Author's notes- Always wondered what happened to Mikel Fury after he was kicked out of SHIELD. Kind of got an answer in issue #24 of Secret Warriors. Set a short time after the 'Marvel Edge' series of stories and issue #7 of Punisher (May '96).


Arlington Cemetery,
Memorial Day

Hey dad.

Sorry it took so long for me to get over here. Not really sure why I am here to be honest. Still pissed off at you for letting yourself get killed by the Punisher. Just wouldn't listen; had to do it your own way, didn't you, even though you knew we were right.

And see where that got you? Six feet under.

Hm.

Sorry.

You'd probably be a little disappointed if you knew what I tried to do to Castle after he killed you. Had him cornered. Had him right in my sights when I got yanked back from the brink. Yeah. Took me a while to figure out that's where I was. It's just...

Right.

I wish-

All right, who the hell would be playing a bugle charge at Arlington today?

Ah. Guess I should have expected that. Should probably wait till they get over here before I take off. Wonder who they've stopped to see. Another Howler? Probably though it's not like you ever talked about your past with me. Well, except for that time you took me through the old neighborhood. Must be another Howler though or they'd already be over here.

So, there's Dum Dum- he's a little hard to miss with that hat; and Senator Ralston; Gabriel Jones; and the last two... yeah, Manelli and Pinkerton.

Guess it's a good thing that we never talked about the Howlers; would've hated explaining to you how I knew who each one of them was. On the other hand, maybe you would have understood.

Like father, like son.

It's not long before the five men make their way over to where I'm standing. By the time they reach me, they look like the old veterans they are, pulled down by the weight of the ghosts around us. Dum Dum touches the brim of his bowler hat and nods his head as he says to me, "Mikel."

"Dum Dum." Considering the situation the last time I saw the man- ready to put a bullet through Castle's skull- the nod and the handshake that follows my greeting is probably more than I deserve. It doesn't take long for the introductions to go around and the silence that follows is only awkward on my end. This is familiar territory for them. I suppose to a certain degree it is for me as well. This isn't the first time I've said goodbye to a father.

After the silence stretches a minute, Pinkerton shifts then quietly asks the other Howlers, "You're sure it was him?"

A sour look crosses over Jones's face. "Wolverine was sure."

Pinkerton sighs. "Ah, yes; the old boy would be the one to know."

The conversation strikes me as odd and it obviously shows on my face. Manelli shrugs, a small smile on his face. "Rumors of your father's death have been a little exaggerated in the past."

"A little?" Senator Ralston says with a grin and a chuckle.

"Remember that time around, what was the name of that town in the Marne?" Jones says. "Sainte something or other?"

"Right!" Dum Dum exclaimed. "The time we thought Nick had gone and blown himself up with the Germans and found out two days later he'd been having a nice little vacation with that cute girl, Pauline, instead?"

"Yeah! That's the one!"

"And there was that time in Brugge-" Senator Ralston starts to say, but is interrupted by an exaggerated groan from Manelli.

"Oh, don't remind me of that," Manelli says as he rolls his eyes.

"I say, that wasn't one of your better moments, was it old man?" Pinkerton says as he slaps Manelli on the shoulders.

"Yeah, you didn't exactly come out of that one smellin like roses, did ya?" Jones adds with a jab of his elbow.

Manelli gives the two Howlers an amused, exasperated look. "Thanks you guys."

The reminiscing continues for several minutes and I probably learn more about my dad in that time than in all the time I spend working with him. I'm tempted to mention that someone had stolen the casket and put it back while I was setting up Castle, but decide not to. SHIELD had certified the casket hadn't been opened and the body inside was his and besides, I'm sure Dum Dum would have mentioned it anyway.

Eventually, they fall silent and Senator Ralston pulls out a flask that gets passed down the line. After all the Howlers have taken a swig, Dum Dum passes the flask to me.

As soon as the liquor hits my mouth I know I'm in trouble. The liquor burns as it hits my throat and I'm left sputtering and struggling to catch a breath. "What the hell is this?" I manage to get out as I double over, one hand braced on my knee.

"Old family recipe," Senator Ralston says.

"Yeah, have to be. Don't think you can legally sell something that strong." When I can straighten up, I have to wait a few seconds before I can see properly. Looking down at the simple white headstone, I hold out the flask and pour a shot out onto the grave.

Miss you, dad.

After capping the flask, I turn to hand it back to the Senator. There's a look of quiet approval on the faces of the men around me and I turn away, shoving my hands in my pocket as I take a deep breath and slowly blow it out.

"So," Dum Dum asks, "What are you doing now?"

I shrug my shoulders. "Got no idea. Spent most of my life being what my mother wanted me to be, and the last few trying to be what I thought dad would want me to be. Guess it's time for me to just be me, whatever that is." Another shrug. "Thought I might get a degree; learn what I should have known when I said yes to the ad hoc committee running Carpasia."

"You do know your dad was pleased as punch when ya became President of Carpasia, don't you?" Dum Dum asks.

I blew out a breath and started at the headstone. "Yeah, right. Didn't even last a year at that job."

"Considerin what you walked into," Senator Ralston says, "I'd say you did a pretty good job." There's a rustle of fabric and a click of a pen. Looking up, I find the Senator holding out a business card with a number written on it. "If you need any help..."

I take the card and nod my head. "Thanks, but kinda like to try and do this on my own. But I'll keep it just in case."

"Sounds good." The Senator held out his hand. "Glad to have met you, Mikel."

"Same here, Senator."

After a round of handshakes, the Howlers start back for the entrance, leaving me once again standing alone by my father's grave.

Well, I should probably get going myself. Not sure how well this new career move's going to work out, but going to give it a try.

Bye, dad. Wish me luck.


Disclaimer: All characters are the property of Marvel Entertainment, LLC. No profit is being made from this fanfic and was written for entertainment purposes only.