The man is three-quarters up in the stateside hierarchy for Ten Rings. This means he is roughly nowhere in the grand scheme of things, distinctly middle management, but you're satisfied that he is authorized to negotiate for his masters. In fact, if you were a betting man, you'd guess that the cash satisfies their requirements. Unfortunately, this guy remembers when you and Natasha personally came through two years ago and burned his crew to the ground and left him as the only person live to carry the message.
Knowing the Ten Rings, they probably did more than slap his wrist. It's actually surprising that he's alive, so this is almost certainly personal. You look over at your own master, who is leaning against the wall, looking bored. He doesn't have time for you to go over this guy's head, and you sigh.
Why hold back on something that, in the end, means nothing?
So you lean forward across the table. Does he need proof that you've turned?
"Let me offer you a sweetener," you say, smiling with your mouth and your eyes. "Let me show you that SHIELD can be broken."
Half an hour later, once the cash has been counted and cleared, you're on your knees in front of him. It's in the main room of what will be the research complex; in the back, Selvig is busily supervising the unpacking of the crate and the installation of the new equipment. Some of the workers are from Loki's spear; the other bodies are Ten Rings engineers, bought with fifteen million in untraceable non-sequential bills.
Loki is seated on a packing crate. You're in the middle of the room, on your knees in front of the man. He also has his muscle with him, and while you're down on your knees, you study their faces, write them into your memory. One of them has a hand-held camcorder. You look from the camera to the face, then back to the camera.
"Put down the bow," the Ten Rings guy says. Definitely middle management, you decide.
You put it on the ground next to you, and he kicks it off into the corner. It slides across the floor with a rattle, and you wince, but don't say anything about it.
"You want me to take the armor off?" you ask.
"Keep it on," he says. His voice sounds a little rough.
Since you're on your knees, in order to make eye contact with him, you have to tilt her head back. His expression doesn't change, so you unzip his pants. You roll a condom onto his dick.
You've never given head to a guy before. This isn't exactly a comfortable position on the stone floor, but it doesn't seem to matter to him. He slaps your face when your teeth get in the way, and you struggle to find a position where you can breathe and keep your balance and keep your lips over your teeth while he fucks your mouth. After a few thrusts and when he's hard enough, he puts a hand on the back of your head and pushes your mouth all the way down.
He gets off, apparently, on the choking noises that you make, the way you grab his knees, and he pulls the condom off and finishes on your face.
You know enough to ask for permission to lick it off your mouth.
The guy with the video camera goes on filming as you get up off your knees, get your bow out of your corner, and without wiping your face, go to stand next to Loki.
"You should leave now," you say.
Loki turns his head, slowly, to look at you, and you want to look at him, but the greater need to serve his interests comes first. You signal to your men to follow the Ten Rings out; you count, to many to make sure.
"Wipe your face," Loki says, when they've left the room. There isn't anything at hand, but without having to be asked, one of the lab scientists brings you a tissue; you wipe your face off and put it in the trash, then turn back to the video monitors. Your mouth hurts; your knees ache, and you can still taste it in your mouth, but you push all of these out of your mind and concentrate on the monitors, making sure that all of the Ten Rings leave without trouble.
In the end, why hold back something that, in the end, means nothing?
Not every person who works against SHIELD is a sexual sadist. Sometimes, the perverts are inside the walls. It's a joke that you used to have with Nat, but you can't remember the context, or why it was funny. It was definitely funny, though, because you have a clear memory of sitting in a stakeout car with her, saying that, and then watching her crack up. It was in a strip mall somewhere; her hair was cut short, and she was wearing a leather jacket. You can count on one hand the number of times you can remember seeing Natasha actually laugh; she has a definite sense of humor, enjoys little jokes and witty commentary, but it's work getting her to laugh.
So: not every person who hates SHIELD is a sexual sadist. Most of them just want their money or the goods or the information. But Selvig needs a lot of material to build the equipment he needs, and keeping the facility secure, fed, and supplied takes a lot of trading.
There is a woman affiliated with HYDRA who can sell you the equipment you'll need for Stuttgart, and after the deal is done, after the cash and name and identity of two SHIELD moles within her organization are handed over the table and the equipment goes to you, she looks at you. She is middle-aged, dark-haired, with a wide mouth. HYDRA holds to its roots, as Natasha once put it to you with a humorous twist of the mouth, so the woman wears a black leather jacket, a gray skirt halfway down to her calves, and small, neat black leather boots. It's a little ridiculous, but there is the small silver pin on the lapel of her jacket, indicating that she is part of the inner circle. She also speaks accentless American English.
She looks at you, then turns to Loki.
"I heard you share, " she says.
He looks at her; she looks at him, remarkably coolly for someone staring down a god, and you watch both of their faces.
"I'll throw in a corneal scanner, so you won't have to transport the goods."
There is a sound out in the hallway, and slowly, lazily, your master turns to see what the sound is, so you take the initiative. He doesn't care.
"Done," you say.
Half an hour later, you're in a small side room. It's normally a storeroom for spare parts, so there are wires looping on the counters and small metal things with dials filling the shelves. She had decided against having you in the open. Unconducive was the word she used. Her two bodyguards are stationed on either side of the door to the room; you stripped down in the hallway in front of them, then followed your master and the woman into the room.
It isn't a large room.
You have a better idea how to go down on a woman, though. She sits on the edge of the counter and hitches her skirts up; you're on your knees again between her boots, and when she's ready, she slides off the counter, steps out of the skirt, and pulls a strap-on out of her bag.
"You came prepared," your master says. You're not sure why he came along, and your jaw hurts a little.
"I heard the rumors." She sees you looking at the strap-on, sees you bite your lips, which still taste like her.
"Never been fucked with one of these?"
"Never been fucked in the ass before," you say.
She looks over at Loki, surprised, and your master is too bored to answer her.
So you help the woman with the buckles and straps, and you watch as she squeezes a little lube into the palm of her hand, then slicks the head and shaft. It doesn't seem like a lot, and you make a small noise as she bends you over the counter. Her hand is surprisingly light in your hair; she traces one finger down the back of your neck. You can feel the strapon against your thigh, a little slick, but not nearly enough that it would be anything but --
"So this'll be your first time," she says.
"Yes," you say. Your voice is steady, if a little muffled against the counter.
She takes the hand away and pushes into you. You bite back the whimper, but once she starts moving, you can't stop the screams.
Your master leaves halfway through, too bored to stay. You bury your head on your arm, and she digs her nails into your back and gives you a particularly vicious thrust to bring your mind back to matters at hand.
If you've given it up once, why worry further?
The underground complex is small, so everyone shares sleeping quarters except for the master, and you stop by four hours before the jet to Stuttgart. The door is half-open, but you knock, and when there is nobody answers, you step inside. The ceiling is vaulted; the floors are stone. There is a bed in the middle, and on the floor in front of you is a girl. She is naked and lying on her stomach; her body is badly bruised, and from the angle that her head makes with the rest of her body, her neck is broken.
On the bed, there is a boy, also lying on his stomach. He hears you come in; you can see him tense at your footsteps, but he doesn't dare push himself up off the bed or try to see who it is. Still alive, because you can see him struggling to control his breathing. When Loki comes back into the room, the boy makes a small, terrified nose that he tries to smother in the bed.
Your master is drying his hands in what looks like a shirt -- the shirt that the girl had been wearing, you realize.
"The plane leaves in three hours, sir," you say, and when he doesn't say anything further, you take a step backwards and start to turn.
"Stay, Agent Barton," he says. His voice is smooth, and you turn back to face him.
He drops the shirt and steps over a pair of shoes on the floor. The boy's, you think, though it's hard to tell, and he leans down and puts his hand on the boy's shoulder. The boy shakes. His mouth is bloody, and there is blood on his thighs and the curve of his ass. There is more on the sheets of the bed.
The boy trembles underneath the long fingers stroking his back, touching the size of his face.
Does he know about the body, dead on the floor five feet away? He may not have had the courage to look. He seems unable to leave the bed, but the girl had been his sister. You know, because you're the one who brought them to Loki: a matched pair, in a way, built along the same lines of narrow shoulders and long limbs and pale skin, but different in coloring. She had blonde hair and blue eyes; the boy has brown hair, a little darker coloring.
You know a little about Loki's family history. How old had the sister been? She had been the older of the two; the boy had been the younger.
"You've served me well," your master says, still running his hands over the boy. "Good service should receive its due reward."
"Go to him," Loki says. The boy's eyes might still brown, and he holds his shoulder at an awkward angle. There are handprints on that arm, and he starts to rise from the bed, but your master adds, "On your hands and knees."
So the boy half-slides, half-falls out of the bed and comes towards you. It's hard to crawl when one of your arms has been wrenched out of its socket, but he manages. You notice that he resolutely keeps his face pointed towards you; he does not look towards the other side of the room, and he does not pause. He knows his sister is dead; his eyes are brown, not blue, so he is doing this out of pain. Terror. Does he still think he'll survive this? Or is he just trying to minimize the pain that is left?
Using his good hand, he undoes your belt, the belt, and the front of your pants. He draws your dick out; it's soft. You've never liked pain in sex; you've never liked humiliating your partners, and there is a part of you that still remembers the small of Natasha's back under your hand, her mouth against your ear, laughing while you slid your hand under her shirt.
There is blood on the boy's chin from being hit. There is dried blood on his jaw from his ears. A concussion? It would explain the sluggish pupil response when he turns his face up to you; you're standing underneath the one light in the room, and you put your hand on his cheek. You look him in the eye. He has been crying.
You. An alley. Runaways. Had they actually been brother and sister, or had they just told you that? They had been suspicious, but not suspicious enough. The girl had caught on that this was not the usual sort of thing that man might look for in that part of town in a dark alley, but not fast enough.
"Think of me, Agent Barton," your master says, and you do: you see Loki's face when you close your eyes.
You get hard.
At a word from Loki, the boy takes your dick into his mouth, and shortly afterwards, you move your hand from his face to the back of his head.
You remember every second, and it was all pleasure.
After the shawarma, you and Natasha eventually make your way back to the Helicarrier, and after forty-five minutes or so, Natasha comes by your quarters. You don't answer when she knocks, so she keys in her override and comes inside. She took a shower and changed into a t-shirt and SHIELD-issue sweatpants; part of her hair is still wet and sticks to the back of her neck, and her stepping into the room is enough to activate the lights, which are, in the way of personal quarters in a flying aircraft carrier designed by efficiency freaks, tied to a motion sensor.
You look up from the video that you are watching.
"You looked up the casualty list," she says. "I told you not to do that."
"How else was I going to find out?"
You are too tired to argue with her; she is too tired to have come down two decks to force her way into your room and yell at you about dealing with your new ledger. After all, before the assault by the Chitauri, she said that you shouldn't look up the casualty list, so after a pause, you pressed her on the topic: she told the manner and method of Coulson dying, and you emptied the contents of your stomach in the toilet. You were coming out of the bathroom, drying your hands, just in time for vouching for her to tell Captain America that you could be trusted.
"There was a girl," you say, finally. "She was with her brother, and she pulled a knife on me and told me to hand my wallet over and walk away."
Natasha doesn't need to ask what happened to the girl on her brother.
The video is still playing over your shoulder, and for the first time she looks at it. She studies it for a second, then looks back at your face.
"You shouldn't have gone looking for that, either."
"It's out there, circulating. It's in my file, too. Anytime a SHIELD agent with sufficient clearance pulls my file, it'll be in there."
Without breaking eye contact, you reach over to the video screen and unmute it: the speakers on the console aren't very good, and the footage wasn't shot with a very good camera, but that is clearly you on the screen, getting onto your knees.
It goes on for a few minutes where Natasha never takes her eyes from your face.
On the screen, the Ten Rings agent kicks your bow into the corner.
Without turning your head, from the sounds, from memory, you can tell the Ten Rings agent is starting to get close and has pulled out of your mouth and is taking the condom off. You know from sound, from memory, that your face is turned up and your eyes are closed; you know that you ask for permission to lick it off, and after another moment, Natasha leaves. She knows she won't get anything done with you tonight, but tomorrow, she thinks, might be another day. She studies your face for indications that this might be true, but also, because this is Natasha, for levers that she can use eventually in case it turns out not to be true. For tonight, she goes, and the door slides shut behind her.
You don't move from where you're sitting on the bed. You let the video start over; you sit and watch it, the sound still unmuted.
Eventually, after a long time, the motion detector thinks you've left or gone to sleep, and the room goes dark. The sound and the video continue, and you know this isn't even the worst memory.
In the end, what do you have left?
The bit about Natasha telling Clint about Coulson being dead, and Clint just losing the contents of his stomach in the toilet is from amanuensis, appropriately enough.