Author's Note: I've taken a big liking to Jeremy Renner (between Avengers and the Bourne Legacy) so decided to write on this prompt from earlier this summer. Hope you enjoy!
Rating: R to be safe
Disclaimer: I don't own anything from The Avengers and I'm not making any money from this fic
Warning(s): Discipline of an adult.
Verse/Setting: Before the final big battle in Avengers.
Prompt: Hawkeye feels guilty about the things he did under Loki's influence, even though everyone knows it wasn't his fault. Black Widow knows him best, so he tells her how he is feeling, and she's worried about him going into battle like that. She goes to Captain America, and tells him she doesn't think Hawkeye should participate in the big battle unless he can get rid of the guilt, because Hawkeye is likely to get himself killed. Captain America (being from an older time) thinks it's perfectly reasonable to spank a subordinate to get them back in line, and spanks Hawkeye, much to Hawkeye's surprise and dismay.
Elements: forty, white, back

SEEING IS BELIEVING

Hawkeye carefully and methodically prepared his equipment for the upcoming battle. His equipment was always in excellent shape- he made sure to keep it that way- but every spy, warrior, or assassin knew that you never took anything for granted. Widow sat next to him readying her equipment as well. They'd gone through this scenario many times before, and usually the silence while they worked was companionable. Today however, it only allowed Clint's thoughts to continue festering. He sighed softly, mouth rising in a crooked parody of a smile when she looked up at him in concern.

"What is wrong," she asked suspiciously, uncertain if remnants of Loki's mind-control were still affecting her partner.

Clint wasn't planning to answer. At least he hadn't been planning to answer. Despite his intention, he found himself telling her what was weighing on him. "I…what I did. I just, it was wrong. And I hurt so many innocent people. I can't even claim it was part of the job- since I was going against our own." He winced unable to continue- but Natasha knew. He could see it in her eyes.

"You feel guilty. But it wasn't your fault! Everyone knows this. They know it was Loki's control and not you!" Natasha stated firmly. Hawkeye nodded at her, then stood and gathered all his weapons together. Giving her a tiny smile, he headed back to his own quarters in order to catch forty minutes of rest before they all took off for battle. Natasha watched him leave, a frown on her face. He obviously did not believe her words. He blamed himself.

Worried about her partner and certain that if he went into battle in his current frame of mind he would be killed, Natasha went to find the one individual who she thought might be able to get through to her friend.

#####

Steve Rogers briskly walked down the hall toward his goal. He'd just had the most interesting conversation with Black Widow. If what she said was true, then their Bird was in danger of spiraling out of control, free-falling to his destruction. Well, perhaps not anything that dramatic- but it was clear that the archer's mind was not completely on the upcoming task and that COULD get him killed very easily.

The Captain had promised himself that he would not lose any men, if it was at all within his power to stop it. He believed this was one of those times. Finally reaching his destination, he stopped in front of Barton's quarters. He quickly and loudly knocked on the door.

"Come in," a tired voice called from within. Steve didn't waste any time entering the quarters and closing the door behind him.

Clint raised an eyebrow in curiosity. "How may I help you Cap?" he asked politely, uncertainly; he didn't' know why the man was visiting him after all.

"It wasn't your fault." The first Avenger stated calmly, yet emphatically.

"Natasha…" Clint closed his eyes and rubbed a hand across his face in weary irritation. He should have known she'd go to someone else when her own words didn't seem to help him.

"It wasn't your fault, but it is quite clear you blame yourself and are unable to move past what occurred." The Captain continued, watching Hawkeye closely to see what affect his words were having on the man.

"Yeah, well. What can I say? Guilt is a funny thing. Not much I can do to get rid of it, so I'll just work around it." Clint muttered. Steve frowned. Clint didn't much like that frown.

"There is one way to help rid you of guilt. It is very effective." The blond hero said quietly.

"Oh?" Clint's eyebrows rose in question. "Do tell!" the archer said with a little more sarcasm than he probably should have given the situation.

#####

Hawkeyes' face was beginning to turn pink by the time Steve had him completely situated and the archer was able to mentally accept that he truly WAS in this position. The Captain had one hand firmly on his back, holding him in place across his lap, his leather pants down around his ankles.

Steve had been implacable, refusing to even hear one word against what he had planned. Despite his misgivings and the belief that it was highly unfair- Clint hadn't been able to work up enough emotional indignation to refuse his colleague's demand. Closing his eyes tightly and unable to believe he was allowing this- or at the least that he wasn't fighting it more strongly- Hawkeye held onto Steve's leg with one hand, while using the other hand to brace himself on the floor.

When the first hard smack landed on pale white skin, it was all he could do not to curse loudly in surprise at the pain. For someone who claimed not to blame Clint for the actions he had done under Loki's control- the Captain certainly wasn't holding anything back. Hawkeye grunted as Steve continued his assault on his unprotected backside. The grunts soon turned to whimpers- and the whimpers soon turned to pleas for mercy. To Clint's unmitigated shame, he found his eyes tearing up well before he thought would be possible. His disciplinarian had barely reached a count of twenty, and Hawkeye was already breathing heavily in an attempt to avoid breaking out into sobs over the Captain's lap. Of course the man decided to begin talking at that point- punctuating his words with hard slaps to an already firmly spanked butt.

"You are not to blame for Loki's actions. He USED you. As soon as you had your own will back, you fought him! Carrying around this guilt, you are allowing yourself to be distracted. Being distracted leads to death- either yours or your teammates. Neither one is acceptable. Let go of this useless and needless guilt, Clint. Because if I have to, I will do this every night until you ARE able to." Steve spoke calmly and firmly and Clint- to his horror- knew the man would do exactly that.

"No!" he wailed, "Please. I'm sorry. You are right. I know you are and I won't….I won't dwell anymore!" he choked on his words, grabbing onto Steve's leg in an effort to comfort himself. "Please, Cap… if…if I start feeling distracted again, I'll come to you. Please stop…." He slumped over the man's lap, exhausted and spent.

Steve landed a few more harsh smacks before stopping and gently rubbing Hawkeye's back. "Say it Clint." He directed softly.

"It…it wasn't my fault. I...I did what I could…" Clint choked out, closing his eyes tightly.

"Good. You don't have any reason to carry guilt around for what happened TO you. You can be certain that if you DO do something wrong, you will find yourself over my knee and paying for your mistake- so trust me that you don't need to beat yourself up over something that WASN'T your fault." Steve smiled at his subordinate's quiet, "Yes sir."

Convinced that he had done all he could for their Hawk, Steve gently pulled the man's clothing back into place then helped him to his feet. He was proud of the man when Clint refused to look away, instead standing at attention and looking him in the eye- even though it meant allowing his tear swollen eyes and the wet tracks down his face to be seen. Swallowing hard, Clint firmly said "Thank you Captain."

Smiling in sympathy, the Captain placed a hand on the archer's shoulder, giving it a firm squeeze. "You are welcome. If you begin to feel guilty about anything in the future, come to me." He nodded at Hawkeye's quick agreement. "We will be leaving in 15 minutes." He remarked, before patting Clint on the back once and then leaving the nest.

Clint stood in the middle of his quarters, staring at the door for a few moments, rubbing his still stinging backside. He really needed to remember the Cap was from another time period. He certainly didn't want to do anything else that the old-fashioned man would deem a 'spankable' offence!


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