On a narrow side street in Paris, outside a small cafe, a man sits drinking his coffee. Sunglasses hide his eyes, but not the long scars over his face. It’s been so long since he was properly anonymous, he can’t remember what it was like. It’s beginning to come back.
Another man sits down across from him. “You are a very difficult man to find. I respect that.” He gestures to the waiter for a drink, whatever the other guy is having.
The scarred man scowls. “Not enough to leave me be.”
"No. But I’m not lurking in a dark room waiting for you to come in so I can surprise you with my," his tone drops an octave, "very powerful voice."
"What do you want, Stark?"
The waiter arrives with the coffee. “You take it black? I was expecting an espresso. Tiny little teacup with an ounce of the world’s most potent caffeine. Superserumspresso.” He picks up the cup, sniffs it, sips it, makes a face. “Gah, hot.”
The scarred man glares, raises an eyebrow. “S.H.I.E.L.D. is gone.”
"But the world still needs defending. Hydra, Chitauri, all those random little events that you handled. Someone has to take care of those." He leans in. "Nick Fury is dead, but his skills still exist."
The scarred man considers it. “What are you proposing?”
"I’d like to talk to you about the Avengers Initiative."
Echoes of Nick Fury’s laughter can be heard three blocks away.