“I’d offer you some coffee or something, but you’ve clearly got that covered,” he jokes as he shuts the door behind her. Her greeting is appreciated, and he returns it with a toast of his glass – orange juice, not coffee. “Thanks. It’s good to see you too; I’m glad you made it out of DC in what appears to be one piece.” 

Trip knows exactly why she’s visiting, and he says so when she prompts him. “I do.” He nods to the coffee table behind the Director. “The papers are over there. Filled out but not signed.”

He takes another sip of orange juice, playful eyes meeting hers over the rim of the glass. “Is this the part where you bribe me to get me to come back? Or are you gonna beat my request for reinstatement ”

The faux-pas is realized as soon as she slides inside the door, slick and silent ( the soles of her boots worn so smooth they’re nearly worthless, now, but that doesn’t detract from her apparent adoration ). She should have brought him something. A coffee, or something else. It occurs to her simultaneously that she wouldn’t know what to bring even if she’d thought of it. Trip doesn’t really seem like a latte man, but you never REALLY know- assumption is one of the most DANGEROUS downfalls as a spy. Director Hill takes a small comfort in the fact that she is not expected to know how her employees take their coffee.

Paper cup is tipped toward her mouth, mirroring the taller man’s movement. She lets the liquid settle at the base of her tongue for a brief moment, savoring the bitterness before swallowing. A quirked brow, the slight rise of her chin. Not so many agents would express such CANDID attitudes in her presence, though in this case it’s appreciated. Uninjured shoulder jumps toward her ear, settles in another half second.

“I’m following up. You’re a good agent, and we’d hate to see you go.”

Despite the third-person plurals, the fact that she’s shown up PERSONALLY is an unspoken addition that she, too, would be disappointed to lose an asset like Trip.

“I’m prepared to do whatever works. If you accept bribes, fine. If you’d rather be hit over the head with the paperwork until you sign it, I’ll be more than happy to oblige,” Maria delivers coolly, punctuating the deadpan-statement with another sip of coffee and a soft flick of her brows. A silent, what’ll it take? permeates the space between them.


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