An Avengers fanfiction by Lywinis

The baby isn't near the headache her father is, and Phil is pleased to discover that she likes his tie. He has no idea why he was chosen for babysitting duty, but with Pepper overseas working out merger details, and the rest of the Avengers off and seeing to their own business, he's probably the only one that Stark trusts to watch her.

The thought is simultaneously gratifying and terrifying.

He would much rather be the one that Tony handed the little one off to, instead of a wet nurse who may or may not be trusted. He's an old soldier, but he knows the ropes, and this isn't his first rodeo.

So when the five men drop in from the balcony, Phil is hardly surprised.

"You really don't want to attempt this, gentlemen. I don't think you understand exactly who you're up against." Phil's voice is cool as he sizes them up. Each seems to think he's going to be the one to snatch the kid, and Phil sets her in her playpen, cooing at her for a moment. His eyes have never left the men in question, and as they advance, he steps around the playpen.

"JARVIS, lock down the room, please." Phil looks them over. "No one in or out. The windows, too."

"Yes, sir," JARVIS says, unconcerned because his parameters have already decided the outcome of this fight. Were it too much for Phil to handle, he would already be buzzing the Avengers. "Will that be all?"

"For now," Phil replies, flexing his fingers.

The first man is close enough to swing at Phil, and he rolls outside of the haymaker with an almost lazy grace, his fist crunching into the ribcage of the man. A foot placed behind the calf serves as a cantilever, and another short, sharp punch serves as the force acting upon the object. He crumples, and Phil's heel in his windpipe meant that he is too busy trying to get air rather than the baby.

Two of them come at him at once, and Phil ducks under one, a brutal chop to the throat dropping the one to his right. He stomps hard on the left's instep, his thumbs hooked into the soft meat of the clavicle. The man drops to his knees, whimpering, and Phil knees him in the face, the crunch of cartilage as his nose breaks is audible in the room.

Yelling the thug slumps, clutching his ruined nose, and then Phil feels the pressure of arms circling him as he's grabbed from behind. Phil resists the urge to roll his eyes. Instead, he snaps his head back, busting the thug in the mouth. He connects with enough force to split lips against teeth; more importantly, however, he is free. He whips around and delivers two short punches to the thug's solar-plexus, then claps his hands over the thug's ears, making them ring. He boxes them again for good measure before another knee to the face drops the fourth.

The fifth must be the smartest of the bunch. He's attempting to get to Valerie while Phil is distracted. Three steps across the room, and Phil's hand snags in the thug's jacket, the throw rolling the intruder over his shoulders and into the modern art coffee table with the shattering of glass and the splintering of wood. Phil checks on the baby, sees her looking up at him and smiling, and spares her a small smile of his own before he seeks out his overnight bag for his zip ties.

It's only later, much later, when Tony comes home and sees the ruined living room, complete with pile of tied up thugs, that he realizes he might have been Stark's first choice after all. Tony's eyes harden as he sees the thugs, then looks over at Phil, sitting on the couch, Louis L'amour in hand and little Valerie on his chest, asleep with the end of his tie in her mouth.

Phil puts a finger to his lips.

"Shh, you'll wake the baby."

A/N: Hey, everyone. Not sure you're aware, but I've been in a Marvel RP group for a while now, and I've started writing again. I wanted to put up some of my drabbles and fic requests that I've gotten, and this was one of the first ones I got that I really liked, despite it being in present tense, which I rarely if ever use.

If you haven't figured it out yet, Phillip J. Coulson, Professional Badass, is my Patronus.

I'm so happy he's alive. My unwavering faith was rewarded. I feel damned validated.

That said, I hope you appreciated the drabble, Constant Readers.

- Lywinis