1963-11-02 - Oh brother
Summary: Clint first has a chat with Peggy (and tangentially Steve) before he goes to speak to Barney about everyone's suspicions.
Related: If there are no related logs, put 'None' — please, don't leave blank!
Theme Song: None
peggy steve clint barney 

It's later into the evening on the third day that Barney has been in SHIELD custody. He's been left to his own devices a lot. He was given a stack of paper and a pen at one point with instructions to write down ANYTHING about the FBI which might just shake loose from his head. Whether he did that or not didn't seem to mean much, though. He's still stuck inside the cell. Meanwhile, Peggy's been tracing backgrounds a bit more, analyzing a hunch which is now growing to a scream at the back of her head. She looks up to Steve, not having expected the visit tonight, but also not complaining about it…"How well do you know Clint? Did… did he ever speak about a brother?" She asks where she's lingering in the hall, outside the interrogation rooms. She hasn't brough her concerns to Clint yet, fully planning on confirming them before *actually* speaking to her Agent. But the gods, of course, laugh at all men's plans.


"Not well. And no, I never knew he had a brother." Steve is wearing street clothes with a pair of blue jeans and a black sweater. Steve is facing towards the door and tilting his head to his friend. "Bad guy?" he asks with a raised eyebrow.


It had taken some more digging, mainly connecting some pieces and collate a few files that had been sitting quiet in storage. It even took a small dive into microfiche to find the old news article. No. There are no smoking guns. There's nothing that will for sure show what is what. Yet on some level Clint never needed things like facts when a feeling would suffice. His gut often led him on and in some ways that's what he got paid the big bucks for. But this was different and he couldn't trust it.

It was into the hallway in the HQ where the interrogation room holds its place of prominence. His destination had been the office of the director. At first Hawkeye stood there in front of the door, hand lifted as he got ready to rap on the door's frame, but then he heard the faint conversation down the way.

Turning he started towards the interrogation area, rounding the corner and his silhouette darkening the hallway. He ambled down the way and gave a nod at first to Steve and then to Peggy. "Chief. Got a sec?"


A sigh escapes her lips as she looks back down to one of the cells, the only one occupied now, with the man who is spilling far too many FBI secrets not to be important. But also not a good man. "…Killer. Assassinated the civil rights guy last week. We can connect a whole string of killings to him but chances are half of them were FBI ordered and… it's complicated. But yeah. Over all. Probably a bad guy." Peggy confirms, those words loud enough that Clint can probably hear them even as he comes closer and the situation gets nearer to more and more complicated.

Then he's there, asking if she has a second. A slight smile flickers across her lips and she squares her shoulders off just a bit more, "Agent Barton… Of… course. I was actually hoping to speak with you, though… after I finished up with our prisoner for the night. He gives us a bit more information every evening. Just enough to keep himself alive and out of jail. He… knows how to play the game well." She then clears her throat, studying his face for a heartbeat or two, "…What's on your mind, Barton?"


"Nothing like the cut and dry, black and white of the bureaucracy," Steve says with a grin at Peggy. Isn't that how he got here, in some respects. He looks as if he's about to open his mouth and ask something, but just then, Clint Barton comes up to talk to them. He turns on his heel with a slightly raised eyebrow, curious to hear what Clint might say.


For a moment Clint sort of looks at Steve and if it had been anyone else… well he might have waited for more privacy to relate his thoughts. But, well, Steve's got some credit with the man. So Peggy gets the archer's attention and he holds up his hands as if to hold off any objection.

"I'd like you to bear with me for a second, boss." After that he rests his hands upon his hips and furrows his brow, looking to the side. He looks back, sidelong, eyes narrowed as he tries to relate this conjecture. "Let me tell you a story." As he says that he steps back and leans against the wall, folding his arms over his chest.

"So a war is going on. Since, yeah, a war is always going on really. Things are rough. You need assets. You look down the traditional routes and you're already scraping the bottom of the barrel since yeah… war. Program goes out, find what you can from angles you normally can't dig down into. Family types, normal types. Get some response back on some tests. You find out that there are these two perfect possibles. Perfect read, mental outlook, hand eye spatial perception off the chart. Only thing though. They got a family. A good family apparently. Man, if only they had a broken home."

He spreads his hands, "You're the CIA… probably. You need some domestic help for this. Who would be good for that? Those fuckers in the FBI." He pauses and then adds, "Pardon."

He waves a hand, "Anyways. You talk to them, they talk to you, yeah this would be sweet. Groom those prospects, get two perfect operatives for a sorta dark work week. Get them conditioned. Help us with this, you take one, we take the other. Right? Thing is, gotta roll the family, pop the mom and dad…"

His hands spread and he looks to the side, "Anyways. I don't have anything other than this. Still."


A smirk is given to Steve as he comments about bureacracy, and he still knows her well enough to see the impatience with it in her eyes. She's sick and tired of the mess, but some layers of tape were just too thick to unravel even with scizzors. Such as the story that Clint is now telling them. She bows her head for Clint to go on, accepting his request for her to bear with him. There is no surprise in her dark eyes as he speaks. Just a slow, quiet acceptance of what she already excepted.

When he's done speaking, she clears her throat quietly, sharing a look with Steve that says this might be harder than either of them expected, and that she's worried about the agent in front of her. Even if Peggy was a hard ass, she always worried. She exhales quietly through her nose…"Clint… did you grow up with a brother?" She tosses quietly into the hall, her voice solemn, calm. "…Because I did a bit more digging. A few more pulling on strings. The one bastard left at the FBI who I still trust… I… made a phone call. Barney Barton was put into the foster care system after his mother and father died in a car accident in Iowa. He… was conditioned much the same way you were. And the timing…" Peggy's jaw sets quietly, dark eyes flickering back to the interrogation room door. "…concidences only go so far. This is no longer a concidence, Clint."


On one hand, Steve wants to inspect Clint's reaction to Peggy's pointed commentary. On the other he feels badly for the man who clearly seems to be Barney's brother. At least in Steve's mind. There's a sharp intake of air, but he says nothing, giving Clint room to speak.


A nod is given, Clint's brow furrows and he looks to the side. "Yeah," He looks back towards the two of them, his eyes flitting between them. Lifting his head his fingertips drum nervously upon his outer thigh as if looking for something to grab onto or hold onto, nervousness resorting to muscle memory.

"I was told he died in the wreck. Dollars to donuts he got the same sort of story." There's a pause as he looks in the direction of where his brother is being held, but then he looks back towards Peggy. "I'm not clear on what's what. Personally fuck my feelings," This time the profanity gets past his sense of propriety. "But as an agent, I gotta aim at why now? Why is this coming forward now and what parties might have put us on this course? Who serves to gain?"


As Clint goes back to speaking about work almost immediately, Peggy's eyes narrow upon him for a heartbeat or two. That wasn't exactly the reaction she expected, but shock can be like that. "…I would… put good money on them feeding him the same lie, yes. And… I'd put even better money on that man in there being your brother, Clint." Peggy murmurs, not quite willing to dive straight back into work herself. She almost wants to give the man a few minutes. She sighs quietly, "Why now? It's not like the FBI just waved up this information… I literally talked to the one and only person I still trust over there, and I didn't even imply we had the man, just that we were looking into suspicions on him, just like they are… since he went rogue from them a few years back. So… there's no coming forward. He did a less than smooth hit and got caught." She gives both the men before her a half wry smile, "We do have effective, intelligent agents on occasion, you know?"


Steve exhales, almost in a chuckle at Peggy's last line. "Has he said anything in interrogation that adds to the explanation of who he is and how he ended up here?" Steve tilts his head, "Don't want to overstep my bounds, Director, but maybe we let Agent Barton meet…Barton. At the least it might end up getting the perp to spill something."


Clint's jaw sets, and really it does go against what Peggy's known of the man. The hot head who runs by the seat of his pants normally leaping into the fray with a crazed abandon… yeah this isn't the guy in front of her. He looks between them and they can almost see the different thoughts flitting through Barton's eyes, as if he were having his own dialogue right now that they weren't privy to.

He stops for a moment, closes his mouth and chews the air for a second before he murmurs. "Boss. Yeah. He could well be. I think he is. Other bits. Pieces. Small turns of phrase and micro expressions and crap like that. Thing is…"

He looks to the side again towards where Barney would be if Clint had x-ray vision. Then he looks back, "I gotta make sure I ain't a hindrance. Also yeah we share blood, and yeah… you know I'd love it if all that stuff didn't fall through and I had a great relationship with my brother and a life. But… that guy in there and me. We may be family but… a good chunk of time not being family too. If you get me."


It's not Agent Barton at *all*. Peggy is fairly certain it's shock, but sometimes shock was healthy. It let people think more clearly through the most messy of situations and, well, this certainly is messy. Especially with what Peggy is saying next. She gives Steve an agreeing nod, "I…do think you should speak to him, Agent Barton. See… what you can get out of him." She exhales quietly through her nose, debating on if she should say her next words, but it seems she settles on it. "…and no. That is not the boy you grew up with. That man in there is a cold blooded killer. He murdered an activist just last week and one of our very agents Sunday night." Well, he and Domino. "I realize we all have blood on our hands, but… a lot of the blood on his hands is innocent. If he didn't have a whole slew of information on the FBI that we need… he'd probably be gone already." Her lips press into a thin, thoughtful line as she stares at the door. "But he has it. And… in truth… we could use him, in more than one way. So, what we have to figure out over the next few days is…if he's a dog that can learn to stay on a least, or he's too much a danger to the world for us to even do that."


Steve is torn between his own feelings about family and how he misses his mother, father, and his surrogate brother Bucky. He can definitely feel for what it's like to have the pain of family ripped apart. That being said, keeping the killer in their midst hits Steve on a gut level and his face probably shows it. SHIELD isn't something he could ever force his opinion on, especially now that he stepped down. This is Peg's calls, and whether or not he likes it doesn't really matter.


"Boss," Clint looks over at Steve, then back towards Peggy, as if trying to gauge the situation. "If you want me in there talking to him, I'll do that. If you want me to tell him what I think… I'll do that. But I gotta tell you…"

He pauses for a moment, rubbing the back of his neck awkwardly as he pushes off of the wall and murmurs. "That I have no idea how this could possibly go, that we'll get anything that… I dunno. I think I got it together, but you're gonna need to suspect my judgement. Maybe he'll be able to play me, get me to do what he wants. I mean 'course I don't think so. But damn. My head ain't in the best place right now."

Now that should be damnably scary, considering that this has become Meta-Hawkeye who is actually self-aware? Crazy.


Steve might not be saying anything, but she knows that look. That slight flicker in his eyes, the tension just at the side of his mouth. She's seen it before, particularly when they started Operation Paperclip. But, SHIELD couldn't always do clean things. Always what they considered to be the *right* thing, for the greater good, but not always clean. She doesn't quite meet his eyes. Steve was one of the few people in the world that could still make her feel guilty about these decisions.

So, keeping with Clint it is. She gives him a slightly breathy little laugh, shaking her head quietly, "…Barton, how in the world do you become *more* self aware when you are in shock than when I'm actually asking you to go off on life or death missions? I…appreciate your honesty. And trust me, you won't be the ONLY one making the call on this. But, if you are his brother… I think you are the most likely one to get anything honest out of him. And you will be able to manipulate him probably just as much as he can you. So… I'll give you back up, yes. But I want your eyes on this situation first. I want your honest opinion on if he can be redeemed… at all. Because if *you* decide he's not saveable… then I'm not even going to bother bringing anyone else in. So…go in there and talk to your bloody brother, alright?"


Steve gives Peggy that look and she looks to him and she knows what he's thinking and he knows that she knows what he's thinking. But his eyes just turn to the door, letting Clint walk into this as he hopes for the best.


Holding his hands up, "Alright, alright." Clint turns and starts to move down the hallway towards the holding cell. He adjusts the hang of his jacket and sweeps a hand over his lapel in a practiced gesture. Over his shoulder he murmurs, "But if he says some sort of trigger word and I end up going all 'Hail Hydra' I'm blaming you, boss."

And with that said he pauses near the door, takes a deep breath… and then steps through.


"If he says some sort of trigger word, we'll have you both unconscious before you know what's going on." Peggy doesn't seem to be bragging about that either. What sort of things DOES she have installed in these air filters? Who knew. She then looks back to Steve, leaning her shoulders against the wall of the hall even as Clint goes into the cell there. She's not quite leaving them alone. She'll watch from the two way mirror right outside. It was habit, now. Especially with one of her best agents so emotionally compromised.

"…I know what you're thinking, Steve. But… if this man actually… can be redeemed. If he can be of use… well…" She exhales quietly, pushing one hand back through her graying here. "We've all already lost too much. Maybe we can actually give someone around here a decently happy ending. For once."


There's a slight shake of his head as the eyebrows go up and the voice is plain. "I didn't say anything." Technically true, as are all of the things that Steve says, but sometimes it's the stuff he doesn't say that matters more.


No sleep again, it seems. It's a pretty common trick on how to break someone down. Interrogation 101. Make the subject overtired; each time it looks like they'll doze off, do something to keep them awake, whether it's noise, or a toss of water from a bucket. Anything will do.

Barney's been brought out once again from his holding cell to interrogation, and he's looking less 'good' as time goes on. Beard is scruffier, hair hangs down, bruises on his face have gone from red to purple to purplish-green before there is any hint of fading. Broken nose. Cut up lip. But those blue eyes are clear and keen.

He's back in his chair, left hand handcuffed to the table, just as before.. and just like before?



Barney is playing with the length of his own 'leash', pulling the metal idly.

It's when the door opens that Barney slowly turns his attention around to the archer, brows rising. "You 'gain." It's a statement. "Did'ja at least bring the coffee this time?"


Clint's approach doesn't appear in any textbooks. There's nothing that says 'tactics' in his entrance as he walks in looking a bit on edge and his eyes flitting towards Barney's and then over the man's form denoting small aspects of him and considering.

At first he doesn't answer the man, instead he walks across the way and then pulls out the chair opposite of him. There's a scrape of metal on cement then Hawkeye sits down and folds his arms over his chest. The next moment he cocks his head to the side and starts the dialogue not with a question, but with an answer.

"The woman you were with is alive. She's fine. A little aggity in the noggin, but I think she was that way already since she spent time with you willingly."


Barney's tired. Physically, and wary. Still so very on his guard, even if his body would be a couple of key seconds behind any order given by his brain, however.

Eyes narrow, watching the man before he barks a laugh and sets his free hand on the table with a *thump* as he leans forward. "I suppose, then, you all told her about what a horrible human being I am and that she sold me out, so I might as well come clean." He's not entirely certain whether or not to believe what's being said…

"She's a 'medic. I don't think most of them are right in the head."


"Dunno," Clint says as he looks at Barney. "I should have checked on that shouldn't I?" Curious approach that the other agent is taking, admitting a truth to a previous lie, and now admitting ignorance. "Thing is, even if she did… well we always want more, don't we?"

Then slowly Hawkeye leans forwards, chair creaking from the shifting weight. He holds up a hand as if to stay Barney's words so he can add some of his own. "When I was a kid. Things were pretty good. So I was told. I was too young to remember it all. But hey. You gotta trust someone sometimes when they tell you about your past, right?"

Again he holds up that hand as if to ask Barney to just hold on a second, even after this the second rhetorical question he asks. "I had this impression of my pop being a bastard. Since, well, it was his fault right? He was drinking. I was told. Did a lot of that apparently, beat my mom. I was told."

His brow furrows, "Thing is. I didn't have much of a memory of it, cuz there was this big car wreck. Yeah, lots of kids get into car wrecks. Lotsa kids lose their brother in those wrecks. And their mom. And their dad. At least. I was told."


Barney stares at Clint for a long moment at that first part before he looks away and shakes his head. "Should'a thought of it first. Losin' my edge." He says that as if he simply mocks himself rather than actually believing it. So, when Clint starts again, talking, filling up the room, Barney sits stock still, listening.

"Who told you all of that crap?" It's an empty sound, the words that come. "Happens every day." He isn't looking at Clint yet, but rather, staring at that glass that divides the room. "If that happened to you, my guess is you were either too young to remember it or some shrink did some mumbo-jumbo to your head."

Now Barney looks at the other man, his expression blanked. "Don't trust anyone. Only person that can help you is yourself." Sage words from an 8 year old as the boys hid out in a barn.

"SHIELD have their own psyop now?"


"My name's Clinton. Clinton Barton." Hawkeye says that simply, levelly. He then watches what effect it might have on Barney, looking for all those subtle micro-triggers and shifts of expression. No he's not exactly an expert on such, but his life has taught him much of it. "But yeah, you might be right. Probably a bunch of bullshit and somebody in a higher paygrade has an angle they're playing."

That said he shifts his weight slightly to the side, crossing his leg over his knee and his eyes still level upon Barney. "I don't suppose you wanna bust into tears now and tell me your life story."


"You're a goddamned liar." Whether it's due to fatigue or the fact that Barney just can't find his way to actually believe the words that come out of his mouth, they simply don't ring true. "It's not hard, searching my name. Hell, your director's got it. Probably made a few phone calls, made a few promises that Mr. Carter wouldn't like to people in the Bureau in order to see behind the curtain." Track his history back, fill in piece here, piece there… hospital birth records…


Barney barks a laugh at that last bit, and he straightens out as he sits there, handcuffed to the table. The laugh twists to an almost feral smile and he drops his voice, "If you are my long lost baby brother, and I'm not buyin' it.. then how 'bout you and I go waltzing outta here. You and me. Like old times."


And for some reason this doesn't feel like an interrogation anymore. For some reason it's just two people talking at each other and for Clint's part he has no real agenda at the moment. Then again that is sort of what Peggy wanted. This is an experiment of throwing a rock into the puddle and seeing what shapes the ripples take.

"Because we're different people now, Barn." For some reason he doesn't care about buying into it because his outlook right now is distinctly along the lines of 'fuck it', "We've lived different lives." There's a moment where Clint looks towards the window, then he laughs a bit as he turns back. "Though weirdly enough maybe not that different."


Barney stares long and hard at the man on the other side of the table, blinks and quirks his head to the side as if listening to something that only he can hear. Perhaps, though, he's not quite staring at Clint as much as through him, into the middle distance. There it is… echoes of when they were kids. 'Barn'.

"Goddammit…" is whispered. "God fucking dammit…"


"It can't be."

Barney shakes his head slowly, and his jaw shifts, and it looks as if something is going through that head of his, whipping past those eyes of his. In the next second, he's sitting back in his seat, his gaze fully on his brother and shaking his head, says levelly, "I don't know what sort of game you're playing, but try it with someone else."

Don't get mixed up with me… not now, Clint. Stay away.


"Alright." Clint's voice lifts as he says that, but maybe he's not saying that to Barney. Again he repeats it, "Alright." He pushes himself up off the chair, his hands flat on the table with the window between them. "I hope you've seen enough." Maybe that's for Barney, maybe that's for Peggy. But for now he shakes his head and he turns, pushing the chair out of the way and carelessly knocking it on its side with a clang.

The next moment he's making towards the door even as in some ways the room feels like it's shrinking around him, becoming more and more difficult to breathe. But then… he's out.


Barney watches as Clint gets up, his expression turning impassive. It's for his own good. If this really is his baby brother? He's better off not getting caught up in his stuff.

Or maybe he just sent away one of less than a handful of people in his life.

Still, Barney doesn't tell him to stop, that he's changed his mind and wants to talk for a couple of minutes, at the very least. No.. instead Barney rocks his head back, closes his eyes for a moment before he shifts his attention back to the observation window and stares before calling out, "I think we're done here!"

I'm sorry, Clint.

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