1963-12-20 - Shooting Gallery
Summary: When the gates that held the Muspell and Jotun came down, there were archers at the ready doing what they could.
Related: None
Theme Song: None
kate clint 


The last few days on the streets of New York have been hectic and chaotic. At first there were the gateways, bursting forth from the ground and bringing with it the giant creatures of ice that threatened the world. Then the dome sprang to life, and things took a dark turn with the giants no longer needing to gain access to the world, they patrolled, and attacked, and terrorized the city and its people with greater success. Then there was peace for a time, until this morning when no longer did the creatures fit the snow outside, instead an entirely different order of monsters beset the bewildered city. Creatures of flame and fire that moved as fast as the element they emulated. They were a menagerie of creatures, horned, spined, reptilian, and evil. And usually they would stalk through the city, hunt, and prey.

Though over the last few days the invaders were not the only ones on the hunt.

Quietly his voice reached her ears from the shadows. "Wait for me to fire, count to three, then loose." The sky was overcast, a haze of snow still coming down gently. Though not a touch of the chill seemed to reach those creatures from Muspelheim. A patrol of five red-skinned and horned creatures stalked down the street, leering, smiling, forked tongues cleaning the unblinking orbs of their reptilian eyes. They wore no clothes save bandoliers that allowed them to hang trophies of their earlier victories, scalps, withered hands, teeth, anything that could be taken from their victims.

Yet now they were in the sights of the former SHIELD agent, Clint Barton. Earlier the white phosphorous arrows had worked well against the Jotun, the bastards. Watching them burn had given him a warm feeling that had nothing to do with the heat given off by their corpses. But then this morning with these creatures… they had to change tactics.

Conventional ordinance was right out. Pistols, firearms? Toys when fired at them. But now, Hawkeye and the young woman who kept following him around had an ambush set… as well as some jury-rigged arrows that will hopefully make the difference.

Slowly, across the way on the rooftop, Clint gives Kate a small and slow nod. The bow creaks faintly as he brings it up, aims…

And then he fires with a faint /twang./ The arrow flies true, striking into the ground right in front of the lesser demons, its compressed cannister bursting abruptly and a brilliant white gas and powder, freezing and utterly cold explodes around them. Then at the count of three he gestures for her to fire as well.

*

Kate has an unwritten motto… well, it's unwritten now but eventually she'll put it to paper. She's already 'quoted' it to Clint more than a couple of times. 'I'll do this with or without your help'. Going up against the cold giant-things with a bow and arrow would normally seem awfully underpowered, but hey… when that's pretty much all that one has? One makes do!

With the added help of Clint, then, once he'd been sufficiently convinced (or guilted, take your pick!) the pair have been rather busy. Okay, very busy.

Now, Kate has her spot, her perch, and the hot little devils are on the attack. It's almost a shame to douse them in the growing cold of the season. She's watching Clint now for the signal, and when it's given, her own arrow flies silently in a slightly different direction, but it's not too far off. An explosive arrow that is aimed for the side of the fireplug, the explosion coming upon impact. Iron and water under high pressure start gushing from the 'plug in the direction of the creatures and Clint's arrows.

*

Oh they'd argued at first, he'd tried to get her to stay hunkered down and out of view, tried to get her to stay off the streets. But no, sometimes there's just no talking to the girl. So he brought her along as he could and at first tried to keep her to safer tasks. She didn't buy that. But then, lo and behold, it turned out she wasn't an entire liability. She had an eye, and she had the angle when she took her shots. Something you can't always train into someone…

And now, two days later she's keying in the shot. The explosive arrow /cracks/ aloud as it strikes that fireplug. The water bursts out into the hazy cloud of liquid nitrogen, adding ice and slush to cloud that covers those five devils.

At first they roar as they try and shake themselves clear of the deadly haze, ice crackling as it forms on them. Reaching back into his quiver, Clint grabs another arrow and nocks it in one smooth motion faster than the eye can see. "One more to sauce em." He comments idly as another chill arrow slices through the air and bursts amongst them, dropping the temperature around them viciously.

Then he tells her without looking at her, "One, two, three, pop em."

And then he draws a concussive arrow the same time expecting her to do likewise as he brings the bow back up, aims, and then looses.

*

Kate is trying hard not to fist-pump at the hit on the plug, and the ensuing carnage against the fire monsters. She's been watching Clint, and in these last couple of days, she's learned more about angles, about shots and just plain old -real- archery than she has, well, ever. It's not hard to see that the man -never- misses his shot; and just when she thinks he's picked his target, he's zeroed in on another.

Fan girl nearing hero-worship.

Okay, maybe not that bad, but there is a hell of a lot she can learn.

The bow never lowers; that, she's learned. Kate merely shifts her sight picture and pulls her arrows. One, two, three arrows aloft, each aiming for the creatures, ready to send arrow-death, now that they've chilled and won't eat the shafting with high temps.

Down. Down. Down.

Now that's teamwork!

*

It ends as quickly as it started, because that is what you want. An ambush where the targets have a chance to react is not an an ambush at all. The others are wrapped up with the same quick fire, precise and clean. "Shift and redeploy." Is all he says to her, no 'good job', no cheering, not even a smile. He's already up and cutting across the rooftop to the stairwell, holding the door open for her in the single moment she'll need to get there and then it closes behind them. He slides down the bannister of the first flight of steps and then continues down two more flights before he exits on the third floor into the hallway of the abandoned apartment building.

It's only once they're moving down that hall, an arrow already nocked in his bow just in case, that Clint addresses her further. "This is gonna get worse before it gets better."

So very cheerful.

*

Kate does take that moment, then, to mouth, "YES." She grins at Clint, only to hear 'Shift and deploy'. A frown creases her face, a mumbled 'spoil sport' comes hot on its tail as she moves past him and out. She can easily keep up with him; across the roof-top, and as she runs, it's honestly exhilerating to be out and doing something good. Down the stairs, and she's taking the first couple of steps before she jumps down the rest, using the hand-rail for that leverage to kick her feet forward and land on her toes.

Nailing it.

Once they're in a hall, Clint's bow raised high makes Kate pull and arrow and move forward nocked, staying low. "Told you you needed me." She sends a lopsided grin back, her breath catching. "We having fun yet?"

*

"This ain't a game, kid." Clint's response is less than jolly, despite the time of the year. Yet he keeps them moving towards the end of that hallway until he shoulders open the emergency exit door that leads out to the fire escape. He uncatches the ladder and slides it down to its ready position, trying to make as little noise as possible. The next moment he's dropping down into the alleyway, boots crunching the snow underfoot. For a moment he looks up one way, then down the other. His brow furrows and then he murmurs, "We're clear."

That having been said he slings his bow over his shoulder, the mechanism inside it whirring faintly as it collapses to be in the ready position. He starts down the way, stretching one arm out and working the joints of his fingers as he grimaces for a moment. "When we're on the job keep the chatter to the task at hand. Be a dork on your own time."

He eyes her askance, but then looks back down the alley as they move. Perhaps the closest thing to a joke she's gotten from him so far.

*

Eyeroll. Has Clint yet seen Kate's famous 'eyeroll'? Well, if not, he gets to see it up close and in person. "Yeah, yeah.." comes at his back as he gets ready to take the jump into the back alley. Her own bow, well… she's not as lucky as he, and hers is pretty much 'what'cha see is what'cha get' in terms of longbow. So, she has to do what could be considered 'the unthinkable' and pulls the bow over her shoulder so it crosses on a diagonal over her chest. Checking on her arrows, to make sure they're in place, she takes the jump and lands in the snow next to Clint. A boot slips, and she has to reach out to her 'partner' so she doesn't fall flat on her butt.

Rolling her shoulders now that she's somewhat stable, Kate pulls the bow back off of her so it's an easier carry. "Be a do- hey." Jerk. When he turns back around, she's sticking her tongue out at him, ready to blow that Bronx Cheer as they go on the move once again.

*

Darkstar arrives from Midtown.

*

Her own eyeroll faces the utter admonishment of the Barton Twitch as his eyes lift upwards and there's a slight shake of his head as if to say, 'ugh.' But then a slight smirk manifests as if on its own as he steps down the alleyway. For a moment he glances out onto the street, looking both ways and then murmurs over his shoulder to her. "Hungry?" He asks, though he's already moving before she answers so apparently he is himself.

It's towards a convenience store a few storefronts down that he heads. He pauses at the door, checking to see if it's locked. It is. A small frown returns and he starts to work on the lock, kneeling down in front of it for a moment. "We find some more twinkies they're mine this time." He tells her sternly.

After some fiddling he twists the lock and then the door faintly jangles as he gets it open. Quickly he slips through.

*

Kate can't help but smirk in return to his own eyeroll, and she's keeping close, watching his back. Four eyes are much better than two, and she's not that bad. Brows rise at the question, and the smirk turns to a full-on grin. "I won't touch your twinkies if you don't touch my yodels." Sweet, chocolate goodness. "Deal?" She's ready to put a hand out for the handshake, but the urge is resisted.

It's the fact, then, that Clint is breaking into the place that brings a soft hiss from Kate. "We're paying them, right?" She follows him in, closing the door behind her and keeping to the shadows, trying not to move too much. "Oh, they have Grape Kneehi.. you want one? Or are you more of an orange man?"

*

Clint slips into the room and then it seems like all the tension leaves him, no way are giants or demons sneaking around in a convenience mart. And it looks like the owner's beat feet a while ago. So he takes a deep breath and then starts to walk slowly down the aisle, "Pfft. I'll give you whatever and you'll like it." He glowers at her for a moment, but then smiles a bit as he starts to rustle through the contents of the shelves.

"If you wanna pay 'em, knock yerself out Ms. Katie Goldbags." He mentions as he wanders over towards one of the freezers. Sure they've most likely been off for a few days, but chances are it's been cold enough to maintani. He pulls it open and grabs a quart of milk, opens it, sniffs, then takes a few swallows.

"Kneehi, no. Might as well just drink food coloring."

But then he strolls towards the stool behind the register and pulls it out a bit so he can sit down on it while he starts to tear apart various bits of junk food for devouring.

*

Kate barks a laugh and shakes her head, setting her bow down on the glass countertop near the cash register. Now she goes in search of those yodels, craving that chocolate. "I'm willing to bet there aren't any brussel sprouts in here to force me to eat." Or liver. Yuck.

As Clint does his own 'shopping', Kate exhales a put-upon sigh as she digs into her pocket and pulls out a five dollar bill. She tries to push it into a crease of the cash register, "It makes me feel better." Nyah! Can Clint hear that in her tones, because it is so there! "And you'd better finish that mi- oh, god. Chocolate and milk." Goes together perfectly. Still now, it's a point of pride where she takes the purple softdrink and pops the cap. She frowns at it, but she's bound and determined now, not willing to admit that that milk is probably the better course of action.

"Hey.. grab that Turkish Taffy? I don't care what flavor. That'll be perfect later."

*

For a time Clint sort of checks out as he tears apart a small pack of oreos, breaking the cookies as he pulls them off of the creme filling and then dunking them a bit in the milk as he can. He looks distantly sort of downwards, that thousand yard stare of his present for a time. She might even feel like if she listened closely enough she might hear whatever inner monologue he must be having with himself, but alas… not in truth.

Another Oreo is dispatched and he chews on it for a time, then he looks up and his eyes meet hers. Levelly he tells her, "If we get out of this, I'll teach you. Something. I don't know. Not everything." His brow knits and he looks towards the door as if he heard something but he didn't. He looks back. "You seem like you're an okay kid. Seem like you've got your head on straight. Can understand you wanting to do something real, since most of you hoity toity high society types are lost in lala land."

He looks at the package of cookies and starts to pick apart another. "But a lot of what I do isn't nice." He looks the other way, towards the back of the shop. Then quieter he mumbles, "N'you prolly deserve better." He takes another bite of the cookie and shakes his head. "Asides, my time won't be my own soon. Probably."

*

Kate wanders back up and leans on the shelf, watching Clint now, having grabbed her bow back now. She watches him, and when he's off searching the middle distance of his head, she's digging into her pocket for a penny to ask the age old question, 'Penny for your thoughts'. It never comes, however, as he focusses, and their eyes meet.

Kate's heart stops for that moment in time, and she's not looking away, even if paid a million dollars. "We'll get out of this. You're Hawkeye. And if you don't, I figure that's pretty much a good indication that we're all screwed," Kate frowns. She takes a deep breath and rolls her shoulders back. "The more you teach me, the better we can be. You know it. Two good shots? Heck. We'd be better than … than … I don't know. Name someone, and I'm sure we'll be better than them." So there!

She takes a step forward to get into his personal space, where she's forced to look up. "You deserve me, and I'm pretty sure that there isn't anyone better to teach me, so…" No one that she wants, anyway. Stubborn girl.

Kate's eyes narrow, and she quirks her head, moving to the side, but not really moving out of his personal space, so he'll be forced to move if he wants the distance. "Why not? And if it's something cool, why not bring me along?"

*

"Oh sure," Clint smirks as he meets her gaze and for the moment he doesn't retreat. Instead he seems to just look past her, eyes distanced as if watching something just beyond her shoulder. His brow furrows again at some internal thought, then he shakes his head and tells her, "Next job interview I go on, 'Mr. Barton who is this?' I'll just snap back, 'Oh she's my sidekick, don't mind her. She gets my coffee n'all.'"

But then he smirks again, sliding back and off of the stool. He leaves his milk and cookies behind him and starts to walk back down the aisle, in search of something else. "Need some protein." He strolls, then finds what he's looking for. A big plastic barrel of beef jerky. He starts to reach inside and finagle a few of them out.

*

Oh look! Brown eyes are rolling again, and she's ready to toss something at him. "Because god knows that's all I'm good for." Kate grumps good naturedly now, and 'hrmphs' softly. "Besides, you made it sound like you're starting next Monday."

When Clint starts wandering the shelves for protein, Kate is going for sticky. She grabs a couple of the Turkish Taffy and pockets them, some bubblegum, and jawbreakers. A handful of jawbreakers. "Really? Milk and cookies first, then your dinner? Where were you raised? Sheesh." She's one to talk, though. Candy. "How many of those arrows have you got left? The freezy ones."

*

"Two, so from now on we're on the defensive." Clint recovers a handful of jerked beef and strolls back towards the front counter. "We lay low, try to find people that are trapped and guide them outta here." He tosses the slim jims onto the counter next to the oreos and then retakes his seat on the stool.

He eyes her for a moment then confides, "We get jumped I'll throw a few shots down, give you a time to evac. We split, separate, meet back here. If we're escorting people you take them, I'll lead the invaders off." Always good to hammer these details out before you have to.

Hawkeye then waves a hand to the side as if brushing away the possibilities. "Eventually we're gonna have to beat feet across the river. Mebbe link up with whomever is still kicking things up out there. Mebbe resupply and come back."

*

"Two," Kate repeats, and she nods her head in acknowledgment. "Okay. Then we choose our shots." She tosses a couple of pieces of bubblegum. "Just in case."

Now, though, she leans and finally drinks her Kneehi, and sets it down before she tries not to burp. It's hard-fought, and the younger archer has to lean to the side so it's not as bad as it could be. "Sorry.. um.. right. Rescue. If we get jumped…" and she pauses before, "I don't wanna leave you behind, Clint." There's the single complaint. "You need to not get hurt, swing back around and get back to teaching me stuff." So there.

She looks in the direction of the river, but that is blocks off. "We may wanna try and hit A1 in Brooklyn." The indoor archery range. "I'll swing by there if you want?" Still, the plans are good, and Kate is ready to put them all into motion. "Okay.. I'm ready."

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