the day after ; sharon + maria

agent-thirteen:

Usually, Sharon wouldn’t make a habit of giving ground, even to someone as imposing as Maria could sometimes be.  But today – especially today, particularly today – Sharon vacates the space directly in front of the door immediately, giving Maria a way inside and keeping Lady close to her side until the door’s swung shut again.  

Sharp eyes follow Maria’s movements carefully, catching her gaze when the other woman slips her phone from her pocket – the sleek black S.H.I.E.L.D.-issue – and deposits it on the table in the entryway, usually left for keys and abandoned mail.

No GPS.

The realization sends Sharon’s spine up straighter, and she releases Lady’s collar to fold her arms across her chest, leaning a hip against the wall near the mouth of the hallway that opens out into the living room.

“Errands,” the answer didn’t matter as much as the continued play at casual conversation, words to fill the silence already crackling with electricity – and not just from the oncoming storm.  Gestures, looks zing through the air between them, the beginning of a conversation that needs to continue elsewhere, and quickly.

“Well, you know me,” Sharon pushes off the wall, arms sliding away from her chest to reach for her handbag, dangling from a hook on the other side of the hall.  Her phone joins Maria’s on the table, a note dashed out to Steve on the pad of paper beside them that’s left for notes, grocery lists, little doodles – coffee, back soon – because a text feels ominous, oppressive like the clouds she can glimpse hanging lowly outside.

Love that frilly crap,” she keeps a pair of shearling slippers near the door for errands, slipping them on and shrugging on a sweater before she opens the front door, a pointed look keeping Lady at bay.

No GPS. Or unwanted listeners. Maybe she’s being paranoid ( she’s not ), but Hill’s smart enough to be aware that it really wasn’t that hard to remotely tap into a device ( particularly an agency-issued one ) and power on the camera or speakers. Spies. The geolocation isn’t something she’s particularly concerned about- they really are going for coffee. She needs another shot or three. Maria idly wonders how much caffeine a person can safely consume before their heart stops. Is that a body weight thing or more of a cardiovascular strength thing? This is a great question for Bruce.

She frowns a little, lips pursing. Thought pushed aside, Hill allows for the slightest twitch of a smirk, a slow blink, amusement seeping from from her posture.

     “Cute.”

Domesticity, it’s endearing. A little like seeing a cat walk on its hind legs ( as it is with any agent who does the whole ‘settling down’ thing- no contempt or judgment for Sharon on her part ). A brow arcs, head tips. They’re having a whole different conversation in the slats of the silence and Maria smiles, forced against the stormy fury she’s carried in from outside.

     “Happy birthday.” Maria’s not the sentimental sort, so the words feel strange leaving her lips. Not genuine, even if she does mean it. She huffs, something of a close-lipped laugh that’s more acidic than humorous. They need to talk about this. Now. An exhale when Sharon moves forward, grabbing her bag and Maria shoves her hands into her pockets to join her, sliding through the doorway and out into the hall.

She waits. Waits until they pad to the end of the hall, feet light and quiet atop the surface. Waits until they’re down the stairs and on the sidewalk, stained with years of wayward wads of chewing gum, oil spills, and others less mundane. They’re halfway down the block before Maria turns her head, chin dipped in toward her chest. “Just got out of a meeting with Pierce.”

Inhale, a few more steps. She tilts her head back, feeling for the weight that pools at the back of her skull- the telltale warning signs of a headache she’ll be dealing with later.

     “Had some pretty interesting opinions in regards to the shindig last night.”

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