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Another glamorous day in the life of an Avenger, Clint thinks resignedly as the ground heaves beneath his feet and catapults him into the air. His trajectory is impressive enough that he has an instant to reflect upon the pure spitefulness of Loki hurling him in a direction in which none of his teammates are available to catch him, and then he has to turn his attention to landing without mauling himself inconveniently.

He twists in midair just enough to miss the granite edge of a nice planter and instead destroy forever the glorious futures of an innocent patch of nasturtiums. He skids through the garden, plowing up dirt and cigarette butts, and because the universe hates him follows this up by tumbling into a decorative fountain.

He hauls himself out, spitting water and mulch (Clint has seen what dogs and small children do in public fountains, thank you very much), and is gladdened to hear a supernaturally echoing bonggg that can only be from Thor bringing his hammer down on Loki’s latest magical mischief device. Loki’s furious ”No!”, audible even half a block away, pretty much bears that theory out.

There’s another bonggg, but this time it’s accompanied by the shriek of tearing metal and a pure-white explosion that knocks Clint straight back into the fountain.

He hauls himself out again, dread sitting heavy in his stomach, and stumbles back towards the fight. If the impact of that explosion, or whatever it was, was enough to knock him off his feet...

Well. His teammates had all been considerably closer.

He rounds an upended SUV and finds himself at the edge of a perfectly circular clearing. Thor’s flat on his back in the middle, next to Mjolnir and the smoking remains of Loki’s device. Loki’s a crumpled heap of armor nearby, looking surprisingly small for someone who regularly causes so much trouble. Natasha and Bruce are lying just beyond, at the edge of the circle, and Clint thinks that since Bruce has de-Hulked it’s a pretty good bet they’re both at least unconscious.

In fact, Steve’s the only one who’s stirring at all, over near Iron Man. He sits up, his uniform hanging off him, and the part of Clint’s brain that always gets him into trouble in serious situations notes that it’s about time they encountered a scenario in which Steve does not emerge from a fight looking heroically scuffed up and instead looks like anyone else who’s just had his teeth handed to him.

And then he takes another few steps and realizes that no, Steve looks disheveled and human because that’s what happens when you put a ninety-pound weakling in an authentic Captain America suit and then rough him up a bit.

He stares in horror. Steve catches his eye and says, “Hawkeye, are you okay?” and then stops because yeah, his voice doesn’t usually do that. There’s a horrible moment in which Clint sees a lot of expressions cross Steve’s face that he never, ever wants to see again, and then Clint says “I’m fine, it’s okay,” and spinelessly changes direction to go check on Thor.

The big guy’s breathing, which is a relief, and looks like he always does, which is even more of one. He doesn’t seem to be injured, just out cold.

There’s a rustle of cloth and armor behind them, because of course the universe would choose to revive Loki when there’s only Clint and half of Captain America to deal with him.

“What happened?” says a voice, and it’s a child’s voice.

Clint whips around. Sure enough, Loki’s armor is now inhabited by a small boy with dark hair and a scared expression.

“Who are you?” The boy demands, his voice shaking. “This isn’t Asgard. Where am I? What have you done?”

“Loki?” Clint asks, just to be sure. The boy raises his chin in a defiant gesture he’s clearly learned from someone else.

Clint catches Steve’s eye over Loki’s shoulder. On the one hand, disguising himself as a child and pretending to lose his memory just to fuck with them would be a very Loki thing to do. On the other, Steve’s currently barely beating five and a half feet tall and Loki probably didn’t intend for his magic box thing to be hammered to death, so it’s possible that this kid really doesn’t have a clue.

Loki sucks in a breath. “That’s Asgardian armor,” he says shrilly, pointing at Thor. His sleeve covers his hand completely. “And that’s Mjolnir. That’s supposed to be in the vault!”

“Loki, kiddo,” Clint says, using his best talking-to-scared-people voice. “There’s been a bit of a magic accident. You know magic, right?”

Loki nods.

“Okay. This is going to sound kind of weird, but a minute ago you were an adult.” He points down. “This is Thor.”

Loki struggles to his feet, holding up his newly overlarge pants, and shuffles over. “He does look a little like Father,” he says after a moment. “And my clothes are too big.”

“Yeah, good point,” Clint says, relieved that the freakout seems to have been put on hold. Benefits of growing up in Asgard, he supposes - they probably get this shit all the time.

“We were in battle?” Loki asks. “Has the foe been vanquished?”

His face is earnest and worried, and Clint’s a lot of things but mean to kids isn’t one of them, even if the kid in question is normally a reality-warping sonovabitch. “Yeah, he’s... taken care of. Don’t worry about it. Hey, do you mind sitting here with Thor for a moment? I need to go check on my friends.”

“Of course.” Loki nods and sits down primly on top of Mjolnir, struggling momentarily with his breastplate. “I shall watch over him.”

“Thanks, kiddo,” Clint says, and ruffles Loki’s hair before he can stop himself. He doesn’t immediately lose a limb or turn into something slimy, which is another mark in favor of the genuinely-amnesiac-child-Loki theory.

Steve’s gamely working at Tony’s armor.

“I can’t get his faceplate open,” he says. “I’m pretty sure he’s just unconscious, but I can’t actually get at him to check. I think it’s jammed or shorted out or something.”

Clint works his fingertips under the edge of Tony’ helmet and tries to pry it up. “You okay?”

“No,” Steve says shortly, and then, “I’m fine.”

Clint snorts. “Yeah.”

Tony jerks underneath them, nearly causing Clint some severe manly distress with his left elbow. “Whathefuck?”

“Tony, are you all right?” Steve asks.

“Ow, shit. I feel dented.”

Tony’s voice is... awfully high-pitched. Steve and Clint trade looks.

“Can you pop up your faceplate for a sec?”

Tony fumbles with one hand, finally managing to release it. “Agh, why does my chest hurt?”

“Uh,” Clint says, when it’s clear Steve’s been rendered speechless. “I think it’s because you didn’t build that suit with boobs in mind, Tony.”

Tony glares. It’s... a surprisingly delicate expression, all of a sudden. “Are you saying I’ve got man-boobs? Because I know you’re an asshole but - “

The penny drops. Tony does a little shimmy in his suit and goes pale.

Where is my dick?” he grinds out.

“Magic stole it,” Steve says seriously.

“I’m just going to go check on Natasha and Bruce,” Clint says, and bails before he can become Tony’s mortal enemy by laughing his ass off. Clint likes his credit rating where it is, thanks.

Natasha groans and rolls over as Clint reaches her. “Oh, my head...” she stops, staring at a handful of red curls.

“Natasha?” Clint asks warily.

“I’m Bruce,” Natasha says, voice deliberately even, and then her eyes go wide and she lurches to her feet. “Don’t let her wake up!”

“Wh - “ Clint says. “You - aw, shit.”

He throws himself down by Bruce’s - Natasha’s - body just as her eyes open.

“Hey, Natasha,” he says, as calmly as possible. “Lie still, okay?”

Natasha freezes obediently - like him, she’s had enough experience with regaining consciousness after a fight to do what an anxiously hovering teammate tells her to without question.


“Neutralized. Don’t talk, okay?”

“Is anyone else hurt?” she asks, and he sees the moment she registers that her voice is too low and that there’s someone that sounds like her nearby telling Coulson that the Avengers need backup and tranquilizers here yesterday.

She sits bolt upright, looks down at herself, and Hulks the fuck out.

The next few minutes are very crowded.

Bruce was just far enough away that he manages to take cover behind a monument to some guy on a horse - it’s listing a little from their earlier battle, but still solid - even though it looks like Natasha’s body is causing him some balance issues. Clint dives to the side, rolls to his feet, and gets picked up in the nick of time by Tony, who carries him out of Natasha’s range saying “Ow, fuck, ow,” under his breath.

Steve, whose protective instincts turn out to have nothing whatsoever to do with the degree of protection he’s capable of providing, immediately bolts towards Thor and Loki. He pulls Loki down and stretches out his free arm to shield Thor’s head just as the first wave of debris hits.

There’s a sputter of green sparks and the debris patters harmlessly to the ground. Clint has just enough time to catch sight of Loki’s white face and outstretched hand, and then Coulson arrives like the cavalry with a tranquilizer gun big enough to take out - well. Exactly what it takes out.

Coulson eyes them - tiny Loki, scrawny Steve, female Tony and suspiciously un-graceful ‘Natasha’ - and says, “Huh.”