Hawk from a Handsaw

January 02, 2017:

After the gala, consequences wait for Jane Foster. SHIELD has taken notice of the strange and murderous company she keeps.

Brooklyn, NYC - Jane Foster's Apartment


NPCs: None.

Mentions: Steve Rogers


Mood Music: [*\# None.]

Fade In…

The night after the disasterous, and frankly near-apocalyptic, gala hosted by the Gotham Antiquities Commission sees Jane Foster housebound.

Housebound, horrorbound, or whatever the world there is for it, for a woman happy to spend the last fifteen hours in a sweater and sweatpants, curled into a blanket, and shivering on her couch. The cold of Jotunheim no longer touches her, no more than a nightmare, though she wears its marks, bandaged in multiple places on her body where her skin burned from cold, or had stuck to alien ice and torn.

Countless people saw her pushed into a portal — an Einstein-Rosen bridge of sorcery's making — and then some less surviving, mainly the rare untouched by the frenzy and panic of the eldritch creatures, saw her return, pulled back in a second portal — grafted between a young woman and the book on auction, gone, now — in the flesh-and-metal arms of a man who attended as her date. He stole them off into the night with any preamble and no trace.

Now she sits, very much alive and very much shellshocked, her laptop opened before her like she intended to do — some sort of work, but has not yet found in her the focus, or possibly the sanity. Sitting aside the largest, back-facing window in her tiny brownstone walk-up, facing the late evening sky with her lights on and curtains open, Jane stares into space.

She comes to, realizing a cup of coffee has been in her hands, cooling the last fifteen minutes, with her not even taking a sip. She pushes aside cluttered work on her coffee table — bits and notched plates of metal she seems to be working on — and instead picks one up, frowning.

Something occurs to Jane to start going on a cleaning spree. She moves with a bit of a limp, sore and favouring too many stiff muscles and healing patches of skin — but digs out an old knapsack and begins sweeping her work into its open bag.


Unfortunately for Ms. Foster, if she thought the next twenty-four hours were going to be peace and quiet, she was sorely mistaken.

Against the backdrop of New York's darkened skyline a man moves, quiet and unseen as he stalks along the high-stretched city rooftops. Clad in black turtleneck and camo pants, he complements the night, feline-grace in his prowl, and every step as silent as the last. He disturbs no one in his movements—and this is precisely what he wants.

The Foster abode is nondescript in a row of countless other walk-ups, and quiet easy to overlook if you're not looking FOR it. Fortunately, it wasn't difficult to track her down. After all, she's SHIELD property, as it were. Much like the man in her pursuit this evening.

So, rather than bide the night alone and lifelessly, Jane Foster begins to clean. Thus it is easy enough for the man in black to sneak into her apartment through an adjacent room's window. He moves quietly thereafter—so quiet, in fact, that it's highly unlikely Ms. Jane Foster does not notice when he'd somehow snatched one of her pieces of work.

"There /is/ such thing as working too much. Didn't they tell you about the rules regarding overtime?" a familiar voice wonders. In one hand is that last, remaining piece of metal she'd been, perhaps, looking for. For all intents and purposes, his demeanor and posture are anything but intimidating.

But the guy just broke in unannounced and started lecturing. Chances are good he'll realize what a bad idea that was soon enough.

"Ms. Foster," he greets, tipping an imaginary hat. He doesn't hand the metal over. Not yet, anyway. "We should talk about last night."


Jane Foster, with the strength of twenty Asgardian gods, cleans.

It's a feeling that strikes her, quick and dagger-deep, a stab of cold panic coming painfully through that fifteen-hour fog. She needs to… get her life in order. She was hurled into another WORLD. She nearly died. A Nazi sorcerer smiled at her. And James, James Barnes still hiding behind the Soldier in his eyes, left her with the instruction to tell any person who asked — who would recognize him, who would know to ask what she was doing in reach of the Winter Soldier, to tell them she was coerced. Held at hostage and, with mission completion, subsequently abandoned.

It unnerves her. She needs to put /something/ in order. Some facet of her life, which right now, seems to be spinning wildly out of control. She doesn't feel safe in her own home, doesn't feel warm even in her thickest blanet, and she brushes it all aside, in exchange for dumping nearly her entire coffee table into an upright knapsack. The metal plates go in first. She folds up star charts and organized them. She finds her own cache of paper notes, all of them layered in endless, meandering equations, and zips them into their own pocket. Feeling restless, she closes her laptop and sticks it in after.

Jane rises, not too sure what to do now, no plan in her head, but sure as hell certain she's not going to stay sitting.

She thinks of some tools she's left in her bedroom, turns —

— and jumps when someone is /standing/ there, a man dressed in black. Even more strangely, Jane Foster sees him in her periphery, clearly enough, but with no detail, and doesn't scream. Doesn't shriek, doesn't do the things a single woman would not expecting an intruder in her home. Like this has happened many times before. She turns her head, expecting someone else — and then comes the panic, lighting up her face, when it's not whom she expects. Jane is familiar with this man, vaguely, tellingly, but just not in the way she prefers. "What the HELL!" she snaps.

Her eyes whip between him and the piece of metal in his hand. It's a nearly-flat plate, and he may recognize the heaviness and solidity of it to be a cleaner vanadium alloy. It's shapen… oddly, to say the least, laser-cut with many angles and curves and grooves, like it is meant as one piece in a significant jigsaw.

"Why are — get the hell out of my home!" Jane demands, stepping slightly back, though in no position to leave behind her knapsack on the ground.


The woman's sudden, sharp snap is met with an expression that is entirely difficult to read. He just looks at her, eyes fixed on her expression as she stares him down. Then the metal in his hand. Then her face once more as she demands he leave her house. He can't really /fault/ her for her demands. He would do the same, surely. But he's not on her side of the table.

"Would that I could, ma'am," he states, sounding vaguely apologetic. The metal in his gloved hand is eyed again, surveying the peculiar alloy that he's managed to get hold of. "Neat work you've got here, Miss Foster. Might I ask what it is you're working on here?"

He doesn't make any immediate moves. If anything, the man's posture is the least bit intimidating.

"By the way, the name isn't Barry," he offers with a dimly coy smile. "It's Clint. Call me Clint."

He still doesn't hand the vanadium alloy over to Jane. He saw what she did with his baton, after all, and he doesn't really want to explain THAT one to his superiors. "About last night," He pauses a beat before he continues. "Your friend. Interesting fellow, that. Neat arm he has, too."

He'll leave the statement open. It makes things all the more awkward.


Would if he could.

Jane's eyes shadow between fear and outrage. In her is a telltale reaction he's witnessed countless times, someone wanting to guard themselves and yet, at the same time, instinctively protect their territory. It doesn't help how little she looks, in her sweats, stray bandages creeping out from beneath her long sleeves, one even circling the palm of her left hand. She watches Barton, a cagey look clear on her face.

"No, you might not," she answers stonily, clearly protective of her work. "None of your business — and it's frankly classified!"

He doesn't move toward her, however. There's a restlessness like she expects he does, like she's expecting the worst — a gun pulled on her, executed clean between the eyes in her own home. Little as she is, she stirs with that dangerous energy of a cornered animal. It gets worse the longer he holds that bit of metal in his hand. It's hers. Her work. Jane has more than a few maternal feelings when it comes to the safety of her creations. "Clint?" she repeats, a strain to her voice like she's trying to keep hold of her anger, knuckle onto it lest the fear come and paralyze her forever. "Whoever you are, before I call the police, I —"

He mentions the Soldier. James. His 'neat arm'.

Jane cannot hide the shock and dismay that breaks across her face. She's as naturally, vulnerably honest as they come. Then her face closes down. He leaves the statement open. She refuses not to answer it. "I don't know who you are. I don't know who sent you. But you need to get out of my home."


The expression is all he needed to see. He frowns slightly in response, a vague expression that could be likened to some sort of disappointment. Barton likes to see the good in people—all people. But if she's doing precisely the things his (and her) superiors are thinking…well. This makes it very much a difficult situation for him.

None of his business, she sharply replies. His eyes flinch slightly, a flicker of lids before they hood dimly. None of his business? "I'm afraid it is my business, Miss Foster," he replies in patient tones. His voice does not waver. He remains perfectly level in his response. He lets it slide—for now, at least.

The metal in hand is eyed again, turned this way and that as he lets his gaze slip from her momentarily. Her threats of police fall upon deaf ears, particularly when her face melts into an expression of surprise. As she speaks, his gaze slips back toward her. "Miss Foster," he responds, employing the same, irritatingly patient tone as before. "I hope you realize just what you're getting yourself into." Speaking of getting into things:

"How did you manage to get out of that inter-dimensional portal, anyway? Hope you aren't too worse for wear," he notes, gesturing with is empty hand toward a bandaged arm.

Then his expression falters slightly. Where before it was one like weathered, expressionless stone, it breaks again into slight disappointment in her. He holds the metal in hand aloft briefly, at eye level with her gaze. "This metal. What are you doing with this sort of thing? And don't tell me the black markets." Pause. "Please don't say that," he adds, his tone almost begging. "I hate that excuse.

"But seriously, Miss Foster. What is going on here?"


There is no warning. No laser sight. Nothing like there is in movies.

There is only the sudden CRACK of glass as a neat hole is drilled through it by a .338 Lapua Magnum. The shot crosses the space between Clint Barton and Jane Foster, hissing through the air before embedding in the far wall.

Clearly not a shot meant to kill. But then, what IS it meant to do?

Glancing back down the trajectory of the shot would reveal slight movement from a rooftop about half a mile distant.


"How is it your business?!" Jane snaps without warning, perhaps well-past her personal limit with shadowy, mysterious figures in her life. "You haven't given me shit other than, what, three names?! I remember you — but you haven't told me who you are! Or who you're with, or, or — who the hell breaks into someone's house?! And I'm supposed to tell you about my life? Are you going to hurt me, is that what? Are you going to kill me? There's /nothing/ I can do for you. There's nothing I can give you, I'm just a /researcher/, I —"

His voice, calmer than hers, far more soft, far more level, still has a strength — a gentle severity to it — to break through all of Jane Foster's rambling. He says she hopes she realizes what she's getting into.

Pain breaks out across her face. Like that's the question Jane's been asking herself since the start, since that first night, and yet she still made every decision she has — hasn't regretted any, not truly —

"The portal?" she echoes, a little feebly. He was there. Of course he saw it. Jane fidgets, one hand pulling through her hair; it obviously still strains her to think about it. Not even for how much it terrifies her, but for all the /possibility/. Possibilities she still has yet to sit and think about, for all the shock. She was tossed into an Alien realm. One of the nine realms, it seemed, as from what she was once told —

"If I told you magic, would you believe me?" asks Jane.

But he keeps firing questions. Not used to being on the receiving end, and hating it, and losing patience with a strange man /in her home/, now beginning to speak about her /work/ he holds in his hand, one of many metal plates she's begun to cut and shape, plates for a moving algorithm Jane has never come close to attempting to create in her life, plates for a creation that has kept to herself, told no one, worked to her lonesome —

Her face tightens like a lock.

What is going on here?

"I can't —" begins Jane, and then glass shatters. That bullet SHOOTS into the room.


Again the woman raises her voice, and again the man in black— Clint, he said— dimly flinches in response. In the back of his mind, he cannot fault her response and reaction. He did, after all, break into her house, unannounced, and scared her. Now he's asking prying questions. How can he blame her, when she's half his size?

The other part of his mind, however, knows this is part of his mission, what he is meant to do. This is part of his job, whether he likes it or not. Another part of him respects her bravery in the face of something like this. He saw the way she threw herself stupidly into a dangerous situation, armed with little more than a glorified club.

Clint eventually sighs, rubbing his free hand firmly at the back of his neck. "I'm being honest with you now," he quietly insists. "My name's Clint Barton. I'm most definitely not here to harm you, and I most certainly am /not/ here to kill you. I promise you that." But. The alloy in his hand twists lightly, to draw attention to it once more.

"But I need to know the truth, Miss Foster. About this. About your metal-armed friend." He pauses, tilting his head slightly as his blue eyes focus on her. The distant, reluctant response she provides earns her a sympathetic smile.

"Yeah, I'd believe you," he assures. Despite the grin on his face, his tone is no doubt sincere and genuine. "After the things I've seen, I can pretty much believe anything." But what he can't believe is the suspicions that his superiors have, of insiders in SHIELD aiding a living weapon. The smile falters as her face tightens, and once again his features go stony and neutral.

Her mouth opens and she begins to speak, but her words are soon punctuated with the sound of shattered glass and the distant THWPT of a bullet striking drywall. He moves suddenly, placing himself bodily between Jane before grabbing her shoulder with one free hand and making for the nearest sofa. He'll try to drag her behind it while he states in that same, eerily calm tone, "We've apparently got company. I need to keep you safe. Now, are you /sure/ there isn't something you want to tell me about before we're in way over our heads?"

He saw movement, sure. But who would it be? He wasn't expecting any backup on this mission, nor any cover fire. So if they're not with him…

Barton draws a long, mechanical length of black metal from his side. With a button push and mechanized hiss, the thing instantly flips into a rather intimidating-looking compound hunting bow. Another button and an arrow assumes its place into firing position. He steals a glance across one shoulder to Jane before he shoves the curved alloy back to her.

It's a gesture of trust.

"I hope for your sake this isn't your friend."


That slight hint of movement pauses. It seems to peer in at Clint first putting himself between Jane and the bullet's trajectory, then taking her conscientiously to cover.

There is a moment of apparent consideration. Then there is another slight movement as the figure recedes and backs off.


He says he needs to know the truth. Jane Foster, a self-acknowledged lover of truth, dealer of truth, supplier of truth — whose very LIFE is answering questions and unshrouding mystery into scientific fact —

— and yet her jaw tenses. The scientist stays mum. Either her hand is forced or… she's determined, even in the face of someone broken into her appartment, to remain stubborn.

And then someone fires straight through the window.

The single shot animates Jane, though not in the way of any seasoned combatant; her instinct isn't to dive or take cover. She startles, twists as if to look back, back at the sound, back at the clamour, every bit of her screaming civilian — so Barton lends a helping hand, or helping entire body, moving abruptly and seamlessly to cover the scientist, a grab on to her shoulder pulling them both down behind cover of her couch's arm.

On Jane's face is surprise, clear and raw, her dark eyes turned up, tense where he's put her, every nerve in her body keyed to eleven. And yet, there in her face, there in the pensive slant in her eyes, is an extra layer — an extra something she knows that someone in her position shouldn't. Most innocents don't seem aware of the types of people firing bullets into their living room windows.

It was just one shot. One shot that hit no one. One shot and — she knows, she /knows/, the Soldier is watching her. Jane would bet her soul, and even know knowing SOULS ARE REAL, whose finger pulled that trigger. One month ago, she would be terrified. Now, she's oddly never felt safer.

This is her life now.

Jane's eyes turn. And, no, amend that, her life actually wasn't as odd and strange as it possibly could yet, because right now, her newest home invader has taken something off his back and snapped it into a /compound bow/. Like he is going to FIRE ARROWS IN RETALIATION TO A HIGH-POWERED RIFLE.

She stares for a full five seconds. Does not talk. Does not answer his question. Stares.

"I…" Jane says, somewhat haltingly, "actually think it is. Would you — would you believe me if I told you I was safe?" She pauses. Her eyes are pleading. "Listen — I. I don't know who you are. I don't want trouble. I don't want anyone hurt. I don't… I'm just a researcher! I'm an… astrophysicist. That's honestly all I… is it me you want? Or is it him?"


There is only a brief moment when Clint can catch glimpse of the woman's face. Time spent abroad, in warzones, in places where he shouldn't be, undercover, life on the line—he knows that look well. She's the proverbial cat with the canary. If only she would just sing. It would make his job a /lot/ easier to do.

And this, the added anomaly of a bullet through the window. The sound along is certainly enough to the trained ear of the archer to know it isn't just some stray nine millimeter or thug's cap. It's a higher caliber. Someone definitely meant business on the other end of the gun.

Yet he risked his life to protect hers in that moment. Part soldier-reflex, part Boy Scout, he'd put his safety on the line for this waif young woman he'd only met a night prior. She's a stranger of sorts, but he keeps her safe. To say there's very little, if any, threat coming from his posture or demeanor is a complete understatement.

Whatever she's hiding seems lost for the moment. His bow in hand, the keen-eyed assassin looks to the rooftops, watching what little of the figure, the shadow, he can make out. Soon enough, however, the figure skulks back into the darkness of the night. For a moment Barton's expression is one of muted bemusement. A split-second later it dawns on him. It was, if anything, perhaps, a warning shot.

What kind, well, that remains to be seen.

The voice that breaks the tense silence earns Jane a glance over the man's shoulder, bow still aimed and tautly drawn as Barton holds cover. She says she's safe. Part of his stomach shrivels a bit, considering the real fact that the shot lodged in drywall near them wasn't intended for /her./

Is it me you want, or him? she asks.

The string goes slack, the alloy shaft of the bow hissing against the knock as he slinks back behind the sofa. There's a moment of pause and consideration before he simply pushes the same series of buttons and snaps his arm, dismantling the weapon—but keeping it in hand, 'just in case.' He turns his head slightly aside, peering at Jane Foster with sharp blues.

"I have a feeling," he says, "that you're telling the truth, and it's a truth that I am not really sure that I want to know more /about/." Shifting uncomfortably at this thought, he crooks a knee and rests an arm across it. "But I really got to ask, Miss Foster: why on /Earth/ are you aiding and abetting a wanted criminal? And /assassin/? You know who this guy is, right?"

He looks to her with genuine confusion. "You know where that puts /you/, too, right? So…why?"


Her home invader regards her, considers her words, and slowly disengages that bow.

Jane Foster decides to take that as a good sign.

"Because I /am/ telling the truth," she says, a little petulant, even as the lingering adrenaline still thins out her voice.

Her back leans against the couch. Sitting where she's been pulled down, Jane sags inside her temporary cover, cover she doesn't even need. She knows she's going to need to stand soon. Give some sort of sign, lest the Soldier perhaps think it's time for a closer encounter. It's probably the last thing all three of them want. It's the last thing /she/ wants, blood to spill, and it's because of nothing more than distrust —

Barton hangs beside her, and poses the same question Jane has been asking herself the last month. It's such a simple one.


You know where this puts her?

Pain twitches across Jane's face. She knows. She knows very well. Her work taken from her. Her freedom too. Arrested as an accessory at the worst. Denounced as a /terrorist/ at worst. Having her freedom taken from her forever. Or worse. There's always worse.

"It's not always that simple," is all Jane can say, her voice small, soft, tight. "A month ago, I thought it was. But it's not."

She draws her lips together, and summoning some well of courage, turns her head, dark eyes looked up on him. "Listen, whoever you are. Clint? If he doesn't see me soon, it's probably going to get bad. Really, really bad. I don't want anyone to get hurt. I know it's a mess, and whatever you're here to do — don't. If that's what it — don't. Trust me."

Jane's jaw tightens. "Actually — no. I have questions. What were you doing at that gala? Who sent you here? You break into my home, and you need to tell me /something/."


She insists the truth is what she tells. And from simply observing her at the gala before, her mannerisms, as well as her raw emotion up to this point…he can't disbelieve her. The rational part of Clint Barton just can't. But he doesn't like where the current trajectory of this discovery is leading him nor Jane Foster.

The moments pass, and with it the astrophysicist begins to open a little further with the truth she insists. He draws his eyes to a close momentarily as she speaks, nodding his head once in a distant bob. He can sympathize with her confession, albeit from a different perspective.

When his eyes open, his blue eyes are met with her gaze finally. Her explanation is met with the slightest look of confusion before he concedes. He nods again, once, and begins to rise cautiously. "Don't go first—just in case." Just in case she may be wrong.

So he rises, cresting the back of the sofa. He offers a gloved hand to the woman shortly after, to help her up from the ground. He doesn't interrupt her insistent statement. Don't do it. Hell, he isn't sure what to do right now.

Barton looks aside shortly after. "You're right, it's only fair." His gaze cuts back to the window—toward the rooftops. He remains on high alert.

"I was there on business from our mutual employer. I am here on the same business now." Those sharp blue eyes don't leave the window, and his arm holding the collapsed weapon clenches visibly. "I shouldn't be saying this, but you seem like a good lady. Honest. Genuine." Another glance is briefly spared to Jane.

"They're catching on," he cryptically explains. "You're treading on some very, /very/ thin ice, Miss Foster." He flinches, realizing that following his gut /always/ puts him into these weird situations. He shakes his head, dismissing caution. He's in this far.

"You tell me the truth now. What are your ties to this guy, anyway? Why you? And for what purpose? I'd assume it's just a case of Stolkholm, but you don't exactly strike me as a weak-willed individual. There's something, but I'm not seeing the picture."

Once more Clint's gaze shifts back to the window.

"And I can promise you two things: one, I am not wired, bugged or recording this. Two, I haven't any intention of sharing this unless you and your friend convince me otherwise."


And then, perhaps to Jane Foster's own, wide-eyed surprise, the man who broke into her home, the man with a futuristic /bow/ on his back, the man who somehow knows everything sordid detail outlying the deadly career of the Winter Soldier — demonstrates, to her, the most transparent act of trust.

It's trust that stuns /her/, as he rises first to give himself clear target to the distant, somewhere-in-the-dark sight of the Soldier, taking on face-value the word of Dr. Foster that worse may come to bear the longer they stay in cover. Even then, /she/ is not absolutely sure the Soldier may stay his finger off the trigger, and she unconsciously holds her breath, and with nerves still trembling her fingers, reaches to take his proffered hand.

He pulls her up, and she straightens herself out, taking a ready glance toward the window, though Jane does little more to display as signal. Far from doing something as ridiculous as waving out in the dark, and ignoring the voice in her head that wants to 'what if' someone else has a gun trained on her appartment —

— she exhales in relief when little happens. Jane, encouraged by a beautiful break in violence, stays where she is.

Mutual employer, answers Clint, finally answering her question. Her eyes briefly close. Jane regrets knowing, because it's her worst fear finally confirmed. /Everything/ she's worked for, everything she's done, and yet she cannot regret, because at the other side of the coin is a man, tortured, pulled apart, /broken by monsters/, and she would be a monster among them to turn her back. Consign him as the killer he is, and let him be hunted like an animal. He didn't do any of it. He never had a choice.

Thin ice, he warns her.

"It's not Stockholm," Jane answers quietly. "My ties are… I don't know." Something that's has him save her life more than one. Something that brought him into a portal to bring her home. Something that has him watching outside her window, and her wanting to watch back. "I don't know why me. It just is. Let me just say, if you think I'm innocent… every choice I've made so far in this was deliberate. Was my own. None of this was his choice. What you say he is. What his name says he is."

A long, deep breath vents out of her. The woman bows her head, carrying a secret far too long.

"I want to trust you. I — I don't even know you, but I know you're trying to trust me too. But I need to protect him. There are people in this — I don't know who. I'm so over my head, and —" Jane pauses in her babble. Her lips tighten, coming to some sort of decision.

She looks up. "Go to Steve Rogers. I haven't told SHIELD, I don't trust — but I trust him. I told him. That the Winter Soldier is not who you think."


To say that Clint Barton is not expecting the worst in the moment he crests the sofa's back would be a lie. He knows damn well he's put himself in harm's way, but if the figure on the rooftops is who she says it is, and if she is telling the truth, then /not/ being freshly ventilated by a high-caliber round would be further proof.

Yet despite this uneasiness, Clint's expression remains calm, his nerves eerily steady as Jane takes his hand and rises to her feet by his aid. In that fateful momentfor boththe minutes stretch for what feel like the longest minutes in existence. But then…


Her response is met with that same unflinching expression. He knows that it wasn't what she'd wanted to hear, because who the hell would want to hear they've got SHIELD's attention?

"Yeah, you don't seem very Swede to me," he notes. Yet her insistent and honest tone continues to tug and pull at his gut instincts. Sure he works for SHIELD, but he's in the past disobeyed them directly due to conflicting interests. They aren't paragons of innocence—he knows. He's killed for them. Further, there are very few in SHIELD he genuinely trusts.

She wants to trust him. It's almost a kick to the gut of surprise that she relents. But she knows the truth, too. He is TRYING to get to the honest truth. Her babble reveals a deeper facet to the entire story. Her words are met with a genuine expression of surprise, before dismissed with a stern nod of acceptance. Steve Rogers.

A hand rests briefly on Jane's shoulder. "Unless I have any reason to feel otherwise, your secret's safe, but I can't vouch for anyone else in SHIELD," he admits. "Or if, perhaps, I've been tailed. If I were you and Soldier Boy, I'd hoof it." But if the shot was any indication, Barnes is obviously aware of /that/ obvious fact.

Shortly after, a gloved hand slips into the tactical belt on his waist before he draws out a small, dime-sized item. "Take this. Whether you trust me enough to keep it on you is up to you- -I won't be offended. It's a GPS signal, but only if you activate it. Use it if you get in too deep and I'll do what I can." Pause. "And don't worry, that's not a SHIELD toy."

With that Barton turns, strapping the folded FUTURE BOW to its backside holster and heads toward the hall. "I'll leave the way I came." Without pause or missing a beat, he lifts a hand in a dismissive wave, adding before he rounds and vanishes behind the corner:

"I /do/ want that baton back, though."

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