Title: He's Our Sniper
Fandom: Avengers (movies)
Author: MusicalLuna
Rating: M
Characters/Pairings: Tony Stark, Clint Barton, Ensemble
Genre: Hurt/Comfort, Drama
Warnings: Violence, Language
Complete: Yes
Summary: None of them is invulnerable. The first in a series of hurt/comfort fics featuring the Avengers team.
A/N: This was supposed to be about how the whole team reacts to Clint being endangered, but I think Tony kind of took over. Shocker, I know.
Disclaimer: Do not own.

He's Our Sniper | He's Our Captain | He's Our Deity | She's Our Spy | He's Our Heavy | He's Our Genius

“Barton, on your six!” Tony barks, but it's too little too late.

Clint can fire inhumanly fast, but even he has reaction time and he's mid-shot when one of the giant, hairy things they're trying to get rid of barrels into his back and he goes down underneath it's huge clawed paws.

“Shit!” Tony says and then when Clint doesn't get up, doesn't even move, “Shit! Guys, Clint's down!” He swears again as three of the hairy beasts tag-team him, making it impossible for him to go and check on his fallen teammate and his pulse starts pounding in his throat. Clint is just so goddamn fragile in nothing but a Kevlar suit, and he's at a huge disadvantage in a close-quarters fight against monsters like these hairy bastards. “Fuck!

“I have him!” Thor says and Tony blasts one of the creatures away just in time to see Thor landing over Clint's crumpled body—figure, figure, he's not a body because he's not dead—his hammer nearly taking one of the monster's heads clean off. “They will harm him no further,” Thor vows and takes out another two with one blow.

Tony takes a deep breath and carries on and tries not to think about the awkward angle of Barton's arm and how he needs that arm to fire arrows and punch bad guys and annoy the shit out of him.

Which is fine for about five minutes, until Thor says, “I require assistance,” and he's panting and Jesus, Tony glances down and it's like Barton's bo—figure is a beacon, drawing all of their hairy, toothy asses right to him. Oh, hell no.

Cap's shield comes flying out of Tony's left side peripheral, downing two more of the beasts so it's starting to look like Thor's surrounded by lumpy shag carpeting and the Cap himself comes bounding across the rooftops, punching another monster right in the face as he scoops the shield up. And okay, yeah, Tony totally gets his dad's hero worship now.

He spots Natasha crawling up the side of the building like some kind of sexy, leather-clad spider and the Hulk's roar comes up from the street, rattling windows the whole way up and knocking Tony's head against the inside of his helmet. Somehow Clint is suddenly the convergence point of the battle and Tony has had it with these stupid, ugly Sasquatch-bears-from-Hell and Clint is still not fucking moving what the fuck.

He growls and blows out half a dozen of the furry bastards with the miniature missiles he'd really been trying to conserve for more well-armored jackoffs, thankyouverymuch, and then jets over to the adjacent rooftop, continuing to fire off missiles the whole way.

Cap lets out a cry of rage, a sound that kind of scares the daylights out of Tony, especially coming out of the Cap, and one of the largest furballs goes flying off the roof, having been sucker punched in the throat. His guts twist. What the hell had it done to deserve that?

Tony's metal-booted feet crunch down on the gravel and Hulk crests the building just behind him, bellowing. He tears into the last dozen fur-monsters like a bulgy green hurricane, the pupils of his green eyes shrinking to mere specks when he sees Clint, sprawled and still, between Thor's spread feet. Then Thor calls down a whole shitstorm of lightning and really, at that point it's all but over with and Tony tunes them and the hairy bastards dropping like flies out.

He flips back the visor of the Iron Man suit and stomps up behind the Captain who's on his knees beside Clint's head, his mouth tight with worry and one hand, freed of it's glove, curled around Clint's neck. Barton is all but drenched in blood, his Kevlar vest glossy and red with it, and streaks like paintbrush strokes covering his neck, the underside of his chin. There's a dark, ugly gouge in the exposed flesh of his left shoulder and it's pumping scarlet in waves.

“What the fuck happened?” Tony demands and his voice comes out shrill and strangled.

The Cap's face darkens. “One of those damn things took him in it's mouth and tried to drag him off,” he says and wow, he's really pissed.

Clint's face is white beneath the blood and the look on Steve's face is freaking Tony right the fuck out. “Is he—?”

“He's alive,” Steve says grimly and then adds, “but his pulse is a mess. I don't like it. I wish he'd open his eyes.”

Yeah, Tony gets that because he's wishing it, too.

Natasha paces near the edge of the roof, her eyes darting over to look at Barton every few seconds, her jaw tense and her fingers pressed to the comm in her ear as she issues terse orders for a med evac ten minutes ago.

Overhead the crackle of lightning finally fades and the roiling clouds draw back, smoothing out into a soft, misty blanket, tinted orange by the lights of the city. Thor lowers Mjölnir and the Cap wastes no time, gesturing for him to join him down next to Clint. “Your cape, Thor, I need you to take it and press it down over these wounds to slow the bleeding. But careful, don't press too hard.”

“We want you to stop the bleeding, not turn him into a hamburger,” Tony says, barely aware of the words and, god, these people are way too familiar with him, he doesn't get a single dirty look for that.

Thor nods solemnly, setting Mjölnir aside and draws his cape off, settling it with care over Clint's wounds and then putting his hands one over the other and rising up on his knees, pressing down. Clint convulses, waking with a strangled noise that's probably supposed to be a scream. Jesus, now Tony takes it back, wishes he hadn't regained consciousness. Tony can feel his mouth falling open; his brain has gone offline, leaving him with just ohshitshitshitohohgodfuckshit.

“Hey, hey, Clint, it's us,” Steve says, warm and soothing, “Hang in there. You're going to be fine, you hear me?” He runs his hand over Clint's short hair and that's so incredibly sappy, but fuck if Tony doesn't wish he could do it, too, and feel the heat of Clint's blood under his skin where it belongs.

He's theirs and no one's going to fucking take him from them.

Clint gurgles and looks terrifyingly pale, and he drags the fingers of his unpinned hand against Thor's wrist, panting, “S-stop. Stop, my sh-shoulder—”

“I know it hurts, Clint, but—”

Barton makes a noise Tony could have gone his entire life without hearing and carries on trying feebly to push Thor's hands away, his face screwed up with pain. “It's dislocated!” he finally manages, his voice breaking and Cap's eyes go wide.

What?” Cap swipes his hand through the air and Thor draws his hands back like he's been scalded.

“I was not pressing that hard!”

“It wasn't you,” Cap says, pulling back the fabric of the cape to get a look and then cursing under his breath when he sees whatever he had apparently missed. “Natasha!” he barks, “Get over here!” He doesn't wait for her response before shuffling a little closer, bending over Clint and saying, “I'm sorry, Clint. I didn't see it. Natasha and I are going to reset it now, okay?”

Clint whines, his feet digging furrows in the gravel covered rooftop. He forces his eyes open, revealing them, glassy and unfocused and he gives a sharp nod, the tendons in his neck standing out beneath the skin. Then Natasha drops to her knees on his other side and she takes his arm in gentle hands, draws it straight and wads the excess cloth of Thor's cape in his armpit. Cap moves so that his thigh is parallel to Clint's uninjured arm, braces his right hand on his shoulder, clasps Clint's hand with his left, and then nods the go-ahead to Natasha.

“Deep breath, Clint,” she says. Clint takes a shuddering breath and Natasha puts her foot against Thor's cape, her hands clasped around Clint's wrist and starts to lie back.

“Oh, shit,” Tony breathes.

Clint bucks, makes another horrible noise, and Steve holds him down with grim determination. Then something in Clint's shoulder shifts and he goes loose, gasping and starting to take wet, gulping breaths.

“Okay?” Cap says, still holding Clint's hand tight.

He gets a small nod in return, Clint's eyes easing shut. “Much better. Thanks, Nat. Cap.”

“Make me do it again and I'll slit your throat,” she says and walks to the edge of the rooftop again, staring out at the speck of a helicopter in the distance.

Clint lets out a choked laugh. “Do my best.”

Cap nods and squeezes Clint's shoulder before looking up to Thor. “Please put pressure on the wounds again.”

Thor looks dubious. “Will that not exacerbate the pain?”

“Oh, yeah,” Clint says, “but pain I can deal with. Blood loss, not so much.” And that's why Clint's an Avenger. Because if he had to, he could shrug off the pain and keep at it until his body just fucking quit on him. That and the fact that he can hit a fly from a mile and a half away. But that other thing, too.

Thor concedes this truth with a raise of his eyebrows. He moves forward, adjusts the cape, and with no further protests, lays on the pressure again. Clint grunts, the tendons in his neck straining until he adjusts to the new level of agony.

“So. So he's okay now?” Tony says, staring.

That gets another huffed laugh and Clint clenches his eyes shut. “Hell no.”

Tony's heart, or, well, whatever passes for it now, flutters anxiously.

Steve looks at him and, yeah, these people know him way too well. “He needs serious medical attention, which is already en route, but for now yes. He'll survive.” He looks back down at Clint, his eyes soft. “Isn't that right, soldier?”

“Sir, yes, sir,” Clint murmurs wearily.

Tony can hear the chopper now, but he can still see all the blood, the unnerving whiteness of Clint's skin and he feels utterly useless, a feeling that he's neither familiar nor comfortable with. Cap catches his eye again and Tony gets that feeling, a feeling he's been getting a lot lately, like Steve knows what's going on in his head.

“Bruce should be coming back to himself anytime now,” he says. “Can you find him?”

“Uh.” Tony blinks. “Yeah, absolutely. I can do that.”

Steve nods, his hand smoothing over Barton's head again, coming to rest at the crown. “Good. Let me know when you find him and we'll arrange a pick-up.”

Tony waves a hand and he can feel himself staring, but he can't stop. “Nah, I got it. Bruce likes it when I go all groomsman on him.”

Steve's mouth twitches and Clint snorts.

“Hey,” Tony says as he moves toward the roof, sliding the Iron Man faceplate back into place. “Don't die before I get back, all right?”

Barton just closes his eyes and smiles.


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February 2014


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