It was the end of a long hot day, and Clint Barton propped his feet up on the decking, happily swigging on a cold bottle of beer. It had been 10 years since the team had found out about his family and the 'Ultron Incident' had been dealt with. The Avengers, though no longer active as a team, kept in touch and regularly met up with each other. Steve and Natasha had continued working with the New Avengers team, and things were progressing nicely. Steve had also taken to acting as a consultant between Midgard and Asgard due to the fact he never aged, and was finally beginning to settle down somewhere, Tony often joked that eventually Steve would pluck up the courage to ask Lady Sif to dinner.
Tony himself had gone on to continue doing what he did best, and Stark Industries had never been more successful. Since the Incident he and Pepper had married and had a son, Jason, who was now 4 years old. Bruce had been found eventually, working on the farms in the Middle East and he had agreed that though he would stay there for now, he would always come if he was needed. As for Thor, well it turned out that Loki was being manipulated just as much as Clint and Selvig had been, so had been welcomed back by his older brother with open arms. After Thor had taken up the title of King and All Father, Loki had taken up his position as Chief Advisor to him, though he had yet to marry much to Thor's consternation. Thor had married Jane and had only recently welcomed their first child, Beragon, a healthy boy into the realm. So far, however, Jane had not made any decisions about possible immortality.
Unbeknownst to all the Avengers, new and old, not everything was perfect in the Barton household. Clint and Lauren had been married 18 years by now and Lewis, who had been 12 when Ultron had hit, was now 22 and working in the military as Naval Intelligence. Amelia, who had been 8 when Lewis was 12, was 18 and just leaving high school, going to study Medicine in an aim to become a surgeon. Adam who was now 20, and 10 at the 'Ultron Incident', was incredibly good at sport and languages and was, like his sister, looking into a medical degree, with a view to working overseas as a medical translator. Their youngest, Nathaniel, wanted to be an astronaut, but was very disappointed when browsing through his sibling's university prospectuses he found no such course.
It was not common knowledge that Barton had a wife and kids, even less that at the time that he and Lauren had married, Barton already had a son age 8 years old; a troubled young boy with curious green eyes and moppy black hair. The Avengers joked that the 'hatchlings' as Tony had nicknamed them, would eventually fly the nest. This caused a small twinge of pain for Clint as he thought of Harry, his 'hatchling' that had already flown the nest. Flown all the way to England as it happens. Though Clint was apparently not allowed to know anything else about what Harry did, which incessantly irked him.
It was why they were in their current situation of standing once again on the helicarrier, surrounded by the original Avengers. Nat was giving Bruce the death glare that would kill him three times over, for leaving the way he did after Ultron had been dealt with. Fury walked in, trench coat billowing behind him in the typically over dramatic nature that was rivalled by only Stark himself. He came to a halt in front of the table.
"Stark. Banner. Barton. Romanov. Rodgers. Good to know you are all here for once. We have an issue. A request for aid has been issued by the UK. MI6 to be precise. A group of agents have been investigating an arms dealer called Anton Baclovitch." Natasha's eyes widened in horror. Baclovitch was a name that everyone in the business knew, more importantly though they feared him. "His codename within the spy community is 'Snake' as I'm sure that Romanov is aware. This is the first time someone has had a real shot at bring this SOB down."
It was then that Tony stepped forward, looking intently at the surveillance photos of Baclovitch, "So who was stupid enough to go after him? If he's as dangerous as you say he is then why would someone go after him? I'm all for bringing down terrorist and arms dealers, but why risk it?" Fury nodded, turning to the screen behind him he brought up a picture of a young man, who looked to only in his early twenties. He returned his gaze back to the team.
"Because of him." It was Bruce that realised he was already dead, letting out a mutter of 'Jesus' under his breath, at the horrifically young age at which he had lost his life.
"Who is he?" asked Barton, speaking for the first time.
"His name is Special Agent Joshua Portmill. He was murdered at the age of 24 in his home in Surrey. Luckily his wife and unborn child were not home and so went unharmed... well as unharmed as losing a father and husband can be. He was investigating a linked terrorist group and came upon the supply chain, connecting directly back to the Snake. 24 hours later he's tortured to death. Our intel says that they probably didn't get any information from him, so the investigation has been taken up by his training partner and good friend."
It was Natasha that responded, the others were still too shocked to say anything. "Who is he - the agent?"
Fury shook his head in annoyance. "That we don't know, what we do know is that he is a Special Agent, trained with this young man and his partner on many occasions. They won't give us a name until we touch down in London and get briefed at MI6 headquarters." He handed each of the members a file with the critical information they needed to know.
Steve stood first, saying "Well, we only have three hours before we leave so I'm off home to pack my gear. Meet back here in two hours, okay everyone." The team nodded and slowly dispersed to say goodbyes and collect their clothes and other necessities.
Agent Hill turned to Fury, a questioning look on her face. "Sir, if I'm not mistaken, you know the identity of the agent they're meeting with, why keep it a secret?" Hill went to stand next to him. Fury let out a deep breath before turning to Hill to answer her question.
"Agent Hill, are you aware of who the young man is? Are you aware that he has connections to this team? Specifically Agent Barton." He turned away to bring up a file and scroll through it. She hung her head slightly, not knowing that specific piece of information
"I was unsure how Barton would react, he never agreed to the path that this particular Agent took." People who didn't know Fury very well would not have picked up on the hint of sadness in his voice. Hill, having worked with him and mentored by him for many years before knew all the indicators to regret that Fury was showing. It was the amount of regret her father figure was showing that shocked her. The raw emotion, for Fury anyway, jarred her, leaving her uncertain of what to say or do in this situation. Opting to leave it alone she nodded and turned to leave to prepare for the team's departure.