As If I Was Human
Chapter Three - The Set-Up
Clint adjusted his sunglasses, stepping out of the sunlit street and into a grimy looking garage. A quick scan of the room revealed that there were two exits, including the door he had just used. Four men were scattered around the room, mechanics working on restoring an engine, and another three were hiding out of sight. Or they would be if Clint hadn't caught all of them. Out of the seven men, four were carrying concealed firearms, two held tools that could be used as weapons, and the last was on the phone, shouting away in Portuguese. However, he had a large spanner within reach.
All seven pairs of eyes were trained on Clint as he entered, unknowing to his sweep of the room. He knew the exact threat level of each of them, and it wasn't high. He wasn't going to have any trouble here.
"What you after, brother?" The largest of the mechanics spoke up, wiping the oil from his hands on a duster as he stepped towards Clint. "It's dangerous to walk into a man's work place uninvited." A monkey wrench hung at the man's side as he tightened his fist around it. Clint smirked.
"I'm looking for a Kris Garcia", he said calmly.
"And why would that be?" The man folded his arms across his chest, keeping the wrench in plain sight. It was supposed to be threatening, but Clint only found it amusing.
"I need a message delivered," he said. "And I like his style."
All the men tensed at that, Clint noted, and the man on the phone muttered something, slamming the receiver down. Clint gave the man that was standing before him a look, and stepped around him, approaching the man who was no longer on the phone.
"Mr Garcia," he said, lowering his sunglasses slightly. "I have something I'd like you to do for me." Kris Garcia sniffed loudly, chewing gum with an open mouth.
"I don't work for free," he spat out. "And I don't work for tourists neither."
"Oh, I'm not a tourist," Clint replied. "I'm here after a woman. A woman that needs to come to an understanding about me. You and your friends will be the ones explaining."
"You want us to talk to this…woman?" Kris laughed. "We don't mess with women, no one respects a crew that goes after some chick that blew the wrong dude."
"But you will," Clint assured him, pulling an envelope out of his jacket. "These are photos-" Kris snatched them from him, alarm in his eyes. "-of you and your crew with what looks to be a man recently reported missing." Kris spat his gum out, as all six of his workers surrounded Clint, guns, spanners and wrenches raised. "I'm not here to negotiate, I'm here to tell you; you'll do what I want, or you'll all get some pretty heavy time in jail. Do we all-" Clint turned, addressing the whole garage. "-understand that?"
"No man that comes in here threatening me and my boys leaves in one piece," Kris warned Clint, picking up the spanner resting on the desk behind him. "No man. I hope you had a good laugh, 'cause now we're gonna mess you up!"
After what had been a dull couple of weeks, Clint had genuinely been hoping for a good fight when he found Kris Garcia and his thugs. So when Kris attempted to bring the spanner down on him, he couldn't help but grin as he dodged out of the way, grabbing the man's arm and pulling it towards him. Bending it back, he swiftly had him in a painful arm lock, and the spanner fell to the floor with a clatter.
Throwing Kris to the ground, Clint grabbed the monkey wrench as the first man swung it at him, disarming him and knocking him to the ground with a well placed kick to the side of his knee. Flipping the wrench in his hand, he smashed it against the face of the next fool that tried to attack him, knocking him out cold. He heard the familiar click of a gun being cocked, and slammed the wrench down on the barrel, causing the bullet to ricochet off the ground as the trigger was pulled. The thug dropped the gun from the impact, and Clint kicked it under the nearby car, dropping the wrench and throwing a punch into the man's face, stunning him into submission.
The next click was the much louder sound of a double barrelled shotgun, and Clint dove quickly out the way of the blast, rolling behind the offender and sweeping him to the ground. The gun went off again as he fell, ripping into the stomach of the second to last remaining thug. Clint stood to face the last man, picking up a nearby screwdriver, tossing it in his hand with a smirk on his face, before hurling it straight at him. It caught him straight in the jaw, causing him to reel back. Clint closed in, and hammered him in the face with his knuckles, before grabbing his shoulders and threw him to the ground.
Kris had managed to get back on his feet, and tried to reach into his desk drawer to pull out a gun. However, Clint kicked the drawer, slamming it shut on Kris's hand. He cried out as Clint grabbed the front of his shirt, thrusting him against the wall.
"You're right," Clint chuckled. "I did have a good laugh, but looks like I did the messing up." Casting a glance around the room, Kris took in the sight of his crew sprawled out on the floor, a couple bleeding, one with a gunshot wound, all groaning. Clint threw Kris into a nearby chair, reaching back into his jacket and pulled out a photograph. "This is Taylor Lithgow," he said, handing the picture to Kris. "On the back is an address and time. Take three men and watch for her coming out of the club. Hurt her." Kris licked his lips.
"She's a pretty thing. You want her in the hospital?" He asked, looking at the photo. Clint shook his head.
"No, just bruise her up a bit," he clarified. "Nothing too serious." Kris nodded, and had another look at his men.
"Doesn't seem like you'd have trouble dealing with her yourself," he said, turning back to Clint, who smirked.
"Maybe not," he agreed. "But I'd rather just watch."
"You'll be watching?"
"Every second of it."
Twenty minutes later, Clint was back at his apartment, looking at himself in the mirror. This was risky, he knew it, but he'd be there if something went wrong. The way he saw it, there were two possibilities. Either Carter Thomas was entirely harmless, and Clint would step in and save her before things got out of hand, or she would fight back, and Clint would instead know she had the potential to be dangerous.
Although, he thought with a sigh, he wasn't too sure on what to do after that. Fury would most likely want her taken in. It seemed a shame. Maybe Carter was a threat, but she didn't show any intentions of hurting anyone. In Clint's opinion she just wanted a normal life.
He picked up the screen that had been delivered to him the previous day. S.H.I.E.L.D. had turned up some new information on Carter. Whilst living as "Leanne Harvey", she had gotten caught in the crossfire of a gang fight. She had been slashed across the stomach, and spent weeks in the hospital recovering. The police had been unable to find those responsible, but someone else had. Little over a month later, six bodies had been found in a warehouse, all stabbed. Once again, the police had proved useless, and there was no more record of "Leanne". If it had been Carter, she had been ruthless.
As Clint reread the police reports, he couldn't help but wonder if he would be sending Kris and his crew to their deaths tonight. Not that he cared about them, but about Carter. Clint was a killer, he didn't grieve over the lives he took, but for some reason, he didn't think Carter felt the same. If she was a killer, that is. All the signs pointed to it, but Clint was yet to know for sure.
"Guess I'll find out soon enough," he muttered, placing the tablet back down. He took one last look in the mirror, before heading out the door.