138/When Did Things Get This Weird

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When Did Things Get This Weird
Date of Scene: 26 February 2020
Location: Avengers Mansion - Training Facility
Synopsis: Clint and Nat talk about Loki and hijinks from their past. Does Nat end up smiling? That's classified.
Cast of Characters: Clint Barton, Natasha Romanoff

Clint Barton has posed:
Clint had gone silent after the meeting in the study. Phone off, Avengers ID left in his room at the mansion, but he hadn't gone all that far, just down to the training room where after putting arrows into things until his fingers bled he was hammering at the heavy bag in the corner. He didn't have Cap's strenght so there was no danger of the bag breaking, but Clint was doing his level best to try for it anyhow.

Three guesses who's face he was seeing where his fist met the bag...

Usually when Clint got in this mood, the phones being off, and the other staff that could track him left behind was a sign he didn't want to be bothered however there was a very short list of people that didn't apply to and Nat was on the top of that list.

Natasha Romanoff has posed:
    Natasha Romanova is also on a short list of people with issues respecting people's personal space, and a certain degree of empathy for people who've been hollowed out and puppeteered by powerful sociopaths.
    Sometimes things work out in odd ways.
    Natasha has more or less just sort of appeared in the gymnasium, as she's wont to do, but she has the courtesy to give an audio cue to her presence as she noisily undoes the velcro on a punching mitt for training, slipping it onto her hand without comment with the other slung under her arm. Her icy blue eyes regard Clint silently for a moment should his attention turn to her, and she says, simply, "Tell me how you're doing." in that controlled gentle voice of hers as she slips on the other punching mitt.
    She seems to be prepared in case you're not willing to simply express yourself with words.

Clint Barton has posed:
Clint doesn't turn his head at the sound of the velcro tearing, he knows who it is. "About as well as you'd think," he says as he continues to punch the bag. "Loki's back on Earth and the best thing the we can come up to do apparently is write a nasty note to his father."

He snorts derrisively. "Who knows, Cap and Tony might go wild and Odin to give him a timeout or take away his Xbox."

He gives the bag one more solid punch before turning to Nat, his expression writ large with his feelings, which is to say he looks like hell, stress, anger, frustration and trauma all warring for a piece of that real estate.

"You know, if it was Bucky or Pepper that Loki got, both of them," Cap and Tony. "Would be on the kill Loki train with me."

Natasha Romanoff has posed:
    Natasha's lips briefly press into a flat line as Clint speaks. It turns out negotiation is off the table as well, but Clint doesn't need to hear that right now.
    "That's true." Natasha agrees softly, as she thoughtfully looks over the gloves fastens for a moment longer than is strictly necessary before she looks at Clint and continues, "We give them the luxury of being better than us. That's always been the job." Natasha widens her stance and holds her padded gloved hands up and out, presenting targets. "They don't have to learn that killing isn't as cathartic as we want it to be."

Clint Barton has posed:
Yes, best to leave that detail out for now, that the mighty Avengers were powerless to keep Earth from becoming Asgard's detention hall.

With Nat's agreement, Clint gives a bitter, laugh. "Thought I was a part of this team Nat, Loki messes with me, the team won't get off its ass. I'd have been there in a second for anyone of them."

He begins to punch those gloves, using more finesse than power now trying to keep up with any movement of the gloves. Her words hit home, "Yeah, I know, but it would have been good if they at least offered to kill the guy, you know on account of him making me murder our friends." SHIELD agents, people they knew...

He still didn't like thinking about it, so he shuts it away again and locks that door tight. "You figure out where Loki's hiding?" he asks her, after all she left saying she planned to follow Thor.

Natasha Romanoff has posed:
    Natasha keeps the motion of her hands subtle. She's not here to challenge or frustrate you, just to help you vent. The combination of a friendly face and something alive to hit MAY help, or it may just seem that way to a born killer, but either way, that's what Natasha's offering. She's still smaller than you, but between the gloves, your finesse, and the world's best poker face, Natasha seems to be all right.
    "The only soldier in that room was standing in front of his girlfriend. It happens." is Natasha's way of sympathizing with Clint's frustration with their ally's reaction. "Everyone else either wasn't there, has always been too powerful to fear anything, or was..." Natasha shrugs, "Stark."
    In answer to Clint's question, she says, "I figured out where he *was*. He and Thor disappeared though. Thor came back alone. He says Loki's weak though. And nearly out of his mind with anger." After a beat she adds, "At least he looked that way through the scope. Thor kept standing in the way, though.".
    The last bit is noted with a bit of a rueful smile, and is meant to be about as sweet a gesture as one can perhaps expect from someone like Natasha in circumstances like this.

Clint Barton has posed:
"All those years of Red Skull dreaming up super weapons and all it took was a fashonista to make Cap go soft, guy's probably rolling over in his grave right now." Clint says, it was bitter joke but still a joke. Progess?

He takes the execise for what it is a chance to blow off steam never saying it but the thank you is right there in his face for Nat to read.

"And yeah, Stark is Stark," he says of Nat's assesment of that room. "You're right, horror and sympathy was a bit much to expect out of that room."

Still hurt though, but Clint doesn't dwell he moves on to the details like he was trained, mission first, feel after.

"So Loki's weak, angry and in the wind, and we can be pretty sure Thor's not on board with offing his baby brother," he says pulling on the threads of Nat's report. He pauses his punches, "Any idea how weak?"

Natasha Romanoff has posed:
    Natasha doesn't argue. She's not in the business of slagging her allies - friends is a word she doesn't throw around easily, as good as they've been to her - but she has... opinions that she realizes can only come off as unkind if you don't understand the way a spy weighs everything. People are who they are. And they're good people. That's not always as useful as you'd hope.
    Natasha considers Clint's question with a thoughtful glance to the side. "Weak enough that Thor thinks we can do something about him, and asked very nicely that we let him know first. Apart from that, it's hard to say how 'weak' something actually is compared to a human if an Asgardian isn't worried about it."

Clint Barton has posed:
Clint on the other hand happily talks shit about his allies, friends, and enemies but he mostly does it to their faces or to Nat, most times both.

It took Clint awhile to work his head around Nat's point of view when it came to friends and allies, but he got it now, and took it for what it was: Nat being Nat.

Clint nods that he's ready to go again and gets back into the practice if Nat's still game.

"So, basically we're still talking dangerous as hell then," he says, still punching even as he considers, "I want to cross him off," he says meaning Loki, but he might as well have said he breathes air and eats food. It was that obvious. "And I'll do it alone if that keeps the Avengers and SHIELD off of Odin's shit list, but-"

He pauses, the punches stopping as he looks pained and not because of the exertion. "But I'm compromised when it comes to Loki, I'm feeling not thinking, I need to know if it's what you'd do if you were me. That it's the right play."

Natasha Romanoff has posed:
    It's nice to have an understanding with someone. Natasha hadn't had anything close to one in... well. A very long time. It meant a lot to her. So - as she raises her hands to take as many more blows as Clint has in him - she answers as unguardedly as she's capable of. "I would if I were you. But half of Russia would be... dead if I were you." She didn't expect to hesitate, or put as much emphasis on the word 'dead' as she did. The effort to express any hint of rage at her old... sponsors caused a distinct hitch, proving more difficult than she'd expected. She hadn't thrown a stone in that particular well of nightmares in a long time.
    She sniffs once, and seems more composed as she says, "... But I'm me. And I'd swallow it. Because the reality is, you could declare war on the Avengers to distance yourself as much as you can, and you'd still be killing the son of a man with an army of Thors... who's had thousands of years and still takes their cues from the Dark Ages... has all of an eternity to hold a grudge... and thinks we're his lowly subjects." Natasha shakes her head, knitting her brow with sympathy. "We can't predict how he'll react if he even thinks we're ungrateful. Nevermind killing his boy."
    It is, perhaps, a kind effort to soften the blow when she uncharacteristically notes, "He's had a long time to get too attached to the little shit."

Clint Barton has posed:
Clint lets out a long breath, that wasn't the answer he wanted but it was the answer he needed. "I hate when you're right like this," he says offering something close to a genuine smile.

Though he does dip back towards serious again when he says, "Nat, you know if you ever wanted to take those guys out," her old handlers the people who made her their weapon the same way Loki did to him, "I'm there. No questions." It wasn't the first time he told her that or likely the last, it wasn't that he wanted to go to war on the Red Room, but it was Nat, if she went he'd go too. It was just how things were.

Another nod to say he's done punching for the night then sighs and leans against the wall. "Remember when the weirdest shit we had to deal was Coulson's flying car?" he asks with a whistful sigh. It wasn't true, even the the weird was thick on the ground but, still things felt a hell of a lot weirder now.

He shakes his head before looking to Nat and asking, "How are you holding up?"

Natasha Romanoff has posed:
    Natasha smirks a little despite herself at Clint's acquiescence, though her expression falls back to neutral - guarded - when Clint makes his offer. There was a stretch of time when that assurance would be met with silence. Lately, and going forward, the response has been a hint of a smile, and a simple, "I know."
    She slowly draws in and releases a deep breath, removing the gloves and smiling a bit as Clint reminisces, noting, "I remember having to save his cards when the glove box came open. Everything after that's kind of a blur."
    Setting the gloves down, Natasha weighs a few answers before she just smiles evasively and says "... You know me."
    Which is Natasha speak for: 'getting by.'

Clint Barton has posed:
The shift from silence to that hint of smile is definitely noted even if it's never remarked upon. He knew, she knew she knew, that was enough.

The cards get the first honest laugh out of Clint. "I told him not to bring them but he wouldn't listen," he insists as he always does when the story comes up.

Clint nods, "I do," which means 'good' in their language of double meanings and half-said sentiments. "Wanna go grab something? Then I am going to go pass the hell out."

Natasha Romanoff has posed:
    Clint's response to the cards brings a wistful smile to Natasha's face, which she actually lets cling there for a moment. His response to her answer, well... that look's a lot softer. Understandings are nice.
    She heaves a tired sigh at his question and nods, relaxing a little and replying "Both of those sound great."

Clint Barton has posed:
Clint smiles to see Nat smile. It's like seeing Haley's comet, you had to enjoy it when you saw it because it would be a long wait for the next one.

Clint nods, "Then let's go," he'd strip the tape off his hands as they went.