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maria > harry


             He’s not expecting it. Anticipation having been eroded by the slow burn of time in these last few days, concern over multiple pressing projects and numerous disappearances having blended together into a general haze of anxious urgency. A dozen things on his mind, moving cogs and burning charges needing to be oiled, doused. So that when the number flashes through on his phone, after that split second it takes for his memory to stir and realization to set in–   he thinks his chest stills, even for a moment.

                His mind washes blank as he lifts his phone to his ear, setting down his helmet on the seat of his Kawasaki and resting his palm against the leather; a means of support as he slides his thumb across the screen of his OsBerry to answer the call. 


                            Harry doesn’t know where to begin.

                                           So he begins naturally.

                “Ahh, well… You know me. Nothing but the best for my spectacular loyal customers.”

                                                   There’s a smile edging into his tone, the slow slide into a gentle comfort at this shock (was it a shock? He’d been expecting something like this, maybe. Even just slightly.) gradually taking effect. He crosses one leg over the other at his ankles, an increasingly relaxed stance.

                                            “You are very welcome, Director Hill. You’re even more welcome back to the land of the living. Or, the land of the Present-In-Action  I guess…  ‘PIA’? If that’s not a thing already, I’m making it a thing now alright.”


               Something of a laugh- she can afford it. Maria turns her head, watching the side street before she steps onto the asphalt, pulling her coat a bit tighter around her neck with one hand. Tucking the smile into her shoulder, she makes her qay quickly across the street.

                                          “We’ve really got to get you on a punch card system.” Irony, she knows. She assumes he’s just been keeping a tab, but thus far she’s never seen a bill from Oscorp.

                                  “Present-In-Action I’ll take, never really was dead.” Ducking her chin, the smile she harbors is fond- he’d come looking for her in the aftermath and the gesture was sweet. “I appreciate it, Harry.” Her words hum against the speaker, an inhale sucks in a breath of the dry chill. “Really.”

                                                 And then there’s the unspoken. Maria purses her lips. 

       “Heard you came by. Just after the carrier went down.” 


She watches the numbers on her phone face tick over to eight o’clock as she slips the device into her pocket at the top of the stairs and exchanges it for keys, letting herself into the apartment without ceremony. The paperwork had come through that morning but, inevitably, there’d been a rush of meetings and ensuing emails that needed to drafted, leaving her unable to send him any sort of message regarding the update. Instead, Maria attempted to get out of the office at a reasonable hour, and when she steps into the flat she’s met with a well-lit living area ( as opposed to the cool navy hues of an apartment in stasis, normally well after midnight )

Maria feels as though she might have surprised him, chin tilted sideways and offering the barest remnant of a smile while she stands at the table jutting out from the entryway, disengaging her concealed sidearm from her ribs, keys clattering to the tabletop.


        “I meant to send you a text.”


— That’s because it isn’t fair.

[Her agreement comes swiftly, informed by Maria’s tone and slipping seamlessly into sync with it.  It’s been a long few weeks, of course it has, but the only thing keeping Sharon from falling apart at the prospect of attending another funeral is the fact that if she’s out of commission, who knows what other kind of hell would break loose in her absence.  

And she couldn’t make Maria do it alone.]

Funny, right?  [the scrape of her laugh is anything but humor]  All that noise, all those protests, but who got to retire or disappear and who’s stuck – who’s stuck doing this —

[Her voice filters to a halt, the bitterness that’d fueled it wearing off, cooling into something heavier, harder, the next words breathed out almost like a secret.]

I hate this, Maria.

[ Eyes shift sideways, sliding into the jacket that will cover the dress, make the practicality of it, the functional simplistic beauty for which it was chosen obscure- not that it matters. Maria likes to think that every choice she makes this morning will be, on one hand, made for those they’ve lost, for those that they’re honoring with this next service. 

It’s with that same attitude she’ll shake the hands of the widows, offer her condolences and those of the entire agency, the WSC and the United Nations. She’ll do her best to become a pillar against the grief they’ll both be witnessing, a silent representative of respect and shared sorrow. ]

So do I. But I’d rather it be me making the rounds than someone else. Us

            I know we’ll do it right

[ She wears that dress like a sheath, a suit of armor that acts as such but also as a sort of softening filter over her sharp edges– ]

I do hate feeling like there’s nothing we can do to keep it from happening.


The lazy drag of the question tells Darcy that Maria isn’t just getting here. It makes her lips tick upwards in a quick smile – had she gone through what the other woman has in the past few weeks, she’d be drowning herself in alcohol. She picks absently at the stripe of dried blue paint around her nail beds as she answers.

               “Definitely not an op. More like a business meeting.

                                             –What brings you here? The whiskey isn’t that great – I know, I’ve tried it.”

                  Don’t be fooled, the Director is far from being incapacitated by the two fingers of alcohol she’s allowed herself this evening. If there’s an unspun quality to her words, diverting from her normal, business-like clip, it’s only because she’s ( for the moment, pretending that she’s ) off duty. Taking a night off is almost never a certain thing, but if she’s going to make a play at it she may as well take her drinks early ( give them enough time to burn off before the inevitable goes down ).

Convenience. For the most part,” Hill answers, lifting a brow skeptically when fronted with an answer that seems.. interesting. 

              “Business meetings at this time of night, in this sort of place never fail to get my attention.” Though she won’t investigate further if she doesn’t have to, instead pursing her lips at the mouth of her glass, the swirl of whiskey emanating a sharp scent that speaks to its quality ( Lewis is right- it’s well below great ).



Boasting an impressive military pedigree and outscoring nearly every other S.H.I.E.L.D. Cadet during her time at the Academy, Agent Maria Hill took the global security community by storm as Nick Fury, Jr.’s surprising appointment – and eventual successor – as Director of S.H.I.E.L.D.

But can a woman like Agent Hill manage the world’s largest covert intelligence apparatus without making a few enemies of her own?  And, more importantly – would they be able to stand in her way?


Happy ( late ) Holidays @centcomm !!! xoxo