2019-08-31 - Barton and May have a chat


May summons Barton to talk with him about the conversation she'd had with Simmons. They come to an agreement of sorts.

Log Info:

Storyteller: {$storyteller}
Date: 08/31/2019
Location: Triskelion

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Long hours and Clint Barton are not strangers to each other. The Friday night often drags on into the Saturday and then after a shower and some food it can lead even longer. Usually it happens when theres a good lead that needs running down. Other times it's when a mission is on the ready line and deployment could be at any moment. This time, for Agent Barton it's the former as he's been working the phones and comm systems, angling those in his network to hopefully produce him some fresh intel.
If only to have something dedicatedly clean to work with.
A rap is heard at his door, "The hell are you doing here, Barton?" Agent Nickels pokes his head in, grimacing at the state of the man's desk which apparently has a full submarine sandwich set out in the middle of it.
"Working." A beat, "Eating. What do you want?"
"May needs you."
"Right, right." Clint, for a brief moment considers his untouched spicy Italian and frowns to himself. Nickels has already made his way out and off. So he decides one quick bite. A chomp, and then wiping his lips with his forearm is all he needs before he starts the long walk.
A few minutes later and there's a knock at her door, double tap rap of knuckles before he sticks his head in. "Hey."

May looks at Clint when he arrives, and nods for him to come in. Her own office has the spartan cleanliness of the 'no one lives here' sort, except for the thermos on the far edge of her desk and the recently-emptied generic mug sitting a bit closer at hand.

"I wanted to talk with you about your discussion with Simmons." She gestures to the only other chair in the office. "I've heard her side of it, now I want to hear yours."

The archer gives a nod of agreement and steps inside the doorway. He takes an instant to look at the surroundings before he allows himself further in. Across the room he moves and takes a seat in the other chair, settling into it with only a little bit of a slouch but enough to let him cross his leg over his knee. Arms fold over his chest and he nods, "It's all in the brief, but what do you want to know?"

"I want to know which opinions our thoughts led you to approach Simmons the way you did." She holds up a hand to stave off any complaints or protests, her expression and tone of voice still as tightly controlled as always. "There is no incrimination happening in either direction. I simply want to know your thoughts going into that conversation and then afterwards."

"Kid gloves, May." Clint says and tilts his head to the side. "Best option to implement in a five minute window to give her the upfront truth of the thing as well as the severity of it." He lifts a finger to scritch at his chin thoughtfully, frowning as he looks to the side and clearly not pleased with the situation, but not regretting it either.
"Had to first verify the situation. Make sure the site was controlled, secure her research for the intel break. And then enact it." He shakes his head with a frowns, "I think she mighta gotten a little too used to being a sort of figure of authority in her lab that the intelligence stuff fell by the wayside. When with the nature of what we're doing it sorta has to trump it. So that was my way to tell her it was time to 'come to Jesus' and that this was serious."
He holds up a hand, "If you review the tape I think you'll see each point demonstrably."

"I did review it. And your handling of the situation was about as I would have done it." There's an ominous 'but' hanging there unsaid. "Did you stop to consider how your actions would look to Simmons considering you'd been mentally compromised less than a week before?" Yes, she has those reports as well, including the near-miss of a bar brawl when a couple of agents had to retrieve the archer after fleeing Medical.

"Why did you leave Medical before being released?" It's not like it's any sort of shockingly unusual behavior, but she would like to know his actual reasons for this most recent escape.

Again looking thoughtful upwards, "I felt I had to take that gamble. Other option was to use some form of trickery or misdirection and bring it up in a way that she could dismiss as suggestion or idle thought. This way, I mighta burned a bridge, and she might not invite me to her bridal shower for her and London. But I figure doing it this way then it creates the best situation where we'll get the most genuine results."
A small shrug is given, "And honestly, May…" His smile is a little wry but a hint edged as he murmurs, "You've seen my psych reports. What I was dealin' with wasn't anything different than what I've dealt with for the last twenty years."
He holds up a hand, "Though one note. This is why Nat and I used to make such a good team. She worked up on all the spycraft and the subtle bits, and then once we had all the intel I was called in."
His features twist, "I hate dealing with this spook double agent crap. But the way these ops have been handled… it had to be done."

May doesn't seem truly convinced, but she nods anyway. "I've already spoken with Simmons. She agreed to extra compartmentalization to confirm London's true affiliations. But. We are not sending him to completely different target locations. Instead, any team missions involving London and Simmons going forward will have two separate pick up locations. He will no longer be the person pulling computerized intel from the target locations, and he will be assigned to the exit point with the portion of the team that will not be carrying the intel. And, I plan to be part of these missions. And if I can't be there, Harper is in charge."

Go ahead, argue.

"That seems a bit foolish. If he's getting intel on target locations and passing it on then that'll still end up with preparations made and dead agents." He lifts a hand, "But, hey, it's on your shoulders now." Since he did his side of the job, though his head tilts the other way. "Am I to spend more time on Avengers duty? With the way things are being run m'not sure if you guys need me beyond as a heavy to be brought in."

"Every last thing we do is a risk. But I can't countermand the orders that put London working alongside Simmons. All I can do is try to minimize those risks as much as possible. This is the best compromise I can figure out, because if I have to throw that consultant into the brig to find out if he's colluding with AIM, then I also have to throw you back into Medical and you won't be allowed out again until you're fully cleared of mental instability."

Rising from his seat, Clint gives a small shrug, "Hey if you have intel that changes things, more power to you." He rolls a shoulder and smiles a bit, "And if this is a brass decision then we've done what we can. I hope you're making the right call. Sign me up for whatever op."
He waves a hand to the side and then stuffs it in his pocket, "Think it's good we addressed this. But I worry it's not addressed enough. And if it saves agents, then yeah May. Lock me up if it puts someone we're not sure about somewhere they can't do any harm until we find out."

May nods, staying seated at her desk, though she does reach for the thermos to refill her cup. "This will be addressed to everyone's satisfaction, one way or another."

And if the archer protests when Security shows up to escort him to Medical, she will remind him of this conversation. "Thank you for your time, Agent Barton. I'll let you go back to your Italian hoagie."

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