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SHIELD Specialist turned wrangler for Earth's Mightiest Heroes

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May stared at her partner with a disbelieving look.

When he said he wanted her to be a part of the Avengers Initiative, she’d laughed at first and thought he was joking. Now they were standing outside the Avenger’s tower and she was officially moving into a floor that had been entirely converted for her as the newest member of Phil and Fury’s new project, The Avengers Initiative.

She wondered where they got the name from. Phil was her dearest friend and she respected the hell out of Fury, but the two of them together could not have come up with something so awesome.

She’d just come from Fury’s office at the Triskellion. All the paperwork was signed.

She was now the official agent handler of the five person team SHIELD knew as the Avengers.

“We’ll be adding a sixth soon”, Fury told her, his one eye trained on her inquisitively. “Heard he’s the one you’ve been waiting for.”

She huffed. “So Phil told you about that.”

“That you have a crush on Thor? You know that partner of yours can’t keep his mouth shut, May. Be grateful he didn’t send a message to the cosmos asking Thor to marry you. Although” Fury paused, his tone light, “that might make him haul his ass down here faster. You up for getting married, May?”

Melinda scoffed. Fury may have looked and sounded serious most of the time, but she knew him well enough to understand he was joking. Partially.

She plopped on the couch across from his desk with casual grace and folded her arms.

She quirked and eyebrow and Fury knew this was May-speak for you have my full attention and launched into his speech about how the world needed heroes, and they needed heroes to look after those heroes, and how he wanted her to do both.

She sat back with a patient expression. She was honored. Intrigued. And suspicious.

“Why couldn’t Coulson do this?”, she asked at the end. “Why me? I’m a specialist, Fury, not an agent handler.”

Fury made the closest gesture to an eyeroll that Melinda had ever seen. “I know what the hell you are, Agent May. I also know that you’re qualified. So, unless you have any objections you’ll start tomorrow.”

She had no objections, but Fury didn’t pause anyway.

“And have your bags packed by five. You’ll be moving into Stark Tower tonight.”

Now Phil was swiping a key card and entering a six-digit code outside of the Avenger’s compound.

“When I told you I wanted you in on this with me I was serious, Melinda.”

“I see that now.”

He punched in the last of the code and opened the door for her. Immediately they were swathed in cool air and away from the stuffy heat outside.

Melinda controlled her feelings her giddiness and awe at the interior of the Avenger’s tower. Everything was new and shiny, and feelings of nervousness began to creep in her stomach.

“I thought that we would actually be on this together, Phil.”

They took an escalator to the ground floor, then got into a glass elevator to travel to her floor. She had never confessed this to anyone other than Phil, but Melinda was mildly scared of heights. She kept her eyes off the ground as they rose higher.

“I know.” Coulson winced and glanced at her apologetically. “So did I, but apparently Fury has other plans. Something about aliens. Sorry May.”

He led her off the platform to her new room. “You can call or text me anytime you want. You know Fury’s number and you know Maria’s. I’ll check in with you tonight, okay? I’ve got to go pick up Barton and Romanoff from Providence. In the meantime why don’t you look around.”

May smiled at Coulson’s fretting. “You’re such a mother hen”, she teased.

“Actually, I think that’s your job now.” He smiled back and squeezed her shoulder, and then he was leaving through the same elevator that brought him here.

“I’m sure Tony and Bruce are here somewhere.” He pushed the button for the ground floor. “Try not to make Stark too afraid of you on the first day.” His eyes shined with mischief, as though Tony Stark being scared shitless of Melinda May was something he very much wanted to see.

She scoffed and smirked in kind. “If he knows what’s good for him, he better be afraid of me.”

The two partners smiled at each other. “I’ll see you later Mel.”

“Bye Phil.”

And then the doors closed, and he was gone. Melinda swiped her key and entered her room.

She dropped her things near the large bed and sighed. She had a choice to make.

Unpack now, or get to know her charges.

Groaning internally, she headed downstairs to introduce herself to Tony Stark.