Flood Me Where I Sit.

This is an entry for the battle of the fandoms competition. It was originally intended as one, long chapter, but the Movellas chapter limit got in the way (Grr!)

It's an Avengers fanfic (so that's in the superheroes and comic books category), in which Clint Barton (Hawkeye) is very sick, and Natasha Romanoff (Black Widow), is very scared.
And just in case you didn't pick up on it already- this is angst, pure and unadulterated (because I simply don't know how to write anything else!).

If anybody was wondering, the title is from this song by The Narrative:
http://youtu.be/WWJfsGoc6fw
Although that's not really relevant. I just liked the lyric. This song I actually had in mind while writing this was this one by The Civil Wars:
http://youtu.be/T4QaSWHWmqo

Thanks for reading :)

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3. Three

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Over the next few days, I visit Tony in his workshop a lot. He's building something for Clint, because that's what he does. It's made of white-gold, because gold-gold looks tacky on most people, and is also impractical.

We sometimes talk, but mostly we don't. 

He does a lot of welding. I look into the white hot torch without a mask on. It leaves glaring white spots in my vision that are probably seared in for ever. It hurts, and I don't really care.


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Clint decides that it's time to talk at twenty five past one in the morning on a drizzly Sunday, three weeks and two days and six hours and four minutes from when he was first diagnosed. He asks me to take him to his bedroom, because it's private and comfortable, and because he wants to make a weak joke about how we only really click in bed. It's a stupid joke to make, not least because it's simply untrue. We click everywhere. We are one and the same. I lay him down on the bed, and he reaches his good arm up and grips it in my hair and does not let go. I let him, and I do not complain.

He's a little misty, and he's looking over my shoulder like he doesn't want to see me. I sort of understand. I wait until he speaks because he wanted to talk to me, not the other 
way round.

"I-" He says, eventually "- look like SUCH a dick right now."

He's waiting for me to laugh, but I don't feel up to that, so I smile and breathe out through my nose, like people do when they almost laugh, but don't quite manage it.

"Think I left it a bit too late, really. All of this. Now I can't even hold you properly."

I sort of smirk, because we talk like this, and we don't know how else to function. My reply is as dismissive as the smirk is, but I'm sure that Clint can understand me. He always can, and perhaps that is why we have never done this before. We simply don't need to talk about feelings.

"We don't DO holding, dumbass."

But then I go ahead and hold him anyway.

We sit there for a long time. I hold him, and he grabs onto whatever part of me he can reach. I rock us gently together, and I'm sure that I cry for a bit. I wonder if this is what Clint meant by talking. 

It probably isn't, but it's just as good. 

We're not the type to talk. We think our love. We live and breathe it. We are our love. 
That's all we need.

The sun starts to rise, and I realise that we have been like this all night. I cling to 
Clint even tighter.

I can tell that he wants to say something, but that he can't bear to speak. I just sort of... know. I decide to break the silence for him.

"What is it, Clint? Spit it out!"

He works up to speaking for a bit.

"Tash... y..you know how this is getting worse, and stuff? Like, about my legs and my 
arms and everything."

I don't respond to the question because it's not like I'll have missed it.

"Before too long... I'm going to stop being me. For a long while I am just going to be a sack of meat and flesh and nothing much else at all. And.. that will make you sad, and that makes me... sad..."

I know what he is asking me, so I shove a hand over his mouth.

"Oh Clint... geez, why are you even asking me this?"

It takes a lot of work for him to use his fingers at the moment, and he can't be bothered right now, so he just swats at my hand and I move it.

"Sorry, sorry Tash. Shouldn't've asked, that was out of line. I just.. I just don't want to die being a total pain in everyone's a-mmfffph!"

I shove my hand over his mouth again.

"For gods sakes, I meant... why did you think you had to ask? Why did you think I didn't know..?"
It sounds quite profound, and we just sit there for a bit.

"Oh you did NOT just lick my hand!" I yell, and we fall over each other in giggles.


o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o


Tony busts in at lunch time, because he's finished the thing for Clint, and also because we've been in bed for ages and we should probably think about getting up. 

It turns out that the thing he's made is a device that Clint can put his arm into, that will move it for him. It's a lot like the arm of Tony's suit, only more mobile, and much simpler. There's an AI in charge of it, who's called IMYA. She's a she, and she's kind of an asshole, and I'm pretty sure that's deliberate. It takes Clint a while to get used to it, but when he does, he can shoot further than he can see.

This is a good thing, but it is also a bad thing. 

It is a bad thing because people should not be able to do that, and it makes Clint feel less Clint-y.

It is a good thing because we can make Tony fetch the arrows over and over.


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His mind starts to fade pretty soon after that. 

His short term memory is pretty good, but he starts to forget things too. He gets confused a lot, particularly by Thor.

He starts to ask me what things are- just normal things, household objects. One time he has to ask me what the shower is called. Another, he can remember what a spoon is, but it takes me an hour to get him to understand what it's for. It's very tiring.

After a while, he starts to forget people, too. Every so often, he has to ask me who Steve is, or who Bruce is. The first time Clint forgets him, it causes so much upset that he hulks out. I spend a long time trying to explain to Clint what's happening. He remembers halfway through the explanation, then looks at me like I'm an idiot.

I have to operate IMYA for him most of the time, because he's got no idea. Sometimes he forgets about his illness for a while, and calls out to me in a big panic, because he has no legs and can't move his arms.

The three things that matter to him most, though, he remembers always. 

His bow and his arrows.

The third is me.


o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o


He forgets me a few days later. 

It doesn't last for long, but it's awful. 

I am helping him out of bed, and he looks at me and he's a little bit scared, but he clearly likes what he sees. Which I suppose is actually very flattering, because he thinks that I am beautiful and attractive, even though he does not know me at all. 

"W-what are you? Who? Wha- oh, Tasha. Right."

And that's all it really is. I am forgotten for a mere few seconds. 

But those seconds last forever.

It hurts more than anything, but I will not do it yet, because there is still such a lot of Clint left in there, and he is still happy, and because I am not so self centered as to think that I define him.


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That night, I go in to Clint's room when he is asleep. He needs pills to help him sleep now, so I know he will not wake.

I straddle his waist, because I can see him better that way.

I look at him, and I think about what is going to happen very, very soon. 

When he is asleep, he is my Clint again. He is Clint Barton, Hawkeye, Avenger, and mine. 
When he is awake, he is not mine anymore. He belongs to his bow and his arrows, and nothing else, because he can remember those, and not me.

His face is just the same, and I keep his hair the way he likes to have it- all ruffled and spiked up, because he has always been a bit vain, and I am going to indugle that, because it's a part of him, and I need to keep the parts of him that I can. 

In his sleep he is relaxed and gentle. His face is not wracked by the constant confusion that everyday life now brings him. His brow is not furrowed, like it is when he is trying to comprehend a world that he can only half remember. 

I try to keep that in my head, so that I can remember why I am doing this. I can't let this soft calm Clint into my heart, because that will cloud my judgement. I have to think about how much of him is him, and weigh it up against how much of him is confused and hurt and upset and rotting away.

But because I am a sadist, I lean forward, and press myself up against the chest, and feel the beat-beat-beat of his heart.


o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o


Four days later, we go out to test just how far Clint can fire now that he's IMYA assisted.

He's brilliant. He can fire really, really far, so far that we have somebody stationed where he's aiming to collect the arrows, because that's quicker than looking for them afterwards.

That's mostly me, because I am looking for something, although I will not tell them what. 

We have a radio system- they tell me what he's aiming for, and I tell them when he hits.

Except that one time, about halfway through the day, he doesn't hit.


I don't tell them. I tell them he was dead on as always.

He shoots again.

He doesn't hit.

In fact, he's even further out this time.


I still don't tell them. I let Clint fire his whole quiver, and I tell them that he hit perfectly with all of them, because I am being kind.

I make my way back, and I know what is going to happen next.

I just really, really wish I didn't.


o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o


I get back to the team, and I don't have time to explain properly. 

I catch Tony's eye as I pass, and that is all I do. I look at him, willing him to understand.


I'm pretty sure that he does.

This is a good time. How happy all of us are. This is right, I decide. I am certain.


Then I walk up to Clint, and I shoot him in the head.


o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o


I will not tell them that it was assisted suicide, because I can't prove it, and probably, in technical terms, it wasn't.


o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o


On 28th August, I am arrested for the deliberate and pemeditated murder of Clint Barton.

I plead guilty. 

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