HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MY BEST FRIEND SLASH SOULMATE SLASH SISTER SLASH WHATEVER THE HELL OTHER MONIKER YOU COULD GIVE US. I love you so much Gwyn. I really hope you enjoy your present <3
Phil stands in the kitchen chopping vegetables for dinner. It’d been awhile since they’d had moments of peace like these where he’d just be able to calm down. They’d been living on takeout and microwavables since this whole LMD thing got discovered. He was going to sit the team down and make them dinner if he had to drag each of them out of their rooms himself.
Fitz would hardly look any of them in the eyes. Especially not Simmons. A shiver runs down his spine at the memory of him killing Agnes. It wasn’t real but it was terrifying regardless. Simmons mostly followed Fitz trying to adjust him back to his normal lifestyle as much as possible. Some days were good but most, not so much. Mack hid from everyone but Elena. They mostly spent their time in the garage or in his bedroom. Even when Mack was spotted in the halls his gaze was turned downwards, never a smile in his eyes. Daisy was hard at work trying to find more inhumans. She’d claimed they had a lead on where Vijay may be.
Arms wrapping around him from behind halts his thought process quickly. A small face presses between his shoulder blades. He smiles to himself at the change. “I’m guessing nobody is around?”
Melinda hums into his back as a sign of affirmation. Ever since they’d escaped the submarine she’d been a little more hands on, so to say. She didn’t like public signs of affection but she’d slip her hand into his under conference tables, lean her head on his shoulder when she was sure they were alone, and even steal a kiss now and again. He couldn’t really blame her. She’d spent a month in captivity with no human interaction. Not to mention their relationship was fairly new. He’d blurted out that he’d kissed the LMD in the heat of the moment. The water was up to their necks and he was sure they were going to drown. Of course Daisy chose seconds after to quake the spot above them to pull them out. It worked out in his favor anyways.
She’d found him in the break room two days ago. She’d been distant since the confession but she’d simply sucked in a breath and pulled her lips to his.
“What are you making?”
“Well I’ve got a roast in the oven, asparagus waiting to be grilled, and oven-roasted Greek potatoes.”
“Careful or dinner won’t last for the rest of the team to get out here.” She teases.
“And I’m making strawberry cheesecake.”
Melinda groans from behind him. A smirk twitches at his lips. He knows it’s her favorite. “You know I’m supposed to be working on getting my strength back not gaining twenty pounds in one night.”
“You need a good meal. We all do.” He shrugs. “When was the last time we didn’t have take out or something we could just throw into the microwave?”
“Fair point.” She stands on her toes to place a kiss on the back of his neck. He’s just about to tease her about not being able to concentrate when a voice cuts him off.
“Well that’s new.” Daisy strolling into the room causes them both to leap apart, startled. “Don’t hide it on my account. It’s sweet. To be honest it’s by time that you guys did. The entire base had bets on when you two would finally have your first kiss.”
“Actually we already have.”
“Missions don’t count.” Daisy says rolling her eyes.
“You want to tell her the story?” Melinda asks with a sparkle of mirth in her eyes.
“Absolutely not.” Phil grins down at Melinda. He can feel the hardened gaze behind her sunglasses more than he can see it. They’d been sent on an undercover mission as their final test for their Secure Ops class. All they needed to do was blend in with the crowd. Somewhere around them someone was looking for anything that looked off.
“Oh come on Heidi.” He teases sticking out his bottom lip. “Just one and you’ll never have to ride ever again.” Upon arriving at their location Melinda had tensed right away. She’d secured her sunglasses on her face as her eyes almost betrayed her. If Phil hadn’t known better he would’ve sworn he saw fear flash in her eyes.
“How long had you two known each other at the time?” Daisy interrupts.
“We met at orientation but not official friends until someone dropped out of their dance elective.” The side of his lip twitches.
“I don’t like to dance.”
“Meaning she already knew everything they were teaching. She could’ve embarrassed the instructor if she wanted to.” Daisy giggles as he receives a semi-deserved elbow to the abdomen.
“I said no Charlie.” They’d agreed on their names days ago. Heidi Rowe and Charles Martin. They were meant to be high school sweethearts who followed each other to college. They were celebrating their graduation by going to a theme park for the day, apparently Charles’s favorite hang out.
Melinda’s head turns towards the rollercoaster she’d been adamant on not riding. They’d spent most of the day on small rides; bumper cars, merry-go-round, and even a few carnival games. He’d be lying if he said his chest doesn’t swell still at the perfect fast pitch he’d thrown in order to win the stuffed monkey lying at Melinda’s feet. As she looks up at the contraption he swears he sees it again. The fear echoes across her face for a split second before fading again. He sighs tapping a message on her hand in morse code. “We’re being watched, remember?” Melinda frowns before guiding him into the queue line.
Uncharacteristically, she tucks her head onto his shoulder. Despite the heat he holds her in the crowd. He pushes the thoughts out of his mind assuring himself that this is simply for cover. Melinda May is not afraid of anything. They engage in small talk but nothing seems to hold for long. It isn’t until her steps stutter as they reach the front that Phil knows she’s not faking.
Melinda I-Once-Took-on-a-Class-of-Sixty-Two-in-a-Game-of-Paintball-and-Won May. Melinda May, soon to be specialist, who seemingly afraid of absolutely nothing. She’s scared of rollercoasters.
“Hey.” Phil states softly.
“Took you long enough to realize.” She mutters glaring as the car slides forwards indicating more movement for the two of them. “Now you know my secret.”
“We don’t have to do this.” He whispers into her hair.
“Yes we do.” She tucks her head into the crook of his neck, “the woman in the red blouse with the glasses.”
“Shit.” He pulls away gripping her chin between her fingers. Now he’s able to see the fear written across her face. He’s not sure when she’d moved the sunglasses to the top of her head but nothing hides her eyes from his anymore. The pure vulnerability in them shakes his very being. “There’s no loops, nothing crazy okay? Just a hill. Once we’re over the hill it’s smooth sailing.”
“Easy for you to say.”
“You know I’d never purposely put you in a situation where you’d be hurt. That’s the last thing I want to do Me-Heidi.” His hand moves to cup her cheek, thumb brushing the soft skin beneath his touch. “I won’t force you to do this. We can leave if you want.”
“No.” Melinda shakes her head. “I can do this.”
“That’s my girl.” He smiles pressing a kiss to her forehead. Thank goodness she doesn’t tense because they hadn’t practiced something like that. Sure they’d hugged, kissed on the cheek, and given a few pecks but this was more… intimate.
The gates slide open indicating their turn and he can feel her tense all over again. Yet she continues on. Once they get into their respective places he can see Melinda’s leg begin to bounce out of the corner of his eye. She doesn’t have much of any ticks but when she’s anxious, that’s the worst one. Slowly the car lurches forwards dragging them up the hill. It’s much too late to turn back now. He’s not sure what possesses him but he throws an arm over Melinda protectively.
She’s gone headfirst into missions for him, guns blazing. She’s already saved his ass more times than he can count. Now it was his turn to protect her.
The chains click noisily up the hill. He can feel her quickened breathing beneath his arm. Hers don’t move from the spot where they’re gripping the bar across her lap, white knuckled. Her eyes are screwed shut tightly as they are tugged down the hill.
Melinda doesn’t scream. Of course she doesn’t. He almost laughs at the thought of anyone thinking otherwise. Even when terrified she tries to remain as dignified as possible. He wonders what Tai Chi technique she’s running through her brain in order to ignore the world rushing around her.
As he watches her, however, he can see the visible change. First her hands loosen their deadly grip on the rest. She doesn’t let go, given, but she’s not holding on like she’s about to fall out either. By the third hill, much smaller than the first two, her eyes are open and he swears he sees a smile growing on her lips. Their car spins across a turn taking them into a tunnel and his heart skips a beat when a laugh rips from her throat. By the time they reach the end of the track they’re both laughing with tears threatening to spill from their eyes.
Finally they pull back into the station. Melinda climbs out first to go retrieve their items. He makes his way out the exit knowing she’ll meet him there. A hand catches his elbow right as he’s about to leave though. Melinda steps forwards capturing his lips with hers. He’s caught off guard but reacts nonetheless. His hand snakes into her hair as he kisses her back. They’re both breathless and blushing when they pull apart, foreheads resting together.
“Thank you Phil.”
“You almost sabotaged your exam?” Daisy gasps.
“That’s how I knew it wasn’t a part of cover.” Phil laughs nudging Melinda lightly. She looks at the ground trying to hide the growing smile on her face.
“Wait so did you pass?” She inquires.
“Luckily there was a screaming child at the same time. We ended up passing with flying colors.”
Daisy leans back on the kitchen chair taking in the information she’d just collected. “I can’t believe you’re scared of rollercoasters.”
“She was scared of rollercoasters.” Phil corrects, “Now she’s worse than I am.”
“I like the adrenaline.” May shrugs.
“I’m totally going to have to get us tickets to an amusement park. I have been wanting to see Fitz’s reaction to the rollercoaster in Orlando with the almost 90 degrees drop.” Daisy wonders out loud.
“Well I’m not sure,” Phil mocks. “Director Johnson has been really strict lately.”
“I think we can pull a few strings.” Daisy grins.
“Go call the others to dinner.” He says with the roll of his eyes. “And tell Simmons no experiments this time!” He shouts after the young inhuman.
“Did you ever think we’d end up having this many children?” May asks leaning her head on his shoulder.