The Process of Coming Home

August 21, 2014: Clint Barton gets a ride home. Unfortunately, there's not a lot of home left. And it seems like maybe the fight isn't over…

Public Housing Projects - New York City

Also known as Brownsville, the Public Housing Projects (or simply The
Projects) are dominated by low income public housing. Though not the cesspits
of crime and desperation that they are in Gotham, the area is still plagued
with rampant crime, drug addiction and gang violence. Brooklyn at large may
be gentrifying, but the Projects remain quite dangerous.



  • None

Mood Music:

Cool and humid night; the sort of evening where one can have the windows down and be assured to be cool enough to sleep but unfortunately damp enough where there may be a chill. There's a line of storms coming, but they haven't yet arrived.

Clint Barton has scored a ride home, and it's not even with a taxi service. The request came for a change of clothes (as his was a bit shot up, literally and figuratively), and with mostly clean clothes he's feeling a little more human. Taped ribs, bullet wounds sewn up and lots of really good painkillers means he's sent on his way with the admonition to 'take it easy' for the next few days. Weeks. Months.

Like that'll happen.

It's at the apartment building when Barton looks… mad. Frustrated more. Police caution tape is still up, though no one is paying any heed to it anymore. The window to his front room is still smashed, and as he slowly gets out of the car, the door has all the hallmarks of having been kicked in.

"Okay, this will take more than a couple of minutes to straighten up."

"I told you it was kind of a mess," Kate points out as she follows Clint up to the apartment. "I came by when we were going to shoot, but there was a detective bitching about disturbing the crime scene, so I sort of figured they'd frown on scrubbing the brains off the walls, you know?" And also, Kate doesn't clean. But she would have at least hired someone.

"I can get a room at a hotel for the night if you want," she offers. "It's not home, but it's also not blood-spattered. Until you're done with it."

Paul can be a pain in the ass when he wants to be. He wanted to be. Regardless of SHIELD's preference, he was going to be on the rescue mission. That's assuming, of course, that SHIELD was actually informed about it beforehand. And when Paul called /again/ for a status report, he discovered it's already over, he's been seen to medically, and discharged. Which is how he was sitting outside Barton's apartment after work when they arrived. "Scrubbing brains off a wall in an active crime scene is usually a bad thing, yes." he agrees quietly. "Good to see you alive, Barton. Jealous husband?"

Clint's walking backwards, watching Kate. He looks very close to being swayed about the whole 'hotel room' thing, and perhaps in the next moment, will agree. "It's that bad, huh?" She did say brains, but there are times when she's a little more colorful to make a point.

Barton doesn't yet have his hearing aide (that's still somewhere in the house), but he certainly can't mistake the form and figure of one of New York's Finest, Detective Paul Manning. The one eye is still mostly shut, but there is a sliver of blue that can be discerned. The other eye, well.. it's still a vibrant green and purple, but the edges at least are beginning to fade. Out of habit, the hands come up at the same time as he speaks, which is a minor victory for anyone who knows him, "Funny. No. I usually win those. Appreciate the sentiment, though. I don't feel terribly 'alive', but I'll take what I can get. Been worse." He pauses and drops his hands, "Pretty sure."

Brains? Wait… and Clint turns back around to Kate, brows rising, and this time, he doesn't speak but mouths the word again. Brains?

"Okay, I probably need to see this, then get my stuff and go to a hotel."

"Oh, hey, look. It's the detective. Maybe he came to scrub the brains off the wall for you." Kate flashes a cheerful smile at Paul. She can do that. In her book, she won this round. Brains, she mouths back to Clint, nodding somberly. "It's okay," she adds, clapping a hand gently to the other archer's shoulder. "We'll get it taken care of, and you'll be back to beating things up again in no time."

"This is SHIELD's crime scene now. They can scrub the walls down." Paul says, frowning at Kate. She knew he wanted to be involved. Bad girl. "Don't they have a team to come and clean up all these failed assassination attempts?" It's a spur of the moment thought that makes him say "I have a spare bed."

"Domino was up and moving," Barton mutters. "No body?" The question is asked of both of them, looking first at one, then the other. "I swear to God, I put an arrow in Deadpool on the 'Rig," Oh, so he was a part of that op? "And the bastard came through the door." So, now the two assailants are named.

A deep breath is attempted, but it hitches, which causes a hand to come up to wrap around his chest. "Ow." Then, "I want to see the place after I left." Left. Was teleported. Whatever.

To Paul, brows rise in question before he shakes his head, but there's nothing in it other than, "I'm okay, thanks Manning."

As for whether or not SHIELD has the department to clean up crime scenes? Oh, hell yes. This.. this is just a little joke on their part. Or, could be the fact that they're currently swamped and an agent can clean up his own goddamned mess, thankyouverymuch!

"Kate, did you meet Detective Manning?"

"Meet is such a strong word." Kate goes to duck into the apartment, picking her way through the wreckage just like she did the other night. It isn't entirely obvious, but Paul might notice she's actually following her same footsteps. She's a punk, but she's a punk who knows what she's doing. "Detective Manning thinks I'm your love child," she adds with a puckish grin, going back to retrieve the poor, abandoned cookie jar.

"It was a possibility." Paul agrees dryly. Then adds with a hint of a smirk "Mistakes happen. I thought it more likely than that you two were a couple. But I stand corrected. She's your replacement. I guess you're the old model, Barton."

Barton heads into the apartment right behind Kate, his hand on the splintered door. A low, slow whistle sounds before he simply heads towards the kitchen, his 'last stand' before he was overrun. His coffee mugs are shot through, as is the coffee pot. "God damn them."

In the wreckage that is his apartment, he stands now, and twists around to catch Mannings comments. Again, brows rise and he glances at Kate, just making sure that what he thinks the Detective just said is actually what was. "Um… no. Not my love child." A bit of mug is picked up and winged across the room at the other Hawkeye. "Jerk." Though he does go on. "Not a couple either. She's… yeah. I suppose you could say that?" The old model. In a way, the way that's put holds a bit of a sting. The old model.

"I'm not down and I'm not gone yet. Though, in case she didn't tell you, and I'm willing," Here, Barton shoots her a look, "she did. She's another Hawkeye."

His gaze moves over the room now and lands at his shattered bow. "Awww. I didn't imagine it."

"Clint's taste's not that good," Kate smirks at Paul's comment, raising the cookie jar to defend herself against the piece of mug. Even that smirk fades, though, when Barton finds the bow, turning to something more sympathetic. "Yeah," she says quietly, gathering a few fallen tips into the jar on her way over to look at it herself. "Yeah, I saw that." There's a moment of silence for the fallen bow, and then she adds in an undertone: "You can't have the old one back."

"No, she didn't mention it." Paul tells Clint. Another Hawkeye is she? As the last one in the apartment, he closes the door behind him. The neighbors have gotten quite a show in the last few days. Almost certainly, more than they want. The landlord might be asking a certain someone to move out shortly. "You can get another. A better one." he says, spotting the look.

"No, my taste is better than that." It's a moment in jest, and Barton is pretty sure that the two of them 'get it'.

It's true, however. A moment of silence is fitting for his bow. He most certainly has others littered around the place; in closets under the bed, but that one was the one he'd taken to the range just a few days ago. "I'm not about to ask for yours back. It's the best bow you own."

Barton exhales in a sigh and puts a finger up, only to disappear into his bedroom. Coming back out, he's got a finger in his ear, and in the next moment, shakes his head. "Damn."

With that little bit taken care of, Clint gets a better look around, pushing things aside. "Cobra, by the way. They wanted me. I don't know why yet. I'm pretty sure I wasn't always on their radar."

"It really is," Kate agrees in regard to the old bow, willing to concede that much. When Clint steps into the other room, she quietly picks up the broken bow and finds a closet to shove it into. It may not be a proper burial, but at least he won't have to look at it anymore. Then she goes back to picking up scattered tips, eyeing Paul as she goes. "Did you sleep with the boss's girlfriend?" she asks Clint when he returns, arching a brow. It's usually a safe bet, after all.

"Cobra? Is that like Hydra?" Paul asks. "Is there am Anteater out there somewhere or do they only names themselves after scaled things?" He leans back against the door to keep out of the way and to watch the two archers. "How did they get you our of her, by the way? After all the gunfire attracting attention, witnesses would have seen that."

"No, I didn't sleep with the boss' girlfriend." This time. "I think I would have known," is added a little lamely afterwards. Barton pauses for a long heartbeat before, "And I'm pretty sure my love life has nothing to do with any of this." Pretty sure. Love life? Okay, sex life.

"And, Cobra. Yeah. Welcome to my life, Manning. All these little shadow organizations no one knows a damned thing about. They're usually those creepy little things. No 'Squirrel' or 'Bunny'."

Barton starts to attempt to clean up, but it looks as if it doesn't even begin to make a dent in the mess. "Bullet came through my window. Deadpool came through the front door." He points at the two spots. "He started shooting up the place. Some of the bullets were just spraying, and a lot of them were directed at me. I headed to the kitchen, and that's when Domino came in. She pushed forward, I jumped over the counter, and snagged Deadpool with the net. Slowed him down enough, but not really enough. I got tagged with a teleport beacon. I didn't go, though, before he stabbed Domino in the back. I got the knife and tossed it at him." And he wouldn't have missed but for stupid luck. "Next thing I knew, I wasn't in Kansas anymore." Barton nods in the direction of the wall with blood and brain smears. "And that was clean." Beat. "-Er."

"Told you it must've been a team," Kate tosses out to Paul, gathering the last of the tips she can from the wreckage and setting the jar neatly on top of the fridge, rising up onto her toes to do it. At least that's one spot of clean in the mess that was the apartment. "I'm guessing Domino's your spotted girlfriend from the boat?" she asks Clint, brushing her hands off on her jeans.

Domino. Paul knows that name. "Albino? Has a record?" She shot up a Walmart upstate but it was, theoretically at least, self defense. "Why would she want to save you? Or is she another SHIELD operative?" Seems they have as many criminals working for them as not.

Barton puts a hand up, finger pointed in Kate's direction. "Not my girlfriend." His voice drops, "She came crashing through my window. I'm willing to bet that she saw the light the moment Deadpool stuck a knife into her ribs." So, really then- why'd she go out of her way to save him?

It doesn't go unnoticed, the way Kate sets the cookie jar onto the top of the refrigerator. Tucked and out of the way. There are so many bullet holes, pock marks that it's almost impossible to actually -clean- anything, and he's not sure where to start. "The more I look at this place, the more a hotel sounds about right." Which means he really should pack.

Looking back at Manning, Barton attempts a shrug and decides against it quickly with a wince. "That's her. Big black dot over an eye. She sure as hell isn't an op. If she was, I'd know about it. And I have no idea why she came after me. Maybe she was pissed off that Deadpool crossed her and she figured that she was going to screw him by taking me back. Which then means that his buddies don't get the goods and he has to pay back the money?"

"I don't think bounty hunters do take-backsies, Clint," Kate guesses. "I'd put my money more on the old, hey, we brought him to you, not our fault you lost him. Which means we can tell how rich the people who want you are by how fast someone else comes after you again." That's…encouraging?

"Which means you shouldn't be at a hotel with hundreds of guests in the line of fire." Paul points out. "My offer stands. It'll be more comfortable than a hotel too and being shot at is old news to me. Not to mention you'll have backup if they come when I'm not working. You can pay me back with take out if that's a worry." After a moment, he grins and adds "And I promise not to make any passes at you. Till those bruises heal, anyway."

"Or… that." Clint casts a grumpy glance in Kate's direction before he wanders into his room for a suitcase. "Can you grab the quiver in the front hall, Katie?"

A couple more bows are gained, still in their 'socks' and he lays them out, making sure he won't forget them. "I'm pretty sure they're going to come after me again. But my question, then, is -why-? What is it— oh…" Hell. He pauses in his work and straightens up before he runs his left hand through his hair. "Manning's right. Can't go to a hotel." He exhales and his attention moves between the pair. "I have to stay here." Kate may know that look. He's got something in his head, and it'll be hell to dislodge. "You need to help me boobytrap the place."

Now, though, the offer. "I appreciate it. You don't want me as a guest, you really don't. Just ask Kate. I drink out of the coffee pot directly. On a good day."

"Once, he didn't let it cool down, and there were bits of his tongue stuck to it for a week," Kate assures Paul as she carefully opens the closet to rescue a quiver before anything else can escape from its confines. It's possible she made that up. It's also possible it actually happens. Nothing gets between Clint and his coffee. "Clint, you really aren't in any shape to catch anyone but yourself in a trap right now. Don't they have spare bunks at SHIELD or something?"

Drinks out of the coffee pot? "You've convinced me. I don't want you as a guest." Paul agrees. "But you can't stay here either. Your replacement is right about that. You couldn't fight off a rambunctious puppy at the moment. SHIELD has to have some equivalent of bachelor officer's quarters. Or on one of those flying air craft carriers. Can't think of many places you'll be safer than up there."

Barton gives Kate a long stare as she tells the story of one unfortunate incident with the coffee pot. When it comes to his life, truth honestly is stranger than fiction. "Okay, okay. Once. Only once. And that was after a long night."

He disappears back into his room only to re-emerge with a lightly packed bag and two stick bows. He's got his 'good' one packed. Barton nods his acknowledgment and grudging agreement. Still, doesn't mean he's going to like it.

"They won't move against me for a couple of days. I'm not going to run and hide in a helicarrier. I'm gonna grab a hotel room tonight, and try and get some sleep." Barton looks to his sidekick? Protege? Hawkeye. "You coming with?"

"Tomorrow, I head to HQ and see if I can't actually try and figure all this out." This.. this is so not his area of expertise. At. All.

"Manning.." Barton looks at the detective and offers something of an apologetic smile. "Hill knows, by the way. I did get the message passed on that way. So at least it's being moved on."

"Of course I'm coming with," Kate snorts, rolling her eyes in typically teenage fashion. "And I'm bringing these," she adds, going back toward the fridge to retrieve the cookie jar. "You can label them while you're sitting in bed. Keep you busy doing something useful." She slings the quiver from the closet over one shoulder, tucking the cookie jar under her arm. "The detective's right, though," she admits reluctantly. "It wouldn't hurt to get some back up on this."

It takes a moment for Paul to figure out what Barton's talking about. "Oh, Superman. Good. One thing taken care of at least. Annoying how the rest of the world doesn't stop for these little emergencies. But if you're going to insist on a hotel, get her to stop at an ATM and withdraw enough cash to pay for it. Then use a fake name. Don't use hers since anyone with a file on you might know who she is. That'll mean a fleabag motel but it'll be safer than the Ritz."

A theatrical exhasperated sigh exits the archer at the rolling of the eyes by Kate. "Oh, grow up," is muttered before Barton begins to head for the door. "And it's why I keep you around. You get to learn all the cool stuff I have that you won't get until after I'm gone." Of course, what's to stop her from pocketing one or two? Not like it hasn't happened before who knows how many times? He certainly doesn't.

Stopping before he makes it to the door, Clint actually turns around to look at Manning. Raising a hand to scratch at the side of his face, he appears hesitant before, "Yeah. I know. I used to do this from the other side." Yes, Detective, SHIELD does hire all sorts. "All cash transactions, but people will remember me and Kate. So one of us can't be there at check-in." Though, fleabag motel? Really?

"How 'bout a Mariott? Holiday Inn Express? I mean, I actually want some sleep."

"Fleabag motels are run by individuals, who remember things, and keep track of them, and can be bribed," Kate counters. "Places like the Ritz exist on service. Chains?" She points a thumb toward Barton's suggestion. "Impersonal enough not to give two craps about who shows up, big enough to be harder to search, and less likely to be full of hookers." A beat. "The man needs his sleep, detective."

Now it's Paul's turn to roll his eyes. "Security cameras. Not to mention any place decent actually wants a credit card on file in case you trash the place. You want to be safe, you go find a place that rents by the hour and is full of hookers. You can call yourself George Washington and so long as your cash is good, they don't care. In fact, that would be a perfect cover. You can be her john paying for an all nighter. Just more of the same to them."

Paul adds to Kate "You'll need to dress the part."

"Wait, wait. No one mentioned hookers before," Barton begins and as the pair volley back and forth, he sets the bag down and waits. Impatiently. Though really, in his state? They're not the first thing on his mind. Or the second. Third, maybe. Okay, third.

"Seedy places get raided by the cops all the time. Last time I was in one, the cops were in the parking lot all night dealing with a drug bust gone bad." No sleep then, either. Or hookers.

A wide grins comes to Clint's face at the suggestion; he's teasing, of course. -All- those times she's teased him.. or stared at him? Payback is a bitch. Does he even need to say a word? Probably not.

"Midlife crisis, love child, and hooker." Kate gives Paul a flat look. "You know, I don't like you, but you don't see me calling you names." Out loud. Where he can hear them. It's for the best that Barton doesn't contribute to that particular conversation. "We could take the yacht." Daddy'll love that.

"I'm not calling you names." Paul points out patiently. "I"m suggesting how Barton can be most safe under the circumstances. And if you ever want to replace him, you're going to need to learn how to bite the bullet and do what's necessary when it's necessary. Do you really care if some dirtbag thinks you're a whore if it means keeping him alive?" He doesn't /quite/ say 'grow up' but it's the subtext. He shrugs. "It's your decision, Barton. But anything that endangers you also endangers everyone around you so…" Another shrug. "If I was with Viper or Platypus or whatever, I'd be coming after you immediately when you're in the worst shape possible and least expecting it."

Midlife crisis?

"Hold on. Midlife crisis? Aw, c'mon. Really?" Barton laughs, but it's one of almost stunned disbelief as he postures a little, hands out to the side and upraised in question. "I'm not that old. I mean… yeah, she's young and all. But… Katie?" Playing out a role is one thing, but… this? She's better than that!

"I can still hold my own." Says the man who was double teamed and snagged. By a pair of mutants! One that has a hell of a healing ability!

"Cobra." Barton looks to consider before he pulls his phone out of his pocket. "Gonna get a burner phone. I'll check in with you." Though his words don't sound like he's talking about a hotel/motel or a yacht. Reaching for the arrows slung across her shoulder, he leans such that he's only a few inches away. "He's right, Katie-Kate. I know you can do this, and I'd feel better if you were on the outside watching rather than on the inside, blind with me. You're smart. Hell, you're perfect. I'll be relying on you."

"Platypus?" Kate gives Paul the death glare for a long moment, then tugs the quiver back away from Barton. "Fine, whatever. I'm not leaving you alone, you'll pop a pill, plug in the coffee pot, and burn the place down while you're sleeping it off. But for the record, when this all goes horribly wrong, I suggested the yacht." Grimacing, she turns a sidelong look on Barton. "Where's the box?" You know. The box of Things That Have Been Left Behind.

Paul nods once, satisfied. Barton even thought of the burner cell without him needing to say something. "You two can figure it out. Call me if you need anything. Or if you need me to get in touch with SHIELD in a roundabout fashion. No telling what lines they have tapped." Especially since that break in several weeks back. "Have fun kids."

It's hard, it is, for Clint to act disappointed, or upset with Kate's decision. In truth, and he'd never admit it, it's something he'd hoped she'd say. If she had agreed with him, he would have been disappointed, but it would also have been his fault for pushing her away. Still, he gives it the ol' college try with a scowl, but that's as far as it goes. "Coffee pots don't start fires." Is that the best he can do? Other than 'Oh yeah?!' which probably would have been just as successful. Her question leaves him silent a moment before he gestures back to his room. The Box. "In there."

Now, Hawkeye's ready to go. Exactly where, who knows? Probably drive around town for a little while before something catches his eye. Could be anywhere. "Manning?" Now, he expects to see the man, eye to eye. "I'm gonna need your help. Maybe not right now, but you'll get that call. Thanks for letting me know you'll be on the other side to take it."

Kate doesn't trust that Barton won't wander off before she's ready, so she takes the quiver and the cookie jar with her as she marches into the bedroom to dig through the box of discards. It's like women leave here in a hurry sometimes or something. It doesn't take long for her to find something that will do (the beauty of spandex - such flexible sizing!), and even less time to change into it. She is the master of the quick costume change, after all.

When she comes back out, it's in a silver spandex number with cut-outs on the sides, the halter top and the mini skirt connected by a ring set with rhinestones. The bolero shrug and the combat boots don't exactly match, but even she has limits. "We'll stop at Walgreens on the way and pick up some cheap makeup," she announces, heading for the door without even looking at Paul or Barton.
Paul pauses in opening the door to look back at Barton. He nods once then leaves. "Shiny lip gloss." drifts in from the hallway.

When she does come out, Clint… stares. He can't help himself. This… this isn't his Kate. Well, it is, but… it's not. Straightening as she passes them on her way out, he's certainly puzzled. Befuddled. But not in any way that has to do with the current case at hand, oh no. If she wanted proof that she can turn Hawkeyes head, well, there it is. "Walgreens… right." If he could draw a full breath, it'd help, it really would. But he can't. Still, the air hisses into his lungs and he begins to murmur to himself as if reminding himself of a fact before he follows with his suitcase. No sense locking the place; door is still broken. So, instead, he fusses with part of the 'police line, do not cross' tape until he's satisfied, and heads out.

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