A/N: This is the second part of my "Sam Winchester, Agent of SHIELD" series. It follows "Uncle Sam Wants YOU", and if you haven't read that you should. but all you really need to know is that Sam Winchester is recruited by Phil Coulson during his sophomore year at Stanford.
Sam had to work hard not to snicker when the SUV he and Agent Coulson were in came in view of Mount Rushmore. He fought to keep a straight face as he said "So you've got a secret base inside Mount Rushmore?"
"We operate primarily out of George Washington," Agent Coulson said, completely deadpan, and Sam cracked up even as he admired the man's ability to keep a completely straight face. "You'll be working more in the Thomas Jefferson region."
Sam's laughter trailed off as this processed. "You're completely serious right now, aren't you," he said, staring out the window of the SUV again. "I was joking, but I'm actually going to work in a secret base inside of Mount Rushmore. Holy crap."
"Washington is the control room and main base of operations, basically mission control. Jefferson is R & D, Roosevelt is the training area and firing range, and Lincoln is agent housing. Since headquarters is somewhat removed from civilization, most personnel live on base." Coulson looked at Sam. "New recruits share quarters until they get through training. We never have more than eight recruits at once, typically half that number. Right now you'll be the third recruit at base. Once you're fully trained you will be assigned your own quarters."
"When does the testing and training start?" Sam asked, shrugging off the shared quarters easily. He had lived with his father and his brother in tiny hotel rooms for years, and lived with Brady when they were freshman; sharing a room was nothing new for him.
"It starts whenever you want it to start today, or at 0700 tomorrow morning. If you want to start today you can get the testing out of the way and start your official training tomorrow."
"I would prefer that," Sam said. "As soon as I drop my stuff off I would like to start the testing."
"I'll give you a short tour so you can make your way to the range," Agent Coulson said. "Weapons testing will be first, then hand-to-hand." Sam nodded his agreement, and the rest of the ride to headquarters was silent.
Sam dropped his duffel on his bed and changed into loose workout clothes before making his way to the range. The headquarters of the Strategic Homeland Intervention, Espionage, and Logistics Division was almost like a maze, and he was grudgingly thankful for all the times Dad had dropped him and Dean off in the middle woods and told them to find their way out.
Sam managed to arrive at the firing range without getting too turned around, and was surprised to see a small crowd gathered inside. He spotted Agent Coulson standing by an arrangement of guns and knives, along with another man with a bow slung across his back. Sam walked over, weaving through the crowd as he asked "Is this crowd here to see me?"
"We all want to see the new meat," the man with the bow said with a smirk. Sam felt a pang of longing for his brother.
"Mr. Winchester, your first official rule as an agent-in-training is this: Never listen to anything Agent Barton says," Agent Coulson said. Ignoring the indignant muttering and wounded look from Agent Barton, Agent Coulson continued "For now I want you to go down the line with each weapon here. This will be a test of accuracy, not speed, so take all the time you need."
Sam nodded and moved forward to pick up the first pistol when Agent Barton cleared his throat. "Try this out, too," he said, removing his bow and setting it down along with three arrows. "I've heard interesting things about you, and I want to see what you can do."
Sam nodded, picking up the gun and looking at the rest of the weapons that were on the counter. He was trained in almost all of them, thanks to hunting; the only ones he didn't feel confident about using were the machine guns and assault rifles. He calmly aimed for the first target and fired, letting himself fall back into the old routines of training. He moved confidently through the guns, not pausing until he reached the knives, which he picked up with a small grin. He had always gravitated more towards blades than Dean, and at Stanford he had kept up with his knife skills mostly for the fun of it. He let each knife fly in quick succession, mentally fist-pumping when he scored 4 bulls-eyes. He noticed that Agent Barton looked slightly impressed as he picked up the bow and arrow. Lining himself up, he went through all the motions, remembering lessons with Caleb, then smoothly nocked an arrow, aimed, and released. He repeated the process two more times, pivoting slightly to shoot different targets each time. He was impressed that he managed one bulls-eye, and the other two arrows were remarkably close to the center.
"Not bad, kid," said Agent Barton, nodding appreciatively at the targets holding the knives and arrows as they were sent forward for checking. "Could use some work on some of the firearms, but I like your style with knives and arrows. You're better than most of the people watching right now, I'll give you that much." He held out his hand. "Agent Clint Barton, codename Hawkeye. You're good enough that I'll be the one handling your weapons training while I'm not out on missions."
"Sam Winchester," Sam said, shaking Agent Barton's hand. "Pleasure to meet you, Agent Barton."
"Call me Clint, man, Agent Barton makes me think Coulson or Fury are yelling at me," Clint said with a grin as they walked towards the training floor, Agent Coulson trailing behind them. "Your hand-to-hand testing is over here, with Natasha." He slapped Sam on the shoulder with a grin. "Good luck, kid!"
Sam felt his stomach start twisting into knots as Clint wandered over to a redheaded woman who was stretching next to one of the training mats. Coulson came up beside him and said "I would get started warming up. Agent Romanov isn't known for holding back during hand-to-hand." Sam resisted the urge to snark back at the other man and started stretching instead.
Eventually Agent Romanov stood up, and Sam gathered his courage and stood up with her. They walked to the middle of the mat in silence, and Sam was trying to figure out what to do next when Agent Romanov moved. Sam barely had time to throw up a block to the blow she was aiming for his side and they were fighting, full-out, no holding back. Sam realized immediately that Coulson wasn't kidding about the woman not holding back; he felt like he was fighting for his life. He didn't know how long the fight had been going, but he felt like he was holding his own – and then Agent Romanov twisted elegantly, grabbing his wrist and twisting his arm behind his back. As Sam was trying frantically to think of escape tactics, Agent Romanov grabbed his shoulder while still holding his arm and flipped herself into the air. A matter of seconds later Sam was flat on his back on the mat, staring at the ceiling and panting as he tried to figure out what had just happened.
Sam could hear the sound of cheering in the background, but he was still trying to figure out how he had gone from upright to the complete opposite. He could hear Clint saying something about "the longest a new recruit has ever lasted" before the man in question was leaning over him, grinning. "You alive down there, Sam?" Clint asked, holding a hand out to help Sam up.
"I'm trying to figure out what just happened to me," Sam said, accepting the helping hand. "My arm was behind my back and…I think she flipped over me?"
"No one knows the secrets of the thighs of doom, Sam, not even me," Clint said cheerfully, slapping Sam on the back, still grinning. "I can tell you that there was a flip involved, and she may or may not have used your shoulder for leverage and then got her thighs around your neck and somehow managed to flip you like that," Clint continued as he handed Sam a bottle of water. "Seriously, nobody knows how she does it. Oh and by the way." Clint accepted a smattering a bills from agents filing past. "You are now one of 3 fresh recruits who have last longer than a minute against Natasha. I knew you had it in you!"
Sam grinned tiredly, gulping water like a man lost in the desert. He didn't even notice when Agent Romanov appeared beside Clint, looking like she hadn't just been sparring with Sam for who-knows-how-long.
"Natasha Romanov," the woman said, nodding at Sam. "I'll be handling your hand-to-hand training until you become an agent."
"Sam Winchester," Sam replied, starting to hold out his hand until he saw Clint's subtle head shake. "I'm looking forward to it, especially if you can teach me moves like that." Agent Romanov merely quirked an eyebrow at him and walked away.
"Dude, I think she likes you," Clint says after Agent Romanov leaves. "She never introduces herself to someone she wiped the floor with. To be fair, you put up a better fight than 99% of the recruits she faces."
"That was her liking me?" Sam said weakly. "I don't want to know what she does to people she doesn't like." Clint just laughed.
It took Sam a month and a half to become a fully certified agent of S.H.I.E.L.D., as it was now being called. Privately Sam still thought of it as the 'shadowy government organization' 9 times out of 10. He was being promoted with one other recruit, Sitwell (Sam had learned that S.H.I.E.L.D. operated on a last-name basis, except Clint, who made up nicknames when he was bored, and Natasha, who tended to communicate via eyebrow quirks). Agents Coulson and Hill were taking them to see Nick Fury, the director of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Sam could honestly say that he was a little nervous about meeting the director. Clint had been absolutely no help, spreading horror stories for the last two weeks. Sam was positive that some of them were lies, but he didn't know which stories were true and which were false; Clint was very good at making lies sound like truth. Natasha hadn't been any more helpful, either, simply raising an eyebrow and giving Sam a look whenever he tried to ask her about the stories. He had thought about asking Coulson, but he had a feeling the agent would give him the special why-are-you-inflicting-your-stupidity-on-me look that Clint caused so often.
Sam startled out of his thoughts in time to recognize that they were almost to the main conference room and quickly focused, snapping to attention in a manner that makes him think of training with Dad and Dean. When they entered the conference room Sam's gaze was immediately drawn to an imposing bald black man with an eyepatch. Something about the man automatically set Sam's teeth on edge, and he knew instinctively that this was Director Fury. He gave off serious don't-fuck-with-me vibes in a way that only the head of a shadowy government organization could.
"Thank you, Coulson, Hill. You're dismissed," Fury said, good eye moving between Sam and Sitwell with a calculating gaze. "Congratulations to the both of you for becoming full agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Both of you have the potential to be agents at a level close to Agents Barton and Romanov." He held out a pair of packets. "These packets contain information about your new quarters and your first missions. Sitwell, you're dismissed. Winchester, stay here." Sitwell snapped a salute and walked quickly out of the conference room.
Fury leaned over the table, folding his hands together and staring at Sam. Sam stood at attention, fighting the urge to fidget; it felt uncomfortably like when his father would give him a look before starting a lecture. "Sam Winchester." Sam fought the reflexive sarcastic "yes sir"; something about Nick Fury made him want to react like he did to his father. It was a problem. "You're going to take care of all of our little unnatural problems. Who do you have in mind for your team?"
"Agents Barton and Romanov, sir," Sam said quickly. Clint had seemed weirdly excited about hunting after Sam had explained why he was so good with knives, and Natasha tended to go where Clint went. And Sam liked both of them more than anyone else he'd met at headquarters; he couldn't really see himself hunting with anyone else at his back (from S.H.I.E.L.D. anyways).
Fury leaned back in his chair, crossing his arms. "Why those two, out of all the other agents?"
Sam was prepared to defend his choices. "Hunting requires skill with a variety of weapons, sir, and both Agent Barton and Agent Romanov are skilled with a wide variety of weapons, as opposed to most S.H.I.E.L.D. agents, who tend to only be highly skilled with guns. We all get along well, and I can easily trust them both with my life, which is critical when it comes to hunting."
Fury just stared at him for another long moment. "Alright. That's acceptable. The three of you are good agents, so I expect you to make it out of all your missions alive, understood?" Sam nodded, getting the feeling that if he didn't follow that order Fury would raise him from the dead simply to kill him for disobeying orders. Fury handed him two more packets, labeled with Clint and Natasha's names, and Sam stared at them dumbly for a moment before taking them. "Congratulations, Winchester. Dismissed." Sam saluted sharply and marched out of the conference room.
Sitwell was waiting for him outside, and together they walked quickly away from the conference room. "Jesus CHRIST," Sitwell said once they were down then corridor and around the corner. "I now take everything Barton ever told us to be truth; that man is terrifying." Sam nodded his agreement and made a promise to himself never to get on the wrong side of Director Fury. Ever. The man had packets for his hunting partners ready before he even got to the room, and he had just decided on Clint and Natasha an hour before the meeting. And he reminded Sam far too much of his father. Sam resolved to do his best to stay out of the director's way.
Sam met Tony Stark by running into him in the middle of the base, literally. Sam had his head bent over a book, muttering to himself under his breath as he tried to figure out the specific spirit that was causing havoc in a building S.H.I.E.L.D. was trying to use for a stakeout. Fury had refused to move the agents, stating that this was what they kept Sam around for before shoving a skeletal amount of information at him and dismissing him. Tony was focused on the phone in his hand, typing something out and muttering to JARVIS. Their collision sent Sam's book and Tony's phone flying.
"Sorry," Sam said, snagging his book and frowning when he saw that his page was lost. "Wasn't looking where I was going." He looked up, and his eyes widened when he saw Tony Stark sitting in front of him, grinning a little.
"Talking to a book, huh? You know it's a lot more efficient to make an A.I. that you can talk to if you're just going to talk to yourself," Tony said with a grin, leaning forward and grabbing his phone. "Way less people look at me like I'm a weirdo if I'm talking to JARVIS." He pointed at his earpiece, smirking arrogantly. "Made it myself."
Sam snorted, then tried to cover it up and hide the laughter trying to escape with a cough. He hadn't been prepared for how much Tony Stark would act like Dean. "I'm good with computers, but not that good. All the records I use tend to be on paper or microfilm anyways."
Tony perked up at that. "That means you're the occult guy, right? Winchester or Colt or some other gun name?"
"Agent Sam Winchester," Sam said, holding out a hand. Most S.H.I.E.L.D. agents gave him a weird look when he introduced himself with a handshake, but he hadn't broken the habit yet. Clint hadn't stopped ribbing him for it the entire month he'd been a full agent.
"Tony Stark," Tony said, shaking Sam's hand. "I think this whole secret world you're revealing to Fury's eye is incredibly intriguing. What say you come to the lab with me and show me how I can update Stark security systems to catch all the things that hide in closets and under beds at night?" Tony looked genuinely interested, his eyes full of the manic energy Dean's usually had when he was working on the Impala.
Sam opened his mouth to say he was too busy working on his mission, but Tony steamrolled right over his objection with a bright grin, jumping to his feet and hauling Sam upright by the arm before towing the younger man towards R & D. "You will? Great. This way, I got my own lab space when the other geeks complained about me talking to JARVIS. So, how would I get my security system to protect against ghosts?"
When Clint wandered over to the labs several hours later, looking for Sam so they could go on the salt-n-burn, he found Sam and Tony with their heads bent over a StarkPad, arguing about the differences between spirits and poltergeists with regards to the wavelengths they existed on and the amount of EMF they gave off. He stood in the doorway staring for several minutes before shaking his head and leaving with a mutter of "Nerds." He grinned at the chorused "We heard that!" that followed him out the door.
A/N THE SECOND: A lot of people put the first story, Uncle Sam Wants YOU, on Story Alert, so I figured I should make sure people know that this is a oneshot. The next part will be in its own story, and that one will be multichapter, but this is the only chapter that this fic gets. Just FYI. The next part is currently in the works, but it'll be a longer wait because I want to get a few chapters done before I start publishing, if not just finish the story entirely.