The weather is too nice. The sun shines high above the service in an azure sky, and there is nary a cloud in sight. This is incongruous with the occasion, and it bothers them all that blue can still be blue, that green can still be green, and that this Earth can keep turning without one crucial thing: Agent Coulson.

I'm sorry, boss.

Director Fury is not bothered by the heat, despite his apparel, which is, as per usual, a black leather trench coat over simple black clothes. It's summer in the city, and it's hot and grungy. The air clings to people like a second skin, but not a thing can disturb Fury from his outwardly-quiet reflection. Inside, there is great turmoil, with one thought blocking out all else. "I'm sorry, old friend. I'm sorry." He knows it's not enough. There is nothing more to be said to a dead man's grave.

a huge honor …

Steve Rodgers has never, never been okay with a wasted life. You'd think that, being a soldier, he would have eventually gotten used to death, but he never had and he never wanted to become battle-hardened. And now, beyond the usual sorrow, Captain America felt guilt. Gut-churning, sweaty-palmed guilt. "I never did sign those cards."

Bilgesnipe. They trample everything in their path.

If only Thor and Odin had been able to save his brother – then, why then, so many people would still live! Thor, above all else, feels like a failure. He wasn't able to save Loki, and for this he could not spare "eighty lives in two days" nor those who perished in the battle nor this one, singular, brave man. The Son of Coul deserved a better death than this; he deserved one where he looked into the eyes of Death and did not blink! He at least deserved to see Loki's face as he, O that God of Mischief and Deceit, ended his life. Thor hopes that, even now, Coulson dines in Valhalla.

eyes and ears for us …

The pair of assassins stand close, shoulder-to-shoulder, no space between tight black clothes and skin and each other. Their expressions are mirror images of no emotions. Similarly, they are both feeling the same inner hurricane of thoughts. "He was braver than we can ever aspire to be," Natasha's accent thickens her voice as it rarely does.

success …

Bruce Banner didn't even know Agent Coulson; his view is unbiased by past dealings. He saw a quiet man with quiet strength. He saw someone who actually looked on the bright side of things. It's possible that the Hulk, so well-known

His name was Phil.

They are all dealing with the pain in different ways, and Stark is as he always has been – he stands, shades resting lightly on the bridge of his nose, his grey suit impeccable, pressed neatly at the creases. Despite the somber setting, he has a whole decanter of brandy clutched in his left hand, the amber liquid sloshing within nearly drained dry, and as he slowly raises the faceted glass to his lips, you can see his knuckles whiten. Or perhaps it is because of the setting. Perhaps it is because the depth of his mourning for the man who taught him that some things are worth fighting for can't be expressed. Like everyone else, he is realizing how little everyone appreciated the man whose funeral they are attending.

None of them realize this, though –

I still believe in heroes.

Phil Coulson died as he lived: with hope.