She glanced down at his hand for a moment, thought it over for a moment then shrugged. This whole mess may have turned out to be something that would benefit her in the long run, and it would have been a shame if she had passed up the opportunity to have Clint in her debt.
“Fine, any favor I want that sounds fair to me.” Turning swiftly she grasped his hand in her own, for a moment both their hands glowed a faint green as she sealed the deal between them and effectively bound Clint to his word. The moment the glow of her magic ceased the flames and conjured beasts below did as well.
“Happy now? You can go save those wretches…or what’s left of them.”
He watched as she thought it over, his hand completely steady as he held it out to her still. Though, he was kind of regretting his decision, but there was nothing he could do about it now. He couldn’t think of another way to get her to stop burning the city, this was the only way. So he’d have to stick to it.
He blinked in shock when she spun quickly and grasped his hand, his eyes widening as their hands began glowing green. “What…?” He muttered, eyes shooting out to the city when their hands stopped glowing and the city stopped burning. He heaved a sigh of relief, slowly letting go of her hand.
“… I’m not a firefighter.”
Half-heartedly glaring at Clint for a moment, the Lady smoothed out the fabric of her dress and watched him warily. “Kissing angry goddesses probably isn’t the smartest thing to do.” She muttered as she turned back towards the chaos below and pursed her lips.
Clint was willing to put himself in a position where he would be indebted to her, even in her rage she was not fool enough to pass that up. “What sort of favor?” She asked waving her hand through the air and watching as a giant beast made of flame sprang into life.
Incentive for Clint to answer her correctly if he truly meant to convince her to put an end to this.
He noticed the glare was only half-hearted, and he couldn’t help but smile. She wasn’t going to attack him for the action, at least. “Probably not. But it worked even if it was only for a minute or somethin’.” He chuckled, shrugging a shoulder as he glanced back out at the flames.
He was about to answer her question when she waved her hand and the giant beast made of flame formed, and his eyes went a little wide. “Anything. Just stop killin’ people and I’ll owe you any favor you need.”
He looked back over at her then, holding out his hand. It wasn’t a good idea, at all, but he couldn’t just let her continue killing all these people.
She hadn’t been watching him when he made his move, the moment Clint’s hand dropped her gaze slid back to the carnage below. Only when he spoke again did the Lady look back to the archer and she was not at all expecting him to make such a bold attempt at calming or distracting her.
“Wha—” And then his lips were pressed against hers muffling the sound of shock that escaped her.
Her hands moved to his shoulders unsure if she wanted to push him off, toss him over the edge, or let this continue on. For a moment during her being distracted the fires raging on the streets below began to shrink back and cool, that is until the Lady regained her wits and pushed Clint away with a sound of frustration. “That is playing dirty, little hawk.”
He felt her hands on his shoulders and readied himself to be either pushed away or thrown over the edge, but she didn’t do anything of the sort immediately. He’d managed to distract her going by the way the fires shrank a little before she pushed him away.
“It worked, though. At least for a moment.”
He smiled, shrugging slightly as he leant back just slightly. He needed another plan to distract her, but what that would be he wasn’t sure just yet.
“Tell you what… If you let the fires die out, I’ll owe you a favor. Or I’ll give you a massage. Get rid of some of that tension.” He was trying to lighten the mood and get her distracted again so that she’d stop keeping the fires going.
Her eyes narrowed at the contact and she very nearly threw him off with a mere flick of her wrist. Catching herself at the last second the Lady only met Clint’s gaze and kept her hands clenched on the railing in front of her.
“Maybe I want them to come, maybe I want an excuse to beat them all into bloody pulps.”
This was a side of her that Clint hadn’t seen except only briefly in that alley so very long ago. Despite what she seemed on the outside the Lady was cruel and blood thirsty, even more so when moods like this struck and the flames she had conjured would not die down until her mood did.
He sighed as he let go of her chin, running a hand through his hair before looking out at the flames for a moment. He needed to try and find a way to stop her from burning everything before she ended up burning the whole city down.
“I’m sorry about this.”
He cupped her face in his hand again, leaning over to press his lips against hers. He wasn’t sure how she’d react to this, but he braced himself in preparation for either the hit he was expecting, or in case she decided to launch him from the building. He had his bow, so at least he’d be able to, hopefully, stop himself hitting the floor.
The moment Clint showed up on the scene the Lady’s eyes locked onto him. She’d expected at least one member of the Avengers to show up and assess the situation, and in all honesty when his eyes landed on her form she expected him to call in the rest of the team. Surprise flickered across her features for the briefest of moments when he didn’t before she went back to watching the mess she had created, waiting for him to find his way to where she was.
And when he did find her the Lady made no move to say she knew he was there or acknowledge his presence. Not until he asked his question and her jaw clenched.
Who had pissed her off? That question had her temper spiking with the mere thought of Sif, and that spike of anger only served to send the flames below bursting forth with an angry roar as they seemed to breathe in time with the Lady. Pissed was an understatement for what she was.
He watched as her jaw clenched before noticing the flames heightening down below. His eyes went a little wide before he turned back to her, making a split decision. He reached up and lightly took hold of her chin to turn her head to face him so that she wasn’t focusing on the flames, hoping that if she wasn’t concentrating on them they’d at least start going down.
“Okay, I won’t ask about it. But you should probably head back to your apartment or somethin’ because the Avengers will be turnin’ up soon enough. They’ll see you and they’ll come after you again. Just… find somethin’ relaxing to do. Take your mind off whatever’s troublin’ you.”
He smiled at her then, hoping to have convinced her, though he wasn’t sure if she’d even listen to him. He still wasn’t sure if she even truly liked him, but hopefully she’d at least see sense in his words.
There was a fire raging in Times Square, out of control and hotter than any heat that had been felt before. The firefighters tried to douse the flames yet despite their most valiant efforts the flames only grew and spread and consumed anything that happened to be in their path. It was as if the flames were alive, breathing and roaring as they reached out with fiery claws and grabbed at anyone foolish enough to get close. The priority now had shifted from putting out the growing fire to keeping the people safe and evacuating buildings. They were all so preoccupied with saving people and running that no one noticed the goddess watching from above.
The Goddess of Fire was not one of her titles that the Lady often shared when people inquired about her and what she held dominion over. They would know it now though, anyone that knew the Lady would know just where to look if they managed to figure out that this was all her doing. The tallest building with the clearest view so that she could watch the chaos and mayhem that she had created would be just where the Lady could be found.
Clint knew as soon as he saw how the flames moved that it was Lady who’d started the fire, and was surprised when he found himself conflicted between going to help and going to find her. For some reason, he needed to make sure she was alright. His eyes landed on the tallest building and he spotted a shape, realizing immediately it was her. After a moment’s debate he made his way towards it, helping a few people out of a car that had been trapped in after crashing into a pillar before breaking into a sprint.
It wasn’t long before he was walking out behind her, lingering near the entrance to the balcony for a moment before silently walking out to sit beside her as he surveyed the damage. “Who pissed you off?”
Dark green eyes peered into the binoculars while fingers delicately adjusted the focus towards the scene below. A group of surprisingly well-dressed men were gathered around large shipping crates. There were no distinguishable markings on the wooden panels, but their contents were clear. Natasha was simply waiting for visual confirmation. Then as if on cue, a few of the men broke away from the majority and broke open one of the crates. Stepping inside, they appeared several seconds later carrying a very obvious black box with an very familiar logo emblazoned upon the top. “Definitely S.H.I.E.L.D. weapons. Might even be some tech, judging by the size of the box,” she mused aloud, turning her attention to her partner. There was no actual need for her to voice what she saw since he could see as clearly as her without the use of binoculars, but the silence was growing tiresome after hours of waiting.
“And there’s quite a lot of it if all those crates were stolen from the same cargo ship,” she continued to voice her thoughts as her gaze turned back to the scene below. “Looks as thought this could have been an inside job. Think we have a corrupt agent on our hands, Clint?” As she spoke this time, she kept her gaze upon the exchange occurring between the men. A crooked field agent could make this assignment more than a little tricky. Their cover could be blown before a single word could be exchanged.
Just as the scenarios and options began to flood her mind, a blacked-out SVU pulled up to the swarm of eager buyers. Eyes narrowed, fingers pressing a button on the binoculars to zoom in closer as a figure stepped out of the car. When the man’s face finally came into view, nothing registered in Natasha’s little black book. Most likely a gopher sent by the puppeteer behind this whole set up.
Slowly the new arrival approached the other men and the redheaded spy tuned in her hearing aid to hear what was being said. ”This was just show and tell,” she finally spoke again, “The pieces are to be sold in a very private auction. Tonight.” Natasha put the binoculars down, shifting her gaze and attention back to Clint once she had gotten everything she needed. “Time to start running through aliases — unless, of course, you’d prefer to wear the dress this time.” Lips curved into a wide, albiet a little devious smile.
Clint was still crouched beside her, his eyes locked on the meeting down below. He may not be able to hear them but he could see what they were doing. He didn’t have binoculars but he hardly needed them. He saw better from a distance after all. His eyes landed n the SHIELD weapons when the crate was opened, and he let out a sigh. “Yeah. There’s not just weapons in there, there’s some tech as well. Check out the small silver brief cases. I’m pretty sure that’s somethin’ Stark was workin’ on a few months back. I think he said it was some sort of laser for lockin’ on to things. More advanced though.”
“I think it’s from two different cargo loads. Check out the different labellin’.” He spoke quietly, keeping his eyes on the meeting. They moved down to look at the crates again, scanning over the labels before glancing over at her as she spoke again. “Hmm. Not sure. If it is we’re in big trouble… Then again, all they’ve gotta do is get someone to let them know when these things were bein’ shipped. It’s doubtful that if this was an inside job, that the agent responsible will show up here.”
He watched the SUV pull up and studied the man that stepped out. He didn’t recognize him but now he had the face in his memory. He’d remember if he saw them again.
“Thought it might be. The guy doesn’t have any cash on him.” He looked back over at her and raised an eyebrow, chuckling as he shifted to lean against the wall. “I’m pretty sure we’d look more suspicious if I was the one wearin’ the dress. You’re probably better off wearin’ it yourself. I’ll stick with a suit, thanks.” He grinned at her before pushing away from the wall, glancing at the men down below briefly as they began packing up. “Ready to go?”
Pursing her lips as she settled into the sofa next to him the Lady tried to think of a convincing enough excuse as to why she’d have such a state of the art system and never touch it. “It’s new, I just got it maybe a week or less ago.” There was a moment of silence that followed before the Lady, in a move of boldness, leaned herself against Clint and picked her feet up to rest on the sofa. Her excuse was simply that it was more comfortable for her due to the stitches, and obvious lie but she honestly didn’t think Clint would mind or complain.
“Oh, right. That makes sense, yeah.” He smiled and nodded, glancing over at her before looking back up at the screen as the movie began to play. When he felt her lean against him he stiffened slightly, surprised when she stayed there. After a moment’s debate in his mind, he reached up and wrapped an arm around her shoulders, letting her head settle against his shoulder as his hand rested lightly on her hip. He wasn’t sure exactly why she’d decided to lean against him but he wasn’t going to complain, definitely not.
Walking over to the case of DVDs, the Lady pulled one off the shelf at random. Something that would no doubt appeal to him, and something she would no doubt not remember later. The fact of the matter was the Lady actually hadn’t watched any of the movies in her possession, they were all simply for show if ever someone made their way into her home. Just a little detail to make it seem that a normal, well to do, person actually lived there. Tossing the DVD to Clint, the Lady went for the remote to the TV and turned it on, leaving him to figure out the home theater system. Fact of the matter was the Lady hadn’t actually touched it before, no need to give away that she had no idea how to operate it just yet, she’d simply watch him discreetly as she put up the convincing act that she tidying up the coffee table.
He caught the DVD when she threw it at him, raising an eyebrow a little before walking over to the home theater system. He crouched down before opening the case, popping the DVD into the system. She had a pretty advanced one, but then again that wasn’t that surprising. She seemed to be really well off, which was obvious by the clothes she wore and the things in her apartment. He straightened up after pressing play on the box. He turned to face her and smiled, walking over to sit down on the sofa. “You don’t use that much do you? Looks like it’s barely been touched.” He chuckled, unable to keep his eyes from landing on her ass for a moment before he quickly looked back up at the television as the DVD loaded up.
“Now that I think about it, if someone happens to call the police I doubt your higher ups will be thrilled to know one of their guys was disturbing the peace. Maybe the movie would be best.” No need to get the agent into trouble just yet. There’d be plenty of time for that later if the Lady had her way.
“Oh yeah… That’s a good point there, actually.” If they were to get caught then he probably would end up in trouble. He was supposed to be setting a good example for the new recruits, of course. “Well, what movies do you have?” He smiled, rolling up the sleeves on the borrowed shirt he was wearing.