and misunderstood. Killing it shouldn't even be an option, but it almost was. Hopefully it would be okay and looked over by whoever would come and pick it up. He wondered the origin of it. The zoo wasn't to far from here. Maybe someone was experimenting a little.
"Yeah I have nothin agaisnt you. You're a great guy, but your brother. He isn't. If Loki shows up I can't say my action won't be to shoot first and talk later. But if he could help, I can play nice. As much it pains me to say." Clint smirked and looked at the God. Family was a touchy subject, he got it. But Loki did things, things that couldn't be undone by a simple sorry. He forced him to...forced him to do things Clint could barley cope with. Turning on his fellow agents, bringing downthe hellicarrier. It wasn't him, he knew that. But Loki used him like a tool, and then tried to take over his home. That was to far for Clint.
"Yeah I better do that. If you can make it quick there's a rooftop just over there. High enough up, I can probably get inside, meet you up there. Would be nice to catch up. Maybe can answer some questions from the other side of all this. Been what, two years. I'm sure you've been up to a lot. Or better yet, hat brought you back here? You here to stay? Or is this just a visit?"
Clint looked to his old friend. A lot had changed since they met. Ultron, the Civil War, some side adventures. There was a lot to talk about. Catching would be nice. But Clint got the risk if it came to that. Maybe splitting would be easier.
"I'll leave it up to you. Either way I need to take off." Clint pulled down the mask and gave a wave as he took of running.
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