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Natural Habitat
July 31 | Tag: Virgil
Marvel-MCU-1

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#1
It was great, being able to hang out in the tower with Tony and Phil. The rest of the residents were nice; it was sort of amazing to have a Steve around again to look all disapproving at him and Stark, and the tower itself was a welcome sight, truth be told. It had become home once again, and damn but it Hub was a nice place to call home, even if only temporarily. And he knew that they needed to get back, but that was a conundrum for Stark and Parker to figure out; Clint was a damn sight smarter than most people realized, but interdimensional, multi-universal portal generation without direct use of the Tesseract (which was difficult to control on a good day) was just a little bit out of his wheelhouse. A lot bit, it was a hell of a lot out of his comfort zone. Ask him to do some geometry, sure. Trig? Hey, no problem, buddy. He could figure out the angle of launch in order to send an arrow wherever he wanted it to go, and he could do it in his head, but this was something different entirely.

Sometimes, even as cozy as the tower was, Clint didn’t want to be there. It got almost too familiar. Tony was like a half crazed, orange glowing ghost. Steve alternated between determinedly spending time at the tower, splitting his time there between just being available and sparring with Tadashi, which seemed to be his favorite pastime these days, and disappearing off the map entirely. He was pretty sure that the Spiderkid was avoiding him, which made sense considering how rocky things had gotten with Tony and all for a while there… The only person who was… Steady… Was Phil. So there were moments, when Phil was busy, that Clint just sort of disappeared.

Like today.

What Clint had done, however, wasn’t exactly unimpressive. He’d built a range. It wasn’t anything fancy, just two lanes, but it was long, giving Clint the distance necessary to challenge him a little bit, and outside there were targets spread around to shoot at. Just now, Clint could be seen shooting at some of those targets, switching from moving and shooting to standing and shooting, but either way, his aim was always dead on, and he was, it appeared, in his element. When he was shooting, all of the concerns and stress from the world and life ebbed out of the archer, leaving him with a calm sense of peace that showed on his face.
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Westworld/The Dark Tower-Westworld-1

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#2
Well what had we here?

Virgil didn’t often go riding this way. There were so many memories associated with his own borough (well, one of his boroughs…) of the Hub, so many things he could remember just as vividly without having to see tactile reminders of them, so he generally stuck to the Hub’s center, or the foreign boroughs. He did have a responsibility, though, and as unlikely as it seemed, he had to be sure that nothing was threatening his charge, that nothing could threaten his charge. So every so often, he’d saddle up and ride out, taking a (much shorter) journey through this smaller representation of Mid-World, just to make sure everything was in order.

It was good to get out, he had to admit. It was good to feel the horse straining underneath him, and though it was a bittersweet thing, it was good to have that reminder of what he was, not by creation, but by destiny, by ka. He could have passed the rest of his years as just some old relic in the taverns, and by now he definitely could be considered old, even if his body didn’t age like people expected, but no… this was what he was meant to be. He was meant to be out riding. He was a Gunslinger, and he remembered the face of his father very well.

Today, though, there was an interloper in his ‘Mid-World.’ Oh, not any sort of suspicious sort, no one that seemed to be up to anything. The man looked like he’d just come upon the lands at the outskirts and had a use for the stretches of unoccupied land. The man was shooting with a bow and arrow down one of the lanes he’d set up, and his accuracy was remarkable. Virgil had used a bow or two in his time, it was a serviceable weapon when bullets were scarce, but he couldn’t use it that well. This fella here, though, he would put any archer he’d seen to shame, and that really said something.

“Well there, stranger, can’t say this old stretch of dirt gets much in the way of visitors. Long days and pleasant nights to you,” he said as he dismounted, tipping the wide-brimmed hat to Clint as he secured the bridle, letting the horse wander a bit and cool down. “Love what you’ve done to the place, though. You mind if I try my hand? I wouldn’t want to distract you, now.”
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#3
Clint could have just stayed at the tower to shoot. But this place had begged for attention, and with how much empty space there was out here, he hadn't been able to deny the urge to make a little (or okay, it wasn't so little) place to shoot. And not just for himself, either; Clint had heard about other archers here in Hub, one of whom was his girl from another universe.

Because of course.

Right now, he just needed the calming quiet of shooting. No one yammering at him, no responsibilities, no having to wait for a go ahead before he let his arrows fly to almost magically sprout from the middle of his target. Here and now, there was only the hum of the bow spring and the satisfying think of each arrow slamming into the target.

Really, Clint Barton was not a hard man to please.

Phil may or may not agree with that.

The greeting from the stranger on horseback was met with a nod before the last arrow in the set was released to find a home in his target. That greeting was hella familiar. Clint might not look it, but he was smart. He and Phil, (and he and Steve for that matter) had spent hours chatting about the books they'd read... And sure, Clint had a preference for stories about archers, but... “May you have twice the number." Because HELL YES! Dark Tower! He Looked from the cowboy to the horse to his surrounding before breaking into a wide grin. "Nah, have at. I'm not so easily distracted.” But now he wanted to see this guy shoot. Because yeah. Gunslinger.

Hell yeah.
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#4
The man knew the words. This was unexpected, Virgil was almost willing to think it was Ka. Here was a man who had made his way into the border of the Hub that edged onto the Tower (some would say that the boroughs and the things in them weren’t the real thing, but was any version of the Tower not the real thing?), and he wasn’t giving some Earthly, somewhat off response, he was answering true, as they had in Gilead of old. “Say thankee sai,” Virgil answered, tipping the brim of his hat in the man’s direction.

The range that the man had set up was serviceable, he supposed, but it was more for a bow than a gun. Virgil considered it a moment, then he walked up the way toward the target, taking a bit of charcoal out of his shirt and marking X five times on different parts of his target. Hitting the same spot with every chamber was something tricky for some people, he supposed, but not for him anymore. Walking back up, he tipped his hat to the archer again for so patiently waiting while he did that (oh, he knew that the man had shifted to being an audience rather than another shooter, but manners were manners), then turned back to the targets.

The motion unbelievably fast. One moment, he was staring at the target, the next, the gun was in his hand and he was fanning the hammer, six shots, the first five ‘killing’ the marks on his target, the sixth blowing right into the cluster of arrows grouped into the bullseye on the next lane. “Help out an old timer’s eyes, son,” he said, shooting that easygoing smile to Clint. “Tell me how I did there?”
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#5
Oh yeah, Clint knew the words. Because Stephen King was a freaking genius. As in, if Clint had read a book and it didn’t involve a sharpshooter or archer, it was probably written by Stephen King. Because the man knew how to suck Clint into a story just as fully as any tv show or movie could.

So when he heard those words, he recognized them for what they were; the Midworld greeting from the The Dark Tower series. And he was ecstatic about that, because fuck yeah, Dark Tower rocked. And if he were being greeted by a cowboy (gunslinger!!!) of Midworld here, then that meant that the black tower off in the distance in this borough really was THE Dark Tower. And that was even better, because aw yeah, Midworld was real. At least, in some universe it was! Clint release a breath that was almost a victorious sounding curse, but not quite.

Phil was going to eat crow.

So, so much crow.

Cause King even had the words right. Obviously, because he got a thankee out of the cowboy, and Phil… Phil wasn’t going to believe it. He was totally cool about it when Clint wanted to chat about King’s works, but he didn’t like them the way Clint did. Some might call it obsession, Clint called it passion. He had passion for King’s books.

So when the cowboy (gunslinger!!!) went and marked his places Clint watched as he shot. Sure, maybe normally Clint would have waited for the man to mark his target and return, and then shot side by side with him, but this? This he wanted to be able to actually watch. The moment that the last bullet had struck the target, Clint let loose with five arrows, mimicking the pattern in his own target with a wide, happy grin of someone doing something they loved, and doing it with someone whom they felt would appreciate it.

When the man asked how he had done, Clint laughed and moved to collect his arrows, “All bullseyes for sure, sai.” He was careful, only using language that he should… He wasn’t looking to insult the man, especially if he were a gunslinger (gunslinger!!!), because… Yeah. And that the man had shot into his target? On purpose, of course, and Clint wasn’t even bothered by it, not even a little. Hell, he was thrilled to have met this guy! When he had retrieved his arrows, he set them atop his target and reached to dig out the bullet before checking the gunslinger (gunslinger!!!) and crossing to collect the rest of the bullets to return to him. After all, on Midworld, ammunition was valuable.
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#6
This boy was entertaining, if nothing else.

“Can’t say I’ve ever had a cause to put one through a bull’s eye, son,” Virgil mused as he reloaded the gun, flicking the bullets into the spinning chamber in one smooth, unbelievably fast movement. “Men tend to need putting down more often than bulls do, but point taken.” He accepted the bullets back, an old habit that he hadn’t quite kept with (after all, materials were pretty plentiful in the Hub), and dropped them into a leather pouch on his gunbelt. “You’ve got an impressive bow-hand, son, better than I think I’ve ever seen. Can’t say I was ever one for the bow myself, so maybe I’m not a good judge,” he admitted modestly.

Holstering his gun, he offered the man a hand. “Virgil Barnet, sai,” he said. “Or Ageless Virgil, Gunslinger of Gilead, Tet of the Blood Moon if it pleases you more, which I think it might. You must be from one of the worlds where Sai King has spun his tales,” Virgil ‘guessed.’ It wasn’t much of a guess, really. The man didn’t have the right sense of awe to be from Mid-World, and he obviously knew words he shouldn’t know. Where would a man learn those words? Why, he’d read them, of course, and there was one place he could read them that had informed everyone else.
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#7
It had been a long, long time since anyone had called him a boy, and honestly, Clint would have just about fallen over laughing if Virgil had said that out loud.

As it was, he let out a sharp, amused bark of a laugh, “Sorry; it’s an odd turn of phrase that’s common where I’m from.” He didn’t pretend to be from Midworld, as much fun as that might have been, Clint wasn’t interested in misleading or lying to the gunslinger (a real gunslinger!), not unless he absolutely had to, and honestly, Clint had found he hadn’t really had to lie in a long while now. Since becoming an Avenger, really. Side effect of working alongside people like Captain America and Thor. And it was evident that Clint knew at least a little bit about Midworld, and the customs there, but he didn’t pretend to know everything.

It was nice, though, to meet someone from this place. “Well, I see better than most people.” Clint spoke the statement with a smile that bordered on too easy. He had always been able to pick his targets out easily enough, and he would admit that he definitely did see better from a distance, but the fact of the matter was that he was called Hawkeye for a reason. “But I much appreciate the compliment.” he added with a nod.

Taking the gunslinger’s hand, Clint nodded again, “Clint Barton.” He chuckled at the longer name, “It does please me very much. Some call me Hawkeye of the Avengers.” He grinned, and nodded slowly, “You have the truth of it. Are they just tales? Or a true story only mean to sound like fiction to someone from a world where the Tower isn’t known?”
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#8
Yup. The kid thought he was a Mid-World native, and why wouldn’t he? Virgil shot Clint a smile that was all mischievousness and good humor. “I know, son,” he said. “From where I am, too. It’s just the sort of thing that people expect an old cowhand like me to wax literal on. Don’t take it too much to heart.” At this point, he wasn’t even sure if “bullseye” had been an anachronistic phrase for him to have been programmed with, but he had been. Some things, you wanted your hosts to be able to relate to without looking at the guests like they were crazy, he supposed. It wasn’t anything that most people would notice, but just little bits of comprehension that helped things get by.

The question the boy posed him wasn’t one that had an easy answer, as Virgil well knew. The number of people who knew that, though… “If someone writes a story that they don’t know is true, isn’t even true on their world, a story that they have to find a gateway into an entire different universe for it to be true… is it true? Sai King doesn’t know that it’s true, not consciously, I’ll set my watch and my warrant on that. But look around us, look at where we’re meeting. None of this is true where you come from. What you come from isn’t true for where someone else comes from, either. I’ll even guarantee you that you’ll find some world where people read books about Clint Barton or watch stories about Virgil Barnett as he was born, not as he became in Mid-World. On those worlds, they’re just tales, and they’re meant to sound like tales because the ones writing them never know them to be more than tales. Our lives, the ones that matter, the ones who are called, echo across the beams and radiate out from the tower, and somewhere, will some poor fool write about this conversation right now, never suspecting he’s hearing the whispers of lives that happen in some other where, some other when. You say true, I say thank you.”
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#9
Some people (hello, Nat!) might have been offended at being called ‘son’ and teased the way Virgil was teasing. Clint wasn't in the slightest; this was…. hell this was more affectionate than most anyone ever gave him. Not more than Phil. Or Nat. But they were exceptions to the rule. This felt friendly though, so Clint took it in stride, wearing an easy smile even as he shrugged, “Well good to know. So, speaking of, just where are you from?” Honestly, he was expecting a strange answer that he wouldn't recognize from the books, but hey, he could get surprised and actually have an idea of where the old gunslinger was talking about.

He was a serious geek, and he knew it. Phil was gonna just die (And eat so much crow. The whole damn bird…) when he got back to their suite and told him about this!

“In my mind? Yes. It's no less the truth just because the teller isn't aware.” He smiled, “Just like being wrong doesn't make you a liar.” He wiggled his hand, “Lies are based on intent. Truth is a matter of fact.”

Clint nodded as Virgil spoke, considering what the man was saying. It wasn't wrong; it was possible that the stories and tales in each world were true events in others. “Huh. Man, the idea that somewhere out there someone’s reading stories about the Avengers, thinking were just some made up people? That's…. pretty deep, actually.” He didn't think his life was all that entertaining, but then, how many characters in his favorite stories would? “Interesting way of thinking. I'm gonna have to keep that in mind.”
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#10
“Oh, I originally came from an Earth, probably not yours, but one a bit like it, to be sure. Place called the Mesa. Wasn’t much of a life there for me, sad to say, but I ended up in All-World by the most inconvenient way you can get there: Dying. Blew up, actually, but that’s neither here nor there. Woke up like it had all been a dream, and I found myself in a great city… not as advanced as the Mesa, but it looked like it had been, once upon a time. City named Gilead, I think you probably know it, if you know me for what I am.” He offered Clint that easygoing smile again. “Gilead’s where I was really born, if you catch my meaning.”

He didn’t argue with the boy about what truth was. It was a debate he’d long ago put out of his mind, partly because the logic involved threatened to cause a feedback loop in his mind that could force him to restart, and he really hated doing that. What he was sure of, though, was that there was no intent to hide a truth by the authors: They thought their works were entirely fictional, even if some of them were vaguely aware of some sort of wild inspiration, or knew that a story had gotten away from them without them knowing why. What that said about the truth of things, though… he didn’t think about that. It was easier that way. “It might not be a full account of things,” Virgil admitted as Clint thought over his point. “But the beams, the beams sing our songs, and some people know how to hear that song, even if all they hear it as is a vague idea. Travel to some other world, you might have to read between the lines, but you might find a world where the things that Robin Hood does look a lot like your life.” He shrugged. “Ka works the way that it wants.”
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#11
Originally from Earth. Well, that wasn’t what Clint had been expecting. The Mesa? He’d ask if that were a city name, but the way he said ‘the’ before it… You didn’t say you were from ‘the Queens’ you said you were from Queens. So… Nope.

The guy had been to GIlead. “Yeah… I’ve definitely heard of it. Like, Gilead before, right?” He had to ask, because… Because Roland was the hero, and he was from Gilead before all the gunslingers were gone. Before the Man in Black had won their last battle. And Clint wanted to know as much as he could, especially with a real life gunslinger standing around, talking and shooting with him. Because that...that didn’t happen every day, now did it? “Yeah, I think I do.”

Oh, Clint understood that the way he looked at the concept of truth was pretty much an opinion. And that it was probably not really a common one. But Clint wasn’t a common person. What he got out of the conversation about truth was that Stephen King had no idea that the story he wrote was real, but it was. Not in their universe, but in some universe. Which made him wonder what else was real. Legolas? Katniss Everdeen? Heh. He might have to tell Stark to stop calling him by other people’s names…

That would go over oh so well.

Robin Hood? Clint laughed good naturedly. “Well, better than the Sheriff of Nottingham.” He was nodding, though, “It does. Mysterious ways and all of that. And hey, I guess I even have a band of merry men, sort of. My team - I’m not sure how merry we are, but we’re a hell of a group.” Clint spoke fondly of his fellow Avengers; they were sort of a family, even with everything that had happened between them. He’d still go to bat for every and any one of them. Sort of like Roland and his Ka-tet.
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#12
Gilead before. That very idea made Virgil sigh, giving the old revolver at his hip a touch. “Gilead before, you say true, I say thank you. I was a gunslinger under Steven Deschain, last ruler of Gilead and the Affiliation. I was a gunslinger under Alaric Deschain, that they called Henry, before him, under his father, and his father’s father. Then the rebellion came up, faster than anyone was willing to be ready for it. I saw it coming, a few others saw it… we couldn’t move the others fast enough to respond to a threat that they all thought doomed to fail in its course.” He shrugged a little, shaking his head. “If the books are to be believed, Steven’s son is still doing everything he can to set things right, and it feels like things are getting better. Does it feel that way in your world?” he asked, seemingly genuinely interested. He’d seen for himself the various worlds where the Sombra corporation or North Central Positronics had come up, learned to recognize them even when they went under a different name, and he’d seen the various organizations start to form to work against them, too. He wondered if the same thing was somehow playing out on Clint’s world, too. It probably was, unless that world was slowly going to hell and ready to die…

“Now, don’t go giving old George a bad name,” Virgil said, chuckling a little. “You get charged with keeping the roads safe when some young upstart comes up robbing everyone coming through your forest and see how easy your life is. Poor sai didn’t have much of a winning option to go with.” He paused, drawing out his revolver again. “Some worlds, at least. Others, he’s a sadistic bastard, so I guess giving him a bad name’s going to be half right.”
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#13
Clint may not be the most emotionally capable person, but he
Caught the look that crossed the old man's face at the mention of how
the gunslinger's home city had once been. As the man spoke, however, Clint lowered his gaze, respecting what was said as well as processing it into what he already knew. The books... "They don't have such a happy ending. But it's not the worst way it could go." He considered, "Leaves you with room for hope. So maybe he's still at work.” The question took Clint by surprise, and for a moment his face fell, ghosts of what he'd seen, done, lived through, all crossing behind his eyes. “I sure hope so..” Not sure how well people would live if they got much worse.”

First name for the villain. Man. they were digging deep now, weren’t they? “In the stories I read, he deserved what came to him.” Clint shrugged. “Though you aren't wrong. I think I still say Robin was doing right." But then, his morals were, at best, questionable. "I might not be the one to ask About it though."
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#14
The old cowboy shot Clint a wry smile. “Endings usually aren’t happy. Have you ever read a book and been happy that you’re done with it? Usually that’d mean that it wasn’t a very good book, I’ll set my watch and warrant by it.” He took his time reloading his revolver, taking the opportunity to go over each part of the machine and make sure everything was in order. “When the end comes, you don’t have to be happy, and you don’t have to be glad for it. What you need is to be happy with the story that comes before it. What you’ve done is more important than how you end.” With a flick of his wrist, he set the chamber again, offering Clint a more mischievous smile. “Let the authors take a few liberties if the way things end doesn’t make a very exciting tale. A little embellishment on the behalf of those who’ve gone before won’t hurt anyone, as long as you don’t make the poor sai into something he wasn’t.”

This time, he took his time, aiming down the path, checking the sights of the gun, parts he didn’t often have cause to use. He started casually walking back, getting more distance between himself and the targets at the end. “No, I reckon that the boy’s doing something right. Lots of worlds, most worlds, even, things are going right. All you have to do is look for the places that the Red’s made its stand, and you’ll see what was drawn to guard against it. Nothing’s going to be perfect, but all you need is the one thing that dies when the Red takes hold and chokes the life out of a world.” He sighed the target, now from twice the distance as before. “Hope,” he said, before firing the revolver.
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#15
Okay, dude had a point. Clint hadn’t read a ton of books, but he’d never enjoyed reading a book or series and had a sense of happiness about it being done or over unless it was a terrible story, but really… Clint didn’t finish books he didn’t enjoy. That simple. “Good point. It was an ending that wasn’t particularly satisfying, and didn’t leave the protagonist as well off as I would have liked.” And look at that, he almost even sounded smart! Ha! Happy with the story… “Yeah, it was one hell of a story.” He grinned at the cowboy, “Well, I hope that my story is as good, and ends satisfyingly.” It was true; he’d lived a full life so far, experiencing joy and pain, acceptance and loss. Still, he hoped his ending was still a long ways off.

He’d only just gotten to the point where his relationship with the person he loved could be acknowledged out loud. He wasn’t ready to give up his life just yet.

Clint smiled at the man even as he prepared to fire. Clint reached to his hip to grab a few arrows; he had come out here to practice, and here he’d allowed himself to get distracted. Not a bad thing, but if his guest was shooting then he might as well do so too, shouldn’t he?

He shot his arrows rapid fire, hitting his target three times, then his companion’s target three times. Then he waited a moment with a last arrow, timing it to follow the cowboy’s last bullet into the target exactly on top of it. Yeah, he was showing off, so what? They both were showing off, if they were being honest, but it wasn’t just smugness that emanated from Clint, but rather amusement and pride; he loved what he did, he was damn good at it, and he was sharing that with someone he respected.

Today was turning out to be a damn good day.
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#16
Virgil had used up enough bullets. True, materials weren’t so rare as they had been in Mid-world, but old habits died hard, and to waste this many bullets just to show off? No, that wasn’t going to be necessary. Satisfied that they’d both proven their skill at their chosen weapons, he holstered the ancient revolver, one of the last of its kind, and studied the other man.

Virgil had spoken (in a round-about sort of way) of the return of the White to the various worlds, the renewed power of the Tower and the Beams holding up all of reality. He didn’t pretend to know how this all fit together to draw a map, what beam went where, what world fell on its path, but he was sure that in some way, this place, this Hub was part of it. Why else would there suddenly be doors between worlds, and a place to watch the traffic into and out of them? And this man… well, there were people who were drawn to serve the Beams, drawn to protect them by protecting the worlds on them, and he was sure that this man was one of them. So many who came through those portals were like that.

“So what’s your path here, sai?” Virgil asked. “Usually, if someone’s on the run or hurrying home, they don’t take the time to build themselves a practice range, now, do they? What’s holding you here in this place?” Everyone had an excuse, but in the end, they lacked a real reason why they didn’t leave, or didn’t leave for good. Obviously some did leave for good, but others didn’t seem to be able in one way or another. ‘Ka like a wind,’ as they used to say, Virgil supposed. Maybe, just maybe, Ka was giving him a bit of a hand here finally.
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#17
Bullet shortage was something that Clint honestly couldn’t really get a good grip on. It was an idea that… A world that had limited amounts of projectile ammunition was a world that Clint couldn’t see properly. Guns were a fact of life. Maybe it was one of the reasons that he’d liked the Dark Tower so damn much; because guns weren’t just a simple fact in that world. Because while they existed, it wasn’t something taken for granted. You couldn’t just walk into a store and buy them by the box where Virgil was coming from, and that was amazing and difficult for Clint at the same time. When the gunslinger holstered his weapon, Clint clipped his into place on his back, swiping a hand lightly over the quiver of arrows as though to settle them into place as well and then he looked up and met Virgil’s eyes with a small, content smile.

He really loved to shoot.

Hub. It was a thing. Clint felt this place might be sort of important, the way that Pearl Harbor had been important. Or Dunkirk. There were a lot of allusions that Clint could draw, really. Too many. It was actually really damn sad.

Cint was a fighter. A protector. An Avenger. He served the best ways he knew how. He was loyal to Phil, and thus SHIELD, but really he was just loyal to his people. Phil, Nat, the rest of the team. He’d fight for them, and he’d die for them if it became necessary, and he wouldn’t so much as bat an eye at it. The world, he’d fight and die for that, because the Avengers were a part of the world, a part of the universe, a part of the multiverse. Omniverse. Whatever. To put it simply, he fought for what he loved, and he loved his friends, his family, his love, his world, the whole multiverse of worlds.

On the run or hurrying home… “Well, I’m not running. I tried that, found I like finding a place I fit in a whole lot better. As for home…” He considered the statement for a moment, “My home is where Phil is, and Phil’s here.” As was Tony and Steve (or a version of Steve), and Pete and Friday. And that was enough, really. “I like it here.” The statement was simple, spoken with a small shrug, “I could leave if I wanted to. Could even take the people I care about with me, but really.. This place is as good as any - better really, because here there are ways to travel to new and exciting places, things to do, places to be useful, people to protect. And I like that.” Clint nodded to Virgil, “What about yourself?”
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Westworld/The Dark Tower-Westworld-1

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#18
Virgil favored Clint again with that lazy smile of his. “Come now, sai, you see me for what I truly am. This is the final destination to watch over the fate of the Tower. That’s a concern that reaches far beyond Mid-World, beyond any one Earth. There are things in any world that could bring creation one step closer to nothingness.” He gestured around them with a lazy twirl of his fingers. “This is where Ka put me. This is where I am until Ka puts me somewhere else. Besides… all my things are here.” That last was delivered with a bit more of an upturn of the lips under that broad moustache. Virgil’s ‘things’ didn’t amount to a whole hell of a lot, when you got down to it. But among those ‘things’ were the bar stool he sat at whenever he rode by the right saloon, the bowling alley where he let himself unwind from the worries of life, and countless other little places where Virgil had settled himself into without really trying to. “Sometimes, you know when you have to draw anchor and let the tide take you away. Not here. I drift about, turn up on worlds where they could do with a Gunslinger for a bit… say, did you know that there’s a world where knights ride around on giant dalmations?” That place had been interesting…
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