2019-10-03 - Awkward Meetings


Clint and Bobbi have a moment.

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Thu Oct 3 00:47:27 2019
Location: Triskelion

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Theme Song



In the offices of one Agent Barton and one Agent Donaldson, the two agents sit at their respective desks with the monitors flickering before them. Each of them paying attention to the screen, each of them with hands on their keyboards casually working through their current task of the moment. For Donaldson that's his most recent after-action report. For Clint… that's this round of Sudoku.
"Not really a bit deal is it?" Clint asks.
"Nope, not a big deal at all," Donaldson responds.
"Just going down there to check for my property, right."
"Anyone would do the same."
"Just a leisurely stroll, poke my head in. Normal to say hey to the ex-wife."
"Perfectly normal."
"And so what if I go there when she might be out in the field. Heck we're all often enough in the field."
"Nine times out of ten."
"Gonna go down there, look for my bow, head on back. And hey if it's there."
"If it's there…"
"Then, totally alright for me to take it back with me."
"It's your bow, ain't it?"
And despite this back and forth, Clint sits there for a few moments longer staring at his screen, pushing a hand awkwardly through his blond hair and crinkling his nose a little. Then he announces, "Alright then. I'm gonna go do it."
"Thought you were already gone, Barton."
With that, the archer gets to his feet and heads on out the door, pausing for a moment to look back in and rests a hand on the doorjam. "You need anything while I'm up?"
"Get outta here, Barton!" Donaldson casually grabs one of the handful of Hawkeye action figures sitting on the desk and throws it.
Clint ducks back out.
It's done the hall, down the stairs a few turns. Across the way to provisional office accommodations. And as he walks along, it's clear he's a bit distracted. Some agents wander by, one salutes, one smiles and waves. Usually the archer is quick with recognition and greeting, but this time he just nods back with a murmured. "Heya."
It's then that he reaches the office… and then stands outside for a moment.

Outside certainly doesn't get him inside to find out of that bow is in there.

There's nothing but silence from the office, which might be a sign that Bobbi just isn't there. Out in the field, right? He could just pop in, look around. Pop back out.

Such a reasonable idea.

Really, it's pretty reasonable. But the forms must be observed. Clint first raps his knuckles on the door. A few quick knocks. He waits. No answer. A few more moments and then he takes a deep breath and then says to himself, "This is crazy."
But then he's opening the door and slipping into the room. If the light's off he'll flip it on, and then he'll lift his voice as he looks around the place. "Hey. Bob-Agent Morse?" Clint steps a few more steps further in, brow furrowed as he gives the place a once over.
A deep breath is taken as he starts to walk around the room with that slightly over-exaggerated casual step, his bright blue eyes flitting one way then the other. "Agent Morse?" He asks again.
"Was just… you know. Checking in." For a moment he pauses by the desk and considers some of the items on it, running a finger along the line of an errant pen and then crinkles his nose again.
"Seeing how you're settling in." The dirty liar.

It's a temporary office, but there are already still signs of Bobbi all around. There's a long black coat hung up on a slightly crooked coat rack, an umbrella next to it in bright yellow. There are other things, too. A coffee mug he might remember, the small crack in it still there, but it's holding together and still declares her #1 Dad.

But no Bobbi. He has free reign of the office. There's probably a bow hiding somewhere. Maybe under the desk.

No answer. That means he's in the clear! And with that he starts to move around the office a little more animatedly. Time is of the essence of course. So he starts first with storage. The closet, the secure bin, the firearms cabinet, the hidden alcove that many of the rooms have with the secret panel. They're all checked, one after the other.
Clint grimaces a little as he walks around, moving from point to point, exploring, checking. Then he pauses for a brief moment at the coffee mug and gets a small smile. Just a touch of a fingertip to that crack, then he shakes his head and drops to the floor.
On his back now he slides under the desk and checks. She might have taped it under something… or maybe the ceiling… no. For a moment he just lies there reflecting and then murmurs to himself.
"If I were a bow where would I be?"

As an answer a pair of bright yellow heels step into view at the side of the desk, bare ankles up until the hem of her jeans is visible. It probably doesn't take him long to recognize those ankles.

He was once married to those ankles.

"If I were an arrow, where would I be?"

For a single instant Clint just visibly wilts there beneath the desk. His eyes close a little and he exhales a small breath of air in a soft, 'haaah' that exemplifies his feeling of exasperation. But then his eyes open and he puts on his best smile then sliiides out from under the desk like some desk-specialized repairman.
"Hey, Bobbi." First name use, clearly signifies that attempt at informality and friendliness even as he goes with the 'I'm so cute that you gotta forgive me' smile.
He grabs the edge of her desk and uses it to help himself up, dusting his hands off as he gains his feet. "Was hoping I'd run into you."

"Mmhmm." Bobbi replies as she pulls her phone from her pocket, setting it down on the desk, followed by her keys and a small plastic container of chocolate cake. "I'm sure." She gestures towards a chair, since that seems like a reasonable place to sit if he was really here to run into her.

And just to make sure that he can't make a dash for the door she moves towards it, grabbing the edge before she pushes it closed. With her eyes focused on him, and his expression, she very pointedly locks the door.

Inhaling through his teeth as if he had just picked up a hot pan, Clint knows he's in for it. His blue eyes slide over her, then over to the door… there's that click of the lock, then back to her. He exhales a small hint of a sigh but then says with a curve of a smile. "I mean, sure, I might have had a contingency plan or two."
Ever since that time in Barbados the words Contingency Plan might mean something else entirely for the two of them.
"But." He holds up a hand as if to stay her should she wander closer and perhaps be feeling a touch… violent. "I was kind hoping to see you."
Which might well hold the ring of truth, if not entirely… the /whole/ truth.

"Contingency plan?" Bobbi's brows lift upwards a moment, perhaps curious about what just his plan might have been. But she leaves it there, floating in the air. Waiting for him to further expand on it, or maybe run away.

Verbally, speaking. Since she's effectively blocked the easy exit. She starts to move towards him and doesn't appear to be having any kind of violence on her mind. No sudden movements, no scowling. Maybe she has something else on her mind. "So now you see me."

"Yeah, hey." As if that were the perfect answer to the fact that he sees her. Clint doesn't fall back, he stands there with that smile and takes a breath. Usually it's about this point when he levels with her, it's like an old dance between them. The coyness, the attempts at distraction, the feigned dissembling. And then him realizing that it's almost always the best to be open with her.
Even though they're both spies.
"Look, sorry. I just realized I left my bow behind." He tilts his head a little as she starts walking near. "And I figured maybe you had found it. And since I didn't see it up on ebay…" His lip twitches a little, "I figured you mighta been holding it for me. So I'd swing by here and…"
And he never finishes those words as she steps closer. His breath catches slightly, then he adds. "So… yeah."

With heels on she's almost as tall as he is, which might make things a little more awkward when she steps closer. A lot. Closer. Enough that it's very clear that if she tried to step forward any further she'd be trying to occupy the very same space that he is.

"So you just thought you'd swing by…" Bobbi lifts one hand up towards the side of his neck, leaning in towards him with a still very peaceful expression on her face. She still doesn't look angry, "And what? What were you planning to do when you got here, Clint?"

The only concession he makes to retreat is letting himself take a half-step back, resting the side of his leg against her desk as if the moment and the shared space was oh so casual, was oh so ordinary. His blue eyes hold her gaze, flitting back and forth between her own pale irises as he tries to read whatever whispers of thought might be hiding behind them.
His smile is warm, gently given as any number of shared memories of the past threaten to come forth and overlap this moment. "I…"
She lifts a hand up and for a small second his eyes close as they share a breath together, then when they open there's a look with a hint of sadness in his eyes as he murmurs. "I was just hoping to see you, Bobbi." Still he doesn't touch her. Instead he just confides in her some hint of his thoughts.
"The bow was just an excuse."
A rare moment of honesty, a brief instant of two minds meeting perhaps. And then, because he is Clint. He of course tries to deflect with humor, "Though please don't sell it on ebay."

It's like that was not the answer that she was expecting, and it shows as whatever carefully constructed revenge plan she had for him searching her office comes crashing down. It's clear that the moment of honesty has caught her off guard, enough that it shows. Blatantly written across her face in slightly widening eyes and lips that part to say something that never comes.

Although her hand barely touches his neck she jerks it away like she was physically burned, turning to move quickly past him towards her desk chair in a too-late attempt to hide the reaction to his confession. "I had a private buyer lined up, offered me a million for Hawkeye's baby bow."

"Just a million?" Clint gives her, each of them in their own way scrambling towards the safety of the mundane, the shelter of humor offering them that easy casual back and forth that in the past might've given Nick and Nora Charles a run for their money.
He settles down on that desk, now with his back to her though, giving her that time to gather herself and her focus as she heads to that chair. Just five seconds, perhaps six, since that's likely all she needs. Then he turns back and there's the bright devil may care smile in those angelic blue eyes.
"I mean, not to toot my own proverbial horn and all, but you were gettin' taken, girl." The smile though, doesn't quite reach his eyes. Soulful. Perhaps. As if for that single shared instant they had seen each other.

It doesn't take more than a handful of seconds for her to regain her composure, and by the time he's looking back towards her she's got the container open with the cake in it and her eyes are staring at it. Not him.

There might be an olive branch offered, though, because she gets out two plastic forks, holding one of them out to him. "Really? I was pretty sure that I was pushing my luck asking for more than a few hundred for that sad looking old bow."

A sharp exclamation comes from him, more a 'tcha' combined with a forceful exhalation as if chiding her for such… such effrontery. Clint slides sloooowly off that desk and then grabs a hand around the back of one of the spare chairs. He rolllls it on over, the wheels squeaking as it is brought near. "Sure it's old, but that bow's put in many a good day's work."
He sits down on the seat next to her, though the chair is more facing her than the cake. But it lets him lean to the side and he takes up one of the forks. "Hasn't failed me yet, never missed for me. Worst thing?"
He spares a glance for her, then digs a small bit of that cake onto the tip of his fork. "Was that I never gave it the time it deserved." And as he says that, starting to take that small bit of cake for himself…
He stops, brow furrowing, and then instead he extends the fork toward her. She should get the first taste, after all.

There is a faintly suspicious look when he starts saying he didn't give it the time it deserved. She remembers that bow, and all the time it got. She doesn't look fooled by the analogy. But then, maybe it's not?

Which just leads to more curiosity, more confusion? No. Thought. "And what would you do if you had more time to give to that bow than you did?"

The question is left hanging there for a moment, but then she leans towards the offered bite instead of taking the fork from him. Which would have been the logical thing.

"I don't know." Clint says honestly as he looks slightly beyond her, blue eyes unfocusing in thought. "In truth I don't know if I'd change things." He extends the fork to her and with an ease of movement lightly lets it touch the soft curve of her lips. His smile is warm as he feeds her that small delicious crumbly bit of cake and icing.
"The world made demands. Had to run off, save it sometimes." His lip twitches a bit as he maintains that metaphor as he can. "Took me away a lot to be fair."
Perhaps to hide that smile he turns his head down and to the side, feigning more interest in the cake than it deserves. He'll take a small sliver of it for himself, and then licks it and the icing residue off the plastic fork, almost like a kid. Then he sneaks a glance at her sidleong and adds.
"But, every time I had the chance. I really valued the time I was able to spend with it." He grins a little and wipes at the small bit of icing in his beard with a thumb, but fails to get it.

Cake with icing is always messy, but Bobbi does a good job of not making a mess. Even if he doesn't seem to succeed at it. "Life happens, Clint."

It's been long enough that some of the bitterness has worn down to just resigned understanding. A perspective that age and experience grants over youth and exhuberance. It doesn't make her happy, even when he mentions that he really valued the time. It's obvious in the almost sad expression that she quickly buries before reaching over to rescue him from the icing taking over his beard.

There's a token sour look, the typical one that is seen on the faces of any number of people who are getting something cleaned off their face. Though usually the cleanee is an eleven year old kid or younger grumpy at the attention. Clint, however, looks back and meets her eyes. And his smile slips a little wistful.
"And you?" For a moment he's looking between her eyes, trying to find some connection or hint there as she had ever… has ever been at times inscrutable. "Would you change anything?"
It's a quietly offered question, hesitantly uttered. A moment passes. Two. Then his lip twists up a little as he says as if to defuse the situation, "Did you miss my bow too?" His smile widens.
What a jerk.

It was all going so good, feelings were being shared in metaphors. Analogies? Either way, they were being shared, and sorries were being made. And even the cleaning of the icing had a different quality to it then one would for a grumpy child.

Until he ruined it. Bobbi's expression flattens, and the hand that had been getting icing out of his beard moves, palm smacking against the front of his face before her fingers curl to grip him and shove him backwards, "You're an ass, Clint Barton."

There's a light 'whap' as her hand gives him a small smack and the shove causes his chair to go /rolllling/ back on its coasters, and to be fair he's laughing. A little, stifling it, but definitely laughing. Though, to be fair, he's also already apologizing as he holds up a hand. "I'm sorry. Sorry." He shakes his head and wipes at his eyes as if there might be tears there.
He turns back to face her and says, "You know me it's…" She knows well how when he's uncomfortable he just… his humor has saved him in the past so often. It's a comfortable suit he wears when times are hardest. And with her…
So he adds then, a little more firmly as he says, "You know me." As if it were… the best compliment, the greatest apology, and the most heartfelt confession. You know me. And she does. She knows him.
He extends a hand toward hers and rests it there as he _forces_ himself to focus, to be serious. Blue eyes find their like as he looks to her and he takes a level steadying breath. He tells her, "You do."
As if it was the strongest and yet the weakest thing he can admit to her. He squeezes her hand again and then pushes himself to his feet. "I should…" He motions with one hand toward the door.

She does. But that's part of the problem, isn't it? She knows him in a way that few others do, if anyone else at all. She knows him. Knows why he does what he does, and even when he's made her the angriest, that it'll never really last.

Even when it implodes, does it ever last? But when he makes the excuse to leave she nods, reaching for the container to close it, "Of course. I'm sure you're very busy."

"Hey," Clint rests a hand on her shoulder, then shakes his head should she meet his eyes. "I'm not." His smile is there, a small upward turn just at the corner of it. "At all."
He motions with a thumb over his shoulder he says lightly, "Before I came down here I was playing Sudoku at my desk. I don't usually go out very often. I work, or I train." Which is true, since at his age and being one of the few Avengers without powers… he tends to feel he has to keep up with them the only way he can.
"So if you need time from me." He says that and then pauses, his eyebrows knitting together as he says. "You got all the time you could…" He smiles, "You could probably stomach." Which was ever the complaint of the past. Never having enough time.

The hand on her shoulder is allowed to stay for a few seconds before she's brushing it off so that she can get to her feet, a smile tossed his direction in return. "Oh, it's fine. You go back to playing your Sudoko…I've got a date I should be getting ready for anyways."

Does she? Does she really?! It's hard to tell if she's lying or not. She lies for a living, and she's not half bad at it.

"Alright," Clint tells her as he steps back, hands held up slightly as if she had him at gunpoint. "I'll let you get to it then." That having been said he steps back though he does glance at the container with the dessert, then back to her. He doesn't bring it up, though. Since they all need their small ways of coping with things.
"I'll be around. Or probably in the gym." He offers that as he moves to the door and rests a hand on the knob, "If you need to find me." He shakes his head and adds, "Or not."
Then, when he's all ready to make his dramatic departure… the door clicks. He turns back and gestures with a thumb, "Uhh, you mind unlocking this?"

Even she feels a small amount of guilt at the words spoken so flippantly a moment ago, but she covers it well by lifting her shoulders. No. Not well. But it is what it is, and she moves towards the door to get in unlocked for him, then she holds it open.

Kind. Helpful. Unneeded, really. But an excuse to stand too close once more.

"I'll see you around, Bobbi." Clint says to her, his smile still there though not the ever-present shield against the world. Just him. His own hands slide into his pockets as if not trusting them to be free, and he gives her a nod as he starts to step through that door.
"Talk to you later," It's just an instant of closeness. An excuse for him to remember the way she smells, the warmth of that nearness. A breath is taken and for a moment he almost seems to linger. But then he swallows and nods to himself and steps past.


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