Mashed Potatoes in Cellophane




Despite what he might tell other SHIELD operatives (including the Avengers), Phil Coulson really did train for ten-plus years for mass hostile negotiations. It was just that with the Avengers, mass hostile negotiations felt more like babysitting.

"I'm just saying, I don't appreciate a wet spot on the communal couch! Not even when it's my wet spot," said Tony Stark. He still wore the bottom half of his Iron Man costume as he paced because why not?

"Fuck you, I was doing CPR," said Darcy. Darcy. Oh, Darcy. Phil could not possibly have found a creature more in love with creating searchable, cross-referenced databases if he had cloned himself but he really wished she had even an iota of professionalism. Then again, he himself didn't grow an iota of professionalism until That Time in That Place a While Back.

"I had no idea CPR involved tongue and cooch."

"That's out of line, Tony." Steve butted in. To be fair, he'd maintained his cool until this point. You could cryogenically preserve the man out of the 40's but you couldn't take the 40's out of the man.

"Fuck you, Stark," was Clint's erudite offering into the whole debacle.

"Thought you were interested in Darcy."

Steve straightened to his impressive six-foot-three height, Clint produced an arrow out of nowhere, Tony's boot repulsors whined, and Phil had a lovely fantasy involving a heap of grilled cheese sandwiches, a box of porter, and hostage retrieval in Eastern Europe circa late 90's. But no, he was at Stark Tower-- now SHIELD Tower-- herding super-powered cats.

Just as he'd found a solution involving the throw rug, a half-full mug of coffee, and beer nuts, Tony went into a full-body spasm. He let out an "Erp!" and fell face-first. Or he would have, if his iron pants were activated and thus capable of movement. His partial fall revealed Darcy clutching her (new) Stark Tech taser.

They all stared at Tony, out-cold, his upper-body limp but his lower body held upright by the armour. "Wow. He's bendy," said Darcy.

Clint bent his knees to take a closer look. "Y'know, at this angle, he could totally suck his own dick."

"Clint!" Steve's entire face was red.

Phil sensed another fight on the horizon. "I'll take care of Mr. Stark. Now, I believe everyone has somewhere else--"

"HO! FRIENDS!" Thor strode in with Jane at his side. "DO WE FEAST AS ARMS-BROTHERS THIS EVE?!"

Clint shook his head. "Probably not since Darcy tased our bank account and Coulson's eyes are doing that buggy thing."

Everyone winced. Buggy thing? Phil's eyes never did any buggy thing. He resisted the urge to put his shades on.

"Tony, Darcy, and Clint had small tiff about personal space," Steve explained.

"I was TOTALLY demonstrating CPR to Clint," said Darcy. "Then Herpes McDrunktard over there just wouldn't shut up about boobs and wet spots."


"Could've started five seconds ago," said Jane, now equally red as Steve.

On second thought, Phil could actually feel his eyes bugging. "Everyone. Out. I don't care if you have to capture double-parkers, just get out of my tower."

"Technically, it's Tony's--"


"Yes boss!" She pulled on Clint and Steve's hands. Thor followed, sheepishly rubbing at his neck while Jane hissed at him. Tony... well, Tony was still out cold and looking like a piece of post-modern art.

So, y'know, things were looking up.

previous chapter