Pt. 51: The Hawk and the Ant
Flashback: Post Civil War- Clint and Scott
[SAFEHOUSE SECURITY SURVEILLANCE FILES: 07012016 0600hrs]
Loc: Barton Homestead Safehouse [LOCATION REDACTED BY FURY, NICHOLAS J.]
<Clint Barton and Scott Lang sneak quietly into the farmhouse, making sure to set their bags down softly, removing their shoes before exiting the mudroom and entering the kitchen, Laura Barton is seated at the kitchen table, her back to the door, sipping coffee and feeding little Nathanial>
Laura: <without turning around> You’re home early, Nat said not to expect you home until tomorrow. She didn’t mention you were bringing another stray home though.
Clint: <leans over her shoulder, she looks up at him with unspoken relief, he kisses her cheek> We got lucky hitchhiking. Wanted to get back before you and the kids woke, <smiles at Nate happily chomping away at a bowl of bananas and cheerios> but I see someone had other ideas.
Laura: Well he’s got his daddy’s early bird streak, so sleeping in wasn’t an option. <sets her coffee down, rises to embrace him> So, what’s the plan, and who is your friend?
Clint: <holds her tight> Tony may be hell bent on these Accords, but he’s not going to give away our home. If I stay under the radar and retire like I originally planned, we should be ok here. On the other hand, <tilts his head at Scott> he might have a more difficult time.
Scott: <raises a hand in a wave> Hi Ma’am. I’m Scott, Scott Lang. Uh, they call me Ant Man. <Laura looks at him quizzically, he shrugs, scratching his head> Yeah. You’ve never heard of me, I get that a lot. Ah, I’m not as well known as your husband. <looks at Nate still busily chomping away> Sorry to just show up, things were a little crazy after Cap helped us escape The Raft. <looks back down at Nate again> Could I possibly use a phone? I want to call and check on my daughter.
Clint: <pulls away from his wife, steps over to a cabinet, pulls out a large plastic tote box, opening it, he pulls out a cell phone, tossing it to Scott> Nat keeps a stash of untraceable burner phones at every location she might have to hide out at. She won’t mind you using one.
Scott: <catches it, smirking> Man, she’s prepared for anything, isn’t she?
Clint: <nods> Just about.
Scott: <steps into the living room, dials home, talking to himself> I just hope my ex or her husband are up getting ready for work. <phone rings twice>
Jim: <sounding bleary and disoriented> Hello?
Scott: Hey Jim, sorry to call so early. I just finally got to a phone.
Jim: <suddenly wide awake> Scott! Glad you’re ok buddy, we heard about what happened.
Scott: Oh? How bad did the news make it sound? I assume WHiH had Christine Everheart do another hack piece.
Jim: Oh it was on the news, and it looked bad, but it was the UN Joint Terrorism Task Force officers stopping by to look for you that filled in what happened after the airport.
Jim: Scott, I know that you did what you felt was right, but I gotta look out for Cassie. It’s best if you stay away. I don’t want her to have to watch you get arrested.
Scott: Jim I, <sighs, hangs his head> I understand. We both want what’s best for her.
Jim: I know the work you do is as important as mine is. I’m a cop. I can’t endorse vigilantism, but I’ve seen first hand that there are things out there that we’re not trained or equipped to handle. <in the background, Cassie can be heard shouting ‘Is that my Daddy!?’ Jim hands the phone to her>
Cassie: Daddy! Are you coming home soon?
Scott: <bites his lip, eyes watering, struggles to sound cheery> Hey Peanut! Listen, I’ve got another super secret hero job I’ve gotta do. Uhm, it may be a little while before I can come home to see you.
Cassie: Are you helping other kids and their mommies and daddies to be safe?
Scott: Something like that kiddo.
Cassie: I know I have to keep it a secret that you’re a hero, but I’m glad you are. I love you Daddy.
Scott: <tears rolling down his face, stutters> I, I, I love you too Cassie. I’ll try to be extra heroic, just for you, Peanut. Can you give the phone back to Jim though sweetie?
Scott: Do me a favor?
Scott: Take care of her until I can come home?
Jim: <looks off at the little girl, playing fetch with a giant ant that thinks it’s a puppy> Always.
Scott: <ends the call, wiping the tears from his eyes, turns to find Clint standing there, watching him, hands him the phone back> Thanks.
Clint: Didn’t mean to eavesdrop, but it sounds like you’re kind of on your own. <Scott shrugs> Laura went to go make up the guest room.
Scott: <stunned> Thank you!
Clint: <grins> Well, it’s not like you’ll be staying for free. I can always use a hand around here. <leads him down the basement stairs to a workshop>
Scott: <looks around the workshop> Ah, well, I don’t really have any experience with farming, woodworking or construction. Burglarizing, electrical engineering, ice cream, those are more my wheelhouses.
Clint: <opens a door, revealing a computer display system> Electrical engineering? Good, because I was hoping you could help me upgrade our security and communications. It takes a lot of power, I’ve been talking to Laura about maybe switching over to solar panels to run the whole house.
Scott: <eyes wide, excited at the chance to tinker> Ok, THIS I can definitely help out with!
Present day: Meanwhile back on the farm…..
[SAFEHOUSE SECURITY SURVEILLANCE FILES: 04132017 1100hrs]
Loc: Barton Homestead Safehouse [LOCATION REDACTED BY FURY, NICHOLAS J.]
<Clint and Scott ascend the stairs from the workshop, entering the living room, they find Clint’s son Cooper keeping his little brother Nate occupied, daughter Lila decorating postcards, and Laura on the phone>
Laura: <irritated> Yes, I know the senator’s position on this bill. However I’m concerned about the impact it will have on natural resources in the area. <looks to the men, listening to phone, eyes rolling> Yes, thank you for your time, I’ll be calling again tomorrow. <ends call, shakes her head, fuming> Those selfish, egotistical, money grubbing, sons of <turns and looks at the children, takes a deep breath, counts silently to ten, spits out> Politicians!
Clint: <bites his lip, trying not to laugh, gives her a hug> You’ve called every day for the last month, they must know you by name now.
Laura: Some of the staffers do! <her phone buzzes with a message>
Scott: <leans over the coffee table where Lila is working> New batch of Postcards to Voters? <looks over her artwork, points at one> Wow, I really like those deer!
Lila: Thanks! <shows him another> I even made you another one to send Cassie! <the postcard shows a cartoon ant in a superhero cape> You want to help me address them after dinner?
Scott: <smiling> You bet. Show me what else you’ve got there. <the two hover over the cards as Lila shows him>
Laura: <checks her texts, laughs, then frowns slightly, Clint looks at her with concern> It’s Nat. She says, and I quote, ‘Red tape will be out of the way soon, Dread Pirate Nick is getting the band back together. Got a show planned that’s bigger than Bucharest. Couldn’t resist contacting you. Think your old man would be up for another gig?’ <shakes her head, laughing> Always with the code speak.
Clint: <shakes his head> No. I retired for good this time. I’m staying here with you and the kids.
Laura: The Avengers are going to NEED you out there fighting. WE, NEED you out there fighting. There are battles that can’t be fought with a phone call. If half of what I’ve read, and seen in the news, and heard from Nat is true, they’re going to need someone grounded. Someone who will see past the egos and the arguments. Someone who remembers WHY the fight is so important.
Clint: <hangs his head in acquiescence> Yes, ma’am. You give the orders. <kisses her, then turns to Scott> Looks like that treehouse project is going to have to wait till we get back.
Scott: <looks up from Lila and her postcards> I’ll finally be able to bring Cassie out here for a playdate with Lila. <looks back down at Lila again, smiles genuinely> I think they’ll get along pretty well.