Clint hadn’t expected to find a non-human on his way back from his latest mission. Not a non-human in the mutant sense - those, he was pretty much used to by now - but in a very evident ‘no way am I from earth’ sense. One minute, he’d been making the fifteen-mile trek back to his rendezvous point…
…and the next his eyes were fixed on a tall, blue-skinned figure inscribed with what appeared to be long lines and sharp angles.
"Who’s that?" he demanded, hand flying to his bow by sheer instinct.
No answer was offered. Whoever they were, they dodged away quickly, concealing themselves behind a small group of dormant yews coated in thick flakes of white. Clint could still see thick, shiny onyx hair catching the wind and betraying their hiding place, and he eased his hand away from his bow. ”Hello?”
"Go away, Barton."
Well, that was definitely Loki’s voice.
Clint’s brow knitted with confusion and he took a few steps closer. ”Loki? I thought you were imprisoned in Asgard somewhere - “
"I escaped. Are you hard of hearing, mortal fool?! Leave!"
"Make me." Clint walked closer with less trepidation now. "If you escaped, then you’re not allowed to be here. Which means you can’t make a scene, or big brother will come for you. You’re all bark and no bite right now, aren’t you?"
Loki was silent for a while before mumbling, “You always were too clever by half. I should have kept you for myself; you’d have made ever such a lovely companion.”
"Come on out, Loki."
"I will not," Loki spat from behind his rather desperate hiding spot.
Clint sighed and closed the last few spaces between them…and what he saw very nearly took his breath away. Loki had shed his ostentatious golden armor - or, more likely, it was removed forcibly - and was in simple, thin clothing. The cold didn’t seem to bother him, and Clint suspected that was because whatever Loki truly was was designed for the cold.
Loki was indeed blue now, with eyes like polished fire opals. Gorgeous patterns, the meanings of which were lost on Clint but the beauty of which was not, ran over his skin in thin, raised lines of cobalt. Perhaps most astonishing was the set of four small horns - more raised areas, really - he now possessed. Two larger ones featured on either side of his forehead, and two small enough to be more like thorns at the ends of his eyebrows. He was astonishingly different, shocking to look at…
So beautiful, Clint thought to himself even as he trained his face into its usual stoic mask. And yet Loki seemed unnerved by himself, very much unlike the proud and roaring god Clint knew. Except for his anger, he looked almost ready to bolt, like a frightened deer.
"Hiding wouldn’t stop me from shooting you if I wanted to shoot you," Clint huffed. "You’ve been in my brain. You know what my job is and you know I’m damn good at it."
Loki looked at Clint warily. ”…you do not mock me?”
"What’s to mock? I don’t make a habit of embarrassing people once I’ve defeated them. Not unless they’ve really earned it. And sure, you were an asshole, but I’m guessing from your general lack of attempts at world domination and the enslavement of the human race, something got through to you.”
Loki was still very obviously mistrustful, but he turned to face Clint fully. ”I am unusual in appearance, I am sure. I did not see blue humans running about during my last stay here.”
"Try Las Vegas," Clint responded. "Look, you can’t stay here. This is hostile territory, and the guys who own it won’t take kindly to you being here no matter what color you are."
"Are you suggesting I come with you, Barton?"
Clint shook his head emphatically. ”No! Hell no, my boss would shit an entire litter of kittens.”
"Ah, yes. Director Fury. I am guessing the passing of kittens as waste is a ridiculous euphamism meant to indicate rage."
"You guessed right." Clint looked around and wrinkled his nose briefly. "Look, if you want help getting out of here, follow me and stay outside the cabin I go into. I’ll meet up with my coworker, then we’ll work on finding you someplace where you can do minimal damage."
Loki smirked. ”And here I was thinking you’d learned something while you were under my control. The damage I do is never minimal, Barton.”
"Don’t make me change my mind," Clint warned. He started southward, keeping a sharp eye out behind them. "Jeez. What I wouldn’t do for a nice snowstorm right now. I could use the cover."
"You humans and your bizarre relationship with the weather. I seem to recall you complaining about the snow the last time I was in your head."
"You mean the only time you were in my head. Though I guess you’re right in that it will be the last.”
Loki snorted derisively…
…but three minutes later, he and Clint were hidden completely from their trackers by a rather aggressive line of snow which seemed to have come out of nowhere.
((Wanna prompt me? Click here to find out how!))