He ignores the jab. You’re one to talk – but it’s a thought best kept unsaid. He’s not an idiot, he knows the risk they took on the senator’s chief of staff was one mandated by their circumstances. If given the chance again….
He’s actually not sure what he’d choose.
“Who says I need somethin’? Maybe I just wanted to see if you’d gotten your shit together.” The words lack their implied edge, no scorn to be had. In its place is the shadow of imploration creasing his brow, tired humor at the corner of his mouth. “All things considered…”
Maria leans back in her chair, Bucky having finally won out over the babbling idiot on screen still vying for her attention. The tilt of her chin translates to suspicion, or maybe just plain, mundane interest ( is there ever such a thing for a SPY? ). Brows rise to accompany the gesture, formulate an expression to match in the purse of her lips that finally unfurl into something of a smile.
“Funny, Barnes. But I doubt it.”
Water off of her back, the Director shrugs off the latent concern that’s just barely discernible beneath the tone of his sentence. Because no one CARES unless they want something ( a lie that Maria allows to fester at the back of her mind– which makes for a good agent and a worse friend ). There’s maybe a part of her that clings to the belief, though, that there’s not an ulterior motive rooted to his visit, and it makes the silence after her remark awkward. Tongue traces the ridges of her teeth and she shifts in her seat, crossing one leg over the other.
“Noticed the new hardware.” A nod toward the shield– next to Barnes it still looks wildly out of place, sort of like he’s holding it for someone. “Looked like you’re a NATURAL.”