line of fire | harry + maria


    Harry’s actually grateful for the disregard for
pleasantries. He’s exhausted, forcing himself to stay awake for the sake
of seeing his purpose here through. Long day having bled into
insufferably long night, not at all helped by the surrounding cold that
nipped deep beneath the threads of his coat. Worst part of it was, 100%
of  this was self-inflicted. He didn’t have to be out here at the dead night. He didn’t have to
be literally waiting outside on the docks for this shipment to come
through. He could have just waited inside the car or even some building
of theirs in the area, even if he’d felt the irrepressible need to come
ensure this delivery in person.

he’d just been too damn jittery about it. Pacing when he should be
standing, checking his phone every minute when sitting. It was better
for him to be out here, in person. The sooner he saw the crates coming
in, the sooner he could see them loaded into Oscorp-branded cargo trucks
and sent on their way to the lab. The sooner he could go home…  
He’d been feeling worse as the night had worn on, his shipment staff
noting his overtly solitary mood and giving him that space at any
opportunity. He’d even rounded things off by ‘encouraging’ his security
to take more distanced positions from him.

Good thing for him that Maria Hill didn’t care to accomodate for his
moods. Because actually seeing, and talking with another person was
helping…    Rocket science, right?

snorts gently to the correction, taking it as affirmation as his lips
quirk into a slight smirk. He averts his face from her, looking out
across the alleyway of shipment containers. A soft cool breeze ruffling
the collar of his coat as he takes note of the punctuating sounds of
occasional air-gun fire around them. It takes him an idle moment to
shoot off a text to all staff in the area about there being a scheduled
training mission nearby, to not worry about the sounds ricocheting down
through the docks.

              He does get a huff of a laugh out of her comment about never sleeping.

suspicious, or at least curious. He doesn’t blame her. But when the
inevitable questioning comes, the predominant side of him that burgeons
in his instinct most is that old favored petulant recalcitrance. Because
he’d heard the order in her voice, he doesn’t want to tell her. Doesn’t
feel obligated to. He wants to stand up for himself.    There’s also the matter of perspective…   Consequences sure seem pretty meaningless when it’s more than likely you won’t even live to see them.

But it had been a teasing point of conversation, as much as it had been
the other junk. For that reason, as well as the temptation led by a
path of least resistance for tired eyes and aching bones, he’s fine
entertaining her…   At least a little.

                    “Shipment. Pretty big one…”

            No harm. She already knows about this project.

                         Might even help if some group or gang tries to steal it tonight.

                                                     “–It’s for Extremis.”

                   “You alright, Osborn?”

    There it is. They’ve circled back around. She tips her head, a brow jutting up toward her hairline. Maria knows this all too well- the whole working yourself until you drop thing that seems to be reserved for CEOs, politicians, and apparently directors of government agencies. That might not be what he’s doing ( or done ), but she’s been there before. Seen the signs, the tremble in your fingers that you try your damnedest to keep still when you think no one’s looking. The fogginess, remedied by brief power naps and concentrated shots of caffeine ( espresso, preferably ), is only intermittent and she’s survived stretches of days combating the effects with a degree of professionalism that any world leader would admire. It’s nothing new, nothing that countless other people haven’t done before, but Maria Hill feels she holds a special degree of expertise in this field.

    The implication of the situation, the pomp and circumstance ( or lack thereof ) of a supply drop in the dead of night has her smiling, or almost close to it. It’s all very clandestine of him. Maria might expect this of Stark– maybe. The tech billionaire did so love the flashing bulbs of the press, but all of this trouble seemed like a page out of his playbook, not Harry Osborn’s. But then, what exactly does she know of Harry, anyway? Everything she’s got on the books is so closely aligned with the ideals and goals of Oscorp that it’s not inherently clear where one ends and the other begins. Smart. She’s sure he’s planned it that way. Doesn’t help her suspicion, though, and it’s evident in the slight squint of her eyes.

                  “Should’ve known,” the Director replies easily, releasing her misgivings with a brief flick of her brows, settling back into a more neutral expression. Extremis. An irritation, at least to her. Being on the outside of a project, looking in– she doesn’t like not knowing everything. Granted, this sort of thing happens day in and day out, but the fact that Stark is operating under a degree of secrecy that even she can’t touch? Annoying.

Behind her are shouts, she doesn’t flinch. It’s a drill, they’re working. Nothing’s amiss. Until–

          A sharp crackle in her ear, the comm cuts in.

                  “—multiple bogies approaching west-northwest –kkrrzzch
                                     heavy fire, fall back, fall BACK!”

   Maria whirls, one hand on her ear, the other digging into one of the pockets on her pants. There’s a distinctive zing of gunfire ( bad news when you hear it- means it’s too close ) and she half-ducks before lunging forward toward the chainlink. The tool in her hand is able to heat up and act as a bladeless knife that makes quick work of the thin metal lacing, creating enough of a seam that she can pry it open and step through to Harry’s side of the fence. Two things at a time, she’s barking orders into her comm and pulling out her sidearm.

“Get to the armory, we need to figure out what their motives are. Report back in two minutes.”

   She’s got a hand on Harry’s bicep before even realizing it, eyes slide between him and the men he’s brought. The suspicion is back in full force. It’s too dark yet to see where exactly the offensive is coming from aside from the general direction- professionals, they’re moving like a tactical squad and Hill’s waiting for her teams to arm themselves to begin to stem the onslaught.

                 “We have to move. Find some cover. Does anyone know you’re here?”


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