The Parking Spot

September 01, 2018:

Peggy calls Clint to her office to talk about his car and also about SHIELD.

SHIELD - Peggy's Office

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Plot:

Mood Music: None.


Fade In…

Friday, just past lunch time and the Triskelion suffers none of the malaise that often grips places during such times. The people there operate on a 24/7 schedule with around the clock shifts that have people focusing on various parts of the globe at each time. Yet, to be fair, the time of the week isn't lost on some of the personnel. Particularly part-timers.
Clint Barton is one such a man, at least ever since the Avengers Initiative and his focus being split between the two areas of attention. Yet with what's passed and the people there, there's part of him that will always call the Triskelion home. Which is why when he enters the office at the behest of Agent Carter, he steps through that door and greets the receptionist by name. "Hey, Tara. Good day or bad day?" But the response to that from Ms. Reilly is likely a non-communicative shrug. He crinkles his nose and moves up to the door, raps on its side before pulling it open. "Agent Carter, you asked to see me?"
And through that door comes one of SHIELD's success cases, Clinton Barton. Holding an apple in his hand that he's shining upon the lapel of his loose over-shirt, he lifts his free hand as if to stay her words. "I think I know what this is about, and I know that the truck's a bit of an eyesore. But it's an antique, and we have all that room down there, plenty of space to work on it, and those oil stains were there before I showed up…"

*

Peggy Carter's office is not impressively large or showy. While she may have been the founder of SHIELD, the director is now Nick Fury and she's just as happy to have general operations off of her desk and onto someone else's. She has the clearance to do what she feels is necessary and that is enough for her. Though her arrival in present day was years ago, some often still expect to see a grey haired ninety-year-old lady behind the desk instead of the twenty-something one.

Barton, however, should know what he's getting himself into already. Despite not having age as an intimidation factor, she still remains a woman who tends to not take crap from anyone. As Clint enters, she's behind her desk, typing something up on a tablet. "It wasn't cleared by SHIELD as an acceptable vehicle, Agent Barton. Who knows what kind of devices might be hidden inside." She still has yet to look up from her work as she gestures at him to close the door. "And by the leaking, I will assume that it is certainly not water tight…in any sense of the word." Only then, does she look up and give him a raised eyebrow, her tone wry.

Once the door is shut, she sets the tablet to sleep and puts it to the side. "Though that is not entirely the reason I have asked you to come to my office."

*

"Oh c'mon," Clint grins and she can read that expression easily though others who might not know him might consider it rebelliousness, with her it's more faux outrage. "It's a 1967 old Ford F-100, the most volatile thing about it is its gas guzzling." But the argument's already won assuredly since he then holds up a hand to 'surrender' as he gives a nod. "Alright, alright. I'll get it moving and out by tonight. Not much left to finagle."
That said he sits down into one of the chairs present after he nudges the door closed. His blue eyes meet her gaze as he then listens to the latter words offered him and he gives a nod, shifting more into the professional mode that comes so easily to him. "I figured. What's on the ticker tape?" He asks of her as he tilts his head to the side, perhaps choosing that particular metaphor just for her. "Should I cancel my weekend plans?"

*

For her part, the rebellious expression is easily breezed past. Agent Carter tends to read people easily enough and when Clint is doing nothing to hide the fact that this is faux outrage, she certainly does not bristle. "Other than its assault on the eyes, I assume you mean?" Her own tone is relaxed enough. "If you wish to bring it back, get it cleared by security. Though, from what I've read about the state of the environment, I believe it's safest in a garage. Though, of course, I already have a team giving it a once over to make sure it wasn't already bugged or similar."

Her point is already won, so she feels little need to keep ribbing on him at the expense of his car. As long as the car is out of the Triskelion, it will pose no extended security risk and therefore the problem is solved, as far as she is concerned.

As for his weekend plans, she shakes her head. "Not quite yet. However, as I'm sure you know, there has been a rigorous investigation into the death of Agent Coulson." The mention of their fallen Agent brings a tight line to her lips in anger that. "We've been attempting to identify the perpetrator, but one thing is certain: someone has to have given them access to Warehouse 13 and that person had to have had the clearance to do so. You understand what I mean, yes?"

*

A grimace touches Clint's features as he follows along with Peggy's words. She'll see his eyes narrow a touch and then slip to the side as that frown twists the corner of his mouth. He looks back up and meets her gaze, and gives a single nod before he replies, "And you're thinking that my position and attachment status might give me a decent place to operate from to take a gander at the people that might need someone to take a look at them."
He leans forwards and pulls the chair up, the legs scraping upon the floor briefly. It's a meaningless gesture really, more the body's instinctive shift to attempt to make sure each of them hear the other clearly and to prevent eavesdropping but if someone were actually trying to eavesdrop in the Triskelion… a distance of a few inches isn't going to make a difference. Still, on some level it might make him feel better.
"Are we going to run some cross-ops and see what shakes out, or did you have something specific in mind?" He asks her again with that curious but partially edged tone of voice. No longer the light care-free manner of moments ago.

*

The chair pulls up to her desk. Peggy has the same general thought that Clint does: if someone attempted to bug her office, leaning their heads over the desk is going to keep the information safe. However, due to the fact that she feels comfortable enough to have this conversation in the heart of the Triskelion may lead one to believe that either she believes her office secure, or this is all part of a plan.

"Yes, exactly," she says to his position giving him a good reason to be in different places as well as an unsuspecting as an investigator.

Pulling out a sheet of paper, she slides it over the desk to Clint. The words there are a jumbled mess. However, Peggy is a cryptographer and one can assume this is a coded message or names. "I'd like you to get to know these people. They're likely candidates. Be friendly, be in and out, just be yourself. Perhaps discuss your cars. I'm going to put together an operation in a few weeks and I want to know if any of these people are doing more than simply setting off my radar. That will be when we may launch into something more specific."

*

The paper is drawn towards him with two fingertips, his calloused hand holding the slip and turning it further for him to peruse. She can likely see the way his brow furrows as he focuses on committing the information to memory, using the mnemonic techniques that had been part of their tradecraft for ages. His fingertip slides down each 'name' at a time and he'll spare a few moments for each.
Yet then it reaches the fourth from the top and Clint looks up to catch Peggy's eye again, his brow still furrowed but then shifting as he cocks an eyebrow as he asks her the silent question as if to say, 'Even this person?' To which he'll await for confirmation before he continues on down the list.
A few moments later and he straightens up, one hand resting on the arm of the chair as he frowns marginally then he tilts his head to the side. "I can come up with a handful of reasons to be more present. Would be good if we had some feasible operations that I could draw on some of these people for. I'll put some of my feelers out and see what I can see, maybe have some back and forths."
Then another pause, just the space of a few heartbeats, "I'll check with Tony and let him know my time'll be spoken for. For a bit."

*

The list of eight names is studied properly and Peggy waits for him to digest all the information. She doesn't wish to interrupt his memorization process. Folding her hands on the desk, her expression is a mask of calm despite whatever it is she might be feeling about the names of eight agents she just slipped to Clint Barton that may have cause to leak confidential information to their enemies.

The silent question is given a moment as she glances at where his finger is. A moment is taken for her to decipher her own words and then she nods: Norman Rodenberg was specifically on Clint's list because of the two's love of mechanics. It seemed an easy in if the two didn't already knew each other. This list will not be particularly easy for Clint. It was tailored specifically to him and may include people he already casually knows, which can make things personally difficult. However, it also does make the infiltration easier.

"I've started to put together a docket of some low level missions to help you on that front. Also, I will need a list of one or two agents from you that you feel most comfortable to watch your back. They may not know why they are on your missions, but it's best to have at least one other person you trust there."

*

A fingertip taps upon the desk's surface as he murmurs, "I may have to engineer some negativity between some of the people I usually run with. If only to provide a passing cover at why I might need to broaden my personnel pool and draw on these people." Clint finally leans back into the chair once he feels he has a reasonable grasp on the names, one rough hand lifting to rub at the back of his neck as his thoughts distance.
Chewing his lower lip he gives a few more nods to some silent thoughts then he tilts his head to look back towards Peggy. "If I get fewer Christmas presents this year I'm blaming you," He offers but she knows he's not serious, he just usually distracts from the moment with those casual diversion. His off hand lightly flexes and the knuckles make a faint crackle as he considers the coming flow of events then he gives a more authoritative nod as if it's settled.
"Alright. I can't give you an estimated time of completion, but this is my workload for now, nothing else?" He asks as if making sure he's got a clear agenda to do what's needed.

*

The neutral mask finally breaks into something of a smirk when Clint decides to blame what may be his lack of Christmas presents on her. "For these first few lower level missions I'll be sure everyone knows that I am the one that is picking the roster. You can make a show of being annoyed that I am going against your wishes. Perhaps I am punishing you for bringing in that car of yours, etc. I would hate to see your pool of presents diminished for doing your duty. However, straining a little against your general crew would be a good excuse to talk to some of your list."

Peggy's hands remain clasped on the desk in front of her, but now that the list has been given out, she is a little less rigidly straight backed. "Don't prune back from your Avenger's work too much. I don't wish to rouse suspicions while you are already changing your habits. Should it become necessary, I will have a talk with Tony to ensure you are covered."

'This is my workload for now, nothing else?' Peggy's smirk fades and she gives a small shake of her head. "Should there be other missions you are needed for, you must do them as you would before we ever had this discussion. You'll have other assignments that will have nothing to do with this. However, I want this to always be in the back of your mind. Whenever you can strike up a conversation with someone on that list, do so. If you can include them in appropriate level missions, do so as well. I will provide you with certain ins to help, however it is imperative to not let on that we may know who they are. There's leaks in SHIELD and I mean to stop them before they irreparably damage us."

*

Clint nods along with her words and to him all of that boils down to a subtle way of saying that he's not the only one coming at this from this angle, and to play it wide. But he seems at ease with the declarations. Like any good quick visit with an organizer it ends with them being on the same page and he then pushes himself to his feet. "Sounds like I have my work cut out for me." He takes a step back and recovers his apple, placing it between both hands and twisting in opposite directions to lightly /crack/ it open into halves.
An eyebrow lifts as he silently offers her one half with a lift of his hand, but then takes a bite from the other. Around the apple he murmurs, "Any case, I'll get the truck moved. Maybe bring in a friend to take a gander at it." Likely Rodenberg, but best not to mention out loud. He turns and starts to walk back towards the door.
Over his shoulder as he pulls the door open he lifts his voice, "See, the problem is you guys across the ocean. You didn't have high performance vehicles, like the 67 F-100. You just needed little golf carts to flit down to the chemists or hospital or whatever." Oh that jerk, but his smile is given back to her though there's an edge to it and a final nod, as if reassuring her he'd do what's needed.

*

Peggy stands as Clint does, this time giving him the respect that she didn't when he entered. "More than a bit. Good hunting, Agent Barton. And be sure to get my attention should you find anything of use."

When he twists the apple apart into two halves, she sits down again, giving him a look that amounts to something along the lines of 'show off' as she does. Much like his teasing, however, it is more in line with their rapport than true chastisement. "Yes, that might be best. It did sound as if it had a leak, after all." There's a look of knowing and acknowledgement at his plan. "Remember SHIELD is not a parking garage."

The door opens and Peggy picks her tablet back up and switches it on to continue with her other work before summoning Clint. His parting shots are met with a smirk and a shake of her head. "I don't believe I would call a Jaguar a little golf cart, Barton." However, the smile is noted and she nods to him.

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