Shooting Bishops

Summary:
February 25, 2015: Having a moment of clarity and a chance to breathe, Domino reaches out to Hawkeye. In a fashion.

Upstate New York

Lots of hills, lots of trees, not a lot of anything else.


Characters

NPCs

  • None

Mood Music:
None


Sitrep: Compromised with SHIELD. Compromised with Stark Industries. Compromised with the NYPD. Compromised with Metropolis. Compromised by other mutants. Alone, with limited resources, deep in hostile territory with one of the biggest secrets she's ever held.

Domino's life is pretty crappy lately.

It comes to a point where caution must give way to deliberately taken risks. All cards on the table with nothing left to lose. Either she'll find a winning hand somewhere out of this mess or she'll crash hard and burn forever.

At least the odds are in her favor.

Out of all of the groups, factions, and organizations that want to take her down, SHIELD is the one which concerns her the most. Fortunately for her, SHIELD is also the one group which she has direct access to one of its senior agents. Today's stunt is all about going for broke, out in the woodland hills of upstate New York. It's still going to be by her rules, however. Right now this is all that she has.

Barton would receive a text from an unlisted number. Nothing more than GPS coordinates, out in the middle of nowhere. At those coordinates will be the phone which she had sent the text from, left within a clear plastic container to protect it from the elements. He couldn't possibly miss it.

If he shows up and if he happens to stand close to the container he'll find a note taped to it. 'Call me.' There's just one number stored in its memory.

*

In the midst of dealing with a Russian mystery, Clint Barton's life couldn't be called 'dull' at any time. He's had to pick and choose where his attentions would turn; some out of necessity, some out of direct order, and some spurred on by 'oh hey cool'. (He is, after all, still a 'guy'.) This, this particular outing is a moment of professional curiosity. No bad guy in the history of bad guys ever considered this plan to be the way to get someone out of the way, though considering should be given to the idea as Hawkeye steps from a black sedan. (Short notice, motor pool and all that.)

Stepping from the car, the archer looks around, eyes obscured by sunglasses. He's wearing jean jacket with a hoodie beneath it, jeans and boots. He takes a moment to dig into the back seat to grab his bow and quiver of arrows. Slinging the quiver over his shoulder, he shuts the door with a booted foot and begins to head towards the coordinates, unfolding his bow as he goes.

Once there, the phone is located, and with another -good- look around, Hawkeye takes the phone out of its protective plastic case, and heads into the closest, likeliest looking tree that can hold his weight. It's not as effortless as usual, however. He's still healing from that damnable sniper's bullet.

The numbers are pushed in, and he waits for someone on the other end to pick-up. The -moment- he hears connection, he'll say simply, "Barton."

*

It doesn't take long for the other end to answer, either. There's a momentary pause followed by a low chuckle, a woman's voice which the archer should recognize before too long.

"You know what, I had everything planned out except for what to say when you called."

Dom's been working on a narrow timeframe here, trivial matters haven't been getting their usual OCD-level of attention.

"I don't have much time here but I thought we should take a moment to reconnect. You've probably got some lingering questions. Truth is..I do, too."

Most of these questions Clint won't be able to answer but she'll work with what she's got. It's really all she can do

*

"Sorry, busy Friday night," comes as a deadpanned response. "Sitting next to the nearly dead ex-wife and waiting for a miracle. You know how that goes." Clint isn't sounding too charitable at the moment. "How about 'Oh hey, I want to turn myself in," and then I'll respond, 'I'll try and keep you alive when we run the gauntlet of everyone who wants to see you dead.' Then, you'll say, 'I appreciate that, Barton. You're the best.'

He stops talking for a moment and the silence on his end lingers as he gets a better vantage from his spot. "Yeah, I got questions. Where are you? What the hell is going on?"

*

"That was your ex?" Domino's voice comes through, genuinely surprised.

(Ho, boy.)

For another stretch of time she doesn't say anything at all. There isn't even a sarcastic comeback flying across the airwaves to the lone agent. When she does speak next it sounds agitated, "I don't know. Alright? -I don't know,-" she admits with a slow sigh before recomposing herself somewhat.

"I'm close. Close enough that a tree isn't going to hide you but not so close that a bow will ever reach its mark. We're here to talk. Your pal Rogers seemed more intent on sending me to the hospital than talking things out on the spot, though I'm sure he would have loved to chat over tea once I'm already in a cell. Not exactly what I'd call a compromise."

"Look. Something's seriously wrong. 'Understatement of the year,' yeah. Stuff it. I'm … Shooting Bishops."

*

"Ex-wife, yeah. And oddly enough, I'm not out here congratulating you and wishing you had better aim."

Clint waits through the long silence, giving Domino the chance to gather her thoughts. She is agitated, he can hear it. The fact that she's admitted that she called without a clear cut idea of what she wanted to say speaks volumes. "Don't underestimate me," is said quietly. He's got arrows. Made by SHIELD. "All you know, I could have a tip with a Seeker."

Enough sharing of tech, however, and he nods. "Don't blame him. You haven't done a whole lot.. no, let me change that. You've done a whole lot to piss a lot of people off. Including me. But, I'm gonna hear you out. First question, though… 'Shooting Bishops'?"

*

Barton sits on his perch carefully; it's cold up here, but it's somewhere he'd rather be than on the ground.

Gut.

"I figured you'd take up with the Russians against another gang; easy enough money. Easy enough to understand. Turning your guns on us, though. They weren't going to pay you more for it. You could have just retreated. Still get paid." Except, by her words… what? "What do I know about you? Yeah. You're a sniper. A merc. That's not your MO, though. Not what I've seen."

His silence could be deafening, the lingering moments as he considers, he makes no sound. "Are you telling me you got hit up by some mind control? Because I don't wanna know what she saw those last moments before I got to her." And didn't shoot at the retreating albino. That's when he lost his chance for trying a lethal shot.

"If there's something going on, then you have to stop this. Come in and we'll deal with it under protective services."

*

"I'm saying that..that I don't know," Domino replies, almost in a hurry. "I sometimes get these ..headaches, and then…" she momentarily trails off. "Things happen. I don't always know what. In the end I might have an idea of what happened, but while shit's going down..?"

"I can't," she then replies with more conviction. "There's one more thing that I have to do." It involves a promise which she made some time ago and still hasn't made good on. "I'm going to fall, Barton. There's too much going on, running won't keep me one step ahead for long. I just wanted you to know, beforehand…"

Another bout of silence follows before she quietly adds "I'm sorry about your Ex."

*

Headaches… blackouts? Fugues?

Gut. Clint's gut is talking to him, yelling at him. It hasn't been this loud since, well, since 'Tash. The Black Widow.

"Hey, Domino." Clint's voice is low. "For what it's worth? I won't be the one to take the shot." She should understand that, more than anyone but Natasha. "I don't get it, but I get it. You need help. You shouldn't go down because of the stuff you didn't have control over." Though, he can't say that she won't be jailed for it. For a long time. "You know how to get in touch with me, and I'm gonna be watching the feeds." He's still got connections.

"When you stop running, you better damn well be standing on my toes, face to face."

A sigh escapes the archer, and slowly, he begins to let himself down and out of the tree. "We know the risks of our job, Domino. It's the life we chose. But SHIELD, well, some of us will die in the field and another is right behind to fill in. Others are a little more important to the Agency, and the radar will start pinging." Clint doesn't say which group he's in, perhaps because he firmly believes there'll be others to step right in. "But thanks."

*

It's not long before Dom's letting out another long breath, herself. 'I won't be the one to take the shot.' Didn't she tell him something just like this several months back..? Something about her having no desire to gun down SHIELD agents?

Because that seems to have turned out alright in the long run…

"The only reason why we're having this conversation is because there was a chance that you'd hear me out," she openly admits. "Right now you're the only ally I have. How's that for irony?"

It's no secret when he starts climbing out of the tree. She can hear it over the phone, moments after she can see it for herself through some long-range optics.

"I'm sure someone will take my place, too. There's no love for people like me, we serve a purpose until we can't. Then we're buried and forgotten about. Maybe you can relate, I don't know. Just..answer one thing for me before you go."

"Did she survive?"

*

Clint leans against the tree, his back against the cold bark. With a push of a button, the bow folds back into itself, though he doesn't shrug off his arrows. "I've stuck my neck out for only a few people, all for a gut feeling. If this isn't right, there's a whole lot riding on it." He's more than willing to front that. If she's lying to him, he'll be first in line to take the shot. But somehow, it doesn't -feel- like it.

"That's one reason why I came in from out of the cold." Tired of running. Tired of getting cornered and going to ground.

"Yeah, she did." One less murder charge. "She's coming out on the other side."

*

Something about his response doesn't sit quite so well with Dom… 'Coming out on the other side.' To her that implies either she -did- die, or she's coming out of something other than a medbay. Granted he did confirm that the other agent survived, but…

She slowly moves her finger away from the trigger, though she continues to follow Barton through the scope. Maybe she'll be able to count on the guy when she's finally got her back up against the wall. Time will tell.

"I suppose we're past a fruit basket and a 'get well soon' card." (Does Hallmark offer any 'sorry I shot you' options..?)

"You'll probably be hearing from me again soon, Archer." For better or for worse.

*

Clint turns to look around once again, checking to see if he can't discern the minute but tell-tale signs of another nest, gaze still set behind dark glasses. "Probably. I think it's been raised to teddy-bear and hand-written apology. Even then, she's rough."

A soft snort rises, an exhalation of amusement really, and he turns to walk towards his sedan, his finger deliberately on the 'red' button on the phone. "I'll be waiting on your call. Or watching for your handiwork." He'll know it when he sees it, he's sure. Just after, his thumb hits the 'disconnect' button and he tosses the phone into the air before he pulls an arrow from his quiver and throws it after the phone by hand. When metal meets arrow-tip, the cell explodes into a thousand different pieces, sending the bits of electronics down to the ground in little smouldering pieces.

"Unless I find you first."


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