Just Another Day
S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent Phil Coulson looked up from his delicious, off-duty breakfast of scrambled eggs and bacon to find his friend and coworker, Jasper Sitwell, standing there looking unusually exhausted and slightly disheveled. "Hello Sitwell, care to join me? The diner is still doing their famous early-bird specials," he said, gesturing to the vacant seat across the diner table from him.
Sitwell glanced at the bench before shaking his head. "Sorry, but I can't because I'm on duty right now. Handling that truck accident downtown," he said, raising an eyebrow at Coulson. "But I'm guessing it would be a safe bet to say that you're not on duty right now, am I correct?" he asked.
"Yes. I'm getting a whole three weeks off as a reward for putting up with Stark for two months straight, handling the New Mexico situation, and for helping get the team together. Stark has a way for making time stretch to unreasonable proportions," Coulson said cheerfully as he took another bite of bacon. He frowned, swallowed, and then said slowly, "Of course, with the Avengers Initiative finally going public, the stress is making Stark more and more unbearable with each passing day…"
"I know, I heard about the big blow-up between Stark and Rogers from Black Widow," Sitwell said, looking sympathetically down at Coulson.
"Let's just say the Titanic fared better against the iceberg," Coulson said, grimacing at the memory of the argument before the two men. Why hadn't he seen that problem coming when delivering the final report, and subsequently the green light to form the team, to Director Fury?
Coulson looked back up at Sitwell, and, after noting the other man's grim expression, he asked, "So, did you want to say something or did the truck accident get cleaned up already?"
"Yes and no; yes I wanted to say something and no, the truck accident hasn't been cleaned up yet. It actually spilled over into a stand-off right now, and I need help with damage control in downtown Brooklyn. After I explained the, uh, situation to Fury as best I could, we both decided that it was for the best that the Avengers didn't get involved with this one. For one thing, they're still new at the whole teamwork thing and for another, they're really not quite ready for this problem," Sitwell explained. "So Fury sent them on a fool's errand to London, disguising the trip as a team-building exercise."
"I see. Did you catch any of the perpetrators yet?" Coulson asked, frowning.
"Yes. After I got off the phone, one of my agents managed to capture the only adult present. The guy then said he wanted to talk specifically to you, so I left Rick Jones in charge so I could get you," Sitwell said, taking off his dirt-smudged glasses and tried to wipe them clean with a dirty handkerchief.
Coulson raised an eyebrow. "The way you said 'the only adult present' makes me think that it's a bunch of teenagers are involved… are they Xavier's bunch again?" he asked.
Sitwell grinned as he replaced his glasses on his face, but grimaced as his now free hand unconsciously reached to touch his shoulder lightly. Coulson noted with slight alarm that the fabric on Sitwell's dark blue uniform was burned enough to leave a mark but not enough to cause physical harm. "Well, if it were Xavier's bunch again, then I would be talking to Logan about this, not you." He paused, and then admitted, "I kinda wish it were Xavier's students, that would have been easy to explain to Fury over the phone. I think I lost ten to fifteen minutes trying to explain the situation to him while the kids deflected and beat my men like they were mall security cops trying to catch and arrest a rampaging Punisher. Agent Pullman, he said he'd been with you in New Mexico, he said that it was like trying to fight and restrain Thor all over again."
Coulson paused in the middle of taking a drink of orange juice. Comparing an opponent with the likes of Punisher and even Thor was taking the comparison close to the extreme. He slowly lowered his glass as he silently watched his peaceful, worry-free day going down the tubes. "The teenagers… are that good? Or are you exaggerating?" he asked, staring at Sitwell.
"Like I said, it's a little hard to explain," Sitwell said. "It's better if I just show you."
Coulson looked sadly down at his almost-finished breakfast. "We have to go now, don't we?" he asked, looking back at Sitwell.
Sitwell nodded silently.
Sighing, Coulson began to scoot out of the booth. "Well, if it's so bad that the Avengers can't handle it, then what chance do we have?" he asked as he reached for his coat.
"I never said they couldn't, I just said it was a good idea if they didn't handle this one. Captain America especially isn't used to the high level of weirdness that you and I see on an almost daily basis," Sitwell said as Coulson pulled on his coat and began counting out the money for his bill and tip. "Look, I promise it will make sense once you see it for yourself."
"Hey, I said I was coming, didn't I? Relax. Even if these kids were trained by a bad guy wannabe, we should be able to wear them down until we can overpower them. Besides, I'm interested in meeting this person who claims to know me, I don't know many supervillians on a personal level," Coulson said as he placed the money on the counter. He hesitated until he caught the waitress's eye. "Erin? Thank you for the food, I'll be back for my usual coffee."
"Be sure to include some Advil, Tylenol, or whatever you use for headache relief around here. He's going to need it for sure when he gets back," Sitwell said before he more or less pushed Coulson out of the door into the morning sunshine.
At nine forty-five in the morning, Manhattan's streets were already clogged with morning traffic. Even with the Chevrolet's sirens blaring, Coulson worried that it would take them a while before they got to their destination. "So when were you going to explain this hard-to-explain situation?" Coulson asked as he got into the passenger side while Sitwell took the driver's seat.
Sitwell looked tired and ill as the two men shut their respective doors. "Well," Sitwell said as he activated the Chevrolet's engines and sirens, "It started this morning with a phone call. Do you remember Dr. Henry Pym? The scientist who does occasional work for Fury from time to time?"
"Yes, I remember him. He's the one with tons of energy, enthusiasm and a lovely assistant, Ms. Van-Dyne. What about him?"
Sitwell's shoulders sagged before he said, "Well, one of his classified shipments to Fury was attacked this morning by a bunch of kids who were dressed in a similar fashion to the Avengers. At first the truck driver had dismissed them as harmless fans, but took them seriously only when the kids attacked the truck. That was the truck accident from this morning that I was sent to clean up. Anyway, so I get there, and the truck's escorts and the kids are attacking each other causing non-fatal collisions and tying up traffic for miles. We, as in my teams and I, chased everyone off the Williamsburg Bridge and managed to chase them down to the border of Brooklyn and Queens. That's where I left them to go get you. Thankfully, the kids seemed to have forgotten about the truck, so the escorts took the shipment and hightailed it the rest of the way to Manhattan."
Coulson nodded thoughtfully as Sitwell spoke, and considered his friend's words. "Are we looking at any of Stark's weapons used by these kids?" he asked.
"Thank God no, the only thing that could belong to Stark was this flying humanlike robot that kept going intangible to avoid getting hit by the marksmen," Sitwell said as he accelerated through the clearing lanes of traffic.
"Well, as far as I know, Stark doesn't make or have anything to do with intangible humanlike robots," Coulson said as he mentally reviewed everything from his days at Stark's Malibu home. "I could tell you the names of five women he's had one-night stands with, but I could never tell you about his latest mechanized creation. Doesn't want to risk Fury getting his paws on it. Sorry I can't be of more use there."
"It's okay, if anything, we can eliminate Stark from any equations, possibilities, and/or theories we might have about this," Sitwell said as he pushed the car a little faster.
"What are we looking at for team members?"
"Well, the robot thing I mentioned just now, the adult I mentioned earlier, and five kids who are apparently huge Avenger fans. Two of the kids though have original costumes, and one of those might be a mutant. He's already shocked at least two agents into unconsciousness, but I want to be absolutely sure before we call in the MRD. They always blow everything out of proportion," Sitwell said as he easily navigated the car onto the Williamsburg Bridge, speeding across toward Brooklyn.
"Yeah, I hate dealing with them too," Coulson agreed. "So we've got a bunch of Avenger wannabes running around with adult supervision and apparently they have weapons. Correct?"
"Partially. Some of the kids have superpowers, and the others have weapons. Trust me, a bunch of us including myself found out about the superpowers the hard way."
"Pullman's reaction was better than that. I learned how to say the F-bomb in several different languages when he got hit."
It didn't take long for them to find the exact location of the fight. New York police officers were pushing the curious crowd and media back from a slightly enclosed plaza that was covered in cement chunks, glass, and broken tiles. The Chevrolet came to a skidding halt at the curb next to the plaza, nearly colliding with a few distracted onlookers. Coulson was already moving before Sitwell even shut the car off, jumping out and running around to intercept the police officer coming toward them. "S.H.I.E.L.D. That's our men in there," Coulson said as he flashed his badge at the officer and walked by him.
"I'm with him. Just keep the pedestrians away from the scene!" Sitwell said as he rushed past the confused officer.
It was eerily silent and empty inside the plaza. To Coulson, it looked as though the Hulk had torn his way through the place, leaving a destroyed courtyard, wrecked stores, and a broken fountain in his wake. Water spurted from the fountain, leaving wet tile and dirt all over the place. "You know, I think that we might have done at least three-quarters of this. I wasn't paying much attention earlier," Sitwell said from behind, startling Coulson.
"Either way, Fury is not going to be a happy camper."
Sitwell snorted. "Since when has Fury ever been a happy camper?" he asked.
Both men dropped at the sound of a gunshot, and they tensed when there was only silence in response. Coulson started to get up when he heard the unmistakable sound of electricity and what sounded like a large cat roaring, and dropped down right as Sitwell yanked down on his sleeve. Then there was silence again.
"You didn't mention the animal," Coulson remarked as he turned to face Sitwell.
Sitwell was slightly pale. "I didn't know there was an animal," he whispered back.
They both listened carefully for a few moments, flinching when there was the sound of a man cursing up a storm. "Pullman. He always knew how to out-cuss a sailor," Coulson said a few moments after the swearing ended.
"Something bad just happened, I know it," Sitwell growled before he cautiously stood up again, Coulson slowly following him.
The two men darted across the courtyard like a pair of thieves, both pausing each time they heard some sort of sound. After three minutes of stop-and-dash, Sitwell paused behind a chunk of concrete and then peered over. "Okay, I see our guys," he said, ducking back down. "No sign of the kids, but that's to be expected. Looks like the prisoner also either escaped or was rescued, Jones looks like he took a nasty hit to the head," he added as he hunched himself against the concrete chunk.
"You do realize that we're now both obligated to finish this before the Avengers return, right? Stark will never let us live it down if they have to clean this up," Coulson whispered back, and mouthed 'what?' when Sitwell glared scathingly at him.
Coulson sighed, and then risked a glance over the edge himself.
Someone, probably a S.H.I.E.L.D agent, had set off a bomb at some point because there was a giant crater in the middle of the next plaza section that S.H.I.E.L.D had selected for the battleground. Bits of tile were stuck in the walls and concrete chunks that agents were using as shields. Coulson saw that an unconscious Jones had been pulled off to the side, sheltered by an overturned shopping cart that was also the frame for another shields of concrete. Other than Jones, there were no other S.H.I.E.L.D agents visible, but after a few seconds Coulson picked out the two snipers on the rooftops above because part of their arms and rifles were visible behind the chimneys they were using as a hideout. Then he ducked back down.
Just in time.
Both men jumped when an arrow sailed overhead, chipping the top of the cement shield. Coulson could only stare in wonder as it embedded itself into a wooden beam of a nearby store. "A protégé of Bullseye?" he whispered.
"I hope not. I sincerely hope not," Sitwell muttered back.
"Again, why weren't the Avengers called in? Teamwork issues aside, this is the sort of thing they're trained to do albeit on a smaller scale," Coulson whispered back.
"Like I said, it's complicated," Sitwell hissed back. He took a deep breath and said, "There's only one way to break this up before anyone dies if they haven't started already."
It took Coulson a few seconds to catch on. "Oh no, I am not going in there by myself to break up two warring teams…"
"You wouldn't be going in by yourself, I'd go with you," Sitwell interrupted. "Just coax the adult out and…"
"Pray that the archer doesn't want to kill me on the spot," Coulson hissed back.
"No! Ask the adult for a white flag just so you can talk everyone down," Sitwell said, looking agitated.
"And if they don't want to talk?"
"Then assuming we both survive this, I'll buy dinner for us both at a restaurant of your choice. Including that awful place down near New York harbor," Sitwell offered.
"And you'll also take over my job for the three weeks that I'm on leave?"
Coulson eyed his partner suspiciously before he said, "In that case, we have a deal." He glanced at his watch, and figured that if he got the case solved in the next fifteen minutes and raced back to the diner, he could still get back before 10:30 and have time to take advantage of the diner's 'Free cinnamon roll with a coffee purchase' deal. "All right, let's do this without getting killed somehow. And get it squared away before Stark realizes that Fury pulled a fast one on him and the Avengers come back from London," he said, cautiously peeking over the edge again in time to witness a S.H.I.E.L.D agent dart from one hiding spot to another right as a familiar looking disc came out of nowhere and caught the agent in the gut. The man went sprawling back and accidentally fell into a smaller crater in the ground and remained hidden there as the disc went spiraling back to its point of origin; a second-story window.
Coulson sank back behind the concrete chunk and asked, "Sitwell?"
"One of those fans wouldn't happen to be a Captain America one, would he?"
Sitwell shrugged. "I only got a few glimpses of them, they were moving fast and we were firing at each other," he whispered back. "Now let's go."
Coulson cautiously stood up, as did Sitwell. Keeping his hands up in a surrender gesture and in plain view of the enemy, Coulson stepped over their cover and slowly began walking toward the large crater in the middle of the plaza. Sitwell did the same only facing the S.H.I.E.L.D agents this time. "Come to think of it, when the Avengers do return from London, maybe Stark will be more of a cultured man," Sitwell muttered as the duo approached the rim of the large crater.
"Oh, I'm sure he already is, just not in the traditional sense," Coulson said quietly as they both paused at the rim of the crater. Looking into it, Coulson saw that the pipeline below had cracked, and it was slowly filling with dirty water. Oops. Fury was definitely going to be less than pleased about this. "Now tell your men to stand down," Coulson whispered, and he saw Sitwell nod out of the corner of his eye.
"All S.H.I.E.L.D agents stand down! Do not fire unless fired upon!" Sitwell shouted in the general direction of the agents. "STAND DOWN!"
There were a few moments of silence, and then Sitwell muttered, "Okay, they've backed down now, they're just remaining out of sight."
"Thank you for not forcing them hold their fire," Coulson muttered back as he refocused on the enemy's side of the plaza.
"I may be getting desperate here, but I'm still not stupid," Sitwell countered. "Your turn now."
Right. Coulson took a deep breath and tried to take comfort in the fact that the agents behind him and in front of Sitwell were professionals, and knew how to fire a rifle well enough to avoid hitting the two agents standing in plain view if it came down to that. "I am S.H.I.E.L.D Agent Phil Coulson. I am under the impression that the, uh, individual in charge wanted to speak to me?" he said, raising his voice loud enough for it to carry over to the enemy's defenses. After a couple seconds of silence, he hesitantly added, "Is there a possibility that we could maybe call a truce?"
More silence. Coulson risked a side-glance to where he knew a sniper was hiding out, and saw the man flash a thumbs-up while remaining hidden behind the chimney; the targets were still present but were either ignoring them or waiting for something to happen. Coulson resisted the urge to check his watch; this was starting to take a tad longer than he anticipated.
Then both men jumped when there was a scuffling sound coming from where a store door was hanging off its hinges. Coulson tensed when the door swung forward slightly, and an older man stepped out of the darkened interior.
Coulson raised an eyebrow at the man's haggard appearance. He was wearing a worn brown jacket, loose pants, and brown boots that had clearly seen better days. His face was worn and tired, with wrinkles and scar lines lining the sides. What struck Coulson the most were the man's eyes; they seemed to carry more haunts than usual for a man of this age. The man mirrored his hands with Coulson's to show he was unarmed, and his face crinkled into a smile when he made eye contact with Coulson. "Agent Coulson, Agent Sitwell, it's extremely good to see the two of you again."
Sitwell let out a squeak and jumped when he was mentioned. He turned as Coulson blinked. "Well, I'm afraid that you and your, uh, students have us at a disadvantage sir," he said as Sitwell rallied his courage again.
The man smiled sympathetically and said, "We have all met before yet we are still strangers." He sighed as Coulson scrambled to put a name to this semi-familiar face while a renegade part of his brain tried to decipher the man's words. "But before I tell you who I am, please remember that stranger things have happened during our time with S.H.I.E.L.D. Or will happen, it's 2011 right now, right? Kang hasn't happened yet I don't think…"
"Sir, you lost me at the first sentence," Sitwell interrupted. "Now tell us who you are or we'll call in the authorities."
The man beat Coulson to the punch line. "But aren't you here already? Or do you mean the Avengers?" the man asked, frowning.
Sitwell's mouth dropped open in shock and he gaped for a few moments while Coulson did his best to salvage what was left of the rapidly deteriorating situation. "Please sir, just tell the others of your party to stand down so we can sort through this. And please tell us your name."
"All right, all right, just give me a moment. He glanced back at the storefronts and called out, "James? It's all right for the team to come out, this is Agent Coulson…it's okay, I know him."
That makes one of us, Coulson thought dismally as he leaned a bit to see past the man. As he watched, the door moved again to reveal a very young child in a black-and-yellow costume of some sort. The newcomer hesitantly approached the man and sidled up behind him. The man knelt down to the kid's level and began speaking softly to him, too low for Coulson or Sitwell to hear.
"Who is…" Coulson began.
"The brat that zapped me. Repeatedly," Sitwell growled. "But it gets better, especially when the rest of them come out. Trust me on this."
At that moment, the door opened again and a clump of four kids stepped out, all herded out by a red-green-yellow being that Coulson assumed to be the android. The eldest, a white-haired teen who had a bow slung across his back, narrowed his eyes at Sitwell who glared back; Coulson discreetly stepped on Sitwell's foot to get him to knock it off. The boy next to the archer meanwhile was dark-skinned and had what looked like tattoos on his body. His skin was still sparking with electrical charge, and Coulson realized that this was the potential mutant that Sitwell had mentioned earlier. The only girl in the little group meanwhile was wearing what looked suspiciously like Asgardian armor.
Actually, after the events in New Mexico, Coulson was almost completely certain that the girl was wearing Asgardian armor.
"Agent Pullman identified it as Asgardian design. After he told me that, it became painfully obvious why anyone on this team couldn't take her out," Sitwell muttered in Coulson's ear. In a normal volume, he added, "Like I stated earlier, we can't figure out of Lightning here has superpowers or the X-gene, but we're going to write it down as superpowers since Xavier hasn't called us yet about him." He raised an eyebrow and said sarcastically, "Of course, we can't forget about Captain Extraordinaire here."
Coulson looked at the last person in the group. The boy was glaring straight at him in a way that looked vaguely familiar to Coulson, and he briefly wondered if he knew any other redheads that could pull off a scowl like that. The kid meanwhile had a patriotic scheme for his costume, and he had to be the Captain America fan; he even had a chipped shield to go along with the act.
Actually, the shield looked a little more real than it should have for a replica…
"See why it had to be a 'see it to believe it'?" Sitwell asked as Coulson took a step back without thinking. "Fury didn't believe me either about this until Jones sent him a video via smartphone. Figured this might freak the Avengers out a bit if they saw this."
"Actually, Captain America might have been a little panicked if he saw this. Stark would just think it was incredible and plot how to get his hands on the android," Coulson said. He turned back to the man and said; "Now I believe we were discussing your name?"
He sighed. "I'm really sorry Coulson. I know I've always been a pain to you and apparently I have to be a pain again," the older man said as he unbuttoned his jacket. "But it's me. Tony Stark."
There were a few moments of dead silence. Coulson's mind blanked in disbelief as he stared at the all-to-familiar blue arc reactor in the man's chest. He barely registered the faint clatter behind him as Sitwell dropped his cell phone in shock. But although Coulson's first and second reactions were to vehemently deny this man's claim, the nagging sense in his mind clicked, matching the voice and eyes of the stranger before him with that of Tony Stark.
"But…your age…" Coulson finally stammered, looking back up at Stark in shock.
Stark shrugged. "We all were in kind of a rush, and Pym here found one of Kang's old toys by accident," he said while gesturing to the youngest of the group, who ducked behind the older kids. "So we ended up going back in time rather than teleporting…"
"Are you trying to tell me that time travel is possible now?" Sitwell exploded, startling the girl and Lightning.
"I can't answer that, being from the future and all, but the 'easy' answer would be 'yes', time travel is possible, or will be possible in your case," Stark said cheerfully, reminding Coulson horribly of the younger Stark. Yes, this was the real deal.
Both men were silent for a moment before Sitwell said, "You know what? I'm going to call Fury, tell him it was a false alarm courtesy of Stark. You can explain the whole time-travel thing to him when you two get together." With those words, Sitwell moved away from Coulson and Stark, leaving Coulson feeling exposed despite, or because of, the numerous weapons still trained on them.
"So, are you going to call the rest of the agents off or not? I don't think we actually killed anyone, I told James to exercise some restraint," Stark said, glancing down at the boy carrying the shield.
"This is restraint?" Coulson asked, looking around at the carnage surrounding the group.
"Well, to be fair, you guys were firing back. I think it was Pullman who threw the grenade that landed here," Stark said, gesturing to the crater next to them. "It's just that Azari here deflected it before it could land close to us," he said, gesturing to the kid that Sitwell had nicknamed 'Lightning'.
"Well, if you really are Tony Stark, then you should know the routine by now. Make the mess, see the boss," Coulson said simply as Stark nodded.
"I know, I know… I'm actually looking forward to seeing him again, for once," Stark said as Pym moved around his friends to tug on Stark's sleeve. "What is it Pym?"
"What is he talking about?" he asked.
"It just means that we're going to go see my old boss before we can get back home," Stark said, looking from Pym to the other kids. He narrowed his eyes and said, "This also means that I expect you all to be on your best behavior. No pranks or no shenanigans. Understand?"
Coulson felt his jaw drop as the other kids finally acknowledged the order albeit reluctantly. Tony Stark? Parenting? Stark seemed to notice this, and smiled sheepishly. "It's kind of a long story, but I had to learn on the job," he said by way of explanation.
"Since when did you become responsible?" Coulson asked, unable to keep the incredibility out of his voice.
"Again, can't talk because of the whole from-the-future thing, sorry," Stark replied.
"You realize Fury won't take that as an answer, right?"
"I know, I know, I'm hoping he'll understand," Stark said, looking momentarily worried. He glanced back at the android and said, "But where are my manners? Coulson, this is Vision. Give it another couple of years before your 'first' introduction, but Vision, this is Coulson. You know, before San Diego."
"A pleasure," Vision said, but Coulson felt a flash of panic at the words 'San Diego'. He was pretty sure Stark was talking about him.
"Right…" Coulson said, briefly checking behind him to make sure that Sitwell had remembered to call down the S.H.I.E.L.D agents, which he had; the soldiers were tending to their wounded and Coulson knew it was only a matter of time before the paramedics began to arrive. "So where do the kids come from?" Coulson asked, turning back to face Stark.
Stark seemed to muse over the question while the leader, James if Coulson remembered correctly, started to walk forward only to have the archer grab his shoulder to keep him from doing something stupid. "I don't know how to phrase it so that you get the information without me telling too much," Stark said finally as he glanced at the kids. "Let me put this way; Azari's and Pym's parent or parents haven't joined the team yet…"
It clicked then, in Coulson's mind why the boy's scowl looked so familiar. It was because he'd seen it on a certain redheaded woman one too many times every time Iron Man said something stupid or Hawkeye joined in the bad jokes. In fact, he'd seen it recently when Iron Man and Captain America clashed recently. He titled his head at James as though trying to get a better look and determine the father.
Oh good Lord. He was going to need extra Tylenol after this.
"One more question. Is there a mini-you running around somewhere and we've just failed to collect him or her?" Coulson asked, making a point to look directly at Stark.
"Nope, this is everyone… right? Everybody here?" Stark said, glancing at James, who nodded.
Before Coulson could react to his revelation, Sitwell reappeared, visibly agitated. "Whatever differences that Iron Man and Captain America had are gone; they both saw right through the façade as soon as the team arrived to London because the London branch wasn't expecting their arrival. Apparently Iron Man told the Captain about Fury's tendency to use baby missions as a smokescreen for other, bigger things. They are not only irritated, but on their way," Sitwell quickly explained. He stopped when he remembered Stark standing there. "No offense, but you do, or at least you did have a tendency to do that," he said.
"None taken," Stark replied calmly.
"Is this everybody, or are there any other kids running around?" Sitwell asked.
"No, this is everyone. Like I was telling Coulson, Vision and I are the only two on the team who never married or had kids," Stark said, and then grimaced as though he had said too much.
"Excuse us a moment," Sitwell said before dragging Coulson off to the side. There was a moment of silence between the two.
"Fury is going to have a fit," Sitwell said bluntly.
"Neither of the Starks are going to survive," Coulson agreed.
"We also need a good cover story to keep Iron Man and the media happy."
"I come up with good cover stories. Give me a few moments and I'll have a nice plausible one for you," Coulson said, checking his watch. 10:31. He'd missed the free cinnamon rolls. "I'll also come with the escort taking this group back to headquarters, I've got nothing else to do today and Fury is going to want my side of it."
"Was it true, what he said about the kids?"
"Unfortunately, yes. So you and I can entertain ourselves on the way back, guessing who the parents are. I've already figured it out for at least one kid," Coulson said, rubbing his temples.
"Oh, I bet the ride back is going to be fun. Shut up in a van with five cranky kids, one android, and one narcissistic adult for twenty minutes."
Yes, Coulson definitely had had better days.
A/N: I think I saw Marvel's The Consultant one too many times. Coulson also happens to be one of my favorite characters from the live-action Marvel films. Anyway, this is kind of a mishmash of movies; we have the cinematic universe here as well as the cast from Next Avengers: Heroes of Tomorrow. Anyway, all characters and concepts in this story belong to Marvel Comics. Except Agent Pullman. He's one of my characters and requires my permission to use elsewhere.