Clint stared as the flying Chitauri whale-snake went by the Helicarrier and he remembered. He didn't remember much because of the goddamn mind-whammy, everything was fuzzy and shit, but THAT one thing stood out clearly. He remembered.
Fuck. FUCK. Goddamn it all to Hell.
“YOU!” The techie screamed when he dropped down from the vent onto her desk. Maybe he should've used the door, but fuck it, there's no time. “Scan the Chitauri ships. Look for life signs emitting Gamma radiation.”
“I can't, you destroyed all the consoles!” She scowled at him, crossing her arms across her chest.
“I didn't touch the long range scanners, so get to it!” And he might still have some crazy left around his eyes, cause the techie paled and complied.
“Which ones do you want me to scan?”
“All of them.” They had promised, he had heard them, it had to be there. They had promised.
“Umm... I've found one. It's in one of the bigger Chitauri crafts, but it's rather faint.”
“It's not faint. It's small.” He activated the homing beacon in his belt. “Track me and guide me to the right ship.”
“That's an order! Screw this up and I will shoot you between the eyes!” He didn't waste anymore time and left, heading at a run towards the hangar.
“Black Widow, this is Hawkeye. Need you help in a rescue operation.”
Getting to the right ship had been a piece of cake, once they acquired a Chitauri scooter or whatever that shit was. Getting into the ship was even easier, thanks to those nifty guns mounted at the front. They sure could blow a pretty big hole.
And inside? The alien scumbags were right for the picking. Oh sure, the first few arrows bounced off their armored hides, but they didn't have armored eyes, now did they?
Tasha figured that out for herself pretty quick too, and together, they left a whole lot of corpses in their wake.
“Agent Barton, come in.”
“If you tell me we're in the wrong ship, I swear-”
“According to my readouts, you need to take a left. The energy source should be straight ahead.”
“If we survive this, drinks are on me.”
Turning left led them to what looked like the ship's bridge. Several of those ugly fuckers were gathered there, pointing their guns at them. But Tasha was quick like a rattlesnake on speed. They barely had time to blink (or whatever) before they were missing an eye and most of their brains.
All but one. And this one had what they came for.
It was wiggling and crying, kicking it's bare feet in the air. The lone Chitauri was holding it by its little nape and shoulders, his gun pressed into its temple. It was hissing something at them, almost snarling. Clint didn't need a universal translator to understand 'hostage situation'. Normally, he or Tasha would've already taken him out, but the angle was too narrow, they might hit that wiggling tiny thing.
The Chitauri screeched at them, making jerking movements as if to scare them into lowering their weapons. When they didn't, it pressed the gun harder against the little head, shaking the little body for added effect. The alien probably wasn't expecting the effect it had on his small hostage, though.
The little face turned even redder, tiny hands clenched into fists. With a loud cry that turned into a wail, electricity flashed from the little fingers. The charge jumped backwards and hit the Chitauri like a miniature lightning bolt. The alien screamed as it was thrown backwards, freak claws releasing the hostage.
Clint dashed forward to catch the mass of flailing limbs, while Tasha emptied her gun into the Chitauri.
“Hawkeye, are you going to explain now?” she asked, voice hard.
Clint pressed the still crying rescuee to his chest and started running out of the bridge. “Later. We gotta get to Loki first.”
Tasha pursed her lips into an angry line, but followed without commenting.
Their cargo didn't shut up the whole way out of the ship, nor during the hovercraft ride. Which was a good thing, because it only helped to get Loki's attention that much faster.
“LOKI!” Clint yelled, jumping onto the Stark Tower roof as soon as they landed.
The god spared them one glance, then blasted Thor clean off the roof, efficiently ending their fight. Then he turned towards them, eyes literally flashing red as he took a menacing step forward.
“Give me my child!” he snarled, lifting the scepter threateningly.
There was only one thing Clint could say to that. “Dude, take him, he's yours!”
Loki stared at him for a moment more, eyes narrowing in distrust. But then the baby paused in its cries to let out a pitiful mewl, and Loki reacted immediately. He threw the scepter to the ground and rushed forward. He took the baby out of Clint's arms and into his own, holding it almost reverently against his chest. He pressed a shaky kiss to the top of the little head, then sunk to his knees, body curling protectively around the infant.
Clint gave a heavy sigh, suddenly bone-tired. But at least it was almost over.
“Hawkeye.” Tasha walked up to him. “Explain. Now.”
“When I was whammied, I overheard a Chitauri transmission.” He watched as Loki started petting his baby's soft blond hair, soothing the kid's cries. “The bastards were blackmailing Loki with his kid. Said if he didn't get the portal open on time, they were gonna give the kid back limb by limb. When you knocked me back to myself, I remembered that part.” He watched as Loki rocked back and forth slowly, his face pressed into his kid's little head. “I had to do something.”
“I thank thee then, Son of Hawk.” Thor said as he landed near them. “You are truly a valiant warrior to save my nephew.”
“Right, you're brothers.” Clint had forgotten that part. “But hey, I can totally see the family resemblance. The blond hair, the blue eyes. And the lighting, can't forget the lightning.”
Thor frowned in confusion. “What do you speak of, Son of Hawk?”
“The kid totally made lightning come out of his hands. Gotta be related to you, right?”
Thor frowned in thought. “Indeed, mortal.” He stared at his brother holding his baby tightly, then walked over to him. He kneeled gracefully and, ignoring Loki's angry hiss, extended his hand towards the baby. His fingers hovered over the little body and as Clint and Tasha watched, tiny bolts of electricity started dancing across the digits. A moment later, a tiny hand reached out and released sparks of its own.
Thor's face turned disbelieving at that, then enraged. “They dared steal the child of Thor?” He snarled as he stood up, then hurled himself off the roof and into a passing Chitauri hovercraft, smashing it to pieces. Then he jumped on to the next one. Then another.
Clint had the weirdest urge to say 'Wow, look at him go', but there was only so much a mountain of muscle with a magical hammer could do. The Chitauri just kept on coming.
“Hey, Loki.” Nothing. “Loki.”
The god ignored him, his complete attention on his baby.
Clint moved closer to him, then kneeled. “Hey, Boss.” Eyes green like poison snapped up to meet his own. “You gonna help us out here?”
Loki looked back to his son, pointedly saying nothing.
“Cool, I get that. You got your kid back, ain't nothing more important. Thor'll take care of the vengeance part, right? I mean, from what I can see, he's doing a bang-up job, with emphasis on the bang. Sure, most of them will get away, but it's the thought that counts, right?”
Loki was looking at the airborne battlefield.
“Sit back, Boss. Enjoy the show.” Clint said, sitting back himself, shifting slightly to get comfortable. A moment later, the baby was back in Clint's arms and Loki was walking to the ledge.
“Watch him, minion.” The god murmured, red eyes tracking the various Chitauri ships. “One burn on him and I will skin you alive.”
“Burn?” But then the sky darkened and swirled with magic, and Clint kinda forgot how to breathe.
Dark, nearly black clouds gathered all over New York City. They flashed green for a second, then turned a deep red, as red as blood. Even Thor's thunder storms didn't look this ominous.
The sky exploded inwards as Loki lifted his glowing hands and litterally set the clouds ablaze. A flick of long fingers, and balls of fire started raining from the sky. Well, maybe raining wasn't the right word. In fact, it was an entirely wrong word, considering how the balls of fiery death were targeting the alien armada. Kudos on the spheres turning to ash upon contact with anything else. No damage to Earth or humans. But the Chitauri? They didn't stand a chance.
Clint stared at Loki, his silhouette practically black against the blazing inferno. He swallowed heavily, then carefully shifted the kid closer as a flaming ball streamed past them while it chased an escaping Chitauri.
This was why you just didn't piss off the god of chaos.