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A Bureaucratic Nightmare

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Hill rubbed her temples. "I can't go to Director Fury with this information."

"Oh yes you can," Phil nodded, not feeling a single ounce of pity. They got themselves in that damn mess, and it was not his job to clean it up, even if he was the one who had to pay for it.

"Phil," Maria whined in a very unprofessional manner, but the door to her office was closed and it wasn't as if anyone would believe Phil if he told them.

"Maria, I've worked here long enough that I know you can't say no to Fury. I get it, I really do. But avoiding repercussions is something even the Director can't duck. The cost of blowing up half of Rayong is basically financing the entire Red Cross operation, or sending in our own engineers to help rebuild. Honestly I'd say we're on the hook for both but I can't do that and cover your paycheck. And we can't do nothing because that would bring both the UN and the WSC down us. So yes, you can go to Director Fury and let him know the deep gouge in our annual budget caused by his impatience."

The door flew open. "Jesus Christ, Hill, I've had it up to here with Blake, that asshole--oh, hey, Kemper." Hawkeye, still dressed in his field gear, paused.

"Coulson," Phil corrected.

"Right." Hawkeye turned back to Maria. "Blake, no. Anyone else, yes."

Maria had gone 'stone cold bitch' the moment Hawkeye appeared and her jaw muscle started twitching. "Sitwell or Blake."

"Fuck woman, have you no pity?" Hawkeye did, at least, look genuinely dismayed. And also extremely sexy as always, although Phil was careful to keep his expression neutral. If Maria even got a whiff of his crush on the asset she would use it against him without remorse.

"No. Make your choice, inform Agent Duy. Now get the hell out."

"Fuck," Hawkeye mumbled as he turned to leave. "Later, Cardozo."

"Coulson," Phil repeated to Hawkeye's back right before the door slammed closed. Then he focused on Maria again. "That's the budget. The end. Director Fury can sign off on it or he can come down to accounting and tell me 'no' in person." He got up and folded his tablet cover closed.

"I really fucking regret the day Fury made you CFO."

"No you don't, because I always sign off on your Tadashi Shoji appropriations for undercover ops that somehow never end up in the costuming department." Phil walked out before Maria could throw something at him.