Losing My Religion – Ch. 1
Clint lay on the rough concrete, counting his breaths. His hands were bound tightly behind him, pulling his shoulders and chest painfully tight. He was a mess but eventually someone would come for him. He had to cling to that hope.
He had two trackers that should have been blasting out his location but the one in the meat of his shoulder had been removed on the first day of his capture. He came to in a concrete cell, cold seeping into his bones and the burn of an incision scoring his shoulder. He probably was too far underground for the tracker in his hip to work, considering how cold he was.
He swallowed thickly and started counting again. He kept losing count with how fuzzy his head was and had given up counting higher than ten a few days in. He got to eight this time before he took a breath that was too deep and tweaked his broken ribs.
He fought against his body’s natural reaction to tense and spat out a mouthful of blood, letting his muscles melt into the concrete. He was curled in a fetal position that was hell on his ribs but stopped the burning in his thighs and abdomen so he was willing to compromise. He had taken one glance at the ruin of flesh and skin that existed between his belly button and knees and resolved to put it from his mind.
Clint knew he should be freezing, but he could not bring himself to care, the shivering had been agony. He would take vaguely warm and floaty to cold and unconscious from blood loss right now. The people holding him had finally gotten fed up with him and he had blacked out not long after the tenth vicious slash across his stomach.
He had no idea how long he had been in the cell. A week? Longer? It no longer mattered. He would be dead soon and then it wouldn’t matter if it was the Avengers or Shield who found him. He hoped it was Shield. At least then he would not have to worry about Natasha finding his broken body.
He wondered absently if his captors even realized that he was deaf. They removed his hearing aids along with the rest of his gear when he was taken, probably thinking they were some weird kind of com. He’d grinned as they screamed at him, beat him, demanding something from him that he couldn’t hear.
He tried to listen for the muted vibrations of someone approaching his cell but he kept blacking out. The blindfold they had forced him into on the second day had almost felt like an afterthought. Counting, right. Where was he at again?
Some unknown time later he jolted awake with a moan and began counting again. He could feel vibrations through the floor, people running, maybe gunfire or explosions nearby. He counted a few more rounds before slipping back under.
“We’ve found Hawkeye.” Steve said, taking in the scarred back of his team mate. “He’s unconscious and is going to need medical.”
“Confirmed, Captain. Bring our man home.” Coulson said over the com.
Steve started working off the bindings on Clint’s hands while Thor guarded the door. Once he got all the restraints off, he was glad it was just the two of them. Steve started muttering prayers to the saints under his breath as he eased Clint’s raw wrists out of the last loop of leather and pulled him onto his back. His entire front was red with open wounds, the worst covering his thighs and stomach. Steve ignored the soft oaths from Thor as he removed the blindfold and carefully wrapped the injured man in Thor’s cloak.
“I will carry our comrade.” Thor said, his voice grave.
“Keep him steady but we need to move fast. I don’t like how pale he is.”
“I will keep him safe, Captain. Lead the way.”
“We are heading out at speed.” Steve said into the com as he broke into a jog dodging around the downed bodies of soldiers as they raced towards the medical team.