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maliciaRedPink

The Last Recommendation of Agent Coulson: Chapter 3

Posted on 2013.01.09 at 09:59
Tags: , , ,

After the Invasion

Chapter Summary



Takes place four days after the Invasion of Manhattan. Finally she gets her first assignment, after she gets reprimanded for following her orders to the letter.

It wasn't Darcy's fault they weren't more specific with her orders.

And... is she an Agent yet? Or is the whole Probationary modifier still a thing?


Darcy was unimpressed. Sitting in an interrogation room waiting for hours and apparently forgotten she got bored. Finally a tall willowy brunette in a blue airman’s outfit strode in. Darcy rose as per her training, managing a very bored salute to go with her ambivalent body language.
“Probationary Agent Lewis, you were sent to Tromsø with Dr. Foster, instructed to remain by her side, protect her and keep her safe. Why did you disregard your orders?”

“Your name ma’am?” I’m wearing my bored face, is it working? thought Darcy.

“I’m the one asking the questions here Agent.”

“I can see that ma’am, but as I followed my orders to the letter and you seem to be a lackey I would like to report to Agent Coulson, who incidentally is my CO.” She is a formidable foe but she lacks my disdainful look, thought Darcy as she waited for the answer.

The nameless agent took a second too long to answer, and looked down at the file. “He is not available.” Darcy studied the agent, bored look sweeping the room.

“I submitted my paperwork, fulfilled my orders to the letter, kept my charge safe and even helped with the aftermath once we arrived in New York.. I would like to report to my CO. Ma’am.” Darcy was pushing it but she had a terrible suspicion. The taller woman made a note, closed the file, but never met Darcy’s eyes. “Agent Coulson, he isn’t my CO anymore is he?”

Their eyes locked, Darcy’s bored look tightened.

“No.” Now it was Darcy’s turn to avoid the other woman’s gaze. Suddenly Darcy didn’t feel like pushing the other woman’s buttons and she had no idea what her face was doing.
“You will follow me.” They stood and Darcy busied herself by straightening her dirty suit to regain her composure. Coulson was probably just incredibly busy with the... aftermath, she told herself. Darcy kept her stride steady even though she was blinking furiously.
“You are to return to the reconstruction crew on the weekends until further notice for your insubordination. For the moment you are to watch on these screens for any security breaches and call out warnings, updates, as needed.”
“Yes Ma’am.” Darcy was left alone with a bank of screens the painful realization that Coulson had died and she was stuck with his ghost alone in the dark. She remembered his focus swallowed her tears and pushed the grief down.

Darcy had done abbreviated training and had barely had a day to acquaint herself with the advanced surveillance tech she was now in charge of, by herself now less. Sighing she wiped her eyes, looked around for a checklist and went about checking the systems.
Some ten hours later she looked at her watch. Everything had been managed quickly and easily but the coffee had worn off about half an hour ago and she’d been awake for 30 hours now. She was relieved by another agent and told where to go to rest in the bunker.
When Darcy collapsed into bed she afforded herself the moment to reflect that she didn’t want to work for an organization that wouldn’t even tell someone... that didn’t let their agents know when a CO had died. Then she fell into a fitful sleep, nightmares of the ruined Manhattan, running with Jane, and nameless threats in the shadows haunting her.

All the terrible things that could have been happened did in her dreams.

All too soon she was woken up with a phone call to her room. She showered, found a set of sweats, they fit terribly, too tight at the chest and too long in the legs. Story of my life, she thought, then a pang of sadness. She held a dim hope that Agent Coulson was alive just terribly busy. This time however her cell told her to report to the command center and to a floor that required an escort to access. Stuffing a powerbar into her mouth she rushed to meet the agent at the elevator. Running her tongue over her lips sucking on her teeth trying to make herself presentable she put her blank face on. She was taken through the security and the female agent from yesterday’s debriefing (interrogation?) directed her to wait for a few minutes.

“You can go in now.” she said, motioning to a glass office where Director Fury had just entered. Darcy was never nervous, blank face Lewis, you were paranoid Coulson isn’t dead.

“Agent Hill has reported you for insubordination but I see here that you’ve managed to persuade her you were actually following orders to the letter.” He gestured at a screen where they watched the previous day’s interrogation. The Director focused his gaze back onto Darcy when it was over, as if staring at her would make her break. Darcy didn’t care about pushing Director Fury’s patience now that she knew Agent Coulson’s fate.

“Permission to speak freely?”

“Permission granted.”

“Agent Coulson would have understood my reasoning, it was not my intent to endanger my charge. I would not have asked to see him if I had known.”

“If you had known what?” Darcy had not looked away from Fury the entire time but now she swallowed.

“About Agent Coulson’s passing.”

“Who told you that?”

“No one, sir. I just...” she paused looked away. Director Fury's voice dropped in volume, and his body seemed to deflate a little even out of the corner of her eye it was visible.

“Agent Coulson has fallen in the line of duty. That is not the reason you are here.” Darcy looked back at the Director, her blank expression strained, only the press of her lips indicating she was in distress. Fury sat down heavy and ancient. “You are here because while you did not disobey orders you should have known better than to leave Tromsø.”

“I understand sir.”

“I have your evaluation here Probationary Agent Lewis. In it Agent Coulson requested you follow in his footsteps. He thought you had potential, the potential to do a thankless job, and to be put in danger and do well.” Fury was bitter but the words needed to be answered.

“I’m honored he thought I had potential, he will be greatly missed.” Fury looked at her again, she held his gaze, the blank expression gone replaced with a similar one except for the overly bright eyes, and strained mouth. “May I attend the funeral?”

This took Fury by surprise, and it softened his features. “There will be no personal funeral I think you can appreciate why Agent Lewis.”

“Yes of course.”

“As to your future with this agency, you will be up for reevaluation in two months. For the moment I would like to hear the reasoning you were going to give Agent Coulson.”

“I... was going to point out that he knew about Dr. Foster’s expertise with the Einstein-Rosenberg bridge and I had the distinct feeling that Dr. Foster was going to attempt escaping again. I didn’t want to risk losing her. So I accompanied her and kept her safe.”
Fury looked at her sizing her up.

“You were supposed to be in training for the position of his assistant as Liaison to the Avengers. Since that’s out of the picture you will return to Dr. Foster and her fellow colleagues as their assistant, however her colleagues are two of the Avengers team Tony Stark, and Dr. Bruce Banner. But we’re short handed at the moment and you will continue to pitch in where needed, Drs Foster, and Banner and Stark will have to make do without you for the moment. And you still have to report to weekend duty for your insubordination.”

“Yes, sir.”

“You are dismissed Agent.”
Fury watched her go, she was almost as stoic in her expressions as Coulson it was true and the way she didn’t show fear with Hill or himself gave him hope that she might be up for the task. Others may have taken her tendency to push buttons and her eerie way of figuring things out as intolerable but Coulson thought highly of her. Still Fury had to wonder if there was even a point to keeping her with SHIELD without Coulson to mold her properly.

The month was more grueling than training but emotionally not physically. They kept her doing lots of surveillance and clean up, everyone was tired and tense. Stims were handed out whenever they had to run ops to recover alien tech in the city and even though they mostly kept her out of harms way she needed the stims to keep watch.

At the end of the month she found herself in front of Agent Hill again. “You will report to Dr. Foster’s lab she is working at Stark Tower now, you won’t actually be functioning as her assistant your first and main priority is to keep watch over her, Dr. Banner and Mr. Stark.” Darcy’s eyes widened betraying her shock. “If they need to report to SHIELD you will escort them, you will make reports on their progress and when they are needed in the field you will accompany them with backup of course. And finally you are never to lose control of Mr. Stark.”

Now Darcy lost the blank expression completely, quirking her eyebrow quizzically. Everyone knew Tony was unmanageable and here she was seven months out of college, not even finished with her SHIELD training and tasked with Tony Stark, Dr. Banner, the dormant berserker and Jane. It was enough to make Darcy want to give up and quit now.

“Any questions?”

“Does that mean I get to carry a weapon now?” and can I pull it on Tony she wanted to say.

Agent Hill smiled minutely, “Yes of course, how else would you protect them?”

“That’s true ma’am.”

“Just remember there’s a lot of paperwork to be done for discharging your weapon.” Darcy heard, try not to shoot Tony.

Now that Darcy had her marching orders she was able to move out of the bunker and given a small SHIELD sponsored apartment. It was in Manhattan though and she would finally be able to send for her things. And she’d be able to work with Jane again. She called Jane to tell her the good news, getting her clothes laid out for the next day. Jane squealed at the news and balked when Darcy said she was supposed to be in charge of all three scientists. Darcy was afraid to ask but she did anyways, “Is it that bad?”

“Well I mean he’s been busy with rebuilding the Tower and hasn’t really been in the lab much but SHIELD did want he him to get back to the lab. Ok don’t be intimidated but the only one I’ve seen that can handle him is Pepper. And now she’s around less and less he gets...rowdy?”

“How rowdy? Thor rowdy or like as bad as the rumors?”

“I don’t know about the rumors, but he’s run off several civilian assistants in the last months I’ve known him so... ” It was true Jane would know better than to think Darcy would scare easily.

“Can I handle him?”

“Yeah you can but don’t you have a gun now?”

“Yeah...?”

“Maybe you shouldn’t bring it, you might be tempted to use it.” she laughed nervously. Darcy frowned. First Agent Hill and now Jane. This was going to be real interesting.
Darcy didn’t technically have the clearance to read most of Dr. Banner's file. It was so redacted she mostly only had like a hand full of nouns, some articles, verbs and his childhood to go on. Jane’s file revealed lots more, stuff that made Darcy assume they thought she knew already but had never bothered to wonder about much less ask her if she knew... So if that information didn't come from her then who?

Tony’s file was a laundry list of his public accomplishments but it wasn’t anything Darcy couldn’t find on wikipedia. It mentioned little about the evaluations, just selections from them highlighting his work style. He was obsessive and prone to hermit-like isolation when inventing. But the gossip sites were filled with his womanizing ways though that had calmed down a lot since he became Iron Man. And it contained practically no information about what happened to him in Afghanistan. It was as if his file was missing entire pages.
She sighed, they were basically sending her in blind.


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