Well. This has needed to happen for a while and it’s been too long since I’ve done any fanfiction, so here we are.
Spoilers that probably any basic Marvel fan knows. A.K.A. Coulson died but didn’t.
And frame of reference being the end of Agents of SHIELD season 1.
Keeping collectable trading cards of yourself was weird on a lot of levels. But Steve Rogers wasn’t planning on keeping them. He’d never planned on it.
Those cards belonged to a man named Phillip Coulson. A man who died helping the Avengers. A man whose blood stained the perfectly preserved, old paper of the cards. Cards with no signature on them.
They’d saved New York from an alien invasion. Saved countless lives, and the debt of one man’s sacrifice should be paid off by now. But Steve still heard Fury’s words echoing in his mind.
“I guess he never did get you to sign them.”
Coulson was a good man. And Steve still felt guilty for not doing him that one simple favor before he was gone.
Things were understandably very busy after New York, so it took him longer than expected to do what he intended.
But about a week afterwards found him standing in front of Phil Coulson’s fresh grave. Holding the soft, old Captain America trading cards in one hand. The famous, even signature of “Captain Steven Rogers” visible on the corner of each card.
The blood still splotched over the otherwise perfect vintage cards, but it was the best Steve could do. He’d put them in a ziplock bag too, so they wouldn’t get waterstained out here. Coulson would have appreciated that.
Steve stood there for a bit, then blew out his breath and bent over. There was a rock he’d moved over next to the grave and he placed the trading cards so they were pinned down by it.
He straightened back up and looked at the grave for a second. Opened his mouth, then closed it again. He sighed and shook his head.
He’d done what he could. Done what he felt like he should.
It wasn’t like Coulson was coming back, anyway.
Steve rubbed at the back of his neck and looked down at the fresh earth. “Sorry, Coulson,” he said quietly. Sticking his hands in his jacket pockets, Steve walked away from the grave. And the trading cards he was sure no one would ever see.
It turned out, he was wrong.
Someone actually did find them, about two years later.
A woman named Melinda May.
“Well, what do you think?” Coulson stepped back and looked over the bookshelves along the walls in his new office. “Kind of…. I dunno, homey.” He turned back to look to May, raising his eyebrows questioningly.
May’s arms were crossed over her chest and her expression didn’t change as she looked around the office. Her expression didn’t change a lot usually, so Coulson didn’t take it personally.
Coulson looked it over again himself. The pictures and the bookshelves and the bricks. He really did like it quite a bit.
May looked back to him. “Lots more collectables around than in the last SHIELD director’s office,” she remarked blandly.
Coulson smiled. “What can I say? Fury and I have different styles.”
May’s mouth tugged sideways by the slightest margin possible. She stood there for another second, looked towards the door, and then walked out.
She probably had other things to do. If he wanted more in-depth opinions on the style of his office, Coulson realized he should have probably called Jemma in.
He went back to straightening a few more things in the desk drawers.
And then, to his surprise, May walked back in a minute later. Holding something in her hand. She stopped directly in front of his desk. “I remembered one more collectable you need.”
Coulson straightened back up, eying what she held with confusion. “A…. dirty old ziplock bag?”
May unzipped the top and pulled out a few small cards. Vintage paper, smudged with old, brown bloodstains.
It took Coulson only a second to recognize them. His Captain America trading cards.
Only now they were different.
They each had signatures on the card corners. And he could clearly read them as May set them down on his desk.
Captain Steven Rogers.
May’s nodded to them. “Found those when I went to dig up your grave.”
He’d given up on that idea so long ago. He’d lost the cards. He’d never see the Avengers again.
And now here… Captain America had actually done it. He’d signed his trading cards for him.
Phil Coulson so absorbed in staring at them that he didn’t even notice that May was smiling.
Hope you guys liked it!
See ya next time,