Disclaimer: I do not own anything. Everything belongs to their rightful owners and I am not making any profit from this.
AN1: What if her mother wasn't the person that May called after leaving Providence? What if she called her wife who happens to be Natasha Romanoff how would that have changed the end of season one and beyond? This is the first Agents of SHIELD fic where I haven't got Philinda or a relationship involving May and Coulson as the main pair, let me know what you think.
After she left Providence Base Melinda knew that there were only two people that she can trust enough to call. The first is her mother and the second is Natasha Romanoff, her wife. Even though Melinda and Natasha have technically been separated for three years, since six months after the Bahrain mission, Melinda knows that Natasha Is someone she can trust completely and unlike her mother she won't get an lecture if she calls, so as soon as Melinda is far enough away from Providence to make a phone call that is exactly what she does, calls Natasha at a number which she knows for a fact no one else on the planet knows.
Once Melinda dials the number she waits as it rings, hoping that Natasha will answer,
"Hello." Natasha answers and for the first time in days Melinda feels relief.
"Hi." Melinda responds.
"Are you hurt?" Natasha asks after a pause.
"A bullet wound, a few bruises, nothing that won't heal. You?" Melinda asks.
"Pretty much the same." Natasha answers, "But my physical injuries don't bother me." Natasha admits.
"It was you wasn't it?" Melinda asks, "You're the one who released everything."
"It was." Natasha confirms not needing to ask how Melinda knew that because she knows her very well, "Where were you?" Natasha asks, knowing that she doesn't have to say anymore because Melinda will know what she is talking about.
"Unconscious in a interrogation room." Melinda responds.
"What!" Natasha says surprised.
"It's a long story." Melinda reveals, "Not exactly one I want to discuss over the phone."
"Where are you?" Natasha asks.
"Canada." Melinda answers, "But I'm on foot and I should keep moving." Melinda explains.
"How far can you get in seven hours?" Natasha asks curious.
"Um, outside of Ontario." Melinda answers doing the math in her head.
"I see you in seven hours." Natasha says hanging up the phone before Melinda can say anymore.
"See you then." Melinda says to the hung up phone. Checking to make sure that she isn't being followed Melinda picks up her back and continues to walk, as she does she decides what she is going to tell Natasha.
Melinda has been walking for over seven hour when she hears a car behind her. She turns to see a black sports car driving behind her. The car pulls over to the side of the road ahead of Melinda and the driver's side door opens and Natasha gets out removing her sun glasses as she does.
"So you going to explain why you're in Canada?" Natasha asks curious as she opens the trunk.
"It's a long story." Melinda tells her as she puts her bag in the trunk.
"I'm guessing we're going to have time." Natasha responds.
"True. I need your help with something." Melinda informs Natasha.
"I figured." Natasha responds, "What do you need?"
"I need to find Maria. There is something only she can help me with." Melinda explains.
"Well then I guess it's a good thing I know exactly where to find her." Natasha tells Melinda, "But it's definitely going to be a long drive." Natasha says as she closes the trunk of the car.
"Good thing I've got the story to fill the time then." Melinda comments the smallest of smiles on her face as she decided that she is going to tell Natasha everything because she is done keeping secrets from the people she cares about, "Thank you for coming."
"What's a wife for." Natasha comments with a grin as they both head to the respective sides of the car, "Although I am curious why you called me out of everyone you could have called." She comments as while they stayed as close to friends as they could be after they separated things have been tense and awkward between them.
"I needed someone I could completely trust and these days that list is a very short one." Melinda explains as they start to drive.
"Well I'm honoured to be on that list." Natasha jokes though there is an undertone of seriousness to her words.
"You're top of the list." Melinda tells Natasha, "You always have been." Melinda says knowing Natasha well enough to know how serious she actually is.
"Don't you have a story to tell?" Natasha asks curious, changing the subject "One that explains where you have been for the past year."
"Right I did, I do." Melinda comments, "I guess I'll start at the beginning." She says then sighs, "Phil's alive." She reveals.
"What?" Natasha asks surprised, completely shocked although you would think that after recent events she would be used to people not being dead, "How?"
"He did die, he was dead for days but Fury used experimental procedures and alien DNA to change that." Melinda explains, "But because of what was done Phil couldn't know what was done to him." Melinda explains an even though she wants to comment Natasha stays quite, letting Melinda finish her explanation, "Fury told me and he asked me to keep an eye on Phil, join his team, so I did."
"You went back into the field?" Natasha asks surprised as she knows better than anyone why Melinda chose to leave the field, what it would have done to her if she stayed.
"Not at first." Melinda explains, "I was just the pilot but that changed after a couple of missions."
"How are you doing with that?" Natasha asks curious.
"Better than I was." Melinda answers, "I'm….okay." Melinda says hesitantly trying to find the right word.
"Really?" Natasha asks turning her head to look at Melinda.
"Really." Melinda responds and she reaches over and hesitantly grabs Natasha's hand, half expecting her to pull away, but to her surprised and relief she doesn't.
For a couple of minutes Natasha and Melinda drive in silence, neither of them letting go of each other's hand.
"So why do you need to find Maria?" Natasha asks curious.
"I know that Phil had memories implanted and I know that it wasn't Fury who was in charge of the project and I need to know who it was, more specifically who it wasn't." Melinda explains.
"You're worried it was Pierce." Natasha realises.
"Can you blame me?" Melinda asks curious.
"Not at all." Natasha responds.
"Phil won't accept help from me anymore." Melinda reveals, "He said I'm not a friend. I'm hoping that he will accept help from Maria." She explains.
"Phil actually said that?" Natasha asks shocked as she knows how close Phil and Melinda are, how close they have always been.
"He was angry when he found out that I knew what happened to him since the beginning and that I kept it from him. I don't blame him for his anger, but I wish he would realise that I did what I did because I care." Melinda explains, it feeling better than she would admit to actually have someone that she trusts enough to be completely open with or as open as she lets herself be, though with Natasha that is quite open.
"He will eventually. You and Phil have been best friends for decades. You would never hurt him on purpose and he should know that." Natasha comments, feeling a small bit of anger at Phil as she can tell even if Melinda won't admit it that his words hurt her.
"He won't forgive me until I make this right, until I find him some answers." Melinda responds.
"Is his reaction why you were unconscious in a interrogation room when Hydra came out into the open?" Natasha asks curious.
"Yeah." Melinda answers, "One of the members of our team, Fitz, found the encrypted hard line I had been using to contact Fury." Melinda explain, "Phil was angry and it didn't help that I wouldn't tell him anything because I was under orders not to so when our plane's avionics got taken over he shot me in the chest with an ICER." Melinda explains.
"What's an ICER?" Natasha asks a hint of anger clear.
"An invention of the scientist on our team it's an incapacitating Cartridge Emitting Railgun." Melinda explains.
"And Phil shot you with that?" Natasha asks angrily, making an internal note to have a conversation with Coulson at some point.
"Yep, and put me in the interrogation room on the plane." Melinda explains, "That's where I was when the Hydra call to arms came out." She explains.
"Did Hydra take over your plane avionics?" Natasha asks curious.
"No." Melinda answers, "Victoria Hand did. She through Phil was Hydra."
"Seriously?" Natasha asks surprised, "Victoria Hand thought that the biggest Captain America fan boy on the planet was a Hydra agent?" she asks.
"Yep." Melinda responds, "Ridiculous isn't it." Melinda comments, "Garrett's Hydra by the way, or he was, he's dead."
"Garrett's Hydra?" Natasha asks wanting to be sure she heard right and Melinda nods, "So out of the old gang that makes Garrett and Sitwell Hydra. What about Blake?" she asks curious.
"He's in ICU." Melinda answers, "He was attacked by a man who was turned into a super solider and was being controlled by Garrett." Melinda explains, "Have you heard from Clint?" she asks wanting to know if her friend is okay.
"Right after the Triskelion fell." Natasha answers, "He's going to make his way to New York, to Stark, but it's going to take him a while to get into the country without being noticed." Natasha explains, "He's safe."
"Good." Melinda answers relieved that he is okay.
"So how did you end up in Canada?" Natasha asks curious, "If Hand took control of your plane then you would have been at the Hub right?" Natasha asks curious and Melinda nods, "So how did you get from the Hub to Canada?"
"Along with Hand our team secured the Hub." Melinda explains, "Once it was Hand along with a member of our team took Garrett to the Fridge. Phil started damage control and that's what we were doing unit Colonel Glenn Talbot called and said he was coming to take control of the hub." Melinda explains, "Our team plus one of Garrett's former team who have worked with us in the past left before Talbot could get to us and we had no idea where we were going until Phil got a coordinates on his badge which he was sure were from Fury which lead us to a secret base in Canada." Melinda explains.
"And you left to get Phil answers." Natasha realises, "What did he said when you left?"
"He doesn't know." Melinda admits, "He went to Portland with three members of our team to protect Audrey from an escaped prisoner from the Fridge."
"So he doesn't know you left." Natasha comments.
"He told me to, so I listened." Melinda explains.
"For once." Natasha jokes.
"Yeah." Melinda responds with a grin, "So what exactly happened in DC?" Melinda asks curious and Natasha tells her story.
For the next couple of hours Melinda and Natasha drive. After Natasha finishes telling her story of what happened in DC, they start to just talk about random things, catching up on things they have missed. Being more relaxed and open with one another than they have been in a long time.
"Feel like some food?" Natasha asks curious.
"Yeah, I don't remember the last time I ate." Melinda admits, "Plus I think it's time I changed the bandage on my arm.
"Bullet wound?" Natasha asks.
"Bullet wound." Melinda confirms, "What about you do you need to change bandages?" Melinda asks curious.
"Well there is a diner in a few miles, we can stop there." Natasha suggests, "And yeah, I do."
"Sounds good to me." Melinda responds.
"Good." Natasha responds and the pair drift into silence.
Forty minutes after they decided to stop for food Melinda and Natasha are in the bathroom of a road side dinner. Melinda has helped Natasha change the bandages on her shoulder and Natasha is now helping Melinda do the same with her arm.
"You always did heal quickly." Natasha comments as she uses paper towel to clean Melinda's wound.
"Something which comes in handy." Melinda responds.
"Has the pain gone yet?" Natasha asks curious.
"From the wound, yeah." Melinda answers, "The rest, not so much."
"We had to tear it all down, it was the only way." Natasha says looking directly at Melinda, there being basically no space between the pair.
"I know." Melinda responds, "You did the right thing." Melinda assures Natasha, "It's just that for thirty years SHIELD has been my world, the one solid thing I had, and now it's gone." Melinda comments, "And I don't know what that means, not really." Melinda admits.
"You're not alone in that." Natasha comments, there being a subtext to her words that she knows Melinda will pick up on.
"I know." Melinda responds, "I didn't just call you because I needed someone I could trust to help me find Maria I called you because I wanted to see you, see for myself that you are okay." Melinda admits, "I wanted you Nat." Melinda reveals, saying Natasha's name for the first time since she called her.
"If you hadn't off called me I would have called you, found you. I would have even gone to your mother to find you if I had to." Natasha admits, "I want you too Mel." Natasha admits and neither of them being sure who acted first the pair exchange their first kiss since their separation, a kiss which reminds them both of the early days of their marriage, before everything went to hell.
For at least several minutes the pair kiss and then neither sure who pulled away fist the pair finally break apart.
"I'm sorry." Melinda says her voice barely above a whisper, realising that she owes Natasha something.
"What for?" Natasha asks confused as their heads rest on each other's foreheads.
"For pushing you away after Bahrain." Melinda admits as she knows that their separation was her fault. She hurt so many people in Bahrain that she was positive that she was just going to hurt Natasha so she pushed her away. Something which she now regrets.
"I'm sorry for letting you push me away." Natasha responds and before either of them can say anymore a loud knock from outside the room can be heard.
"HURRY UP. OTHER PEOPLE HAVE TO USE THE BATHROOM." A voice says.
After exchanging a look and a smile, they both put their jackets back on and dispose of the bloody bandages and paper towels that they used to treat each other's wounds.
"Where does this leave us?" Melinda asks curious wanting something concrete after all the uncertainty of the last few days and knowing that she can't cope with things not being right, or being on the path to becoming right between them anymore.
"With a chance to figure things out." Natasha responds, unknowingly wanting the same thing as Melinda, "If we want to catch Maria as she leaves congress we should eat quickly." She says and Melinda nods.
"I'm driving." Melinda says as they head to the door.
"I guess I can let you." Natasha responds with a sigh.
"You should considering it's my car." Melinda comments as they unlock the bathroom and leave hand in hand.
"I was hoping you wouldn't notice that." Natasha comments with a grin and Melinda rolls her eyes.