When New Mexico was over there was a part of her that knew she could never go back to her regular life. A part of her that knew that men who showed up in the middle of the night and stole everything from telescopes to an ipod couldn't let her back out into the world.

She could admit she thought it would be a lot worse than a job offer and a nice apartment in New York.

In her defense though she didn't have a lot of real life experience with secret government agencies and movies didn't make them seem like a warm and cuddly group of people. So yes she had sort of been expecting to be framed as a drug mule or poisoned with some experimental substance or just to disappear into some Guantanamo Bay like prison.

Instead she found her calling.

After switching majors more time that she could count she found a job she loved. A job that she was actually good at.

Who knew loud mouth brash and impulsive Darcy Lewis would make a great personal assistant to one of the sneakiest ninja like jack booted thugs? Certainly not her.

There were some growing pains of course. It took a while for her to be able to tell when Coulson was really angry, when he was just mildly annoyed and when he was pleased. He wasn't the most expressive boss.

Her first impression had been so wrong though. Once she understood that he remained so cool because everyone around him was so crazy. They came to him with everything from real SHEILD issues to dating advice.

Last week he had been forced to intervene when his top two assassins had gotten into a battle of one upmanship with stealth. They had scared so many of the worker bees that the team therapists were fully booked up.

She had become his right hand. She knew his likes and his dislikes and she kept him productive. She turned away the green agents that just wanted a chance to meet him and got the more seasoned ones to focus so that they wouldn't waste his time.

Somewhere along her path from college screw up to right hand gal Friday to the second most powerful guy she fell in love with him.

It was so trite, so cliché.

Fall in love with the boss? She was better than that. She knew all the reasons it would never work but her heart didn't listen to any of them. She didn't say anything. Even on the rare occasion when they were stuck in the office late at night and he seemed to soften towards her.

She pushed her feelings down and did her job.

Then New York was attacked and he sent her to Tromso with Jane. She was so angry at him. He needed her and instead of letting her help he sent her away in some ridiculous alpha male act of protection.

Everything had gone to hell.

He was gone and her heart was breaking and all she could think about was the last time she had seen him. She should have told him.

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She was sitting at his desk cleaning up his calendar when he walked in. She glanced up quickly and offered him a distracted smile. He had long since given up getting her to stay away from his space.

"I'm sending you to Tromso." He moved behind her to place some papers on his desk as she moved to get up.

"Am I supposed to know where that is?" She got up from his chair but he didn't sit.

"Norway. 'The capital of the arctic' and Dr Jane Foster will be there." She stopped moving from behind his desk. She placed both hands on the smooth surface and watched him. Something was up.

"What the hell boss man?" she was really watching him now. Something big was happening. "What going on?"

"Nothing. It's just a little trip and I need you to report to the heliport in the next hour."

"Just a little trip but I need to leave right now. You remember that I work with you right? That I am surrounded by some of the sneakiest people on the planet and despite the fact that I am only your assistant and not some agent I've picked up quite a lot."

Phil smiled at that. What had started as a worst case solution to a problem had turned into a best case outcome. Darcy was the only assistant that had lasted more than a month. But she hadn't just survived, she had thrived.

"I'm your boss and you need to do what I tell you." Darcy turned white as a sheet. Phil, badass of epic proportions was scared. That was the only reason he would pull the boss card. The only reason he would be sending her away without a real explanation.

She stopped leaning over the desk and moved to his side. She reached out and touched his arm. She tried really hard not to think about how much that tiny little touch did to her.

"What is going on Phil?" It was his name that had him looking up. His name that had him thinking about telling her the truth. She never called him that. It's was always some version of a nickname or agent. Never Phil.

"Loki has the teseract and Agent Barton." Darcy gasped. Her mind immediately beginning to worry over the archer's fate.

"Is Clint okay?" She really didn't want the answer to her question. Working with Phil she knew this was a dangerous line of work but she had never lost anyone close to her. She really liked Clint. He was funny and charming and he cared about Phil.

"I'm not sure but Natasha is going after him. I need you in Tromso." He reached out and put his hand on her shoulder. "Please Darcy."

This was bad. Epic bad. Agent Phil Coulson was worried and he was sending her away. She wanted to argue with him. She wanted to tell him to take his macho bullshit and shove it where the sun doesn't shine but she wasn't an agent and she would only be a liability. He had been bugging her about getting trained. She had told him no thank you but it was now on her priority list.

When she got back she was going to let Tasha train her. He wasn't going to send her away again.

"I'll go but I'm not happy about it. Get Clint back safe and make sure I never hear Loki's name again."

He nodded and made to drop his arm but instead he pulled her into a quick hug. When he released her Darcy didn't move. She was so close she could smell his aftershave.

She should tell him. Now. It was perfect, like a ridiculous romantic movie. She should confess her love right before he went into battle.

The words were right on the tip of her tongue but she couldn't get them out. Instead she leaned in and gave him a quick kiss on the cheek. "For luck."

Her heart was racing as she left his office. She didn't turn around because she was afraid what she would see on his face. It already felt too much like goodbye.

She had packed her things and flown out to meet Jane.

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She was sitting in his office trying to go through some of his things. There were no tears.

It wasn't real. Phil was invincible. There was no way he was gone. She had seen him take down a mugger with a bag of flour and nothing more. No way was he gone. Her brain couldn't process it. She felt the first big fat tear fall as she pulled up his calendar. She was going to have to call all these people and cancel. She was going to have to cancel because Phil was gone.

She picked up his pen and the tears started in earnest.

She should have told him. She wasn't sure what good it would have done but she still wished she had.

Time became irrelevant as she sat there until the tears finally stopped. She wiped her eyes and got back to the task of cleaning his desk. She was heading out the door when she collided with a Junior Agent she thought looked vaguely familiar.

"Miss Lewis?" He looked nervous and she had to fight back the urge to yell at him. "Agent Fury has requested your presence in the floor 9 conference room."

She just nodded and went back to work at Phil's desk. She would get to him when she was done.

"Miss Lewis? I'm sorry but he said I should escort you now." Darcy was going to chew him out but the young man had the decency to look terrified.

"Alright agent then lead the way." She followed him to the elevators. She didn't look around. Didn't make eye contact. She couldn't see the sad faces of the other agents. Phil was gone. New York was in ruins. Then there was the little matter that the World security council had been ready to nuke them. Of course that little tidbit wasn't for public consumption but this wasn't the public.

She tried not to think about what Fury wanted with her. She knew he had never been thrilled with Phil keeping her around. Knew he had wanted her farmed out to one of their smaller offices.

Maybe that's what this was about. Phil was gone and she was going to work in some shack in Montana.

"Thank you for coming so quickly Miss Lewis." Darcy gave him a nasty look.

"Like I had a choice." She picked the seat across from him and sat down. "Lets get this over with."

She had already resigned herself to a move. It's was probably for the better since every where she turned reminded her of Phil. "What's your clearance level?"

"I'm level 6, highest clearance, Agent Coulson pushed for that so I could oversee everything and he wouldn't have to worry about leaving files out." Her voice trailed off at the last word. It wasn't going to be easy to think about him anytime soon.

"Miss Lewis. I'm going to need you to wait here for a few minutes." She just nodded at his words. She got up after he walked out and moved towards the window. They were just starting to rebuild the city. Cleanup had happened quicker than anticipated. She watched as people walked about. Going in and out of buildings as if their very lives hadn't been threatened only a month ago.

"It's amazing how quickly life gets back to normal." Darcy's whole body froze. Her eyes shifted to the reflection in the mirror. It had to be a trick. Her heartsick mind just wanted it to be true.

"If I turn around are you going to vanish?" The tears started to fall anew.

"I certainly hope not." his voice was soft, like he was afraid to scare her away.

She turned slowly and he cringed when he saw her red swollen eyes. "Phil?" He just nodded and suddenly she was in his arms. She had moved so quickly he had barely had time to brace himself. She felt warm and solid as she pressed against him and he only hesitated for a moment before he pulled her in tight.

"I'm fine Miss Lewis." he tried to use the formality to put some distance between them. She felt too right. Smelled too good.

She pulled back and her hand reached up to touch his cheek. It was now or never. She was going to tell him how she felt. She had almost lost him. She couldn't let that happen again without letting him know how much he meant to her.

She was trying to get the words out when she felt Phil's hand tighten around her only a moment before his lips descended down onto hers. Soft and pliant she molded her mouth to his as her hand shifted to the back of his head to keep him close.

When he finally pulled back they were both out of breath. "I'm sorry. That was over the line." He tried to pull away as she tightened her grip.

She took a deep breath and just said the words that had been running through her head for months. "I love you."

By the shocked look on his face he hadn't been expecting them.

So that was it. He knew now and everything was going to change. It looked like Montana was still on the menu. She couldn't regret saying it though, or the kiss.

As she pulled back he held her this time. "You can transfer me if you like. I understand this is going to make working together difficult. I just had to tell you. So now you know." She pulled away further and turned to leave.

"Darcy, stop." His voice held an edge of anger and it sent a shiver up Darcy's spine.

"I'm just so relieved that you are okay. Clint and Tasha must have lost their minds although they shouldn't be surprised. You are pretty BA."

He leaned in quick and pressed his lips to hers. The shocked look returned to her face. "Stop talking. Okay?" She nodded. "I need to tell you something." He got silent for a moment and Darcy wanted to start talking again but she bit her tongue. "This wasn't supposed to happen. You were supposed to be a temp. I chase off assistants. Agents are afraid of me. They think I'm a robot with no feelings."

She smiled at that. It couldn't be farther from the truth.

"But you wouldn't quit. You wouldn't cower. How could I not fall for you? Standing in my office day after day with that damn mouth of yours." He ran a finger over her bottom lip as he lost focus for a moment. "Looking out for me. I look out for people. They don't look out for me."

"What?" Her voice was a whisper.

"This is going to require a mountain of paperwork."

"What?" Her voice was a little stronger this time.

Phil didn't reply though. He was done talking. Instead he pulled Darcy towards him and crushed his mouth to hers. His tongue invading her mouth while he nibbled and teased her. Her heart was pounding in her chest. She wanted nothing more than this moment to last forever.

Darcy felt Phil pull back again when someone cleared their throat. She turned towards the sound to see Fury standing there watching them. She immediately pulled away from Coulson's body but she stopped when he grabbed her hand and kept her at his side. She smiled as his fingers twined with hers.

"Agent Coulson, Agent Lewis." Fury nodded before he handed Darcy a file. "Welcome to level 7. We have a lot of work ahead of us as we rebuild New York and the Avengers are going to need someone to watch over them." Phil just nodded but Darcy was confused. "Why don't you two head home for the day and we can start tomorrow."

Fury nodded towards Agent Coulson before he left the room. "So we are working together with the Avengers?"Darcy was smiling.

"That's what you want to lead with?" Phil turned to watch the smile spread wider on her face. His thumb rubbing a slow circle on the back of her hand.

"Nah. I saved the best for last." She leaned in a gave him a quick kiss. "Top Secret Super Spy Phil Coulson has a major crush on his assistant Darcy Lewis."

"Crush is probably a bit of an undersell but we can work out the details later." He smiled at her before he lead her out of the office.

She had no idea what the future would hold. Aliens were real. Apparently she was the boss of the Avengers and Phil loved her. Things were turning up all Lewis today.

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AN

This popped into my head after watching the promo for the Agents of SHEILD tv show. Love the idea of someone who actually knew him realizing he's still alive.

reviews are love people.