Chapter 17: Just the End
A/N: So sorry this has taken so long to update. I've got one more chapter to post and then this story is finished. Unbeta'd
Colson knocked, debating whether or not he could make a break for before the door was open. When the door finally did open he released a breath he didn't know he was holding, his eyes taking in the well-kept woman in her Marine green uniform.
"Philip." Colonel Rebecca Lewis greeted as she stepped aside to allow him passage.
"Rebecca." He replied as he entered. The apartment was pristine and if Colson didn't know her as well as he did he'd find it hard to believe she or anyone actually lived there.
"Thank you for coming. I know there are a thousand other places you would rather be."
"Try a million." He muttered under his breath. "Look." He sighed. "I know what you want."
"I really don't think you do."
"No? Then please, enlighten me."
"Tell me this is a joke." Darcy pleated softly as she read the email. Fury was dead and Captain America is a fugitive from SHIELD. "Somethings wrong."
"He had us all fooled agent Louis." Sitwell spoke up as he stepped into her office. Beyond the door she could see strike team milling about her assistance office.
"What do you want sit well?" She was quite proud of the authoritative tone she presented. The way his team bristled, they were not amused.
Sitwell; ever stoic replied "I need all of your files on Captain Rogers."
"I don't have files on Captain Rogers or anyone on my team for that matter."
"Why not?" His call for sod was beginning to slip ever so slightly.
"You mean other than the fact that they're not criminals that need to be tracked?" She paused for dramatic effect. When she got no reply she continued. "Three weeks ago fear he called me into his office and ordered me to memorize my team's files in their entirety and then destroy all hard copies."
"Now why would he do that?" Sit well questioned a charge going through the air. This could all go very badly for her.
"I don't know, but I never had a reason to doubt director theory so I did what I was told. Now, he was the director at the time, should I not have followed such a direct order?"
She's never seen Sitwell so angry.
"I don't want you to cut ties with her, Phil. We both know you've proven to be a far better parent in the last two years than I have in almost thirty. What I want is for you to call Darcy right now and tell her to get out of S.H.I.E.L.D. headquarters in New York. Tell her you want her to get to Stark tower and stay there no matter what."
"Why?" Coulson asked, taken back by the emotion in her eyes and how much she knew. "Why should I tell her to abandon her post, to hide?"
Rebecca didn't reply looking away from him and walking toward her desk on the far end of the living room. She opened the top drawer and pulled out a small metal safety deposit box. She starred down at it for a moment before she brought it over to him. She pushed it into his hands. "Everything you need to know is in here." She explained. "you have no reason so trust me Phil, but I need you to try, for Darcy."
The black cell phone perched on her desk began to buzz against the wood. She looked pained by the sound. "You need to go now." She began to push him toward the door. Phil dug his heels in.
"I'm not going anywhere, Rebecca. You called me; you asked me to come here. I want answers."
"The answers you need are in the box Phil. Now please…" the buzzing stopped and Rebecca looked back at it, terror in her eyes. "No." she breathed. She whipped around, renewing her efforts to push Coulson out the door. He goes with it, thrown off by her desperation.
As they reach the door, Coulson stopped her. "Rebecca." He spoke softly. She shook her head, unable to answer the question in his eyes. She reached around him and pulld the front door open just as an armor clad man stepped around the corner at the far end of the hall. He raises his weapon and fires a round of semi-automatic fire.
Coulson doesn't hesitate, pulling Rebecca to him and slamming the door closed. With all the grace and skill afforded to him after years of training he manages to get both of them into the living room where he up ended the coffee table and erected a make shift barrier. Running on autopilot at this point Phil almost missed the blood staining his hands and suit and it takes him a moment to realize it's not his blood.
His eyes find Rebecca on the floor beside him, one hand on her service pistol the other clutching the wound on her side. "Shit." He cursed, drawing his own weapon.
"It's just a flesh wound." She explained as the bullets ricocheted around the foyer ahead of them. Light from the hallway streamed through the holes in the wooden door, shifting as bodies moved on the other side.
Coulson and Rebecca plastered themselves to the floor, making themselves as small as possible. "Who the hell are these guys?" Rebecca flinched as wood splinters rained down on them.
"Hydra!" she replied. "There here to stop me from telling you the truth!" she yelled over the sounds of gun fire.
"That Hydra has infiltrated SHIELD, the US Government and parts of other government organizations at the highest levels!"
The gun fire stopped only to start again, this time in the opposite direction. They could also hear much smaller caliber weapons firing back.
"How do you know all of this?" Coulson crawled to the sofa, pulling the throw blanket off the back and ripping pieces off. He then returned to Rebecca's side applying the cloth pieces to her wound with pressure.
"When I was fifteen and my parent agreed to send me to the Naval Academy I thought they were just being supportive." She gasped at the pain that shot through her. With a deep breath she continued. "Turns out they were just laying the ground work for creating their own spy within the US Armed Forces."
"Coulson!" Skye's voice called out from the hallway and it was then that they realized the fire fight had ended.
"Clear!" he called back. Seconds later the door burst open revealing Skye, Tripp and May. "She's got a gunshot wound to her right side; we need to get her back on the bus." Coulson ordered as Tripp pulled Rebecca off the floor.
Coulson snatched up the box before following them out.
"Attention all S.H.I.E.L.D. agents, this is Steve Rogers. You've heard a lot about me over the last few days. Some of you were even ordered to hunt me down. But I think it's time to tell the truth. S.H.I.E.L.D. is not what we thought it was. It's been taken over by HYDRA. Alexander Pierce is their leader. The S.T.R.I.K.E. and Insight crew are HYDRA as well. I don't know how many more, but I know they're in the building. They could be standing right next to you. They almost have what they want. Absolute control. They shot Nick Fury. And it won't end there. If you launch those Helicarrier today, HYDRA will be able to kill anyone that stands in their way. Unless we stop them. I know I'm asking a lot. But the price of freedom is high. It always has been. And it's a price I'm willing to pay. And if I'm the only one, then so be it. But I'm willing to bet I'm not."
Darcy never liked Jack Rollins. He was cocky, aggressive and spent way too much time talking to her chest. So getting the chance to shoot him (nonfatal) was actually rather cathartic.
Steve, (she totally knew he wasn't a traitor) had just signed off on his freedom speech from DC, outing a good portion of SHIELD for what they really were; Hydra. She'd managed to stay out of the way, especially through the air vents when she realized her office was under siege. (She'd be worried about her assistant if she hadn't heard her giving orders moments before they broke down her door.) she had just jumped down into an empty, spare office when she heard the all too familiar voice of her boyfriend.
"Always knew there was something off about you Rollins. You and Sitwell and your whole damn team."
"Oh yeah? What gave us away?" Rollins' voice responded, accompanied by the cocking of a gun.
"Just too damn willing to follow orders to a T; Too willing to leave people behind."
"Awe, you're not still mad about that are you Barton? Well, let me just help you take your mind off of it."
As the two men spoke, Darcy had crept from the office and along the wall until she got to the bend in the hall. She made eye contact with Clint, stepped back to take a breath then stepped out, gun drawn and fired two icers into Rollins' back.
"Well that was way worse than I imagined." She breathed in and out trying to slow the racing of her heart.
"Yeah, but you did a great job sweetheart. A plus, take the rest of the day off." She laughed anxiously and let Clint drag her toward the stairwell. Clint took care of anyone they ran into and soon they were down on street level watching as Quinjets plastered with the Hydra logo too aim at the building.
With as bad as it was here, they could only imagine how bad things were in DC with Steve.
"Tell me everything, Rebecca." Coulson ordered as Tripp helped her up on the table in Jemma's lab. The bus was in the air, headed straight for New York. She winced as Jemma began tending to her wound.
"I don't know how long they've been Hydra, but I think it may have started when they started working with Howard Stark."
"What does Howard have to do with Hydra?"
"Other than the fact that they killed him? Obadiah was Hydra." She winced again. "Ow."
"Sorry." Jemma apologized. "You're going to need stitches, Colonel." Rebecca nodded her consent before turning back to Coulson.
"I had no idea what was really going on until a man who said he was a friend of my parents approached me at the academy. He said everyone had high hopes for me and he would give me responsibilities they wouldn't normally give Freshman." She took a deep breath. "It wasn't until I have graduated around the time that we had first met that I figured it out."
"They'd been using me, training me to help them and I had." She flinched when Jemma began applying the stitches. "Our meeting wasn't an accident either."
"What do you mean?" Coulson questioned.
"Hydra had been keeping an eye on you for years while you were in the army. They were hoping to convince you to join up with them. Thought maybe I could help with that."
"Did you know? When we were dating, did you know?" Coulson was clearly holding back his anger and Jemma quickly finished and evacuated the lab to wait upstairs with the rest of the team. Rebecca shook her head.
"Not until they found out I was pregnant. They told me everything in detail after that."
"Why? What does Darcy have to do with this?"
"When I told them that you and I weren't together anymore they were so angry, but a few weeks later they found out I was pregnant and started making plans. They wanted to tell you about the baby. They wanted to use her to control you. They knew that you wanted to be a father. They knew you'd do anything for her."
"Then why didn't they tell me?" he asked.
"I convinced them not to."
"How?" for the first time in a long time Coulson watched true emotion pass across Rebecca's face. Her eyes were glassy with unshed tears.
"I had to give her up. I had to give up my beautiful, strong amazing little girl and pretend that I didn't want her; pretend that I hated her. All so my parents would be the heroes in her life." Rebecca took a deep breath. "I had to give her up so she would be safe." She sniffled. "Do you know how hard it is to call her once a month and pretend that it's a chore? How hard it was not to run to her when I heard about Bullseye. It was after that that I realized time was running out.
"What do you mean?" Coulson asked giving in to the urge to reach out to her. She hesitate a moment.
"After they took Darcy I knew I had to stop them. So I started collecting evidence against them and the people they associated with. Their operations and the things they wanted me to do for them. That's what's in the box. Everything you need; names, locations." She took another deep breath and wiped at her eyes. "Barney Barton worked for Hydra, for the Clairvoyant. They sent that son of a bitch after Darcy to get to you. They just let Barton think it was his idea, his revenge against his brother."
"Fuck." Coulson breathed. Without a second thought he pulled Rebecca into an embrace. "I'm sorry Bec. I'm so sorry."
"Don't be." She replied. "I made my own bed, kept moving forward instead of fighting back. I have to live with that. The only thing that matters now is Darcy."