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New Fic: Just the Facts

Just the Facts
Fandom: Avengers (MCU)
Rated: G
Category: Vignette. Friendship. Coulson, Romanoff – sort of.
Season: Takes place in season four of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, but open time frame.
Spoilers: AoS - Meet the Boss, Uprising (very minor to non-existent).
Summary: People like them only talked about the facts. Right? Yeah. Sure. Right.
Disclaimer: All things Marvel belong to the Man (and the Mouse). Excelsior!

---

Most people didn’t know that Philip Coulson kept a personal phone.

So when it rang that night, he jumped before realizing what it was. It had been a long, long time since he’d heard that ringtone, and it didn’t register at first.

But after a second ring, he dug the phone out from the drawer on his nightstand . When he saw an unknown caller on the screen, he hesitated. It was probably a wrong number, and he really didn’t feel like dealing with even that small amount of hassle. He had enough going on. But despite his misgivings, he took a deep breath and punched the button.

“Hello?”

The voice on the other end of the line was all business. “Coulson.”

So, not a wrong number, then. He answered in the only way he could.

“Natasha.”

As per usual, they didn’t mince words.

“I heard about May,” said Natasha.

Coulson sighed. “Yeah.”

It’s all he could say.

It was quiet for a moment, and Coulson could almost hear Nat’s nod. Then she spoke quietly.

“When Clint was gone…”

Phil cut her off. “I know.”

A beat passed.

“But you got her back?” asked Natasha, “And she’s her?”

“Yeah.”

“That’s good.”

“Yeah.”

Once again, silence fell between them, and once again, it was Natasha who broke it.

“Well, okay, then. I’ve got to run.”

Phil chuckled. “Always.”

“You know it,” answered Natasha, as she ended the call.

Phil slowly shook his head when the line went dead, then put the phone back in its place.

Afterward, he sat down on his bed and just stared at the drawer holding the phone for a while.

Then he smiled.

Because in just a handful of words, Natasha Romanoff had said so much more.

He’d known better than to ask where she was or what she was doing or how she knew about May, but he’d gotten her point without elaboration, as she’d known he would.

Oh, Natasha, he thought. Once scared to death of losing her partner (and best friend and then some), then relieved as hell to get him back but unable to say anything of the sort to anyone – even now. Natasha, caring about her old hander and knowing he was in a similar situation with similar feelings, but not able to say that, either, so instead just sticking to the facts.

He could relate.

Coulson chuckled and made up his mind about something right then and there.

And so he found himself in a cantina in Borneo three weeks later. One that a certain redhead had been visiting regularly of late.

She walked in right on time. If she was surprised to see him, she didn’t show it, so he didn’t have to pretend innocence. Nor did he have to say why he was there.

Instead, he merely bought her a drink.

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