Summary: Set between season 3 and 4. Phil needs to get ready for the new director, and he and May share a moment of nostalgia that leads to something more.
Notes: Written for the anon who prompted me on tumblr with Philinda starting something during the hiatus. This is what I came up with, I hope you like it.
He lets out a sigh as he dusts the small shield emblem, a small smile gracing his lips as he looks it over. Placing it into the box on the desk he takes in the now empty shelf, desk and drawers, devoid of any trace of Phil Coulson. The new director is supposed to be arriving in a day or so, so he needed to clear out all his possessions. It feels weird, the office that was always his now belonging to somebody else. Shaking his head he picks up the box with his things inside and walks out the office. Holding the box awkwardly in his arms he attempts some sort of weird contortionist movement as he tries to open the door to his room with the box still in his hold.
“You know you could always just put the box on the floor,” May tells him with a look as she pushes him aside to open the door for him. “That’s what regular people do.”
He shrugs at her with goofy smile as he walks in, “what can I say? I’m not a regular guy.”
The snort he hears from her tells him that she’s amused. Kicking the door shut, she walks over to him where he’s placed the box on the bed.
“Where are you going to put all this stuff?” she asks standing beside him looking over it all and picking up old shield pin.
“Probably with all my other shield memorabilia,” he says walking over to his drawers and opening the bottom one.
Placing the pin back in the box she walks over to the draw where he’s begun taking things out to reorganize and make room. She folds her legs gracefully beneath her as she descends down to his level where he sits with his legs straight out in front of him unable to replicate her flexibility. He looks at her with a smile and it reminds him of their youth, days spent together in one another’s dorm, studying and fooling about. She’d always been more flexible than him.
“Remember this?” He holds up a an old paper human silhouette target with six rounds placed equally in the centre of the head and the chest.
“Your first perfect score,” she smiles with a nod, tucking a strand of hair behind her ear as she leant forward.
He smiles tracing a finger over the bullet holes in the paper before placing it down. Picking up a heavy leather album he flicks open the cover, grinning as he sees the first few pictures. Noticing his wide smile, May shifts closer next to him to peer at the album in his lap. Glancing at her he adjusts the album so it rests on both their knees which are just touching. Her lips quirk up as she looks at the photos and can’t help the soft laugh that escapes her. There are three pictures stuck on the page, one of Phil, one of her and one of the both of them together. In his picture Phil is standing with a big goofy grin on his face as he tried to look cool next to the big SHIELD academy sign. He was always such a dork she shook her head.
“You were such a dork,” she tells him, “still are.”
He tries to look mock offended but they both know that it’s true. She rolls her eyes at him as he places his hand over his heart pretending to be wounded.
“Well I just wasn’t ever as naturally cool as you,” he shrugged focusing on the picture of her.
Standing with her arms crossed wearing the SHIELD issue training uniform, staring straight down the barrel of the camera, her young face showed a quiet confidence and fierceness hidden beneath the surface.
“That’s a serious smoulder going on there,” he teases her.
Smacking his arm lightly she ignores his little chuckle of laughter. The picture of them together makes the both of them smile as it showed their younger selves smiling happily, Phil’s arm slung over her shoulder and hers around his waist, both wearing aviators standing on the running track at the academy with sunlight streaming down on them. He turns the page and they just look at the pictures in comfortable silence. An action shot of her in the middle of a high kick. A candid picture of him deep in thought. An unguarded moment of the both of them mid laugh. A feeling of nostalgia washes over them both and it makes them reflect upon their lives up until now. SHIELD has changed so much since they were two new cadets unaware of what sort of horrors they would face in the field. Who would have known that she would have lost a part of herself and he would have lost his life? They were all told that there was always the possibility of death, but no one ever talked about the things worse than death. Living with a part of yourself missing. Having a part of yourself rewritten against your will. Having to be the one with the responsibility of taking out the person you care about. But there were good moments too. Thrilling undercover ops together though May might never admit it. Movie worthy gun fights. Drinks after a long day in the field. The euphoria of their graduation day and all their pranks together throughout the academy.
“We had some good times together didn’t we?” He turns his head towards her.
They’re so close he can smell the scent of her apple blossom shampoo.
“We did,” she replies looking at him. “I can’t believe how much everything has changed.”
He nods in agreement with her before turning around slightly so that he can face her more front one.
“A lot has changed, but some things have remained the same.”
She tilts her head in question and he can’t help himself from thinking how cute she looks when she does that.
“When I started SHIELD, I had you at my side, and even now today I still have you by my side.”
A small shy smile forms on her lips as she ducks her head down for a moment.
“I’ll always be here,” she tells him quietly not quite able to look him in the eye with his words bringing her emotions bubbling up to the surface.
Somehow he always manages to break through her barriers. Reaching over he tucks her hair behind her ear so he can see her face. With a finger beneath her chin he lifts her head up to look at him. Her eyes flash with a thousand different emotions and he’s not seen her so unguarded with him in a while. He misses it. Hopefully this means that they’ve regained some semblance of the completely trusting and open relationship that they once had with each other.
“You mean a lot to me Melinda, and I’ll always be here for you. Having you by my side means a lot,” he tells her sincerely, needing her to know how much he needs her.
How much she means to him. Gently he shifts his hand to cradle her cheek and she subtly leans into his touch. The last few months have been tough and left them both feeling emotionally raw. Through all of it though, they both had each other.
“I don’t know what I’d do without you,” he whispers leaning into her.
“Hopefully you’ll never have to find out, if I can do anything about it,” she whispered back leaning in towards him.
The air between them is thick and there are mere centimetres distancing them, he can feel her warm breath ghosting his lips, he can see her individual eyelashes, the flecks of different tones of brown in her eyes. The love between them is unspoken, something that is shown rather than said.
Something that they have danced around for far too long.
Wrong place, wrong time. There’s always been some sort of excuse but today there is none. It’s just him and her, and where things go from here, that is all up to them now.
Slowly, like to magnets drawn together the distance between them is breached until there is no space between them at all. Her eyes flutter shut as do his, as their lips meet tentatively for the first time. The kiss is gentle and slow, intimate. A soft sigh escapes her as they break apart, foreheads leaning against each other not quite ready to fully pull away. With her eyes still closed he takes the moment to just observe her as she stays before him completely open. For one of the rare times in his life their walls are completely knocked down and there is nothing hidden between them. The world around them might be changing and the people around them may be always coming and going, but there will always be one constant for the each of them. Throughout it all, they will always be together and they will have each other. Some might say that this is just the start for them, but honestly, their story began years ago, it’s just getting to the sweet bit now.
My anon said one shot or more, so if you would like me to add another chapter or two to this, please let me know. I have been really busy with life and I haven’t been 100% so my writing did reach a halt for a couple of weeks but hopefully I should be able to update a few things over the next two weeks. Please leave me a comment and let me know what you thought and if you’d like me to add more - what you might like me to add.