Life with the Avengers ~Reader-Insert~

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1. Prologue

"Director Fury, you are needed in your office immediately."

Agent Hill's voice sounded oddly strained over the intercom system, and Fury was instantly set on edge. He swept from the bridge and headed quickly down the hallways to his office, grumbling under his breath.

"Hill," he announced as he rounded the last corner. "If the new agents have locked themselves in the armory again, I am leaving their dumb asses there until September."

Hill cleared her throat, glaring slightly at him. Fury stopped cold in the hallway, utterly stunned at her audacity. As he stared at her, his shock was rapidly degenerating into anger when she flicked her eyes meaningfully downward. Following her line of sight, the director finally laid eyes on what had his first officer looking so haggard.

Clutching tightly to Hill's hand was a small girl of no more than five, covered from head to toe in princess pink clothes. A glittery, rose-colored, rolling suitcase stood innocuously to her left. The little girl's (Y/E/C) eyes were uncharacteristically solemn for a child as she stood outside his door, gripping a worn teddy bear. Her hair was done up in two pigtails and, with a flash, Fury realized that he'd only ever seen that particular shade of (Y/H/C) on one other head.

"This is (Y/N) Coulson, sir," Hill revealed, stressing the last name ever so slightly. Hill tucked a wisp of hair behind her ear in an uncommonly nervous gesture as the puzzle pieces began to click into horrifying place for Fury. "She's five, and she's here looking for her guardian."

~Flashback~

"Director?"

Fury looked up from his paperwork to see Coulson standing in the doorway, fiddling with a pair of large manila envelopes. Putting down his pen, Fury gestured to the lone chair in front of his desk. Coulson hesitated, igniting Fury's curiosity, but ultimately sat and opened his mouth to speak.

When he showed no signs of actually saying anything, Fury gently prompted him. "Phil?"

Coulson seemed to shake himself from his stupor. "As you know, sir," he began briskly. "I've recently returned from my sister's funeral."

"I am aware, Phil," Fury replied, steepling his fingers under his chin. "I'm sorry, for your loss," he added sincerely.

Coulson nodded. "Thank you, but that's not why I'm here." He laid the two envelopes on the desk, sitting straight backed in the chair. "I'm here to settle my affairs."

Fury raised a very incredulous eyebrow, somewhat amused. "Feeling a little peaky, Phil?"

"No sir," Coulson replied with the faintest hint of a smile. "I feel fine. But this is a dangerous job sometimes and I have to provide for (Y/N) now."

Fury looked up sharply. "Who, exactly, is (Y/N)?"

"(Y/N) is my niece," Coulson explained patiently, giving Fury the idea that this was information he should have known. "She's nearly three now. Since my sister lost her battle with cancer, I have been named as (Y/N)'s guardian. I need to make arrangements for her, in case something should happen to me."

"Arrangements?"

Coulson smirked, and Fury had the fleeting thought that he'd made a mistake when he made Coulson Barton's handler. "I do believe I've surprised you, Director Fury."

Fury leveled a glare at Coulson, slightly irritated when it seemed to have no effect. "You're not planning on bringing the kid here, are you? While I do claim to run a daycare of sorts, I'm generally not serious."

Coulson sobered. "Of course not, sir. She'll live at my home in Annapolis with her nanny. This is only in case of extremities."

"Okay then," Fury leaned back in his chair. "What's your plan?"

"This envelope," Coulson indicated the top packet. "Is for you. I make contact with (Y/N) every night, unless I'm on a mission, in which case she and the nanny are aware that I'm busy. If I do not make contact within ninety days, and I have not informed them of a mission of any sort, the nanny is to assume that no contact will be made."

"That's where I come in," Fury finished, eyeing his agent.

Coulson nodded. "Yes sir. A GPS locator will inform the nanny where the helicarrier is stationed and she has ample funds to bring (Y/N) here, where she will remain until Agent Barton can take over."

Fury stilled. "Barton?"

Coulson, bless his trusting soul, looked confused. "That is correct, sir. The second packet is everything that he needs to know to handle the affairs."

Fury leaned forward, pointing a finger at Coulson. "Let me get this straight. When you kick it, you are leaving the charge and care of a three year old with the Hawk?"

Coulson's eyes were suddenly flinty and Fury had the idea that his best agent had never been so close to insubordination. "I trust Clint Barton with my life. How could I not trust him with hers?"

With a murmured goodbye, Coulson abruptly departed and left Fury sitting at his desk, thoroughly bewildered.

~End of Flashback~

"Sir?" Hill's concerned voice snapped him from his memories, and his eye once again focused on the somber little girl.

Holding out his hand, he took hers, opening his office door and nudging the child in. The girl set her suitcase against the far wall and pulled out a coloring book, curling up in the corner of the room. Fury forced his gaze to Hill's face.

"Get Barton back here. Now."

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