Coconut Shell Bras

January 06, 2015:

SHIELD agents converge on a local bar for beer and wings, and the tension is high as superiors and ex-spouses collide.

Plug Uglies Bar — East Side — New York City

Plug Uglies is a pretty basic, utilitarian bar that services NYPD's finest. Situated outside the Triskellion on the East Side, it does double duty in serving Agents in from the field, or just after a long day at the office. It's properly dimly lit, the beer is on tap and in bottles, and the bar food is one of the reasons customers keep coming back.


NPCs: Unnamed R&D Guy, Bartender


Mood Music: None.

Fade In…

Cold winds blow in almost everyone at some point. The bar is just opened not an hour and already there's a good crowd, some settled at the bar, others wandering tables, shooting the breeze with friends, acquaintances and co-workers. Through the maze of bodies, waitresses still alive at the beginning of their shift dodge artfully and are able to set glasses and bottles down without breaking or spilling.

Clint Barton is a somewhat regular at the bar, when he's at the office. Last day or so, he's actually been seen haunting the halls of the Triskellion, so it stands to reason that he'd eventually turn up at 'Uglies'. How can he resist the siren song of beer, pretty waitresses and conversation that is more shallow than a puddle on a sidewalk on 42nd?

Answer: He can't.

Standing at the bar with bottle of beer in hand and wings to his shoulder, blue eyes gleam with good humour as he once again suffers 'slings and arrows' from a guy in R&D. "No, no. I call bullshit," Hawkeye laughs. "You told me that it was good for a klick, and I'm holding you to it." Just to accent his words, he tips the bottle in the researcher's direction, almost tapping it on the guy's chest.

Barbara Morse has been busy for the last few weeks, infiltrating a small AIM operation in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The terrorist organization was trying to put hallucinogenic drugs into coffee, the jerks. There is a large SHIELD strike force currently levelling the operation even now, as the special agent steps through the door to Pug Uglies.

Bobbi is dressed casually in a pair of jeans, a t-shirt, and a thick winter coat and boots. Blue eyes sweep the crowds for a place to squeeze in at the bar, and spot the familiar sight of broad shoulders and close cropped hair that can only be… "Clint," she greets, in an even tone.

"It's not my fault you keep trying to push it past what they're supposed to do," comes back from the 'embattled' researcher, looking down the 'barrel' of Clint's open beer bottle. "How about working within its parameters?"

Clint makes the sound like a scoff, and pulls the beer back in order to take a swallow from it. He's twisting over his shoulder to grab one of the wings, and in mid-wing acquisition, hears the familiar voice of an ex. And not just any ex.

Ex wife.

The room is filling for the lunch crowd, and suddenly it doesn't seem as if there's anywhere near enough to serve as something of a buffer. "Oh, hey.. Bobbi." There's a smile on his face; those around him are watching him carefully. Watching both of them. "Welcome home."

Twisting around again, Clint tries to get the attention of the bartender, mind racing; favorite drink? What was it- "Oh.. um." Beat. "What do you want? I'll buy." Nothing like couching his 'Oh god, I don't remember' into a cover gesture!

"A beer is fine. Bottled," Bobbi replies to the tender herself with a faint smile. She slides onto a stool beside Hawkeye and that same thin smile remains on her face, statue-like. When she turns it on the researcher, however, something in her eyes goes flinty, as if she's trying to rattle or unsettle the man into abandoning ship.

Morse pulls off her gloves and shoves them into her coat pockets. "How have things been back here while I've been taking my Portuguese refresher course?" she asks. Casual conversation is a good start, right?

The cold..makes Maria ornery. The paperwork..makes Maria ornery. The secrecy and the one-upmanship and the entire freaking process..makes Maria ornery.

Booze..booze does not make Maria ornery. Though it can, on occasion, make her extra bitchy.

It isn't long before the Deputy Director wanders in through the doors as well, though it's not obvious that it's her at first with the big poofy fur-lined hood enveloping her head. "If I dropped numbers as quickly as the damn thermostat I'd be out of a job by tomorrow," she grumbles while pushing the hood back and running fingertips through short-cropped hair.

Almost immediately afterward there's a softly spoken "Ma'am" in acknowledgement from the side.

It doesn't take long to sense that mounting tension in the air and trail it back to its source. Bobbi's home, much to Clint's obvious discomfort. "And some free entertainment on the side," she says to herself with a thin smirk. "Glad to let someone else take the heat for a while." To the one that had just greeted her, she inquires "These two just getting started?"

The other SHIELD agent tries to hide his grin, simply nodding once.

The bartender nods and pops the cap off the bottle and slides it over while pulling more napkins from below for the wings and a second plate. Just in case.

As for the R&D denizen, his eyes widen slightly and he takes a step back. Retreating is always a good option, and blast-radius not withstanding, it's always the safer option.

Clint watches the retreat and almost wishes that he could do the same, but that'd be a big NOPE. Blue eyes turn back to the returning agent and he pulls more beer from an upraised bottle, settling it again, cradling it in both hands for the moment. "Same? City's still standing, world is still going to hell, and R&D are bitching at me for complaining that my tracking arrows that got a refit with cameras aren't giving me enough range."

Clint offers something of a 'toast' gesture and takes one more swallow. "Glad you're back home in one piece."

Bobbi takes her time, letting the R&D guy slink away with as much dignity as he can muster, as she claims one of the napkins to wrap around her sweating beer bottle. "You know those research guys are always cranky when you expect their toys to work as advertised the first time out," she remarks, carefully folding the corners of the napkin in some intricate, magical, origami that keeps the napkin in place.

"Sao Paulo is lovely this time of year. Lovelier when SHIELD is glassing an AIM op there," is her response to his toast. "Hill is here," she comments quietly, not looking the woman's way, but having spotted her surreptitiously when she went for the napkin.

Hmm, here's another unsuspecting victim to make even more uncomfortable. With the R&D Guy making his retreat, Hill makes her advance.

"Agent," she cooly greets the man, right as they're about to bump into one another.

"Miss Hill..! I-"

"What's your clearance level, Agent?"

"Level four, Ma'am-"

"Level four," she repeats with her tone and expression kept about as chilly as the outside weather. "I know the kinds of toys you get to play with at that level. You're one step away from getting to dissect the X-8 Stiletto. Level fours single-handedly developed the IR-92 Interlink device. Some real quality work, there."

"Thank you, M-"

And you mean to tell one of my field agents that whil you can make this incredible tech out of nothing more than spare toasters and a microwave oven that you cannot improve upon something which has been around as nearly long as we have as a species?"

The man blinks, opens his mouth, attempts to speak. Fails. Closes it.

"Arrows before repulsors, Agent. Get to it."

"Yes, Ma'am," he quickly replies before ducking around Hill on his way out the door. If others didn't know she was here before, they probably do now. If they aren't too caught up with the ex drama, which is just as entertaining.

Okay, getting a little easier. Things are going well… "I'm probably due for something outside the country soon. It's coming up to the coldest part of winter soon and we all know that can't be resisted. Afghanistan mountains. Ukraine. Turkey. Never Hawaii. Florida. Hell, even Haiti." But with his luck, he'd come back with a real curse.

"Get any sightseeing in?"

The mention of Hill's arrival gains a nod and an exhale as he turns out to lean against the bar, back against the counter, beer in hand still. Now, it's his turn to watch as Hill stalks her prey. "Wait for it," he says softly. This might be… "Yes. Scampering. Score one."

A smile rises again, one that can almost be seen as genuine, and the bottle is lifted in Hill's direction while at the same time offering up some of his wings to Bobbi. "G'head. They're good today."

Bobbi pushes her hair behind one ear, using the motion as cover to watch Hill cut the R&D guy down to size. Or, well, into itty bitty pieces of quivering goo. She can't help but quirk a grin for a moment at Maria's pure skill at building them up then knocking them down. "Not much, I did walk around and look at some of the architecture. Why couldn't AIM try to take over the world someplace with beaches?" she commiserates with a sigh.

"Director Hill," Morse greets the other woman with a slight nod of her head. "How are things here at home base?"

(And this is how you get invited to the party.) Because sometimes it's nice to think that someone out there actually wants Hill around beyond the call of duty. Sure she could have just invited herself, but that's too easy. Too run of the mill. Sometimes a little tact can be fun.

Besides, some level four R&D geek took her microwave.

Approaching Clint and Bobbi, she answers the question with the sort of look someone might have after a pet vomits on a freshly cleaned floor. "Same old. 'File this, report for this other thing then file about it, file for the file about the other file.' Don't get too far up the chain of command, kids. Simulate it in the ceiling tiles all they want, you'll forget what the sky looks like."

Finally pulling the gloves off of her hands to stuff them into a coat pocket, she turns to Bobbi and offers a "Welcome home. I'm going to guess by your cheery demeanor and lack of personal injury that I can expect another glorious report awaiting my gold star."

Translation: You look great, things must have gone well as usual. Good job!

"I read the same thing in the paper last year. Tractor trailer crashed on a highway in Delaware. Thing was hauling BEES. Someone commented, 'Why can't tractor trailers filled with something like Snickers ever crash on the highway, spilling out their chocolate cargo?'"

Hill's approach isn't met with any real difficulty. She's a superior, and more often than not, Clint gets along with those. It's those others that just -think- they are that get on his nerves at times. "Hey." That beer is getting waved around, and finally, he turns and finishes the bottle off with a satisfied exhale and wiggles his fingers for another. Why not? While he's waiting, he turns back around, wing in hand now.

"Any way we could start leaving traps for AIM in the tropics? And by 'tropics', I don't mean mosquito-laden hell holes. I mean Tahiti, or Barbados or the Caribbean somewhere?"

"It was smooth sailing, despite the lack of any beachfront property," Bobbi confirms for Maria. "Team is in there now, mopping up. Personally, I'd like to be in the interrogations with these guys. Blow up half the map, I don't care. Mess with my coffee, and someone needs to lose gonads." The fact that Mockingbird doesn't actually hate paperwork may be the most amusing thing. She was a biochem researcher afterall.

"Hawai'i. Hawai'I is great. Let's squash the hopes of evil there," Bobbi agrees. She reaches to snag a wing off Clint's plate. Hey, he offered! She dunks it in some ranch before gnawing on it ravenously. No chicken wings in Brazil apparently.

Hmm, two against one. Check. Hill silently looks from Clint to Bobbi as they both make their wishes known. "I'll see what I can do. And that's not Evil Director Slang for 'I'll find you the nicest looking hellhole I can drop you both into.' The last thing I want to deal with is yet another agent bringing home the International Virus of the Week."

The thought is left in the air as she steps to the bar, putting a call out for "The usual." Knowing her, 'the usual' is probably bitter and tastes of sadness and despair.

Back to the other two, she adds in "I don't believe I've read any complaints filed against either of you recently so you must be doing something right. Heaven knows I wouldn't mind playing commander to one of those operations about now." The cold hits everyone out here.

Clint laughs and points the wing in Bobbi's direction in gesture, "Hawaii is good. I like Hawaii. I mean, those hula dancers?" He whistles softly, the lopsided grin remains. "Bad news. Those dances, I heard somewhere they tell stories. I think we should go down and see if they're coding new messages." He straightens a moment, fully expecting looks from the pair and puts on his most innocent of faces. "You never know. Dumber things have happened. And I will personally volunteer."

Clint pulls on the meat from his wing, and there simply isn't graceful way to eat it, not that he would anyway. One bite, two, and it's cleaned to the bone and set on the side where the other bones are beginning to pile. A napkin is grabbed, just in time for the bottle to arrive, with popped cap. The report about how they're able to 'play nice' gains a wider grin. After all, Bobbi's been gone a few months! "I'll remember that. About the virus… thing."

Yeah. Stop now, Clint, while you're ahead. To make sure that he doesn't say another word, the bottle is fully claimed and the first mouthful is taken.

Gnaw gnaw swallow. Maybe Bobbi is picturing Clint's face on those wings with the ferocity she is invoking in her meal. "Anywhere I don't have to wear so many layers I get mistaken for a yeti is a good place," she comments, dabbing her mouth with another napkin. She takes a swig of her beer and snorts at Clint. "Only if we get to see you in a grass skirt with a coconut shell bra, Barton."

Bobbi harumphs at Hill. "Clearly I'm losing my touch if I don't have any complaints. Or else I've gotten so scary they won't even file them for fear I'll show up in their office and stare at them until they cry."

"I'm sure you would put in countless hours of surveillance and write an exhaustive report about it which I would have absolutely no intention of reading," Hill teases the archer with a well-meaning smirk. "Might give the old man a thrill, though." Which should make all of their lives a little easier for a time. Maybe Clint is onto something, after all.

"I'd like to think you pull off the yeti look quite well," Hill then turns to Bobbi. "Though Coconut-Bra Barton trumps it, hands down." Then with a dismissive look, "I haven't looked over all of the details yet. There's bound to be some dirt, and a lot of wounded pride from everyone else. Always is. You can be rather intimidating, though. It's one of your many assets."

She'll just pass another side-long glance at Barton, here. Amused, Hill is.

"You can't win. Winter you're confused for a yeti. Summer, you're confused for-" Is Clint learning? Could he possibly not say what is so very close? He pauses, and that beer is pretty damned good today! Instead, he finishe up with, "Next halloween. And those coconuts look like they'd chafe." Clint rolls his shoulders in gesture and looks down, trying so very hard!

"Hours and hours. And individual inter-" -views. Ah, hell. What's wrong with him? "-views. Might take some time, but I'm willing to take the bullet on this one." But he's trying to be good! Trying.

And failing.

"Of course there's dirt in there. Just like I threaten to shoot them." And they'd never hear it coming. The beauty of bows and arrows. And R&D already knows he doesn't miss. Hell, all of SHIELD knows.

"Kidding? She's scary as hell." Okay, probably shouldn't have agreed so easily and quickly…

"I'm only intimidating when I need to be," Bobbi points out with a smirk. "Or when it's really fun." For example, R&D guy is still lurking in the bar. She turns her head towards him and narrows her eyes just a fraction, intensifying the stone cold look of blankness on her face. She waits for him to decide abandoning his beer is the lesser of two evils.

Clint's verbal stumbling has Bobbi turning that stony expression his way, cold, vacant, and dark, like there is a great white shark swimming somewhere in the vast blue ocean of her eyes. Duh dun! Duh dun!

"Caaareful, Barton," Hill warns. She's still amused, though the warning is genuine. "Maybe you can 'take one for the team' later," she suggests while reaching for her drink as it's delivered. "Until then I think you've got some issues at home to contend with." Like Bobbi potentially kicking his archer-ish ass.

With Bobbi's remark, and the glare which proves to be the nail in the coffin for R&D Goon, she offhandedly mutters "Time to dock his pay" as he finally steps back out into the cold.

By time she looks back to the other two there's another level of tension filling the air. "Alright kids, I happen to -like- this place, particularly in that I don't have to go through the effort of telling the people that work here just what 'the usual' is for me. If there's going to be any public displays of aggression, take it outside. Also, Bobbi would win. I've just saved you both some time in the infirmary, you're welcome."


Clint's seen that look before, and it's not one he particularly likes. It's that 'do I even have to say something' look, or perhaps it's mixed with the 'if you don't stop it..' with a dash of 'just one more time' added before stirring to get -that- expression. The smile drops from his face and he brings the beer up to his lips to draw another swallow.

'Issues at home to contend with'. At first, Clint translates that out to 'Kate', but his mind speeds forward to the 'right here'. "No, no. No public displays of aggression. I like being here too, and it'd be a shame for Holly over there to work out how to get blood out of the grooves of a table." Probably his. Though, the fact there are two beds in the infirmary? "Oh, awesome. Then you'll know where I am and you can take this damn bracelet off?" Of course Hill knows about it. Should Bobbi catch sight of it, it's a SHIELD issued tracking device that also measure basic biometrics.

In a split second, the Demonic Hell Beast expression vanishes and is replaced by an amused smirk. Bobbi sips her beer again placidly. That whiplash-inducing turnaround of expression is no doubt much of the reason she is a two time divorcee. It has to be rather stressful trying to decide if Morse is really peeved or just playing.

A brow arches at the bracelet and Bobbi looks from it, to Clint, to Hill. "What's the new jewelry for? Did he get caught stealing Fury's eyepatch collection again?" she asks.

Yep. Hill knows all about the bracelet which Clint's now in possession of. She's the one that had ordered its 'installation.' Now, presented with Bobbi's curiosity as to just why it's there, Hill has perhaps the single easiest shot at knocking down Clint's pride in front of his ex. It's tempting, too. Oh, God, but it is tempting.

"Standard safety protocol," she cryptically replies around the edge of her glass. "He's had to spend some time underground, which is even more questionable within the three cities. Diseased alligators, etcetera. Though I especially like the eyepatch with the bullseye target on it."

(That's another you owe me, Barton.)

"Swing by the lab on Friday, if you're so anxious to part with my gift. Personally, I think it looks nice."

Bobbi looks like she doesn't 100% buy Maria's explanation for the bracelet, but she's not about to publically question the Deputy Director. Smarts, she has em. She's sitting at the bar with ex-husband number two and Hill, eating wings and drinking beers. She's been in Brazil for a few months, infiltrating an AIM op, and is just now back.

"Do I need to get one of those? I don't think I swam in anything unpleasant or drank the water in Sao Paulo," Morse insists.

"It's not a big deal," Clint begins, and there… there's the rescue. He probably shouldn't have mentioned it, but the damned thing can be obvious, and rather than have him hem and haw, there is the answer. "You know. Virus of the Week." Yeah, weak. Lame.

Clint reaches for the bottle to take another pull. The bottle is put down, and he smiles, or it registers more as a smirk. "If you want it, you can have it. No heavy breathing though. Guys like them," and he thumbs out towards the door, "are watching the telemetry. Heart rate goes up, practical joke #1 comes by. Quin in the middle of the night, interrupting what should be a great first night home in your own bed." One of his biggest fears, but as a baseline for Clint? It's not out of the ordinary!

Yeah, though. Clint glances towards Hill. Owes her!

"I bet you were poolside with your own little cabana boy, Bobbi. Don't lie."

"Will I find anything in your reports that will make me wish I had said 'yes?'" Hill responds to Bobbi's question with one of her own. "Because if you were sewer-slogging down there, you'd best tell me now. Then spend a day or three in decontamination."

She's not expecting it to be a concern.

Maybe the excuse is lame, and Bobbi's welcome to not believe it all she likes, but it serves its purpose for now. Security clearances, comfort levels of Agents involved, it can be a minefield some days. The best response is one which holds some truth without giving everything away.

Then something unusual happens. Hill starts laughing. Out loud. She didn't have that much to drink, yet..! Several other Divisionites stop what they're doing and turn to -stare,- some of them looking like they were just told this entire building is rigged to explode.

"Oh Barton, that only happened once and you know it," Hill snickers while rubbing at an eye. She had won a couple of bets around the office that evening! "If you're so concerned about a repeat performance then visit the lab on Thursday instead, but that's the best offer you're going to get."

"Better, I was in coffee plant. The smell was the best thing ever," Bobbi muses. She snags another wing and dunks it in the ranch before gnawing away at it. It's not a meal, but it's something to tide her over until she gets back to her quarters in the Triskelion and back to work writing her report. She chews, then pauses, as Hill starts laughing. She stares. This is not a normal occurrence. Did AIM switch the hallucinogenics plot to Hill's "usual" instead of coffee?"

"Once is more than enough," Clint rejoins. He can still remember it as if it were yesterday! "Done. Thursday. Gone." Can't. Wait.

The bottle is raised, and the archer finishes the second bottle before setting it down on the counter behind him. A third is refused; he wants to be able to get home later! Clint waits for the laughter from Hill to subside before he snorts a laugh, and a smirk takes over. "See, thing is you didn't split the cut. That's where it hurts."

Another glance is given to Bobbi, "The Deputy Director has discovered that taking the opportunity for pranks is a fun thing. Welcome home. Better pray for reassignment."

"And I had come -this- close to making a motivational poster out of it," Hill adds while regaining her composure. "Your half of the cut went toward the Quin's fuel bill that night."

Then to Bobbi, "It's a shame they were tampering with The Beans, some would pay good money for that backstage pass. Tell you both what, I'll go see if there's any signs of illegal pina colada modification taking place. Maybe some idiot decided to try and build his secret lair in Mauna Kea again. There's always something, isn't there."

Drink finished, tab settled, general unease spread amongst the masses. Hill's work here is done.

"Pranks? What are we, twelve?" Bobbi asks, clearly placing herself in the 'punk at your own risk' category alongside Melinda May. Whoever tries to pull one on her is likely to find themselves dangling off the edge of a helicarrier by the seat of their wedgied underwear. Bobbi chuckles at Maria and shakes her head a bit. She slaps some money on the counter for the beer Clint allegedly bought for her; seems she's not quite willing to take charity from her ex just yet. "I have a report to write. We'll talk later." That last is directed at Clint. She wants to know what's up. With that, she bundles up and heads out.

"Of course it did." There goes a little pocket cash. Clint doesn't seem too disappointed. At least the money didn't find its way into his pocket first, only to be bled dry.

As the ladies begin to get ready too head out, Clint's actually reaching for his wallet when first Hill takes her own tab, then Bobbi. Okay. Clint pulls out a couple of twenties to lie on the counter, the bartender more than happy to take the cash. "Put me on the list for that op." At least he won't be eating goat eyes there.

"Okay, okay. Welcome home, again, Bobbi. Director Hill, Thursday." God, he can't wait until it's off.

It's when they both depart that Clint turns around to see the pitying expression on the bartender's face. "One more. Then I'll go home."

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