earpiece: (somewhere out there)
Phil Coulson ([personal profile] earpiece) wrote2012-09-22 10:01 am
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[rift] we thought we lost you; it will all come back

Phil wakes slowly at first, consciousness teeter-tottering between what feels like reality and what he’s sure must be a dream. One minute, he's back on the Helicarrier, staring at flickering surveillance images that don't seem to make sense; the next, he's sprawled face-up on a sidewalk with skyscrapers crumbling and cascading toward him in pieces.

Paired with the fear of what he's sure will be his death, he feels himself longing for the safety of the Helicarrier; pining for the comfort of knowing he's surrounded by Earth's mightiest heroes, for the familiarity of routine and duty that he'll soon forget forever. Seconds before the shower of rubble buries him, he makes a desperate grasp for what looks like the silhouette of the ship shining through the cloud of dust and debris.

He blinks, and his bare feet touch a cold, metal floor. He can see his surroundings clearly—he's definitely back on the Helicarrier—but there's a roof hanging conspicuously low over his head and the distinct sensation of being trapped settles deep in his stomach, and...

The cell. But this is for Dr. Banner, he thinks, not me. No, no; it's for Loki. Loki was in here. Where'd he go? Where's—

"Agent Coulson."

Phil shakes the confusion from his mind and looks toward the control console. Fury is staring back at him, hand poised above the button that will initiate the eject sequence. "Sir?"

"You can't stay here."

Fury presses the button, and Phil sits up with a gasp.

The first thing he realizes is that he's clearly in some sort of medical facility. The second thing he realizes is that it looks nothing like any S.H.I.E.L.D. facility he's ever been in before. It's far too low-tech, too small, too lacking in personnel.

"Sir?" A dark-skinned woman with an English accent leans into the doorway of his small room, her expression painted with concern. She introduces herself as Martha Jones, explains what happened three days ago, and tells him that he's in Chicago. In response, he nearly throws up.


Another full day passes before he decides to get out of bed. Physically, he feels mostly fine—a little stiff and a fairly weak, but he knows from experience that that's what happens when one spends time in a hospital bed. Martha had pushed him to eat, but nothing else; she could see he wasn't ready to face his new reality just yet, and she made it clear that she wouldn't force him.

The facts as he sees them are as follows: He should be dead, but he's not. He's trapped in an alternate universe, which, given the whole situation back home, is not so far-fetched a possibility (but it still makes his head spin). He almost killed innocent people. And he should be dead.

He dresses in clothes that don't belong to him—his old suit was incinerated; something about all that blood constituting a bio-hazard—shaves, and asks Martha to please keep the Destroyer gun locked up for the time being.

And then he writes a note.