"What the hell?" Tony shouted when he saw Phil. Tony, Steve, Clint, and Natasha were all in Stark Tower. They had assumed that Ellie was on a bender and needed an intervention.
"This was a bad idea." Ellie muttered under her breath. "This was such a bad idea."
"Do you have any idea what you put her through?" Tony growled at Phil.
"It wasn't my choice." Phil said. "I wouldn't have done it if it was."
"Whose choice was it?" Steve asked.
"Director Fury's." Phil replied. Ellie slipped her hand into his and squeezed it gently. "It was level 7."
"Can we just be happy that he's alive?" Ellie asked loudly, trying to be heard over Tony. "We're getting married."
That quieted him down for a moment. "What?"
"We're getting married."
"Congratulations." Steve offered.
Tony and Pepper pulled her aside in the kitchen. Pepper seemed excited for a wedding but Tony was furious. "Are you really going to marry him after what he did?"
"He didn't choose to die, Tony." Ellie kept her voice low.
"After what he put you through, how could you even want to be with him? He lied!" Tony countered. "Maybe you didn't see the damage he did to you but all of us did and let me tell you, it wasn't pretty. That's coming from me. You made my playboy years look tame."
"That's exactly why I'm with him." Ellie said. "I can't be without him, Tony. I don't know how. Those nine months when he was gone was the worst thing I've ever felt."
"You were getting better." Tony said.
"No I wasn't." Ellie admitted. "I wanted to die. What would happen to you if the same thing happened to Pepper? You would do the same thing I did. You guys were the ones who brought us here. Look, Phil has been through a rough time the last few weeks. Give him some slack."
"Of course we will." Pepper spoke for him. "We're just happy you're back to normal."
They rejoined the others where they were sitting awkwardly. Ellie grabbed Phil's hand and pulled him toward the elevator.
"I'm sorry." Phil stopped and turned to them. "I wish I could have told you all the truth before now, especially Ellie, but I couldn't. You have to understand."
"Come on, Phil." Ellie tugged on his arm. "We better go."
"You can't go on the street in the daylight." Pepper said quickly. "He can be spotted. Stay here until it's dark."
"That sounds horrible, Pep." Ellie said. "You all are angry at him when he doesn't deserve it."
"It's just a lot to take in." Pepper said. "Stay here. We can have some dinner and smooth things over."
Dinner was an awkward event to say the least. It was mostly silent until Pepper brought up the wedding.
"Have you set a date?" Pepper asked.
"Not yet." Phil replied. "It's been a little busy."
"Too busy dying?" Tony smirked, groaning when Ellie kicked him under the table. "What? I'm making conversation."
"Stark, can you stop?" Steve asked, exasperated with his attitude. "We all wanted her to be happy and now she is."
"Why are you so happy, Capsicle?" Tony asked as he poured himself another Scotch. "You were waiting to make your move on her."
"Tony, that's enough!" Pepper glared at him while Steve looked embarrassed.
"I think we're going to go." Phil said. "Thanks for dinner."
"I am so sorry." Ellie apologized when they got outside and in a cab. "I didn't think they would do that. Not that I planned on taking you there but still."
"It's not your fault." Phil said, smiling at her. "Let's go home."
The apartment was the same, minus his collectibles. Ellie dialed his mother's phone number and invited her over. Sadly, Mrs. Coulson was busy and couldn't make it so they exchanged pleasantries and hung up.
"Do you feel better now that you're home?" Ellie asked him as he scanned their DVD collection.
"Not really." Phil admitted. "Take how they felt about me and magnify it by a thousand and that's how I feel about Director Fury right now."
"I know you feel betrayed." Ellie started but Phil cut her off with a kiss. He picked her up and she wrapped her legs around his waist as he carried her to the bedroom. Phil needed her and she would give him anything he needed.
The next morning, Ellie stood in her bathroom and stared at the little pink plus sign on the stick in her hand. A feeling of terror washed over her, followed quickly by happiness, excitement, then nervousness. Phil was making breakfast when she emerged.
"Want some pancakes?" He asked with a smile.
"Sure." Ellie smiled at him. She wanted to be able to tell him in a special way. A knock at the door stilled her thoughts. Pepper stood on the other side with a garment bag in her hands. "Come in. You want some pancakes?"
"No. I came to apologize for yesterday." Pepper said, hanging the bag on the hook of the bedroom door. "And to tell you that the Avengers and I are behind your wedding one hundred percent."
"Well, thanks." Ellie said, pulling her hair over her shoulder. "What's in the bag?"
"Your wedding dress." Pepper squealed. A pan clattered in the kitchen but Phil said he was okay. "You two are getting married today."
"I'm sorry. What?" Ellie asked.
"You have waited long enough." Pepper said. "Phil, Tony is waiting downstairs with an apology and a suit. We have a hair and makeup crew coming over in half an hour."
"What about his mother?" Ellie asked.
"She is already on her way and she knows he's alive. She's happy to see him on his wedding day." Pepper smiled widely.
"You're amazing." Ellie squealed.
"Phil, you have to leave." Pepper told him. "It's bad luck to see the bride before the wedding."
"I've already seen her." Phil said, chuckling.
"Too bad." Pepper countered. "Go."
Phil was ushered downstairs and before Ellie knew it, she was staring at herself in her full length mirror. The dress Pepper had chosen was a strapless mermaid style gown and the color brought out the blue in her eyes. The stylist had curled her hair, pinning most of it up and the makeup artist accented her features but didn't do anything too heavy.
The church was beautifully decorated and Ellie was amazed by Pepper's ability to get things accomplished. She walked down the aisle by herself, having no one to give her away, but it didn't matter. The smile on Phil's face was the only thing she saw. Before long she was saying the words she had waited so long to say.
A/N: Whoo! A lot happened there. :) Thanks, as always, to my fabulous readers/reviewers/followers/favoriters. You guys inspire me to get chapters up quicker and I love all of you. Please leave a review on your way out. They are always read and appreciated and I do my best to reply to each one. :)
Rylee: I thought it was unfair for them not to know. Seems so cruel.
Erica: I think Pepper is just one of those people who are easy to talk to. Here's the start of the Phellie baby. :)