controlled burn ; self.

Hill rolls into the Triskelion early, as usual, sliding through the front doors just as the sun is reaching up over the horizon, head ducked into her phone. This is what happens when you don’t sleep, or get very little of it- you come into work at five-thirty in the morning juggling an americano and your Osberry. Shuffling through security is a struggle that she’s not really in the mood for and Maria gives the agents on duty credit for their patience while she taps out the last of an email before placing her phone in the bin, along with her service weapon.

Gaze levels with the man on the other side of the metal detector and she’s most DEFINITELY not ready for THIS this morning. He’s got that sloppy grin plastered on his mouth that says he’s got something on her, and Maria knows what.

          “How ‘bout your Cubs, Director? Rough start.”

Her mouth thins, she offers a huff.

         “It’s spring training, Tom. Doesn’t really matter, you know that.”

Except that it does. Kind of. She’s not in the mood to talk baseball this morning, side-eying her phone buzzing against the plastic bin as it passes through the scanner. The security agent gives her an ‘all-clear’ nod and a knowing laugh. Their exchanges have never moved past the occasional baseball mention ( ever since he’d found out she was a Cubs fan, though, he’d been increasingly pressing about it- which is ultimately fine, but she’s not the most talkative like, ever– ). There’s also a part of Maria that’s glad to be able to converse genially with an agent on the ground floor NOT about whatever assignment they’re trying to bully onto her desk for attention.

         “Does so.”

Maria tips her head, reholsters her sidearm, gives him something close to an eyeroll.

“No it doesn’t.” Spoken with the air of ‘that’s final’ because Maria Hill doesn’t lose arguments, even if she’s not correct.

Tom just laughs, shakes his head. He’s an older guy, well past field-agent prime, which probably explains his post at security. If Maria remembers correctly he’s got a couple of kids about to graduate Thomson Elementary. She picks up her coffee ( they’d even made her scan it- christ ), phone, and is about to roll on toward the elevators when the overly-friendly security guard starts talking again.

“Meant to tell you, had one of your engineers in here the other night. Curly hair, kinda short. Young kid. Had a new agent with him. Didn’t think it was protocol, given his clearance level, but got word that it was all okay’d by the higher ups via some Mr. Rockwell.” He shrugs, and Director Hill wonders when security had become so concerningly LAX. His information isn’t QUITE correct, but she doesn’t know that. 

Maria rotates slowly on the spot, brows inching upward on her forehead because she doesn’t want to show the alarm bells ringing in her head– Rockwell was a WSC member. He was also deceased. A drawn-out blink while she inhales deeply.


  “They headed down to the labs. Him and Agent, um– it started with a ‘B’.”

Her phone is humming in her hand but it’s become apparent that she has a BRAND NEW set of problems to look into. Maria checks the time. Not even six in the fucking morning and there’s been a security breach that no one seems to have informed her of.

       “Thank you. I will be looking into this PERSONALLY. Take the day off- the Nationals have a game at 1:10.”

Tom looks nervous- it hasn’t occurred to him that his interaction with Agent Fitz might just have cost him his job. Maria gives him a thin-lipped smile that looks dangerous, but the sharp edges aren’t exactly for him.

Mid-morning and she’s in her office sifting through security footage ( because with an all-access clearance pass, looking up backlogs is EASY when you don’t have to cut through any red tape ). Facial recognition identifies the stranger with Agent Fitz as Doreen Green, already in their system as a powered individual. Squirrel Girl. Of course, because– because of the tail. A quick glance over her stats returns the same mild amusement, but Maria’s not all that impressed ( when is she ever ).

It’s unclear if Green came into contact with any classified data, and in lieu of making a public display of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s LATEST security breach, the Director types up a quick memo, selecting several of her best and brightest undercover field agents for a security detail to monitor Squirrel Girl’s day to day operations until it can be determined that she’s no longer a threat to S.H.I.E.L.D. security. A more hands-on approach will be taken in regards to Fitz. 

            [ S.H.I.E.L.D. INTERNAL MEMO ]
            [ RECIPIENTS:;; ]
            [ ATTACHMENT: Encrypted file, 10.9 mb ]

               Read over the attached file and assemble a security detail for the subject.
               Reports will be sent directly to Director Hill. Information and intel regarding
               this assignment is considered Top Secret, clearance level seven.

               First report due at 1800.

               – MH


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