Hello everyone! Welcome to another one-shot fanfic as a birthday present for my good buddy Rurrlock God-of-Power! This time, I'm doing another Marvel fanfic as his first birthday present fanfic he gave me was an Avengers fanfic story. So in return, I give him a story involving the spinoff smash-hit TV Show that came from The Avengers, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Now, this story is about Coulson coming into our universe prior to the TV series pilot (which would be set between the events of The Avengers and Iron Man 3), so not a lot will happen (or will it? :I), but it goes without saying that there is a little bit of spoilers for Season 1, but I don't think it gives away too much. All you need to know is Coulson Lives, end of story, now buy the DVD and watch the episodes of Season 2 if you missed it, and keep watching every new one that comes out each Tuesday. Anyways, hope you all enjoy, and again I own NOTHING but the OC's that appear in this fic. This is for FAN-Purposes only, so PLEASE don't sue! With that said, enjoy!
Coulson woke up with a groan. His head hurt like hell and every bone in his body groaned as he forced himself up off the ground. It had been exactly one week since his near-death encounter with Loki, and he was lucky enough to have survived it.
He truly thought he was a goner when Loki stabbed him, but fortunately it turned out Loki didn't really puncture any vital organs, and the worst was that he lost consciousness for a couple of minutes, and Fury secretly transferred him to Tahiti to recover there. Phil admitted it was nice for a while, getting massages, having drinks brought to him, and receiving probably a well-deserved vacation, but in the end he convinced Director Fury to put him back in the field.
His first task had been to track down someone who got their hands on part of Loki's staff and the device the God of Mischief had used to bring The Chitauri to Earth. The guy had somehow made himself a 'Wormhole Gun' and the last thing Coulson remembered was giving the guy a surprise judo-kick from behind, causing the gun to go off and sending Coulson and the man into an anomaly of some kind.
With that in mind, Coulson got up and quickly surveyed his surroundings. The guy was long-since gone, and the portal was nowhere to be found.
Coulson activated his com-link.
"Director Fury?" He asked.
There was no response, but there was only the sound of static electricity which made Coulson frown.
"Director Fury, are you there?!" He asked.
There was no response as Coulson sighed.
Despite the troubles, Phil tried to keep a cool head as he walked out of the alleyway. The best theory he could think of was that the wormhole had somehow pushed him into another reality. A couple of years ago, Phil might not have believed it himself, but having known the things he did now, it wasn't that improbable to imagine. Phil decided it was best to find out anything he could about this world…
But as he stepped outside, he was swarmed by a million people who all blocked him, and cheered him on, waving little autograph books in the air.
"Oh my god it's him!"
"It's true! Coulson Lives!"
"Phil! Are you getting back at Loki for what he did to you?!"
"Are you going to let the rest of The Avengers know you're alive?!"
Phil was now confused. These were all normal civilians and not one of them looked like they were Level 7 clearance. Hell, most of them asking the questions were barely out of college by the looks of it.
A man with black hair and glasses came up to him with a young girl with black hair and glasses, holding an autograph book.
"Sir?" The man asked, "Sorry to trouble you, but could my daughter get an autograph?"
"Uh…sure." Phil said, putting on a fake smile and going along with this for now, "What's her name?"
"Ali." The man explained.
Phil wrote in the book and handed it back to the girl whose eyes lit up with wonder when she read the words in there.
'Dear Ali, Make a difference in your life. Regards, Phil Coulson.'
"Awww," The father smiled, "He signed it as Phil Coulson. Say thank you, Ali."
"Thank you." The young girl smiled.
"Of course I signed it as Phil Coulson." Phil explained, "Why wouldn't I…"
Suddenly, Coulson found himself swarmed by millions of fans all holding autographs books and pens.
"Mr. Gregg! Sign this for me!"
"What's your next Marvel Movie gonna be?!"
It didn't take a Tony Stark to realize something was very wrong here. Coulson wasn't the most publicly recognized figure. He was far from it. Had it been Director Fury, Agent Hill, or any of the people who Fury had hand-picked to guard the secret of his return with their life, it would be understandable since Fury had taken great lengths to make it seem like Phil was still dead. But Coulson only had public relations with Thor, Stark, Ms. Potts, Rogers, Banner, and Audrey (though the last one was only to an extent.) And those people had been told he was dead along with most of S.H.I.E.L.D. with a few exceptions here or there, so there was no possible way that anyone could know he was alive, let alone who he was. Even with that, if they did know him, why was the man so surprised that he had signed as 'Phil Coulson?' And who was this 'Gregg' guy that some of the people were chanting about?
As Coulson continued to try and find a way out of the crowd, a young boy moved away from the crowd and looked at where the portal had come out of. It looked charred, it might've been the sign of filming, but the young boy figured there was something more to it than that. He had short blonde hair and square glasses and wore a blue T-Shirt over a white jean jacket and blue jeans. He seemed around 13 years old, but he wasn't like most kids his age usually.
He would've obviously checked in first on the craze going on, but there was something…unearthly about the charred spot on the wall. Something that rubbed him the wrong way.
Before he could put his finger on it, he was interrupted by a new voice.
"Aren't you going to hug your hero?"
He sighed, turning around.
There was a boy around his age. He had buzz-cut orange hair and wore dark clothes. He seemed more fit than the innocent young man, but his face did look only a little pudgy around the neck area.
"Go back to Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Tommy!" The bully laughed.
"Leave me alone." He said quietly.
"We used to be friends." The bully declared, whipping an arm around Tommy, "What happened?"
"You kept being a bully and I wanted out of it!" He declared, "I grew up, Anton. Something you should've done when we moved into middle school."
"Right." Anton snorted, "And growing up of course meant hanging less and less away from me and watching those stupid Marvel films."
Tommy couldn't handle any of this anymore and ran off. Following who he thought was the Actor who somehow arrived unannounced as they continued running away from the fans who eventually gave up and went back to what they were doing before the craze.
"Nerd." Anton laughed under his breath.
Suddenly, there was a flash and Anton looked at the wall amazed. Some kind of distortion had formed within the wall. It looked like a black hole, only it wasn't sucking anything in. This was proven when an item was spat out of the hole, and knocked Anton to the ground. Anton sat up and looked at the item in his lap. It looked like an oversized Water Gun used by kids at summer except it was dark-colored and felt like pure stone. There was also a number of blinking lights on there.
"What the hell?!" Anton asked.
Phil walked along a lone sidewalk, now only bothered by an occasional person or two who would stop and wave hello to him. From what he had gathered, he was in a San Diego Neighborhood, with no way of contacting S.H.I.E.L.D.
Suddenly, Coulson heard something behind him. Turning around, he saw a nearby bush rustling. He went closer and pulled some of the twigs in the bush so they parted revealing a young man around 9, who appeared to be trying to hide behind the plants.
He looked at Phil shocked, so Phil decided to take it easy for now.
"Hello there." He said, with his normal smile.
"What are you doing here?" The boy asked shell-shocked.
"I could ask you the same question." Phil responded.
"You should know."
"Should I?" Phil asked surprise.
"Stop it!" The boy declared, suddenly, taking Phil by surprise.
"No, no, no." He urged, sitting next to him, "It's okay."
"Stop doing what?" He asked, "What's your name? Who are you?"
"My name's Tommy McRuso." He declared, "I'm thirteen years old and I want you to stop pretending to be Phil Coulson. I'm old enough to know he's not real!"
Not real?! Phil suddenly had a sinking feeling that might begin to explain the reason people kept reacting to him so mysteriously.
"So who do you think I am?" Phil asked.
"You're Clark Gregg." The boy said, "You're the actor who portrays Phil Coulson in the Marvel movies and on the upcoming Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. TV series."
The revelation to Phil shocked every part of his core. It was bad enough that he appeared to have crossed over into another reality due to that wormhole from the fight earlier, but this seemed like an impossible one to be in. Someone had actually been making movies featuring him, AND a TV show?
"Could you…" Phil asked, cautiously, "Could you show me some of these 'Marvel movies?' I promise, just show me them and I'll be out of your hair."
Tommy opened the door as Phil gasped. Tommy's mother lived alone with him as his Dad was about to file for a divorce. Tommy's mother was out, so Phil didn't have to worry about her asking her son why he was in the company of this 'Clark Gregg' guy that was apparently portraying him in both films and television shows.
What he did have to worry about was what these 'movies' that Tommy mentioned were. Tommy's room was small with a little TV and DVD player. To the right of the TV sat a bunch of DVD's with titles about people whom Coulson knew well by this point. Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man 2, Thor, Captain America: The First Avenger, and finally at the very end was a DVD box titled The Avengers.
Coulson looked at Tommy who was closing the door behind him and suddenly realized there was a door-sized poster of himself. It was a simple headshot photo of Phil smiling with the S.H.I.E.L.D. logo behind him. Taking a further inspection at the room, Coulson also noticed Tommy had a nightstand with an Iron Man, Thor, and Captain America action figure on there. There was also a little scooter with the Hulk on there, and a smaller poster of Romanoff and Barton aiming their guns and bow respectively forward, which was placed close to a nearby window which overlooked the front yard of Tommy's house.
"This is…" Coulson said, honestly lost for words in what seemed like many years for him, "This is…they made movies about these people?"
"Yeah." Tommy said, not aware of the situation as Coulson grabbed the Iron Man DVD and flipping it on its back. Looking at the credits on the bottom part of the box, he noticed Robert Downey Junior's name was first and foremost. Coulson remembered meeting the man only once during a S.H.I.E.L.D. Fundraiser event gala when they unveiled the Triskelion for the first time.
"You know Robert Downey Junior plays Stark, right?" Tommy asked, before shaking his head, "Never mind. Of course you do. You practically worked with him for three freaking movies."
Of course! It all made sense now! Coulson remembered that Downey Junior looked really out of it during the event and had to leave. Not long after Stark's official debut as Iron Man (and his subsequent revelation to the mass media,) Mr. Downey Junior's career seemed to be on-track again. Phil couldn't believe he never put two-and-two together! It must've been like a similar flow of events in this world, if this universe's Robert Downey Junior had made success off of this film in order for the counterpart of Coulson's world to suddenly become famous again!
"Do you want to watch this?" Tommy asked, "My Mom's not getting home till late in the morning tomorrow. She has a lot of legal stuff to work out."
Phil looked at the kid.
"Tommy, was it?" He asked, as Tommy nodded, "How would you like to spend a little marathon with me?"
Much Later, Anton's House…
Anton had spent most of the night fiddling with this gun. He lived in a rather run-down home, but his mother paid for all his stuff. His Dad was a lazy fatass and couldn't care any more about him, so his Mom did all the work. However, tonight, Anton was doing a lot of work for himself. He had taken tools out of his garage such as a screwdriver, a hammer, and even a drill. But as hard as he tried, nothing seemed to break the link and it seemed like he only ended up hurting the tools more than getting through to the gun.
He looked at the trigged in disbelief.
"Don't tell me it's as easy as that." He muttered.
However, his curiosity got the better of him, and he found himself reaching for the gun.
Meanwhile, Tommy's House…
Phil could not believe the films he had just watched. Each film was an exact scene-for-scene retelling of his world's history with the rise of the Avengers. Every scene had happened exactly as Phil remembered it and it even gave him some insight as to what others were doing at the time which fit in perfectly with some of the things Phil didn't know. The best film Phil had seen was the 'Avengers' (though Tommy told him it had easily become the best film of 2012 and becoming the third-most profitable movie of all time.) He had only heard a little from Director Fury about the battle as he felt Coulson wasn't ready for it yet. Coulson would have a hard time hiding how proud he was that his 'sacrifice' helped bring The Avengers together to save New York (even if it was faked.)
It was also interesting to learn about the other actors who portrayed the team. Director Fury had been portrayed by famous actor Samuel L Jackson whom Fury ironically saved on Coulson's world at one point early in the Director's career. Like with Downey Junior, Coulson was surprised that nobody had made the connection at this point. Coulson always thought that the actor looked familiar and it all made sense now.
Agent Hill on the other hand had been portrayed by some woman named Cobie Smulders. Coulson never knew her personally, but apparently there had been a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent or two who had occasionally talked about her. Particularly the elder females who seemed to reference her being on a sitcom. Coulson unfortunately had a problem now as he could see Hill as a housewife in one of those 50's family shows inside his head.
Banner was actually played by two other actors named Eric Bana and Edward Norton, in two prior attempts to bring Banners story to life, with the one in the final product being played by a man named Mark Ruffalo. Coulson didn't know much about a man of his description from back home, but that was only because he was obviously a busy man by that point and with the exception of his Captain America Trading Card set and seeing Audrey Nathan, didn't really have anything else to do but his job. Still, Coulson liked Ruffalo and thought he did a pretty good job portraying Banner and The Hulk via a motion-caption suit. Coulson was very impressed with how in-character it felt and was amazed that people actually made money to make this transformation appear in film for entertainment purposes. If he ever ran into Banner again, he would have to keep that last bit of information from him.
Thor was portrayed by an Australian actor named Chris Hemsworth. Coulson remembered in 2009 that a lot of young S.H.I.E.L.D. agents were talking about him having something to do with that Star Trek reboot which came out that year. Apparently he was a big hit with some of the other co-stars, according to Tommy. He had also worked on a film with the Avengers director called Cabin in the Woods, which Tommy didn't know that much about since it was a rated 'R' film, but Coulson had an idea. Unlike Hill though, Coulson couldn't, imagine Thor as a college jockey partying it up with drug/beer ingesting-and-arousal-filled-teenagers (he had heard that was the plot from Garett who had once seduced a woman to get intel by taking her to see that film).
Romanoff was actually portrayed by actress Scarlett Johansson which surprised Coulson since she was one of the few other celebrities he actually interacted with on his world. He remembered meeting her when he went to inspect the damage Stark had been doing the night he got drunk and nearly brought down his whole mansion during the time when his first arc reactor chest piece was failing and killing him. He had been interviewing the people who attended to see how bad Stark had lost it, and Ms. Johansson was one of the many he talked to. She seemed nice, but he would hardly consider her a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, let alone actually be able to portray Romanoff. Of course, the Johansson of this world proved him wrong when she demonstrated impressive fight skills in The Avengers movie against Barton.
Speaking of which, Barton was portrayed by famed actor Jeremy Renner. S.H.I.E.L.D. briefly considered recruiting him as an actor/agent asset due to many of his impressive athletic skills, but they broke it off when they recruited a better actor with better reflexes named Simon Williams. Still, Renner seemed to get Barton pretty well despite not having that much screen time in the film. Coulson had hoped that there might've been more of what Barton was up to, but even the deleted scenes didn't give that much more insight as to what had happened to him when Loki had the agent under his control.
But the one whom Coulson thought had made the best portrayal was Chris Evans as Steven Rogers. From what he learned, Evans started off as a small-time actor often appearing in some teen comedies. Then he was featured in a movie called 'The Fantastic Four' also born from this Marvel Comics group where the heroes of this world came from originally. That film had been as bad and its sequel fared worst, to the point where when Evans was originally announced to be the one who would play Rogers, the people of this world felt outraged. But Evans portrayed even embodiment of the hero Coulson had grown up on, and was by far his favorite of the cast. He wondered if either he or the Steve Rogers of his universe would run into this actor on their world any time.
As the credits to 'The Avengers' finished rolling, Coulson watched the final scene of the heroes, battle-worn and tired, sitting together at a restaurant eating shawarma. It served no real purpose, but it was just amusing to see them just sitting there like that after such a battle. The film then ended as Tommy took out the disc and put it back in the case.
As Anton took the gun, he realized it actually didn't weigh that much. It was actually easy to carry.
As he placed his fingers on the trigger, there was a banging on his bedroom door.
"BOY!" The angry voice of his father yelled, "What the hell did you do to my tools?!"
Suddenly, the door swung open, and his father looked a gasped at his son, before staring at the broken tools on his bed and then back to his son again.
"So?" He asked.
"I don't know what to think." Phil responded, taking the case and staring at the back, "Everything that happened, everything that will happen is…"
"STOP!" Tommy declared.
Phil looked at him surprised, and then remembered.
"I know you're not Phil Coulson! Stop treating me like a child! I want to meet Clark Gregg!"
"I'm very sorry…" Phil said, honestly, "But I'm…"
A feminine voice suddenly coughed behind him. Coulson spun around to see a woman around her late 20's/early 30's, standing in the doorway. She had a smart black dress and skirt on, similar to the ones Victoria Hand wore. She had long blonde hair, and green eyes.
"What the hell is going on here?!" She asked.
"BOY!" Anton's Dad roared, "You have seriously pushed yourself to the limits this time! This time I'm going to break you in half!"
Anton quickly did the only thing that came to mind and pulled the trigger, aiming the gun at his father. The gun shot out of bright flash of light and suddenly, a distortion similar to the one Anton had seen earlier that day appeared in front of him where his father stood.
Suddenly, there was a gush of wind and his father was suddenly sucked inside the hole.
Before Coulson could explain, he heard a familiar voice coming from his coat pocket.
"*KSSHHHZZZZZ*…oulson?! Are you there?! COULSON! *KSSSSSHHHHZZZZZ*"
Coulson pulled out his phone and saw the image of Director Fury on there. It was grainy, but he was finally getting some reception. Tommy's mom looked amazed and when Tommy came over to see what she was looking at, he understood why. Coulson's screen featured many drag items WAY too advanced for a real-life phone let alone a prop, and also many numbers and codes which usually didn't happen during a lousy cell-phone reception.
"Director Fury!" Couslon called, "It's me! I'm on another earth! Repeat! I have crossed over to another universe! Please respond!"
Anton quickly looked for a way to turn the hole off. It seemed like there were many buttons, but one bit of light caught his eye which looked like the slide device one used to turn on an iPhone after turning it off, only it was glowing yellow. Anton kept one hand on the gun, aiming it where the hole was, and slid it all the way towards the end where the line ended with a yellow circle. As he did, the wormhole shrank until it was fully closed.
Anton stood in amazement. He then smiled at the area where his Dad had previously been standing.
"Bye, Dad." He laughed, before patting the gun, "This thing is something else!"
"Director Fury!" Coulson called, looking at his screen which had turned back to its normal main screen again. The connection had been lost.
He looked at the two civilians who now stared at him with their mouths gaping open in amazement. In response, Coulson just did what he always did and gave a simple smile at them.
"Sorry about that." He said, "But now that I've proved who I am, can I spend some time here? I imagine if I look like Clark Gregg people will just keep asking me for autographs."
Tommy, in response to this after a full minute to take in what had happened, simply ran up to Phil and hugged his legs, making Phil a little uncomfortable, but he played along with it for now.
"Coulson." He said, "My god! It really is you, isn't it?!"
"Yeah." He said, softly, "It is."
The Next Day…
Nobody really slept that night. What was happening in the McRuso house was too exciting that everyone just spent the night sitting on the couch in the downstairs living room, talking with Phil a bit more about what had happened on this world. With the exception of having no real heroes or villains or aliens on this world, things were pretty much the same. The only main differences were that President Ellis was not the President on this world. In his place was a man named Barrack Obama and his Vice-President, Joe Biden. Phil had read in the papers on his world that they were considered the next people to win Presidency on his world once Ellis's first-term came to an end based on polls from people.
As the two finished explaining this to Coulson, he now understood that getting home would unfortunately be a problem for him.
"So…" Coulson said, after a minute of silence, "Let's go over everything we know. This world is one where all of my world's history has been completely fictitious. There have been no heroes, no villains…"
"No evil Norse gods or alien invaders, thank god." Tommy's mother, Haley, added.
"But how do I get home now?" Coulson asked, "Clearly, and don't take any offense to this, but your world is obviously much less sophisticated in technology than mine."
"Actually…" Tommy said, "You could come with us. Mom's taking me to the San Diego Comic Con later today. Dad was supposed to go with us, but then the divorce happened, and then…well…maybe you could learn something there."
Coulson was about to respond, when he felt someone kick his right shoe. Looking over, he caught sight of Haley glaring at him.
"Well…" He said, "I guess so. What's the worst that can happen?"
Later, At the San Diego Comic Con…
Coulson had to admit that he never really liked going to conventions. Despite being a die-hard Captain America fan, he had ironically never stepped foot in a comic convention ever in his life. All his trading cards had either been brought online, or brought with him from his youth.
The only time he ever did something remotely close to what a typical comic-con goer would do is when he dressed up as Captain America for a Halloween party when he was around 8. He had saved up all his money for a costume which featured a plastic version of Roger's Vibranium Shield, and wore it with pride. Everyone thought Coulson was being childish, but he didn't care. With the shield, he actually felt as if he was really Steven Rogers if only for a brief moment of time.
Now of course, he could just simply wear his suit and nobody would be the wiser. Coulson knew of a joke that some of the agents liked to say about him. Usually since Coulson always wore his black suit, many had theorized that he might've crawled out of his mother's womb with the suit already on. But if they could see these other people at the convention now…
Everywhere Coulson turned, there were people dressed in some of the most bizarre costumes imaginable. There were heroes, knights, demons, aliens…almost any costume imaginable. Coulson recognized a few of the Avengers (and some SHIELD Agents as well,) but there were other heroes Coulson didn't recognize. Ones that included someone in a blue body suit with a large 'S' logo on their chest and a red cape on their back, and some people dressed in a bat-like costume. There were also people who wore full-body-paint and nothing but boxers or swimsuits making Coulson wonder how they survived like this.
"So what do you think?" Tommy asked.
"I think that some people need to shower a bit more often." He admitted.
Tommy had actually gone dressed as Phil himself, adorned with the shades, tie, and even a toy version of the gun Coulson had used on Loki. Of course, these clothes and the gun were much smaller to accommodate Tommy's size, but Phil couldn't help but find it weird that people would pay for money to dress up as him.
"So how did you get into this…um…Fandom?" Phil asked.
Tommy was about to answer when Coulson heard a voice he hoped he would never hear ever again.
"Well, well…so the Son of Coul still lives, it seems!"
Coulson spun around to see Loki standing there. He was dressed in his helmetless armor he had worn during the raid on the Helicarrier, and appeared to be once again armed with his spear which was glowing blue.
"I see you've made a new accomplice since we last met, mortal." Loki said, eying Tommy before looking back at Coulson, "Shall I show him what happens to people who follow the path of heroes as an example to any further of your recruits?"
Wasting no time, Phil got in front of Tommy and took out his gun. Thankfully, some of the technology he had on him still worked and the gun was one of the things that still was activated. It had a built-in feature which prevented it from being scanned in security as a real one, in case things ever got dangerous. Coulson knew normal bullets wouldn't work against Loki, but perhaps he could bluff his way out of it.
"I don't know what you're doing here, Loki!" Phil said, "But I've gotten better since we last met. Take this gun for instance. It's a new-and-improved version of the Destroyer gun. I don't even know what's new about it, but do you want another demonstration?"
As soon as he said that, he spun around behind him, expecting to see Loki about to stab him, but nothing was there. He turned back and saw that Loki was suddenly grinning at him.
"Wow!" He said, "You've even got the voice!"
That was ironic for two reasons. One was that obviously Phil had the voice because he was Phil Coulson. Secondly was that up until now, this guy had done a great job at mimicking Loki's accent and speech pattern so well, only for it to now drop almost completely. He still had a British-like accent, but it lost the coldness that Loki's voice usually gave off when he spoke.
Putting his gun away, Coulson could only watch as the man shook his hand excitedly.
"Man, that's a wicked costume you made up, friend." The cosplayer complimented.
"Uh…thank you…" Phil said, trying not to be as awkward as he felt.
As the cosplayer left, Tommy just chuckled.
"So as I was saying," He continued, as Coulson looked at him, "I ended up watching Captain America: The First Avenger because I felt small and weak. I guess it's because when I was a kid I wanted to be a policeman. Then as I got older, I found that I still wanted to be a policeman, while the other guys just talked about girls and sports."
"Nothing wrong with that." Phil said, "And anybody who is inspired to good by Captain America and a sense of justice is okay in my book."
"But you don't understand," Tommy said, "When I learned about you in the Avengers…I felt we were almost alike. And when you died in there…"
"But I didn't, did I?" Coulson asked, "Besides, I don't know if it's a good idea to look up to me as a role-model…"
"Alright…" Tommy said, pulling Phil's arm, "Let me show you some people who will prove you wrong."
Coulson was honestly impressed. Tommy had introduced him to so many people who had created various tributes to Phil based on his portrayals in the films this world made.
First, Tommy introduced Phil to an all-female S.H.I.E.L.D. cosplay group who had a female Phil as the lead cosplayer. Additionally, upon seeing Phil, she was so amazed that she asked for a photo with him to which he obliged. Then he happily posed for one with the other various cosplayers who told him that Phil was the reason they started doing this in the first place because they all thought he was cute and were heartbroken when he was supposedly killed in the Avengers.
Next, they visited an Online Artist for a site that did parody drawings of various Superhero stories. The artist mentioned he started drawing again after watching Phil in his first appearing in Iron Man and thanks to that, he actually got to draw Phil for real. Phil was honored that he could actually inspire people to do things they liked, and asked him to do a quick drawing of him. The artist did so and Phil was pleased with the result. He even got to keep it for free since the artist told him he was a great cosplayer.
Following that was a visit to a prop artist who did famous movie and TV show replicas. He showed them that he had been building a replica of the gun Coulson had used on Loki and it weighed the exact same size as the real one had in Coulson's world despite only being made of plastic. They told him they studied the film to get an exact likeness and Phil told them they had done a terrific job.
Finally, they saw an action figure company which was making toys of the Avengers and the star of the show was Phil himself. Coulson admitted it was weird seeing all these versions of himself and the people he knew in different forms, but admitted in some way it was pretty interesting how all these people on this universe had devoted so much time into studying the different aspects of his life.
Afterwards, Tommy got a pizza and soda while Phil called Haley. She had left her number for him in case anything went wrong, and although his Phone had limitations, he could still call her at least.
"Enjoying the con?" She asked.
"Honestly?" Phil asked, "I am."
"Good." Haley stated, "Because there's something important I think you should talk to Tommy about."
"What's that?" Phil asked.
There was a pause before Haley started talking again.
"He's been acting a bit defensive about how he enjoys the films." She admitted, "There's a bully at his school he used to be friends with before leaving him behind because he was getting into trouble too much. But this guy keeps stalking him and I think you need to tell him something that would help him."
Phil was about to respond, when there was an announcement over the speakers.
"In just a few moments, appearing at Panel H, are you ready to meet Phil Coulson himself?! Clark Gregg?!"
Coulson froze. The actor who was portraying him was here?! If there were any clues on how to get back, then perhaps the man would know.
"Tommy." He declared, "Get you Pizza to-go. We have someone to meet."
Tommy quickly got the Pizza in a bag and the two rushed down to the place where the celebrities usually had their little rooms for these events. Coulson had helped a few famous celebrities beforehand, so he knew exactly where to go. Luckily, nobody at security stopped him since they assumed he was Clark Gregg.
Eventually, they found Mr. Gregg's room, and Coulson opened the door to find a blonde-haired woman wearing a black smart-suit and skirt and rounded glassless talking on a cell. As soon as she saw Phil, she finished the call and hung up to address him.
"Oh, Clark!" She declared, "You're here a bit early! I…uh…I didn't know you were coming in costume. Or that you were bringing a friend."
"Well, you know…" Phil smiled, looking around the room, "Just promoting the show and all. Thought I'd kick it off in style and give this young man a tour of the room here."
Phil noticed the room was almost entirely blank, save for a green couch in the right corner and a lone seat to the left which was placed in front of a mirror. Aside from a few coat hangers, the room was almost completely empty.
Then Phil heard a voice that made his blood run cold and for a good reason.
The voice was his own.
Phil turned around and there he was. Clark Gregg himself was standing in the room, as Tommy's mouth just hung open. Coulson noticed that while the actor certainly looked and sounded like him, there were obvious differences. For instance, rather than Coulson's taste in good suits, Mr. Gregg wore a simple white T-Shirt and Elvis-like-sunglasses (Coulson had worn similar glasses from time to time except the ones the actor wore had thicker frames than Coulson's). He also had a bigger smile than Coulson's, but perhaps it was only because he was admiring how good of a 'cosplayer' this guy was.
The actor looked the man over, approvingly.
"It's like I've got my own twin…" He said, grinning from ear-to-ear, "Can you do the Coulson stare?"
Coulson looked at him confused.
"The what?" He asked.
"It's alright, friend." Clark smiled, "You'll get the hang of it eventually."
"I'm so sorry, Mr. Gregg!" The assistant apologized, "I thought he was you and…"
"It's okay," The actor smiled, "I expected people would be trying to meet me quickly after word got out that Coulson was going to come back. I just didn't realize how far they'd go."
"Actually." Coulson smiled, "I think Tommy would like an autograph."
Coulson pulled the Avengers DVD out from his coat pocket. He had brought it along for Tommy without him knowing, making Tommy's jaw seem to almost drop further down.
As Clark Gregg left his signature, Coulson looked at him seriously.
"But I do have a question for Clark Gregg." He stated.
"Can you tell me what's going to happen in the first episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.?" Coulson asked.
Clark Gregg suddenly looked a bit guilty as he rubbed his hand behind his head.
"Well…" He said, "I don't usually talk about this kind of stuff…but since we start filming on-location tomorrow and I'm about to talk to the people here about this thing…"
"We're doing a special one-shot episode based off an idea from Joss." Clark explained, "It's a little minisode that'll show up on the DVD set prior to the first episode. It deals with Coulson ending up in the real world." He chuckled, "You know, they should have a scene like this in here. I mean, if you were Agent Coulson!"
"And uh…" Coulson asked, "How would you get home? I mean I assume…"
"Oh, no." Clark explained, "Sorry, my friend. That's all I can say for now."
He exited the room, but turned to smile at the two.
"I'm due onstage now, but nice talking to you two. Have a great convention!"
"Alright." Coulson nodded, as the actor left, "Come on, Tommy. Let's get out of here."
As the two made their way back to the entrance, Coulson sighed in defeat.
"Well," He shrugged, "I guess this means I'm stuck here. I'll have to start from the bottom, but maybe I can make it in the CIA…"
"What?!" Tommy asked, tugging Coulson's arm, "Wait, Phil! Listen; Clark Gregg said that the episode they're filming takes place prior to the series premiere. That means that there's still a chance you can get home."
"It seems unlikely." Phil sighed, before straightening his tie, and then looking back at the young boy, "But then again I always did enjoy working with things that were unlikely."
He took Tommy's hand as the two began to exit the con. Coulson then took out his cell phone and dialed a number.
"Yes?" He asked, "Haley? It's me. Listen, can I show Tommy something tomorrow? I think I know a way to help him out. It'll be no problem, really. Thanks, bye."
He hung up as Tommy looked at him confused.
"What did you mean by help me out?" He asked.
"Your mother tells me you're being bullied." Coulson answered honestly, "I know how that feels, to have people who don't understand your ideas. But there's a difference, Tommy. On this world, there aren't any high-tech government taskforces. No monsters. No gods. No iron men. No super soldiers. In this world, you still can make a difference if you work hard enough. I intend to show you how tomorrow."
The next day…
Coulson actually spent the night washing his clothes, and browsing the internet for a while. The next day, he was back in uniform having spent the night in some of the old clothes Tommy's dad left behind. Haley left to take care of some business at the grocery, which gave Coulson the opportunity to show Tommy what he needed to see.
First, Coulson took all the couch cushions and laid them down on the floor.
"So what are we going to do?" Tommy asked.
"I'm gonna show you how to defend yourself." Phil explained, "And then I'm going to tell you an important tip for whenever you find yourself in another fight."
Phil then crouched down putting his right leg forward and looked at Tommy as if he was expecting for him to do the same. Tommy did so as Phil nodded.
"When someone gets close to you," Phil said, "You're gonna want to swing with your right leg. Let it almost glide just a little bit off the ground and swing it around."
Tommy did so as Phil nodded approvingly.
"Good." He said, "Now you're going to want to remember this next safety tip because it'll be the most important whenever you get into a fight. Use your surroundings to your advantage."
Suddenly, there was a knock on the door.
"I'll get it." Tommy said, followed by Phil.
Tommy opened the door and he and Phil looked shocked. There was Anton, holding a gun that Coulson recognized all-too well.
"Hello, buddy!" He laughed.
"DOWN!" Both Phil and Tommy declared as Anton fired. Coulson grabbed Tommy and dragged him away as Anton fired again to remove the hole. He didn't want to look conspicuous after all.
"That gun..." Phil declared as he and Tommy left through the backyard of his house, "It's just like…"
"It looks like the one from The Avengers!" Tommy declared.
"Besides that." Phil stated, "It also resembles Loki's staff and Dr. Selvig's portal he built for the battle of New York! That explains it!"
"Explains what?" Tommy asked.
"That thing he's using…" Phil said, "It's somehow displacing people in other dimensions throughout time and space! That's how I ended up here! I think I may have an idea!"
Suddenly, Anton came out from the back door smiling.
"Anton, I believe?" Phil smiled.
"Wow, Tommy!" Anton chuckled, "I can't believe you actually went the full circle! I didn't know Clark Gregg would become the next Michael Jackson."
"To the contrary…" Phil corrected, walking up close to him, "I'm not a pervert and I'm not Clark Gregg."
Anton looked confused as Phil leaned down to see him eye-to-eye.
"I'm Phil Coulson."
With that, he punched Anton right in the nose. Phil then took out his gun and then fired at the fence, breaking it wide open.
"Come on!" He declared, as Anton continued to follow him, "We need to lure him right where we need to be! Remember when I said that using your surroundings to your advantage can help? Well, this is a good example!"
"What do you mean?" Tommy asked.
"Well," Phil responded, giving a smirk, "Like you said, Tommy; they're filming that minisode today. The scenes with the convention, your house, and my world will all have to be likely filmed at a studio. But the exterior shots for my arrival…THAT will be filmed on location! I'm willing to bet that I didn't just land at the spot they were filming by coincidence!"
Soon, at the filming location for the minisode…
The crew had arrived early enough to prepare the area for filming. But to their surprise, after they had finished clearing out the area, and sealing it off for the shoot, they discovered the area which was to serve as Phil's portal had already been given the modifications it needed for his arrival, with the dust spray created by the portal already there.
As the crew continued to set up the rest of the equipment, Clark Gregg emerged from his trailer, now dressed in his infamous costume, re-reading the script to better familiarize himself with what was going to happen.
As he read the lines, though, he was suddenly interrupted by another familiar voice.
"'Scuse me." The voice which sounded like his own declared, as a hand snatched the script away from him.
"HEY!" Clark declared, as he saw the man who had been cosplaying as him yesterday was now skimming through the script, "What's going on?! I thought Joss said we were going to do this with CGI! Not a double!"
Coulson ignored him as he looked over the final pages.
"Here we go!" He smiled, "I was right! This is how I save the day and get back!"
Suddenly, Tommy ran up next to him.
"Uh, Phil?" He asked, worriedly.
Suddenly, Anton came up sporting a very nasty black eye.
"Alright, you are SO dead…" He declared.
Suddenly, he saw the two identical men who looked at him grinning.
"What?!" He asked, "Oh come on! That's not fair! Which of you is…"
"I think that's…" Clark began.
"My cue!" Phil finished.
Phil quickly lunged at the boy snatching the gun from him, causing the gun to shoot a portal at the wall and open up the wormhole again, much to the astonishment of the cast and crew. Upon making sure he had a good firm grip of the gun, Coulson then used it to trip Anton on his feet. As he came down, Phil grabed his body and threw him down to the ground, while making sure the blow didn't fracture anything, or leave Anton with a bleeding wound.
Phil then turned to the actor and smiled.
"Not really my style, but I read that I did that in the script, so I think I just saved you and the others a couple thousand dollars." Phil noted.
Despite the amazing thing that had happened, everyone just kept filming the real-life action as Phil adjusted the gun and shot another portal towards the empty street. The portal opened and Anton's father fell out.
"They'll both be fine." Phil said, "Though I hit the boy hard enough to give him a little memory loss, and his father will need some counseling, but that shouldn't be anything this world can handle. Unless I end up seeing this place again in a future episode?"
Coulson smiled at the actor who looked at him with utter shock and amazement.
"Don't worry." Phil smiled, looking at Anton, "He'll wake up with a headache, but the impact will have blocked off any memories of him having encountered us."
"So…" Clark Gregg asked, "Are you…are you really…"
"Just do me a favor, though." Phil explained, putting his arm around the Actor, "The script says I forget everything when I return to my universe so if you could ask the man writing this series…"
"Joss?" Clark asked.
"There's an actress in this universe who I know also exists in mine." Phil told him, "Her name's Chole Bennet. I saved her life once in 2011 during a Ten Rings Attack near a recording studio. I always thought she looked like the girl who could have S.H.I.E.L.D. material in another life, so perhaps if you could suggest her as a series regular to Joss…"
"I'll ask him." Clark assured him, "Although I think it's best to leave out the part about me asking myself to do it."
"Agreed." Phil said as he looked at the portal.
"Tell me we're getting this." The assistant director asked the cameraman as Clark, Phil, and Tommy looked into the portal.
The cameraman nodded as they continued to film.
"So is this goodbye?" Tommy asked.
"I'm afraid so." Phil said, truthfully, "But fortunately this also means that you're all safe again. You won't ever have to worry about any more invasions, or alien guns. You can be yourselves now."
Tommy nodded and suddenly hugged Phil. Phil looked around awkwardly and hugged Tommy back, giving his back a little firm assurance.
"It's okay, then." Phil said, "You don't need to be afraid of anybody bigger than you ever again."
With that, he looked back at the portal and with one jump, Phil lunged inside there, before it closed behind, leaving only the wall with the markings on there.
"Wow." Clark noted, "I guess that we did just save a bunch of money thanks to him."
Tommy was silent, so Clark decided to try and be more talkative.
"You know," He said, "You look just like the kid we cast who meets Phil."
Tommy was silent as Clark smiled.
"You're still shocked about meeting me after you spent time with the real deal?" Clark asked.
"No…" Tommy said, recovering from the adventure, "No! Of course not, it's just…he's just really helped me. I mean REALLY helped me a lot."
Coulson fell through the portal, landing on his head with a groan. Fortunately, he didn't break anything, and when he looked up, he was thankfully greeted with the familiar sight of Director Fury flanked by a number of S.H.I.E.L.D. agents. Looking to his right, he saw the target he had been chasing, taken into custody by fellow agents while the others took the gun and placed it in a case for further research until they could decide what should be done with it.
"Well done, Coulson." Fury smiled, "I was actually beginning to worry that we'd lost you. Again."
"Thank you, sir." Coulson responded, nodding.
"So what happened?" Fury asked, "We tried contacting you and nearly got through once, but for the most part, we couldn't reach you. What happened?"
Coulson opened his mouth, but suddenly, he couldn't find the right response. Yes, he remembered tackling the target through the portal, but between then and now…nothing seemed to have happened.
"I…uh…I don't know." Coulson admitted.
Fury looked at him and raised his eyebrows suspiciously.
"You don't know?" Fury asked.
"It was like…everything I did just vanished. I can't recall it, sir." Coulson explained.
"Well," Fury shrugged, "We'll have you debriefed and see if you're the real deal or not."
"Oh, I am, sir."
"What proof do you have?" Fury asked.
"Because I'm still pissed at you for ruining my Captain America Trading Card set despite it bringing the Avengers together." Coulson answered.
"That sounds like the Phil Coulson I remember." He said, "We'll still need to re-evaluate you, and get you back in the game for bigger missions."
"Any in mind?" Coulson asked.
"Any you'd like to tackle?" Fury responded.
Coulson thought about it and nodded.
"Something will come to me."
A Few Days Later…
Tommy was running away again from Anton. He was taunting him about how the recently-launched SHIELD Show had some success but some people were calling it not that great of a show. Tommy knew it'd have to hold on for some time. He was sure that wherever Phil was, he was having another adventure that Tommy would have to wait another week or so to see.
The first episode was something Tommy had liked a lot, and afterwards, he and his mother both gave a big round of applause for Phil. Speaking of which, the divorce case with Tommy's mom and dad had ended and things were beginning to look hopeful again than they had in some time. The end result of the case was that Tommy's mom and dad confessed their mistakes, and so the verdict was decided that Tommy's Dad would be spending a few weeks away and once things had passed long enough, he could come back and live with them again.
Things were almost perfect, but there was still one last thing that Tommy needed to do.
"Go home and run to SHIELD, Tommy!" Anton mocked.
Tommy finally stopped in front of the house he wanted to be at. He made sure to block Anton's view of the person behind him. Anton's memory had been wiped much like Coulson had predicted, so he had no recollection of the events beforehand. Anton's Dad had been convinced it was the result of one too many beers, so they were back to normal, but there was still one thing that needed to be corrected.
"Not until I'm ready to fight you on my own terms for once." Tommy smirked.
"What'd you say?!" Anton demanded.
"Listen Anton," Tommy smiled, "I'm not here to mock you. I know what happens with you and your Dad. But I'm just an excuse for you to hit something. But when I'm a policeman or a detective, do you really think you'll use me as an excuse to…"
Tommy was interrupted when Anton's fist connected with his nose, causing it to bleed. Tommy staggered back and fell on the sidewalk as Anton walked over and picked his former friend up by his shirt collar.
"What makes you think I'm going to let you walk away after that?!" Anton demanded.
"How about me for starters?" A familiar voice called.
Anton looked up to his horror and saw their school principal, Ms. Vitolous standing in front of the house.
"You're on the verge of being suspended right now, Anton." She warned as Tommy broke away.
"I'm alright, Ms. Vitolous." Tommy explained, standing in front of the house, "The truth is, he's been doing it to me after school ever since I stopped being friends with him. I should've gotten help back then, but I'm different now."
"Well," She explained, "I'll call in a parent-teacher meeting so we can discuss this."
She glared at Anton.
"And as for you, sir. If I hear anything about you or your friends bullying Tommy again either inside or outside of school, I will throw the book at you and you'll be out of my school before you even blink."
Anton just ran away now afraid.
"Just one thing, Tommy." She asked, looking at the young boy, "You said something's different about you now. What happened?"
Tommy just smiled at her.
"A good friend helped me realize that I don't need to fear anything anymore." He responded.
Happy Birthday Rurrlock!