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[personal profile] kat8cha
Title: Failure to Launch
Pairing: Loki/Clint
Rating: PG
Warnings: Hypnosis, Loki is a creeper but really nothing goes down.

He likes the man.

Loki is no stranger to ‘human’ weakness, to the fallibility of emotions or the trouble they cause but he cannot help but like Barton. The man is… Loki believes that were things different perhaps he and Barton could, or would, be friends. Companions. As it is, Barton will kneel with the rest of his world.

It starts with a drink.

Not the kind of drink one enjoys late at night, the kind that makes you slur sweet affections into a friend’s warm embrace, to tumble one another onto sheets and tussle for control and dominance, no, it begins with coffee. Loki has a passing fondness of coffee. He has sampled it through the mortal form and puppet mouth of Selvig. He has tasted it once on his own but leaving Selvig to take mortal form is… difficult. Selvig rebels against his hold and distance affects his control, as does the act of becoming corporeal. Loki is unsure how much Selvig understands, how much he knows.

But the man does know that something is not right.

Selvig’s eyes are beginning to blur but he is so close to a breakthrough. He knows it, it’s just out of reach and he just needs to… a hand rests on his elbow and when he turns to snap at whatever junior scientist has decided to irritate him (Loki’s acerbic tongue fueling his own) he finds himself facing Agent Clint Barton.

“Here, doc.” Barton hands him a cup of coffee and Selvig takes it reflexively, downs half of the steaming cup in a few mouthfuls. Barton’s lips are curled in a comfortable half smirk, one of two facial expressions he always seems to wear. “Can’t get any work done if you’re dead on your feet.”

“Thank you.” Selvig finished the coffee and sets it aside. The theory he was grasping at is gone now, faded into the ephemeral world of scientific hypotheses. “Perhaps you could keep me company.” It is Loki’s tongue behind Selvig’s, Loki’s words and he doesn’t know why he says them any more than Selvig.

Barton shrugs, the muscles required are hidden under layers of uniform black but the movement draws the eye none-the-less, and hops up onto an empty lab tale. “I don’t know much about science, doc, but I can nod and smile like the best of the ass kissers.” He follows this statement up with a smile that, Loki is sure, blinds mortal women.

Selvig snorts and moves around. Loki pays no mind to the conversation he has with Barton, he spends his time studying the man instead. Barton is attractive, and intelligent, and dangerous. One of Fury’s best men, not that such a statement matters much to Loki. He could be a useful pawn.

“How did you meet the director?” Selvig asks, head bent over data.

“Prison.” Barton answers off-hand. It causes Selvig to look up in surprise. Barton’s shakes his head twice and smirks again. “Don’t ask, doc. It’s a longer story than you’d stay awake for.” And not the kind of story that Barton is interested in telling.

Selvig pauses over his data, eyes glassy. “…I think I’ll head to bed, that coffee isn’t quite enough.” He nods at Barton and passes him by, “thank you.”

“No problem, doc!” Barton calls after him.

Once Selvig is settled in his bed, exhaustion keeping him there when Loki disconnects their tether, the god searches for the marksman. Barton is not in the lab anymore and so Loki heads up. It is no secret that Barton flees to the highest, loneliest perch when at all possible. Loki finds him at one of the look-out towers around the compound.

Alone.

He drifts close to Barton, briefly surprise when the man seems to catch sight of him. Barton stares into Loki’s eyes, fingers drumming on a thigh holster, before he shakes his head and looks out at the empty wilderness.

Loki places a hand on Barton’s shoulder and leans to whisper in his ear. “Why were you in prison?” Barton stiffens under him. “Tell me.”

“Murder.” Barton mumbles. His eyes sweep the empty landscape, catching on nothing. “Extortion. Accomplice to theft. Aggravated assault.”

Loki is mildly surprised. Barton did not seem to be the violent type. No, he was deadly but not violent. “Who did you kill?”

“My brother.” Barton stiffened and twitched violently but when he turned to look behind him there was no one there. Nothing there.

The coffee began it; the death of Barton’s brother furthered it.

A brother killer. It was… not a novel concept, as old a tail as they came, but it interested Loki nonetheless. When Selvig lay convalescent in his uncomfortable bed Loki, unburdened by mortal concerns in his immaterial form, took to following Barton around. The man kept himself apart from the rest of SHIELD’s workforce, he was friendly enough but it was a bland sort of pleasantness that allowed him to slip away with a bare minimum of a conversation, with only the shadow of a relationship. Loki, used as he was to shadowing society, found it intriguing.

His eyes would sweep the room when Loki was in it, though he never found what disturbed him so. Loki wondered if he did it to the room when he wasn’t there but there was no way to tell.

When Barton lay down for a few hours of necessary sleep (only a few hours and thankfully always during Selvig’s rest time) Loki would brush incorporeal fingers over the man’s brow and lean down and listen to secrets fall from Barton’s lips. He learned of the man’s relationship with his father (poor), his brother (argumentative), his time in foster care (unwanted).

The more he learned the more Loki grew attached. He decided that, when the time came, Barton would surely serve him. Would understand… eventually, if not at first.

The universe spun above them, galaxies unveiled to their eager eyes, the scientists gasp and press close to the ‘tesserect’, their eyes turned upward. Selvig twitches violently, his fingers reaching to turn it all off but his arms not joining in the effort. Security presses against the walls or crowds at the back of a wall of white coats.

Barton is frozen with his hand on his holster, his eyes glued to Loki’s own.

Loki stretches out a hand.

It is the beginning.

(The end.)

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June 2012

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