(The story of how Clint and Coulson got together in the Toasterverse)
Nick Fury didn’t trust in electronic files.
Oh, sure, he used them, he used them because he had no choice, some things had to be placed in a computer, it was just impractical to assume otherwise. But personnel files, the real ones, the hard core accounting of an agent’s lifeblood with SHIELD, that was a paper file. That was always a paper file.
Clint Barton’s file filled half a dozen folders.
Deputy Director Maria Hill unloaded them onto her desk top one after another, letting each one fall with an impressive, solid thump. Clint studied them, arching an eyebrow, just a little, somewhere between amused and annoyed by the display. He sat back, letting her go through the motions.
Finally, surrounded by the stacks, Maria took a seat behind her desk. “So, Specialist.”
She said nothing else, and Clint let his other eyebrow rise to join the first one. “Yes, ma’am?” he responded, the reply pitch perfect. Not a word, or a tone, or a facial expression out of line, nothing she could possibly take offense at.
She took offense anyway, because she was super fun that way.
“You’ve been hanging on by a thread for years now,” she said, never one to mince words. “A very fine thread. You’re insubordinate, you’re stubborn, you’re problematic on site and an unrelenting pain in the ass on base. You fight with your superiors, you insist upon picking your own perches and won’t work with half of the agents we’ve got to support you. You cannot be trusted to follow medical protocols, you lie flat out to handlers and med personnel alike about your status. You’ve been written up a record nine times for using your fellow agents for target practice. You alter official equipment without permission, you go into the field with unapproved devices.” She sat back, arms folded in front of her on the desktop, her expression blank. “In short, you’re a living nightmare of a special operative, Barton.”
He considered that. “Thank you, ma’am.”
Her lips twitched. “You’re holding on by a thread. And that thread has a name, Barton. It’s Phil Coulson.”
this fic it really good, I wish there was more! >n<