[chuckles] You have no idea how long I’ve been waiting to hear someone say ‘they’re back’.
Well, obviously, it’s been for awhile. [sticks out her hand] I’m Maria Hill.
Well, Stark is a successful genius who personally flew a nuclear missile into outer space to save the city, so maybe it wouldn’t hurt to pick up a few of his tricks every now and again. [Expression remains the same] I never said you didn’t have your reasons, and I was careful to word it that way. Though, I suppose I could have picked up the phone once or twice to call, but I guess I was so busy with work. [nods once] Oh, I know that. Just as I know that he considers me for the position, as well. And probably a handful of other students at the Academy that we don’t know about. This isn’t about what he’s told us. This is about who’s here now and who’s willing to give up everything else in their life for this– sleep, communication, spare time… relationships. Everything.
[raises an eyebrow at the last comment about relationships but doesn’t say anthing. Instead she squares her shoulders and looks Peggy directly in the eye, saying coolly] Well, unfortunately for you, I am here now and I am going to get my position back. It could take weeks, months, a year- it doesn’t matter. I know I’ll be back on top where I belong one day because I fought too hard and too damn long to earn it in the first place. I’m not going to let my position go without a fight.
But the question is… Are you back in black?
[can’t help but grin] AC/DC references, I approve.
[ glances from her gun back to her and looks around the city] While the architecture isn’t anything to be desired, I sincerely doubt I would destroy a city in a realm I care little one way or another for.
Well, you cared a lot about this city a few months ago. Now answer the question: what the hell are you doing back here?
[smirks a bit before letting out a small laugh] Oh I’m sure I won’t, trust me on that one. Especially if that secret is on the line.
[perks up a bit] I always loved Chicago. How is good ol’ Chi-town?
It was great, actually. I hadn’t been there in a few years so I had to find where all the good food went but other than that I had a lot of fun.
I just need to know how you were able to get the pirate to give you time off. I need to visit the motherland and he won’t let me – maple syrup just isn’t the same here.
Years of hard work and dedication, Wade. That shit gets you everywhere.
[holds her gaze easily, her smile fading just slightly] I know that. Which is why I’m telling you, here and now, that our friendship was the only thing that kept me from getting this spot in the first place. You’ve not sacrificed what I have for SHIELD, especially as of late, and Fury has taken notice. [adds with another polite smile] You look very well-rested.
See, a comment like that I expect to come from Stark or you know, a middle school girl. You though, that’s… new. [looks at Peggy and shrugs] You can say what you want about my leaving but I had my reasons and if you had bothered to keep in contact with me, you might know what those reasons are. As for the job, Fury knows how dedicated I am and that I’ve worked my ass off for him ever since I joined SHIELD. I could take an even longer vacation and he would still consider me a contender for his job one day. Deep down, I think you know that.
As flattering as it is that you all seem to know my name, I’ve not idea what you’re talking about.
[stares at him, before saying slowly] Did you forget that you nearly destroyed this city? Everyone in the goddamn country knows your name.
[her smile becomes genuine at the sound of the title though she forces it to turn polite a moment later] It is. And thank you; it’s something I’ve worked hard for. Something, [pauses just slightly, saying in a friendly tone to the best of her ability] that I plan on keeping.
Well, I wish you luck with that as it’s also something that I worked hard for. [looks Peggy directly in the eyes] We’re friends, Peggy. That’s why I’m telling you here and now that our friendship isn’t going to stop me from doing everything within my power to win that title back.
[nods her head with a small smirk] I’ve spent more hours than I should coming up with that theory, don’t tell ol’ eye patch. Would want him to know I’ve been spending precious academy hours thinking about pigeons and their human honing shit. [grins] I’ve been pretty good, adjusting well. What about you? Haven’t seen you since you came and smuggled me here.
[grins] Your secret is safe with me, Kitty- just don’t get on my bad side.
After the Battle, I went to Chicago to go visit my mother for a few months. I’m back for good though.