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The Five Times Someone Broke Phil Coulson’s Nose and the One Time He Returned the Favor

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-1983

Phil Coulson is a junior at North High School who has a bad reputation and really doesn’t give a shit about it.

That doesn’t mean he’ll let a bunch of ass holes beat up some freshman like he’s their own personal punching bag.

“You know,” Phil scoffs his heel against the pavement and flicks his cigarette bud to the ground. “I don’t really think four to one is a fair fight. Why don’t you let the kid go?”

The group of seniors look up from where they were holding the kid down and they quickly  look Phil up and down accessing whether he was serious or not. When the leader of the gang scoffed, it was made apparent that they didn’t take Phil’s suggestion of letting the kid go seriously.

At closer inspection of the bullies, Phil takes note of the letterman jackets that state they are from a different school and he can’t help but smile in a menacing manner. It’s always better when his opponents underestimate him.

“Why do you even care what happens to this little fag anyways?” Phil felt his blood boil at the derogatory term and he saw red.

He immediately threw his body wait towards the largest guy’s core, and flipped him over onto his head, knocking him out immediately. The other three guys looked a little shocked at Phil being able to knock someone out so quickly with his size, but they snapped out of it quickly and by then Phil already had a plan on how he was going to take care of it. The guy to Phil’s left lunged forward but Phil stepped out of the way and spun around to bring a quick kick to his stomach. The guy went down wheezing and the last two let go of the freshman to take on Phil.

“Get out of here kid!” The younger teen mouthed a quick thank you and ran out the door. Phil made sure that no one followed him out the room, but unfortunately he never saw the fist that came straight for his face.

Crack!

Phil felt a flash of white hot pain and he was vaguely aware of the blood that flew from his mouth and into his nose. It was the first time in years that anyone was able to hit Phil in the face and he could feel his adrenalin spike from getting his nose broken.

Phil ended up being suspended from school and the fight was one of the most infamous in North High School history.

 

-1998

The bar was dimly lit and Phil was only vaguely aware of what the hell was going on.

The mission his patrol had been on earlier had gone completely FUBAR and Phil couldn’t close his eyes without seeing flashes of blood.

He wanted to drink to forget, he wanted to drink enough to pass out so he wouldn’t have to dream.

Marcus obviously had a different plan.

“Cheese I can’t let you do this,” Marcus took the beer out of his hand and Phil shot him his iciest glare. “You don’t do well with booze in your system after an op gone bad.” Phil knew that Marcus was only looking out for him. The two had been friends since basic training and they both knew each other’s faults to well to beat around the bush.  Phil knew he got violent when he drunk his feelings.

Tonight he really didn’t give a rat’s ass, and Marcus was in the way.

Thankfully Marcus was smart enough to move the oncoming fight outside. The fight was rough and the two friends went all out, trying to get whatever adrenalin was out of their systems. During the fight Phil had managed to sprain his friend’s wrist but Marcus had returned the favor by breaking his nose.

The two of them collapsed against the wall and laughed until they cried.

Phil never drank after an op again.

 

-2002

The Black Widow was glaring at him at the end of his gun; it was the kind of glare that was meant to instill fear, but at that moment the only thing he cared about was trying to find his agent.

“You have one chance to tell me where the hell Barton is and if you lie to me you will be dead.” The assassin didn’t even blink but a malicious smile broke across her face.

“You’re the infamous Coulson I was told so much about,” Phil watched her movements as she slowly circled around him, her cold green eyes never even flickered to the gun at they continued to bore into his. “Tell me agent, are all handlers as invested in their assets as you are?”

“Tell me his location.” Phil felt as if his heart was beating a mile a minute but his hand remained steady and his expression remained calm. The Black Widow was known for bating her opponents with cleverly chosen words and Phil refused to rise to the bait.

In a flash of complicated movement Phil found himself on the ground with his gun being pointed at him and blood running into his mouth from a broken nose.

“If you love Clint you will do what I say so we can rescue him from the bastards that took him.” Phil’s eyes widened in alarm but he schooled his expression to one of angered reluctance. The Black Widow was his only chance to ever saving the man he’s fallen in love with, and her knowing one of his closest secrets would not stop him from getting Clint back.

“If you are lying to me, I will hunt you down until I kill you myself.” Natasha assed him from where she was still straddling his chest and in a graceful movement she was standing up and reached her hand down to help him up.

“I know.” 

Phil took the offered hand and couldn’t help but feel that this was a moment that would change his life forever.

 

-2013

“Phil Coulson I cannot believe you just pulled that ridiculous stunt!” Phil looked up from where he was being stitched up by a paramedic to see a very angry Pepper Potts storm towards him.

“Ms. Potts…”

“Don’t you dare Ms. Potts me Phil Coulson,” The paramedic quickly moved away when he sensed the impending doom of Pepper Potts wrath and Phil didn’t even have time to brace himself before he saw a fist fly towards his face. “If you ever do something that stupid again I swear I will lock you and Tony up in a tiny room for hours at a time.”

“I apologize if I worried you in any way.” Pepper sighed in exasperation and quickly took out some Kleenex from within her purse and offered them to Phil. He took them and carefully dabbed the blood around his broken nose carefully. Pepper sat down next to him wearily and they looked up to see Iron Man fly down from containing the last of the giant robots.

“Sorry about your nose Phil.” Phil smiled in a way that showed there were no hard feelings.

“You should be very sorry Agent; I think your husband had a heart attack when he saw you jump onto one of those wasps like you were some type of cowboy. If you wanted to ride something so bad you could have waited…”

“Tony.”

“Till the renaissance fair came to town.” Tony smiled down at the little girl who had run up to his legs and had signed the girl’s Iron Man mask. He ruffled her hair gently and sent her off on her way to her own mother.

“Ignore him Phil.” Tony smiled impishly and Pepper rolled her eyes but her expression was still fond. “By the way Pep, nice hit. I definitely think Agent’s nose is broken.”

 

-1998

It was raining down hard and it made tracking his target down harder, but Hawkeye was desperate and desperate people always made wrong decisions. His current bad decision left him on a confrontation with Phil on a rooftop in Chicago.

“Clint Barton I have orders to bring you in or to kill you as I see necessary. Surrender in now and I can guarantee you a safe place to sleep and a hot meal.” The man before him laughed humorously and Phil could make out his tired expression.

“No offense G-man I highly doubt you could take me down.” The man’s expression promised pain but like most people he could tell that the younger man was underestimating him. “And I’m pretty sure you are lying through your teeth right now. So here’s the plan, I’m gonna take down your suit clad ass, and run off into the night.”

“I’m afraid I can’t let you do that.” In an instant they both went after each other and Phil gracefully dodged each one of Barton’s blows. He wasn’t a trained fighter, and he was clearly running on fumes. That didn’t mean he wasn’t dangerous though and Phil made sure to watch him carefully. 

Phil neatly dodged all of the punches that Barton swung towards him and the man growled in frustration, clearly tired of not being able to land a hit on Phil. Phil knew the man had knifes on him and he knew why he hadn’t pulled one out on Phil yet. He only went after people who deserved it, and that’s why Phil is going to bring him in.

There was a moment where Barton went to grab for something and Phil blamed himself for believing in the obvious bluff because shortly after he felt the familiar pain of having his nose broken.

Barton smiled from where he was standing over Phil. It was a cocky grin, and it frankly annoyed the hell out of Phil.

Phil would admit that he had lost his patience and overacted years later.

 

+1- 1998

Clint walked away from the government agent lying on the ground. He already planned out all the ways he could get the hell out and with the man being unconscious and Clint was positive that he could get a way without a trace. He knew a guy in Wisconsin that he could crash with for a few days before he could eventually go over into Canada.

He was a few feet from the fire escape when he was forcefully shoved onto the ground and he felt a heavy fist slam into his nose.

Clint found himself on his stomach with the agent on top of him being handcuffed. He struggled to get the man off of him but the man was clearly more then he seemed. Clint cursed internally for not taking this fight as serious as the others.

“I have Barton secured.” The man rolled off of him and he helped Clint sit against the side of the railing. He ignored the fact that the rain stopping could mean some type of metaphor for his life turning around because frankly he was too damn tired.

“So uh, can I at least get the name of the guy who broke my fucking nose?”  The man turned a bored expression towards him, but Clint could see a spark of interest in his eyes.

“Agent Coulson.” Clint was surprised the man even answered him and he quickly memorized the name.

“So have you seen Saving Private Ryan yet?” The man turned another bored expression towards Clint, and he promised himself that one day he was going to get underneath this man’s skin.