Avengers movie-verse fanfic. 738 words. POV: Steve Rogers. MOVIE SPOILERS.
The funeral had been a small, quiet affair. Family only, for the most part – though Hill and Fury had both appeared, along with a small amount of other S.H.I.E.L.D. members whose names weren’t as burned into everyone’s mind. A few members of the team hadn’t managed to show up, which was a little disappointing. No one had an excuse not to be there. Yes, Stark was doing publicity for his arc reactor energy in some other country. He couldn’t fly in? Banner was working on the edge of the map again – but surely he knew that the funeral had been today.
Well, that wasn’t entirely true. Thor was still in Asgard, and hadn’t especially known any of the crew, and so he had the best excuse. But it seemed likely that if he’d known, and if it had been possible…Thor would have shown up.
Natasha and Clint were there, of course, since they travelled with Fury more than any of the others. Clint had caught his eye and nodded, but hadn’t pointed him out to Natasha – which he was appreciative of. He didn’t really want to be seen.
Steve hadn’t known Phil Coulson all that well, but the time that he’d known the agent…he liked the man. It had taken a bit to adapt to his…enthusiasm about finally meeting the “famous Captain America” (which in and of itself was taking some getting used to), but after a while he’d taken to him. They’d had a few moments to talk, never sharing anything of great depth, but more memories of Steve’s from the war, and things that Phil had heard about what happened with HYDRA.
He was a good man. He’d died a hero, but it didn’t make losing him any easier.
The rest of the crowd slowly dispersed, Fury pointedly leaving Steve alone – again, much to Steve’s appreciation – and the other two followed Fury in silence. It wasn’t until everyone had left that Steve finally went up to the gravesite.
There’s hadn’t been a viewing – it was closed casket the entire time, though Steve couldn’t understand why, given the nature of Coulson’s death – and so he’d never gotten a real chance to wish the fallen agent a farewell. It was one of the one things that bothered him the most about losing Bucky – he’d never gotten a chance to truly say goodbye to him.
Then again, he hadn’t had a chance to say goodbye to a lot of people. He ignored the pang in his chest.
The ground was still uneven from where they’d buried the casket, but Steve stood at the foot of it, trying to think of something to say. He owed it to Coulson. The man had idolized him, and Steve hadn’t been able to give him nearly enough time to make it up to him. He’d never signed those damned cards. He’d wanted to take him out for a drink, see if he could make the man loosen his tie a little. He’d wanted to do so much. And as always, he’d been robbed of the chance. He owed him a few words now.
“I’m sorry, Coulson…Phil.” Steve’s voice was rougher than he’d expected, and he cleared his throat. “I should have done more. I wish I’d been there – wish I knew what you were thinking. But I know what it’s like…choosing what you need to do, over what you want to. You went up against Loki because you knew you had to, and you had a good idea that you weren’t coming out of it alive. You did it for us. We needed that push, that inspiration. Loki made it personal, and so he killed someone we knew we’d care about – and you knew Loki would.”
Steve’s voice caught in his throat. “You were too damn smart, Coulson.” He shook his head sharply, trying to clear his mind. “You knew exactly what you were doing the whole time. You deserved so much more than just a faceless death at the end of this fight.”
He pulled himself up, snapping to attention, and pulling his hand up into a sharp salute to the gravestone. “Rest in peace, my friend. We’ll make sure you don’t go forgotten.”
Stepping back a moment later, he pulled the hood of his sweatshirt back up, and walked away…trying to convince himself he didn’t have tears pricking at his eyes.