Barney had been alternatively dreading and looking forward to this moment for most of his life, but he had never doubted it would happen. He wasn't the sort of man to hope, but he was the sort of man do get the job done, and taking care of his brother had always been his job, and he had left it unfinished.
He still remembered the relief, back when he had first (unwillingly) joined HYDRA, when they started asking questions about Clint. They had no idea he didn't know, and had told him more than he could have ever hoped to tell them; Clint was alive, Clint was a high-ranked, respected, feared, S.H.I.E.L.D. agent. The job had done itself. It was a funny feeling, a good feeling: the job was done, and he finally didn't care if he died.
HYDRA, however, had showed him the way; a path for true order and the peace that would follow. And SHIELD was the greatest obstacle in the way. They'd kept him out of him, leaving him to watch in the sidelines while his brother put his life on the line fighting for the wrong side. But it was always either too early or too late for him, and Barney knew what ultimately mattered; HYDRA came first. If Clint was lost in the process, he'd have to accept it.
Then, came the Avengers. Clint with his bow and arrow, side by side with monsters and gods and childhood heroes, and all he could do was watch. Until today. Until HYDRA approached him with a new mission. They'd managed to get themselves enmeshed deeply into SHIELD, but the team that had direct contact with the Avengers was small, hand-picked by Nick Fury himself, and they had no way in through that. They had another way in, however.
The new mission was for Barney to find Clint, get back into his life, and watch and report. Do not interfere. To see Clint mixing himself up with those people, and not say anything. Watch and report only.
The first part was important; there had to be a believable trail showing how Barney made it to Clint. It was also worriesomely easy; Clint was renting ia hole in the wall n some shitty part of town. If that was all SHIELD was paying him, he could probably turn him by showing his expenses packet.
Next part was to just show up, and see if he got punched, or shot at, or what; that would tell him a lot about what to do next. He decided to just show up and knock on the door. He was maybe hoping Clint wouldn't be home. That he would get a few more days to work on a better plan. Or any plan.
Instead, he found him on the sidewalk. With a dog. They didn't tell him about the dog, probably didn't even know. Probably didn't think it was important. Clint had always wanted one, but Barney never let him. First, it was just going to be another victim held hostage by their father; then, it was going to be another mouth to feed, another thing for Barney to take care of. Barney couldn't turn and walk away - it was against the mission - so he just kept walking, Clint got slobbered on, then sent the dog running after a ball. He was almost standing over Clint now, and he still hadn't found anything to say.
They stared at each other for a while, and he waited for Clint to crack. He always said something first; always had some wiseass remark to make. He did, and Barney snorted, his hand unconsciously going to the long scar on his chest. It was a long, thin, jagged line, that he couldn't really feel through the shirt, but he swore he could. The arrow itself hadn't done that, of course. It had snapped his rib, torn into his lung, and left him drowning in his own blood, struggling to get air, just from a tiny little hole. They had to crack his chest open to retrieve the arrowhead, and stitch up the damage. "Kick your ass?"
Barney still knew exactly where the arrow had entered, though there was no proof of it. It was where his finger rested on, a little below the beginning of the scar. "I thought you shooting me had made us even."