Hope you like it! I've been tuning it out since the beginning of summer, and now I'm going to post it. It's pretty good... I hope. Feedback would be nice! Review! Send me selfies somehow! I don't care! Tell me if you like it!.

I'm no Rick, No Joss, and no Stan.


The sound was faint, but there. It really only could be described as small. Quiet. Maybe it wasn't enough for a normal person to hear it in the middle of the night, but Clint was far from normal. In fact, Barton had been asleep when he woke to it.

He didn't even open his eyes, not even changing how he'd been breathing. Instead he just barely moved his hand over to his wife's own. He found himself doing that a lot more since quitting his old job. He was afraid that Homestead, and his family, might be compromised.

It was an irrational fear, when he thought about it (and he often did). Fury had kept Homestead off the books, and out of SHIELD database. His family was safe. He would keep it that way.

And that meant listening to his house settle in the middle of the night.

He kept still, not moving an inch unnecessarily. Judging by the lack of moonlight on his face, it was well after midnight. The wind rustled slightly through the trees, and the semi-open window kept a cool breeze circulating through the room.

After a few moments of listening to the regular noises Homestead offered, he concluded something was off. He went through his mental checklist again, now somewhat more coherent.

And that was when he realized: no crickets. They would always be chirping through the night, keeping an unintended watch over his family at night. They were silent now.

Still staying quiet, Clint slipped out of his bed, aware of the small noise of protest from his wife, Laura. Not enough that anyone but a trained agent might've heard. He brushed her hand lightly, waking her. She woke, maybe not as quietly as Clint, but no one should've heard.

She instantly saw how her husband stood, and mouthed: Get the kids?

Clint thought about the possibilities. The crickets had begun chirping again, which could mean that the intruder had left. But that was also an indication of someone entering the house. In fact, Clint could compare that small noise to feet sliding onto tile.

Stay here. Something goes wrong, meet at spot two. He mouthed back. She nodded, the gears already turning in her head. Spot two was the oak at the edge of Homestead. Her and the kids had practiced the drill a few times.

Clint cast one more glance at the warm spot on his bed. His wife sat up expectantly, and smiled slightly at his longing glance. She shooed him away, like, go make sure no one is here to kill us.

Clint's smile broke on his face as it usually did in front of his wife. She'd done the same thing on their honeymoon. Maybe it'd be a squirrel this time as well.

He passed his children's rooms, glancing at the closed doors. From here, the moon shine in, revealing the hairs still in the cracks of the door. No one had entered. The windows were triple locked, and creaky. He would've heard.

As he reached the bottom of the stairs, he glanced into the dining room. Everything in its place, nothing moved or distorted. The windows were closed there. So why did he feel a breeze?

A scuffle set him on edge. His muscles tensed, then relaxed slightly. Like a cat eyeing a snake relaxed. Still poised and alert. Barton prepared himself for whatever might be in the kitchen, because the breeze was from there. He counted down in his head, then peeked.

Well, it wasn't a hit squad. That should've been a relief to Barton, but really it just made the situation more confusing when he realized the situation was much more complicated.

It was a teenager. Going through his refrigerator. At three in the morning. He hadn't noticed Clint. Baffled, and still tired, Clint just watched from a distance to see what his intentions were.

The fridge light cast an eerie glow across the room, lighting up the boys features. His hair, a tousled black mess, was disheveled and matted with dirt. He wore a dark blue shirt with some pattern on the front, fading. His jeans were torn at the bottom, and his shoes worn to the point of holes. At first glance he had a tattoo on his right forearm, and it was possible he was missing a finger.

He was doing what Clint first assessed: stealing food. That wasn't all, however. The medicine cabinet had been raided as well as the storage closet. It appeared that the teen had stuffed everything in a backpack and was still going through Clint's belongings.

Clint was caught off guard by the situation. The boy was obviously taking his time to slowly and quietly take things from the house, and appeared to be after simple things, no jewelry or money. Heck, there was a wallet sitting on the table, untouched.

So he wasn't after money, but supplies. Medicine. Food. Blankets from the closet, maybe? Clint couldn't be sure on that one. The boy, still oblivious to being watched, closed the fridge quietly and then did the same with the cabinet, covering his tracks.

Clint wasn't sure about the boys intentions, but it was clear that he was stealing. And not just from anyone, but from Clint. From his family. As much as the boy might need the supplies, Clint couldn't let him walk away with it.

Suppose this isn't the first house he robbed? What if the authorities find a connection to all the houses that reported theft, but seeing as Clint couldn't (had to stay off the grid) they investigated him? His cover would be blown. His family put in danger. He couldn't take that risk.

Clint had to put a stop to this. Fast. The light extinguished, he might have the element of surprise. Still, the boy was good at keeping quiet and alert in the darkness. He picked his now full backpack without making a sound. His shoe, however, made a rather loud squeaking sound as it slid accidentally.

Clint figured the boy would pause to listen for any sign of people hearing him, but instead he continued walking and slid silently out of the back door. Another breeze blew through the screen as he guided it closed.

He waited ten, twenty seconds before following after the boy, with stealth that only years of experience could give you. Something, that although sounded crazy, pointed out the the boy might just have that. Perhaps he was homeless, or a regular thief. Clint could understand how desperate times could cause one to act in strange ways.

The boy had stopped next to the barn, and Clint was glad he'd stayed back a ways. He scanned the path behind him, shivering slightly as another breeze rolled by. He hadn't seen him, and entered the barn with the same stealth applied in the kitchen. Apparently, the boy was sleeping over. Clint saw the door swing silently shut, then followed after.

He didn't go through the door (master assassins don't need'em) and chose the second story roof door instead as an entrance. There was a hay loft there he could hide behind, and observe from there. He needed to gather his thoughts on what to do with the kid.

He might be homeless, or a runaway. Both of which Fury could solve with no fuss and no paper trail. But what if the teen wasn't quiet? Something told Clint he'd see through the fact that a government agent was taking him home. It wasn't like Clint could give the kid a stern talk and slap on the wrist.

His joints creaked as he made the small climb that ten years ago would've been much quieter. Without any other choice but to hope the boy hadn't heard, Clint jumped through the tiny opening...

...And onto the teenager. Clint's foot stepped onto the boy's gut, making him let out an audible 'wumphf'. Meanwhile, Barton slipped and fell onto the hay alongside the teen. They both were winded, and Barton and him cursed at the same time.

Clint felt like smacking his head against the barn door. He had been so stupid. This loft was the likely place to sleep if he'd been hiding in there for the night. The hay, although a hazard to sleep on, was comfortable and offered warmth during the last real winter night.

Both men lay on the hay, looking at each other in confusion for a moment, but only a moment. Clint got a better view of the teen. He hadn't shaved in a while, a scruff growing along his jawline. His eyes were a strange shade of green Clint hadn't seen before, but reminded him of the sea.

Those eyes seemed to size Clint up as he did the same. He noticed the way the boy took in Clint's muscular frame, sharp features, and determined look. Both had the same look of determination, actually.

Clint only noticed the movement a second before it happened. The boy tensed up, his muscles preparing for the movement. Weather for offense or defense, Clint didn't know.

The kid was rolling away from Clint, and his hand grasped something large and bulging: the backpack he'd filled. He turned again, back towards the corner of the loft to grab something else, but Clint didn't give him the chance.

Clint jumped after the boy, catching his legs and tripping him up before he could grab whatever he was after. They both tumbled back onto the wood floor and with a sickening crack the boy hit his head on a beam above his head. He grunted, and his pack fell from his hand.

Clint planned on pinning the boy and questioning him, but the kid was fast. And strong. Stronger than his frame gave him credit for. The kid kicked Clint off, and tried again for the corner. By now Clint was sure he was reaching for a weapon, and dragged him back by his foot.

"Listen kid, I don't wanna-" Clint was cut off as the other kids foot hit him squarely on the shoulder. It hurt, yes, but didn't damage anything. Clint didn't let go, and instead stood, dragging the kid with him. The boy in return struggled, clawing his way to the corner in vain.

Clint dragged the kid to the edge of the loft, the flung his back half off of it. In theory, the boy should've fallen to the first floor. Instead, the kid had his hands on the edge, hanging uselessly. Clint saw a fire in the boy's eyes, of annoyance and anger.

But he had the kid's attention. He held the boys forearms with his hands, keeping the kid in place so he could speak. "Look kid, calm down. I just need you-" Clint was suddenly being dragged off the loft as the boy let go of the railing, and onto Clint's forearms. Both men fell onto the solid ground below with a thud.

Clint didn't waste any time in getting up, twisting around to place a solid kick in the kids stomach, to wind him if the fall hadn't. But too late, the teen was up as fast as he was. Instead, Clint threw a punch that should've caught his jaw, but met empty air.

The kid was quick, and smart. He threw a series of punches into Clint's sides, but didn't take into account he was trained to take hits. This time, Clint's punch connected with the boy's face. The kid staggered back, and Clint was sure it was a knockout blow.

The kid didn't know that. He was still on his feet, taking a defensive stance against Clint. His fists were mirroring Clint's, and his eyes never broke contact with Barton's. After a moment passed, the boy spoke. "I neth thu to leth me go." He drawled, sounding slurred. For a second Clint wondered if the boy was drunk, but decided he wasn't.

"I can't let you take anything, kid." Clint replied smoothly. He noted how the kid broke eye contact to watch his lips move. A sudden though reached his mind, and wrapped a theory into it. "Are you deaf?" He asked.

The kid was definitely reading his lips, because he hesitated before deciding not to answer all together. But judging by the flash of concern in his eyes, Clint bet he was spot on. Another thing: Clint had been right. He had a tattoo burned into his left arm, and he was missing his left middle finger.

The kid took a step to the left and Clint found himself circling with the boy. Like two boxers, they glided around their ring. That is, until Clint realized he'd been deceived. The kid had made them go in a full circle, and now he turned his back on Clint and ran for the ladder to the loft. Clint cursed and tried to catch up. Why hadn't he seen that coming?

The boy was halfway up the ladder when Clint grabbed it and tipped it over. The boy had expected it, though, and jumped for the ledge. Whether it was luck or planning, the boy landed a foot on Barton's head and he used that to hoist himself up while pushing Clint down.

Clint could only watch from his back as the kid picked up his pack and put it on. He turned back towards the corner, probably to get his weapon, but froze. Looking past him, Clint saw why.

His wife, Laura, stood in front of the boy, just by the corner he was trying to get to. How she got up there was a mystery, but he would guess the outside ladder. But that wasn't what had the boys attention.

In Laura's arms, wrapped in a black sweatshirt, was a baby.

Laura only seemed to have half of her attention on the kid, while she soothed and rocked the infant in her arms, whispering words to it. Clint stood slowly, and tried to find a way to protect his wife in case the kid tried anything.

But maybe he's been overestimating the kid. He had snapped out of his trance and now gazed at the baby with something close to helplessness in his eyes. He took a tentative step forward, raising an arm out towards his wife. When he spoke his voice was wobbly.

"Give er bach." He said. Clint finally found a decent stepping stone, the tractor, and slowly climbed onto the loft. He was ten feet from the kid.

Laura, on her part, smiled kindly at the boy. "She's beautiful." She commented absentmindedly. She put the baby girl closer to her, then nodded toward the boy. "Is she yours?"

Clint was eight feet away, not taking any chances on alerting the boy. The kid seemed to hesitate before answering. "Shs ma sihsher." He warbled, apparently frustrated at the way his words didn't form properly. Seven feet.

"She doesn't look a lot like you." Laura commented, raising an eyebrow. She spoke slowly so the boy could understand. He took another half step toward the infant.

"Halv. Halv sihsher." He corrected. "Sham mome." He said, almost choking out the last part. "Pleash, give er bach." He pleaded desperately. Clint's wife realize how distressed the kid must be. Clint was four feet away.

"Why were you stealing from us?" She asked, once again rocking the baby in her arms. The boys eyes followed the movement almost hypnotically. At the word 'steal' he cringed, then sighed.

"Neehed diaapers." He explained. "Ahn fuhd." He said. He seemed to be getting impatient with Laura, as if he was standing on a nest of fire ants. "Shurry." He mumbled slightly. Clint could touch the boy. In fact, he was about to put him in a headlock, but the kid suddenly tensed. That sixth sense attuned to danger kicked in, and the boy turned.

He didn't retaliate against Clint, but backed towards his sister. He switched his gaze between Clint and Laura. "I'll giv hu ur stuff bach." He said, pulling off his backpack. He tried to plead to Laura. "Juhs giv er to me to old." He said.

He set the pack at her feet, then held out his arms toward his sister, but didn't touch her. It was almost like she was a fire the boy was scared to get burned by. Laura hesitated, then took a step back. "Where are your parents?" She demanded. The boy instantly pulled away, then rubbed his arm. Once again, he looked back at Clint, and Clint saw the boys distress.

After no answer was given, Laura made eye contact with Clint. It was obvious what she was going to ask before she actually did. Clint wanted to protest, but seeing as his wife won what she set her mind to, he stuck with sighing in exasperation. "Would you like to stay the night?" Laura asked.

The boy shifted slightly on his feet and Clint understood what he was debating. He wanted to run, and alone he could go far and fast. Even with the possibility of snow setting in. But he had an infant to think about as well. A warm house would be a welcome change from what those could've been going through.

Eventually, the kid nodded. "You hont calh ta holice?" He asked thickly. In an extreme act of faith, Laura gave the infant back to the boy. He held her close like she was purer than gold. That answered the question to him.

"What's your name?" Laura asked in the calmest tone she could muster.

He'd relaxed, believing he might've won the argument, and his sisters return helped. "Jackson." He said slowly, making sure he got the word out right. "Percy Jackson."