Just something to tide you (and me) over while I work on the next installment to the series. Meant to be just a short snippet, but it was fun to write. Enjoy!


May 2007

"Barton, if you'd told that story to any other person, they'd call you crazy and lock you up. However, since agent Romanoff is able to add credibility to your story, I suppose I have no other choice than to believe you."

Clint grinned across the desk at Director Nick Fury. As he had been ordered before leaving Cambodia, he was discussing what he had brought to light during his phone call with Phil Coulson. He had explained – in detail – his adoption by his father's cousin and the subsequent death of Mary Winchester, as well as his adoptive father's quest for vengeance. He mentioned that Adam was now living with him and his family, and he told them of the deal John had made for Dean's life, and the deal that Dean, in turn, had made for Sam. The Director was, understandably, upset when he was told of the Devil's Gate that had been opened, but seemed satisfied at the death of the demon that had killed Mary Winchester.

"But there are more of these demonic freaks that got out, am I correct?" he asked, staring Clint down with his one good eye.

The blond archer nodded.

"Yeah," he confirmed. "But, as I said earlier, it was not any of our fault, just that Jake kid."

Fury nodded slowly.

"I need to put the two of them on S.H.I.E.L.D. record," he said, and Clint slumped slightly.

He had been trying to keep his brothers off of his files to protect them from anyone who might hack into S.H.I.E.L.D. and use them as leverage. Well, he'd managed to keep them more or less secret for eleven years, so that had to count for something.

"I won't put them on your files," Fury continued, and Clint looked at him curiously. "I want to offer them a position as supernatural consultants for S.H.I.E.L.D."

Shocked, but nonetheless pleased with this turn of events, Clint nodded.

"I'll tell them the next time I see them, sir."

It was only a week or so later that Dean called Clint.

"Hey, Dean-o," Clint greeted him, holding his phone to his ear with his shoulder as he washed dishes in the kitchen sink. "I have something cool to tell you."

"Um," came Dean's voice. "Hold off telling it, for just a second. I might have a problem."

Clint frowned. He wiped his hands on a dishcloth and gripped the cellphone more securely with his now free hands.

"What did you do?" he asked suspiciously.

"I might not have done anything at all," Dean said, "but there's still a chance… Okay, let me start over. So, a little more than eight years ago, there was this girl in Indiana. Lisa Braeden"

"Oh, no."

"Yeah. I wanted to just see her, y'know, talk with her before my year is up." Dean paused, and Clint waited. "She has a kid. He's eight years old."

Whatever Clint had been expecting his younger brother to say, it was most certainly not this.

"Is," he began awkwardly, "is he your kid?"

Dean hesitated before answering the question.

"Lisa – his mom – she says he's not, but I just have this feeling…"

"Do you want him to be yours?"

Another pause, then, "I don't know. Maybe. He's a cool kid." Dean sighed. "Me and Sam, we saved him and a bunch of other kids in the area from changelings, so now he and Lisa know about what's out there. Listen, man, I've got to go check in on Sam. He's trying to find stuff that could, y'know, stop the hellhounds from coming after me."

Clint closed his eyes, trying to decide something.

"Alright, Dean. Come to the house as soon as you can, okay?"

"'Kay. Later."

Dean ended the call before Clint could say anything else. The older brother sighed rubbing a hand across his face.

He had to go find this Lisa chick.


"Good morning, Miss, I'm Agent Barton from the Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement and Logistics Division. May I come in?"

The dark haired woman – young and pretty, most certainly Dean's type, looked past Clint, as if to check if anyone was listening.

"Is this about what happened, earlier?" Lisa glanced behind him again, looking up and down the street.

"You mean the changelings, right?"

She froze, staring at him in shock, before letting out a breath.

"Okay, so I'm not crazy."

He smiled wanly at her.

"Nope. Can I come in?"

She shrugged, holding the front door wider so that he might enter.

"My kid's at school right now, so you won't be able to talk to him about any of this," she explained. "And I don't know all that much, only what the Winchesters told me."

He nodded slowly, following her into the living room of the house. It was bright and cheerfully decorated, and he looked around curiously.

"I just need to check your son's room, check if the changeling left anything behind," he said cautiously, and after a moment of carefully regarding him, she nodded.

"It's just over there," she said pointing down the hallway.

Clint nodded to her and headed into the bedroom. It was more or less a normal eight-year-old boy's room, and he found what he was looking for rather quickly. A hairbrush lay on a messy bedside table, and Clint carefully extracted a few strands of dark brown hair from the bristles and deposited them into a plastic bag for safekeeping.

He exited the room after that, bid farewell to Lisa, and drove himself home. Once he arrived, he sent the hair to a S.H.I.E.L.D. lab, along with a sample of Dean's hair that he'd found clinging to a pillow in the guest room.

A week later, Dean would receive a text message.

Kid isn't yours.

END


Word Count: 1,017