The Octopus Assignment

“Sir, I’d like to be put on the octopus assignment,” Carter announced without preamble as she barged into Dooley’s office.

He glanced up at her. “That doesn’t come as a shock to me, Carter,” he sighed. “You gotta point?”

“I want you to put me on it.”

“And why would I do that?”

“I’ve had experience with the type of bomb that was used,” she said immediately. “It’s based on what was originally a Hydra Design. I’ve handled it. I’ve diffused it. I’ve dismantled it. I know it – quite literally – inside and out, and no other agent in this office can claim that kind of qualification.”

“No other agent in this office can claim to be a woman, either.”

“That doesn’t come as a shock to me, sir. Your point?”

“Come on, Carter. You know the awkward situation that puts me in.”

Carter narrowed her eyes. “As awkward as the time you were almost blown up by Howard Stark’s exploding vest? Tell me, sir, however did you manage to get out of that one again?” She snapped her fingers. “Right. You were rescued by the office’s resident woman.”

“You think I owe you some kind of favour for doing your job?”

“No. I think you owe me the benefit of the doubt that I can do my job again.”

Dooley threw his hands in the air. “Fine,” he said. “You can be on the octopus.” He leveled a warning finger at her. “But you better not mess this up for me.”

Carter nodded happily. “I assure you I will not,” she said. She left his office with a bright smile on her face.

Dooley shook his head after her. “You may’ve saved my life, but you’re still a pain in my ass,” he muttered.