Well, look what the fuck happened to the last person who did – 

[Sharon returns Maria’s almost-smile, eyebrows raising over the top of her sunglasses as they hit the next block.  The joke feels timely, especially considering what she’s about to suggest.]

Something like that, yeah – 

[Her own cup is drained in a final, deep sip, so thorough she fills the silence between them with the undoubtedly irritating – but necessary, when it comes to caffeine – sound of a straw left in a cup full of nothing but ice.]

Look – [a sidelong glance at Maria, all trace of humor gone from Sharon’s face and replaced with something cautious, pragmatic, we need all the help we can get – ]  Rogers is a free agent, now; I’m not saying we draft him, but you know what, it sure can’t hurt scouting somebody else’s closer, right?

I try not to think about it. 

[ And she doesn’t, but not because it bothers her. There’s a moment where something slides between them like an amicable familiarity, but it’s gone by the time they’re passing through the next patch of leafy shade. She tilts her head inward, giving Sharon the indication that she was hearing her out. The shift in tone is obvious and Maria’s consideration also changes to accommodate it. Respectful, she wants to show that she does, in fact, give a damn about what her deputy director’s suggestion might be.

There’s a drawn out pause, a stretch of silence that spans several squares of pavement. ]

I’m not not interested in having Rogers on our side, even if that just means contractually.

[ Better ours than theirs, she wants to say, but that’s drawing unnecessary lines in the sand and she already knows what side Carter would most likely lean toward. A brisk nod, a punctuation mark on the unspoken decision: ]

You want to make the pitch? I think we both know he’d take it better coming from you-


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