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Tortured Phoenix
A tortured soul who is rising from the ashes
Fic: Avengers - Clint - HC Bingo Fill 
16th-Aug-2012 10:10 pm
Avengers - CN - Not Superheroes
Title: Meanwhile, the world goes on.
Author: tortuousphoenix
Fandom: Avengers Movie Verse
Prompt: Self Harm from my hc_bingo card
Wordcount: 1313
Rating: NC-17
Warnings: Self Harm funnily enough since that was the prompt & depression.  Might be triggering for anyone suffering from these.
Summary: Clint gets lost in his own head as he attempts to deal with the aftermath of Loki's possession.  He feels like Loki is still there, still inside him, still teasing him and he doesn't know what to do about it.
Disclaimer: I own nothing, the original character belongs to Stan Lee, the movie belongs to Marvel and Joss Whedon.  This is just my story.

Clint sat cross legged on the floor of his apartment.  It had been five days since the battle with Loki and since then, he had slowly retreated from the world, choosing instead to close himself off and attempt to deal with the aftermath alone.

The first day after the fight he’d been all smiles, even if they were fake.  They had won; they beat the bad guy; they saved the world.  What was there to be unhappy about?

The second day the smile wouldn’t come, so he busied himself sorting out his weapons, evading Fury when he called him for a debrief or pretending not to hear when Nat tried to get him to go out for some food.  The truth was he didn’t want to eat, or talk, or even think.  His thoughts were full of the soldiers, the colleagues and friends whose lives he’d had a hand in taking.

After another night of no sleep, he spent most of the third day in the gym.  Lifting weights and kicking the shit out of a punching bag. It did help; he would picture Loki’s face on the bag and it would give him momentary satisfaction to beat the man who’d stolen his mind.  But that satisfaction was fleeting.  And he knew from the looks he received that his enthusiasm for killing the punching bag was scaring everyone else. He figured he’d done enough of that to last a lifetime, so he left.

Instead of getting annoyed at the lack of sleep, he spent the third night walking around the city, watching the clean-up efforts and listening to the arguments that were ensuing.  Mostly it was 'Avengers: good guys or bad guys?'  'Aliens: real or not?'  Everyone seemed to have an opinion and he wondered what those on Avengers side would say if they had known the role one of the Avengers had played in starting the mess in the first place?

Random strangers kept trying to talk to him; to get his opinion and include him in the drinking and debates that were going on in every house, every café and every restaurant in New York City.

But Clint didn’t have an opinion.  He’d lived the war and knew what was true and what wasn’t. But he wasn’t objective.  Talking to these strangers, he would say too much, let slip things he’d been trained to keep contained and that was dangerous, so he turned around and went home.

Day three bled into day four without Clint even noticing.  Locked inside his apartment he’d muted the doorbell and disabled his phone.  Even if someone came looking for him he wouldn’t know it and that was just what he wanted; to be left alone.

He had barely eaten or slept in four days and he knew that he should be worried about that, but somehow it didn’t matter.  Every time he closed his eyes he could see the things he’d done; could hear Loki’s mocking laugh; could see Nat’s pain filled eyes as he’d attacked her.  He wasn’t sure what was worse, Loki using him or Nat pitying him.  Either way, both memories made him sick to his stomach.

His penthouse apartment had a great view of the city, it was the only reason he’d bought it.  He normally loved to sit in his roof garden and survey the world below him.  It was his sanctuary; his safe place when the chaos that was his world got to be too much. 

But now all he saw was destruction.

He knew he should leave, get out of the city, go on a hike, climb a mountain, do whatever it took to clear his head, but it was like driving past a car wreck; he couldn’t look away. 

Why had Loki picked him?  Why couldn’t he resist?  Why, Why, Why?  Questions he kept asking that he would never get the answers to.

Even now that it was all over, it felt like Loki was teasing him, playing with him, mocking him for his weakness.  No matter how hard Clint tried to get rid of him, Loki was still inside him, melded to his brain, waiting to pounce the moment he closed his eyes.

He sat unmoving as day turned to night and back to day.  The sounds around him should have been a comfort; should have let him know that the city was rebuilding and, just like every other attack it had faced, it would come back stronger.  But there was no comfort, no escape from the torment he was living with.  Only when the sun was too bright for his tired eyes did he retreat back to the dark sanctuary of his apartment, unconsciously picking up a knife from his weapons cabinet as he went.

So now here he was: five days after the fight; sitting cross legged on the floor of his apartment.  The knife  twirling around his fingers; moving not by his will but by the memory of his muscles, doing what they do without requiring any input from their owner.  Why he was doing it, he wasn’t quite sure but having something to do seemed like a good idea.

The memories of Loki played in his head like a movie, getting Clint more and more angry with every passing second.  The knife moved faster and faster as his emotions finally started to bubble over.  The calm façade he’d been living behind was disintegrating as he replayed his possession over and over again.  His pulse was rising. His heart beating so fast he could feel it in every fibre of his being.  The adrenaline was pumping once more, making his breathing come quickly, as if he was in the middle of a fight for his life.

His hands moved faster still as in his mind's eye he watched his possessed self hurt and kill so many, all the while trapped inside, powerless to stop.  He replayed the fight with Nat, watching the hurt in her eyes as he attacked her.  He saw every second; every punch, every kick. A sweep to the legs and a block with the bow.  Another attack, a tangle of arms and bowstrings twanging.  A quick escape and a knife enters the fray.  A yank at her hair, a bite to his hand and she's free once more.  Attack, retreat; attack, retreat. The merry dance until, finally, crash!

As the memory ends in the dark and cold world of unconsciousness, he looks down at his hands.  The knife has fallen to the floor and blood now flowed freely from his arm.  He doesn’t remember the cut, doesn’t know how it happened, was it purposeful or did he just drop the knife?  But he sits watching the blood run slowly down his arm and pool on the floor and he feels free for the first time in five days.

It’s such a simple little thing, but he is completely mesmerised by the sight of his blood oozing from the wound, making its way down to his hand and dripping softly to land on the floor by his feet.  All the emotions of the past five days seem to be draining from him along with the blood escaping his body.  Part of him even hopes Loki might leave with it, but he knows he’s just being stupid.  He’s not sure why this is affecting him so much.  He’s been cut before; he’s been damn near dead before; but this just feels different

It hurts, but not in a bad way.  It’s a pain that reminds him he’s still here. That he is still alive and that he is in control. 

He takes calm, deep breaths and allows his rational mind to take over. He sets about getting cleaned up, getting fed and getting some sleep, knowing that the nightmares won’t come.  He’s finally ready to face whatever tomorrow has to bring.

16th-Aug-2012 09:36 pm (UTC)
this is wonderful. Painful, dark, but wonderful. Great job on such a triggery prompt! Looking forward to seeing more of your work!
16th-Aug-2012 09:48 pm (UTC)
Thank you, you have no idea how happy I am someone likes it! Was a little worried about the response it'll get cause of the SH stuff.

I'm brimming with ideas, so hopefully more soon :-)
16th-Aug-2012 11:25 pm (UTC)
Brilliant piece, very well done!
17th-Aug-2012 08:07 am (UTC)
Thanks, really glad you enjoyed it :-)
18th-Aug-2012 09:36 am (UTC)
Not sure what to say, but very, very well written. Excellent job!
18th-Aug-2012 10:08 am (UTC)
Thanks, I'm glad you enjoyed it.
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