4849/Changeling: What Does It All Mean

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Changeling: What Does It All Mean
Date of Scene: 08 July 2018
Location: Unknown
Synopsis: Clint and Skye return from China (for real this time!) and talk about their past, their present and possibilities for the future.
Cast of Characters: Hawkeye (Barton), Quake
Tinyplot: Germination

Hawkeye (Barton) has posed:
Clint turns the key in the lock and pushes open the door.

"So, I guess the Madripoori Trail is out for me for a bit," he reasons, looking at his torn and muddy clothing as he stamps a bit more mud off his boots.

They'd been on their way back from China through the Madripoori shortcut when a couple of sharp-eyed Madripoori security men recognized Clint from the altercation last year leading to a rooftop chase and a jump into mud to escape them.

Boots de-mudded he kicks them off and steps fully into the house bags still hanging from his shoulder. "God, Keyboard, it feels good to be home," he says.

Their return to China had not been so much long as eventful. First the gang in Hong Kong, then the village and all the revelations about Skye's family, and finally the chase in Madripoor to top it off. So when Clint said it was good to be home he meant it.

He wanders into the kitchen and drops his bags on the kitchen island before snagging a beer from the fridge.

"You want one?" he calls from the kitchen.

Quake has posed:
Skye barely makes it into their place before dropping her things, bow propped up in a corner, laptop bag thrown onto a couch, her own shoes kicked off. "Yeah, they really don't like you there. Remind me we might want to start a map of all the places we're not welcome back in. Well, you," she teases, following him to the door of the kitchen.

"Past us were smart. Potstickers in the freezer, and beer in the fridge. Though wanna just order pizza?"

She slips from the doorway and warps her arms about him from behind. "Remember when we were scared at the thought of this being home? Seems weird now, huh?"

Hawkeye (Barton) has posed:
"Jeeze," Clint says rolling with the joke and grabbing a secon beer for Skye. "Might be easier to mark off the places I am welcome. I mean this trip we've scratched off Madripoor and Hong Kong."

Naturally Clint sounds perversely proud of that.

He sets Skye's beer down on the counter and then grabs the Gino's delivery menu. "Gino really needs to open up a sister shop in Manhattan," Gino was willing to send his delivery guy schlepping from Brooklyn to Greenwich Village, for them but damn was it a long trip.

"And the usual?" he asks, reaching for his phone before he's hugged from behind. He smiles.

"Right?" he asks looking around the kitchen. It was still fancy, but it had a lived in feeling to it now, like this was their kitchen even if it could fit the kitchen from both their previous places inside of it. "Feels good to be back here finally," he says before knocking on the wood trim of the kitchen island.

"To ward off calls from Fury," he explains.

Quake has posed:
There's a snicker from Skye, "See, I knew you weren't just another dumb blonde. Right. Places you're still able to go without the authorities shooting at you. Much small map. And speak for yourself. I'm still welcome in Hong Kong. We didn't piss off the authorities there."

Madripoor.. she thinks she's just gotten tarred with Clint's brush there.

"I think Gino would die of shock if we didn't order the usual. Unless you wanted to tell him to surprise us. Any food we don't have to cook is good." She says that like she does even a fraction of the cooking in their household, when instead Clint almost always cooked, and she did cleanup after. Fair was fair. May's rules.

Letting go of Clint, beer in hand, she hops up onto the little island in the kitchen separating it from the small dining area there. "Oh, god, he wouldn't - would he?" Her beer is cracked open as she sighs. "I missed here."

Hawkeye (Barton) has posed:
"Most of that's SHIELD's fault," Clint says about how big his list of no-go countries was. "And I dunno. Those Neon Dragon guys we clashed with down in Hong Kong seemed pretty serious, despite the dumb name, so even thought the Hong Kong cops don't want to shoot us we might want to be careful if we head back there sometime."

Clint grins and when he's let go he nods, "Yeah, Fury? He really, really would and with all that space mushroom things going on..." he lets that thought trail off as another thought occurs. "Hey, speaking of, do we want to add mushrooms to our usual tonight? And yeah, Gino might freak if we really changed things up or let him pick. He might add tomatoes that weren't sauce or something... Italians go figure..."

He smiles at Skye after another glance around the kitchen. "Yeah, me too. Glad we're back."

Quake has posed:
Skye makes a face at the suggestion of tomatoes that weren't sauce on pizza, "That's just gross. Don't even say such things out loud." She considers the other suggestion before shrugging. "Mushrooms might be nice. Shouldn't freak Gino out too much."

Her legs dangle over the cupboards below, heels kicking at the doors. "We can be careful. Besides, it's not like you stand out or anything." She actually manages to say that with a straight face. "I see your point, though. Just didn't take you for the type to let a few guys in pajamas keep you away."

Once he's ordered, she suggests they move out to the livingroom to wait for food.

Hawkeye (Barton) has posed:
"Right?" Clint says of non-sauce tomatoes. "And sure, mushrooms it is."

Clint smirks at the notion of not standing out in Hong Kong. "Right, I totally didn't look like Godzilla if, he emerged from the depths of an Iowan cornfield, walking through the crowds over there." Clint takes a sip of his beer and dials. "Heh. Remind me to tell you about the Russian guys in my old neighbourhood," he says of being run off. "And not saying I'm not going back, just saying we need to watch out."

He grimaces. "God I sould all old and responsible. What the heck happened to me?"

He places the order with the usual chit-chat with Gino, how are things, yes, Skye is too good for him... etc. etc. When it's done, he takes the suggestion with a smile, and seeing as she's sitting up on the island, he leans in to scoop her up into his arms and carry her out to the living room just because.

Quake has posed:
There's a surprised *meep* from Skye as she's grabbed up and carried from the kitchen.

"Hey! Since when do we carry me around?" Of course he'd done it before. Most notably their first night together. Well.. he'd tried. Things got a little complicated after she tried to throw him when he'd startled her with that move, leaving them both lying on the floor of her suite at the Trisk, in spilled beer, laughing at themselves.

"Not my fault you have gorilla arms. But we could dye your hair black and put a hat and trenchcoat on you and say you were a runaway from the circus. And no, no you didn't tell me about the Russians. We got time before pizza arrives?"

She smirks when she's deposited on the couch, and looks about. "Ever think we have too many of these things for two of us?"

Hawkeye (Barton) has posed:
"Since always?" Clint teases with a laugh. "Though if we want to go really far back, I can shoot paint arrows at you again."

"And let me tell you I appreciate you not trying to knee me in the balls this time,"

He laughs, at the memory, having the idea she's thinking of much the same thing.

"Heh, right a guy in a trenchoat and a hat wouldn't stand out at all," he grins at her. "And I don't have monkey arms, you're just short."

When it comes time to pick couches he picks the broken one they took from the Trisk, what with them still having dried and drying mud on them from Madripoor. Plus it'd been the couch they'd been on when they'd spilled that beer.

Skye deposited with care, he flops down beside her, keeping his beer steady enough not to repeat the beer spillage. "What? Couches? Nah. With as much company we get it works, though I am surprised we kept this old thing," he says slapping the still intact arm of the busted couch.

Quake has posed:
"I don't seem to recall being hoisted about like a sack of potatoes during that training. You must be thinking of some other hot agent in training you had your eyes on."

Skye relaxes against him once they're settled, kicking back and leaning back, feet stretched out towards the arm of the couch. "That was pretty funny. You have to admit it. Still not sure what I was thinking. Especially if I were planning on fooling around with you." A pause. "Still kinda glad it happened. Not sure we'd have ever got past a kiss if we weren't flat on our asses laughing at ourselves."

"And watch it with the short jokes, buddy."

It's a measure of her tired that she doesn't have a better comeback than that.

"If I remember, they made us take it. Something something about not being a garbage disposal and a fee otherwise. Stupid, huh? Here, have a free broken couch, or we'll charge you 50 to take it away. What kind of weird logic is that?"

Hawkeye (Barton) has posed:
"I am /not/ hoisting you like a sack of potatoes!" Clint protests with a laugh. "This is romantic. Or something..." he chuckles as he sets her down.

"And you're the only agent-in-training I've had eyes on," he says. It wasn't entirely true, this was Clint here, but he smiles as he says it to make the statement light.

"Me too," he says of the kneeing, the spilt beer, the laughing and what came after. "Like being afraid of this place, I have no idea what we were thinking, getting so up in our heads about all of that. Took Nat pushing us to admit we liked each other, then the whole beer fiasco to get us to go to bed," he shakes his head. "I am not sure how we managed to date before now."

He handflaps about the short jokes then takes a sip of his beer.

"Yeah, I dunno, guess it's one of those things that make sense if you're in an office all day and didn't come from the system, as far as I'm concerned, free stuff!"

Quake has posed:
Skye snorts. "Romantic or something? Heavy on the or something." Fine, Skye isn't one who gets that whole romance thing terribly well. Other girls might dig chocolate and hearts and flowers. Skye? She was a whole other definition of relationship. "And you did too have eyes on other girls. Oh. Em. Gee. Such a liar. Wow. Man thinks I have stupid written across my forehead police chalk or something."

She elbows him as he handflaps. "Such an asshole. And No clue how we dated beforehand, except I didn't. Told you, I banged it out and got on with life. Only guy I spent any extended time with was shithead from Tide, and that was for safety reasons."

She nods about the couch. "I kinda like our broken couch. It's us."

Hawkeye (Barton) has posed:
"Nah, not chalk, that washes off," Clint says before pre-emptively flinching. Yeah, he's going to get it.

"I know, I know, I'm an asshole," he says of both the handflapping and his previous comment. "And no, you're anything but stupid, well, except for dating me," he adds with a smile.

The bit about dating is met with a nod. "Yeah, I know, so then not sure how I managed to date, but whatever, in the past, and kinda hoping that's not something I'm going to need to worry about."

Which as admissions went was a pretty big one, even though he seems oblivious to it.

He runs a hand through his hair and looks at the couch, "Yeah, it sort of is, same witht he purple one," he say nodding ot the purple plush one purloined from the Avengers Mansion. "For different reasons."

He takes a sip of beer and lets out a contented sigh. "We've done pretty well getting where we are," he says, meaning both their surroundings and just being together like they were. "Wouldn't have seen it coming."

Quake has posed:
Another elbow is aimed randomly at his ribcage, though its actual contact is nothing too excessive given she's laughing. "Washes off? Why do I like you again?"

Skye shifts position so that she can look up at him, mostly lounging in his lap now, short of crawling into said lap. "And not dating you, so ha. not so stupid." Her lips purse with mirth on that one. "What we have here is.." She nods when he says about hoping not to have to worry about it again. "Yeah. Me too. Kinda feel like if we were gonna implode it would have happened already given what we've been through. You feel like you always were here with me. This place, even. It's like I can't even imagine how your apartment or the Trisk were anything more than places we lived. Here is.. us.. and our things.. and where we come when we want to be safe."

"Couldn't have told me this would ever happen if you'd asked me.. hell, you know something, Hotshot? Been with SHIELD nearly two years now. You and me, even, getting to be old stuff."

Hawkeye (Barton) has posed:
"Beats me," Clint grins laughing right along with her.

He shakes his head and takes another longer swig of beer. Life was good.

Making room for Skye as he lounges before like when he picked her up it was time for an excecutive decision and he pulls her fully into his lap, with a grin, "Now don't go getting any ideas," he warns her. "We've got pizza coming." Though he laughs as he does, setting down his beer, to put his arms around her.

Nodding he agrees, "Yeah, same here. Like we've passed through whatever minefield there was up between us and it's all been open road from here to the horizon."

Old Clint would have said, that's usually where there's one more mine, but Clint today, right there on that couch? It never crosses his mind.

"And yeah, it all feels... natural. Like we fit, and this place too. Even if it's way too fancy."

"Two years and Level Four," he grins at her. "You and your freakishly fast promotions. And yeah, I guess we've been a thing for what?" he does some quick math. "Seven months now?"

Quake has posed:
"It's not been that freakishly fast, has it?" Skye's not actually sure. She's not tracked other Agent's records. "And eight months. Almost to the day, actually."

Though she has to laugh when he pulls her into his lap with that admonishment. "What? Me? Get ideas?" Innocently, Skye wriggles about Clint's lap, ostensibly to get comfortable, but really to torment him.

"Way too fancy for us, but I don't know. I look around and I mean, things are familiar. And the space feels right. Not like my old place where nothing there meant anything to me. I mean, sure I don't have many more things, but already have more memories here than back at the Trisk. This is where our friends come. And where we go to forget all that other shit. And where our neighbours are trying to decide if they like us or not, not because we're agents or heros, but because we're that annoying couple who don't mow their lawn often enough, and shoot bows in the back yards. Like.. do you even miss your apartment?"

Hawkeye (Barton) has posed:
"For people coming up the regular way, sure, it's freakishly fast, for the special cases like you and me, I guess not really. I went up the ranks pretty quickly too. Nat as well."

Fury did like his outside the box oddballs.

"Really?" Clint says before he does the math. "Yeah, like 6 days off. Happy early eight month anniversary then," he says. Not that they were the type to really celebrate that sort of thing. They just were. Though, he had made a point of remembering the day November 13th.

The wiggingly derails the conversation and Clint laughs, "What did I say about getting ideas?" he teases, leaning forward to steal a kiss putting his hand on her knee.

When he pulls back he grins, at her, "Evil," he says of her taunting. "And yeah, this place has become home, a place to just be with our friends."

Quake has posed:
The kiss... That kind of derailing was his own fault, not that Skye gets too carried away, because even if that were the point of this, they had pizza arriving soon enough, and yeah.

"Never really thought about the ranks. I mean, it felt like forever, to be honest." And it had. She'd chafed in that 'in training' role. After that, she'd just mellowed into her position and treated her job like she had all the authority she'd need. Rank was just a qubbling detail.

"Think our friends look at this place that way, too? I mean, we're kinda an oddball bunch. Not really the kind to make those connections. Sometimes I feel you and me, just made it okay for them all, you know? Made us more than just people who work together."

Hawkeye (Barton) has posed:
Clint gives Skye's cheek a caress as he pulls away from the kiss... derailing that's definitely the word for it. "You know we are all muddy, we could grab a shower...." the offer was a tease, there wasn't time now with the pizza en route. But as teases went it was a damn good idea.

"Always does when you've got people telling you what to do, but hey, you learned your stuff." And she had, she'd done well on all their varied missions, just meant he had to fill in some skill gaps and then let her do her thing.

"Yeah, I think so, it's more like a club house than our place, we can all hang here and it's no big deal. I like that. Definitely need to do another barbeque now that it's summer," he says the last added as it pops into his head. "And yeah, as much as I used to bitch about SHIELD, it's become another family for us."

He looks Skye's way then, "Speaking of family, where are you going to keep that picture you got in the village." And for that matter what were they going to do with those crystal things.

Quake has posed:
"Shower before bed? If we do that now we won't eat dinner. That barbecue idea though, I could get behind that."

The weather was nice. Their backyard was looking good thanks to whoever it was they'd paid to mow the lawn while they were gone. Their house was even clean thanks to Tony's house warming gift. Speaking of... "Say, you know our contract with the house cleaners is coming up due. Do we want to see if we can scrounge enough money to keep them coming in?"

She looks about the room as he asks about the picture of her parents. "I don't know where to put it. I was thinking maybe in our room, but not sure if that's creepy. Could put it out down here somewhere. On the mantle? Isn't that what normal people do?" Of course it might open the door to awkward questions when friends came over, only they were friends, so maybe it wouldn't be so awkward. As for the crystals, Skye's thoughts drift to them as well, uncertain where to keep them safely. They might not do anything, but the old man had thought them important enough to secret away from Hydra; she didn't want them lying around to possibly be stolen.

Hawkeye (Barton) has posed:
"I'll hold you to that," Clint says as he steals another quick kiss from Skye's lips.

He settles back against the couch cushions adn nods. "Right? It's a great idea."

The place still did look good and the backyard too from what he'd seen from the kitchen. Great barbeque weather. He'd missed that about his old place. The roof top barbeques.

Clint nods emphatically. "Yes, let's definitely find the money, because, this place is huge and I'd rather leave it to the pros," he says then he chuckles. "So, not only do we have the big house but we have a maid. Shall we go all in and get a butler? I know one actually, but he works for Bruce Wayne so he's likely not looking for a new boss."

"Room works, people keep pictures of family in their rooms," Clint says, speaking from second hand experience. "Or down here, but I don't know, just seems like such a personal picture, if it were mine, I'd want it close."

He doesn't press about the crystals, as far as he was concerned they were hers, but he did have the same concerns, what if that was what Hydra was really after?

Quake has posed:
"We are so not getting a butler, but I'm game to scrounge for a maid. This place is like a parkinglot full of Gretels and there is no way either of us are up to that." Skye had seen his old apartment. And deep cleaning and maintenance at the Trisk was covered by housekeeping Skye? Wasn't a housekeeper.

"I think in our room. Maybe my bedside table. At least for a bit. I don't know. I feel like I'm just getting to know them. It would be nice to have them close. At least for now." Not that she can really get to know them - they're dead. But she can learn their features and faces, and that's a kind of knowing them.

And since he doesn't, she brings the crystals up. "What do we do with the crystals? I mean, any chance Hydra will figure out they've been found and I have them?"

Hawkeye (Barton) has posed:
Clint grins, "Are you sure? He could keep us out of trouble while making snarky comments," Clint says of the butler. "Not that we lack for those ourselves."

"Comments, not keeping out of trouble, obviously."

"That works," he says of the bedside table. "And yeah, I get it, just getting to know them, it's got to be a bit of a shock to suddenly have parents that are more than just... whatevers from your past."

The crystals get a considering look out of Clint. "Depends on if we want to get SHIELD involved. I mean, the guy back a the village said your mom was a goddess, so these might be alien or something, dunno., but if you don't then, I say we can hold onto them here pretty safely. Hydra might have been looking for them when they came to the village, but that was twenty-three years ago, I doubt they were keeping an eye on the place that long just hoping someone would come by and dig them up."

"I think we're okay if you want to keep them here."

Quake has posed:
"Mmm, you're probably right," Skye agrees of the crystals. "That's a long time ago. No reason to suspect I'm that girl. Or to have been watching the village all this time. I mean, we might want SHIELD to look at them at some point, but they should be safe for now."

She felt oddly reassured as she says it, even if some deeper part of her brain is slowly considering odds and recent happenings and pondering alternative outcomes to that 'surely nobody is looking for them now...' comment. Or worse, the consideration that someone will put it all together and figure out that she's that baby from the village that day. Or even what that means.

"Do you really think she was a goddess?"

Hawkeye (Barton) has posed:
Nodding Clint says, "Yeah seems like they were all hot and bothered by this stuff back in the day, but gave it up back when you were still just a kid. I think we're safe."

Not that he didn't have niggling doubts here and there, what with Skye's file bouncing around recently. Still, he stood by his gut feeling, for now at least, they were safe.

"We can come up with somewhere clever to stash them," he says. "Maybe up in our room."

That last question has Clint frowning thoughtfully. "Like Thor? Nah. I am pretty sure if she was you'd know by now and would be lifting school busses with one hand and stuff like that. I figure if anything, she was some sort of meta. Might explain the weird markers in your genes. A one off, metahuman and whatever she had didn't get passed on to you."

He ponders. "Or maybe it did, who knows, you're scary good at hacking and crazy smart, maybe she had her own skills she was good at and the brains to match."

Quake has posed:
"Just seems weird to me to think about it," Skye frowns. "I don't know. He didn't really say what she did that she was worshipped for. Maybe she just was a strong personality. I meant, I'd be showing by now, right?"

Totally ignoring the markers in her blood that said outright she wasn't a normal human.

Hawkeye (Barton) has posed:
"That's true, he didn't mention why they worshiped her. But I am not sure there was nothing going on with her, I mean you do have those markers in your DNA. On the other hand, it could be from your Dad. Who knows, either way you're right about the power thing, all the stuff I've read about powers say they kick in by puberty or during a traumatic event, so I'd say if they were going to come up, they would have by now."

He kisses her cheek.

"Anyhow, not to ruin things for us, but did think about one thing, the file we used to find the village, Karl had it, might be enough to spark some current interest in what's going on there. Probably nothing, but it's something to consider," Clint says carefully.

Quake has posed:
"Yeah, I just thought of that," Skye says. "They have the whole Index File. All of it. Including me. They can probably figure out enough even without being able to uncode the redacted bits. And who knows, they might be able to do that, too."

Skye sighs. "We might want SHIELD to look at the crystals."

Hawkeye (Barton) has posed:
Clint nods. "Might be a good idea, then we'd at least know what they are."

He reaches for her hand to give it a squeeze.

"Hopefully they're just pretty and that's all there is to it. If not, then we'll figure it out like we always do."

Quake has posed:
"Right. Just pretty. But teams of Hydra folks took out a village and tried hunting me down enough that SHIELD hid me and put an order out that I wasn't to ever have a permanent home. But they're just pretty."

She'd really like them to be 'just pretty', but Skye isnt' convinced. Even if she has no clue what they might do.

"I need to think about it. A day. Two, tops."

Hawkeye (Barton) has posed:
"Heh." When Skye put it that way, it did sort of seem silly to think they were just pretty rocks.

"We'll see what they say, and take all the time you need," he says.

Whatever the crystals were, and whatever Skye was, he didn't imagine Hydra would come kicking down their door right away.

Though the pizza guy does come knocking.

"You're going to need to get up if you want me to get that," he says with a smile.

Quake has posed:
Skye kisses Clint quickly before moving off of his lap to let him answer the door for their pizza. She couldn't do anything more about her parents of the mystery crystals, or even the fact that Hydra quite likely knew who she was and would be looking for the things once they put together that she'd been in Hong Kong. It wasn't a hard leap from there to reasons she mght be in the vicinity.

Tonight, though, she was home with her love. Tired and content. Ready to enjoy a quiet evening's pizza. Maybe some video games. A warm shower. And perhaps some liesurely love making before talking themselves quietly to sleep.

She could worry about logistics and answers and solutions tomorrow, on Fury's dime.