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Happy Birthday, Agent Coulson

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The loud shush, followed so closely on a muffled crash, woke Phil completely. He forced himself to stay relaxed, senses screaming to full alertness.


“Dammit, Stark, if you don’t shut it...”

Phil relaxed completely, fighting now to keep the smile from his face. He should’ve known from the first moment, but old instincts were hard to shake. He slit his eyes, carefully, just making out three shapes heading for the bed, before letting them close again.

Just in time for another muffled oath from Tony.

“I swear, I cannot take the two of you on anything even approaching a covert op,” Clint groaned in a whisper, the frustration in his voice causing Phil to bite back another grin.

“What did I do?” Steve asked, sounding vaguely wounded.

“You’re a thousand feet tall and your smile glows in the dark,” Clint shot back. “And you encourage him.”

“He doesn’t need encouragement,” Steve replied wryly. “He’s just like that.”

“Fuck you, I am perfectly stealthy,” Tony replied, and apparently none of them realized they’d stopped bothering to whisper. “No one knows I’m coming if I don’t want them to.”

Everyone knows when you come,” Clint said dryly. “You’re loud enough about it.”

“Oh nice, Barton. Now you’ve made Steve blush.”

“He did not,” came the strangled denial. Steve was, Phil knew without having to look, blushing.

“Will the two of you be quiet? This surprise birthday breakfast is going to be slightly less than a surprise if you don’t...”

Ow ! Dammit, Jarvis, lights!”

The lights snapped on, illuminating Tony Stark hopping on one foot, clutching the other between his hands, while Clint Barton held a tray of covered dishes and watched him with a look of utter  exasperation.

Steve Rogers, on the other hand, held an armful of brightly wrapped gifts and gave Phil--now sitting up and looking at all three of them with a raised eyebrow--a sheepish grin. “Happy Birthday?”