Characters: Agent Coulson, Michael Westen.
Notes: PG, Iron Man/Burn Notice.
Summary: Michael considers a unique employment opportunity.
Black Isn't My Colour
The guy at the corner table screamed 'Fed' – black suit, black tie, white shirt. But more than that, it was the air of innocuousness that contrasted with eyes that didn't miss a thing. Yeah. He was definitely the meeting.
Walking over, he took a seat opposite the fed without waiting for an invitation. "Michael Westen," he introduced himself. "You rang?"
"I did, Mr. Westen. Agent Phil Coulson, SHIELD."
"Never heard of it."
"That isn't surprising, Mr. Westen. Not many have. We're an agency with a very unique imperative."
"It's good to be special." He sounded bored, though he was anything but. A covert government agency he'd never heard of?
Agent Coulson's lips hinted at something that almost might have been a smile in the right light. "Speaking of which, you're something of a special case yourself."
"Oh, come on now; don't believe everything you read, Agent Coulson. I'm just a guy trying to make a living."
"I suppose that's one perspective."
Feigning impatience, he sighed. "Look, while this has been fun, can we get to the point of just why you asked me here?"
"It's fairly simple, Mr. Westen. You're a man with unique talents; talents that SHIELD could use." Before Michael could respond, he added, "No, we had nothing to do with the burn notice, but we can make it go away.”
"If I come work for you." He was insanely curious. Did Coulson's outfit really have the pull to override the Agency?
Coulson nodded. "If you come work for us."
"Okay, let's say I accept your incredibly kind offer. Hypothetically of course, just what would I be doing for SHIELD?"
"Hypothetically, you'd be in charge of a very special project. I'm assuming you've heard of Tony Stark?"
Nodding, he replied, "Yeah, it was all over the papers. Said he was Iron Man. A real three ring circus. If that was SHIELD's handiwork, you guys need some practice on the whole covert thing." Smiling a smile that was all teeth, he leaned back in his chair. Oh yeah, that got a reaction.
"Mr. Stark is unpredictable," Coulson allowed. "And as such, requires very particular handling."
Voice pitched low, he asked, "You need him taken care of? Is that what this is about?" Damn it, he might want out from under the burn notice, but assassinating a U.S. citizen, a very famous one at that, wasn't how he'd choose to go about it.
"Nothing quite so dramatic, Mr. Westen," he said dryly. "Quite the opposite, in fact. Mr. Stark's brain is considered something of a national security asset; an asset that would be your job to protect."
"I baby-sit the billionaire playboy superhero and that gets me out from under the burn notice?" He sounded doubtful.
This time Coulson actually chuckled. "Believe me, it will be more than a fair exchange. You haven't met Mr. Stark yet, but you'll see."
How bad could it be? Move to the west coast, away from mom – now that was a double plus right there – out from under the burn notice, and play babysitter. Sweet.
"You have yourself a deal, Agent Coulson." He extended a hand which the other man shook.
"Good to have you on board, Mr. Westen."
Michael put on his sunglasses. "Just one thing; I don't do the suit. Black isn't my colour."