Amy’s in the middle of composing a mental email that will, she firmly believes, give her a distinctive lead in her bitter death feud with the first violin (henceforward known as That Utter Cock, Kevin, or, more naturally, Tuck) of the Portland Symphony Orchestra, when her doorbell rings.
It’s Iron Man. Iron Man is at her door.
Amy is not sure what to do with this information.
“Hi,” she says. Iron Man unclicks his face, and hey, it’s Tony Stark at her door. Which, well, of course, but still. Tony Stark.
“Hi,” says Tony Stark.
“Hi,” she says. Did she say that already?
“You know, this is the part where you could invite me in,” says Tony Stark.
“Yep,” says Amy, and doesn’t move. “I mean, yeah, unless you’re a vampire, cuz then, y’know, eek, not so good and… yeah. Shutting up. Come in.”
Tony Stark comes in. Tony Stark is now in her living room.
“So…” she says.
“You’re probably wondering why I’m here,” says Tony Stark.
“Yes,” says Amy, “yes, I am wondering that.”
Tony Stark looks at her earnestly. “It’s about Phil,” he says.
And… OK. “Uh, Phil?”
Tony Stark nods. “Yeah, Phil. Or – wait – you might know him as Agent.”
“I mean, I knew him as Agent. The Phil thing was completely out of left field. I didn’t think they were allowed names.”
Amy is coming round to the idea that Tony Stark, in addition to being Iron Man and being in her living room, is actually insane. She’s heard the rumours.
“I don’t know a Phil.”
“Right,” says Crazy Tony Stark, and actually taps his finger to his nose. “I get it. Shadowy government agent, don’t say a word; he had zero sense of humour about his work. Has. I meant has. You know it’s all fine, right? That’s why I’m here. He told my girlfriend about the break-up, but then he got stabbed trying to be a hero which, let’s be honest, was a little out of his league, and I thought having his ex back might cheer him up. From being stabbed. But don’t tell him any of that.”
“So, you’ll come back to New York? For Phil? He’s practically on his death bed, I mentioned that, right?”
Crazy Tony Stark looks put out by this. Amy edges towards her cello in case it’s needed as a weapon.
“Hey, I know he’s got a stick up his ass and terrible dress sense, and that mancrush on Captain Spangle is just embarrassing for everyone, but he’s not a bad guy. I have a jet.”
Amy says, “I have absolutely no idea what you’re talking about.”
Tony Stark does honest-to-god aeroplane arms. “Jet. I have one. It’s great; less so since Pepper made me lose the strippers. That woman has no understanding of Keynesian economics.”
“I. Do. Not. Know. Phil.”
“But JARVIS is never wrong,” says Tony Stark, and now he’s definitely using crazy eyes. “You’re the only cellist who was in New York who moved back to Portland.”
“You are a crazy man,” says Amy, and Crazy Tony Stark frowns.
“Fine,” he says, and jumps out of her living room window.
“That,” says Amy, “was weird.” She puts down the cello, and returns to her mental email.
“You hear about Stark?” asks Natasha. She’s perched on the end of Coulson’s bed, stealing grapes on the tip of a throwing knife.
“I’m on leave,” says Coulson. “The one benefit is that I don’t have to hear anything at all about Stark.”
“Oh, you’ll like this,” she says confidently. “He flew out to Portland.”
“What the hell for?” asks Clint, idly resetting arrows.
Natasha’s smile is smug. “To find a cellist.”
“Is that some new fetish?” says Clint.
“Oh god,” says Coulson, and Natasha grins.
“Yes, Phil, he went out seeking your one, true, cello-playing love. I think he did some stalking first.”
Clint frowns. “You told Tony Stark you were in love with a cellist from Portland?”
“I told Pepper Potts.”
“I’m deeply wounded by this revelation,” says Clint. “And, what the hell?”
Coulson raises an eyebrow. “I’m sorry, did you want me to tell Tony Stark that you and I were in a committed and loving relationship? I can do that if you want.”
Clint considers their committed and loving relationship. He considers Tony Stark.
“Nah, that’s fine,” he says. “You and the cellist have a beautiful thing going.”
“I miss her,” says Natasha.
“JARVIS, you failed me once on this, but I’m going to forgive you,” says Tony.
“Thank you, sir,” says JARVIS drily.
“We’re going to have to expand this search beyond former New York cellists,” explains Tony. “Coulson took one for the team, JARVIS, the least I can do, as a philanthropist and all-round great guy, is see that he gets laid. Let’s review…”