[personal profile] sallyexactly
Warnings: violent death, reference to rape.

    She grabbed the nearest thing to hand, surged up on her unbroken leg, and hit the ambassador in the back of the head.

  Fury rubbed the bridge of his nose. His eye was closed. She’d seen him walk out of sessions with the Council and only look mildly irritated; she took a sadistic pleasure in putting the “Oh God, why are you testing me,” look on his face. “You killed the ambassador,” he said, “with brussels sprouts.”

    “With a stalk of brussels sprouts. Yes.”

    “This is not a conversation,” Fury said, “I thought I would ever be having.”

    “I imagine your work brings many surprises, sir.”

    He gave her a sharp look. “Why?”

    “Sir, he was about to bring down the marketplace, with the entire entourage inside.” She shifted in her seat to take pressure off her cast. “Also, he was a rapist, and he deserved worse than a quick death.”

    Fury rubbed the bridge of his nose again, but this time, she didn’t think it was her doing. “Did he rape you?”

    She wasn’t offended by his bluntness; she appreciated that he was willing to look that problem in the face instead of pretending it couldn’t have happened. “No.”

    Fury nodded once. “Brussels sprouts,” he said again.

    “I used what was at hand, sir.”

    From behind Fury, Coulson laid a stalk of sprouts on the table. She thought it might even be the same one. She had no idea how Coulson had gotten it, but she didn’t question Coulson any more. She couldn’t meet his gaze; he had a small smile lurking at the corner of his mouth.

    “Don’t laugh, Coulson, you’re the one who has to smooth this over,” Fury said, his eye still focused on the stalk.

    “Yes, sir.”

    Fury’s eyebrows furrowed. “I’m not sure I knew they came on stalks.” He poked it cautiously. “My mother sure as hell never would have gotten me to eat them if I’d seen them like this.” He hefted the stalk. “This doesn’t seem very substantial.”

    “I hit him in the back of the neck.”

    “Broken neck,” he said, and nodded. Then he put the stalk down, and made that face again. “Agent Romanoff, go away and stay out of trouble,” he said.

    “Yes, sir.” She pressed the controls on her chair, and maneuvered away from the desk. As she left the room, she heard Fury muttering, “Motherfucking sprouts on a motherfucking stalk.”

    Clint showed up at her side before she’d gotten very far. “You eaten?” he asked.

    “No,” she said, and turned her chair towards the elevators. Once at the mess, she realized the line for the food was going to be a tight fit—

    “Just get a table, I’ll get you something,” Clint said. Grateful, she glided over to a table at the edge of the room. Now that everything was over, and she’d been stitched up and officially debriefed, she was starting to come down. The adrenaline had worn off and she could feel the ache in her past the blockade of the painkillers. She just wanted to be oblivious to the world, but she knew from experience that if she didn’t eat first she’d wake up terribly disoriented. She had a feeling she was going to have the ugly kind of nightmares, too, and if she wanted to use vodka to keep them away, she’d have to skip the painkillers.

    Clint crossed the room balancing two trays with some trick he’d probably learned in the circus. He slid one to her; she observed coffee and red meat with approval and ignored the rest. They ate in silence, except for when she looked up to find Clint studying her. “What?”

    “You okay?”


    He nodded once, and went back to his food.

    She looked down at her own, and only then realized what she’d been eating. “I hate you,” she announced, and looked up again to find him smirking. She glared, unsuccessfully fighting a smile, and dumped the bowl of brussels sprouts in his lap.

November 2014


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