antivillain: (T.R.)
He sang, "Yodelay-hee, I ain't no untarnished Galahad,
Down from Arcadia like a dream in your head
But gentle lady, lend me the true heart I never had
And I'll stain the lavenders red
With all of this good blood I shed,"
Lancelot said.

. Dave Carter


I do not think they will sing to me.

We have lingered in the chambers of the sea
By sea-girls wreathed with seaweed red and brown
Till human voices wake us, and we drown.

. T. S. Eliot


The joy seclusion's savour gives
He shall discover soon who lives
In open air; and that is why
The wise prefer the open sky.

. Visuddhimagga

Tracking

Mar. 25th, 2013 01:40 pm
antivillain: ([Av] arch)
Scorched
Mist )

Syndemic
Zombies )

Memes
Cheerfulness )
antivillain: by <lj user="notascienceproject"> ([blue] unmade)
Name: Merry
Age: Range: 25-30
Personal DW: [personal profile] holdwine
email/msn/aim/plurk/etc: [plurk.com profile] halflingmerry
Currently played characters: None

Canon Source: Marvel's The Avengers
Canon Format: Whedon Film
Character's Name: Clinton Francis Barton (middle name a deadly secret), known as "Clint", "Barton", "Hawk" or "Hawkeye".
Character's Age: Early thirties? Hard to tell: face looks older, physique could be younger.
Sex: Think we have time? I mean, male.
Species: Human.
Character Suitability: He loves to shoot things and blow things up. Good team player. Not a stranger to covert laboratory installations. Also very keen to work through/make up/be punished for what he did under Loki's influence, and simultaneously really wanting to escape introspection. Mindless combat? Lemme at those zombies already.

Character History: Marvel wiki
Point in Canon: After end of movie. In which all things seem hunk-dory… except now that the world-saving and duty-filling and team-playing is done with, Barton has to reckon with himself. For what he did under Loki's power, for how easily and completely he went under Loki's power… yeah, yeah, gods, magic, whatever. In his book, "[a] (G/g)od made me do it," no matter how unthinkably literal, is still a lame excuse. So when he first wakes in the lab, he has all sorts of knee-jerk theories: the Chitauri managed to grab one of them after all for whatever kind of probing you could think of; or S.H.I.E.L.D. are being assholes about the debriefing; or someone else has captured him to be an asshole about debriefing; or he's finally getting the punishment he deserves. The "fictional character" thing… he'll be very attentive to all of it for the wider perspectives it may yield, but in some core of his being, without necessarily worrying about why/how, he just won't worry about it—not buy it. 'Cause that, too, seems like too easy a way out. For all we know, we may all be brains in jars, or neutrons firing in someone else's brain in a jar. He still has to act as if he's responsible for his actions. So get on with the actions.
Previous CR: N/A

Character Personality:
It is, traditionally and habitually, extremely hard to tell what Barton is thinking. This could be for several reasons: (1) he's an introvert. (2) he's a trained counter-intelligence/anti-interrogation/undercover operative. (3) he's really not… actually… thinking so much. Tactics, certainly. Observation, definitely. Association, possibly. But introspection, philosophication, or running commentary? Not a lot.

Current science suggests that octupuses (-pi?) are much smarter than their small brain-size would suggest, because their nervous system is more equally and intensely distributed around their whole bodies, particularly in the suckers of their tentacles… why, e.g., a severed tentacle can keep moving around and grasping things independent of the rest of the body/cranial brain. Basically, their skin can think. That's kinda Barton. He and his brain stopped talking—y'know, intimately or familiarly—a long time ago; delegated to a professional/formal relationship. His focus went very vigorously to other functions and processes: physical fitness and ability and skill set. His mind was only useful in service to these things. And, okay, solving puzzles; but that's not as much a reflective pursuit, it may have to make connections with things past and anticipate things coming, but it tends to be very much immediate, in the moment. And in the way he's come to visualize things, still seems more concrete than abstract. (Like his dead-reckoning: doesn't involve any kind of storytelling, rather the constant visualization of a birds'-eye-view real-time map and himself moving across it.) So he's not big on abstract conceptualization; and at this point, his body can do a lot of its thinking without mental conference. His fingertips, soles of his feet, limbs, muscles, they know what's going on, what they've got to work with, how to react, how to initiate.

As for things like morality and purpose… he'd rather outsource those as well. So he'll pick for whom and with whom he works very, very carefully. And after long enough with Fury and Tasha, that's become a more visceral instinct as well: be able to size people up fairly accurately and quickly on gut instinct; and their actions are likewise paramount. What people claim or how they aspire pales ultimately to what they actually do.

That's part of why his partnership with Tasha was so great. Not just that she did all the thinking—which isn't actually true, in many situations they bounced off each other quite mutually. But interpersonally—first off, that term was able to be redefined to suit their shared experience, their company. She was able to stimulate processes he didn't typically activate (or have access to, anymore/ever) in himself; and he allowed her to relax into a situation where there was no ongoing intrusion, demand, fear of distance or silence. They could be quite comfortable and companionable—even intimate—without having to constantly reaffirm/"communicate"/reach out.

It's a kind of being in the moment, perhaps, that zen masters advocate.

At the same time… at the same time. As he's lately found. It can be ungrounded. There's a fine line between in the moment (when perhaps it's on more superficial a level than actual zen mastery) and unrooted. Where someone like Loki can friggin' hijack you, 'cause you're not so tethered to whomever you, historically, habitually, in more than this present moment, really is.

Maybe that's not true. After all, Barton was hardly the only one taken down.

Doesn't mean he's not gonna think about how he was taken down. Remade. Reused.

And how to keep it from happening again.

Might be time to try and sit and think about things, not just watch something else, or find the next activity, the next mission. …Try to actually… reflect. …Or even just really, truly, sit, with only himself. His first arrival here will be a great opportunity to try it.

Appearance/PB: All the pictures

First Person Sample:
Dead Weight test drive meme (w. Loki)
Intro post to Scorched
Banter thread w/facetwin on Scorched
Bakerstreet ridiculous meme (w. Thor, Tasha & Coulson)
Another ridiculous meme I shouldn't be half so pleased with but am (w. Cap)

Third Person Sample:

However unthinkably literal, "(a) [G/g]od made me do it" is still a lame excuse.

…somehow the "fictional" idea just doesn't bother him. Or perhaps doesn't compute. But the fact that it won't computer doesn't bother him either.

'Cause ultimately, it just seems like too easy a way out. For all we know, we may all be brains in jars, or neurons firing in someone else's brain in a jar. We still have to act as if we're responsible for our actions. So might as well get on with them. And if someone wants to say we're not real… whatever. On the moment-to-moment level, doesn't really change anything.

So that wasn't what made him think twice about watching the movie he was supposedly "from". It was more... well...

The spying.

To get another look at Loki— fine. Dandy. Might as well. Barton didn't want to yet very much did— forget that. Ultimately, he was duty-bound to see as much of it as was available. More than he could stand, if it was there to be stood. Whatever there was to learn, he should learn. The only way to be free of it was to face it, or to claim mastery/liberty; not just receive it at Tasha's hands (fists) but through it himself. When something scares you, do it.

And it was a chance to see it rather than try to remember it. One of these things was infinitely more reliable, and possibly comfortable, than the other.

So he didn't mind watching Loki.

It was his allies. He didn't want to spy on them.

Thing is, this tape existed. At all. Was open for others to view. Therefore, as an ally, he should see it. If he didn't owe it to them—but maybe yeah: he owed it to them. To see what was exposed so nothing could take him or them by surprise, so he could all the better defend if need be. To be able—

(when no one else knows)

to keep it for them.

('No one else will know about your past, so it's all the more important that you keep it.')

Barton sat and watched the movie.

It was pretty good, actually.

Fast paced. Funny. Mostly respectfully ...and disrespectfully when deserved.

Those were some of the best bits.

It was also less disorienting than expected. People don't look the same on screen as in life. Dimensions, maybe. Absence of other sensory input. Smells. Texture. Everything. So for a lot of it, it was shockingly easy to imagine he was watching a documentary or newsreel, or, indeed, a fictional portrayal of people he knew by pretty good impersonators.

Even watching loki was.... okay. Possibly even better. Seeing the guy reduced to a two-dimensional Snidely Whiplash in a box was strangely satisfying.

The only people he was uncomfortable watching were himself (no shit. cognitive dissonance. embarrassment. disinterest.) —and Tasha.

They didn't work like this. He didn't look for what she didn't choose to show. Didn't pry for what she didn't tell. The bits where she was in crowds, talking to others—fine, public face. His presence would have made no difference to her behavior, so no difference for him to see it now.

But the moments where she was alone, when she allowed herself just a second of feeling her own humanity, her own weakness, which wasn't weakness at all by far, it was those who shied from feeling it who were weakened by it, as opposed to those like Tasha who simply didn't allow others to see she felt it—

That was an intrusion. That was betrayal.

That was when he looked away.

Though the fight between her and himself, surprisingly, didn't get to him. He was too busy feeling distracted and annoyed by all the smash cuts. Like a choreographer trying to actually watch the dancing in a musical number which is getting mangled by close-ups. You couldn't tell what moves were being made or how the fight really progressed. C'mon, man. It was like you were trying to hide...

...stunt doubles.

The first lightningstroke of doubt—or possibly of belief. Are we just.... creations?

...and that suddenly made it even more of a nonissue for him.

everyone's a "creation" of some slice, most folks from most places would argue. Since no one could agree on "by whom/what" and "whyfor", why not say it was by an author for entertainment. No more crazy than some of the other theories.

He let the moment pass and didn't miss it when it failed to return.

In the final analysis, as in the first analysis, it wasn't worth worrying about.

He got for the first time that weird adage I think, therefore I am. It meant: if to him it seemed like he was in charge of himself and had to make his own decisions, then he had to feel like it and act like it, 'cause deciding to abdicate that responsibility for the sake of some Creator being in charge was... still... just lame.

He'd had a tiny life—travel and… maybe… impact on events notwithstanding; adventures that don't reach your mind or heart aren't ultimately that big—but dammit he'd take responsibility for it.

He finished the movie.

Watched it again. Admittedly fast-forwarding some bits.

He thought about watching it a third time. But he didn't want to. And anyway, he had the images stored by now.

He felt kinda… desensitized.

There was the old world. Nicely packaged, in a box.

It made him feel a bit more… defensive? …actually, protective, of it, than he even had while actively protecting it.

Well, fine. Until he could get back there, he'd keep it in a box for himself.

Kinda felt like a gift.

So, with that, possibly not as his captors(?) had intended, which just made it all the better, it was time to take a good hard look at this new world.

IC contact

Jun. 26th, 2012 12:42 am
antivillain: ([SHIELD] sky)
Go for Barton.
antivillain: ([SHIELD] glycerined)
Or do I?

All feedback welcome!
antivillain: ([nil] yep.)
(is this icon too much?)

out of character

Backtagging/Late tags: Always!
Threadhopping/Threadjacking: More always!
Fourthwalling/Canon-puncturing: Go for it. Though he may decide not to process it.
Offensive subjects: Even more always!

in character

Hugging/Kissing/Flirting with this character: Go for it! Results may vary… hard to predict with this guy. He may go for it like a Valkyrie or he may shut up like a clam. There's also an outside chance he may get… don't want to say violent, but disconcerting. (And I haven't decided if he's still a virgin or not.) Let's talk!
Punching this character: As long as you don't mind that he's hard to hit and will try to hit back, go for it!
Fighting with this character: Heck yeah!
Torturing/Injuring this character: Sure! Let's talk!
Killing this character: Oh, it'll probably happen sometime, but let's talk first!
Other: Hawkeye has no defense against magic, except really hating it. He may use internalized anti-interrogation techniques to resist mental invasion—we can discuss it but my default setting will be to assume that won't work. ;-) (In other words, you can read/take over his mind; he'll try but fail to defend/resist.) One can't always think one's way out.
antivillain: (Default)
Out of Character Information


player name: Merry
player journal: [personal profile] halflingmerry
playing here: Remus Lupin ([personal profile] lumenrelegandus)
where did you find us? [personal profile] eisdamme
are you 16 years of age or older?: Yes

In Character Information


character name: Clint Barton
Fandom: Marvel's The Avengers (movieverse)
Timeline: Arrived in Anatole mid-"cognitive recalibration": having just fought with Natasha Romanoff (Black Widow) during the raid on the S.H.I.E.L.D. helicarrier, while under Loki's mind-control. Tasha beat him soundly. He thinks he's half-dreaming about being strapped into a chair in a detention cell, feeling like the worst detox ever, with Tasha telling him it's gonna be okay. Instead, he wakes up not strapped into a crappy apartment with one of Stark's gizmos bleeping at him.
Update for reapp: He remembers his last time in Anatole - because he arguably never left? (See "Anything Else")
character's age: Childhood doesn't count, so where do you count from? [If trying to guess by looks: probably early 30s, but hard to gauge 'cause his face is more aged (skewing older) but he's in exceptional physical shape (skewing younger).]

powers, skills, pets and equipment: Hawkeye is a master-level archer. He has exceptional aim, seen "send[ing] an arrow into moving targets with pin point accuracy". Supranormal spacial awareness, split-second calculation and anticipation are demonstrated by shooting "an enemy warrior off a fast moving vehicle while looking the other way." [199999] His precision is not affecting by arrows having different attachments (grappling wire, explosives, etc. from his trick quiver) so he's adaptable. (Also see: he's shown sometimes using his bow as a shortstaff.) He can fire arrows with supranormal rapidity.

Other skills include hand-to-hand combat, both armed and un-. He's extremely advanced as he's shown as a formidable opponent to Black Widow. Of course she beats him, but it takes her whole minutes longer to knock him out while she's on her feet than it takes her to pwn a roomful of mafiosos while tied to a chair. He's a valued S.H.I.E.L.D. agent and a veteran espionage operative, whose training, while (paraphrasing Tasha) not covering gods and magic, probably does include other forms of weaponry and tactics. He can also pilot small aircraft.

Equipment: sadly, his trick arrow quiver and collapsible recurve bow are not going to make it to Anatole with him. No guns or knives either. He was stripped of weapons by Tasha before they strapped him in to sweat out Loki's brainwash. All he's got from home is his S.H.I.E.L.D. jumpsuit. (Which has the appropriate pockets/flaps/etc. for carrying such things around should he manage to pick up new ones later. It also has at least one spare bowstring sewn into it: see below.) He can rough it with really basic, possibly self-whittled, bow and arrows for a while.
Update: He's back with awesome Tunnelmen-crafted gear, including a replacement recurve bow and trick quiver. (His giving them the design was part of the payment.)

Mist-influence: His "near-perfect" aim has become more perfect; he has enhanced, exceptional detail recognition, distance vision, and dead reckoning. Like most predators, he may not be able to spot you if you're camouflaged and motionless, but if you try to sneak at all, he can pick out movement instantly.

canon history: [Movieverse, a.k.a. Earth-199999]

Barton became a soldier/Black Ops agent in the military arm of S.H.I.E.L.D.. He was close to his recruiter and mentor, Nick Fury—a closeness which doubtless saved Barton's ass over the Black Widow debacle. He was assigned to assassinate Natasha Romanoff. Instead, he voluntarily blew his cover, joined her side in a shoot-out, and became her self-assigned partner. Successfully recruiting her to S.H.I.E.L.D., with her inimitable skill set, helped too. He wasn't promoted, but he wasn't fired.

For a while, Black Widow and Hawkeye were the A-team. Assignments separated them more and more, as could only be expected. Last time (arguably) they saw each other was before Barton was deployed to New Mexico as part of the security force protecting a mysteriously immovable hammer that had stormed itself into a crater. When its owner fought his way in to collect, Barton had him in sights and waited for the kill order from Agent Coulson; but was told to stand down. (Without contest. He'd been rooting for Thor.)

Barton was relocated to a S.H.I.E.L.D. research facility on security detail for the Tesseract. The thing started radiating fit to blow the place to bits. In staying behind as rearguard, Barton was among the first to find out why: Loki of Asgard swooped down, killed almost everybody, and then started… recruiting. Starting with Clint.

After bodyblocking Fury when the ceiling came down, Barton stayed with him long enough to make sure he was covered before going for Loki. Without difficulty, Loki disarmed Barton. Then Loki paused, looked him in the eye; said, with approving wonderment, "You have heart!" and stabbed Barton through it.

…Or did he. Not stabbed through the heart. Not with the spear. The spear stopped at Barton's chest. But what was inside the spear went in, and through, and…

It felt as near as can be imagined to flash-freezing inside-out. The ice seized the heart, spread through the veins, to every nerve ending, encasing the brain, crystallizing the eyes.

Barton could see and hear and think and speak and act everything from that moment on—he was aware of it while it was happening—but he also wasn't. He wasn't him. He was the parts of him that suited Loki's purpose—the inside knowledge of S.H.I.E.L.D., the situational awareness, the tactical mind, and of course, of course, the aim—and the autonomic brain left alone so he could stay alive without Loki's constant attention, and enough of the personality (such as it was to begin with | shut up) that he could interact with others as needed…

But okay. Here's the killer. It wasn't a "watch helplessly while your body follows someone else's orders" deal. His mind and self didn't remain intact just imprisoned or removed. They were overwritten. Enough of Barton's real mind, enough of his will, had to be left inside that he wouldn't just be a slave, but be a contributing agent. He wouldn't only carry out Loki's plans: he'd do his best to improve them.

Barton remembers the details only vaguely. Hazily. Through an ice-sheet. Kinda like a dream.

Except… the one thing he can remember with perfect clarity… was how he'd felt at the time. Doesn't matter how often anyone tells him he'd been brainwashed—how well he knows he'd been hijacked and enslaved, knows he hadn't really been at the wheel, knows it had been Loki working through him. But at the time, it had felt like Barton himself was completely in control. If he'd felt paralyzed, or like a passenger just looking out the windows of the eyes seeing his body do things without him, that would be horrifying at the time but far preferable afterward. 'Cause now, he remembers feeling completely willing. He had felt a[n iced-over] tunnel-vision kind of calm, clarity, and righteousness. While killing colleagues. Fellow soldiers. Fighting Tasha.

He felt like he'd done it all willingly.

Luckily Tasha's always been better at hand-to-hand than he is. …Luckily she's always been better at lots of things than he is.

So here he is: back alone in his own head at the wheel. He has no idea about the Avengers Initiative. He's heard of but not met its [other] members. Unless you count being ready to shoot down Thor. The only one he's experienced his history with is Tasha—who, if you're willing, may be about to have a familiar conversation with him, 'cause the last thing he remembers is their helicarrier fight. But anyone she points out to him as an ally, he'll treat as such without hesitation. Doesn't matter if he remembers for himself; he'll take her word implicitly.

(Pretty much, if she debriefs him about the end of the movie, he won't need any canon updating to treat his castmates the same as if he'd experienced it for himself.)
Update: This has in fact happened!

personality: He has about four expressions. Any given person on any given day probably sees up to two of them. Someone who gets to know him incredibly well may promote the nuances to call it six. It's not like he started as the most extroverted kid in the first place. But nowadays you couldn't call him emotionally repressed. More like the emotions really just aren't there anymore. Well, not for most things. Most of the things that would invoke feelings for most people over the course of your average week, he just can't invest in—they aren't such a flippin' big deal. You can tell when he's feeling something 'cause he gets even less expressive. Maybe Fury's ever seen him cry. But he's just kind of in… in a permanent focus zone. It works very well for the job. And since joining up, with absolutely no remorse about it, he's been the job and just about nothing else.

…But that's become a less comfortable place to be since being forced into Loki's zone. And feeling (revoltingly) comfortable there.

Might be time, here in Anatole, which he can think of as a prison all he likes but works rather differently from the familiar ones—not least because he welcomes this one and feels he deserves it—anyway, maybe in Anatole it's time to try changing that. Try… y'know… having feelings—his own ones—again. Might make it less easy for someone to put in theirs.

Or maybe being uncorked from Loki will uncork other things else too and it'll happen in spite of himself.

why do you feel this character would be appropriate to the setting? He'll feel like he's serving time for what he did under Loki's control*. Anatole might actually count as something of a relaxing vacation in his headspace. He'll be a very diligent contributor to society: apply to the alliance, be out in the front lines during action events, mingle with the Ruins/Hunting Grounds crowd when there isn't one; and definitely shoot things with Katniss (whom he'll admire for her mad skillz without any kind of mechanical augmentation). He may also join the bad magic magic bad crowd—if in the privacy of his own prejudice.

*Note to self: after arriving, when he finds out Loki's here, first reaction may be "Ah, so that's why I'm here" and go try to kill him.

Writing Samples


Network Post Sample:
Main: Arrival
(First draft: poss. Broadcast Mind on Scorchedbox)
Bonus: Dead weight test drive: (a) Hamato Leonardo, (b) Loki, (c) Natasha Romanov, (d) Thor, (e) Captain America

Third Person Sample:

Anything else? REAPPING! Barton was assumed lost in the Mist, but in fact he got intentionally(?) lost in the undercity, cloistering himself with the Tunnelmen. He got to know their technology incredibly well, paying for it by offering himself to them as a guinea pig for all sorts of devices—both as utilizer (see how they handle) and as subject (see what damage they inflict). Once he realized he couldn't and/or wasn't meant to and/or was too late to kill Loki, he decided to reenter "training", self-styled, to get a handle on and find a place in this new world. He's back aboveground now not sure he's found it, but at least feeling more secure. And, in technology and clothing, has gone quite native. …Which means I'd like to steal some Hansel & Gretel looks for him; but if that's any kind of an issue I can get rid of the specific icons. Please let me know!

Backstory

May. 11th, 2012 02:24 am
antivillain: ([kid] skelt)
"Trained by criminals and inspired by heroes…"[?]

Pancanon+headcanon history: Based on a patchwork of Hawkeye in Mainstream comicverse["Earth-616"], the Ultimate version["Earth-1610"], and the Movie version["Earth-199999"]. Headcanon glue, plus a bit of the life of "Little Houdini" Christopher Daniel Gay[Tampa Bay Times][Radiolab] thrown in for grounding.

This is the movieverse version of the character. The bits from his alternate canons were chosen for how solidly/colorfully they could lead up to that one. (And as soon as Joss Whedon reveals the backstory that was cut from the film, this'll all be superseded! Will be kept only as a writing exercise in reconciling 616 and 1610.)

Down in Buckeye Bottom, on a cold night in the mid 1980s, two brothers walked out behind an old barn. They were hungry and dirty and desperate. They wore shoes held together by tape and twists of wire and stood close enough to a tire fire to feel its warmth. They held their father's .22 rifle and a tube sock full of rusty bullets. They'd need only two.

This would be their last hungry night.

Charles Eddie, 10, raised the rifle and touched the tip of the barrel to his brother's forehead, north of his brow. He would shoot his brother, then himself. This was their pact.

Christopher Daniel, 11, closed his eyes tight and waited. Then he heard a whimper, and when he opened his eyes he saw that his brother was crying.

I can't do it, Cotton said.

Then I'll do it, Chris said.

He took the rifle and put it to his little brother's forehead and slid his finger over the trigger. All it took was a pull to end their pain, a pull he couldn't muster.

~ by Ben Montgomery, Times Staff Writer
In Print: Sunday, September 18, 2011 [TBT]

For this story, substitute "Charles Eddie (Cotton)" for "Charles Bernard (Barney)"[616], and substitute "Chris" for "Clint".

The Barton boys were born in Waverly, [the Hawkeye State] Iowa[616] reading plaques about the Blackhawk War. Those were the closest to history lessons Clinton Francis Barton got, though all it left him with was the daydream to run away to the Winnebago Reservation to learn archery. (Whether or not real Native Americans did that, nor thinking about how conditions on the reservation might compare to what he'd be trying to leave at home.)

The boys didn't go to school. Their mom had left them, their dad was an abusive drunk[616], and they were rarely fed. Child services caught up to them when Barney was 10 and Clint 11. Perhaps a neighbor saw the shotgun incident behind the garage.

They lasted in foster homes for two years. They felt given up on by foster families several times over. The prospect arose that they would be separated—on top of how all foster situations had only proved to be the devil you don't know—so that does it. Clint grabbed Barney and they made a break for it.

If you ask Clint as an adult, he handily elides these 13 years with, Yeah I really did run away to join the circus.

Clint and Barney decided that if anybody was going to take care of them, it was going to be themselves. Having failed in the suicide pact, Clint thought he'd try planning and opportunity. They chose the moment to run away when they saw a poster for a visiting carnival. The poster featured the Knife-Thrower act—who looked like he might be Winnebago.

The knife-thrower turned out to be French[616]. But no matter. They managed to sneak in and find him—the Swordsman—before anyone else caught them. The boys pled their case so effectively, by the time the carnival's management caught up with them, Swordsman claimed them as nephews and had them hired as roustabouts.

Clint started helping the Swordsman's act. Swordsman's buddy Trick Shot[616] saw Clint's potential, discovered his passion for archery, and started training him too.

Some surprisingly happy years passed. In peacetime, as it were, the brothers who'd had nobody but each other for support and survival started finding others—and so, growing apart.

Barney started seeking home-schooling from any members of the carnival who'd give it to him. He forced Clint to "help" him with his reading and writing, though it was really Barney educating Clint. Clint kind of liked when they read things together, but most of the time he was too impatient. All that interested Clint were working on combat and archery with Swordsman and Trick Shot. He was obsessed with improving his skills, no matter how good he got. It wasn't so much that the goalposts kept moving: no matter where they might have been, he wanted to leave them all the further and further behind.

(Remember "Slumdog Millionaire"? It can happen like that. Older brother assigns himself the role—the entire definition of his existence—of protecting the younger brother and keeping them both alive. Now say he succeeds, but by the path he's taken to success, cannot recognize it. He becomes eaten alive by the obsession, always needing to feel he's able to fight and defend; never moves on to thinking it might be okay to lower one's guard. The behaviors and mindsets one adopts to survive can become self-destructive when you don't recognize, or trust, or believe, that the situation around you may change. Unlike SM, this story follows the older brother—the one who doesn't really get out. Not quite yet.)

Barney, age 16, decided he wanted to go to college.[616] Clint thought he was absolutely crazy. How was he going to apply to a college when he didn't have a mailing address, or any formal schooling, or a past? Barney had his plans about all of that… but the real issue was: Clint didn't see why Barney would want to. Why rejoin that world that had been nothing but rotten to them? Why leave their friends at the carnival? Barney, who'd been looking past peoples' talents to their other attributes and activities—far more than Clint had—for years—argued that some of these people might be good to move on from. He said they were sucking Clint in and possibly using him. Clint grew furious. He wouldn't hear anything against his idols. Barney grew furious in turn. After so long of being betrayed and abandoned by everyone else, now they felt that of each other.

But Barney had a point. Nice as he was to the kids, Swordsman had some bad habits and drew some bad crowds. Now Clint had grown old enough, strong enough, skilled enough, and above all devoted enough, to be irresistibly useful.

[Headcanon transition from 616 to 1610] Except when one of their raids brought the police down on them. Clint knew that if the police got close enough, the carnival, to avoid charge of contributing to the deliquency of minors, would give Barney up—the most easily rectified of all the things they'd have to hide. Then… maybe Barney could still get into college, but maybe not, maybe he'd be sent somewhere awful, maybe as accessory to the crime he'd known Swordsman and Clint were about to commit, 'cause he'd tried to talk Clint out of it, but ultimately let them go…

So Clint gave up himself, the Swordsman, and their direct accomplices. Clint was just shy of his 18th birthday (not that they could quite verify when that was) so he went to juvie. As soon as he got out, Swordsman and some of his buddies came after him. In fighting them off, who's to say whether or not it was Clint who actually did it, but someone was killed. This time it was only Clint who went down for it, and as an adult.

Which is why he was on death row when Nick Fury swooped in.[1610]

Having monitored Swordsman &co. since they made parole, the last fight brought Clint onto Fury's radar as well. Though S.H.I.E.L.D. was still in its infancy, Fury already had the pull to headhunt Barton right out of jail, recruit him as black ops, and have his records falsified to erase his criminal history.

Having been betrayed by Swordsman, Barton can't quite believe how fast he fell in with Fury… but it wasn't just that he didn't have any what could be called "better" options.

He'd been searching his whole life for someone with true power—we're not talking contacts or military, we're talking about inner personal power—and though he'd been mistaken twice in thinking he'd found it, he was still able to recognize it when he saw it for real. And he was able to recognize that here was someone who really could make Barton better/more powerful, too.

Barton became a soldier/Black Ops agent in the military arm of S.H.I.E.L.D..

Potential pancanon influence on powers: (only what's consistent with what's shown in the film)

One trick Clint and Tasha have in common is a mastery of situational awareness and being able to use an opponent's surroundings against them. Clint focuses this mainly on an "uncanny knack for using miscellaneous hand-held objects as projectile weapons".[1610] They've compared notes (played like a scoring game) on most creative/unexpected/ironic things they've weaponized.

Trick Shot used to say that Clint could "fire six arrows faster than another man could fire six bullets".[1610] Whether or not this is strictly true, Barton does have extraordinary fast firing, but this is "apparently natural" (—at least, unaugmented).

His eyes, on the other hand, are not.[1610] On his military tour, Clint was all-but blinded. He woke up in a S.H.I.E.L.D. medical facility able to see again, and Fury wouldn't fully debrief him on what they'd done. All he knows is that sometimes he imagines he can refocus his eyes the way one would a riflescope, his detail recognition and distance vision shot into overdrive… and that he'd been born with hazel eyes. (But they're now blue.)

I also think he can draw. As in artistically. Strictly representational, nothing too abstract or fanciful. Just 'cause. Hey, he's got a good eye… [groan]

Headcanon CR:

In terms of someone who could make Barton better/more powerful too, Clint got it better than he hoped, and in ways he never would have expected. Nor thought he needed, and definitely hadn't wanted. But you can't be a founding member[1610] of S.H.I.E.L.D. without having a more rounded education, for one thing. The studying was far harder than the physical training. Doing a military tour was almost vacation from that. (Except of course not at all. But there are moments when he'd say so.) But it was worth it of course. Having real tangible purpose, even for a "noble" cause this time… because one lesson Barton did learn from Swordsman was to scrutinize every order, even after loyalty has been won.

…Except he doesn't actually do that with Fury and Black Widow. Only for them, though. Not even the rest of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Don't ever suggest this to Barton, but with Fury, Clint can finally be the younger brother for a change. —Or son, if he could revalue the word.

Then there was Natasha. First woman who actually registered in his eyes. At the carnival there had been loads of women, but it was Barney who befriended and probably made love to them; Clint hadn't had the time to be interested. At best they'd be distractions from what he considered most important: becoming as much of a "man" as possible, in the company of othersuch manly men, on the theory it'd eventually lead to a sense of safety and control. Women definitely, so he was told, wouldn't help with that. At worst he found them totally alien, which he refused to find scary, so he decided to find it irrelevant.

So yeah, it took being broken in by a woman who could beat men at their own games, but between her and Fury, he's learned that women (as one of many subsets of people he needed to rehumanize) aren't another, probably hostile, species. He's still never been particularly motivated by this "sex drive" others seem to worship. Sporty combat may be his antisocial behavior of choice, but he ain't James Bond.

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Clint Barton | Hawkeye

March 2013

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