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“What?” Phil questioned.

“I’m not going to be able to live here anymore. My oldest child is going to be moving to England, permanently. And I’ll be going with her. And my eldest grandchild has just finished settling into SHIELD rather nicely and, come January, SHIELD won’t need me anymore,” Peggy answered and Phil started slightly at her words.

“Oh, don’t look so shocked dear. I was with SHIELD before it was SHIELD. I’ll be officially retiring once Nicholas Fury finishes up everything that needs to be done. I think he’ll do rather well once given free rein don’t you?” Peggy continued and Phil stared at her.

“Who are you?” Phil asked.

“Oh, you know who I am Phil. I thought the nickname would tip you off, especially since my name used to be Margaret, not Victoria. I had to change it after a few Hydra agents were gunning for my head,” Peggy answered with an amused smile and Phil stared at her.

He remembered sharing with Darcy his love of Captain America and wondered who…

He immediately covered his eyes with his hand.

“You’re Peggy Carter,” he whispered.

“Yes. And I’ve already told Darcy I’m going, so that’s not going to be a problem. However, someone is going to have to take my place. A nearly ten year old girl can’t be left alone. Of course, it would be best if you told her the truth. She can keep secrets rather well. Considering that she’s kept hidden from everyone that she’s a Sensitive and she already knows you are hiding something,” Peggy continued, smiling at him.

Phil stared at her over his hand and he sighed softly before he looked up at the stairway. “I know,” he whispered softly and Peggy reached over, placing a comforting hand on the hand that rested on the table.

“You can do it, Phil. There has to be someone you trust. Anyone, who can watch her when you can’t,” she stated and Phil sighed softly, opening his mouth to protest before he hesitated.

“There’s one. He’s an analyst, in a way. Field. But he doesn’t enjoy being in the field, not yet. He was thrown into the deep end before he was ready and he’ll start sinking if I don’t teach him how to swim. But that only takes care of my problems for about a quarter of the time. And I don’t want to bring in anyone in that is a civilian. What if a mercenary decides to crash into my house?” Phil responded.

“Talk to Nick. Nick loves Darcy. He’ll think up something to help you,” Peggy stated.

Phil covered his face again. “God, what am I doing?” he asked softly, feeling his emotions swirl around him chaotically.

“Doing the best you can,” Peggy answered and squeezed his hand.

“You’ll do fine, Phil. And if you start to flounder, talk to the people who know you best. John or Nick come to mind,” Peggy stated and pat his hand before she stood.

“Now, I have breakfast to make, and you have a daughter to talk to,” she stated and headed into the kitchen.

Phil sighed softly and looked up at the stairs before he stood up.

Emotionally trying, early morning talks before breakfast seemed to be his bread and butter now a day.


Phil knocked on Darcy’s bedroom door. “Come in,” Darcy called and Phil peeked around the door before he stepped in.

Aegis was dozing at the foot of her bed and Phil noticed that she was dressed. “Sorry sweetie,” he murmured, gently pulling his emotions back under, watching her relax. He hummed softly and sat next to her on the bed, facing her, and smiled a bit over Aegis’s grumble sounds before he settled back down.

“S’kay Daddy. Are we going to talk about your secret?” she asked and he chuckled softly before he leaned forward, pressing his forehead against hers before he twitched his head up to kiss it.

“Yes, we are,” he answered as he sat up normally.

And Phil Coulson told his daughter what he could about his job.


Agent Coulson had swallowed his pride and he focused on what he needed when he requested the meeting.

He needed help, or he was going to have to do something drastic, something that would make John yell at him and call him by his old nickname that John rarely used, despite the fact he used everyone else’s nicknames in reference to them.

“Director Fury, I am need of assistance,” Agent Coulson said and Fury stared calmly up at him.

“What do you need Agent Coulson?” he asked.

“Peggy Carson is moving back to England, as you well know. Without her around, I no longer have someone to watch Darcy when I am unable to, which is usually five months out of the year, in a good year. I have missed more of Darcy’s life then I would like to think about right now as is, but she can’t be by herself. She’s ten,” Coulson explained and Fury steepled his fingers together.

“Well, this brings up what I was going to ask you. I’d like to give you a sort-of…desk job. You’d work on cover stories, and mostly run ops remotely, except on the rare occasion that you needed to run the op from the ground. You’d be SHIELD’s face, as it were. Travel kept to America, for the most part. And you get to pick your main team, with one exception,” Fury explained and Coulson was already filled with trepidation.

“What is that, sir?”

“Asset Clint Barton,” Fury stated.

“In what capacity?” Phil questioned.

“As his handler. He’d have to stay with you. Normally, I never would with such a loose cannon, you being a family man,” Fury explained.

Phil resisted the urge to say ‘no’ masterfully. “Why, sir?” he asked.

“Barton isn’t working with anyone. And he said in his last review that he would work for you. Said you interested him. And a sniper of his caliber is only needed on the most elite of assignments or when we can’t afford a mistake, meaning he would be around your house most of the year, along with you, and I’m sure anyone on your team could be trusted to watch Darcy when both of you were gone,” Fury answered.

Phil stared at Fury and gave a nod. “I need Sitwell,” he stated.

“You’ll have him. Fill out the proper forms in your new office and you’ll have everyone you want,” Fury stated and Phil nodded.

“Yes, sir,” Phil answered.

The meeting wrapped up shortly after and Phil was taken to his new office.

He had a feeling he would have ulcers by the end of the year.


“Are we there yet?” Clint asked.

“We’re about an hour off yet,” Phil answered patiently.

Darcy could be worse when she was bored, even with Aegis settled patiently next, and on, her in the truck seat, head on his paws and/or far knee, followed by most of his body, and that happened anytime they had to drive for more than two hours.

“Where are we going?” Clint asked.

Phil was relieved it was a new question.

“My home. Which I share with my someone I protect,” Phil answered and Clint looked over in surprise.

“I didn’t think you were serious when you said you would tell me,” Clint stated.

“Might. Might tell you. And obviously I am, Agent Barton,” Phil corrected gently, anxious to get home.

Peggy was going to her daughter’s house this weekend and then they would be moving to England.

It made Phil’s heart ache, slightly, that it was happening, and Clint began to fiddle with the radio, and Phil just stared at the sun light road. He focused driving down the road and an hour later of questions, and Phil’s patience being tested continuously, he saw his house.

And in the stone walled yard, a white dog ran around, rushing after a Frisbee before he leapt up into the air to catch it. He whirled back around and tore at the figure playing with him and Clint sat forward slightly. “Is…is that a dog and a girl, sir?” Clint asked, the first time he had done so, despite Phil’s request that Clint call him that.

“Yes,” Phil answered and he smiled, not bothering to stop the warmth that filled him, that protective aura that he got when he saw his Darce.

Clint looked between Phil and the yard and sat back. “Your daughter. You’ve been protecting your daughter,” Clint whispered.

“Very good. Sitwell didn’t catch on that quickly. He couldn’t even register me being a widower,” Phil responded and pulled into the driveway, pulling under the awning thing.

“Daddy!” Darcy squealed and Phil got out of the car as Darcy ran over, Aegis bounding next to her.

Phil smiled and leaned over, lifting Darcy up and over the wall with a laugh, hugging her tightly. “Darcy!” he answered and Aegis placed his paws on the wall, but did not hop over.

Darcy had already taught him to keep on the other side of the wall unless allowed out. Phil leaned over and stared into the car. “Barton, out of the car,” he ordered and stood up normally, shutting the car door as Clint stepped out.

Darcy stared at him with wide eyes and Clint seemed to still. “Darcy, this is Clint Barton. I’m his handler at work. Clint, this is Darcy Lewis, my daughter,” he stated and Phil opened the trunk, once he balanced Darcy on his hip.

She was watching Clint, who was watching her back and he slowly got his duffle, swinging it over his shoulder. They headed around, Aegis trotting around the edge of the wall and Phil paused at the gate. “Darcy, Clint is going to be living with us from now on, so you need to introduce Aegis to him,” Phil explained and Darcy nodded.

She eyed Clint and, suddenly threw herself at him.

Clint didn’t hesitate, dropping his duffle and his hands snapping out to catch her. He let out a surprised sound as she pulled herself over into his arms, clinging tightly to him. “Uncle Clint then!” she exclaimed and Phil just stared before he smiled at Clint.

“Welcome to the family, Agent Barton,” he greeted.

Clint just held Darcy, surprise written on his face.