agent-thirteen:

I can do that, yeah.

[Sharon nods, overhanding her empty cup into the next trashcan they pass.  She slides her hands into the pockets of her jacket instead, her next gesture limited.]

I figure – what, contracting probably makes more sense than outright employ, plus it makes things more… amicable, if he decides he’s had enough?

[Not that Sharon thinks Steve is the cut-and-run type, oh, hell no, but she also knows that he’s not Maria’s favorite and in the interest of middle, even ground for both of them, she’s willing to make some immediate concessions to ensure both parties are happy with the arrangement.  Besides, Sharon knows Steve well enough to know that he’d itch under a full S.H.I.E.L.D. commission; he needs a job to do, he wants one, but she knows enough about his past experiences as a Government Man to figure that being on the S.H.I.E.L.D. payroll was going to be enough without having to report to a civilian C.O.]

Let him man the gap, Avengers report in to him, he reports in to us.  We control the intelligence sharing, they control their deployment and engagement strategies, nobody’s left in the dark.  Maybe we even establish a mutual rapport again.

It’s definitely easier to swallow. 

[ Maria knows how an employment offer would go down and that’s nothing against Steve. She’d expect it, and doesn’t blame him for the anticipated reaction. This though, seems like a happy medium. The appropriate amount of control for S.H.I.E.L.D. while giving the Avengers some semblance of their own operating system. It’s advantageous, also, in the regard that it puts Steve Rogers back on their side, at least in the eye of the public. They’ve got nothing to lose, seemingly, and if Agent Carter has an ulterior motive whilst singing Rogers’s praises, then whatever. Maria’s not about to disagree. ]

I’ll send word to HR to get a contract written up, give you the editable template. I trust you to know what’s on and off the table as far as negotiations go, just get it signed. I’d rather have him in place sooner than later. At least WE can look like we have our shit together.

[ As opposed to Stark and Osborn, who were currently still flying the ‘no comment’ flags. They glide back into S.H.I.E.L.D. and the air-conditioned air rolls out from the automatic doors to greet them. Maria’s already wishing she’d ordered that second coffee, rubbing the bridge of her nose. It’s shaping up to be a hell of a week. ]

Let Steven know I’m looking forward to the arrangement.

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