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A Symposium on Personnel Management with a Focus on Intra-team Dynamics (the We Don’t Need No Civil War remix)Domenika Marzione/ laporcupina (author) ; Blackglass/@blackestglass (reader)9400 words/ 58 minutes | Sam Wilson, Steve Rogers, Natasha...

A Symposium on Personnel Management with a Focus on Intra-team Dynamics (the We Don’t Need No Civil War remix)

Domenika Marzione/laporcupina (author) ; Blackglass/blackestglass (reader)

9400 words/ 58 minutes | Sam Wilson, Steve Rogers, Natasha Romanova, Tony Stark, Jim Rhodes, Bucky Barnes, Wanda Maximoff, et al.

In which a Civil War is staged (but not like that) and Sam and Rhodey and Natasha aren't paid nearly enough to deal with this crap. So they set about fixing that out of Petty Cash.

Sam was on a day trip to Great Adventure with the BBBSA when his phone started to blow up. Getting a text from all of his teammates almost at once could mean many things, depending on the order and quantity. But one thing it didn't mean was that there was an actual Avengers Assemble kind of emergency, so he kept his phone in his pocket and focused on getting his group from the Sky Zooma to Taz's Tornado without losing anyone.

Once all were aboard who were going aboard, he checked his phone and realized that while it might not be a 'get your wings and go' emergency, it was probably not good. Team text chains that began with Tony were usually bad jokes or event suggestions or pictures of new Iron Man tech or, occasionally, actual relevant Avengers news because Steve was the field commander, but Tony was the CEO. Text chains that started with Vision were usually questions being answered with varying degrees of seriousness. Wanda, surprisingly, was the team paparazza and she had deeply unflattering candids of them all. Text chains that started with Steve, however, were never good news because Steve didn't send group messages. Which meant that the first message had been Steve warning him that shit was coming and then everyone else reacting to that shit in Sam's general direction. Because while he might be the Second Most Cuddly Avenger according to PR, within the team he was the Steve Whisperer/Cap Corraller/Sam-Talk-To-Him-PLEASE.

"What the hell did you get up to this morning that everyone is freaking out?" Sam asked when Steve picked up. He'd looked at Steve's text, which had been a simple "hey, feel like a road trip?" and then skimmed the blurbs of the others, which had all been variations of "WTF?!" and then called the culprit directly because sometimes Steve's shitstorms were not textually renderable.

The AO3 link has both the story and the podfic links.


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Status Quo Ante
16k words | PG-ish| Sam Wilson, Team Cap, T'Challa, etc.

A tale in which Sam suspects he should be used to this by now, for values of ‘this’ that involve certain folks he hangs out with and situations he finds himself in, Team Cap becomes Team Ex-Cap becomes TBD, and nobody but Clint really wants to know what happened to Scott Lang’s GI Joes.

(Sam Wilson from the final scene to the mid-credits scene.)

He just sat down next to Steve and waited, past experience telling him that if Steve was this easily findable, he’d start talking on his own. So Sam leaned back and enjoyed the quiet tinkle of the water hitting the rocks and the distant caw of birds and the fact that he wasn’t in an underwater prison anymore and this was pretty much the first daylight he’d seen since Berlin.

“I keep going over the past few months to figure out when I fucked things up so badly to put us on a course to get us here,” Steve finally said. “And I can’t pick a point and go 'there, that’s when you started the dominoes falling.’ It’s not one thing, it’s a whole pile of things and–”

“And you might not be Cap anymore, but you never were the center of the universe,” Sam cut him off. “You don’t get to take credit for everything. Everyone else did their part and everyone else chose their side. Clint came in on his own and Lang understood what we were asking him to do and Wanda fought to be by your side. I stuck with your stubborn ass even after I realized how far you were willing to go and all of the others will say the same. You don’t get to take that from me or anyone else. You haven’t been the Sexiest Man Alive for three years now, so you are plenty resistible.”
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Okay, so this turned into War and Peace. Which should perhaps surprise nobody who reads my fic.

As mentioned last night, I greatly enjoyed Captain America: Civil War in the moment -- it's tremendous fun, with wit and action and competency -- but I have notes:


* I think we're going to have to change the jargon from "getting jossed" to "getting russoed" because the Brothers Russo destroyed more fanon in one movie than Whedon ever did.


Just as a warning, I am putting my complaints before my praise because that's how I wrote things down. )
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(1) A zissen pesach to all observing.

(2) An 800-year-old ban was lifted this past December and this is the first year that Conservative Ashkenazi Jews in the diaspora, of which I am one, can partake in kitniyot and I am... of mixed feelings on the matter. On the one hand, it's great to have so many more foods available -- hummus! peanut butter! lentils! corn! tofu! rice! cardamom! -- but on the other... it's weird. I live on kitniyot during the rest of the year and this change means that my diet is essentially the same during pesach except for breakfast and my choice of alcoholic beverages in the evening and that feels like cheating even though it's not. I'm not the most observant Jew under the best of circumstances, but this is more a cultural and traditional thing than a halachic one.

(3a) I am procrastinating moving all of my SGA fic over to AO3. Some of it is already there, but this will be the whole enchilada -- all of the stuff on my webpage as well as the gazillion little fragments and drabbles that exist nowhere else but LJ -- and I am dreading it because it's going to be so much work. The mass importer does not preclude having to tweak code and formatting on every single story.

(3b) Because I am procrastinating, the LJ version of my SGA pesach story, which is -- holy carp and other religious fish -- ten years old: Urchatz, which has lovely gift fic in the comments, so don't skip it.



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(link only because LJ won't post the whole thing)

Sleepers of Ephesus (chapter three)
Peggy Carter, Bucky Barnes ) | PG-13ish

Peggy Carter is far from home

She’d never been just his best friend’s sweetheart, not then and not now. During the war, he’d treated her as capable of anything – sometimes far more than she actually was able to do. Now, he had to take the lead in most situations by dint of his greater knowledge and capacity, but he did so in a fashion that was… not deferential, but respectful at least. He phrased what he thought they should do as a suggestion instead of an order, the way he had with Steve back when Captain America had been a greenhorn commander and Sergeant Barnes the experienced NCO. He didn’t seek her permission, but he would wait for something like agreement from her, giving her at least a nominal ownership stake in the decisions, the way he had with Steve because Captain Rogers had to be the one issuing the commands even if he hadn’t thought them up. And he let her make what decisions she could, not just for herself, but for them both: not only when they would travel or where they would stop, but also in the mission planning and execution. He’d put his foot down if he felt very strongly one way or another, but she could expect a reason. In return, she tried to reward his trust by using her authority to protect him where she could, both in their quest (where he was far too reckless with his own safety) and in his quiet struggle to regain his humanity.
direct link to chapter 3

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Just a couple of things about Rey….

 

* Rey isn’t averse to physical contact, but it probably weirds her the hell out. Think about it: this is someone who hasn’t been touched except in anger or by accident since she was six years old. Which effectively means “not at all.” She has no idea how to interpret physical contact because she has no framework. She can’t appreciate hand-grabbing as “I’m worried about you, let’s go!” because when would she have ever seen this, let alone experienced it?

What does she probably interpret it as? “You are not capable.” Because Rey’s got exactly one scale of value and that’s whether someone is capable of fending for themself or not, whether they can earn their keep via salvaging or something else useful or whether they are a charity case. And Finn offering assistance, in that context, is an insult because she is damned capable, thank you very much.

But back to the physical contact: Rey might understand a hug as a good thing, as a form of transmitting positive feelings, but she doesn’t know how long or how tightly to hold on in return and that’s going to be foremost on her mind instead of “someone is expressing a positive reaction toward me.” She’s not getting comfort from Leia; she’s aware that that’s what supposed to be happening, but what Rey’s actually doing is calculating whether it’s time to let go yet or whether she’s squeezing too hard and “OMG, someone cares about me!”


* Every single gesture of concern for Rey matters. Every. Single. One. Every single “Hey, how are you?” that expects an answer gets a real, surprised, pleased answer. Every single question by even random folks at the Resistance base asking her if she’s okay, if she knows where she’s going, if she found what she’s looking for, these are all amazing things for her because nobody has ever offered this to her in her memory, not without a motive or without expecting something in return. And while she really is weirded out by physical contact, the incidental, thoughtless touches that Finn or Poe or Leia or Chewy or anyone else offers – a backhand to the arm meaning “hey, great flying” or a clasp of her shoulder in passing or someone guiding her through a crowd with a hand on her back – she’ll remember it and she’ll relive it because it’s new and novel and craved.

People showing care without expecting reciprocity is not something she’s familiar with. And it’s really so amazing and awesome and she is probably someone who picks it up and runs with it before fully understanding the subtleties because that’s how she’s learned how to do everything else. That this isn’t a matter of survival the way the tricks of salvaging were doesn’t matter. She’s gone one speed and it’s full throttle. She’s known among the Resistance folk as someone who is always asking how you are and how you’re doing and listening to your answers and just being so nice. Which everyone else sees as this remarkable thing because Rey, to them, isn’t this freak of an orphan from Jakku, she’s the Force-sensitive fighter who helped Han Solo and Chewy before she was captured by the First Order, from whom she escaped on her own, and faced off against Kylo Ren, whom everyone knows as Ben Solo and the murderer of their children.

And, if all of the flaming red (herring) arrows mean anything, they know who she really might be: the little girl with the important lineage who was spirited away more than a dozen years ago. And has returned, along with the key to maybe defeating Snoke and the First Order for good.


(posted first to tumblr here)
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Actual drabbles, not my value of drabbles.


When it happens, Leia knows. It’s a pain like she’s dying because she is dying. Her son, flesh of her flesh and blood of her blood, the whole of her heart, has embraced the Dark.

Han has no Force sense, but he has eyes and those eyes meet hers. And so while she cannot speak the words, he still understands. In the creche she finds her niece, who’s weeping uncontrollably. Leia scoops her up and goes to the hangar. The orders to the pilot are simple: “Take her somewhere nobody will find her. Don’t tell me where. Don’t tell anyone.”

*

She finds out soon enough that her name is not Rey. Or, rather, Rey is what she calls herself the way Finn has chosen his name. It’s the name Jakku gave her, its only gift besides survival. Her parents named her after her grandmother and her aunt, the woman who birthed her father and the woman who raised him. She doesn’t use those names for the same reason she doesn’t use the names she has for General Organa or Han Solo or Luke Skywalker or Kylo Ren; they belong to another girl and would fit her like a stranger’s clothes.

*

She doesn’t ask about her mother because the only people who could best answer are those who feel responsible for her death. The one who actually is responsible for her death, he has no answers worth hearing. But when they meet again, and they will meet again, she will have new questions. Luke won’t let her seek him out until “Are you ready to follow our grandfather’s path?” means “back into the Light” and not “I will kill you now.” Luke is unfazed by her anger, preferring to teach her to channel it wisely instead of pretending it doesn’t exist.

*

“I am a Jedi, as my father was before me.”

When she was a child on Jakku, she dreamed of her family and it always included a boy with black tousled hair. That boy existed, however briefly, but by the time they meet again, the grandchild of Anakin Skywalker and the grandchild of Darth Vader, he has been a long time gone. Or perhaps not; there will always be hope wherever there is the Light and she believes, she must believe, that Ben is still there somewhere. She has chosen to stake her life – and his – on it.

(originally posted here and here)
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So there is a plot point in the comics Civil War storyline that I am pretty darned sure they are using in the movie, but... a thought problem investigation of how to do it best: easiest, traditional, or maximum impact:

spoilers ahoy )
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(link only because LJ won't post the whole thing)

Sleepers of Ephesus (chapter two)
Peggy Carter, Bucky Barnes ) | PG-13ish

Peggy Carter is far from home


 

“I don’t know where I’m going!” she warned over her shoulder as she ran.

“Left,” he called back, but right as she turned and saw a stairwell, she stepped on something sharp and stumbled. He scooped her up with one arm and threw her into a fireman’s carry that was efficient if indecorous, and he ran up the stairs a few at a time. It was all dizzying and disconcerting, the fog of war and Barnes not only being alive, but also his carrying on as Steve once had, reckless and unstoppable, when he’d been nothing of the sort before.

He slowed at the top of the stairs and shifted her off of his shoulder and on to the landing, gesturing for her to shimmy back so that she was leaning against the door. He reached around and unstrapped the pack he’d been wearing on his shoulders – she’d had her face mashed into it as they’d run – and pulled out a roll of bandaging, tossing it to her along with a plastic bottle of water. “Take care of your feet,” he told her, waiting for her to look up before handing over one of the rifles. “I’ll be back in a minute. Shoot anything that moves.”

She could do no more than squeak in protest before he turned around and went back downstairs. And so she multitasked, griping under her breath about the Commandos doing what they did best – frustrate her and make spectacular messes – while rinsing her feet free of debris before wrapping the left one, which was worse off.


(23k @ ao3)
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Actual drabble, not my value of drabble:

When it happens, Leia knows. It’s a pain like she’s dying because she is dying. Her son, flesh of her flesh and blood of her blood, the whole of her heart, has embraced the Dark.

Han has no Force sense, but he has eyes and those eyes meet hers. And so while she cannot speak the words, he still understands. In the creche she finds her niece, who’s weeping uncontrollably. Leia scoops her up and goes to the hangar. The orders to the pilot are simple: “Take her somewhere nobody will find her. Don’t tell me where. Don’t tell anyone.”


(originally posted here)
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(Some links go to my AO3 page, some to my Tumblr; re-doing all of the links for DW/LJ seems a waste of energy)

Originally posted to tumblr as: Part One (Jan-June) | Part Two (July-Dec)

fic, in not so brief )
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A little bit of meta/resource provision for MCU Sam Wilson:

also available at: ao3 & tumblr

Sam Wilson in the MCU is a pararescueman (pararescue jumper, aka PJ) in the US Air National Guard. I don’t think there’s any official statement on his age or military career vis-à-vis how long he was active-duty before transitioning into the reserves – odds are that he would have needed to be active-duty to be considered for the Falcon program – or his rank or even his DOD status, whether he’s officially out, still a reservist, on IRR, or what. So there’s flexibility there to do what you will, I think, within certain ranges. Sam is, however, an enlisted man and not a commissioned officer. I usually put him at E-6, Technical Sergeant.

Sam in fanon is usually the team therapist, based on his role as a counselor-type person for veterans groups. What I’d like to suggest, however, is that Sam could (should?) more often be portrayed as the team medic and someone who is far less risk-averse than he is often shown. He is really going to be the last person to facepalm and tell Steve not to jump out of perfectly good aircraft without a parachute because he wasn’t kidding when he said he does everything Steve does, except slower. PJs are extremely well-trained, both in emergency medical treatment and advanced military skills – they are the most badass EMTs you will ever meet and have an extraordinarily high regard within the military community.
 

 

technical details of PJ training and requirements )


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Resonance
3300 words | PG-ish | Tony Stark, Bucky Barnes, Steve Rogers, Pepper Potts, etc.

Tony's reasons for helping Bucky Barnes can be entirely attributable to general do-gooderism and a love of science. (Because he really, really hates it when people rub his personal growth in his face.)

Tony has his moments. And his engineering degrees. )
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A possibly unnecessary epilogue-ish bit for Preserved, which probably does need to be read first for context.

Reclamation

1100 words | PG-ish | Steve Rogers, Bucky Barnes

Steve builds his new life on the foundations of his past and he suspects he's the only one surprised by that )
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True Faith and Allegiance
2000 words | PG-ish | Sam Wilson, Steve Rogers, Bucky Barnes, Clint Barton

"Are you ready to follow Captain America into the jaws of death?" means something else in the Twenty-First Century. Bucky Barnes has the same answer. Sam Wilson, former Avenger and current fugitive, appreciates that on many levels, including the ones he's sure he's missing.

Civil War specfic, so all warnings apply there )
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Lacuna
1300 words | PG-ish | Wanda Maximoff, Steve Rogers

The five stages of grief are meaningless in the moment.

post-AoU scene )
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I haven't posted anything here not a fic announcement in... a terribly long time. I'm not sure this has bothered anyone. I'm active on tumblr, which lends itself to magpie tendencies and a more directed audience, but before I lose the art of internet conversing entirely...


* I've been rereading some of my old SGA fic this past week. Not the big stuff, just the random short things, the drabbles (for my value of drabbles) and aborted story starts and random OC-heavy tidbits I never posted to my website, let alone imported to AO3. [all of which is still available and filterable here] I'm pleasantly surprised by the quality -- rereading old fic can sometimes be a horror show -- but also a little surprised how much I miss the fellows. Not enough to write something new, I don't think, but it was nice catching up with old friends I lived with for almost five years.

Next month, it will be ten years since my first SGA story got posted and I might do something to mark that. In the meanwhile, I will admit that I am freshening up The Jenny Code a little. Mostly plain old editing, but also some minor adjustments to reflect that while the readers and I were meeting some characters (Yoni, etc.) for the first time when it was written, the characters were not meeting each other and a much fuller world was subsequently built. I'm not changing the plot or the structure or the details, just filling out the environment a little and softening a few character beats.


* Someone not me could probably get quite a bit of mileage out of a meta essay on When Your Fave Is Problematic... And A Real Person with the Hockey RPS community as the focus. I don't read RPS (or RPF) as a rule; hockey RPS I steer well clear of because I am a huge hockey fan and it's like seeing your cousin's sex tape. But I know several of you enjoy it and write it -- it's on my flist/dash -- and I'm aware of it by second-hand context.

Patrick Kane is a splendid hockey player for the Chicago Blackhawks, a playoff MVP and an Olympic medal winner and the owner of three Stanley Cup rings. He's also one half of the Hockey RPS fandom's two biggest pairings. He's also currently under investigation for rape. trimmed for length )
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As with the last one, Captain America: Civil War speculation based on rumor and the 616 version:

Asunder
3600 words | PG-ish | Clint Barton, Natasha Romanova, Laura Barton (Steve Rogers, Tony Stark)

Natasha chooses her side in the Civil War as pragmatically as ever, with her eyes on the long game. Clint has no such luxury because the stakes are too high for there to be any choice at all.


there are no good options, just bad ones that are a little easier to live with than others )
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So that Ant-Man post-credits scene we weren't supposed to see before tomorrow....

Vise
3200 words | PG-ish | Steve Rogers, Bucky Barnes, Sam Wilson, Scott Lang

Steve's grip on Bucky Barnes has been slippery at best )
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Cloud Cover [also at ao3 | tumblr ]
1100 words | PG-ish | Peggy Carter, Angie Martinelli (Steve Rogers, Bucky Barnes)

Peggy Carter's history with New York City's first television weather presenter, an animated sheep.

Between season one and two of Agent Carter )
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Fulcrum [also at: ao3 | tumblr ]
1800 words | PG-ish | Bucky Barnes, Steve Rogers, Howling Commandos

Bucky really wishes that Steve understood all of the ways that this wasn't a back alley in Brooklyn, that this was war, and that he had a half-dozen men who would follow him to hell but he could try a little harder to keep those excursions to a minimum.

Bucky Barnes, beleaguered NCO )
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If I were writing this crossover, this is how it would go...


MCU/Leverage story start [also on: ao3 | tumblr ]
1800 words | PG-ish | Clint Barton, etc.

summary: The aftermath of the story Eliot doesn’t have to tell in ‘The Big Bang Job’ because Parker doesn’t ask. Or, Clint's got questions when his search for the butcher behind a massacre in Sokovia leads him to a familiar face.

Leverage is streaming on Netflix, which is my only excuse )
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(continued from here)

I loved the physicality of the show -- and not just the fights, which were remarkable for showing the expenditure of energy and what happens after it runs out. Or, rather, not just the physical fights. Life and its cruelties wear people down on this show just as surely as the action. But what I really loved was how some of the relationships played out:


* The most compelling romance in the entire series is the villain's. The coming together of Vanessa and Wilson Fisk is so delicately handled between the two of them, with all of the awkwardness and fear that new relationships hold no matter how old you get. And once they are together, the dynamic between them -- him careful and fearful, her self-assured and unbreakable -- is different than their dynamics with everyone else, which happens in real life, but rarely on the screen where characters get flattened for simplicity. Fisk controls everything and everyone in his world and, in that context, makes plans for Vanessa, telling Wesley that her agreement doesn't matter... But when it comes down to it, Fisk doesn't tell Vanessa to do anything, let alone compel her. He asks and hopes she agrees. Vanessa doesn't compel him, either -- she supports him, she comforts him, but she doesn't control him. They are vastly different people to the rest of the world, but within their relationship, they are equals.

(Vanessa really doesn't have a single choice taken from her over the entire course of the series by anyone and many of her choices are hard ones. She is my favorite female character of the series and, as I said previously, Ayelet Zurer killed it in the role.)

* Matt and Foggy and Matt-and-Foggy and how their relationship is shown, how it is sundered, and how they go about repairing it. Matt and Foggy don't have a bromance; they're not in the flush of anything. They have a profound friendship that they rely on, that they find mutually rewarding, and that they take for granted because it has been there for so long. When it is sundered, it is not because of some new complication or because of a woman -- and the writers could have easily have made the Matt-Karen-Foggy triangle much more problematic than they did -- but instead because of lies that reframe the entirety of their history together. And we get to see their pain, the betrayer and the betrayed both reeling under the force of what has happened and not able to reach out to the one source of comfort they've always been able to rely on because right now that is the source of their pain. Their rupture isn't quickly resolved, instead it radiates out and yet even in the worst of the misery, they don't seek to cause each other more pain. Foggy's treatment of Matt, even when he is feeling most betrayed, is remarkable. He keeps Matt's secret at a cost and he continues to provide DVS commentary for Matt by reflex even after he realizes it's not necessary, which in turn Matt never points out to him. When they come back together, they agree that the status quo ante is not possible and that they must build something new instead. And they go about doing just that, a process made easier by all of the shorthand and familiarity of the old.

cut for brevity -- and spoilers, I suppose )
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Tumblr ask about an off-camera mission of Clint's in Freezer Burn led to this:

Duty
8300 words | PG-ish | Clint Barton, Natasha Romanova, et al.

summary: The cost of keeping faith and keeping promises.

If they deserved it, then fine. Hill had been right – he’d sleep fine if these were two assholes with only evil in their hearts. But he didn’t want to terminate two kids – and they were kids – because some junior agent hadn’t worked hard enough to sway two idealistic idiots off of the path toward destruction. It was the hardest part of what he did, taking a kill order on faith. It happened more with SHIELD than it had back in the Army, where most of the time he or his unit had been a target of his target before he’d gotten to turn the tables. But SHIELD had a different mission and a different method and the first time Clint saw most of his targets was through the scope of his rifle when it was time to take the shot. Coulson had always given him details, more than needed to do the job, because he’d understood what he was asking Clint to do and what kind of cost it came with. His handlers since had tended to be younger, hadn’t come from either the armed services or SHIELD’s field division, and Clint had occasionally felt like they thought that they were playing a video game for all that they understood about the price of taking a life. And that in turn had made him feel like the weapon instead of the one wielding it, which made it easier to pull the trigger, but harder to keep the faith in the mission and with himself. The Hawkeye who ran on full automatic wasn’t someone he especially wanted to be around.



Freezer Burn the series | Freezer Burn the story (not required for comprehension)

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Domenika Marzione

August 2016

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