There was, of course, a massive showdown happening upstairs. Sam had figured that was gonna be how it was as soon as Captain America ran by too fast on his left, to be honest. It all seemed inevitable. Sam had been waiting all along for a supervillain to twirl a moustache and speechify about his glorious plans for killing everybody.
But the phone rang and he picked up without thinking.
It was some sort of hindbrain response. Possibly all those call centers he worked in during high school.
"Hello?" he asked the phone, blinking at his own stupidity. It’s a fucking master spy organization with levels of super villainous plotters mixed in. Who answers the bright red phone and just says, "hello?"
"…what?" said the voice on the other end of the line. Clearly this was not how SHIELD employees answered the phone.
"Um," said Sam. "Everyone here is doing, you know, superhero stuff at the moment." He cleared his throat awkwardly. "You could call back later?"
“Superhero stuff?” the voice asked. “Who the hell is this?”
And, well. He’d joined up with Captain America, that sort of made him a superhero by association, right?
"Yeah. Right. This is Falcon?" said Sam. "Or. Um. The Falcon?”
"Jesus christ," said the other voice. "Did you invade SHIELD and then crack under the pressure of a phone call?"
"No! I didn’t inva—well, I sort of did. But only because Captain America was doing it."
"…you got peer pressured into invading a major international spy and security organization."
"OK, I’m gonna need you to tell me why Captain America is invading SHIELD,” the guy said. “Is he there? Can you put him on the phone?”
Sam rolled his eyes. “Yeah, he’s just hanging out with me on the phone mid-mission. We were braiding each other’s hair.”
"Well, how the fuck am I supposed to know?" There was a sigh. "Look, can you just find out from someone if Hawkeye needs to come in, The Falcon?”
"When you say my name like that, it sounds stupid," he pointed out. "That’s uncalled for."
Then the penny dropped.
"Oh, shit is this Hawkeye Hawkeye, the dude who fought aliens with Paleolithic weaponry?” he said, breathless, but also aware that there was a potential for getting his starstruck all over this mission and he had work to do before he could just abandon his dignity like that.
"You know, you’re the first one who got ‘Paleolithic’ on the first go. Most people say stone age." Hawkeye sounded amused. It was one thing to ride with Captain America on a one-off gig, it was quite another to chat with superheroes on the phone.
"I watch the History Channel."
There was the sound of gunfire down the hall.
"Sorry, Hawkeye, gotta run," he said. He could hear a sputter of some sort of complaint or warning as he hung up the bright red phone.
Spies, man. For all that this place was all about secrets, sometime they could be so damn obvious.