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i'll stop the world (and melt with you)

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“What? You too?”

He gives her an incredulous look, turning over his shoulder, but doesn't answer.

“You think I went too far,” she goes on, widening her stance.

The corner of his mouth pulls slowly upwards.

“No. He's lucky you only blew out the glass.”

She laughs, surprised and draws back in jest, like she’s wondering who this man is.

“Then again,” he adds, stepping back from his spot near the window. “I'm probably not the right person to ask.”

He sounds very pert, when he says it, and she watches him lift something off the table in front of him and hold it up to a place on the wall.

She stares at the ugly thing and rolls her eyes. Phil and his reminders.

“I would say you could ask Dwight the IT guy,” he pauses, to adjust the angle of the hanging mask. “But he's no longer with us.”

Dwight thought she was a freak, too. And that they were better off dead, even though he was Inhuman just like her.

Phil had ordered her out of the room then, but clearly something happened and she thought she overheard Roz ask about a laser finger.

She can make an educated guess.

Tonight was supposed to be about celebrating Lincoln passing his tests, but then he brought up what happened on her mission after hearing Fitz describe it to Simmons in the lab.

He told her that sounded crazy. Like something her mother would do to teach humans a lesson.  How now they’d be looking for her.

It ended up in an argument about going too far and him educating her that progress and change take time and clear thinking.

Which is ironic, coming from a hot-head like him.

She just can't believe he'd even play devil’s advocate, when those guys wanted to abduct Inhumans and their sympathizers.

Which as far as she knows consists of SHIELD at the moment.

“Who's giving you a hard time?” he asks, titling his head to check the angle, fussing over his new acquisition.

“Lincoln,” she finally answers, after hesitating.

“Huh,” he says, pushing at one corner with his finger. “At least he's gotten better at following orders. Doesn't sound like leadership material, but-“

Phil,” she cuts him off, too tired for this.

“What?”  He turns all the way around, punctuating it with an innocent shrug.

She drops it. “That mask looks ridiculous on your wall.”

“Now they know who they're messing with,” he nods, then seems a bit bothered. “But, they went after one of our only allies. And where did they get that tech?”

“Black market?” she offers.  “SHIELD stuff for sale after the fall.”

“Doubt it,” he says, clicking his tongue. “Malick.”

“But why, when they’re hunting Inhumans?”

“He's rounding up Inhumans, tying up opposition,” he supposes, as the muscle in his jaw twitches.

He looks so frustrated.

“You hate the idea he's untouchable.”

“Can't stand it,” he says, staring at her with all his intensity coming to bear in his voice.

“You'll get him.” She brushes her fingers against his arm in a small, supportive gesture.

“There's something. I can't put my finger on it. It feels...big.”

“Overwhelming?” she asks sympathetically.

He nods and she wonders if he’s going to open up about what happened on the alien planet.  Then he falls quiet again, drops it.

“Malick is going to be sorry he ever crossed your path,” she promises him, stepping closer and watching his eyes look downwards.

He may even be blushing a bit. She likes that her words have such a positive effect on him, instead of pushing them apart.

“Thanks.”

He looks at her for a long moment, like he wants to say more.  For this to continue

Only, that's not how they play it now. It's easier to separate out the personal stuff. 

She wishes, again, that they didn't. None of this is getting easier. Just layers of complications piling up.

“I kinda wanted that guy to pee his pants,” she jokes darkly.

He smiles at her again, impishly, like he's delighted by the way her mind works.

“You'll get no complaints from me. Maybe Depends will give you an endorsement?”

She covers her mouth when she laughs abruptly and he looks pleased again, and suddenly serious.

“I like it when you laugh.”

Not that he’s heard her laugh so many times.  It’s just, the way he says it.  Low and husky, privately.  It makes her flush.

And even that embarrassment, her desire to hide it, can’t bring her to take her eyes off of him.

Phil is doing his part, too. The obvious interest in her reaction something far from professional.  As though he’s just as shocked and lured in as she is.

She feels her eyes flutter, just like the warmth building-

“Daisy.”

She finds herself jump, then gathers herself quickly, and turns to Lincoln standing in the entrance to his office.

He stares silently between the two of them, then his eyes fix on Coulson.

“What do you think?” Coulson asks without missing a beat, sounding perfectly calm and he gestures towards the Watchdog mask on his wall.

“It's ugly,” Lincoln responds immediately, narrowing his eyes.

“Not as ugly as the guy who was wearing it,” Coulson answers with a brief, thin smile.

“I'm sure you're right.  I was just here to-“

“Apologize?” Daisy interrupts, crossing her arms.

“If that's what you want,” he answers, uncomfortable and shifting, his voice strained.

“I think that's my cue,” Coulson cuts in, raising his eyebrows and heading towards the door.

“Sorry,” she starts. “It's your office.  We should-“

“It's fine,” he interrupts, spinning to turn back to her. “No need to apologize.”

She gives him a fond look, even though his expression seems a bit sad.

Not about Lincoln, not really. Any interruption would've done to take away their moment.

“Thank you.”

He gives her a wistful smile, then turns back and makes his way out.

“What was that about?” Lincoln asks flatly, once he’s gone.

“Just Phil, being Phil,” she sighs, sitting down in one of the empty guest chairs.

Lincoln sits beside her, but her eyes glance back once more.

At the door.