Darcy waited until Maria confirmed Clint and Natasha left the helicarrier before she turned to her uncle. Phil's calm, if still somewhat hazy gaze remained focused on her. He gave a long, slow blink. "You hustled them out of here faster than I expected," he told her.
"Not really," she shook her head. "There'd be hell to pay if Steve or Tony," she paused as he winced, before continuing with a grin, "or Tony found out you woke up and they didn't get them immediately. And since none of them are trusting Dad right now, that means those two have to physically go and get them."
"Not trusting…?" He let his voice trail off on a rising note.
"Yeah," she drawled out slowly. "That's part of what I needed to talk to you about." She bit her lip. "Look, I don't know what Dad said or did, but they're all kinds of pissy about it right now. Steve gives him these disappointed looks, Pepper gets all formal, and Clint and Natasha have taken a lot of vacation. If it's not an emergency? The Avengers are not talking to Dad." She lifted both hands, palms up. "We've got to fix that!"
Phil grimaced. "And you don't know what he did?"
"Not a clue," she answered.
"I told them you were dead," came a voice from the door.
Both faces turned to the doorway. Fury stood there, tense and stoic, leaning on the jamb.
"You what?" Darcy whispered, shock and horror sliding over her face.
Phil nodded however, "I wondered if that was it."
"What?" Now Darcy turned startled eyes on her uncle.
"They needed the push," he replied, his eyes steady as they gazed at Fury. "At the rate they were going before the attack, they were going to tear themselves apart and leave everyone else vulnerable."
Fury's shoulders twitched. "It worked."
"It worked?" Darcy's voice rose indignantly. "You…you…" she sputtered before breaking off to mutter under her breath. They waited her out. "It took Jane and me almost five days to get back to New York after the attack." Her hands shook slightly. "You let them go five days thinking he was dead?"
"We weren't sure he was going to wake up."
Fury's quiet statement silenced the room. Darcy's energy ran out suddenly and she collapsed back into her chair. "What?"
"The doctors only changed his status to cautiously optimistic an hour or so before you arrived," Fury explained. "We didn't tell them sooner…" His voice fell away as Darcy came out of her chair to throw her arms around him.
"I get it," she choked out, burying her face in his chest. He wrapped his arms around her shoulders, rocking her a little like he always did when she was upset. She pulled back to meet his gaze. "You didn't want to rip the bandages off just to have them bleed out."
He huffed out a laugh and pulled her to him. "We need to discuss your descriptions one of these days," he replied, resting his chin on the top of her head. His eye focused on Phil. "They know she's connected to you and Maria. I'd like to keep the other connections quiet a little longer."
"Yes, sir," Phil replied.
"Oh for crying out loud," Darcy complained, pulling away and wiping her eyes. "Can you wait on the whole 'sir' think until they get back?"
"No," Phil noted with a blink. "I'm still technically drugged. If I don't stay formal, I'll slip."
She wrinkled her nose. "Even drugged you sound more formal than most of the people I know when they're stone cold sober." Both men gave her narrow looks. "Please," she waved them away. "College? Public school babies away from their parents for the first time ever? Experiment city." Fury cleared his throat and she giggled. "Don't be ridiculous. I was the designated driver." The men slumped in relief and she laughed. "If I wanted to drink I'd go visit Mom; she's got the best stuff." Fury groaned and Phil shook his head. She just smiled before dropping down in the chair.
Fury sobered as he reached into his pocket. "I've…" He cleared his throat. "Well, I've got…something to confess." He pulled out a pack of cards. Darcy lifted up slightly to get a better look. Her jaw dropped as she realized what she was looking at.
"Oh, my God," she breathed. "You didn't!" She sat back down, eyes wide and mouth slightly open in surprise. She snapped her mouth closed and turned to look at Phil. "You're not armed, right?"
"Of course not," Phil answered, bewildered. "I'm in the infirmary."
Darcy shrugged that off. "Ninja, Uncle Phil, ninja." She blinked at him. "You can make a weapon out of a bag of flour. I'm sure you can find something here."
He frowned in confusion before turning to Fury. "Sir?"
"Here," Fury replied, handing him the pack of cards with a small but distinct wince.
Phil took the cards, his eyes never leaving Fury's face. Fury refused to meet his gaze, so Phil looked down. He froze. "What the hell did you do?"
The quiet, but forceful question drew another small grimace. "It's complicated."
"Complicated, sir?" Phil's voice remained level, quiet and steady, as he looked up from the cards to pin Fury with a dark stare. "My vintage, difficult to find, near impossible to replace collection of Captain America trading cards are blood-stained and it's complicated?"
Darcy pulled back into her chair, curling up and trying to become invisible. Really, what had her dad been thinking?
"Visuals work better," Fury tried to explain.
Phil raised an eyebrow. "So you defaced my cards?"
Darcy decided Uncle Phil's reasonable tone was a lot scarier than his monotone, and it beat his raised voice all hollow.
"Exactly which part of 'vintage, difficult to find, near impossible to replace' did you miss, sir?" Phil asked.
Fury sputtered for a moment before reaching up to pinch the bridge of his nose. "Just 'near impossible'?" Phil just looked at him and Fury bristled. "I've got to go make a phone call." He strode out of the room mumbling. "Val is going to laugh her ass off. Using SHIELD resources to shop for trading cards."
Phil turned to Darcy. She tossed up her hands. "Wasn't here! Had nothing to do with it!"
"Oh, I know," he assured her as he let his eyes drift closed. "Just don't tell him he tired me out. I want him to stew about it for a bit."
"You got it," she said softly. She stood up and drew the blanket up to his shoulders. "You better take a name though." His eyes opened just a crack and she smiled. "The team will be here before too long, and they're nuts."
His eyes closed and he twitched his nose. "Too used to the family for them to bug me that much."
"Whatever," she scoffed. "A super-soldier who might actually live up to his legend, a couple of paranoid master assassins with mother hen complexes, a genius playboy billionaire who wears more weapons than the helicarrier carries, and a brilliant dude with some serious personality swings, and you're worried about the family?"
"Naturally," he muttered drowsily. "The team's dangerous, but the family's got Nick, who has a file on everyone who is anyone; Val, to whom everyone who is anyone owes a favor; Maria, who stares down nuclear power despots like they were misbehaving toddlers without getting a hair out of place; and you, who hacks the Pentagon for fun while trading quips with Wolverine at the same time she's shopping with the noblewomen of Wakanda." He yawned and murmured. "Not to mention, I think you stole my assassins."
"Ah," Darcy giggled as she sat down to watch over him. "We can time-share."