Agent Phil “Son of Coul” Coulson || The Hero
Sterling respects Phil Coulson and has a small hero worship crush on him. The man is responsible for bringing S.H.I.E.L.D. into his life and changing it all around. Giving him a chance to make a difference. Getting a compliment from Coulson literally makes Erikson so excited he is borderline giddy.
“I’m good, Agent Sterling. How are you today?”
“Working hard, not hardly working, sir. “
Agent Clint “Hawkeye” Barton || The Best Friend
Clint Barton is Sterling’s closest friend. They even go so far as to consider each other family. They hit it off about a year after he started at S.H.I.E.L.D. and Erikson treats him like the brother he never had. They have their rough patches, much more recently then ever, but Sterling is one of few who can really calm him down and Barton is the only person Sterling feels comfortable really talking to about his problems.
“You will forever be my damsel in distress.”
“I do make a really hot damsel. Not gonna lie. That day I was a woman? I’d do me.”
“That day, you probably did.”
“I’m a good lay if I do say so myself.”
Deputy Director Maria Hill || The Role Model
Possibly the most frightening woman other than Agent Romanoff Sterling has ever met. He is terrified of disappointing her and is all business all the time when she is around. When he knows she is near he watches everything he says and does. She even puts BARTON in his place. But in all truth, he respects the hell out of her and wants nothing more than to catch her eye with his work. If he could do that, he knows he’s done well. He sees her as a role model for how to cope with issues, even if he knows her methods of bottling things is unhealthy. He wants to be stronger like her.
He NEEDS to be stronger.
“You’ve actually been dealing with this remarkably well. I can’t say I would’ve been as calm in your position.”
“I highly doubt that…”
“Strength isn’t always doing the extraordinary, Sterling. Sometimes it means that you just keep going.”
Ray Merc || The Nightmare
Ray Merc has had one of the greatest impacts on Sterling’s life. On August 20th, Ray Merc abducted Sterling and held him captive, torturing him for 3 days. Brainwashing him with three little sentences: “I hate SHIELD. No one in it can be trusted. SHIELD is a den of liars and murderers.” Ever since then, Sterling has questioned his job and his place in it. The people there. Every relationship. Whether or not he could trust anyone. He has nightmares. Everything from that moment on seems to stem from those 3 days.
“Believe those words, Sterling. They’re the truth. They’re the only thing that’ll save you in the end.”
“S-S-S…S… SHIELD… Is… Is a… NO! No…”
Agent Emma Morris || The Partner
Emma is sort of Sterling’s partner. They are the same clearance level and therefore a lot of their assignments are the same so they gained a polar opposites friendship.
Sterling treats Emma like one of his little sisters despite the fact that she is older. He sees her as this untouched innocence that the dark secrets of SHIELD haven’t touched yet. He tries to do everything he can to protect her and keep her from the hardships of the world. He knows he can’t do that forever and that she is a grown woman capable of handling it, but it doesn’t change his overprotective feelings.
“I’m a fucking mess…”
“Sometimes it’s okay to be a fucking mess.”
Agent Ophelia Murphy || The Sunshine
From the day he met Murphy he has noticed a bit of a change in the way he has acted when she is around and lately he has noticed that he’s happier in her presence. They are very different [The straight laced, suit wearing, by the book Sterling and the converse wearing, computer hacking, break the rules Murphy] but he can’t help but have feelings for her.
He just has to figure out how to act on them.
“I was going to say rain reminds me of you… but so does sunshine so… I guess it was pointless to bring up…”
“Trying to tell me I’m always on your mind, Raindrop?”
“Ah well… I mean it… There is no safe way to answer this question. No fair.”
Loki Laufeydottir || The Sworn Enemy
Loki is the one person Sterling hates most in this world. Kidnapped his best friend, seemingly murdered his personal hero, tried to enslave his race, blew up half of New York, and even now… Even now she has hold over Barton.
Sterling is determined no matter what to free him from her.
“Not so much a like of pestering you as much as it is a deep seeded hatred for you that must constantly be expressed with sassy verbal lashings.”
“Oh, you’re a man after my heart, then. How sweet.”
Agent Ellis MacMurray || The Savior
Sterling has a small man-crush on Ellis for his fashion sense, skill in the work place, and all around dorky coolness. He used to be awkward around him, wanting to be better friends and then… Sterling was kidnapped and Ellis co-lead the team to saving him. Now they are very close.
“Well, I wouldn’t mind a cup of tea, but I’m not sure that’s what you had in mind… And I’m not lazy.”
“Luckily I know how you like it so you can’t stop me. One cup of tea, coming right up.”
“And THAT is why I love you!”
Agent Waverly Prentice || The Heart of SHIELD
Waverly has always been sort of a carefree and kind person in Sterling’s eyes. Always with a smile, always with a joke or a hug. Although those are making less appearances lately, he loves her for her ability to brighten any day with her smiles. He’s always thought of her as sort of a lost puppy, always coming to him for troubles, but all he wanted to do was lead her back to Ben, where he was sure she belonged.
And he was right.
“Other than Smith, I’ve never had a lot of friends. I’m glad you’re one of them, though.”
“I’m glad you’re one of mine too. But you’re more than a friend. You’re SHIELD. You’re family. To family.”
Agent Bennington Smith || The Protector
Sterling has always respected Ben for his fierce protectiveness of Waverly. He supposed it sort of justified his own need to protect the dear people in his life. He respects Ben a great deal and although they’ve had some… bumps along the road, he considers Ben a close friend and will do anything he can to help he and Waverly.
“Ben… You’re… a great guy… She’s been… lucky to have… you… We all have been.”
”I…like to think…I’ll be…m-missed. But…don’t want to go…She…n-needs me.”
Agent Dean Winchester || The Recruit
Dean was recruited to SHIELD by Sterling when no one else could really talk him into it. He gave him a chance to use his skills to do something with his life on the right side of the law. Dean still has trouble with authority figures but he respects Sterling and Sterling respects him right back. Recently Dean has really impressed Sterling with how hard he is working and he is very proud of how far he has come.
“You really think I’d fit in here? Some idiot without even a GED, a record long as his arm and no legal documents to speak of?”
“We’ve hired worse with less. What you have are the skills to get the job done and the heart to make the right calls.”
Sterling || The Neck Apparel
Bo is the human form of Sterling’s favorite Bow Tie. Brought to life by unknown magic, Bo lives with Sterling and acts as sort of a live in nanny to the girls while Sterling works. Bo often likes to call him “boss”.
“Just hope you don’t mind Abby and Aimee’s rooms will be locked in case you are a crazy axe murderer.”
“….I’m sorry, but if I were an “ax murderer” wouldn’t I be able to just hack through the locked doors? …..I’m just asking…”
“… I’m sorry, I’m still getting over that my bow tie just got snarky with me…”
Agent Zoey Thompson || The Girl Who Talks With Her Hands
Sterling is particularly fond of Zoey for being one of few agents who actually knows sign language. Being deaf herself, she and Sterling got along well because she can communicate with him much more effectively and they hang out often through lunch dates or outings at Deaf Poetry readings.
‘It’s your name sign. You have to be given one by someone who is deaf…normally, at least. It’s…silver. I know most people call you Suits or Sterling. But I like silver.‘
‘Thank you… Some people do call me Silver, actually. But this… Is the best n-i-c-k-n-a-m-e I’ve ever been given. I was happy to come tonight. We don’t talk enough.‘
Jessica Lyra Stark || The one that got away
Sterling and Lyra have had a complicated relationship. They developed feelings for each other very fast. Their chemistry was amazing. But Sterling put a stop to any feelings from progressing to focus on work. Especially after he was abducted and tortured, he has been very distant from a lot of people he cares about and thrown himself headfirst into work.
But she still has the most beautiful blue eyes he’s ever seen…
“Ladies LOVE the sweater vest. And bow ties. Gotta love the bow ties. Nothing says dapper like a bow tie.”
“Dapper motherfucker. Causing ovaries to explode everywhere you go. Huh. They should have that as a warning label.”
“Now you’re gettin’ it!”
Agent Penelope Morgan || The Den Mother
The head of a different department then Sterling’s own, they never really interacted much except professionally. There was sexual tension for a while but they cleared that up and remained professional and friendly. Now they are very close friends and talk all the time. She helped lead the team that rescued him from being held hostage from a mission and for that he owes her his life.
“You are… Certainly overpowering…”
“The way you phrase things darling. Is it overpowering in an ‘I’m stuck in a crowd and can’t breathe’ sort of way or … an ‘I just had a taste of something and I have to have more’ kind of way.”