It was a year after the defeat of the Chitauri, and the Avengers, even Thor (Who had helped Heimdall rebuild the Bifrost), were gathered at the Avengers Tower (Once called Stark Tower) to celebrate their One-year Anniversary. They had all (minus Tony & Thor) wanted to make it a small, private affair with just a few guests. But no, Stark had invited tons of strangers that they didn’t even know. It went late into the night and Hawkeye was asleep on his feet by the end of it. The first to retire was Steve, closely followed by Clint and Natasha. None of them really cared for the festivities at 5 in the morning.
They rode the elevator up to their rooms. Clint, whose lodging was on the top floor, was the last to get off. He walked down the hallway, opened the door to his bedroom, and flopped down onto the bed. He was asleep instantly.
“Clint, wake up. I need to talk to you. This is urgent, Clint. WAKE UP!”
Hawkeye jumped up off the bed, grabbed his longbow, notched an arrow, and pointed it at the speaker. Seeing who it was, he lowered his weapon and yawned.
“Hello Chiron,” He said. “What’s so important that you had to interrupt my beauty sleep?”
“I didn’t know that you would still be asleep. You are usually awake before ten.”
“Is that the time? Really? Well, I can explain myself: there was a huge party yesterday that went until five a.m. that I was forced to attend. Anyway, you’re getting off track. Why did you IM me in the first place?”
“I need you to meet me at the Queens-Midtown Tunnel. I believe the war will be starting relatively soon. The Son of the Sea has asked the entire camp to go there. You will be filled in as soon as you arrive. You’ll be late if you don’t hurry. Ah, looks like we’re here. See you in a few minutes!”
With that, Chiron waved his hand through the mist, ending the connection. Clint sat on his bed, frozen in shock for a few seconds before breaking out of his motionless state. He had to get ready and leave. But first, he needed a way to exit undetected. The archer opened the window and whistled twice. Then, he walked over to the closet to get some (relatively) clean clothes.
Clint changed out of his tux from the previous night and into his black and purple armored vest, his archery glove, and regular black pants.
Hawkeye opened the safe Tony had installed in his room and took out his largest triple quiver, celestial bronze and trick arrows, a canteen and baggie of nectar and ambrosia respectively (which he stuffed in his quiver’s pockets), and a plastic comb. After hitching his stuffed quiver over his shoulder and putting the comb in his pocket, Clint grabbed and disabled the (supposedly) hidden camera behind the screened picture using a microchip that erased all recent video.
The avenging archer wrote a quick letter to assure the others that he hadn’t been captured and left it on his bedside table. He then climbed onto the windowsill and jumped, landing on a golden pegasus.
“Hi Arrow,” he said. “Could you take me to the Queens-Midtown Tunnel?”
Arrow the pegasus whickered as if to say, “sure!” before flying straight up and into a fluffy white cloud.
Natasha walked into the room where all of the Avengers were eating brunch. Scratch that: where almost all of the Avengers were eating breakfast.
“Where’s Clint?” the Black Widow asked.
“Probably still sleeping,” Tony replied through a mouthful of Belgian waffle.
Agent Romanoff frowned.
“I thought he was down here. The reason I was late was because I was checking to see if Hawk was still asleep. I knocked 58 times.”
“Fifty-eight times?” Tony exclaimed. “Did you count or something?”
Completely, oblivious to Stark, Natasha turned to the others. “Have any of you seen him?”
“No, sorry Tasha,” Cap told her. He, too, was frowning.
“Nope,” Tony said, popping the “p”.
“Uh-uh,” Bruce replied with a shake of his head. “I only just got up.”
“I am sorry, Friend Natasha, I have not seen Friend Clint,” Thor announced (he announced almost everything), “But I will help you search for him.”
“You know,” Iron Man said, tipping his chair back. “I could always have JARVIS check to see where he is.”
The AI immediately spoke up. “Mr. Barton is not anywhere that I can see. Although the camera in his room has been disabled.”
“You put cameras in our rooms?” Steve looked horrified.
“Safety precaution,” Tony replied. “Let’s take the elevator. Either someone did it to capture our archer friend or Hawky didn’t want us to see something.”
“Or he didn’t want you spying on him,” Bruce added.
The five of them piled into the elevator and Thor pressed the top floor’s button.
“JARVIS, are the cameras outside Clint’s bedroom working?” Agent Romanov asked the AI.
“Yes,” JARVIS replied. “But there is no record of Mr. Barton coming out. Or anyone else coming in.”
Natasha sighed just as the elevator dinged open. They all walked into the hall. Steve knocked on the door.
“Clint, you there?” He called. No response. He tried the knob. It was locked.
“JARVIS, unlock the door,” Tony commanded.
There was a click and the door swung open. The sight that greeted them was not the most pleasant. Hawkeye’s bed was a mess, his safe’s door was ajar and empty, his favorite bow was missing, and the window was wide open.
Natasha ran to the window and looked up, down, and all around. No sign of her partner. “What’s this?” She heard a voice inside say. Turning around, the super spy walked over to Clint’s desk, where the others were gathered. Cap was holding a piece of paper.
“This is a note from Hawkeye,” He said.
“Read it, Captain of America,” Thor announced.
“Natasha, Steve, Thor, Bruce, and Tony,” Steve began. “I’m sorry I left so suddenly and without warning. Something urgent in my personal life just came up and I had to go immediately. I can’t say more here, I’m kind of in a hurry. -Clint. Natasha, has he ever left suddenly like this before?”
“Now that you say that, yes. It was about nine years ago. He left suddenly, and when he came back, he told me that his young cousin had passed away. Apparently, she was only twelve.”
“Do you know anything about his ‘personal life’?” Tony asked.
“Well, basically our work is our life. Although, on Clint’s off days in the summer, he helps out at a camp he went to as a kid. Also, a lot of strange things happen to him. He’s like a trouble magnet. Whenever he goes for a walk or something like that, he always comes back with cuts and bruises. He never says where he got them, ever.”
“Hey JARVIS, is there any audio for this room before we came in?” Tony asked.
“At ten o’clock there was a voice that I do not recognize,” JARVIS responded. “It seems that Agent Barton had a conversation with this voice before leaving. Would you like me to play the conversation?”
“Yes, please,” Bruce replied.
The recording began: “Clint, wake up…”
They all stared at each other in confusion after the audio was over.
“Um… What was that about?” Steve asked.
“Well, I don’t know. What I do know is that Hawk is going to the Queens-Midtown tunnel. How he left, I have no idea,” Natasha replied.
“He probably used those Ninja skills of his, being Master Ninja and all,” Tony said. Everyone, even Thor, rolled their eyes at the joke. Clint had claimed to
have ‘super awesome ninja prowess,’ which he had displayed multiple times. Once, he was in the same room as Steve for 48 hours without anyone even noticing. Another time, he had climbed a seemingly smooth-walled building right in front of their eyes. And they were all used to the archer dropping into the room through the air vents.
“Let us go help Barton in this war,” Thor announced.
Steve looked at his team assembled around him. “Avengers, time to suit up.”