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FIC: At the Con (Agents of SHIELD, PG)

Title:At The Con
Fandom: Agentes of SHIELD
Characters: Phil Coulson
Rating: PG
Word Count: ~1300
Warnings/Spoilers: None, but you should know who Phil Coulson is. Mostly because he's awesome.
Disclaimer: Fanfic, for fun, not profit.
Notes: Written for a challenge over at tv_universe where we were asked to "come up with TEN things - things that happened at home/work/school/traveling; things that were purchased/received as a gift/stolen/found/owned; things that were eaten... etc, etc, etc" and write fic about them. Minimum of 70 words.

Ten things that happened to Phil Coulson while he was at a convention.

01. When he was 10, Phil first went to his first convention. He snuck out of his house the night before, his home-made Captain America costume carefully folded up in his backpack and a note of apology/explanation on the kitchen table. He spent the night hitching his way to the venue, paid his way in with money he made mowing lawns, and spend the next three days being the hero he always used to dream about. It was where he bought his very first vintage Captain America trading card. No amount of grounding or punishment took away the joy of the weekend.

02. Phil didn't miss cosplay as much as he thought he would. One of the other SHIELD agents said that it probably had something to do with the fact that "knowing the people inside the costumes took some of the glamour away". Phil didn't argue the point, but he knew that it was because actually knowing the people inside the costumes made it that much harder to live up to the standard.

03. Phil preferred the handmade costumes to the professional ones. Anyone with money could buy a costume (and many did) but true spirit of heroism wasn't about money -- even if they had a billionaire playboy as one of the club. Which is why he made sure that the little girl who walked around as Iron Man in a costume that she had clearly made out of painted soda bottles and yarn received a signed picture of her hero for her efforts.

04. The first time Phil saw a kid cosplaying a SHIELD agent was shortly after Stark came out as Iron Man. It had taken him a while to figure out it was a SHIELD costume, actually. It wasn’t until the kid was with a friend who was dressed up in a SHIELD combat outfit with a recognizable (if flawed) SHIELD emblem stitched on her shoulder that he finally understood. Since SHIELD was technically a secret organization, Phil carefully asked them about their choice in costumes. They were more than happy to detail how they first saw the outfit in some news footage of the Stark Tower, how they started scouring all the footage they could find until they tracked down most of the details of the outfit and a surprisingly large amount of detail about the organization itself. None of it was illegal, none of it was even suspect, so Phil just thanked them and planned to write a complete report to Fury on how SHIELD wasn’t quite as inconspicuous as he’d like to think.

There was one question he wanted answered before that happened, though. “Why dress up as SHIELD agents? Why not be one of the heroes?”

The girl gestured to her friend, “His idea”.

The boy just grinned. “Because this is so much cooler. I mean, when you have superpowers or high-tech gadgets or special abilities, then hanging out with superheroes, well that’s just natural, right? But when you’re just an ordinary person with none of that, well, then it takes someone special.”

The girl snorted dismissively. “Or someone crazy.”

Phil couldn’t really argue the point.

05. Being dead didn't stop Phil from going to the New York Comic Con. He wasn't, technically, supposed to leave his apartment at headquarters, but he was so tired of being confined. Despite his rest in Tahiti, he felt as if he hadn't done anything fun in a lifetime. So he left early in the morning -- making a note of the security improvements needs so that wouldn’t happen again -- and rode the subway to the event. The city was still rebuilding and he expected turnout to be smaller than usual, but the opposite was true. With a special day pass where all the money raised would go toward relief efforts and hall costume fundraisers for the police and first responders, the convention was bigger than ever. For the first time since the invasion, Phil felt truly alive.

06. The best surveillance training Phil ever received didn't come from SHIELD, it came from a San Diego Comic Con. He met a girl his first day there and it was perfect – right up into the moment she kissed him goodbye that night, telling him that if they really wanted to “see where it could go” all he had to do was find her before the end of the weekend. Then she disappeared into the crowd. Only one small problem: When they met he was Captain America and she was Catwoman. They never exchanged their real names. Hell, they never even took off their masks. In that weekend, Phil learned how to conduct an investigation, how to question people, and how to identify someone based on voice patterns, mannerisms and the way they walked. Of course, SHIELD could never provide incentives half as inviting as Lauren Ritter.

07. The one thing that Phil could never get used to were people who insisted on cosplaying Loki. Even before the Asgardian SOB stabbed him in the heart, Phil hated him. He’d been on the ground when Loki had sent a giant robot to destroy Thor. He’d had to stand there helpless as an entire town was leveled. He had to look into the eyes of those who lost loved ones knowing that all the pain was caused by a self-centered egoist that saw people as playthings. Loki not only orchestrated the attack on New York, he enjoyed it. While Phil could (almost) understand Thor’s conflicting feelings about Loki – he was his brother after all – he would never understand how the very people Loki would happily kill could idolize him.

08. Phil would be the first to admit that his view of the fannish-world was a little rose-colored. He was, after all, still one of them. Which is why the rash of pick pocketing that struck the Chicago Con in 1986 seemed almost to be a personal insult. He’d just finished his SHIELD training and he was more than capable in tracking down the culprits. What he wasn’t prepared for was the rag-tag group of kids who were responsible for the thefts or the dire circumstances that drove them to being thieves. Knowing what he did about Chicago’s Police and Child Protective Services, he knew that there probably wouldn’t be a good ending if he turned them in. He also knew that leaving them in the situation they were currently in would just lead them to more dangerous activities.

So Phil did the only thing he could, he came up with a third choice. He managed to convince the con-com to donate part of the charity money they raised to start a new boys and girls club and then he used every ounce of his persuasive ability to convince SHIELD to donate an unused building in the area to the cause. A hundred or so posters later, he’d recruited enough people to help staff the new endeavor – a feat that only reinforced his view that con-people were the very best people.

Currently, the “Steve Rogers Boys and Girl Club of Greater Chicago” is still going strong and has provided more recruits to SHIELD than any other one institution.

09. The first year he didn't cosplay it was because his luggage got lost. He didn't have time to make a new one and he couldn't bring himself to buy one. He thought that he'd feel an outsider at the con; after all he'd always been the Captain when he went to these things. He should have known better, it’s not the costume that makes the fan after all, it’s the fan that makes the costume.

10. Phil collected kids at cons. Not intentionally, mind, they just seemed to gravitate to him. It had started early, almost at his very first con. Lost kids ask him to help them find their parents. Random youngsters judge him trustworthy enough to watch their things or hold their place in line. Tired teenagers plop down in a chair next to him and just start up conversations. At first he assumed it was because he always dressed as Captain America, but it continued after he stopped cosplaying and didn’t stop even when he started showing up in suit.

It was a strange little superpower but Phil rather liked it.

Comments

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catko
Jul. 15th, 2014 06:42 am (UTC)
This is brilliant. So well written, great use of the format, and sweet and funny.
partly
Jul. 15th, 2014 02:27 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I really enjoyed writing them. I love Coulson.
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