“…Your point being? If anything, you’re proving my point. I’m here because SHIELD thinks they can just scoop people up without letting anyone know. Tony has a job and responsibilities and people who love him. Screw moral compasses and boundaries, SHIELD just doesn’t give a fuck, but-.
You can’t just take people.”
Everything in Darcy relaxes as Hill begins to speak. This is all she’d wanted: to know he’s safe and being looked after and why he’d been taken. She doesn’t have a very clear answer to the last, but the conversation is hardly over yet.
“What kind of question is that?!” she scoffs. “I need the details because everything went to shit and when we needed him, he literally just disappeared off the face of the Earth. Like. Was a phone call too much for you? A text message? An email? A fucking postcard. ‘Hey, something’s going on with Tony and we’re not quite sure what yet, so we’re gonna keep him here for his safety and everyone else’s ‘kay thanks’. That’s not so hard.”
She rolls her eyes at Hill’s statement – she’s not dumb. And she knows Hill, at least a little.
“Yeah, okay. Any information you give me will be complete bullshit because of security clearance and whatever else. He trust me enough to let me in his house and in his lab – the least you can do is give me something to take back to his board and his friends and, oh, I dunno, his girlfriend.”
She huffs through her nose, counting to ten to calm herself.
“He’s receiving treatment. For what? What’s wrong with him?”
“We had and STILL have reason to believe that Mr. Stark’s condition could be detrimental to himself and to those that come into contact with him. Excuse us for trying to contain something we don’t know much about yet.”
Her words are droll, her intonation barely distinguishable, but it’s there, and she’s losing her patience. If she had to field this sort of bullshit each and every time S.H.I.E.L.D. did something in the best interest of the population she’d have retired like four years ago. THIS was why they operated in SECRET. Hill’s lips purse. She can’t exactly say ‘it’s because we might think that you’re a part of a race of alien shapeshifters’, and of course, Maria Hill has more tact than that.
“Sorry.” She wasn’t. “You’re not exactly at the top of the calling tree. If that’s what you’re here being all flustered about, that’s something you’ll want to take up with the higher ups at Stark Industries. Not my responsibility to call you each and every time shit goes down. If it was, I suspect we’d be having an entirely different conversation, anyway.”
The Director is tempted to look down and study her nails. Lewis has become almost GRATING, and her nerves are frayed enough already. Why can’t everyone just let her run her organization in peace and trust that her decisions are the wisest ones?
"Whomever Stark trusts is his business, not mine. No offense, but
we don’t operate on shared principles.”
She balks. A misstep. Shit. Lewis hadn’t been aware of the illness. Maria goes from feeling smug and in control to frustrated and backpedaling in about point four seconds.
“When we recovered him he was suffering from the effects of a mysterious
illness. That’s all I know, presently. That and he’s being treated. It’s not critical.”