No Good Answer

November 5, 2014: Following The Face of the Mutant Menace, Paul sees if Barton has an ideas beyond the bad ones.

Barton's apartment, Brooklyn



Mood Music:

Days are getting shorter, and the night comes on faster. The city is never truly dark, even in the boroughs. Streetlamps still illumine the paths, even if their shadows are a bit longer the farther out away from the hustle and bustle of the city. The chill in the air is beginning to become more noticeable, with an arctic freeze predicted for early next week.

With a bag in hand from the local take-out joint, Barton has cast off his crutch and is taken to carrying a cane so he doesn't wobble and fall down in a misstep. He's putting weight on the ankle out of sheer stubbornness, and is on his way back to the apartments.

Compared to demons, a single murder should be no big deal. That Paul knows who the killer is would normally be a good thing. But in this case, he just doesn't see things ending well and he's not sure how to proceed. Which is what brings him to Brooklyn. When no one answered, he's waiting outside Barton's apartment, leaning against the building wall and drinking one of the beers from the six pack in the bag at his feet.

Rounding the corner, Barton is on the last leg of his trip back. The taking of the stairs slows him down just a little, but it's nothing he can't handle now. Once up and through what he calls the 'blast doors', metal doors that do little more than just hang on the hinges pretending they're doors, Barton comes to a slow stop when he catches the familiar form outside his apartment.

"Hey, Manning. Guess I didn't keep you waiting too long." The cane is picked up and pointed at the six-pack. "You only took one."

Pulling keys out of his pocket, Barton does a sidelong glance, "You didn't get the keys from Kate? She's got a set too."

"Why would Kate give me your keys?" Paul asks, picking up the six pack and waiting for Barton to open the door. "Why would I even ask her for them? It's your apartment. But no, not long. I was already in the area when I called or I'd still be on the way."

"So you don't look like some homeless guy hanging out?" Barton's poking fun; he can't help it.

A key is put in the deadbolt, and it swings with a little bit of wiggling. Then, the second deadbolt is turned before the doorknob key. Once done, Clint pushes the door open and limps in, tossing his cane onto the couch from the distance of about 10 feet before he tosses the bag of takeout onto the almost covered coffee table. The fireplace has been used recently, so there are a few smouldering embers lying in the ash that he uses, once he gets there, to rekindle the fire for the evening.

"What's up?"

Paul walks over to the couch and sets the six pack down on the table before flopping down. "I need advice. Or an ear. Or both. I don't know how to handle a case and if I do it by the book, everything is going to go horribly wrong. Problem is, even if I throw the book away, I'm still not sure how to go about things."

Barton tends to the fire, not leaving it alone until there's a reasonable flame to be had. Then, and only then, does he straighten and hobble into the kitchen to pull a couple of cleanish bowls from the cabinet. Soon enough, he's making his way back to the couch and flops down, and before he props his foot up, he grabs a beer and gestures at the food. "Take out. -Now- you get your damned food." The cap is popped and flipped to land on top of some unsorted mail on the coffee table face down. With the neck of the bottle held, he tilts it back once he's settled.

"Okay…" comes tentatively. "And it's something the partner can't answer." Statement. "Okay… shoot. Best case, I can help. Worst case, you get an ear."

"She's away for a couple days." Paul leans forward to serve himself from the containers but leaves the bowl on the table for the moment in favor of drinking some more beer. "Know much about mutants? I've been reading up on them. Seems their powers usually come out sometime during puberty. They seem perfectly normally till something happens to trigger it then BAM. Mutant. Usually with no control of their power."

"Don't know a damned thing about 'em," Hawk replies bluntly. "Honestly, not my job. I have heard it usually comes on about then, if it wasn't something at birth."

A pull of beer is taken again, and he swallows one, two draughts before, letting the bottle come to rest again. Rolling his head to the side, brows rise, and Clint's asking the leading question, "Why?"

"Because less than two weeks ago, something happened to a little girl mutant that made her run away from home." Paul explains then adds "Not abuse that I can tell. She came to the big city and visited her aunt who, I'm told, she was very close to. I don't know what story she used but the aunt didn't seem to suspect she was a runaway since she didn't contact her sister. And during one such visit, she killed her aunt almost certainly unintentionally."

"They have a term for that in law, don't they?" Hawkeye shifts his resting ankle, and scoots so he sits up a little straighter. "So why not bring her to juvie? I mean, she killed someone. Not intentionally, but the result is the same. As far as I know, there aren't any 'oops, I didn't mean to do that' passes for the mutant community." Still, there must be something that is eating at the guy, and he chuckles softly, "Not what you want to hear. What's up with her?"

Paul just nods at what Barton says but then sighs at the question. "Because she has the ability to create some kind of energy or fire powerful enough to completely incinerate a body in seconds including bone. And she's wandering the city, alone, afraid, guilty and probably unable to control her power. You see the problem?"

Hawkeye winces and considers, all while bringing the bottle of beer back up to his lips. "And that, boys and girls, is why we have the SRD." A smirk rises from the SHIELD agent. Nothing like inter-agency rivalries to really get the blood pumping.

"That really is their gig. But, if you want to help the kid, maybe talking to people in M-Town? Sorry I don't have any names, but pretty sure if you ask around?"

"SRD, yes. Who are likely to shoot first and not even feel bad after because she's a dangerous mutant." Paul states. "And she is, which is why I haven't put an APB out on her yet. It's a recipe for dead cops. But she doesn't deserve to be killed."

"Who is she to you? Or is this just some sort of soft spot?" Hawkeye can understand it, he can. But the 'bigger picture is that the city has to be protected. One way or the other.

The beer is polished off with an exhaled breath, and leaning forward, puts the empty back into the cardboard/paper 6 carrier. "Manning, it's either the SRD or someone in M-town. From the sound of it, we don't have a lot of time… and I am sure as hell not going to have a roomie."

"I don't know anyone in M-town. And the mutant I do know isn't returning my calls. She might be out of the dimension." Finishing his beer, Paul stands up. "She's just a kid, Barton and she didn't intentionally do anything wrong. I just don't want to see her die for it. Thanks for the food but I think I'll go walk around and see if I can think of anything."

"Yeah, but intentional or not, something bad happened." Barton watches Manning rise from his spot, and he exhales in a sigh. "I'll see what I can do on my side. Make a couple of calls, see if I can't find someone who might be able to give you better advice than I can. Just.. I wouldn't wander around the neighborhood. There's a reason why I have locks on my door." Russian Tracksuit Mafia.

Clint doesn't get up to walk his friend to the door, but he does the next best thing. Pulls out his cell to do that which he'd just promised he would. "Hopefully I'll have something by sunrise."

And shooting someone means paperwork. "Yeah, I'll just take the Subway back to Manhattan." Paul agrees, opening the door. "Thanks Barton. I'll keep you filled in. Hopefully it won't make the papers first." Giving the man a nod, he takes off.

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