Skye was enjoying this, May could tell. She could end it if she wanted to. But she supposed it was good practice. And she did have a bit of a soft spot for Skye.
So she pretended not to notice the young agent shadowing her, standing behind her, following her every move, staying out of her line of sight. She actually wasn't bad, May admitted to herself, but honestly, did Skye really think she could pull one over on her? Really?
Apparently yes, she thought, as she went to talk to Coulson about stocking up on supplies while they were at the Hub. "We need some more food, the usual stuff," She said, pokerfaced. "and some more bandages, we've been going through them pretty quickly. Fitzsimmons have written a list of supplies for the lab."
Coulson was mildly puzzled, not sure whether Melinda was aware of what Skye was doing, not sure how she could be oblivious. The eye roll gave it away and he smiled, winking 'surreptitiously' at Skye. "Anything else?"
"Not off the top of my head. Skye probably wants some more snack food, but I can't find her." Okay, now May was grinning, albeit in her barely noticeable way. She turned to leave and Skye followed her around in a wide circle, nodding at Coulson, mouthing 'Yeah, I need some chocolate and gummy bears'.
Coulson worked the inside of his lip between his teeth until they were gone, then allowed himself a small laugh. Whoever called May an ice queen clearly hadn't spent any time with her.
May could think of half a dozen ways off the top of her head to end this now, the most boring of which was to simply ask. She was really all for practising-slash-playing like this, but she had to go to the Hub for a mission debrief with Hand, and she didn't trust that Skye would stop following her when she left the plane.
That could end any number of unfortunate ways.
May sighed and went for the second most boring option, backing up against a wall. Skye squeaked in surprise and tripped over the kitchen counter, falling flat on the floor. May raised an eyebrow.
Skye scowled. "You did not know I was there."
The other eyebrow raised.
Skye pouted. "Not the whole time at least. I had you for a few minutes without you knowing."
"Whatever you want to believe."
The hacker's eyes narrowed, but there was an undercurrent smile. "I'll get you one day."
"Keep telling yourself that." May called as she walked away for her debrief, a grin dancing around her face. She liked Skye, despite her better judgement.
If she wanted to play, she had better be ready to face the consequences.
May waited a couple of days before trying to get Skye back. Doing so immediately would give her away, Skye needed time to forget about it.
They were on a long flight, at least twelve hours to their destination of Tanzania. Once they were up in the air however, May wasn't needed to fly the plane until practically landing. Perfect.
May checked the internal security cameras and saw that Skye was in the kitchen.
Getting behind her was easy. Skye was listening to music on her headphones and paying very little attention to the world around her. After that was even easier.
She went down to the gym to practice. Standing behind someone who was punching a punching bag was child's play. When Ward walked past he frowned, but decided not to say anything. May could just be helping Skye with her technique.
After half an hour Skye was gasping and went to the change rooms to towel down. May waited outside, anticipating which way Skye would turn, then continued in her shadowing of the young agent.
Skye ducked into the lab just as Fitzsimmons entered, both frowning at the sight of May following her. She silently put one finger to her lips and the scientists both smiled. They weren't quite sure why this was happening, but they understood what it was now.
"Hey guys." Skye said, missing the exchange. "What's up?"
"Just running a breakdown of the specs the last team sent us about the explosion." Fitz said.
Simmons nodded, "Trying to work out if it was another centipede compound, or something else entirely. I mean, it's hard to tell without seeing it, but that's why we're flying there, isn't it?"
Skye frowned. "Well what if you can find out from what the other team found? Bit of a waste of time flying there if you can work it out on the way."
Fitz shook his head, bringing up the holotable. "Nah, we may not know whether it's centipede or not, but it's definitely someone messing with technology they shouldn't have."
"Right." Skye said, "Do you need a hand with anything?"
"No, thank you Skye." Simmons was forceably not looking at Skye, as she couldn't do so without seeing May, and it was a little difficult to act like she wasn't in the room.
"Hey, have you seen Coulson or May? I should find out if I should be doing something too."
"Coulson's in his office." Fitz said, engrossed in the hologram.
"I guess May's in the cockpit." Skye said.
"Yes." Simmons said. "She probably is. In the cockpit. Flying the plane. She is probably there."
Skye frowned at Simmons' tone. "Okay. I'll check upstairs then!" She said, leaving.
"You are the worst liar I've ever seen." May muttered to Simmons as she left.
Fitzsimmons grinned after them. They didn't know what had gotten into May, whether she was just bored, or wanted to mess with Skye, but there was a lightness to her that was not usually there.
Skye went to Coulson's office, knocking gently on the door. "Hey, you busy?"
It took him about two seconds to realise what May was doing, and another one after that to stop himself from laughing. "No." Coulson said, putting down the document he was looking at. "What's up?" His expression was exaggerated and May rolled her eyes at his lack of subtlety.
"I- uh, I just wanted to check if I should be doing anything for when we arrive at wherever the hell we're going."
Coulson thought for a moment. "No, not much until you get on site I think, unless you can hack CCTV cameras from here."
Skye laughed shortly, "Nah, it's called Closed Circuit for a reason, can't do it unless I'm on site."
"Guess you've got a job for when you get there then." He said, trying not to smile. May's poker face was really something to behold.
"Okay." Skye said, "Guess I'll see if I can help any of the others with anything."
"See you in Tanzania." Coulson called.
"Smooth." May mouthed, and Coulson laughed silently.
Skye was approaching the cockpit. Narrow hallway. May stuck to her as she knocked on the door, then flattened herself against the wall when Skye turned as she opened the door. "Hey, May, do you need me to do anything for when we get to Tanzania?" She asked, then realised that there was no one in the pilots seat. "Huh. Not here."
May tracked around with Skye as she turned, one foot crossing over the other silently.
Skye returned to Coulson's office, knocking on the door. "Hey, me again, have you seen May?"
From behind Skye, May gave Coulson a look which seemed to say 'If you tell her, I'll kill you.'
"I thought she was in the cockpit." He said, voice a little higher than usual due to suppressed laughter.
"I thought that too but she's not there."
"It's a mystery." Coulson said, staring at another document because if he looked at May he was liable to burst out laughing. "Maybe she's in the gym?"
"Yeah, maybe. I didn't see her when I was down there, but I guess we could have crossed on my way up here." Skye wandered away, May right behind her, and Coulson let his head fall forwards onto the desk, shaking with laughter.
Skye entered the lab, where Ward had joined Fitzsimmons, arguing the specifications of the night-night gun. "Hey, have you guys seen May? She's not in the cockpit."
May shook her head slowly.
Ward held back a grin, realising what had been going on, and Simmons only shook her head, blushing.
"Haven't seen her down here." Fitz said, the only sign that he was lying his eyes darting every which way. "I thought she was upstairs."
"Yeah, I thought that too but I can't find her."
Simmons coughed to cover a laugh and May grinned. Her team. How were they all such terrible liars?
"I dunno. I'll go check upstairs again I guess." Skye said, leaving.
As soon as she did, the others broke into stifled laughter. "How long has she been doing that?" Ward asked.
Simmons shook her head, "Hours?"
Skye stopped in the common area and sighed in frustration. May wasn't in the lab, or the gym, or her bunk, or Coulson's office, or the cockpit. Had she bailed out of the plane?
Then her face cleared. Oh.
Skye backed up against the kitchen counter.
May vaulted silently on top, crouching, ready to leap away.
Skye turned abruptly.
May jumped sideways, landing with almost no sound, and stepping around with Skye.
Huh. Maybe she was just being paranoid. Could check the security feeds. She thought, going to her bunk to retrieve her laptop.
Skye sat down in one of the couches in the common area and opened her laptop. It was shut down, so Skye saw May's face reflected perfectly on the black screen, with what she mentally called her 'murder face'.
Skye screamed and fell off the sofa, instinctively holding up the laptop to protect it from damage, sprawling out on the floor. She stared wide-eyed at May, who was trying very hard to keep a straight face.
A second later hysterical laughter carried from the lab and Coulson's office, banging from downstairs sounding like someone was pounding a table. This broke May's stoic expression, and she grinned, shaking with silent laughter.
Skye breathed deeply, heart pounding in her chest. "How long were you-?" She asked, eyes still wide.
May glanced at the wall clock and shrugged. "About two hours."
"YOU GUYS SUCK!" Skye yelled, the others' laughter continuing, reaching higher pitches due to oxygen deprivation.
Disjointed clapping came from Coulson's office. When May leaned over to peer through the door she saw that the man himself had almost slid out of his chair from laughing so hard. "Need an oxygen mask Phil?" She asked sarcastically.
"I-I'm good." He got out between laughter.
"I swear to God you just took five years off my life." Skye grumbled, picking herself up off the ground.
A small laugh slipped past May's defences. "You started it." She said, walking to the kitchen. "Does anyone else want a cup of coffee?" She called.
"Think my heart's beating fast enough, thanks." Skye said, glaring but smiling a little.
The laughter from downstairs was starting to sound pained. "Yes please!" Simmons called. Fitz and Ward couldn't seem to get themselves under enough control to speak. Then there was a loud thump. "Fitz fell over!" She called, and both May and Skye laughed.
Coulson had now fallen into silent laughter.
He loved this team.