A/N: This story was written as a treat for Sneakyhufflepuff as part of an LJ Hallowe'en meme, and was posted (in a slightly different version) under the title "Fright Night" on be_compromised. It's the logical conclusion to a piece of headcanon of mine that started in "In the Service", in which Clint and Maria Hill's (and S.H.I.E.L.D.'s) escalating respect for one another plays out through the unlikely medium of Nespresso. I didn't really see a reason why that should stop ... ;-)

PS: Ignore those little dots before the text in each e-mail. FFN has some irritating formatting/spacing limitations, and sometimes you have to resort to subterfuge to bypass them. (And before you ask: new instalment for "Second Mouse" coming tomorrow...)


Coffee and Zombies

By Alpha Flyer


From: DDir M. Hill

To: C. Barton

Date: 30-10-2013

.

Barton:

I know you've been into my Nespresso capsules again, despite the booby trap I set. Cease and desist, or there will be consequences.

Hill


From: C. Barton

To: DDir M. Hill

Date: 30-10-2013

.

Deputy Director:

Hey, thanks for the confidence! Seems you forgot something, though. I'm in Armenia. Just finished cleaning up the mess that Sitwell left behind. Those flesh-eating monks?

CB

PS: That whole fucking monastery is infested. I'm gonna need new silver arrows when I get back.


From: DDir M. Hill

To: N. Romanoff

Date: 30-10-2013

.

Natasha:

I need your help. Barton claims he has nothing to do with my Nespresso capsules disappearing, on the basis that he's in the Caucasus. The thing is, it's the Colombian Supreme, his favourite. He has to be behind this. Can you tell me how he did it? Please? Sushi on me.

Maria


From: DDir M. Hill

To: N. Romanoff

Date: 30-10-2013

.

Natasha? I said sushi!


From: DDir M. Hill

To: N. Romanoff

Date: 30-10-2013

.

NATASHA. Answer me. This isn't funny.


From: DDir M. Hill

To: T. Stark, S. Rogers, B. Banner, Thor

Date: 30-10-2013

.

TEAM ALERT!

Avengers:

Have reason to believe that Agent Romanoff is in trouble. Can you check up on her? Last known coordinates were 57th floor, Avengers Tower.

M. Hill

Deputy Director

S.H.I.E.L.D.

PS: Stark – if you have any idea about how someone could make a whole box of Nespresso disappear from a locked steel container equipped with motion detectors and exploding paint capsules, I'm open to suggestions.

NB: Sitwell has disappeared, too.


From: S. Rogers

To: DDir M. Hill

Date: 30-10-2013

.

Maria:

Romanoff was asleep. When I woke her up, she claimed not to have had anything to do with whatever your 'little problem' is (her words, not mine). I'll make a more detailed report when the medics are done sewing up the knife wound in my left arm.

PS: What's Nespresso?


From: T. Stark

To: M. Hill

Date: 30-10-2013

Thought we had settled on consulting hours? Nevermind ...

The disruptor ray we confiscated from van Doom last week comes to mind. But I thought Banner's mild-mannered alter ego had stepped on that?

TS

PS: Have to give Legolas credit. He's smarter than he looks.


From: Thor

To: Lady Maria

Date: 30-10-2013

.

Wrkhga;oiertw'GABN m

Sorry, Maria. Thor's hands are a bit too big for the smart phone SHIELD gave him. He says an inter-dimensional portal might have been involved. Do you want me to get to work on that? I've got something in mind. In the meantime, he'll check in with Heimdall to see whether your capsules turned up on the Bifrost.

Cheers,

Jane

PS: You don't think Loki ….?


From: B. Banner

To: DDir M. Hill

Date: 30-10-2013

.

Deputy Director,

Those capsules. Have you checked their former location for sigma radiation signatures? It's a bit far-fetched, but this could have done it:

∑47=√½≥⌥5.78 x π

Sincerely,

B. Banner, PhD

PS: Caffeine has been known to increase anxiety levels. It's not good for you.


From: C. Barton

To: Director Fury

Date: 30-10-2013

.

Sir:

Managed to get six of those zombie monks into the QuinJet. Hope that's enough? They're making quite a racket, but between Springsteen and my new Bose headphones I should be okay for the flight back. Let no one ever say SHIELD doesn't take its Halloween parties seriously!

PS: No, I didn't know about the paint capsules. Make Sitwell clean up your office; he's already blue, and he still owes me. Hope he didn't get any on my Nespresso?


From: N. Romanoff

To: C. Barton

Date: 31-10-2013

.

Clint – You were right. It does taste better coming from Maria's stash. You win. Black tie tonight … I'll bring the cuffs.

N.