Cover Art provided by SomethingIncorporeal.
My Enemy Is My Friend
Fandom: The Avengers
Pairing: James "Bucky" Barnes/Clint Barton
Warnings: No Warnings Apply
Full Streaming Audio
MP3 | Size: 49 MB | Duration: 53:59
Growing up, I never really thought of my sight as all that impressive. I mean, everyone could see clearly from 200 meters away, right? My father beat the shit out of me for lying when I was six and said that I saw him kissing Miss Norma from three blocks away. My mom cried. I still don't know if she cried about what I saw or what Dad did.
I didn't say much about it after that, but I still saw and wondered why other people didn't. It took Trickshot two years of watching me after I joined the circus to realise how good my eyes were. I'd already been working with the acrobats for six months. I still don't know what gave me away.
It was my sight that got me in trouble with him a few weeks after I turned seventeen. I was already the Amazing Hawkeye by then. I had also been his lookout for a few years. I didn't know what they were doing, but I knew they didn't want anyone to know what it was. Barney told me it wasn't anything bad, just something the cops and the tax man wouldn't like. Yeah. That was an understatement.
It took me four months after they beat the shit out of me for narcing before I worked up the courage to take a job solo. It was all low level stuff to start. One drug dealer wanted another drug dealer dead. I made it happen. Then one cartel boss wanted another dead. I still made it happen. I haven't killed any legitimate heads of state yet but I'm working my way there. I've already killed two not so legitimate.
I've met other people like me. Other assassins. For the most part, they tend to be either sadistic assholes or cold scary bastards. The Winter Soldier was the scariest of them all. Cold hearted bastard who rarely spoke. You only ever know him when his metal arm is wrapping around your throat and choking the life out of you.
I actually saw him from two blocks away. I was up on the roof across the street from my mark: some big shot company man who also did a little money laundering and people trafficking on the side. The client wanted him taken out in front of his board. Shot through the skull so they were all covered in blood. Personally, I thought it was all a little over kill but the money was good and the dude was bad. Who am I to quibble? Just meant I had to use the rifle instead of my bow. I love my bow.
I had my shot lined up and ready and I kept glancing at the street. It's a nervous habit. I wasn't sure where the glint had come from the first time I saw it. Someone's Ray Bans, maybe? I studied the street for a solid minute. Tokyo in September in the business district looks a lot like New York: plenty of suits and people focused on getting where they're going.
Then I saw it: the glint of a metal hand hidden behind a riding glove. The man was larger than everyone else and moved like he owned the street. Long black hair fell over his eyes and everyone avoided his gaze. He was a man on a mission and he was entering the building I was sitting on top of.
I figured there were two possibilities: there were two hits on this guy or someone had a hit on me. I'm good at what I do but I don't merit the freaking Winter Soldier. At least I don't think. Maybe he was working low balls for the hell of it. God, I hoped there were two hits.
I checked the line I had secured that would take me all fifty floors down fast. My bow was around my chest and I'd leave the rifle in a heartbeat.
Ten minutes later, the only door to the roof opened. I already had a pistol trained on the big guy while I kept half an eye on the meeting room across the street. If I was really lucky, I'd get the shot and keep my life. I can be an arrogant idiot and don't like to leave a job unfinished.
"Hey, there, big guy," I said. The Winter Soldier just looked at me. He'd stopped moving but I think it was more out of confusion at seeing me than any real fear of my gun. He was carrying a rifle case and I saw the bulge of a semi-automatic under his coat. Then of course there was the scary metal arm.
I'm a sniper. I control my breathing for a living. I kept my cool on the outside. Respirations and heartbeat remained normal. No tell-tale sweating. My eyes moved easily between him and the target. Inside, I was pissing myself.
"If you're here for Mr. Hamasaki, I got it."
"And if I'm not?" he asked. He had an American accent. I hadn't exactly been expecting hard Russian or anything (even if he was a Russian assassin) but the bland American threw me for a moment.
"Then who are you here for?" I asked. If he looked at me wrong, I was going over the side.
He watched me for several long minutes. People were starting to come into the conference room and I really wanted to concentrate on that but there was no way I was diverting more of my attention away from him than I already had.
"Mr. Hamasaki," he finally said. "I was not informed of your presence," he added like that was somehow my fault.
"Yeah? You and me both, big guy." The target was entering the room and moving to his seat. If I was going to take this shot, I needed to do it now. "So, if I turn my back on you, are you going to put a knife in it? Or a bullet?"
The Soldier set his case down and held his hands open. Harmless. Like a barracuda. He moved slowly to my side so he could see the conference room. If he was going to kill me, he could always use my rifle to take out the target. Comforting thoughts, mine.
I could still get to my escape route and I still had my bow around my chest so I was happy as I was going to be with the freaking Winter Soldier five feet away.
The meeting was getting underway across the street and Mr. Hamasaki was sitting with his back to me. This job was almost too easy. I lined up the shot one last time and glanced at my wind markers to confirm speed and direction. I took a single breath in, held it and squeezed the trigger. The expected recoil didn't move me and I was already packing up my rifle as people started screaming in the room. As expected, blood and brain matter had bathed the room in gore. It was all a little too anime horror for my taste but whatever. Money was money and the guy was dead.
"So," I said, packing the rifle away with quick efficiency. "I figure there are two possibilities for why you're here."
The Winter Soldier raised an eyebrow. He was looking curiously between me and the conference room. A glance at the rifle now in the case and I remembered that most snipers needed a scope. Yeah, Winter Soldier, I thought. I'm that badass. Please don't kill me.
"Either the client really wanted to make sure Mr. Hamasaki was dead and one of us was insurance," I continued. "Or you're here for me." I looked him dead in the eye when I said it. I can't read people as well as some of the grifters I know, but I'm not bad. Especially when trying to figure out if someone is trying to kill me.
He looked me up and down. I fought not to fidget. I really needed to get out of here before the cops started coming but I refused to be rushed. And apparently so did the Winter Soldier.
"You are not my mission," he finally said, like that solved all his problems. And maybe it did. It solved none of mine.
"Good. That's cool." I swung my rifle across my back. "So I'll see you around then."
He squinted his eyes like he wasn't sure what to say to that. Sirens sounded from a few blocks over and his gaze moved to them. I took the chance and swung over to drop the hundred feet or so to the balcony where I'd left a window open.
When I looked up to pull my line down, he was gone. Shaking my head, I packed everything up and ducked inside. Five minutes later, I was walking down the street away from the sound of sirens. My head was down and my weapons looked like luggage. It's a classic for a reason.
I don't know what gave him away but I pulled a pistol from my belt and pointed it to my left as the Winter Soldier came out of an alley. He raised the eyebrow again.
"What happened to not your mission?" I asked.
He shrugged his flesh arm. "You're not. Who are you?"
For a split second it looked like there was genuine curiosity on his face before it went blank again.
"The Amazing Hawkeye," I answered with no small amount of sarcasm.
He nodded once. "That makes sense."
Before I could ask what the fuck that meant, he was gone. Bastard.