1963-12-07 - Keep in touch
Summary: Clint contacts his brother Barney to let him know he's left SHIELD, and how to contact him later if he needs to. In the middle of it all, the boys do get a chance to talk a little more about everything and nothing.
Related: Another one bites the dust
Theme Song: None
clint barney 

Usually drink figures a fairly prominent part in Clint's life. Not necessarily being imbibed, though in times past it would have been so. But no, sometimes Hawkeye wanders past the liquor store, buys a 40 and keeps it in the bag, or pours it out and just hangs onto it. Not that he doesn't drink, just more he doesn't let himself go down these particular lonely paths as much.

So when he left a message for Barney on the secure line just mentioning a place and a time, he at the least wasn't sloshed. The addy was an old neighborhood brownstone, a suitable place for a guy to sit outside with a paper bag of booze and not be given a second glance really. A few doors down some locals are doing a brisk business of a bit of doobage, and a few doors up there's a coterie of lovely young women who seem to be getting a lot of attention from driver's by.

So not the best neighborhood, but for Clint sitting out on that porch with the small dusting of snow falling on him, it fits his mood.


Barney has the street, has the building address. Dressed down, his haircut is growing out, though slowly. He's shaved, making sure the moustache and beard are intact, and dressed down, he's got a leather jacket on. Cigarette in between his lips, he looks up, counting the doors before he finds the one. This neighborhood doesn't worry the man overmuch; there's better, there's worse everywhere, and no doubt the brothers, individually, have lived in much, much worse.

The snow falls in light flakes, showing up in dark hair, and when he's out of the weather, it melts to droplets, looking like dew on spider webs. There, his brother sits on the stoop of the brownstone. On approach, Barney waves a hand before pulling his cigarette, but not before inhaling. "Heya, baby bro.." It's all he can do not to put the other man into a headlock. Their relationship isn't quite there yet. "You're lookin'.. moody."


"Nah," He denies the accusation, but not emphatically. Instead he sort of hands the bottle over towards Barney if he should want some, in this case there's actually still some Mad Dog at hand, though he hasn't drunk any. Maybe he's hoping some cop will wander by and hassle him about drinking on the stoop, then again probably not considering what's going on in the area even at this time of the morning.

"Steppin' away from the SHIELD thing," Passers by probably can't hear the capital letters there, and his accent does slur it a bit, still. "Told the boss that I'd lean on you to do right by them if needs be. So you got that hangin' over you." He says that easily enough, as if it were only natural for him to put that weight on the guy's shoulders.


Make that two teetotalers? Barney stubs out his cigarette on the stoop at the same time as he brushes off a spot to sit down, but he takes it anyway. His voice drops, "Don't touch the stuff. C'n see what it does to a man." Holidays in the former Barton house meant their father 'had more reason to drink', which in turn had the boys hiding under the hay back in the barn. As a result? The elder brother isn't big on holidays either. They're for other people.

He looks inside the paper bag and lifts it to give it a sniff. No fool he, though, and he lifts it to his lips for at least the appearance of imbibing. Been there, done that.

A sideways glance is given towards Clint and Barney nudges before handing the bottle back. "Told her what? No fucking way." And that is delivered in the not-so-nice, unenthusiastic way. "Hell.. I'm tryin' to figure a way I can get out without the whole damn country looking for my ass. At least with one, I can vacation to the islands without looking over my shoulder. Add one, and I might as well eat a bullet."

Barney smirks, though, in the thought of Clint leaving, and he reaches into his pocket for a cigarette and his book of matches. It's quick work, lighting and putting everything away, and in the next breath of smoke comes the question, "What made you walk?"


A nod is given as Clint looks at it and then sets it down on the stoop beside him. He leans forwards, resting his forearms on his knees and looking distantly across the street. Not really looking at any particular thing, more just the slow progress of the people up and down the street.

"Yeah, I used ta for a bit." He gestures at the bag absently, but then ignores it once it's set back down. He scrunches up one eye as he considers what the other man says and then says lightly. "Told her if I leaned on you, that you'd do right by me. But I figure if she puts the screws to you that my recommendation might allay some suspicions and give you more of an out."

There's a small shrug, "Use it however ya want." But he scratches the end of his nose and scowls. "As for why?"

He lets those last three words hang there as he looks over at Barney as if only just now seeing him or hearing him, but then he shakes his head and looks back across the street. "It was a bunch of things. Hard to explain."


Barney turns his head sideways to look at the kid who has grown up. He can't help feeling mad… no, pissed off that they'd been separated so long. Not that it might have made a difference in the long run? He pulls at his cigarette again and looks away, shaking his head. "Don't lay your cards on me. She threatened Hilde again, right in front of me, thinkin' I'd play nice and heel. She was mad 'cause I couldn't magically pull information outta my ass about Rebirth." His tones, his accent settles into an easy Midwestern twang, though at times it sounds distinctly 'Southern'. (Hints to where he's spent time?) "You don't do that shit. Not with me."

He gets into an easy lean, now, elbows resting on his thighs, hands clasped loosely, still holding that cigarette. Looking back at his brother, brows rise. "I got time, baby bro. Target doesn't eat his dinner for another three hours."


The archer flares his hands as if trying to let go of something that just doesn't fit right with the world. He shakes his head as he looks to the side away from Barney as he murmurs. "I can't say what's goin' on with the agency. Morale is low. Understandably with what's happened, and I think the boss is feeling things slip away. Above my rating to say anything, and the fuck do I know really?"

Clint's jaw sets for a moment as his thoughts travel down that line a bit longer, but without any words voiced for Barney's edification. Instead he just shakes his head. "But was more about me than anythin' else."

A small scoff comes from him as he looks aside, "I got in this habit." He makes a 'gun' with thumb and forefinger and casually takes a pot shot at an old Chevy that rolls down the street, as if noting something about the vehicle that he likes. "I kept setting these milestones for myself. After this one thing, after this other, after I do X or Y or Z, then I'd make a change. Then I'd take some action."

He spreads his hands again, "But that never happened. Just kept shifting the goal line even after a QB sneak and all. Think it was goin' back to my place and realizin' I hadn't been there for two months. Checkin' my bank account and realizin' I hadn't spent any money in years."


"Yeah yeah, it's not you, it's me," Barney mimics. "Get punched in the face enough and you wonder what it is you do wrong." He shakes his head. "I get it. One more run and I'm outta here. One more this, one more that.. if my desk gets moved one more time. If someone fucks with my papers one more time." It's probably not like that at all, only it's the way Barney is reading it.

"Sounds like it was time, then. I don't know nothing about the morale there. They all seem real happy in their own little spots. You probably see way more than I do, though. 'Round the coffee pot. I'm not allowed in to use the head, even."

Barney barks a soft laugh at the thought of all that money stored up, and lifting his cigarette again, draws another long breath, and lets it out in the smile that lingers behind. "What'cha gonna spend it on? Sure as hell ain't gonna be booze. Whores? Road trip? Whores and road trip? Maybe buy a nice little place in the Keys and retire? Disappear for awhile?"


Without hesitation, Clint replies, "1962 Norton." But really that's as far as he's thought. He's not exactly living his bucket list, at least not yet. Yet he lifts a rough calloused hand to rub at the back of his neck thoughtfully as his eyes distance with the thought. "Figured I'd ride cross country before gettin' a real job."

He looks sidelong towards Barney and adds with a grunt, "Maybe a stop in Tijuana if I'm feelin' my oats, but ehn." Hawkeye waves it all away with a hand, as if just dismissing it all out of hand. "Or I might just see what sorta nibbles I get if I throw my hat into a buncha rings."

But then his smile comes to the fore slightly as he adds, "Or heck, mebbe I'll join the circus."


Barney whistles through his teeth softly, the smile lingering. "I'd give you my bike, but I don't think it's ever really recovered from the bullet in the front." Long road trips are out. "Could always ride the rails." Clint Barton, hobo extraordinaire. "Chicks would dig you." He looks out onto the road, through the snow flakes. "Could always work with me, y'know. I'm still takin' gigs. Can't promise any career advancement, but we'd be workin' t'gether. You know?" Barney looks beside him again, his attention remaining.

He barks a laugh soon after, putting that cigarette to his lips again and blows out the breath amused in the thought. "William Tell, huh? Shooting apples off of the ladies. Hell.. I might just do that m'self."


Another chuff of sound comes from him as he murmurs, "Nah, had my eye on this one. If I get it you can take a look at it, no touching though." He gives a nod of assumed sternness but really it's not too genuine. Instead he waves a hand to the side and murmurs, "As for the whole hobo gig, nah. I like showers too much. You should try taking one." His lip curls a bit.

But then he furrows his brow. "Ya know, you could do better'n pullin' jobs like that. I mean, I used to. And if I had to I would again. But yer in a place ya might not have to yerself." Then he shrugs as if to say, that it's just a thought.


"I might breathe on it a little. Just because." Barney leans to knock shoulders with his brother before he stubs out his cigarette. It's smoked as far as it'll go, even without a filtered tip. He lets out the rest of the smoke and grins, "Too many showers… and that is, right there, the reason you don't get laid, little bro. Too clean." As if he'd know?

When the talk swings around again, the smile dips, the laughter from his eyes fades a little and he shakes his head. "No, man… it's what I got. It's it. Me. I got no patience for anything else. Hate people. Closer you get to someone, the easier it is for them to be used against you. Just imagine if I had people I worked with. Be fucking impossible. Nah.. I'm good. Just askin' you along is all. I know I don't have to watch your back any more'n you'd have to watch mine. We'd make a hell of a team."


"Barn," Clint looks away and a small frown mars his features as he murmurs. "That shit has a cost is all." He shakes his head then waves off his concern as unimportant by another calm turn of his hand. He takes a step down off the stoop as he adjusts the hang of his jacket, then slips the zipper onto the teeth and zips up with a metallic whir.

He turns around and starts to walk a bit backwards. "Anyways. I figured I should let you know what's what. The dead drops we had arranged won't work anymore. Contact numbers should still be good but chances are people might be listenin'. You need me." He finally points across the street towards another brownstone, but indicating a third story window. "I live up there. Sorta."


Clint has partially disconnected.


The snow is still coming down in small flakes, but eventually it'll fall heavier. Not about to let up yet, and some of it stays put while other bits melt. "Yeah, I know. If you're close, I can get to you." In case bad things come down. "Probably better you don't, though. You got it good. Good name. Good money." Barney pushes himself up from the stoop, dusting himself off before he picks up the bottle left behind.

"You throwin' a Christmas party this year? If so, I'll be expectin' an invite." Not that he really expects either, honestly. "If I need you, I'll come lookin'. But, offer's still there." He doesn't bother zipping his own jacket; he's used to it all. The bag is held by the top, grabbed and crinkled. "I'll be around."


"No parties, I'll get ya a card. Or something." But as he says that Clint stuffs his hands into the pockets of his jacket and starts to walk down the sidewalk, giving his back to his brother for now but at ease with what's passed, so much so that it shows in his gait.

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