2019-05-23 - Less Shiny More Scoundrel


Well, following up on a biokinetic chick he heard rumor about isn't the worst thing Barton could be doing when he's bored…

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Thu May 23 03:54:44 2019
Location: Midtown

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Theme Song



It's one of her more quiet nights. Her current target is out of town with his wife on a vacation, and since she doesn't doublebook she's got time on her hands. She's wandering midtown, in search of a late dinner, something to eat that she doesn't have to cook at home - she mentally puts going to the store tomorrow on a checklist.

Hair is in curls over the shoulders of her casual navy blouse, the current shade of strawberry blonde contrasting nicely. Jeans are well loved, just that right amount of faded as she saunters down the street as if she hasn't a care in the world other than choosing food and drink. She appears oblivious, but that's just the facade, eyes not the only one of her senses paying attention to things around her. She does wonder, sometimes, if that will ever fade if she gives up her current life for a 'normal' one.

What a night. Quiet ones in New York are hard to snag, but the ghost of what happened in this crux of bustling business still hangs around. Makes it a touch quieter. A touch more solemn than the other hardened areas of the city that doesn't sleep. People are just a bit more mindful here through the shared cultural knowledge of what happened. Makes being paranoid a little more commonplace, or at least easy to deal with.

Footsteps follow behind the blond woman. Break off. Rejoin. The constant comings and goings of various strides here and there. They all sound different as folks leave her vicinity and new souls enter. And certainly to a degree of extra sensory perception she has, there is a level of comfort in knowing who comes and goes by their own unique ailments.

Except. That. One.

One unique biokinetic 'fingerprint' has been following behind her at a 'safe' distance. They're—no. HE. He is good, but clearly is either unaware of her advantage, or underestimating it. Hoping the crowds will mask.

She will take her time, her steps barely slowing now and again, as she appears to ponder menus in windows. She turns, heading for the edge of the square, perhaps she's decided to go home and order take-out. Out of the glare of the lights and noise of crowd, she will slow her steps, and wait for her shadow to fall in along behind.

One hand will slide into her pocket, curling around a handle that's only cool to the touch for a moment before it feels like part of her, fitting inside that grip. If he does pop on in behind, or nearby, she will turn to face him, eyes alert and her expression grim. She will wait for him to notice she's aware of him, and take his measure to see if he's someone to really worry about.

Not an amateur, but absolutely tailing her, the shadow ebbs and flows in a seemingly natural way, while still keeping pace. Sometimes shifting sides of the street, or lagging back, but eventually catching back up again. Shadow. Indeed!

Number one tip off that whoever this person is is not a weird coincidence: unless he's a goddamn Jackie Chan-esque stunt man, there's some serious fuckery happening in his biofingerprint to offset the remarkably trained condition of his physical form. He works ooooout. At first it's only the faint suggestion of a half healed sprain in his wrist, a healing tear in his thigh muscle, old bruises, nearly gone. But the second tip off is that as she starts and stops more frequently, the Shadow decides that they can no longer maintain their non-chalant pace and plays the push, as they say. He nears, in a classic 'hand off' or 'intercept' move, and the myriad of broken bones, healed tears, punctures, organ knits, cartilage deterioration, impacts, pins, etc become evident.

Whoever this is, they've seen some shit.

When she turns, the shadow may seem…kinda lackluster. Another Generically Good Looking (tm) blond, white guy in worn jeans and a regrettably shabby white(?) tee shirt with a faded purple target dead center and a blue spring jacket, hands shoved in his pockets comes up to the window beside hers to check out the menu. those worn out sneakers have practically no tread on them, and his douchebag mirrored sunglasses are propped up in his ruffled hair. Peeeering at the menu, slightly bent at the waist. Essentially ignoring Thea as she stares him down.

"What do you suppose 'bibimbop' is?" He asks, presumably to her. "Wasn't that a song in the 90's from that band?" A hand slides out of his pocket, empty, and snaps a few times, trying to remember. "What was it? Bunch of blond kids."

"Bibimbap." Thea states, tone flat. "mmbop was Hansen. Bibimbap is mixed rice with meat and veg. Recipes Vary." There is tension in her shoulder, and her hand is pulling out of her pocket - hers isn't empty.

"So, mind telling me what you're following me for, guy with poor music trivia knowledge? You're not one of Avi's men, so.. what's the deal?" She's pretty blunt and to the point, tossing her head to keep her hair back as she turns away from the window to face him more directly.

"Hansen," the blond man whispers and snaps his fingers a final time, sliding his hand back home. "That's it. Gotta admit, 90's pop culture is a weird black hole for me." A broad shoulder shrugs mildly, relaxed and loose, his pulse barely wiggles as he straightens his poise and casually shifts to a sidelong vantage toward Thea. "If anything, I should be 'guy with poor ethnic food awareness'. But not all of us get the, uh, 'opportunity' to travel, eh?" a disarmingly easy smile on his face, as if it was completely normal conversation.

"The only 'Avi' I personally know makes an amazing pastrami sandwich and a hell of a shmear," he shrugs again, then pointedly looks down at the NOT empty hand. "You gonna use that? Because if you're not sold on it, I'd really like to skip that whole 'spy vs. spy' threat thing. It gets sorta exhausting."

"I don't know much about 90s pop culture, but.." Even she knows Hansen. There's a lift of her eyebrow at the mention of poor ethnic food awareness. "Travel, schmavel. You're in New York City. You can get Bibimbap, schwarma, real sushi, all in the space of a block."

Her hand tightens around the handle in her grip, though she doesn't release the blade. "I haven't decided yet, mostly because you haven't told me what you want. Spy vs. Spy? A fan of Mad Magazine, are you? Are you the black hat, or the white? I hate to break it to you, ace, but I'm not a spy." Not exactly, anyhow.

Clint cracks a slow smile, culminating into a quick flash of a grin which, by all appearances, seems genuine. He looks up, over Thea's head, less than concerned about the encounter as he seems to peer beyond, outward, toward the city. "Yeah. I guess I could pick up something more than pizza and hoagies every once in a while."

Dropping that grayed out blue gaze back to Thea, Clint tilts his head loosely to the side. "Kinda…gray hat? Not really a fan of labels." Then squints slightly at her with a smirk that says 'yeah…okay'. "You sure about that? Well in that case, I'm the pool lifeguard at the YMCA."

"You depress me. Places other than pizza and subs deliver, in this day and age. " Thea says, humor in her tone, but it is bone dry. "All of these foods and culture, and so much easier than jetlag."

She will give him a bland look. "I'm sure. I don't work for any intelligence agency." That is completely true. She only interrogates on private contract, after all, and those are usually not government sanctioned. "I'm not usually called on for that." She will let her eyes, a deep blue today, run down to his feet, and then back up. "Not with those sorts of prior injuries, you're not."

"I'd say that's the quickest I'd ever depressed a lady, but I'd be lying," clint shoots off from the hip from a relaxed smile. "I'm a simple guy. What can I say?"

"Intelligence Agency's an oxymoron," Clint shoots off again with a shift of his weight slightly as he's given the ol' elevator look. There's a beat after her observation. The faintest twitch of his mouth, upward. "Ye-eah." Impressed? Hard to tell. Not surprised, at least not entirely, as one should be. "I'm real clumsy. Tend to run outside the pool. It's a mess. Gotta wear wings and everything."

Switching gears abruptly from his self-depreciating humor. "For not working for an agency, someone sure seemed to think you had the chops for it. So what's stoppin' ya?" a worn sneaker slides on the pavement, pivoting away slightly. elbows hanging loose to his sides. "It's the dental plan, isn't it? Yeah. The deductable's pretty high on those things. They charge you for the root canal /and/ the crown as two separate claims, and it's like…c'mon. You can't get a root canal and /not/ get the crown."

"Well, you can only impress me from here, right? And somehow, I don't think you're as simple as you like to present yourself." Her shoulder will lean against the edge of the window, feeling brick through her sleeve.

"You should really slow down. Slick tile can be dangerous, and if you hit your head on the way in with no one around, there's no more chances to impress ladies or smile at them like you do."

"Oh? Someone does, do they? Truth is, I'm not sure I'm the sort an agency wants. I'm not so much a red tape sort of girl. So what agency sent you?"

"Hey, if you start at the bottom, there's nowhere to go but up," Barton logic, there! He does not move an inch further toward Thea, but the vague pivot creates a barrier between her and the general public. The illusion of privacy. Or the illusion of being trapped, for those of the ultra paranoid sort.

"I don't know. Nurses seem to really like me." Then, sotto voce, he whispers, his eyes widening with emphasis, "Double jello. Amazing." Giving the menu his attention once more while he talks. "Sent me? Hah. No," Barton suppresses a grin that churns in his eyes none the less. "I don't color within the lines too good so they don't send me on stuff like this. Gray hat, remember? Just some water cooler talk with a guy." An eagle somewhere over the Hudson screams at the mere allusion to the star spangled man. "Said you might have some interesting talents worth checking out. Especially considering I like to run around pools."

There's a flicker of her gaze away from Clint at the sound of the eagle screaming, before there's another brow lift at Clint. "Honey, if you're not holding out for better than double jello, for at least the pudding, you're selling yourself short. "

"See, that's exactly what you'd say to try and connect with me, after I mention I don't do the red tape stuff well." She seems amused. "Talents, I have. Especially for someone who seems to be as injury prone as you."

"I like jello," claims the simple man. "But if you think I'm pudding-worthy, I'm already climbing up from the bottom."

A hand pulled from his pocket, Clint scratches one scruffy cheek with a couple fingers in a very human gesture and shrugs again. "Eh, doesn't make it any less true. I don't do recruitment." Yeah, no shit, bionic man. "Recruitment's for people who like duping people into things. I'm not the damn national guard over here. I'm just having a conversation."

"Well, there's only been one man that's tried to even passively interest me in an agency. So you're either here to follow up, udge me to see if I'm interested, or to try and eliminate me. And since you seem to have some inkling of my talent advantage, the last doesn't seem likely."

She's silent a minute, looking up into his face. "So what, they send the likeable guy who doesn't like to play inside the lines, to come and make things seem more inviting to the self proclaimed one who doesn't always play nice?"

"Sounds about right," Clint nods to Thea's general summation of the situation while he reads over the menu, or makes a show of it, giving her all the time she'd like to look over his profile. very comfortable in the resulting silence, there isn't a single uptick in his heart rate, respiration or blood pressure. Cool as a cucumber.

"Yaknow, I'm starting to feel like you don't trust me." GEE! Clint's brows pop up and he glances sidelong to Thea. "'They' didn't 'send me'." Emphasizing once again. again, no flux in heart rate, pupil dialation, respitory. He's either a really good liar…

"I'm more the kinda guy who spends a lotta time on suspension—or I /would/ if I listened. I'm more likely to check something out if they tell me to leave it alone. That kinda thing?" He gestures, rolling his fingers around with a squint. "Not that anyone told me that, either. But if you're asking if I'm under orders to be here, you are /really/ off."

A bulky shoulder pops up again. "Someone mentioned you. Figured I'd check you out. See how much trouble I could get out of. But if you're bored, feel like maybe doing some good with yourself and could use the back up—which sounds like you might with such a classic bad-guy-name like 'Avi' on your case…eh." Clint trails off

"Have I been given a reason to trust you? I find men with adorable smiles generally shouldn't be trusted." But that is delivered with her own smile at him. "So, Cap Told you about me, and you got curious? That's what's up then? You want to see if I could be useful, help keep you out of traction? Or… some of your other issues?"

Her head tilts. "I don't much need backup, honestly. I keep waiting for Avi to do something dumb, but it's been a year. He might have been smarter than I thought." She will shrug. " So I'm guessing you didn't do any research. I'm not much of a white hat, myself." She will glance at the menu. "Do you actually want Bibimbap? Because since you mentioned it, now I want pizza."

"Adorable? Ouch," Clint winces, rubbing the back of his short shorn head. "Puppies are adorable. I was really hoping for something more rugged. Damn…" finishing out in a murmuration of crushed dreams and deflated ego.

"Eh, curious to see what he thought he saw. Now there's a recruiter for you. All shiny and…" he flutters a hand. "'Merica." Clint shakes his head vaguely, unbothered as the second person moves to closer proximity of the menu. "Read your file. Skimmed. Skimmed your file. Read worse. Read better. You ever try to read George R. R. Martin? Yawn. Just watch the show. But it's one of those things where the last chapter /kiiiinda/ felt like a redemption arc." Clint suggests loosely of Thea's file.

Mention of pizza has him looking up again. "Yeah? Finally. See, that's how I know you're not full blown baddy. Who hates pizza? I'll tell you who: the terrorists."

"Adorable is a good thing from a woman, ace." Thea leans up away from the wall. "Maybe I like adorable, color outside the lines. As you can see, all shiny and 'merica didn't enthuse me to run right out and join up." There's even a wink for him, there.

"I doubt you guys have everything, because I'm pretty sure shiny soldier would have stamped me down as not someone he wanted around." She says with a twist of a smirk and amusement filtering over her expression. "Redemption arcs generally mean someone feels like they need redemption." Which she doesn't.

Then she's laughing. "I've met terrorists. They actually like food just like everyone else." She will hitch a shoulder. "Come on. I'll buy the pie, and you tell me that I can actually do what I do, and that it'll have a purpose, or something."

Clint smiles, slow and true, his brain marinating in a brief bath of happy juice while he gets a point above America's Ass, though he downplays it—sort of. "Damnit. And nobody was around to hear that." Clicking his tongue afterward.
"Eh, he's not as critical as folks might imagine," Barton shrugs. "It's part of the whole 'believe in goodness of people' bit, I think? I don't know." Treating the subject of Steven Rogers rather casually. "You think so? I don't think so. Redemption arcs just needs two things. Someone who did something messed up," Clint holds a finger up. Then a second. "And then stops. Pretty simple, really.". And it's all just soooo simple, ain't it, Barton?

He slides along side Thea in a casual lope, sort of akin to a coyote or other mangy predator dog. Hands in his pockets. Stomach gnawing on him. "You had me at 'Pizza'. Damn. Maybe /you/ should be a recruiter. I'm already on board." The epiphany spoken tongue-in-cheek. "Sounds like you know the script already. You really want me to go through it?"

"I'll repeat it sometime, if he gets too shiny to handle." Thea casually promises, as she walks along, hand back in her pocket, letting go of her blade. "You're missing a part. The redeeming. They need to do something, or be doing something bad, stop, and do something that shows they've changed. That's the actual redemption. Otherwise they're just reformed." She shrugs, just a bit.

"Already on board? And I haven't even tried to use my charm on you yet. Cupboard love with you, is it? I feed you, you'll listen to me?" She gives a laugh and a real smile that brightens her face. "See, why couldn't I run into you first? You I can relate to. As for the script.. humor me a little. Tell me the things I won't want to know."

"Reformed. Redeemed. Is this going to be on the final?" Clint asks flippantly as he strides alongside, looking to Thea with a pop of his eyebrows, sass for days, but none of it with teeth as he smirks and faces forward again. "Fine. Maybe I'm reading into it too much. Or caught some foreshadowing. Was there a green light at the end of a pier somewhere I need to make up some crap reason for, while I'm at it?"

"I'm sorta like a stray dog— you feed me, I'll stick around," Clint banters effortlessly, smiling rather self-satisfied when his companion seems to laugh genuinely. "The things you don't wanna hear, eh? Well. There's paper work, but I usually just try to make one of the squints do it. The dental is actually pretty good, but the snack machine is full of weird stuff sometimes. And of course, there's the part where you don't always get final say." That's that gray cap chafing bit! "But. Sometimes the devil you know is better than the devil you don't."

"Reformed is just an alcoholic that's dry… for now. There's always that. Redeemed generally shucks old habits off, and won't go back. But either way.. eh." She shrugs, step light as she's amused.

"You're at least honest about the ulterior motives. Food is always a good motivator." Thea chuckles, a side-long look his way. "I'm not worried about the dental, really." She's got enough money to pay for the gold level sort of insurance, anyhow. "Weird things in the snack machine. Isn't that just a reason to have your own stash?" She asks, brows lifted and drawn together. "Working for anyone, you don't always get the final say, ace." A hand lifts, pulling curls back to hang behind her shoulder. "Sometimes the devil you don't know, is better than the one you do." She counter-points. "So, since there's apparently a file on me, I assume you know my.. name." Versus names. "Do I get yours?"

"I mean…old habits die hard," Clint tilts his head vaguely to the side, like a tried and true addict. "Sometimes it just takes some tweaking."

"Stash. Yes," Clint juts a finger out briefly in emphatic punctuation. "I think admin has a rotating schedule on who orders, and I swear there's a vegan super villain down there that fills it up with garbage just to spite me every three months." The plot thickens! Vegans. Nooooooo…

"Eh, sometimes, but how're you supposed to know until you know? Kinda defeats the whole thing as far as devils go. It's a reeeeeal exestential crisis." He pulls the vowel between his teeth in the most lazy way possible to undercut his own words. Clearly, not too worried about the devil he's backing right now. It's the last bit that has him pausing on the sidewalk, one foot sliding to meet the other as he turns to Thea. a half smile sketched up onto his lips, the broken blond beefcake holds an amicable hand out to her to shake. "Clint Barton."

"Some habits die hard. Some just need a kick out the door." Thea may or may not have her own addictions. There's a wrinkle of her nose. "eww Vegan snacks? I mean, I like apple chips as much as the next person, but if there's no actual chocolate, that should be a crime and that person should be banned from inflicting such torture on others."

She pauses, a chuckle as she realizes he's holding out his hand. Hers will meet it, a study of contrasts. She has strength in her hands, and the skin is soft except that she has calluses that suggest she works with them. "Thea Harman. As you already know, since we're here in the street talking. "

"Right!? What the hell is dehydrated jackfruit, and why is it where my sour cream and onion chips used to be?" Clint vents his mock frustrations.

His hands are far from soft when Thea takes the offered hand. He has worn calouses on all his fingers, palms and the heels of his hands. Hangnails and torn cuticles. He works hard, and consistently. That contact lights up a new depth of 'the fuq' internally, not the least of which is his lack of hearing, despite his perfect speech and seemingly ability to follow along just fine. No surgical implants, either. Well. Not for his hearing. Injuries as old as decades paint a new picture of a childhood full of physical trauma which simply never ended.

Clint smiles (five of those teeth aren't real), and his eyes dance (those are fine, oddly enough). "Yeah. I know. But it's good t'meet ya, anyway."

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