"Did Stark put you up to this?" Phil says, replacing the cufflinks on his button-down and shrugging on his suit jacket.
Dr. Johnson sighs. "I wish. I don't have any explanation for my findings, but according to your blood work and the ultrasound we just performed, you're pregnant."
Phil sits down. He breathes slowly and evenly, in through his mouth and out through his nose. He's going to kill Tony Stark when this physical is finally over. Phil doesn't know what Stark promises the junior agents and the support staff, but it must be sweet because too many of them are more than willing to pull pranks on Stark's behalf. "Please read me the results of the tests without the shenanigans, Doctor. I'll be more than happy to invite Director Fury to oversee the process if you find yourself incapable of professional behavior."
Dr. Johnson throws his hands up. "I've already called him down here, Phil. We can wait for the rest until he arrives."
Later, Phil will identify this moment as the point where everything went to shit.
Sometimes, Nick Fury is a good man to work for--fair, understanding, a brilliant leader who Phil can't help but admire. Today is not one of those days. Today, Fury looms over Phil while Dr. Johnson cowers in the corner next to the bedpans, demanding to know when Phil was compromised and just who did the compromising.
"You can't be taking this seriously, Director," Phil says. "I reported to Medical because I've been nauseated and fatigued for the past week. Clearly, Tony Stark heard I was under the weather and orchestrated this little practical joke."
Fury shakes Dr. Johnson's printout in Phil's face. "This is not a joke, Agent. My senior handler is currently incubating a potentially hostile or alien life form--"
"It's human," Dr. Johnson pipes up from behind the relative safety of a jar of tongue dispensers. "The fetus is human."
Fury continues like Dr. Johnson hasn't even spoken. "--and I need to know how and when it happened. Is there anything you want to tell me now, Agent Coulson?"
"No, sir," Phil says, and there isn't. He's experienced nothing that would render him capable of bearing a child.
"Have you blacked out recently? Do you have any missing time?"
"No, sir," Phil says and ruthlessly quells the quaver in his voice. If this is real, if this is really happening, he's not prepared to break down in a S.H.I.E.L.D. infirmary room while Nick Fury watches. "If this isn't a joke, then how in the hell could I possibly be pregnant?" Normally, Phil would never use profanity in front of the director, but he thinks a little off-color language is more than excusable given the circumstances.
"I'd like the answer to that question myself," Fury says and turns the laser-like focus of that solitary eye onto Dr. Johnson. "How is my male agent pregnant with a human baby?"
"I don't know," Dr. Johnson says, cringing as the muscles in Fury's jaw jump. "The baby is growing in what appears to be a fully functioning uterus. Agent Coulson's hormone levels are similar to those of a pregnant woman's and other small changes in his body chemistry are analogous as well. I can find no puncture or suture wounds on his body, no site through which an embryo could have been placed inside him. The only unusual thing about this pregnancy--" Phil gives Dr. Johnson the look that has caused more than one junior agent to literally piss himself, and the doctor swallows audibly before continuing. "--is a very slight energy signature surrounding the fetus."
A feeling of cold dread snakes up Phil's spine. "What sort of energy?"
"It's reminiscent of the Tesseract."
And suddenly Phil remembers Loki's spear sliding into his chest, his lungs filling with blood, and in the moment before he lost consciousness, a shock of something primal and overwhelming washing over him. In that instant when he was the closest he's ever been to dying, Phil felt more alive than he ever had before.
"Loki," Fury says.
"Loki," Phil says, and then no one says anything for awhile.
Dr. Johnson eventually says, "He must have impregnated you with his spear."
Phil and Fury both turn incredulous looks on Dr. Johnson who once again retreats to the safety of his bedpans.
Phil knows what happened now, and he's pretty sure he likes it even less than the idea of Loki's spear knocking him up. "Loki stabbed me more than six months ago, and every medical exam I've had since then has been completely normal. He didn't make me pregnant, but he did something to me with that spear that made pregnancy possible."
Fury raises an eyebrow. "And have you been engaging in activities that would make pregnancy possible, Agent?"
"Yes, sir," Phil says.
"Don't make me drag this out of you, Agent Coulson," Fury says. "With whom?"
"Frankly, sir, none of your business."
"Oh, no, you don't," Fury says, leaning forward and planting his hands on the wall behind Coulson's head, his coat whirling around his legs. "You don't get to pull this baby agent shit on me, Coulson. You're going to tell me who you've been sleeping with, and you're going to tell me right now."
"No, sir, I'm not," Phil says. "The other parent is a normal human who poses no danger to S.H.I.E.L.D. or anyone else. I'm willing to hand in my resignation immediately, but I will not divulge that information. I'm also not willing to terminate the pregnancy."
Fury stares him down like he thinks Phil can be intimidated by a threatening glare, but he knows better than most that Phil's control is rock solid. He sighs. "I don't want your resignation, Agent. You're the best man I have, and you know it. I'm pulling you off field duty and confining you to Headquarters. Expect to be poked and prodded for the foreseeable future."
Phil nods. He thought as much. "I would like to keep this information confidential and between the three of us for as long as possible," he says.
"Understood." Fury stops with his hand on the doorknob. "You owe me, though, Agent. The betting pool would have a field day with this one. My money's always been on secret lover."
Phil snorts and pinches the bridge of his nose, hard. He knows about the betting pool just like he knows about everything that goes on inside Headquarters, and until a little more than a month ago, Fury would have been dead wrong. Phil hasn't dated anyone in years. He hasn't had the time or the inclination. Watching other people nearly die and actually die and nearly dying himself over and over again hasn't really cultivated an interest in romance.
Until six weeks ago in a safe house in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, when Phil found himself pinned underneath Clint Barton, his hands fisted in the sheets and Clint biting into his shoulder, sharp and perfect.
Oh, yeah. Phil knows exactly how he got pregnant. He just hopes Clint never finds out.