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Family Matters

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Phil is mad. No, he is beyond mad, he is Pissed Off. First he gets stabbed and dies. Then he can’t even tell his husband and kids he’s alive. Then he finds out the Avengers, the so called ‘Heroes’ are abusing his husband. Not physically of course, but mentally and emotionally. He doesn’t care about what Fury wants anymore, or what’s ‘best’. He wants his family and he’s going to get them. For that he needs to go to the Tower. So he breaks out of SHIELD Medical, which really should be harder, but considering who he is, is pretty easy. Then he hails a cab. On the way to the Tower, he thinks of what he is going to do when he sees Tony and his kids. The thought puts a smile on his face.


When he gets there, he immediately goes to the private elevator. As soon as he gets near, JARVIS speaks up. “You are not authorized to-” JARVIS cuts off when he sees who he’s speaking to.


“Hey JARVIS,” he says with a smile. “I assume you’ve already scanned me to confirm I am who I look like.”


JARVIS replies promptly, “You are correct Agent Coulson. I must welcome you back to the land of the living, although I am quite confused as to how you are here.”


Of course JARVIS was confused. It’s not everyday people come back from the dead, although he’s pretty sure this is the first time he has stumped the AI. “It’s okay J, I’ll explain everything later. For now I need to get my family back.”


JARVIS opened the elevator and Phil stepped inside. He paused and asked, “Do any of the Avengers know me and Tony are married and have a family?”


“No, Sir was very adamant they were never informed. He and the children moved to the Mansion outside the city.” Tony wanted James and Julie to grow up outside of the spotlight. He didn’t want them to have the life he did. Getting kidnapped for ransom, and most of the time finding his own way out. It made sense that he kept it from the team. Only their close friends knew they were married and had two kids. “Okay don’t tell anyone I’m here. Now, where is everyone?”


“Sir is with young master and young miss in the workshop. The Avengers are on the common floor,” JARVIS replies.


“What are they doing?”


“Sir is working on the next StarkPhone prototype, while the children play with the ‘bots. The rest of the Avengers are having a team movie night”


Phil wonders if they had even invited him. Probably not, he thinks. From what he overheard, the Avengers don’t consider him a teammate, just a sugar daddy to fix their gear and pay the bills.


“Was Tony invited,” Phil asks to confirm his suspicions,


“No, Sir was in the room while they planned and asked if he was allowed to come and Captain Rogers replied with ‘Don’t you have some work to do or something? I know Clint asked for new arrow upgrades.’ Sir then went to his workshop and  .”


Well there goes his love of Captain America. He couldn’t believe Ste- no, Rogers would say that to Tony’s face. Maybe behind his back, but not straight to his face. He could not wait to get them out of his home.


He was ready to see Tony, James, and Julie again. “JARVIS, can you take me to the workshop? And don’t tell them I’m coming.”


“Right away, Agent Coulson.”


The elevator started moving right away. Phil could barely contain himself. He could only think of how much pain his family had been in these past six months. The elevator lurched to a stop. Here goes nothing. Phil stepped out just as JARVIS told Tony there was someone here to see him.


“Who is it J?” he hears Tony ask as he turns around. Phil doesn’t even get to say anything before Tony powers up his watch gauntlet and aims it at him. “Tell me one good reason I shouldn’t shoot you right where you stand.”


Phil just sighs, he should have expected this. He sees James sheltering Julie on the other side of the workshop. Probably didn’t want to get her hopes up, and seeing her supposedly dead dad James speaks up, “Papà are you okay?”


“I will be when I figure out what the hell is going on.” Phil figured it was time to explain.


“JARVIS, can you please tell Tony that I actually am Philip J. Coulson-Stark.” This was going to be a long night.


“Of course Agent Coulson. Sir I have already run a full body scan on Agent Coulson and compared it to previous data I have collected. I can confirm with absolute certainty this is Philip J. Coulson-Stark.”


Tony put away his gauntlet and led Phil to the couch where his kids were. Julie immediately threw herself in his arms. “Daddy!” She squealed, “You’re back! I thought people didn’t come back from the dead!”


Phil beamed “Well you are right about that sweetheart. People don’t come back alive after being dead. I’m just a very special case” He puts her down and looks to his son. “Hey Dad, I missed you. I’m glad you’re back, even if it doesn’t make sense.” Phil just smiles, leave it to his teenage son to not make a big deal over him coming back from the dead.


He hears sniffling off to the side. He sees his husband crying next to him.


“Come here honey.” He gathers Tony in his arms and just holds him for a few minutes.


“It’s okay darling, I’m real, I’m actually alive. Listen to my heart beat.”


Tony stops crying after a few more minutes, but is still sniffling a bit. “How are you alive?”


Phil sighs, because it really is a long story. “I’ll explain in a few minutes, when we are alone. It is not a happy tale. It shouldn’t be heard by the kids. For now I think what we all need is a group hug.”


Phil gathers his family in his arms. He could only be happier if he didn’t have posers in his home, a few floors up.


He really needs to explain to Tony what happened. “Hey James, why don’t you and Julie stay here and keep playing. Your Papà and I need to talk about a few things alone.”


Like how he is alive, and how to get the Avengers out. “Come on, sweetheart, lets go to the penthouse. JARVIS, lock down the workshop when we leave. No one is allowed in or out until myself or Tony says otherwise.”


“Of course, Agent Coulson.” Phil needs to make sure the Avengers never make it here. Who knows what would happen.


Phil and Tony make their way to the elevator, which is waiting for them when they get there. As soon as the doors close, Tony jumps him and just starts kissing him. Phil’s surprised at first then melts into the kiss. Things start heating up as Tony bites his lip for entrance. Phil grants it of course, then brings a hand up into Tony’s hair and the other around his neck, pulling him closer. The shorter man’s hands are around his waist. Too soon, they have to break away for air.


“It’s been far too long since I’ve been able to do that.”


Phil agrees wholeheartedly. He definitely missed his husband. Phil pulls Tony into a hug. “I missed you so much honey. I promise I’m never leaving you again.”


Tony sighed happily, then frowns. “As much as I want to keep this going and maybe have some awesome, ‘My husband has magically come back from the dead’ sex, I feel like that needs to wait while we talk.” Tony’s right, as nice as that sounds, it has to wait.


When they realize they have been on their floor for a few minutes, they finally exit the elevator. Just as they get into the living room, Phil’s stomach growls. Right, he hasn’t eaten dinner yet.


“Do you want to order something Phil?”


He thinks about it for a minute. “Just get our usual Italian takeout order. Some for the kids too. No doubt they’ll be hungry when we’re done.”


Tony nods, “You heard the man J, pass the message to the kids, family dinner as soon as we’re done up here.”


“Food has been ordered Sir. Master James says they’ll be waiting and to not take too long ‘catching up’ as he and Young Miss Julie wish to see their Father as well.”


Phil sighed and rolled his eyes. Of course James thinks they’re having sex. He is a teenager after all. Phil wishes it were that easy. Nope instead he has to explain why he’s not actually dead and then tell his husband he wants to kick out his so-called ‘friends’. Easy peasy.


Tony beckons him over to the couch “Alright come on Phil, it’s time to explain.”


Easy peasy. Phil leans into Tony and they cuddle while he explains. “Well it actually started back in 2009, when SHIELD first came to you about the Avengers Initiative. Fury had put me in charge of this Project TAHITI, which according to him could be used to revive a fallen Avenger. After failed trials and test subjects coming back crazy. I shut the whole Project down.”


Tony started rubbing Phil’s shoulders, like he could tell when Phil was starting to get stressed, and after 24 years of marriage, he probably could. “Little did I know, Fury didn’t shut it down, like I told him too. Fast forward to the attack on the helicarrier. Loki stabs me in the chest, and within minutes I’m dead.”


Phil could feel Tony tensing up and turn to cup his face. “It’s okay darling, I’m right here” Tony sighs, “I know hon, I just don’t like thinking about you dying or being dead.”


Phil knows this of course, they’ve had many conversations about this topic, first with Phil being an Agent of SHIELD, and again when Tony became Iron Man.


“Anyway, when I wake up I believe I was only dead for 40 seconds before they revived me and took me into surgery and after I got out of the hospital, they sent me on a recovery vacation to Tahiti. In reality, I was dead for three days. The scepter shredded my heart, there would have been no way to repair it. Fury had me admitted into Project TAHITI, and they used the blood of some alien to make a drug that could repair my heart, and bring me back to life. The reason the project went wrong in the first place was because of subjects coming back crazy. They only went crazy because the process was so horrific that their brains couldn’t handle it. Of course they couldn’t risk that on me, so they used this machine to implant false memories of a recovery vacation on the island of Tahiti. Once I figured this all out, I saw tapes of them using the machine on my brain and I was begging to die.”


Tony clenches his fists tightly. “I might need to murder your boss.”


Phil’s not surprised. Now may be the best time to tell Tony the good news. “Technically, he won’t be my boss much longer.”


Tony’s visibly confused. “What, why?”


Phil smiles, “Because, I’m quitting.” Tony looks shocked. Phil understands, he spent his whole life at SHIELD. He hasn’t known anything else. “As much as I loved my job, I love you and James and Julie more. And what Fury did was unforgivable, even though I’m glad to be back. I love you Tony.”


Tony beams, “I love you too Phil. Now get back to the story.”


“After they implanted my memories, they kept me in a private sector of SHIELD Medical so they could make sure I’m wasn’t going crazy. It was months before I even knew what happened. I was just really confused as to why I was in medical after my recovery trip. So I started to investigate, try to listen to the nurses and Fury, when he came to see me. Just recently I was able to get him to tell me what happened. Soon after I knew that, I overheard something about the Avengers not getting along and using you for money and tools, so I broke out. I came straight here to figure out for myself.”


Tony paled and took a big gulp. “Listen, Phil it’s not that bad, they just don’t have anywhere else to go and couldn’t just leave the team you believed in on the street.”


Phil sighed, because of course Tony would deal with these assholes for him. “I’m not inclined to believe that based on your reaction when I mentioned them.”


Tony looked scared and dejected, “I’m so sorry Phil, please forgive me. It won’t happen again. I’m sorry.”  


He looked ready to cry. If anything, Phil’s anger just tripled. He could not believe Tony just apologized for being scared of the people who were abusing him. Phil draws Tony in close, “Tony, oh baby no, this isn’t your fault. This is the whole team being jerks. They are using you for your money and not doing anything to thank you for it. They even go so far as to exclude you from team activities. This is no team of heroes, just a bunch of people who live together and have cool skills.”


Tony looks like he still doesn’t believe him. Phil just wants to punch something. “But, Phil you put this team together with your own two hands. And how can you say that about Captain Rogers, he’s your hero.”


Phil sighs, “I don’t care about the team, I care about you. And Captain America is no longer my hero.”


Tony is flabbergasted, “But why not? You loved him. You wanted him to sign you trading cards.”


“He’s no longer my hero because JARVIS played what he said to you this afternoon about movie night. He shouldn’t treat anyone like that and even if you weren’t the love of my life, I’d still be pissed. He doesn’t deserve the title of Captain America. And none of them are heroes.”


Tony looks so happy to see his husband agree with him. Phil makes sure to say something else as well. “In the morning, I’m kicking them all out.”


Tony sputters. “But why do they need to leave? Where would they go?” Phil feels exasperated, because of course Tony wouldn’t understand.


“Tony sweetheart, they are abusing you. Mentally and emotionally. They deserve to go. As for where? I don’t care. Barton and Romanoff can live on base, Rogers has an apartment somewhere in Brooklyn, Thor can go back to Asgard, and Banner can live on the run again. Really anywhere that’s not here is great.”


Tony is shocked. Phil just keeps talking. “Don’t you want to live in the tower again? Be together with our family, here? I want to move the kids back in here. They don’t need to live anywhere else but here with the two of us. I know you moved out so the Avengers wouldn’t find out, and I’m grateful for that. I just miss it here with you, and if they don’t support you then screw them. I love you, Tony, I love our family, and I love living in this great big tower with our name on it.”


Phil truly does, he loves this stupid giant tower. He can’t imagine living anywhere else. “Is there anything else we need to discuss? I think that’s all on my end. Actually, no wait, can we talk about how you flew a nuclear missile into a wormhole.”


Tony cringes, and sighs. He finally says, “I know, I know. James already chewed me out for almost leaving him alone with Julie. Lets just say he was not impressed. But If we’re being honest, I wasn’t even thinking about them. I only knew I was never going to see you again. Now I’m glad I stayed alive, I could never forgive myself if I left the kids alone, and SI to James at only 16. Julie is only 10 and she shouldn’t have to live without both of her fathers. Neither should James. They both deserve better than that. I’m sorry I almost left them alone.”


By the end Tony looks ready to cry again. Phil knows he’s guilty, but hearing about that almost scared the life right back out of him. He just holds Tony for a few minutes. “Tony, you’re forgiven as long as it never happens again. Now, I’m sure that was everything, for real this time. Anything on your end?”


Tony ponders this for a moment, then asks, “Why did you face Loki alone?”


Phil should have known this question would come up. “There wasn’t any other option, and I didn’t think I was going to die. I had no idea he could clone himself and I went in not expecting it. That’s on me. I’m sorry for dying.”


Tony hugs him tightly. “It’s okay honey, you were trying to save the world, and didn’t know you were going to die. You’re forgiven.” Phil kisses Tony again. “Anything else sweetheart?” Tony pauses to think once more. “Is it possible we could adopt again?”


Phil was not expecting that. He assumes he didn’t hide the shock well based on the sad look that shows up on Tony’s face. Tony speaks up dejectedly, “Nevermind, it’s just something I was thinking about before New York. Just ignore it.”


That statement brings Phil’s brain back to life. “No, no, no, Tony you misunderstood my silence. I was just surprised is all. I think it’s a great idea, maybe we can even find someone who was left alone after the Battle.”


Tony smiles and kisses him. “I think that’s a great idea, Phil. I let Val know to start looking.” Val was the person they went to for the other kids’ adoptions.


Phil knows they can trust her. “Sounds like a plan. Now let’s get the food warmed up and tell the kids the good news. Tell them they can come up now, JARVIS. And make sure no one interrupts us once they arrive.” “Of course Agent.”


When the kids get to the penthouse Julie runs up to him. Phil catches her in a hug and swings her around the room. “Hey pumpkin. Are you hungry?”


Julie stomach rumbles, “Well it sounds like you are to me!”


Julie laughs as Phil tickles her belly. “Daddy stop it! Can we eat yet? I’m starving!” Tony raises an eyebrow at that, “Well if you’re starving then we better get the food ready.”


Phil and Tony start getting the dishes on the table. “Can you kids help set the table,” Tony asks. “Of course, Papà. C’mon Jul.” As soon as everything is ready they sit down to eat.


Tony speaks before Phil can, “So how would you guys like to be big siblings?”


James looks surprised, Julie looks ecstatic. She yells out, “Really?! I want that! Can I have a baby brother? Pleasseeeee?”


James still looks shocked, “You guys are going to adopt again? Why?” Phil looks at his husband for permission to tell the story. Tony just smiles and nods. “Well your Papà told me he was thinking about it before the invasion. Then New York happened and he obviously was in no place to adopt. Now that I’m alive, he brought it up while we talked. I agreed as I was also thinking about before the invasion.”


That was news to Tony. Phil didn’t mention that earlier. He looks at Tony, who looks surprised. “Really? You were?” Phil smiles, “Of course, sweetheart. Would I lie to you?”


Tony shakes his head. Phil continues, “We were going to try to find someone who was orphaned after the Battle.”


James looks up at that, “Really? Dad that’s great. I think that’s a great idea.” Phil is happy his kids agree with that. “I’m glad because this affects you both, and we don’t want make you guys uncomfortable.”


Tony joins the conversation again, “In other news we will be moving back to the Tower.” They both look excited at that.


“What about the Avengers,” James sneers. Phil assumes he isn’t impressed with their behavior. He also probably didn’t like moving from his home. “They will no longer be an issue. They are moving out,” Phil interjects.


James perks up at that. “I am not impressed with their treatment of your Papà. They will be leaving by tomorrow.”


Phil feels pleased at the way his children smile at his words. They smirk at each other. “Can we help kick them out,” Julie asks innocently.


Tony sputters at her question. Phil just laughs. “Did they sign NDAs?” Tony swallows and nods. “Then I don’t see why not. I’ll make sure to get you before I go down. Is that okay, Tony?”


Phil looks at him like if he says no he’s sleeping on the couch. The kids are probably doing the same. Tony gulps. “Of course it is honey.” Phil smiles. He can’t wait for that.


They soon finish dinner with light conversation. They clean up and the Tony sends the kids to their old rooms. Julie calls him into her room. “Yes pumpkin?”


“Can you tuck me in?” Phil smiles at her, “Of course sweetheart.”


Phil finishes tucking her in nice and tight. “Goodnight Julie, I love you.” “I love you too daddy. Goodnight.”


Phil stays in her room long enough to watch her fall asleep. He then heads to the master bedroom. He sees Tony getting ready for bed. Phil soon joins him. As they both finish up and crawl into bed, Tony happily sighs. “What was that for, babe,” Phil asks.


“Well I have you back, we are expanding our family, and my team can’t hurt me anymore. What more could a guy want.”


Phil turns to look at him. “I’m never leaving you again. I can’t wait for a new part of our family. And they will never hurt you again. Not while I’m here.”


Phil pulls Tony close. He can tell Tony is starting to get anxious.  “Shhhh, it’s okay honey. Time to go to bed darling. Sleep. I’ll still be here in the morning. I promise.”


Phil holds him tightly until he hears his husband’s breathing slow. Phil soon drifts off as well, into a dreamless sleep.