Okay, dad, let’s not keep Enoch waiting any longer.
Daisy caught herself as soon as she said it. How could she let herself slip up like that? She tried her best to not show her reaction while watching Coulson for his. Luckily, it seemed to look like he didn’t think much of it. Or if he did, he wasn’t letting it show on his face either.
She tried her best to shake it off. Things were pretty hectic right now, and no one was thinking clearly. Now, they were in 1973 in search of their chronichom friend. This whole time travel journey had been a whirlwind. It seemed like forever since they were in Izel’s temple, but that was only mere days ago. Hopefully, soon, they could find an answer to stop the chronichom hunters and return back to their time period of 2019.
They entered the bar without a second thought, but the word continued to play in her mind like a record on a record player.
Of course, she did see him like that. Daisy always said that he was the first person that became the closest thing to family to her, but for some reason, she never was able to admit that he was the father she never had. Maybe there was a part of her brain that didn’t want to take the title of her father away from Cal, who Daisy learned truly did love her in the end, but since the day Coulson found her in her van in that alley in LA, he was always there for her in every way that mattered to her.
His death shattered her world, but now he was back. Sure, he was a robot now (chronichom, LMD, whatever), but he was back nonetheless. Maybe now Daisy would have the chance to say all things she wanted to.
The four of them - Daisy, Coulson, May, and Sousa - soon split into two groups of two. Daisy sat in a large, round booth with May. May was trying to get control of her new empathic abilities. Maybe a bar full of people getting drunk wasn’t the best place for her, but she seemed to be getting a handle on it.
“What do you think could be going on?” Daisy asked.
May shrugged her shoulders. “Beats me. I was still a kid back in ‘73, and I don’t think I ever read about anything in the history books or heard about today at the Academy.”
“I guess we just have to keep an eye out.”
The two sat in silence, sipping their drinks as they overlooked the party. The only thing, or person, they recognized was Agent Rick Stoner. Coulson had mentioned before that he was top brass at SHIELD during this time, but Daisy only recognized him as the projection tour guide in the Lighthouse.
Daisy soon caught May’s eye again. May was looking at Daisy, obviously reading her in some way. Daisy hadn’t realized how uncomfortable this felt. For someone who was a top spy, May wasn’t being very subtle about it. “What?”
“You’re anxious,” May replied. Daisy tried to make up some excuse, but May stopped her. “I think it has something to do with the fact you called Coulson dad.”
Daisy’s cheeks blushed super quickly. “You heard that?”
“You said it clear as day. I wouldn’t even be surprised if Agent Sousa truly believes that Coulson really is your dad.”
Daisy shook her head. “I don’t even know why I said that. I just let it slip out.”
“You act like it’s a bad thing,” May added. Daisy looked up at her, worry still prominent on her face. “The whole team already knows that Coulson is the closest thing you’ve ever had to a father. I also know for a fact that he sees you as his daughter. He said so himself back when you were possessed by Hive.”
“He also said it in his letter,” Daisy mentioned.
“Did he really?”
Daisy nodded. “I know he loves me, but they’re just that something, deep down, always telling me to look away. To not even think about it.”
“Your past wasn’t too kind to you,” May said. “You have every right to be scared about this, but I think you should really talk to him about it.”
“You think so?”
May nodded. “If I know Phil Coulson, he’d truly appreciate it.”
It was a while before Daisy could finally have a moment alone. They found out that the party was for the announcement of Project Insight, which in the original timeline, wasn’t supposed to happen until 2014. It was up to them to stop it. Unfortunately, the chronichoms changed plans and caused them to jump early and time travel to 1976. Now, Insight was ready to launch, and they only had a limited amount of time.
Daisy was tasked to hack into the Lighthouse and let Coulson and May through some of the passageways as well as getting footage of the security cameras so that they could rescue any hostages before they flooded the place. Sousa had volunteered to go with her. She seemed to be his lifeline for the future (well, his future, everyone else’s past), but Daisy didn’t mind at all.
Even though she had that conversation with May in the bar, she had yet to talk to Coulson. Daisy was alone in the cargo hold, packing her things for the mission when Coulson joined her.
“Can borrow some of your time real quick?” he asked.
“Oh, um, sure,” Daisy replied. She could feel her heart start to beat out of her chest.
“So, what you said to me at the bar,” Coulson started. “You, um, you called me dad back there.”
“Yeah, um, sorry about that,” Daisy said. “It kind of just slipped up-”
Daisy began to ramble, and Coulson cut her off quickly. “No, no, no, I’m not upset or anything. I won’t lie, it did catch me off guard a bit, but I’m not at all mad or upset. I just wanted to make sure that you were okay with it.”
“Me?” Daisy asked. “I mean, I’ve known for years that’s what you were to me. You’ve just… I was just never able to say it.” Coulson nodded, listening intently as he let her continue. “I at first thought I’d have all the time in the world to tell you that, but then you died, and suddenly, I couldn’t be around SHIELD anymore. Everything about SHIELD reminded me of you. That’s why I jumped at the chance to go with Simmons into space to find Fitz. If there was one regret I had after you died, it was definitely the fact that I never got to tell you that you are… you’re my… that you’re my dad. You may not have raised me and I was well into my twenties when you found me, but that’s who you are to me. My dad.”
Coulson saw the tears welling up in Daisy’s eyes. The girl had been through a lot within the last year. Hell, she had been through a lot within the last six years that she had been with SHIELD. Daisy hardly ever let herself be vulnerable or emotional, and seeing her like this melted his heart. “Come here,” he whispered as he opened his arms up to her.
Instantly, Daisy barrelled herself into Coulson’s embrace. A year ago, she had thought she’d never get this chance again, but here she was. She let her tears fall onto Coulson’s shoulder as he continuously told her that everything was going to be alright.
“I love you, dad.”
“I love you too,” he replied. The two stayed in each other’s embrace for a couple of minutes before breaking apart. “The team’s probably waiting for us, and you’ve got a date with Mr. Daniel Sousa.”
“What?” Daisy asked, shock adorning her face.
“I’m just kidding,” Coulson said. “Unless, of course, you do feel something for him. He does seem to be connected to you at the hip.”
Daisy just chuckled. “Yeah, okay, dad. Cause your daughter dating one of your SHIELD heroes is totally set in the stars of the timeline.”
Coulson shrugged. “You never know.” All Daisy did in response was roll her eyes with a smirk on her face. “Just one thing before we go. I know I mentioned it in the letter, it’s one of the few things I can remember from it, but I just want to let you know that I am so, so, so proud of you.”
And after they had won against the chronichoms and Nathaniel Malick, after Daisy was brought back to life after dying in the cold vacuum of space, Coulson wrapped his arms around Daisy, embracing her tightly, he told her those very same words.
I’m so proud of you.