Chapter 1: Back to the academy.
Melinda May was deep in thought while driving along the country road. She had never thought she would go back there for this specific reason but life had a cruel sense of humour. She looks over at the grown woman sitting next to her. It still feels unreal that her baby girl is a grown-up. It feels like yesterday when the doctor put the tiny human in her arms. Skye had grown up to be a spectacular human being. She was strong and caring. Skye had come to her a few weeks before her final exams and proudly told her that she was going to SHIELD academy to become an agent just like her. Melinda never wanted that for her daughter. She wanted her baby girl to have a normal civilian life in the suburbs but Skye was strong willed and Melinda had to let her make her own decisions. Being an agent of SHIELD did not really leave much room for a normal life. Melinda deemed herself lucky to have met Andrew who was a psychiatrist for shield. Andrew has always been very understanding of her job and all it entails. She would be away for weeks and then be home for weeks although there was never a set pattern. Andrew always understood. They eloped only after two months and a week later Melinda found out she was pregnant. Andrew was elated. Melinda her a few concerns but as soon as Skye was born all her worries went out the window.
‘’Mom, are you even listening to me?’’
Melinda was pulled from her thoughts. ‘’Sorry baby, what did you say?’’
“I wanted to know if you made friends easily at the academy or is everyone just really focused and competitive?”
Melinda thought back about her first few days at the academy. “Well honey there was aunt Vic, she was my roommate and I met her on the first day, and during orientation I met aunt Tasha, uncle Clint and…” Melinda trailed off. She had also met Phil during orientation. Phil, even then did not look like any of them. He was shorter than the other guys and even then she could see he was a bit of a nerd with his glasses and his captain America t-shirt. He wasn’t intimidating at all.
“Mom! You went somewhere again, you were saying…”
“Uhm, I also met Phil but you don’t know him.” A small smile came to Melinda’s lips as she thought about Phil. God, she hasn’t seen him in ages. They were best friends. Inseparable during their academy years. When they graduated they did a few missions together and then he was chosen to be part of the avenger’s initiative and they tried to stay in contact but then she met Andrew and everything changed. She spent all her time at home and well Phil did not call or come by as often as before because he was really busy. Anyway that is what she told herself.
“Anyway baby you don’t need to worry about making friends. It’s just like college except you have guns and classes in hand to hand combat.”
“Mom did you ever regret you decision to become an agent?”
“I have thought about that a lot, sure it would have been easier to get a normal job and live a normal life, but then I would not have met your father and I would not have had you, and even though me and your dad are divorced I still think that everything happened the way it should have.”
“gawd mom you are such a sap…” Skye teased her mom.
Melinda smiled at her daughter. She really was great. She handled everything so well. After the divorce she thought Skye would feel the need to pick a side, but that was not what happened. Skye completely understood that things change and people change and even thought she and Andrew still loved each other they realized that they would both be happier apart. Sometimes that was just how life works. They were still friends and held no anger towards each other. They knew they had made the right decisions by getting married and also divorcing a year ago.
Melinda stops by the gate showing her badge and also Skye’s letter. The security guard lets her through. The road is uphill and big trees line both sides of the road. The road leads to an opening with a parking lot at the end. Melinda is lucky being able to join Skye at the academy. Most parents don’t know what their kids are up to. Thanks to her being an agent Melinda is allowed to come help Skye unpack and get comfortable. Being an agent herself she also knows everything Skye will learn and therefore could prepare her. In the months that followed Skye’s announcement she helped and taught Skye everything she could. If her daughter was going to be a SHIELD agent she was going to be prepared and she would be the best. Skye got out of the car and Melinda could already see her excitement. Skye was smiling from ear to ear and visibly bouncing up and down. Melinda just rolled her eyes at her daughter’s exuberance opening the trunk of her black SUV. Skye came running around helping her mother unload her suitcases and the boxes with her most important belongings. Luckily Melinda knew the academy well and Skye was in the same dorm she had been in. With boxes and suitcases piled high Melinda started walking in the direction of the Carter Dorm with Skye beside her.
Phil walked around the Campus helping the new recruits find their dorms. The atmosphere on campus was buzzing with excitement. If only the recruits realised that being an agent was not what it looked like in movies. It was hard word, long hours and a lot of sacrifices.
A young girl came sprinting towards him.
“Sir could you show me where Carter Dorm is. I seem to be a bit lost”
“Sure miss, my name is Agent Phil Coulson. I take it you are a new recruit?”
“Yes sir, I mean Agent Coulson. I am Jemma Simmons.”
“Nice to meet you Jemma.”
Jemma was obviously British, she was small but behind her hesitant smile and brown eyes he could see that she was smart and curious. He thought that she was probably not going to train to be a specialist since she looked soft and innocent. She was probably a science or communications trainee.
Phil walked the rest of the way in silence, until Jemma spoke again.
“Agent Coulson those are my friends, we are in the same dorm. I am just going to get them, okay?”
Phil looked over to where a two young men stood with a very tall blonde girl. He could see Jemma pointing towards them and then continue talking. Not soon after the four of them picked up their baggage and came towards him.
“Agent this is Lance Hunter, Bobbi Morse and Leo Fitz. Guys this is Agent Coulson. He is kind enough to show us to our rooms.”
Phil shook hands with each of them.
“So Bobbi I take it you and Hunter are in Opps and Jemma and Fitz is in either SciTech or communications although I am leaning towards Scitech.”
“Wow Sir you are good. Me and Hunter are more fighters and yes Fitssimmons are scientists.”
Phil gave them a sideways glance. “Fitssimmons?”
Fits spoke up for the first time surprising Phil with a thick Scottish accent. “That is what everyone started calling us since we spend so much time together. And to be more accurate I am an engineer and Jemma is a biochemist.”
Phil just smiled in acknowledgement realising they have reached their destination. “Well guys here you are at your dorm. I hope you guys settle in comfortably and I will probably see you soon. If you have any more questions there is some older recruits that will be able to help but if it is more complicated my office is in the Rogers building. I am not always there but I will help if I can.”
“Thank you sir, you are too kind.” Jemma gives Coulson a smile.
Before turning around something or rather someone catches Phil’s eye. He quickly rushes towards the woman. Grabbing her around her arm. She turns around, a glare on her face that shows she could kill you.
Phil quickly lets go and raises his hands in an apologetic manner. “May! I thought it was you, gosh I haven’t seen you in so long… sorry I didn’t mean to scare you.”
Chapter 2: Awkward conversations
Phil talks a lot, and even worse he asks a lot of questions that Melinda is not ready to answer.
Melinda took the last of the boxes up to Skye’s room. Skye was busy unpacking. Luckily Skye had already made a friend. The tall young man introduced himself as Tripp. He helped with a few of the heavier boxes and excitedly told Skye that his dorm room was next to hers. Melinda was glad that Skye had met someone already and Tripp was a real gentleman. Melinda decided to give Skye some space. She got her purse and decided she wanted to get some tea and maybe something for Skye to eat. She was walking towards the cafeteria when someone grabbed her arm. Her first instinct was to immediately turn around and start throwing punches. She freezes mid-air when she caught sight of the man with the blue eyes with his hands raised up apologetically. “May!” Phil Coulson was standing in front of her talking a mile a minute. She could not believe after all these years they would see each other again at the same place and time they had met.
“Coulson, you know better than to sneak up on me.” She raised her eyebrow and gave him a half smile.
“Yeah I know I’m sorry. I was just so excited to see you.”
Suddenly it dawned on him. What was May doing here. The thought formed in his head and was out of his mouth before he could think. “Wait, why are you at the academy, did they transfer you?” Shit, why was it that whenever he was around this woman he always turned it to a idiot?
Melinda smiled. “It’s kind of a long story, I will buy you a coffee and we can catch up?”
Phil had that dorky smile on his face again and Melinda knew he would say yes so instead of waiting for him she just started walking to the cafeteria.
After getting a coffee for Phil and green tea for her they went to get a seat. Melinda picked a table in the corner of the cafeteria where she had a good vantage point of all the entrances. Phil sat down opposite her eyeing her warily. He took a sip of his coffee. Melinda could feel him staring.
“Are you going to keep staring or are you going to say something?”
Phil did not miss a beat. “What are you doing here?”
My daughter is a new recruit, I came to help get her settled.”
“You have a daughter? I mean I heard the rumours but I did not know anything for sure. That’s amazing.”
Melinda did not realize that Phil had never really known that she was pregnant. They had lost contact by then.
“Yeah she is pretty great. Her name is Skye, she is really funny and caring and smarter than I was at her age, and she is also very stubborn which is why nothing I did could change her mind from joining SHIELD.”
Phil smiled at that, Melinda never talked a lot, looks like her daughter brings out another side of her. “She sounds like someone I know.” Phil raised his eyebrow at Melinda but couldn’t keep his face straight for long. They both burst out laughing.
“So how is it going with Andrew, guess he could not make it today?”
Melinda felt her breath hitch for a second. Phil did not know about the divorce. She should tell him, but that would open a whole lot of questions and some of those answers had to do with Phil. She was not ready to discuss this with anyone especially the person responsible for her accelerated heart rate. She always knew that deep down she loved Phil but she also knew that it would never work. Their job made everything complicated.
“Yes well Andrew is doing well, he is uhm away for business and was very upset because he can’t be here.”
She could have sworn she saw Phil’s expression change for a second, maybe she was just imagining things. She knew she had to change the direction of their conversation. “How about we go to the gym? We could go a few rounds like the old days.”
Phil was shocked. He tried to see if she was kidding but Melinda was obviously dead serious. “Okay sure.” Phil said, still a bit uncertain.
Melinda grabbed her bag and started walking throwing her empty cup in the trash. Phil followed behind.
Chapter 3: Like old times
Melinda and Phil tiptoe around their feeling for one another. Skye makes some friends
“Hi, I’m Skye Garner. It’s nice to meet you.” Skye looked at the girl standing in front of her, she looked kind.
“Nice to meet you too Skye, this is Leo Fitz, Bobbi Morse and Lance Hunter.”
Skye gave all of them a big smile. “This is Trip, he has the dorm room next to mine, and yours now too Jemma.”
“Oh that’s brilliant, he’ll share a dorm with Fitz.” Hunter said. “Guess we are lucky Bob, all of us shacking up close to each other.”
Bobbi gave Hunter a death stare. “You and I will not be sharing, I think I saw a big guy in the dorm room you are supposed to be in. But yes its great.
Skye smiled at Bobbi and Hunter’s banter.
A knock on the door made everyone look. A tall guy with a huge smile stood there. “I’m Mack. Heard someone in here is my roommate and I thought I should introduce myself.”
Skye stood up first introducing herself and everyone else. “You will be sharing with Hunter I hear”
Mack looked Hunter up and down clearly trying to freak him out. Hunter quickly opened his bag and got out two six packs. “Beer anyone?”
Everyone took a beer and settled on the floor of Skye and Jemma’s dorm room just hanging out and getting to know one another. Skye could not stop smiling, she really did not know why she was worried at all, on her first day she already had six new friends.
“Bobbi, looks like you are the only one without a roommate that is so not fair.” Trip complained.
“Actually I do have a roommate, just haven’t met her yet. Her name is Elena.”
“Everybody just calls me Yo yo actually. Sorry didn’t mean to interrupt but I heard my name while I was walking past.
Everybody turned to look at the Columbian standing in the doorway. “Well Yo yo, would you like a beer?’’ Hunter filled the silence. Yo yo took the beer and made herself comfortable next to Mack.
Melinda was glad that they still kept SHIELD workout clothes in the gym. She grabbed a tank top and tights for herself and threw some shorts and a T-shirt at Phil.
“Are you actually serious? I really thought you were joking.” Phil couldn’t believe his eyes.
“Get dressed Coulson, or are you scared?” Melinda couldn’t help but tease the man. The look of surprise evident on his face. God she really missed this dork.
Melinda went into the nearest stall and got dressed. She was happy to see that Phil had gotten over his surprise and got dress as well. Phil led her to the training furthest down the long hallway. Only the faculty were allowed to use this one. Melinda was thankful, this way they would not be interrupted. Phil had also gotten them some water and towels.
It felt just like old times. Phil did not go easy on her and neither did she on him. Phil had been able to pin he down 3 times. Each time he helped her up wearing that dorky smile on his face. She couldn’t help feeling a little nostalgic. After a few round they took a break. Melinda sat on the mats sipping her water. Phil sat on the bench in front of her. She hadn’t realised how much she missed this. Phil was always the one who understood her the best. He was always there for her when she needed him. It was always a joke that she was the one covering his back, and sure physically she was the better fighter, saving his sorry ass more times than she can remember. But really he was always the one who had her back. Sticking up for her against sexist pigs and helping her through tough times. He was her rock. It suddenly dawned on her, she was in love with Phil Coulson. She was in shock, surprised by her thought, her feelings. She did not hear what Phil had said but she could see he was waiting for her to answer.
“Sorry my mind was wandering, what did you say?” Melinda asked feeling a little embarrassed.
“Can I meet her, your daughter?”
Melinda did not know what to say. What if Skye mentions the divorce, what if he sees her and just knows everything.
“I’m trying to give her space, I don’t want everyone to know she is the daughter of a shield agent. Maybe another day, off campus.” That should work, not saying no but not saying yes either. She hoped Phil would not dig any further into it.
“I understand, Melinda are you okay? You seem different.”
“What do you mean?” Melinda had not expected that. At this moment she hated that Phil knew her so well.
“I don’t know, you use to talk less”
“It has been years Phil people change.” Melinda hoped he believed her.
“I understand but still, if it is something with Andrew or Skye you can talk to me, you know. Melinda, are you happy?”
That blew Melinda’s mind. Curse this man with his friendly caring nature.
“Phil, don’t do this now, I can’t do this now. I’m going to take a shower and when I get back you will be gone. There is nothing more to say.” Melinda turned around and walked away.
Melinda got undressed and stepped into the shower. The warm water felt amazing on her skin, relaxing the muscles underneath. What was it about Phil that made her want to curl up next to him and just tell him everything, about Andrew, the divorce and about Skye. If she told him about everything, he would know how she felt. He would know that she loved him 20 years ago and that she loved him now. He would realise that Andrew figured it out and that they divorced because Andrew couldn’t take being her second choice anymore. The amount of times she almost called Phil just to hear his voice. His death had been the last straw for Andrew. When Melinda found out that Phil had died on that helicarrier she had broken. She couldn’t eat or sleep. She had locked herself in their room clinging to an old Captain America T-shirt she had stolen from Phil years ago and she just wept for days on end. Then she heard he was back, that they had brought him back to life. That’s when Andrew gave her the papers. He told her to go after the man that she truly loved, to not take this second chance for granted. He even told her to tell the truth about Skye.
Phil sat outside the bathroom waiting for Melinda. He couldn’t leave with things like this. He had let Melinda go once he wasn’t going to do it again. He would be happy just being friends, just enjoying her company would be enough for him. Phil thought back to that night in Russia about twenty years ago. He and Melinda were on a mission he didn’t know it then but it would be their last mission together.
Chapter 4: Turn back time.
Flashback to the last time Phil and Melinda saw each other.
They found shelter in an abandoned house. A massive storm had started and their extraction had to wait until the storm cleared up. Melinda was hypothermic. He made a fire in the fireplace hoping the storm would keep anyone from seeing the smoke and finding them. He gathered up blankets and put them in front of the fire.
“Melinda you need to take of your clothes they are wet and will worsen your condition”.
Melinda just stood there. He walked over to her and started taking of her jacket. She didn’t push him away so he continued. He took of her tank top, her jeans followed. She stood there in only her underwear and just looked at him.
He threw a blanket over her shoulders and started undressing himself till he was only in his underwear. He couldn’t help but look at Melinda. Her skin like porcelain with the flames flickering of her. Her mouth supple and her big brown eyes just looking at him. He grabbed her hand and drew her towards him. He settled on the blanket that he threw on the floor in front of the fire place and then pulled her down towards him. She was so close he could smell her citrus shampoo on her hair. He held her tight trying to warm her up. He had almost dozed off when he heard Melinda speak.
“Phil you mean a lot to me, a lot.”
She turned around in his arms and looked into his eyes. She had her hand on his chest. She started drawing invisible circles with her finger.
“Just one night please Phil, I need one night.”
Phil could feel his body react to her touch. He knew this was a bad idea but he loved her so much, he could do one night with Melinda, he could be with her and it would be enough for him. He put his finger under her chin drawing her head up towards his. He looked her deep in the eyes, almost asking permission and then he was kissing her. She tasted like green tea and Phil decided it was his new favourite drink. She climbed on top of him, grinding against him. He quickly rid her of her bra. Sitting up with Melinda still in his lap he took her breast into his mouth. Teasing her nipple with his tongue. A small moan escaped Melinda’s mouth. Placing small kisses all over her breast, nipping at her soft skin. He made his way back up to her mouth. Kissing Melinda was the best feeling in the world. He could feel the wetness between her legs through their underwear. His one hand was on her breast, he moved his other down. Cupping her sex he pushed away the fabric, gliding two fingers slowly into her. She felt great, hot and wet. He started slowly moving his fingers in her. She gasped and moaned and keened. He could feel her whole body shaking and then the tightening of her walls around his fingers. She came whispering his name against his lips. He quickly rolled them so that Melinda was lying on her back, her legs wrapped around him.
“Melinda, you are so beautiful. I could just keep doing this for the rest of my life.”
“Phil, I need you in me now, please Phil.”
He made quick work of their remaining underwear. He lined himself up with her entrance, rubbing himself against her so her wetness spreads all over him. Melinda moaned again at his touch and he took that as her approval sliding his cock into her. He went slow first but then he couldn’t control in anymore and he started rocking into her harder and faster.
“Melinda, come for me please, I’m close.”
With a few more hard thrust he could feel Melinda tightening around him once more and he let go spilling his seed into her. He called her name and she whimpered his.
Melinda eloped a week later. Phil had felt so guilty. He did not mean to let things go that far, he also felt heartbroken because deep inside he had hoped that this would lead to him and Melinda getting together. He definitely did not think it would lead to her marrying Andrew a week later. For months he wanted to call her, just to talk, needing closure and answers but he couldn’t ever press the call button, feeling that maybe he did not want to know the answers, scared that it would break his heart even more. He heard Melinda turn the water off, she’ll be out in a few minutes. He wanted to apologize, that’s what he told himself, it’s the only reason he stayed.
Melinda stepped out of the shower. Getting dressed in her clothes from earlier today, she pulled her hair back in a ponytail. She really hoped that Phil hadn’t left, she did not want to talk to him about everything but she also wanted to continue spending the day with him. Melinda threw the gym clothes into the laundry and grabbed her bag. When she opened the door Phil was sitting on the bench outside the bathroom. A smile slipped through for only a second before she got control over her face again.
“I thought you left?”
“Melinda, I am sorry, please I don’t want our day to end yet.”
“What do you want to do next, Coulson?”
Chapter 5: What an idiot
Phil talks way too much. He should really learn when to shut his mouth and how to not push Melinda's buttons. Some talk about previous missions.
Skye and Jemma had finished unpacking all of their stuff after everyone left to go to their own rooms. Skye sat on her bed playing with her phone. She wondered where her mother had gone off too. She wouldn’t have left without saying goodbye but Skye also appreciated the space her mom gave her. Her mom completely understood that she didn’t want to be known as the daughter of the shield agent. She wanted to make her own mark.
Skye decided to call her mom. The phone rang twice before Melinda answered.
“Hi, honey. How are you settling in?”
“Mom, everything is unpacked, I have a roommate her name is Jemma and she is great. I actually just called to find out where you were, I mean you wouldn’t have left without saying goodbye.”
“I’m still here Skye. I’m uh having coffee with an old colleague. I’ll come by in a little to say goodbye okay?”
“Okay, mom. That’s fine. I just got kind of worried. I’ll see you later then, love you.”
“See you later baby, love you too.”
Melinda always forgot what a gentleman Phil could be. He ushered her into his office, hand on the small of her back. Having him so close again was something she was not used to. His freshly showered smell was intoxicating, his warmth radiated all over her back. She needed to get out. His office was just as she imagined since he suggested coming here. Lots of wooden furniture. Giant bookcases were strewn with books and small antiquities he so loved to collect. She could see a small Captain America shield, a little red Corvette and a few collectible cards in between. A soft maroon rug covered most of the floor, in front of his desk stood two armchairs covered in black leather. If this was anyone else’s office it would look cold and harsh. The collectibles and Phil’s warm present makes it feel comfortable, warm and… like home. Phil was talking and pointing at the fridge, she needs to answer.
“Some Haig? I know it’s your favorite.” Phil asked standing with two tumblers in hand.
“Thanks, I could use a drink.”
She really needed to get out but it’s like a magnet pulling her towards Phil, keeping her near him. She walked over to one of the chairs and sat down. Phil handed her the glass of amber liquid.
“Almost feels like the old days eh Mel? Oh, how I miss it. Don’t you wish we were in our twenties again just starting out?”
“Sure nostalgia is fine Phil, but I’d rather live in the present.”
“Do you think about it sometimes our old missions, how green we were, how much easier it was back then. Remember that time I forgot you in the marina. You were so mad. The look on your face was priceless.” Phil laughed looking over at Melinda. She, on the other hand, was glaring at him.
“That is not a funny memory, you left me there for hours, I could have died.” Melinda snarled. She couldn’t believe he was laughing at that.
“I know and if that had happened I would have never forgiven myself, losing you would be too much to bear, but somehow I did anyway, in a way” Phil snarled. He did not mean to say that. He knows he said too much. The look of shock on her face told him he overstepped the boundary. Whatever this day was, whatever it meant, he had ruined it now.
His words shook her to her core. Her heart was beating a mile a minute although she hasn’t taken a breath since he uttered those words.
Melinda stood up angrily, crossing her arms.” I never left you, you never called, or came by after the wedding. You didn’t even know about my child, but that’s fine. I’m the bad guy. You know what Phil. Go fuck yourself.’ She gave him one more scolding look before walking out.