Who: Phil Coulson and Steve Rogers What: Steve's checking in with a friend When: Saturday afternoon Where: Phil's apartment Status: Complete
Phil’s life since arrival had been… well, he wouldn’t go so far as to call it a whirlwind, but he would definitely call it something. More than an adventure, less than a nightmare. Then again, that’d always been his life. So maybe, in a way, this had all just been more of the same. Most of the time, he tried not to think about it.
And most of the time, he was even successful. Not always, but most of the time.
He figured the most important thing, though, was that he still fit in. Not in the sense of being able to get along with people or still belonging or any of that juvenile logic. No, considering everything, it would’ve been all too easy for the world to have moved on and left Phil Coulson behind.
The sound of someone at the door caught his attention and pulled him from his thoughts, probably for the best given his tendency to… well… to be him, alright?
He couldn’t help smiling as he answered the door. “Steve, come in. It’s good to see you.”
Steve was making the rounds, as it were, so many people to see and it never felt like enough time. Tony and the Valkyrie had him trying to plan for… he really wasn't sure actually. All he knew was he had ten potential plans in his head and three in the wings.
And if he didn't take a break he was in danger of being so absorbed by the work he'd forget to do things like eat.
Which is why he forced himself to stop thinking, grab some sandwiches and go find one more person to see. "I brought food. Mostly because if I didn't stop working, I might not until it was time for breakfast.
It was a tired grin, but a grin. "Hope I'm not interrupting?"
“Well, you were, but you’ve got food. You’re excused.” But then Phil grinned as he stepped back to let the other man in. “I kid, I kid. You’re not interrupting at all. I would, however, excuse almost anything because you got food. Just for future reference.”
Most people should be used to his sense of humor by now, a lot of them were all over again; Steve was going to get that joy anew.
It was nice having a sense of humor again, a more stable one, somewhere in between what it’d been before his death at Loki’s hands and… well… nearly dying in Tahiti.
Steve grinned as he stepped inside and offered Phil one of the bags. “I will have to remember that food is a perfect weapon to use.” he was amused sounding - there was a lot going on and the levity was something he was happy for. He shook his head, “if it was truly important you know I would leave you to it.” he noted, with a shrug.
He was reliving a lot of things lately - all of his friends knew the previous version of him that had shown up - he’d apparently popular with this splinter of the universe and he still didn’t know what to make of that. Was it really a good thing? He wasn’t sure.
But he was here, and that’s all that really mattered. “How are things? I’m trying to catch up with … well everyone, really.” he admitted, but it was a very Steve thing to do. He rarely left anyone out, and he did his best to include them all. Even if he was after one thing or another specifically, it was hard to tell with him.
Phil couldn’t imagine what it was like to be in Steve’s particular situation, to know that he’d been friends with so many people and that so many people had had opinions of him in one way or another. Not that Steve wasn’t used to that sort of thing, of course, but it was entirely different when it was because of something like this. When you found out that you weren’t the first… well, you weren’t the first you to be there.
“They’re good,” Phil replied. “I’ve been keeping busy. I’ve been more relaxed here, though, than back home. Which is either the strangest thing to say or the most logical. Some days I think it’s one and some days I think it’s the other.”
And then there was the occasional day where it was both within a five minute span. Such was the way of things.
Steve was still wrapping his head around it. But he also just kept moving forward, he let it turn over in his head while making progress towards the next thing. It was a coping skill he'd learned that really did keep him sane.
At that, he laughed. "I think it is oddly a normal thing to say. Which probably makes all of us crazy but, there are worse things." Steve had a lot to juggle, but he did genuinely care about how people were.
"But careful, if you say you're too relaxed something might jump timelines and try to eat us. I'll have no choice but to blame you then." He was only half kidding.
“No, don’t worry, I’m not too relaxed,” Phil assured the other man as he waved him towards a spot to sit. “I don’t think I’m even capable of that anymore.” Which was one of the unfortunate parts of his line of work, but it was what it was.
He wouldn’t lie, part of him was grateful for it. The times he started to even remotely get that way seemed to be the times when things really went pear-shaped in his life.
Maybe it was for the best that he was there and Melinda wasn’t. As much as his feelings there were… awkward and complicated… and as much as she could take care of herself, he didn’t want to see her put in yet another position that would risk her life. Even if that was pretty much what their lives consisted of nowadays, nothing more than risk.
*** He laughed as he sat down, "good, good. I'm not sure if any of us are really capable of that." He certainly wasn't. Life hadn't been easy, and every time he thought he could relax, something came among.
He was a little upset this time he'd gotten to go back to be with Peggy and then… here. Reality just didn't want him to be happy, he supposed. He got busy unpacking their food, trying to keep the thoughts at bay.
It wasn't easy.
Phil thought he caught something in that sigh. “Talk to me,” he said as he sat, half gentle suggestion and half push. He knew Steve would refuse if he really didn’t want to talk, and if Steve really didn’t want to, then Phil wouldn’t push harder.
But come on. Like Phil wasn’t going to push at least a little? It was what he did.
It’d practically been his job at one point.
He sighed a bit, "I am just tired, I will admit it. I had a chance. And I took it. But I hadn't gotten to enjoy it when I got pulled here." He sighed a bit.
That was exhausting to think about. He'd been so close. So close to enjoying everything.
"It is what it is, though. We can't do anything about it now." He sighed a little, shaking his head.
Phil knew what that was like, to have barely taken a chance before being pulled away. Maybe it was better in the long run, though, he didn't know. But he knew where Steve was coming from even if he didn't know the specifics.
And he wouldn't push for them. There was a time and a place for learning the story, but right then was neither of those. Right then and there was the time for a companionable meal, insignificant conversation, and nothing more.