Phil Coulson never joined SHIELD. Clint Barton never left the circus.
They’re destined to meet anyway.
Why You Should Read This:
I say that I don’t like AUs, but I seem to recommend an awful lot of them here. I really am of the opinion, though, that if you are going to read original fiction, then read it! This one, though, this one is lovely. The imagery at the circus is breathtaking, and Phil’s history is dealt with beautifully. You can see where this is just a twist of of canon. You can see where Clint, when he doesn’t quite hit the target where he wants, remembers the abuse he suffered at his mentor’s hands, and you can see the hint of what Phil once was in the man he is now. All of this is seen without it being said, and that is the hardest thing for a writer to do. Show, do not tell. This is beautifully written. I am off to see what else this author has done.