There is no +1 because Maria Hill handles everything.
Featuring: Sam Wilson, Steve Rogers, Tony Stark, Pepper Potts, Thor, Clint Barton, Natasha Romanov, Nick Fury, & Sharon Carter. Sam x Maria.
Content Warnings: Booty calls (non-explicit), light drinking. Spoilers for Age of Ultron & Captain America: Winter Soldier.
Rated: Teen and Up/PG-13
Maria responded to the fall of S.H.I.E.L.D. the way she responded to everything: she handled it.
She didn't become sentimental. She took the betrayals in stride, and counted the victories where she could. She protected her allies and her assets, and regrouped. She took a job with Stark Industries. She went to the firing range with Sharon Carter to keep herself sharp. She got stinking drunk with Fury before he left to stop Hydra before two more heads could take the place of the one they chopped off. She made sure that she was very, very good at her job. And she moved on.
That's what she does. She handles things. When other people are upset, or injured, or distracted, she handles things. Hydra base in California? Handled. Razed to the ground. Mysterious virus decimating the European coastal region? Handled. She got a team together, they found a cure within an hour, and in the meantime she'd pinpointed the origin and put an end to another world domination super villain. And then she treated herself to lunch. Fillet mignon. Rare.
When Steve Rogers showed up at her apartment, bleeding and depressed, she cleaned his injuries, bandaged him up, and promised to keep the location of the Winter Soldier a secret. He didn't need her meddling. All he needed was her sympathy, and she gave it. She handled it.
When Tony Stark pissed off Pepper, when she needed someone to vent to, Maria took her out for drinks on a private rooftop in Brooklyn, somewhere Tony wouldn't think to look for her until she was ready for him to find her. They talked about nothing and everything, painted each other's toenails and laughed like they were both fourteen years old, instead of women who were practically running the world. Pepper needed a friend, and Tony needed to back off, and Maria handled it.
Natasha needed information buried, or she needed it unburied. Maria did both, because that's what friends are for.
Thor needed advice, on more than one occasion, about human dating rituals. He was charming and affectionate, of course, but some of the nuances of their world still confused him. Darcy had tried to show him a bunch of romantic comedies, and Maria put an end to that. She knew none of that stuff actually worked. Instead, she sent Thor out with a bouquet of flowers, dressed in a well-tailored suit, and told him to try not to break anything. She handled it, and she had fun doing it.
When Clint needed a hearing aid, one that wouldn't be disabled during a fight, she made sure she had a tech team developing it. She kept it confidential, without needing to be asked. She handled it.
When Tony Stark accidentally built a fleet of robots hell-bent on the destruction of the human race, she handled it. She had all the Avengers on speed-dial. She let the U.S. military haul her in for questioning when it became clear they weren't about to leave her alone. She gave press conference after press conference. She kept track of all the damage, and made sure the correct donations were made to the recovery effort. She did her job, and then some. Death and destruction? That was her bread and butter. She handled it.
When she felt lonely, or horny, or just bored, she handled that, too. Sam Wilson welcomed her booty calls when she made them. He even made her breakfast, after. And he didn't take it personally when she took calls from work, or didn't want things to become serious, or when she didn't want to orgasm (because sometimes she's in the mood but not in the mood for that). She knew herself well enough to handle it.
When her old friends became vigilantes, she handled it. She was a little sad she couldn't join Agent May and the others. A little sad she hadn't been asked, even though her answer would have been no. But she handled it like she handled all her feelings: she felt them, and then she moved on. Her life was exactly what she wanted it to be.
S.H.I.E.L.D was rebuilding. It was slow going, but she was glad. Someone needed to be out there, fighting the good fight, protecting the world from the strange and the horrifying. And when she saw the opportunity, she handed in her resignation with Stark Industries, and she took it.
"I'm not making S.H.I.E.L.D. again," she said in her press conference. "I learned from the mistakes of that organization. But something must take its place. Our world is changing. It's becoming more dangerous to live in. These facts are unavoidable. What we need is an organization that is equipped to deal with it. Not vigilantes, and not individual governments. We're not going to be the ones making the messes." She smiled her most wolfish grin. "I'm here because I can prevent tragedies before they happen. The bad guys are coming..." Cameras flashed. She was ready. "We're going to be the ones that handle it."