Title - Four times Phil Coulson interrupted dates, and one time he had his own.
Fandom - Avengers
Rating - PG
Warnings - Tiny mention of drug use (very much in passing)
Genre - Fluff
Pairings - Steve/Tony, Bruce/Clint, Thor/Jane, Maria/Natasha, Phil/?
Prompt - "…and they lived happily ever after" for my avengers_tables '25 Prompts'
Summary - When the world needs saving, dates have to be postponed. But it makes coming home safely all the sweeter.
Author's Note - Well, this started out with an idea of making it rather porny and fulfil the 'coitus interuptus' prompt, but then… Fluff happened. The result of muses ruling the writing I think. This was also a very nice way of including every ship I love in one fic. Hope you enjoy!
Steve and Tony's Date Night
Well. Steve was suitably inebriated (which was saying a lot for a super soldier who burnt through alcohol like it was fireworks on Fourth of July), Tony had lit candles, they'd had sushi. Watching Steve eat had been adorable. He'd kept dropping things off his chop sticks. Tony had fed what fell back to Steve. It was a match made in heaven.
"Cap, not checking your data pad, are you?" Tony asked, stalking back across the room having found a dark corner to hide the plates in. Tomorrow's problem. Or, you know, whenever.
Steve looked up, tucking the offending technology behind his back. "I was just checking that-"
"Fury is off base. Coulson is-" He paused. He'd told Agent Coulson (he couldn't call him Phil - just wrong) not to disturb them unless Loki was back and killing everyone. "Occupied. No one is going to need us," he said soothingly, as though comforting an anxious teenager, hands on Steve's broad shoulders, digging a little into the muscles. Steve's head straightened, sighing into the feeling of Tony's tough hands massaging tension from his shoulders.
"How-" Steve looked up at Tony, and chose not to question how he had gleaned this knowledge. Tony bent over, hands still on Steve's shoulders, and kissed his forehead.
"Come," he said quietly, grabbing Steve by the wrist and tugging him in the direction of the bedroom. Steve smiled and followed, keeping his pace slightly slower than his emotions wanted - rushing to bed with Tony Stark only served to increase Tony's already over inflated ego.
"I know what I said - call him."
"But, sir, Stark-"
"Call. Him. I think both Captain Rogers and Mr Stark would be interested to know that there is a large alien ship hovering over Las Vegas." Phil Coulson pointed at the nearest screen which showed a panned-out image of said alien ship, poised to bring down hell over the party capital of America.
The young officer sat to his left reluctantly picked up the comms headset, tapping in the number to be put through to Tony's apartment on the helicarrier. It rang for several seconds, then was answered. "I don't care. Go. Away." The headset went dead.
"I think he's busy."
I'll just bet he is, Coulson thought, grabbing the headset from the officer and dialling Stark himself.
"Like I said, I don't-"
"Tony there are aliens in Las Vegas."
"Yeah? You only just figured this out, Agent?" Coulson sighed, but at least he had Stark's attention.
"I mean proper aliens. Extra-terrestials. Blowing up casinos."
Silence. The sound of faint whispering (as though Coulson and everyone else on the helicarrier didn't know Steve and Tony, along with a large number of the rest of the Avengers team, were sleeping together), followed by an expletive which Coulson took to mean Tony and Steve were on their way.
Clint and Bruce try and finish an experiment but fail miserably.
"Are you done yet?" Clint twirled the test tube in his fingers for what seemed like the millionth time that minute.
Bruce glanced up from the microscope, rolled his eyes and laughed. "No. When I'm done you'll know." Clint sighed, heaving himself off of the work bench, making the microscope wobble precariously and snap the slide beneath it.
Must. Not. Turn. Green.
"Sorry," Clint said quickly, having heard the snap of the glass and seen the set in Bruce's shoulders change, recognising irritation instantly. He stepped closer, standing next to Bruce, touching his forearm gently. "Sorry," he repeated, smiling hopefully. Fury will kill me if I get the Hulk to come play.
Bruce turned and looked at Clint, taking his glasses off and polishing them with the bottom edge of his shirt. "It's okay," he said then, smiling gently, laughing when he saw Clint visibly relax. "D'you really think the other guy's gonna come out because I broke a slide?"
"I just know your work is important and Fury will string me up if I make you lose control," Clint sighed, stepping closer still so he could wiggle between Bruce and the work top, sliding a hand around onto Bruce's hip. "And I wouldn't want that." An almost challenge.
Bruce leant into him, pressing a kiss on Clint's temple. "I'd miss you I guess. Breaks up the monotony of all the other people just desperate to spend time with me," he teased, putting his glasses on the work surface behind Clint so they were out of the way.
Clint grinned, turning his doctor's face so he could kiss him properly. "Well, it's chicken salsa night in the kitchen," he whispered, breaking the kiss, "and I know you won't have eaten all day."
"Tony gave me some fruit earlier."
"You still accept food from him after he gave you space cakes?"
"Only if I see him open the packet."
Clint laughed, and Bruce joined him, laughter contagious at midnight in such good company. "Shall we," Clint said, walking his fingers down the buttons on Bruce's shirt, "get food, and take it back to yours."
"I could be convinced. No more eating in bed though, Clint, the crumbs itch."
"Oh Doctor Banner, the sweet things you say!" Clint stated, putting on his best high voice as he pushed Bruce playfully away.
They made it back to the apartment minutes before Coulson got there. He had a way of knowing when they were in, and didn't bother to knock (one day he'd get one hell of a shock). "Agent Barton, Doctor," he said, nodding to them each in turn as he swept into the room, handing Bruce a file with all the details about the aliens in Las Vegas and Clint a condensed file. Not that he didn't think Clint could handle it; the archer just preferred facts over quantity of information.
"Agent Coulson," Bruce said, producing a spare pair of glasses from his pocket and pushing them up his nose so he could read the file. He scanned the beginning, then looked up and showed Clint a picture of the alien craft. "Real aliens."
"Uh-huh," Clint agreed, looking up at Coulson. "How long?"
"Fly out in an hour. Doctor, you up to doing some field work?"
"Me or the other guy?"
Coulson smiled, no sarcasm in his voice when he said, "You. Our med team are off base overnight on exercises."
"Good. See you in the hangar, one hour." Coulson turned on his heel and strode out the door, leaving Clint and Bruce to exchange excited smiles before leaping up to use up their hour wisely.
Thor and Jane try and have coffee
Thor downed another beaker full of coffee, staring into the empty ceramic as though double checking for any drops he'd missed. "Traunsee was amazing. I can't even begin to describe how much it helped my research, and-" Jane paused, looking up at Thor and turning her head inquisitively to one side. "Are you okay?"
"Yes. I am listening, Jane," he added, smiling to her. "How is Eric Selvig?" he asked conversationally. He had apologised to Selvig for Loki's actions, though apologies meant very little when someone has invaded your mind and abused it as Loki had. He was unsure what he could have done to make it up to his friend.
Jane put her hand on his, forcing his eyes back up to her. "Eric is fine; he's recovering well. Can't stop talking about the Tesseract, of course, and perpetual power, but he's fine. We both are." She smiled broader, inspiring confidence in him, causing him to smile back.
"Thank you," he said, gripping her hand a little tighter than intended, but she didn't recoil or retract her hand. He opened his mouth, began saying something, when Jane's cell phone lit up, playing a tinny tune and vibrating.
She glanced at it, then at Thor, then back at it. "Should I answer it?"
"It's usually what your people do when electronic devices blink and sing," Thor replied, glancing back at the bright screen.
Jane answered the phone. "Hello?" She went quiet, nodding, then, "Oh, yes, I'll- I'll pass him over," she said hastily, handing Thor the phone. "It's for you. Looks like we'll have to do coffee next time you swing by Earth." There was no defiance in her voice, no challenge or anger; she knew he was part of SHIELD, knew that whatever Phil Coulson was calling him for was important.
"Thor! Shhh!" Jane whispered, international sign language for 'shhh!' employed to full effect.
"Oh. Hello?" he asked into the phone, holding it a few inches from his head.
"Thor? I need you to come in. There's a helicopter waiting to pick you up on the playing field opposite the diner."
"Yes. Can you make it?"
Maria and Natasha watch chick flicks
"Oh, Mr Darcy, how I long for your sweet touch!" Maria kissed the pillow in her lap, raising a laugh from Natasha, who had just performed a similar move on her blanket.
"Why do we watch these films?" Natasha asked, looking through their list that they were working on seeing. They'd watched Pride and Prejudice and Emma tonight; tomorrow was Titanic. Maria promised Natasha that she'd cry; well, she hadn't over any of the films Maria had chosen so far.
Maria and Natasha weren't dating. Neither of them dated. They just spent time together doing things they liked. Sometimes it was sex. More often it was playing board games, watching old movies or planning the day when they would, finally, get their hands on Loki for all the trouble he'd caused. Maria was going to force him to listen to bad songs on repeat for days until he either danced along or went insane. Natasha's wishes for him were considerably darker, but she had a more personal reason to want to get her hands on Loki.
"Coffee?" Maria asked, getting up off the couch and going to the kitchenette.
"Yes, please, black-"
"With one, I know." Maria winked, and Natasha smiled in response. She pulled her legs up onto the couch, wrapping them in her blanket, not for warmth but for comfort. She was almost as comfortable with Maria as she was with Clint (almost - Clint was a brother to her, and no one was closer than family).
Maria came back to the couch, handing over one of the cups and keeping one herself, wrapping long fingers around the bowl of the mug. "What are you thinking?" she asked quietly after a few moments, taking a sip of her coffee.
"It’s quiet. Too quiet."
Natasha shot Maria a look. Maria could read her like a book, she knew it, and so sighed, relenting her previous stance. "I don't want Bruce to wind up killing Clint." Maria had known this was coming; Natasha was twitchy about the second most well known relationship on the helicarrier (the first being Tony and Steve, but they'd never gone out of their way to keep it a secret).
"He won't. Clint'll give even The Hulk a run for his money," Maria answered, leaning over and squeezing Natasha's shoulder. Then, to lighten the mood, "Hey, you know how when Banner gets green his muscles get bigger? Well-"
The phone rang. "Saved from that mental image by the bell."
"Tell me you've never wondered." Natasha paused on her way to the phone, and smiled over her shoulder.
"Maybe," she replied, then answered the phone, "Romanoff."
"Natasha? Call, get to the hangar in an hour. We've got to roll out."
"Yes. Everyone's in for this one," Coulson replied, then sighed. "Do you know where Hill is?"
Natasha glanced at Maria, this time shooting her a wink. "No, I'll track her down on my way."
"Thanks. See you there," Coulson said, hanging up the phone before Natasha for once.
"You found me in my apartment."
"I did," Natasha replied, going back to her cup of coffee. "And we had a quick break for coffee before going to save the world."
And one time Phil Coulson went on a date.
They'd survived. God knows how. Coulson was fairly certain he'd seen Banner stitching part of Captain America's suit back together, Stark had been unbearable but, admittedly, they'd have all died without him, Barton stayed out of trouble but saved several very important asses, Romanoff infiltrated the alien ship and blew it to hell and back, and Thor had used his hammer to summon more thunder than Nevada saw as a whole state last year.
They were dirty, pissed off, hyped up, covered in blood and stank of carbon, but they were smiling, laughing, nudging each other. In-jokes ran wild. They were working together. Fury was right.
"I'm not going to keep you all long. Thank you for your help tonight, now go and get some sleep," he said by way of a debrief, smiling at them all.
"Best debrief ever," Tony said, clapping Coulson on the back as he went past, wincing at a bruised shoulder that twisted the wrong way.
The others murmured their goodbyes and goodnights, drifting off to wherever they were going to sleep. He let them go, answered with thanks; the world was, once again, free of aliens set on destroying cities. It was a good outcome.
He checked his watch and smiled; he would be late, but she'd understand. She would.
He strolled to his room, removing his tie as he went, and pushed the door open, greeted with a soft, sweet, mellow cello note, vibrato just right. He half wanted to stay in the door way, not disturb her practice, but wanted to go to her and watch her work. He shut the door, tossing his tie onto the couch, and sat in the arm chair, watching her hands work the strings, looking up at him as she played.
"I'm sorry I'm late."
"I'm just glad you came," she replied, smiling, then taking up her playing where she left off, closing her eyes to visualise the notes as she played them. He reclined his arm chair, closing his eyes, letting himself be lulled into relaxation by the mellow sounds her music made.
He knew about everyone else's dates. This was all his, his and hers and home to her music. "Sleep well, Phil," she whispered, watching him begin to doze properly, keeping her playing going until he was fully asleep.