1963-11-15 - Range safety
Summary: Barney does as he's told and teaches Liv something about how to shoot a gun.
Related: None
Theme Song: None
liv barney 

The city's skies are grey and have been spitting rain off and on for a good portion of the morning. The tourists are coming out more and more in force, driving slowly to see the sights or driving slowly simply because they're lost? Regardless, traffic is starting to grow worse and worse around the city.

Which is why it's so much easier to use the public transportation. Which Barney does.

The man is prompt, being where he said he would be at the appointed hour. Barney Barton is just a little off-center from the cart, but anyone who might be looking for him specifically will be able to find him. Cup of coffee in hand, the man looks like he finally got that shower even if his clothes are still a little wrinkled. He's still got the rough beard but at least it looks a little less unkempt. Blue eyes are very aware of the scenery around him, and when he sees Liv (who can't see her?), he approaches and hands her a second cup. It frees a hand, then, for him to light a cigarette, and they're on their way to the range.

While SHIELD has many things belowground, there are a couple of places that they have to share spaces with. One of them is a gunrange. The A1 Gun Store has a little something squirreled away in the back that really only those in 'law enforcement' can use. Thankfully Liv has the proper credentials that would allow the pair to enter, and as they do, Barney's keeping an eye out. This is just one step below going to a cop bar for him… and as far as he's concerned, it's a marked danger.

So, head down and he's minding his own business, and Liv's.


Liv had not been difficult to spot, but then again, she wasn't trying to be. It's easier to meet someone when they can actually find you, after all. Still, she was blending in a bit better today — jeans and a t-shirt under a leather jacket, still not remotely feminine but a damned sight better than the suit he'd met her in. The coffee was accepted with gratitude, and she'd fallen into step easily.

"It's still strange, being welcomed in places like this," Liv admits quietly, tucking her badge back into her jacket as she trails along behind Barney. "I'm so used to being on the outside and looking in."


If there's one thing Barney knows how to do is blend in and make like he belongs there. He's got the same sort of bravado as everyone else, the ability to banter and shmooze, and at the end of the day, any thought of him comes up a little hazy. He is everyone and no one. Getting into the range is easy with her badge and his explanations; after all, he's been some sort of 'law enforcement' before and all the buzz words have remained the same over the years.

Once on the range itself and the back tables where pistols and ammunition are laid out side by side, Barney's checking his own piece. He holds out his hand for hers, expectantly. "That right there is your ticket to everywhere," he nods at the badge. "Though, you're gonna have to lose it if you ever tail me." Barney's keeping his voice low, moving his pistol around as if he's explaining the parts and pieces of it.

"Don't forget what it's like on the outside. It'll make you a better agent."


When he extends his hand, Liv immediately offers her own pistol towards him, grip-first. "Honestly? I'm not expecting to need to tail you," she admits, offering him a wry smile. "I'm here to assist. That just strikes me as more productive than making you feel like shit," she notes in a low voice, her eyes keeping attentive watch of his hands as he gets his own pistol prepared.

"That said. Don't roll your eyes, but I am a good listener," Liv notes, already holding up a hand as if to apologize for offering in the first place.


Barney looks at Liv as she offers her brand of support before he checks the pistol, pulls the magazine and empties the round in the chamber. "Yeah, well.. 'preciate that." He sets it on the table before he does the same with his own; magazine drop, round in the chamber out. "Don't need ears because I'm not a talker." The way he says it sounds rehearsed, as if he's said it many times before. He does look as if he means it, though. Blue eyes look up at Liv for a long moment before, "I'm good."

That said, Barney picks up the pistol again and starts with the safety instructions. "Never, ever point it at something you don't want to destroy or kill. I don't care if you think it's unloaded. Never do it."


For a wonder, Liv seems entirely willing to accept 'I'm not a talker' as a valid answer. Imagine that. She just nods once, that same wry smile on her face as she continues to watch his hands. "That's fair. If you're ever less than good, let me know. Maybe there's some way I can help without you needing to blab." She shrugs a shoulder. "I hit pretty hard. It's solved a lot of problems over the years."

Hands clasped behind herself, Liv listens and watches attentively. At least she's taking his role as an instructor seriously. "Sensible. I have some experience with a bow, but I don't know how well that will translate."


A long look is given to the woman at her offer to 'help' before he exhales in a breath and shakes his head; whatever is in mind isn't spoken, however. Not a talker. Instead, Barney's working with the pistol. "Finger off the trigger. What is your strong hand? Hold it with your good hand, bring your magazine up, lock it in, pull the slide back, and you're hot." All during this, he's had the barrel facing downrange and 'safe'. In the next moment, he drops the magazine, pops the 'live' round out and then hands it all to Liv. "S'way you hand a gun over. That way you're both sure you're not gonna either kill yourself or your friend."

Barney doesn't miss the fact she's listening, which makes his life just a little easier. "All this safety stuff.. I guess always know your target. Don't draw unless you're willing to release. Too many people use this stuff to get peoples' attention and that's not right. You draw it and you better be able to use it. If you're not, don't carry it." Bows. He does chuckle, offering up, "I'll try and compare it with a bow, then." He apparently shoots, just like his brother, only.. not quite. He'd learned longbow/recurve, but much prefers the crossbow as his 'weapon of choice'.


When he asks about her strong hand, Liv raises her right without taking her eyes off of the pistol. By the time she accepts it back from him, she's even making sure to keep her index finger extended and away from the trigger despite having seen him unload it seconds before. She can be taught!

"Bit like drawing a sword, then," Liv muses in a self-deprecating voice, finally bringing her gaze back up to Barney's face. "If I could get away without carrying it, I would — but I can't deny that it's a better tool for the job than what I'm accustomed to. So. Better to learn."


"I dunno. I don't use swords." Barney had learned, years ago, but most of that is so rusty. He's not like others; he doesn't go to the gym to practice hours in a day. He doesn't go to archery ranges to get crossbow practice in. "Someone tried to teach me once, but there's not a lot of call for it." Familiar is good, however.

"Right. Right hand." His is left. "Hold it up, pointed downrange. Off hand slap the magazine in, release the slide and you're hot."

Barney waits for her to do that, going so far as to walking up to the line with her. Instead of letting her shoot, however, he gives different instructions: "Drop the magazine and clear the chamber. I wanna see you do it ten times before we push a slug downrange."


"Swords are definitely old school. Useful when vampires are running amok, though," Liv admits, flashing a quick smile before her expression becomes more businesslike.

Instructions are given and, with a nod, she follows them: the pistol comes up, aimed downrange, and in goes the magazine. The motion is a bit stiff and clumsy, still, but that is no doubt something to be expected.

Once she's to the line, Liv gives him an expectant look until the next set of instructions come. And when they do, there is no argument: she simply gives a crisp nod, looks down, and begins to go through the motions. The repetition helps the motions become smoother, but she's not worrying about speeding up.

Getting familiar comes first. Getting fast comes later.


"I thought stakes were good for that."

It's the familiarity that Barney is looking for first. He's quick to offer tips, tricks to it all in order to make it all smoother. He watches her motions, her body language as to how she holds the weapon. Some shy away from it, some treat it like a tool and others grow to love it. He's just looking for 'tool level'.

When Barney is satisfied that she's not going to hurt herself or others, he steps forward again, and adds, "Okay, next time you cycle it, I want you to aim downrange and shoot once. I don't want you spending a lot of time on aiming. Like a bow.. bring it up, get your sightpicture, and you'll have to shoot a few times before you know where you have to aim in order to get your best shot. Like a bow, could be high, could be low, could be one side or the other." He smiles before he adds, "All depends on your release. Don't pluck. Keep it nice and straight and level."


"Stakes are better for it," Liv admits. "I did have to get a friend to coat my blade. Still. Worked out well enough."

One thing is definitely clear from Liv's bearing: she is not remotely uncomfortable around weapons, even ones that are unfamiliar to her. The advice is all taken graciously and each tip is given a fair try, trying things out to see what helps and what just makes her life more complicated. Keep what works, set aside what doesn't, make adjustments.

As instructed, once Liv has reloaded the pistol, she brings it up. Arms straight, supporting her grip with her other hand to keep it steady. She's seen guns used, if nothing else. "Let me know if my stance is garbage. It probably is," she notes, grinning to herself as she sights down the barrel.

Liv does not flinch when she squeezes the trigger, so at least there's that. It's an unfamiliar tool and her aim is, predictably, bad. She lowers the gun and puffs up her cheeks in mild frustration.


"With every shot now, I want you to drop the magazine, clear the chamber and then reload, shoot." Barney has his in hand, and to show her, does exactly that. He brings the weapon up, aims it downrange, finger off the trigger. He drops the magazine, pulls the slide back and catches the single round that comes popping out. He sets that round down and then pushes the magazine home again, closes the slide, and in the next second, pulls the trigger. Once, twice, three times he goes through the routine until he has no more bullets in his magazine and the slide locks back. "I'm not worried about your stance because you're a damned agent. You need to be able to shoot and hit your target even if you're sitting down having a picnic."


The note about her stance makes Liv laugh. "That's a fair point. Most of my instructors back home were just very…" She searches for the right word even as she watches him go through the new routine, her brow slightly creased. "…traditional, I suppose."

Once Barney is actually finished going through his magazine, Liv turns her attention back to her own. Load, aim, fire, drop, clear. It takes a couple of repetitions before she manages to actually fall into a rhythm, and once she finds it, she does a good job of keeping it steady. Her aim is even improving a bit as she gets a handle on how the gun fires.

She's not making any bullseyes yet, but she's hitting the damned target, so things are moving in a position direction.


"Running, sitting, lying down, huddling behind cover. If you're lucky, you'll fire a gun in the 'proper stance'. Once." Barney's tones allow him to put a quote around it. He watches as she goes through, and it's getting easier, or at the very least, more familiar for her. He's got his carry piece open and empty. Turning around, he goes for a brick of ammunition, and brings it up.

"Okay. Reload and do it all again. Then, I'll let you quit. You're getting a sight picture, and you're getting a feel for how it feels when you pull the trigger. Right now, you're safe enough that you won't kill anyone accidently." Probably won't kill anyone on purpose with it either unless it's a slow, agonizing death. "Any questions?"


Liv takes instruction well. Once she's through her initial magazine, she glances over just in time to see Barney returning with a fresh one. She's already offering a hand to accept it. Repetition doesn't bother her, and she does not hesitate to fall right back into it.

"No questions about how this works, at least," Liv finally replies, glancing over at him. "It's rather straightforward. Thank you, incidentally." She offers him a small grin. "Just let me know when you'd like to do this again. I'll buy the coffee next time."


For each time the door behind them opens and closes, bringing one in and letting another out, Barney's looking and watching everything that goes on in that little room. The carry piece is probably not the only weapon he's got on him. "That's all it is. You checked out for range safety, for safety in handling a weapon and you know how to fire downrange. You don't need to learn a stance because at the best of times, you're not gonna be in it so there's no sense in teaching your body that you can only stand one way, two ways in order to hit your target. Outside of this range, you're not gonna be shooting at paper." It'll be people. Flesh and blood.

"You think you could pull the trigger on someone?"


To her credit, Liv does not laugh at the question. But she also does not blink at all when he asks it. "Yes." She takes a moment to ensure the pistol is well and truly empty before looking fully at Barney, and even so — finger away from the trigger, aimed down at the floor. "I have killed before, Barton. I'm not squeamish, nor one to take it lightly," she notes gently. "Don't worry."


Barney watches her for a long moment before he nods and puts his pistol back together, loading the magazine and releasing the slide so it *clanks* forward. The safety is turned on, which reminds Barney, "The safety. Here. Always have that on." Damn.. he'd forgotten about it. "The safety is that little thing right there," and he points with a finger, "that locks the trigger. Never ever rely on it."

Now Barney can put his own carry piece back in its holster and it's snapped in place. Soon enough, he wears it as if it's not even there. "Your first is always the hardest.. but good to know."

Barney looks like he's good to go; he's packed up; all that is left is to close up the brick, hand it over to Liv, and he's basically free for the rest of the night. "Tell Carter I taught you, okay? Or she'll send out the dogs." It was by her order, after all. To give him something to do to contribute 'positively'.


Ah, so that's what that little switch is. As soon as she knows what it is, Liv thumbs it into place. "I'll let her know," she promises, offering him a reassuring grin. "Honest to God, however she might be framing things for you, I'm not here to make your life more difficult. You've got a case, I'm here to try and help you crack it."

Liv turns to start getting her own piece squared away, and those motions are clearly going to take some practice, too. All in good time. "So. Whenever you're ready to bring me up to speed on that, you know where to find me. We'll figure out how best I can be put to use, and go from there."


"It's not my case," Barney mutters. "It's Ava's. She's the front and I'm the guy that she points in a direction and says 'go'." Kill. "The one time I had intel and acted on it, I ended up flat on my back, shot up because someone else had the bright idea to go, too." A shrug lifts his shoulders and he studies her as she's getting organized. "And that other thing?" He shakes his head, "Most of the people I'm talkin' to don't exist. I can't give what I don't got." More info on Bucky Barnes.

"At least I got a roof over my head now, though."


"That's a positive."

Liv takes a moment to get her jacket settled around her shoulders again before she tucks her hands back into her pockets. Gun, what gun? The weapon itself is unfamiliar, but going about her business with a deadly instrument on her person is not. "Well. I can't teach you how to be bulletproof, but the next time you have intel to act on, consider giving me a ring. Happy to soak up a few shots for you so that you can get yours off." She speaks about it almost like she's talking about an ordinary outing to a beach or something, not like she's literally offering to have people shoot her in his place.


Barney looks at Liv and chuffs a soft breath in a quiet laugh. "Agent, I know.. I do, I get it.. I…" He exhales in a breath and nods, "If I get something that I think you can help with, I'll call. But I don't work in teams. I don't work in groups. 'S'just me. Even if I had a partner that night, I still woulda been shot. It's just the way it went down." He just wouldn't have had to walk with a collapsed lung and leave a shot motorcycle behind, etc..

"But yeah.. thanks." And Barney knows full well that while Liv is offering, Peggy is right behind her, ordering. It's not a suggestion even if Liv is making it sound like it is. "You won't be offended if I don't invite you back to my place for coffee, right?"


"No, no, I do understand," Liv says with a laugh, holding up both of her hands. "I'm not asking you to treat me like a partner or anything so coordinated as that. You've lasted this long on your own, after all. Just… consider me another weapon in your arsenal," she notes with an almost impish smile. "You can do your thing, I will do mine, and both our lives will be easier for it."

After a pause, Liv adds, "And if you ended up flat on your back again, I do know an excellent healer who does not ask questions. He forgets the answers anyway. You might like him."

She gives an airy, dismissive wave of one hand. "No offense taken. Shout if you need anything, and in the meantime, I'll make sure Peggy knows you did what you were asked."


Make note that the anti-social Barney doesn't offer the same in terms of service. He's got more than enough on his plate as it is, and of course more than half of it is 'of his own making' after a point. Ish.

The offere for a healer gains a frown, and there's a shadow that crosses his face before he's taking those first steps towards the door and freedom. He's been lucky so far, but his luck always extends only so far before it turns to the worse. "Yeah.. I'm kinda between healers right now," is murmured.

Barney looks back before he does depart, "Thanks. I'll be seein' ya." And, he slips out. Time to go home!

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