Burned – Ch. 8
“I have twenty eight agents currently going through deconditioning thanks to subliminal mind fucks that were making them target Agent Barton. Tell me this is isolated to those that handled the Tesseract?” Fury said, shoving a stack of paperwork away.
“It’s more like it’s anyone who might have been on base at the time the Tesseract was near and had a susceptible neural framework for suggestion. I would recommend having anyone in the same location as the Tesseract be scanned.” A scientist said, picking up the stack and replacing it with another.
“See to it, Hill.”
“Yes, sir.” She said taking the stack of research from the lab coated man. A knock at the door silenced the scientist who was about to continue. Fury waved him and Hill out with a small glare as Natasha strode into the office.
“Report, Agent. How’s the base?”
“Destroyed. Hulk didn’t enjoy finding out that Agent Barton had already been removed.”
“We had a team that was closer. They got him out and he’s getting tested and cared for. How exactly is that a bad thing, Agent?”
“There wasn’t a team closer.”
“Not one you were aware of, no.”
“And Phil Coulson was?”
“Phil Coulson is dead, Agent as you well know.”
“Is he staying that way?”
“Agent Barton is in medical. I suggest you make sure the rest of your team knows the way. Dismissed, Agent.” Natasha watched him for a moment longer before leaving. Once the door closed behind her another hidden panel opened behind Fury’s desk.
“She’s not going to let it go.”
“I thought we agreed that it was better for the Avengers if you stayed dead.” Fury said, not bothering to turn to face the man behind him.
“No, sir, you said that.” Coulson said with a sigh, moving to the chair to one side of Fury’s desk. “I said that it was going to come back and bite Shield in the ass at some point.”
“No, you wanted me out and working and I was. I got both of your teams together and working. It’s time for me to step off the ride.”
“And what would that entail? Beyond coming out to the team?”
“That would depend on the team.”
“Stark’s going to want to steal you away.”
“I might let him.”
“Oh, come on, Phil!”
“No, Marcus. I’m tired.” He said with a small smile. “Dying takes a lot out of you. I’m ready for a break.”
“When exactly are you planning to make the reveal?”
“Once Clint’s stable,” Their phones pinged softly in unison from an incoming text message.
“Might want to move that up, they just took Barton back for emergency surgery.”
“The paperwork will be on your desk in a few days.” Phil snapped, striding to the door and moving through the halls at a brisk walk.
He ignored the stares and the few shouts that his appearance in the main hallways caused. Thankfully most of the base was composed of agents too well trained to do more than stare for a moment as he passed. Phil strode into the surgery observation bay, ignoring the strangled noises the other occupants made.
“Save the shouting for later.” He snapped, stopping at the window next to Natasha. “I don’t care what you think of me. I’m here for Barton, not you.”
“You are so getting punched once Barton’s out of surgery, Agent.” Tony snapped, typing violently at his phone.
“I’m sure I more than deserve it.”
“You made Pepper cry.”
“Clint gets the first punch.” Natasha said her voice cold.
“Of course.” Phil agreed glancing at his former asset.
“Agent?” Bruce asked from a back corner of the small room.
“Yeah, as in the ‘Opps, I’m not really dead.’ one. Agent Coulson meet Bruce Banner. Bruce, Agent.”
“Pleasure.” Phil ground out, his gaze never leaving the operation being performed below them. “What’s the surgery for exactly?”
“They found his intracranial pressure was too high. Ran some tests and found two bleeders.” Tony said.
“Thank you.” Phil said shifting to lean against one corner. He was going to be here awhile.