Getting with the Program 4: Informing the Hawkeyes

August 21, 2014:

May and Jericho chat with Agent Barton and Kate Bishop. Will either of them join the op team?

Triskelion Conference Room

A bare, sleek government conference room. No doughnuts, slightly too cold.

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Plot:

Mood Music: None.


Fade In…

May has rather suddenly have several things going on at the same time. How the HELL did this happen? She's got people to contact, a Bus to prepare… and she pulls her phone in annoyance as it announces an incoming text. From who? OH. Right. Bishop. The traffic light turns green, though, so she doesn't have time to take in more than that. Yes, she's a firm believer in 'put down the phone and DRIVE'.

Glancing at Trent passenging, she says, "That was a text from an informant. We might have to make a detour."

*

"Informant?" Jericho quirks an eyebrow at May, belted into the passenger's seat. Seatbelts. They save lives. Plus it's not like May was going to go anywhere until he was buckled in. He glances down at the text to see what it says. Sure he could just look at it in his head, but that's not polite. And could potentially get him gibbs slapped into next Tuesday. "Mmmm. Looks like something you may want to take care of given that we're gonna be leaving soon. Potentially for a while." Well, May, at any rate will probably be.

*

Kate and Clint are sort of the opposite of 'put down the phone and drive.' To be fair, takes some work to get either of them to put down the bow and drive. So it's probably not a surprise when May gets another text from Kate saying that she's bringing Barton back to the Triskelion so he can check in, no need for anyone to send a strike team to the fleabag motel they were staying at.

"You ought to sit in a thing of plaster to get an imprint of your ass, frame it, and send it to the deputy director," she says to Clint as she lays on the horn. "Then she really can own your ass."

*

It's true. How many times has one or the other had to lean out the window and shoot arrows? Amazingly, more than can be counted on even two hands. (They lead an exciting life. Really!) Not about to happen this time, however. Though on the mend, every day a little better, he's still a little sore. Won't keep him from duty, but not by choice.

By Hill or high water, is it?

Barton laughs, cradling a cup of coffee in hand. "It'll become a collector's item in no time. It's a great way to remind someone they can kiss my ass, too."

*

May glances very briefly toward her phone as it blips indicating another incoming message, but doesn't reach for it. "Of a sort. A civilian point of contact for Barton," she tells Trent. Luckily for them, they're still very close to the Triskelion, so having to turn around and go back isn't that big a hardship.

"Says that 'Barton's coming into the Triskelion so he can check in.' There's some subtext Jericho's missing but clearly this is something that May was to consider somewhat important, so he's not going to be hugely surprised when she flips the car around and begins to drive rapidly back up toward SHIELD's fortress. "You sure you want me around for this?" Recent meeting with the Director notwithstanding Jericho is keenly aware that he isn't SHIELD himself and prefers when he can to let the super-spy agency do its thing without needing to notice him. Of course, by dropping the line on Syria, he kind of made it necessary to notice him. Talk about digging your own grave.

"Well, least we'll be there soon."

*

"See? It's not at all xeroxing your ass. It's like the extra-classy version." Kate tears around a corner, coming up on the Triskelion fast. "That's why you keep me around." Because she brings the class. It's one way to deal with the awkward rejection of the past couple days, at least.

In short order, Kate pulls up at the Triskelion, peering out the window to watch people showing up for their day at the office. "Seriously, Barton, this place is depressing. Tell me they don't try to make you wear a suit."

*

"So much classier. Lasts longer, too. And no danger of a paper jam." Clint is actually dressed 'well'. Button down shirt, dress pants, though he doesn't lose the boots. Sunglasses to hide the remnants of two black eyes.

Looking beside him, his covered gaze lingers, "One of many, Katie. You -did- bring the pizza."

As they pull up to the curb near the garage, Clint is already reaching for his gear from the backseat. He's got his pistol, sure… but he's happiest with the 'real' stuff. "Nah. They don't. Only when I have to go to fancy functions with you, Katie-Kate. You're the only one I'll wear a suit for."

*

"I'm not letting you wander off to get shot at again," May answers Trent gruffly as they do indeed turn around to head back toward the Triskelion. And yes, they were still really close by so they might even get there before the two archers. That's kind of a toss-up, though. Their car pulls neatly into a parking space in the garage and May is out with her phone in her hand almost instantly and Jericho gets only a cursory glance as she starts for the garage exit that leads to the Triskelion building proper. She knows the taller man can keep up and she starts texting a reply while walking. "Be there in three minutes," the text reads.

*

Jericho is, for once, not quite blending. Multicam fatigue pants and a tan tee with long sleeve underarmor. He'd come to this meeting after getting back from his initial foray into Syria and events had moved quickly enough that he hadn't really changed. He's not armed, at least, having learned that particular lesson about the Triskelion. Even when you're fabricating them from whole cloth, polycarbonate firearms aren't something you want to go giving away that often if you can help it.

"Where, exactly are we headed?" Jeri's not so sure this place is any safer in the shot at department but he doesn't argue the point. Because he's probably just being paranoid.

*

"I'm the only one who makes sure you don't look like a doof in one," Kate points out helpfully, looking out over her shades with a smirk. "Don't start any fights with any of the other kids. And don't let anybody take your lunch money." She hangs half out of the window, keeping an eye open as she looks around. "And also, I just told your friend May that you're back, so you should probably be ready to get yelled at. Again."

*

Another truth. Clint's had his tie straightened more than once for an 'occasion'. Ostensibly, it's so that she wouldn't look like an idiot for bringing him. The car door opens, and reaching in for the final bits, he's ready to close the door, but pauses at her words.

The relative easiness he'd had (while drinking his coffee) tightens, and he offers a half smile. "Park the car. C'mon in. I'll show you around." He doesn't sound as if he really wants her to say 'no'. Putting his stuff down, his hands come up in sign, I owe you dinner.

*

May strides out of the parking garage in time to see Barton gesturing (wait, no, signing) at someone in the car there. Presumably Bishop. She slows to a stop and stands there and waits for them. And stares. Because she can.

*

Ah. Barton and… someone else. Presumably 'Bishop'? Jericho hasn't had any dealings with 'Hawkeye' since that day in the park. Whatever this is seems likely to be between May and Barton so he puts his hands in his pockets and comes to a held behind and to the left of the now staring Agent. Just along for the ride, nothing to see here, thank you.

*

Kate quirks a brow at the signing, but she kills the engine on the car - is that a purple Mustang? Seriously? Not SHIELD issue - before stepping out to follow him. "She totally didn't take any crap from your friend Paul, either," she notes in an undertone, hands in her pockets.

*

It was a mess, though it just warranted the briefest mention on the 6:00 news a few days back. An apartment was cordoned off. Looked like a drug-land hit in Brooklyn, Bedford-Stuyvesant section. No known deaths, but with the amount of blood and expended bullets? 'Under investigation', they'd said.

Clint is still cleaning up the brain smear from the walls, and he'll eventually replace all the broken coffee mugs. And maybe get a new couch.

A Quin was taken out and to Madripoor for pick-up. Now… now the Special Agent returns, a little worse for wear. But he's returned.

The sunglasses are a fixture now as Barton approaches. A nod of greeting is given, and he stands, waiting for Kate to catch up. "May. Trent. I guess you met Bishop."

*

"Yes." Verbose-as-ever-May. Who is also accustomed to seeing Barton hide injuries behind those sunglasses. So the next, while partly a guess, is likely one based on good empirical evidence. "You look like shit, Barton."

*

Barton does look a little the worse for wear, though given his occupation that seems kind of reasonable. Then again, it's not like Jericho can throw stones on that one. He gives Hawkeye a polite nod, and then Bishop one as well. "Hawkeye, Miss." Both seem capable sorts really. Still letting May do most of the talking here. Partly this is for politeness sake. May is after all Barton's colleague and he is not. And partly it's so May doesn't gibbs slap him. Fear the gibbs slap. Seriously.

*

"Hey," Kate lifts a hand to wave at Jericho. It's like they're seconds in a duel of glares. Not awkward at all…

*

"That's probably the reason I haven't been able to get a date for tonight," Barton replies, lips pressed and his head gives a little bob. "I'd feel better if my ribs weren't poking my lungs, but what can you do?" Won't stop him from being able to use a bow. It'll just hurt like hell.

"Tell me the world stopped while I was gone."

*

"It didn't." Yes, May, of the popping children's balloons and making children cry school of news-bearing. But, strangely enough, instead of continuing the conversation out here on the sidewalk, she turns to head for the building proper. Likely, air conditioning and a place to sit will be appreciated by more than one person.

*

Jericho gives a little shrug to Hawkeye and Kate, more about the turning into the building than the world not stopping. Surely that bombshell isn't news to either of them. He turns to follow the more laconic of the two agents. "It's rather gone to pot in some parts, actually…" He says at a murmur. It's certainly loud enough to hear but not, Hawkeye knows, his usual tone. Some things leave images that one might rather not think about, no matter how necessary it is.

*

"Can't blame him, there've been eyes on him for at least the last ninety-six hours," Kate quips back to Jericho as she falls in behind the official agents, watching the other people walking into the building with a sort of fascinated disdain. Suits. Just look at all the suits.

*

Tossing his quiver over his shoulder and holding the bow in hand, Hawkeye turns around to walk backwards for a couple of steps, and one hand gestures, two dinners before he casually spins around once more. "Figures. Now, define 'to pot'. Are we looking at the genocide of an entire race of people because they're blond, or maybe tanks showing up again on the border of the Ukraine? Because really, I'd much rather deal with that than Cobra right about now." Turkey… was a holiday in comparison, in hindsight.

The moment they get in the door, Hawkeye (the First) heads to the coffee spread to refill his cup. Next, he gets to sign Kate in. Yay Visitor's Pass! Go Hawkeye (the Second)!

*

May doesn't bother with coffee. And as to a visitor's pass for Trent, she just has the guard at the desk give her the one they handed in less than ten minutes before. Go ahead. Try to argue. She then looks from Trent to Bishop, offers her a small nod, then turns to Barton before leading the whole little gaggle toward that small conference room where she and Trent had a chat with Fury.

*

Kate's quip gets a small, tight smile. "Mmm. I'll scratch him off the list then." Really though, whatever Jericho may or may not think of the man he's pretty positive Barton wouldn't have anything to do with this.

*

May's headed for the conference room, so Jericho just shrugs, not that Hawk can see him now unless he looks back. "Not for all ears." Is all he says on the matter. They'll dig into it soon enough. He's going to end up re-hashing this a few times, he knows.

*

Kate eyes the visitor's pass for a moment, signing something back to Clint. 'Two good dinners.' But she pins the badge on her lapel and follows along.

*

"Yeah." Seems the perfect word for all occasions at the moment. "Okay." Barton knows where their paths are taking them; how many times has he sat in the Conference room? Well, okay, sat? Never. He's a 'door lurker' by habit and trade. So, the moment they enter, Clint takes up his 'sentry' post right at the door, coffee in hand. A tentative sip is taken, then another while he waits for the bare-bones briefing begins. At least he doesn't have to do a report (yet) on how he spent his summer vacation.

*

May walks around to the far side of the table and looks at the other three. "First. Barton. I know you just got back from… out of town. But we need to clear the air about Trent." She doesn't even look at the hacker, her attention solely focused on the elder archer for the moment.

*

Well, Jericho guesses that the brief can wait for a minute. He leans back, folds his arms and… doesn't say anything. This is, after all, specifically May's to deal with. As in, only she can deal with it. He'll be helpful, if he can, but really he's kind of curious how it'll all play out. Kate gets another tight smile, this one apologetic. This may get interesting.

*

Kate is all about interesting. Clint goes for the spot by the door, and Kate goes directly over to the table to perch on the edge, sitting cross-legged there. In case it was in any way clear how she feels about the formality of places like boardrooms.

*

"I already had a talk with him," Barton replies, his tones cool and calm. "I know the score, May. I had a long chat with Widow. I consider the air cleared and have for, what… a month now?" The coffee is sipped once again, and a tight smile rises. "Far as I'm concerned, it's done."

*

"Really." May looks at Barton flatly. Okay, then. So it's only Hill and Manning that remain in line to have their asses kicked. "Good. Now. I've been given a mission directly by Fury, and I'll be taking the Bus. Consider it a courtesy that I'm bothering to let you know." Maybe it's a veiled warning — Hill likely will NOT be happy to hear about it, but she really could not care less.

*

Jericho levers himself up from the chair he'd been leaning against. "You've probably heard most of this, or will from other SHIELD channels since I gather they were tracking some of it, but HYDRA field tested a tailored retrovirus WMD on a mutant enclave in Syria a few days ago. It worked. Everyone in the village died. Network chatter suggests they'll make a real go of it somewhere Stateside in as little as a few weeks. As she mentioned, the Director tasked May with helping me track it down so that the cell producing it can be shut down." That's the mission part of the conversation anyway. Barton appears to know (and already knew, apparently) what Fury had to reassure him about.

*

Kate has no idea what's going on here. But it seems she knows enough to keep her mouth shut and listen if she wants to find out anything more about it. At least she doesn't actually pull out her phone to start playing games or anything.

*

Clint shrugs, "Okay," he begins. "Have a safe trip?" Barton cants his head, though those eyes are still hidden. "Or is there more to this 'courtesy' that I am just not clueing in on. I mean, some of the brain cells got knocked around a little out there." Yes, he can actually -see- out of that eye now, thank you.

*

Without moving his head, Barton manages to shift his attention onto Jericho, and here, he gets a response. Brows rise, and his head rolls back with a soft, "I see. And it's just the two of you to shut it down then?" Looking back at May, the question lingers in the air for the pair of them.

In all honesty, he's been dealing with Cobra, though he actually does read memos and watch the news (when Creature Double Feature isn't on). "So you're looking for a stealth team. In, out, target destroyed without any fallout, both real and PR."

*

"No. We're looking more for a team that can glean intel from a decimated region, computers and the like, and can put down resistance with extreme prejudice if need be." And this is why May has the names on her short list that she does. Don't worry, Bishop, you're not on that list.

*

"May's team. I'm just here to provide the intel. And shoot people if I have to." There'll probably be a bit of both in all honesty. "I've been tracking this one for months so I have some fairly in depth knowledge of it." The hacker shrugs and nods to May. "Anything else we need to cover? Questions?" That last addressed to the two Hawks. Though, of course, Jericho only knows of the one.

Kate quirks a brow at Jericho when he looks to her, shaking her head slightly. She's not the most circumspect person ever, but even she knows better than to talk out of turn around May. Pissing off May is the fast track to never getting to do anything worthwhile ever again.

*

"Ah, before it hits the States, then." Follow it to the source. "You do know that plausible deniability is probably an important vocabulary word right now. Between Assad and the rebels? Couple that with little individual towns, and our allies constantly waffling about which side they need to be on?" Clint shakes his head, "Big firepower'll blow the team to hell. It's gotta be a quick strike. Sure, kill everyone in the way, but don't leave a big damned trail." He and Widow know all about that.

Barton waves the cup in salute before he takes a larger swallow now. "In case you wanted my professional opinion on the matter." Still, he's got no idea if he's going or staying.

*

May nods at the words 'plausible deniability'. "That's being taken into account." After all, if she gets the team she wants and she can get particular individuals to agree to NOT wear glaringly obvious outfits, they would be about as covert as they can get in that particular combination of skill sets without being, you know, Romanoff.

*

Jericho, honestly, doesn't know if Barton's coming either. May would probably very much object if he put together a team like he did for his last large op. Which was tailored to other tactical needs anyway and very much 'what he could get'. In any case, the hacker nods. "I'm sure it was on their mind too. Good target they picked. Active warzone, three way civil war, sixteen suspected and four confirmed uses of WMD, limited foreign media. Good target if you want the atrocity to fade into the background." It had worked too, to an extent. Neither of the parties who showed up to investigate after the fact had seen it coming. Though Jeri probably should have. And he hates that.

*

Kate looks between the others, and when May's back is turned, there's a quick motion of her hands in Barton's direction. So what, she just needs to tell you she's leaving town, or is that an invite? Nope, totally harmless over here.

*

"See, problem there now is the fact that there's so damned much social media. Cell phones. Hell, most of Egypt's 'Arab Spring' was on Twitter. There's aid groups going in and out of there all the time." Barton shrugs again, his coffee now waiting for no man, or woman. "Amnesty International is racking up the atrocity list like an MS telethon."

*

May's acknowledgment of 'plausible deniability' means it's not -technically- a SHIELD op. Place where the UN isn't. "So Agent May… is this courtesy or is this your way of asking me along. Because I'm only running on this cup of coffee."

Looking over at Kate, his gaze lingers for a long moment. A half-lift of a shoulder is the response; a shrug. If he's going, guess who gets to apartment sit?

*

May rather more pointedly looks Barton up and down. "You don't look fit for field duty to me." Honestly, originally in her mind this was merely courtesy, and more so than that to make sure the archer wasn't dead after Manning called her at stupid o'clock to point out brain matter on Barton's apartment wall. If he insists on going, well. She'll let him have the 'honor' of telling Hill that he's in the wind again.

*

Jericho nods. That seems decided then. Or rather it will be decided before May has to go wheels up. "If we're good here, May, we should run down those others and then I've got to deal with my 'advance team' as it were."

*

Kate is so not apartment-sitting. At this point, that's code for 'apartment-renovating.' He'll come back to find it entirely purple and rhinestone and crystals. Super loft chic. "I could cover for him," she offers at May's observation.

*

"You have a medical degree now, Agent May?" Barton straightens from his lean. "Pretty sure you don't get my med file across your desk on a regular basis. And you're not in my apartment, or hotel room, so you really don't know."

A shrug lifts his shoulders as he looks to Jericho. "Good luck out there."

Turning around now, Barton pulls his quiver up and opens the door with his free hand. "Good luck, Dr. May." Once it's open, he looks to Kate, "C'mon, Kate. Lemme walk you out, then you can harass who you need to and I'll get back to work." See? Cleared for duty.

*

May refuses to acknowledge that medical degree dig or say anything to 'beg' the archer to come back and be part of the team going to Syria. Barton's telling Trent 'good luck out there' is enough for her to think he'd decline any offer she put forward at this point anyway. She gives Kate a nod, a sort of silent 'thanks for contacting me', before the young woman takes off after Barton. And then she looks at Trent. "You're right. Clock's ticking. Let's go."

*

Jericho nods, giving the Archer and his companion a wave a he heads out. "See you 'round Barton, Bishop."

*

"Or not. You know, whatever." Kate rolls her eyes slightly, but hops off the table when Barton reaches for the door. "Nice to meet you, spy guy," she adds with a wave to Jericho before falling in with Barton. "So how's the cafeteria in this place?" she asks Hawkeye Sr. as they go. "Is it one of those cool ones where you can get a bunch of stuff made to order?"

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