NOTE: It's not necessary to read the Code 221b fic, but it is helpful. Short summary: Miranda Higgins is a paramedic in London, and she manages to run into Sherlock Holmes more than once. Everyone is happy when John comes into his life, because it means less danger. Of course, when John gets hurt, Sherlock is on the warpath. Miranda manages to wrangle Sherlock and treat both of them when needed, and is not at all pleased when Sherlock jumps off a building. This fic takes place shortly after the events of both Reichenbach AND The Avengers, for the sake of timelines.

"Hello Miranda," a voice said, and it was American, which she shouldn't have noticed, because it was midnight and it was dark in her flat and Ron wasn't home and there shouldn't have been anyone in her living room, let alone someone American.

"Fuck!" she swore, grabbing the lamp at her right to use as a weapon, like it would do a whole lot of good if she was attacked.

The voice chuckled

"Yeah, probably not the best idea to show up in your apartment in the middle of the night, but I needed to get you alone." A light flicked on somewhere, and she could see where the voice was coming from. A large black man with an eyepatch was sitting on her couch, which wasn't near any lights, so she wasn't sure how he turned them on, but seriously, that had to be down the list of worries for now anyway.

"I am so dead," she muttered, glancing between the lamp and the man. She was no match for him. But damn if she wasn't going to go down fighting. She wielded the lamp at him and hoped she looked threatening.

"You can take whatever you want," she said. "We don't have much, but my wedding ring is worth a good amount. But if you come near me, I will smash you with this. It's a wedding gift, and believe me, it is heavy."

The man only chuckled, standing up.

"I should probably introduce myself. I'm Nick Fury, director of SHIELD."

She narrowed her eyes at him. "Is that supposed to mean something to me?"

"We're an intelligence agency based in America, so probably not. It's something like your James Bond."

She didn't lower the lamp. "Why should I believe you?"

He shrugged. "I have a badge in my pocket, if you'll let me get it out without throwing that thing at me. It wouldn't work very well, by the way, since it's still plugged in, and the cord is only four feet long, but I'd rather not risk it."

She gaped at him. "Whatever, get your damn badge out then."

He offered it to her, and she glared at him before accepting it. The insignia was unfamiliar to her, but if it was an American organization, it probably wasn't prevalent in the UK. Hell, maybe it wasn't even prevalent in the States. Maybe it was one of those underground things that only existed in rumours.

"Okay, this is nice and everything," she said, examining the badge and ID card, which read 'level 10'. She wondered how many levels there were. "But what the hell are you doing in my flat at midnight? I'm pretty sure that I haven't done anything to make you guys mad..."

She trailed off, thinking of the one thing that had been significant in her entire life, significant maybe even on a global scale.

"Is this about Sherlock Holmes?" she asked, the name still paining her to say. She hadn't even been close to him, but his death was still fresh in her mind, and it hurt.

He ignored her. "I'm here to offer you a job. You see, I have a team of... special people, and they have a habit of getting themselves injured. You have a history of getting impossible people to submit to medical treatment, and that reputation has made its way across the ocean. You've come highly recommended to us, and I will do anything to have you."

Alarms were going off at that last bit.

"Anything?" she asked, grabbing the lamp again, unplugging it with her foot to make it into a more useful projectile.

He chuckled, which was really actually quite frightening coming from him. It was the sort of cognitive dissonance that made people want to claw their eyeballs out with their nails. She's seen it before; she would know.

"I should be more specific. What would it take to get you to come to New York and work for me. For SHIELD."

She gaped at him, and really, she needed to get control of that. "You mean like... money and stuff?"

He smirked. "Yes. What sort of salary would convince you to move to New York? We can get your husband a job working with us as well. You don't even have to quit your jobs here. They will wait for you if you ever come back. Your apartment can stay exactly as is, and SHIELD will cover the costs of maintaining it, as well as getting you accommodations in New York. We're a government agency, Mrs Higgins. We don't like to stoop to such levels as kidnapping."

She didn't like the way he didn't rule out kidnapping, only that they don't like to do it. Not concerning at all.

"Your starting salary would be approximately double what you're making now, with more regular hours, as well as better benefits. Same would go for your husband, if he was so inclined to work for us as well."

She blinked at him. "Are you shitting me?"

He smirked again, and she was beginning to wonder just how many expressions he could make. She suspected he'd do a fabulous angry, but probably not many things on the other side of 'remotely amused'.

"Does this look like my shitting face Mrs Higgins?"

No, she decided. No it didn't.