It's Not Clint, Kate

July 18, 2015:

Kate is called to The Triskelian … and told about Clint. Things… don't go well.

The Triskelian - New York

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NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Plot:

Mood Music: None.


Fade In…

Clint's determination to go after his double more or less immediately notwithstanding, there were still a few matters of procedure to take care of. For one, May had to inform Fury of a potential major security breach and the JL:A had to be informed as well. Also, someone had to figure out where Clint-bot was. First logical place to call was his apartment. No dice there. Second logical place to call was someone who often knew where he was, Kate Bishop, his long time friend and protege and… well, now that Clint knows that his experiences weren't dreams he also knows that she's something else. Which is going to make this particularly… interesting. In the Chinese sense. Rather than try to deliver all that over the phone, she was just asked to come in to SHIELD medical, where Clint is waiting impatiently having changed and retrieved a bow.

The Ronin suit is, at the moment, sitting folded on a table not far from the armored parts and there's a sword on his back. Also he's pacing. Did we mention that he was waiting impatiently?


Kate has been busy lately. Smoothing feathers between government agencies, trying to keep the JL:A looking good, keeping her friends in good shape, and running the shelter. But when she gets a call from SHIELD, that's probably going to mean just one thing. Clint's back. Granted, she thinks Clint's back from the missions he's been on in Africa. "Hey," she smiles swiftly as she steps inside. "I was thinking it was past time you dropped back in. Short trip?" she asks, looking around.


Simmons, having been alerted to the fact that Kate was onsite, walks in behind the young woman. She's got three mugs of tea (the tea taken from Mays secret stash) in her hands and she hands one each to Kate and Clint, without comment. She has a feeling Kates going to need it, perhaps something stronger.

"You might want to take a seat, Ms Bishop." she murmurs. She's leaving this first part to Ronin to deal with … for now.


That's really only fair. Leaving Clint to deal with it, that is. His mess, in a way. He turns to look at Kate as she comes in (and Jemma shortly behind her). Even before he talks, it's probably evident that this isn't the same man. Face is leaner. And there's something about the eyes. Less sparkle and humor in them. It's the face of someone who's had it rough for a long while.

"Hey Kate…" He says quietly. She looks different too. Well different and not different. He can remember seeing her much as she is but it's odd since he also knows that wasn't him seeing her. "I'm… back yeah. It wasn't really a short trip though…" Oh god, how best to say this. "When was the last time you remembered seeing me?"


When Clint turns around, Kate pauses, brows furrowing with a flicker of concern in her eyes. "You look…rough," she says quietly. "Has Africa been going that bad?" She looks back to Simmons, a knot starting to form in her stomach. Something here is not right. Especially not with that question. "About a month ago," she says slowly, looking between the pair. "We did the BBQ thing in M-Town, letting people there know the JL:A was behind them. Why?"


"Give us the room please." Simmons murmurs to the other medical staff. There's no need for too many witnesses for what's about to happen. Jemma's presence, whilst she'd rather be elsewhere, is to ensure that anything untoward can be dealt with.

The medical staff all depart, closing the room that the three are in off. Simmons remains silent, standing back to let the two talk.


"Doctor Simmons could you, uh… give us the medical reports?" So Kate can see what all they did to reach the conclusion that he's being truthful in what he's about to tell her. Clint steps a bit closer to Kate, takes a deep breath and looks her square in the eyes.

"I wasn't there, Kate." He says quietly. "I wasn't there for that… or the formation of the JL:A. Or the mission to Africa, any of them. I've… um…" Just say it. "I was taken captive on a mission eighteen months ago… and replaced, apparently, with an LMD."


"Very funny. Asshole." Kate reaches out to give his shoulder a shove with a roll of her eyes. "Seriously, you come back once a month for the last couple months, if that, and you want to play stupid jokes? You know, I get a call from SHIELD and I'm pretty sure you're sitting here waiting for some other organ to get stitched back together. Did Howard Stark put you up to this?" she asks, eyes narrowed.


Pulling the reports on her tablet, Simmons hands them over to Kate "It would seem that this is true, Ms Bishop" Keeping her manner professional "We're trying to locate the other man to confirm our findings, but without a doubt, this is Clint Barton, in front of you."

Assessing Kate, Simmons doesn't settle, she's concerned for the young woman at the moment.


Clint's shoulder rolls with the playful shove. "Who?" He's only got really emotional memories. The gaps in what he knows about what his double has been up to are fairly considerable. "I like to think my jokes are usually in better taste…" There's a hint of a Clint smirk, but only a ghost and only for a second. When Jemma comes up with the medical records he shifts his stance to give her some room.

"May is upstairs right now informing Fury of a major security breach. I assume the, uh, Avengers are also being told." That's going to be a mess. Clint hasn't even given thought as to how to deal with the fallout from that except that there will surely be some.

"I… god Kate I'm sorry. It's not a joke."


"That's impossible." Kate reaches out to take the records, already shaking her head. "Clint, you've been in the hospital here several times in the last eighteen months. In typical fashion," she adds with a dry look up from the records. "You've got scars. New scars. You've been effected by things. Clint, you got mind-whammied. You can't mind-whammy a robot. Right?" She looks to Jemma, the first hint of doubt in her voice.

She looks through the records, but Kate isn't a doctor. Most of what's in them doesn't mean much. "I've seen you bleed. And bruise. And- Clint, we've been having sex. I'm pretty sure I would notice!" she shouts, panic rising in her voice.


Jemma flinches a little as Kate begins to shout and puts a hand on the younger womans shoulder. "SHIELD LMD's are advanced androids, Ms Bishop, incredibly advanced. And the one we believe replaced Agent Barton, would appear to be at least a generation more advanced than ours." Pointing to some results on the tablet "We also believe that Agent Bartons brain was used to control the LMD… amazing technology really" Jemma shakes herself "which is how he managed to trick even our medical team. We didn't know that we had to look for anything else."

Something Kate said has Jemma considering "What was the latest scar that Agent Barton received?" Looking meaningfully to Barton, she fully expects it won't be on this mans body.


Or maybe it will. Barton was a captive for a long time and been on the run for the last three months. He's got plenty of scars he didn't have before he vanished. Or rather didn't vanish. He winces as the panic starts to creep into Kate's voice. It hurts to hear. Also, he remembers being mind-snatched. That had been a very unpleasant experience. And… well, yes he remembers being with Kate too. A number of times. Emotional experiences.

"No one noticed." As if that makes things better. It's not just Kate right. "SHIELD didn't. JL:A didn't. My fellow agents didn't." Mockingbird apparently didn't… So it's not her fault right? That's… helping right?


"I don't know. Hawaii, maybe," Kate answers Jemma distractedly, breath coming faster. "You threw yourself on me when the trees exploded, your whole back got torn up. You- You made the decision about Bobbi and the serum. We-" She raises a fist to her mouth, shoulders heaving. "I think I'm gonna be sick."

She barely has time to get the words out of her mouth before she dives for the nearest trash can, emptying the contents of her stomach into it.


Moving to stand next to Kate, Simmons does one of the only things that can be done at that point - she holds Kates hair back. Looking to the next room, the biochem raises an eyebrow, the staff might not be listening in but they are observing. A young medtech enters with a glass of water for Kate and waits patiently for the young woman to finish.

When Kate's finally ready, Simmons looks to Barton "If I may, Agent Barton? Please turn around." When he does, she'll lift his shirt to show Kate. No scarring, at least not those that matched the ones he received in Hawaii.


Clint is about to do exactly what Jemma does but the biochem beats him to it. He feels awful. He's known Kate for years and… well yes. He feels awful. Like he's let her down. Or betrayed her in some manner. Before he can say anything though Jemma's asking him to, well, prove himself. So he does. There are scars on his back to be sure. Plenty of them. Just not the ones Kate's used to seeing.


"Don't touch me." Kate flinches away from Jemma's touch, scooting across the floor. She retches a few more times, and by the time she's looking up from the bucket, she's trembling as the horror dumps adrenaline into her system with nowhere to channel it. Too many things are running through her head. Memories - good ones - that are suddenly twisted and unclean. When she looks up to see the evidence, it's all she can do not to scream.

"I have to go." It's all she says, before she bolts for the door, bowling through medical technicians in a blind run.


Not an entirely unexpected response, Simmons keys her communicator "Please stop Ms Bishop from leaving." This to SHIELD security. If Kate gets through the ones at the door, there are others throughout the building that should be able to catch her.

To the medtechs, Simmons speaks quietly "When she's returned, we will need to sedate her, I think. Be ready." She'd really prefer not to have to do it, but hysterics and panic isn't going to help anyone.


Clint glances back at Jemma. He's not going to blame her if she doesn't decide to come with him. "She just found out the Clint she grew very close to over the last year and a half wasn't me. Don't sedate her." Not unless she gets totally out of hand. And with that he's off, running after the younger archer. "Kate! Wait!"


It's fight or flight, and if security is going to try to stop the flight, then they're in for a fight. By the time Clint rounds the corner, Kate's taken down two of the agents, and is facing off and trading blows with a third. Which, in the long run, is probably for the best. She's spent a long time training to be able to keep her head in a fight, and the familiar motions - not to mention the energy expended - helps to center her. A little bit.

By the time she's thrown the third agent into a wall, she stops, breathing hard, and looks back toward the medical wing. She wants to be sick. She wants anything other than to go back to the horror of the fact that she's been violated. Again. But this also isn't just about her.


Jemma bites down a response to Barton and follows. By the time she see's the young woman in the hallway and the downed agents, her eyebrows rise. She also doesn't miss the furtive look to the medical wing "Take her to a conference room, Agent Barton." Jemma doesn't have clearance to let him go, that's for May to do.

"I believe we'll be fine, thankyou" Simmons dismisses the medtech that follows… what… a … mess.


Clint motions an 'ease up' to Jemma. He knows Kate. More importantly he knows she's not a SHIELD agent. "Kate… hey… Kate. Focus here." He points to his eyes. Well okay, maybe not the best idea but… still.

"Hey, I know you're hurt. I know you feel betrayed. I don't blame you one bit, you have every right to and I wish I could make this better for you. I wish…" His voice cracks a little and clears his throat to steady it. "I wish I didn't have to tell you things I know hurt. If you want to leave, right now, just… go, we'll make sure security doesn't get in your way."

He glances back to Simmons here. Please?.

"I don't want to deal with it either. I don't want to think about… the mess I've got to put back together." His life… the lives of others his stolen life affected. "I've got to at least deal with my double and I'm going to do that. I won't blame you if you don't want to be involved. But… if you do… if you can stay, I'd…" He clears his throat again. "I'd really like if you would." There is still no one he'd rather have at his back. And as to the rest… well, now's probably not the time to hash that out. He's sure he's in for more of this later though.


Kate's chest heaves as she stands there, staring down the rest of the agents. Fighting was good. Fighting was something else to think about for a minute. "I don't know where it- he- whatever, is," she says, looking back to Jemma. She's trying to keep her voice steady, but the edge of panic is still there. "Clint- he- it- whatever, said he- it-" She stops, closing eyes eyes and forcing herself to breathe more slowly.

"It," she decides, because somehow the robot part is the least horrifying right now, "Said it had been dealing with the threats against mutants and kids in Africa. I wouldn't check Bed-Stuy. Anyone who's not really Clint and not actually linked up to his head wouldn't go in that rat hole."

She can't look at him right now. Too much. "I can send it a text. If the operators don't know Clint's free yet, then it'll probably answer. You guys can trace it from there."


Agent May would not be happy if Simmons let a distraught Kate go - it really was that simple. "I really would prefer Ms Bishop sit with me, at least, for awhile before she departs the facility." She truly does feel for the young woman. But she signals security to allow Kate through if she wants to leave. She's not going to stop her - follow her maybe, but not stop her.


"If you would…" Clint has no idea how much his double knows about his own situation. If he knew it's behavior patterns he might be able to make some decent guesses, but right now its best to let people who do try to find it rather than tracking it down himself.

Also, is his apartment really that bad? Something to think on later, perhaps.

The older archer steps back and away from Kate, more out of what would be her line of sight. He can see her not looking at him and… well he doesn't blame her but it stings. "Thank you Kate." Simmons also gets a mouthed 'thank you' for signalling security to stand down.


"I don't work for you," Kate snaps at Jemma. The fact that she's snapping at all is no doubt a sign of just how unsettled she is at the moment. Kate doesn't snap at people. But right now, her whole world is falling apart. She reaches for her phone, sending out a simple text. « Ugh. Miss you. Dispute between Metropolis Sheriff and National Guard over right way to deal with Deadzone. »

Looking up from the phone, she holds it out to Simmons. "There. What else do you need?" The show, after all, must go on.


Jemmas jaw tightens as Kate snaps at her "Which is why, Ms Bishop, I phrased it as a request." Jemma keeps her tone modulated and low. With Kate like this, Jemma doubts she should leave the facility but she will not stand in the way, or more correctly have security do it for her. The /what else do you need/ has to be answered by the one person Kate probably doesn't want to hear from.


« Tell 'em you're JL:A and they can suck it. » Comes the reply text. Fairly, er, classic Clint response. « Be back in town soon anyway if you need help. »

Jemma gets another 'easy' gesture from Clint. Snapping at people like this is a little like telling an expactant father to calm down. It's just not going to work. "That'll do fine Kate. I'm sure the SHIELD techs can take it from there." Hopefully they're already monitoring 'Clint's' cell phone transmissions if May's gotten anywhere with Fury.


The response on the phone puts another knot in Kate's empty stomach. She's all the more happy to hand it over. Talking to 'it' is only going to remind her of what's happened. "Great," she says quietly. "Look, I get that this is not good. I get that it's a serious security breach. But I'm going to need a couple hours to get my head right, and it's not going to happen here. I don't think there's much I can do for you right now."


Clint takes the phone and steps back to Jemma. "Take the time you need." Much as he hates it, some things come first. This has to be dealt with. And it's really bad on a number of levels. "You… know where to find me when you're ready."

He's probably not super trusted here at the moment, and he doesn't particularly trust himself to talk to Clint-Bot, so he just hands the phone over to the biotech to get to the right people. Fitz if he were here, but he's not.

For now the only thing for him to do, with both of these situations, is to stay ready but out of the way until it's time to act.


Kate still can't look at Clint. Not right now. Not until she deals with some things. "Yeah. I've got my comm," she says quietly, heading for the doors.

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