"So how did he propose?" Clint Barton said as he walked into the S.H.I.E.L.D cafeteria. He smirked at the young brunette woman, who sat at the metal table with a rather larger file and a can of Red Bull in front of her. "And why wasn't I invited to the wedding?"
"You heard?" Darcy Lewis said as she looked up from the file. She shook her head and reached for her drink. "Nothing gets past Clint Barton, does it?"
"Of course I heard," he said as he took a seat across from Darcy. "This is big news! You and Phil Coulson ... Married!"
Darcy rolled her eyes. "For the next two months. I don't know why I got picked for this case. I'm only a level 2 junior agent and-"
"And the fact that he's, like, twice your age. Phil must like 'em young. That dirty bastard." Clint joked. Darcy rolled her eyes again, and then flipped through the pages of the file.
"This is my new life right here," she said. "I'm supposed to read through this and remember everything. I'm Darcy Renee Coulson. Age 27 ... Do I look 27 to you? Oh, and I'm a freakin' kindergarten teacher. I cannot stand kids! Seriously, who writes this crap?"
"S.H.I.E.L.D has a whole team of people who come up with these fake bios for undercover missions," Clint said. He reached over and stole Darcy's Red Bull and took a drink.
"Hey!" Darcy made a face at Clint. "Wait ... Making up fake lives for agents is an actual S.H.I.E.L.D job? Holy shit! How do I get that job? That's my dream!"
"Have you not read my Kirk/Spock fan-fiction?" Darcy asked. "Yes, I write. It's what I did to pass time when I wasn't running around getting coffee for senior agents. I need to get that job somehow. And I can tell you I certainly would come up with a better fake life that kindergarten teacher, Darcy Coulson."
Clint laughed. "Aww, kindergarten teacher Darcy sounds sweet. What's Coulson's cover?" He asked, stealing another drink of Red Bull.
"Just take it, dude." Darcy said as she watched Clint chug her drink down. She flipped to the front of the file and started to read. "Phillip James Coulson, is a 43-year-old man, who is an author. The fuck! Why does he get to be a writer? He's working on a book about a small town; and he thought the only way to really get the feel of small town living was move into one."
Clint nodded. "I get it. So you guys are renting a house for the summer, where he can get inspired to write his book about small town adventures; while you two are actually covertly investigating that supernatural phenomenon that's going on in the there."
"For someone who isn't working this case, you seem to know an awful lot about it," Darcy said as she arched her eyebrow.
"Well, I was almost picked for the mission." Clint replied as he finished off the Red Bull.
"What? To play house with Coulson?" Darcy gave him a sly smile and raised her eyebrows a couple of times.
Clint laughed. "Hell yeah! Couple of gay men move into a small town; one is a writer, the other a chef ..."
"Wait, are you the chef or the writer?" Darcy teased. "See? This is what I'm talking about! S.H.I.E.L.D needs to spice their stories up a bit. People don't want to see teacher Darcy and writer Phil. They want to see writer Phil and his really hot boyfriend, Chef Clint!"
Clint shook his head and grinned. "That would be one for the ages. Actually, instead of Coulson, it was going to be me and you on the case."
"Shit, that would have been awesome. And made more sense!" Darcy said, putting her hands up in exasperation. "Why didn't it happen?"
He shrugged. "After careful consideration, they decided that you and me wouldn't finish the case in a timely fashion. We'd probably have way too much fun," he winked. It was probably true. Even though Clint was a super badass agent; Darcy brought out the goofy side of him.
"So now I'm stuck with Agent No Fun," Darcy scrunched her nose up and stuck her tongue out. "Thanks a lot, Barton."
"Hey! Not my fault," Clint laughed. Besides, Natasha, Darcy was one of Clint's best friends at S.H.I.E.L.D. When she was recruited, they had hit it off right away. Clint spent a lot of time (more than he should have) at her desk in the administrations department. The two of them spent most of the time trading iPod playlists or poking fun of stuffy agents. Darcy was one super cool chick; not to mention she was also had the makings for a badass agent. "I much rather do that than being sent off to Hong Kong for a recon mission." He stood up and tossed the empty can in the trash bin.
"When do you leave?"
"Tomorrow," he replied. There was a beeping noise in his ear and put his hand up to his communicator. "Speaking of which, Fury, wants me in the conference room for mission prep. Gotta go, Darcy. Congratulations on your marriage, and don't forget to christen every room in your new house!"
"You're such an ass," she said, giving him a smirk. He turned and started to walk away and she went back to reading her file.
"Oh, Darcy! Kirk/Spock fan-fiction. I want it! Send it to my phone so I have something to read on the plane," Clint said as he raised his phone in the air and shook it.
Darcy laughed and nodded. "You got it." She chuckled to herself when he left and then, with a deep sigh, went back to reading about Mrs. Darcy Renee Coulson.
Agent Phil Coulson sat in his office, carefully reading over the details for the undercover mission that he was assigned to. His desk was piled with neat little stacks of papers, Post-it notes, books, and charts. Most of them had markings with different colored pens, noting critical things he had to remember. Without looking up from his reading, he reached for his coffee mug and took a sip. He cringed and forced the coffee that had grown completely cold down his throat. For a moment, he debated whether he should take a walk down to the cafeteria to get another cup or muddle on through the file, learning there was all to know about Phillip James Coulson, a struggling author from Seattle. It was a part he would be playing for possibly the next two months; while secretly investigating a supernatural occurrence for S.H.I.E.L.D. He wouldn't be alone on this mission though, Junior Agent Darcy Lewis would be accompanying him; playing the part of his wife. Phil almost had to laugh at that. Darcy Lewis was young enough to be his daughter. Sure, the S.H.I.E.L.D biographies had bumped her age up from 23 to 27 and his age down from 45 to 43, but it was still a sixteen year difference. Of all the covert missions Phil had been on, this one was probably going to be the most interesting.
Not to mention, difficult.
There was a slight knock on his office door and Phil looked up from his file. "Come in."
The door creaked open and Agent Sitwell poked his head in. "Burning the midnight oil? It's after nine." He walked in carrying two cups of coffee and set one down in front of Phil.
"Thanks," he said picking up the coffee and taking a sip. Hot coffee was good coffee, and he was going to need a ton of it tonight. Phil set the cup down and motioned to his file. "I have a lot of studying to get through before Friday."
"Friday, moving day then?" Sitwell smirked and took a seat on the leather chair across from Phil.
"Yeah." Phil nodded.
"So Junior Agent Lewis is working this case with you? This is her first undercover mission, how do you feel about that? Especially with the nature of the case ..." Sitwell stirred his coffee while trying not to smirk.
"Lewis is a fine agent, I have no doubt that she'll be able to pull off this mission-" He stopped when Sitwell started to laugh out loud.
"Sorry. Sorry." Sitwell tried to stop himself from laughing and spilling his coffee all over the place. "We are talking about the same Lewis, right?"
Phil sighed. He was trying trick himself into believing that Darcy Lewis would be able to pull off this mission. He had assumed that a senior female agent would have been assigned to work the case with him. Not a junior agent who spent most of the time listening to her iPod. "I'm sure she'll do fine," he said picked up a pen and made a couple of quick notes down on a piece of paper.
"She was a desk jockey and a coffee gopher last year. Spent most of her time fooling around with Barton. Good luck with that one." Sitwell shook his head. "If you make it though this one without being compromised Fury will probably give you a big shiny metal. I will say, at least she's ... nice to look at. A little young to be your wife though."
"I rather be assigned to this mission with a pretty agent than going to that crap hole that you're assigned to for the next three months," Coulson said with just the tiniest smile.
"Ooohh. That hurt. Cuts me right to the core." Sitwell smirked, tapping his chest. He started to walk out, stopping just short of the door, turning to Phil. "Good luck." He said it and meant it. With one last nod he headed out, shutting the door behind him.
Phil drummed his fingers quickly with one hand, while he flipped to the next page in the S.H.I.E.L.D created bio for him. In his head he was already creating a character for this version of himself he would be playing. He just hoped that Darcy was going to take this as seriously as he did. Not just their cover story, but also the main reason that they were going to this town. Strange things were happening in there, and it was up to them to uncover what was going on.
It was 11:40, and Darcy was now just packing up her work to go home. This had been the longest time she had ever stayed late at the headquarters on her own choosing. She yawned and stretched her arms over her head and then shoved the rest of her paperwork and files into her Hello Kitty messenger bag. She wasn't really supposed to use that particular bag. She was warned numerous times that only black or brown bags or cases were standard regulation. Darcy didn't really care though. S.H.I.E.L.D was all dark clothes and shady agents all the time. Having a Hello Kitty bag brought a little cheer to the place. She flipped off the light to the meeting room, and headed down the hallway.
Darcy knew that voice. Agent Phil Coulson had a very distinct, pleasant voice, that was both calming and apathetic depending on the time of day. She stopped and turned around, giving him a small smile. "You worked late too?"
He picked up his stride to catch up with her. "I'm here late quite often, though I must say I'm a bit surprised that you're still here on your own accord." His eyes flicked down at the Hello Kitty bag. "I thought you were told you couldn't carry that anymore?"
"Aww what's wrong with teh kitteh?" She smirked. Yeah, being 'married' to him for two months was just going to be a fucking blast. "Well, I stayed late so I could get some reading done on Mrs. Darcy Coulson. I don't know how the hell I'm supposed to remember every single little detail about her. I mean, what are the chances someone is going to ask me about her ... my high school job? A nanny? Why can't I just tell them what my real job was in high school? A waitress. Why does every detail need to be fake?"
"Our fakes lives need to coincide with each other. I need to know just as much about you as you do me, in case we're are asked. We don't want to be caught in a lie and have our mission compromised. Just stick to the bio written for you Agent Lewis. You'll be fine," Coulson said as he looked into the retina scanner to open the main door.
"Don't you think this story has been done enough? A writer moves into a small town to work on his novel. I can at least think of two Stephen King books where this is the same premise. If you go all Jack Torrance on me, I'll flip." Darcy said as she looked into the retina scanner. She really hated those things.
"All work and no play makes Phil a dull boy," he smirked. Darcy snapped up and looked at him with her eyes wide.
"Oh my god! Don't even-" Darcy exclaimed.
Phil shook his head. "I don't think 'The Shining' and our mission will be anything alike, Agent Lewis."
"You never know ... We are investigating some weird-ass supernatural thingy," she said with a shrug.
Phil opened the door and held it for Darcy to go through first. "You did read about the thingy, correct?" he asked with an arched eyebrow. He walked out the door, and then tugged on it to make sure it was securely latched.
"Yeah, yeah, I read it. Some weird occurrence is happening up in the mountains. Lights and strange noises have been heard coming from the forest. There has been several disappearances in the last three years. And of course, the townsfolk are all hush, hush about it. Sounds like an episode of the X-Files." Darcy looked up into the crystal night sky and then back to Coulson. She shivered slightly; it was really cold out here.
"I'll be your Fox Mulder and you can be my Dana Scully." He really wasn't missing a beat on these pop culture references. Who knew Agent Coulson would know about anything else besides super sneaky agent stuff? "It's cold out here," he said as he watched her trying to keep warm.
"Fuck yeah, it is," Darcy said, as she shivered through her thin white button up shirt. She glanced down at her chest to make sure her she didn't have any nipple action showing. Didn't need Coulson to see that. All good; the girls were behaving themselves tonight.
"Do you want me to walk you to your car?" Phil asked, as they both began to walk into the parking lot.
"Nah, that's alright. I got my loyal friend. Nobody effs with Darcy Lewis! I don't play around," she said, patting the side pocket of her black pants. Darcy didn't go anywhere without her taser. "Besides, we're on S.H.I.E.L.D grounds. I doubt there are any thugs milling around here."
Phil nodded. "Okay." He knew there wouldn't be anyone out here to attack Agent Lewis on her way to her car. S.H.I.E.L.D had a whole set of security measures to keep riffraff off the grounds. Lewis could certainly take care of herself; she was a master of the taser. He only offered because it was the gentlemanly thing to do. "Have a good evening, Agent Lewis," he said with a microscopic smile.
"You too," Darcy said as she hugged her arms around herself and headed towards her car. She hurried along as quickly as she could. Her warm cozy bed was waiting for her, and she could not wait to jump into it and fall asleep. In a few short hours she'd be back at the office, doing the work thing again. Then on Friday she'd start her first undercover assignment. It made Darcy's stomach flutter; and not in a good way.
Phil watched Darcy until she reached her car and got safely inside. She could hold her own, but he felt a bit protective over her and he wasn't sure why. Perhaps, it was because she was a S.H.I.E.L.D newbie or that she was just a young woman. Whatever it was; he felt that it was his duty to watch over her. He sighed deeply, as he opened the door to his car, and got inside. He was dead tired, and in less than seven hours he'd be back here. He should have just slept on the couch in his office, as he did so many times before.
It's not like there was anyone to go home to.