Title: Blood on My Name
Summary: After an enemy attack, Clint and Steve are left stranded, alone and hunted. But as the ploy unfolds, it becomes clear that this is a dangerous quest for revenge, tied directly to the events in Slovakia and to Clint's own past. Sequel to 'Of Bonds Forged in Fire'. It might be a good idea to skim through that one before reading this.
Chapter title: When the Days Are Cold
Author's Note: Hi! It's me again. I'm back with another and this time it's the sequel to "Of Bonds Forged in Fire" that no one asked for! No matter, I hope you will enjoy this as much as I enjoyed writing it!
Chapter titles will be from "Demons" by Imagine Dragons.
Enjoy and please leave a review when you're done. That would be amazing!
Disclaimer: All rights go to Marvel, Disney and whoever else is lucky enough to have a part in the glorious MCU and its characters!
"True redemption is seized when you accept the future consequences for your past mistakes."
The clear blue sky was dotted with only a few puffy white clouds and allowed the sun to shine its warm, comforting beams down on the Bulgarian field and the small cabin that rested in the middle of it, surrounded on all sides by the thin-stemmed trees with high crowns littered with green leaves. A light breeze blew across the terrain, ruffling the high, delicate grass and softening the strength of the sun shining down.
It would have been a picture-perfect of serenity had it not been for the black Quinjet that had landed on the ground next to the cabin, its large back-hatch open and a large black box and smaller different items resting at the foot of the ramp. Steve hauled his duffel bag over his shoulder as he surveyed the calm area to make sure there were no enemy eyes watching them as they made ready for departure. He fixed his blue eyes on the entrance as Clint walked out with his own duffel bag slung behind his back while he carried the dark steel case that held his collapsible bow with his free hand.
"I'm gonna get the jet ready to fly," the archer said as he exited the cabin. "You finish up here on the ground?"
"You got it," Steve affirmed and stalked over to properly lock up the cabin they had stayed in for the past five days.
It was the first mission the super soldier had together with Barton since the whole Slovakia incident. It was now four months since they had been sold out by an inside mole to the arms dealer Andrej Novotny, which almost cost not only Clint his life, but also that of Natasha's and Steve's own trying to get out of the country. They had managed to locate the mole though and another, larger team had gone in to take down Novotny's cartel before they could do anymore damage in their area with their stolen alien weapons. George Stein, the mole that supplied the location of their safe house, was disavowed and jailed for treason and selling government secrets and Novotny would never hurt another soul. It was soon back to business in SHIELD and Steve had joined six solo missions with Natasha while Clint recovered from his wounds. The archer even managed to sneak in his own mission before being assigned to Steve again. By now, enough time had passed that the captain went from being a simple observer to a partner, which meant Clint hadn't been as begrudging about the whole idea of having Captain America along for company as before.
But it had been a simple job and the mission had only taken about five days to finish. The most action they had really seen was when Steve had had to grab a hold of Clint's collar as the archer nearly fell from a seven story building after placing his foot on a loose stone. Perhaps not the most adventurous, but Steve was glad to see not every mission turned out to be a fight for your life, though he did suspect Fury was perhaps being a bit too reluctant to hand out the tougher, longer assignments yet. But he figured it was only a matter of time before those were placed in his hands and they would soon come. So he enjoyed what he considered a small break from all the action for awhile, though he found himself slightly restless and itching for actual challenges. And he felt it in Barton too.
The archer hadn't supplied anything more from his past other than the short conversation they had had in his hospital room. Clint hadn't been willing to divulge anything more or acknowledged that they had even had that conversation in the first place and Steve hadn't brought it up again. He figured the SHIELD agent would open up in due time and when he finally did, the super soldier would be there to listen. But Steve had noticed that Clint seemed to have eased up slightly around him and relaxed more without keeping up his constant walls. He seemed more himself, like when he was with Natasha. And Steve was glad the archer was willing to show it to him.
Steve was jerked back to reality by the slight whoosh of the mechanical door that locked as he entered his code. He picked up his bag from where he had placed it on the ground and walked back to the Quinjet. Its engines were slowly starting up as the slim jet prepared to fly. Steve carried the rest of their belongings up the smooth ramp and into the cargo hold. He dumped it off to the side where Clint had dropped his things, except for his bow case, which rested just behind the pilot's chair, within easy reach. Steve was careful not to bump it with his foot as he stood behind Clint, who was pushing various buttons on the control board in front of him, preparing take-off.
"We ready?" Clint asked, as he pushed one button and the ramp started to lift from the ground to close. "Because it's too late now."
He grabbed a hold of the control handles and soon the whole jet seemed to vibrate with energy and a soft hum filled the cabin as the jet slowly lifted and blew the grass below into a frenzy. Then they were airborne.
The field with the cabin grew smaller and smaller the higher they rose until soon it was only a dark speck against a sea of green and the Quinjet flew across the Bulgarian landscape as stealthy as a panther.
They had only been in the air less than an hour before trouble arose. They had just passed Greece when the sudden beeping tore Steve out of his thoughts as he sat in one of the seats in the cabin, drawing mindlessly on a sketch of the Bulgarian cabin in the field.
He immediately abandoned his project to stand next to the pilot's chair, where Clint sat and stared at his controls with a light frown creasing his eyebrows.
"What's going on?" Steve inquired, while he gazed out into the calm blue sky in front of them.
"We have incoming," Clint stated suspiciously and pointed at the radar, where a small object was drawing nearer their position.
"What is it?"
"I don't know."
"Enemy hostiles, perhaps?" Steve guessed, though he couldn't determine how they found them or who they actually were. They left no loose strings behind in Bulgaria, at least no one that could scramble a flying counter attack this fast.
Clint didn't answer at first. His observant eyes switched from searching the sky around them to the flickering dot on the radar and the small red alarm that flashed next to it. Then they widened as understanding dawned on the archer.
"That isn't a plane. Cap, strap yourself in now!" Clint was quick to order as his hands tightened around the handles so tightly his knuckles whitened.
Steve didn't need to be told twice and he hastily made his way back to the nearest seat. As he fumbled with getting the tight security straps to work, he asked, "What is it?"
He feared he already knew the answer by Clint's alarmed tone, but before the archer could answer, his fears were confirmed. A large explosion shook the entire cabin violently and with such force Steve was pulled from his seat, the seatbelt not yet buckled, and slung to the other side of the cabin where he collided hard to the steel floor. Clint got jerked in his seat so hard it sent his headphones flying away from his face and he felt something in his back snap at the impact.
"Cap!" he yelled as he saw the Captain fly through the cabin out of his peripheral vision.
Dazed, Steve managed to crawl onto the seat by heaving himself up by the seatbelts and with shaking hands he managed to secure himself, while Clint struggled to keep control over the jet. Out of the windows, he spotted the orange flicker of flames on the right side and quickly looking back, he saw the bright blue hue of the sky. Red and yellow lights were blinking and flashing their colors and alarms screamed loudly in his ears as the Quinjet swiftly descended from their position in the sky. Everything rumbled and shook and the wind tore violently away inside the jet through the large hole blown into it.
Clint desperately put on his headphones again while he yelled their mayday into the SOS frequency and prayed somebody would listen and the blast hadn't destroyed their only hope. They were falling fast and he knew there was nothing he could do to stop it. The only hope he had was that they had just managed to clear the small ocean between Greece's mainland and the island Corfu was just underneath. He tried his best to aim for the spot most likely not to tear them to shreds upon impact, but Corfu was all hill slopes and mountains, which made it practically impossible. A large rocky mountain appeared in front of the jet and Clint pulled with all his might on the steering handles to avoid the jagged edges. What remained of the right wing narrowly scraped past the rock but by then it was already too late. The ground was too close and Clint, knowing it was too late, pulled the handles back in one final attempt to rescue the aircraft.
Then the Quinjet connected hard with the ground, Clint yelled out a curse and then everything faded to black.