Chessur

Daisy Johnson had moved to New York after her parents passed away, a year ago. Her new home was comfortable, her neighbors pleasant, good people.

She was working as a freelance programmer for a living, providing tech-support sometimes.

She hadn't been living there long, when one day she came back to find a blue-grey furred cat in her kitchen.

"Hello. I don't remember letting you in." she said, walking closer to the feline. She scratched it's head. "You got a name, bright eyes?" she mumbled, looking for a colar. "Ah, ha. Chessur. Where did you come from, Chess?"

There was a knock on her door and Daisy stared at it as if it was alien.

"Who's it?" she called picking up the cat. "I am armed with a deadly feline!"

"Oh, thank God. He's broken in to you." a male voice said from the other side.

Daisy opened the door to a middle-aged guy she's seen around a few times.

"I take it the rascal's yours?"

"Yeah. Thanks for finding him. I came home and he had managed to slip out again."

"There you go." she handed the cat over. "How come and you called him Chessur?"

"I didn't. My friends found it amusing to give me a cat named after the Cheshire cat." he said dryly.

Daisy smiled.

"Oh, right. Phil Coulson. I live next door." he gave her his hand.

"Daisy Johnson." she took it.

From that day on, Chessur kept finding his way into Daisy's apartment. At first she either took him back or Phil came after him.

Then one day, Daisy found a note on the collar.

'Hey, sorry if Chess found his way back to you. Just leave him be; he'll probably find his way back to me later. Phil.'

Daisy took the note and replaced it with one of her own.

'Yeah, he dropped by. Should I invest in cat food or something? Daisy.'

Chess curled on her lap when she sat down to work and Daisy scratched his head absentmindedly.

The next morning, Daisy woke up on her desk, an insistent something on her chest.

"...Wha'...?" she looked around the room, then down at her to meet a pair of green eyes. "...Chess?"

She reached for the note on instict. They had only just started doing this, and it felt like it was something they did for years.

'Possibly? He seems to like you a lot.'

Daisy snorted.

"Like is an understatement." she said to herself. "What do you think, furball? Should I start stocking up on cat-supplies?"

Chessur purred.

When Chess came back, he had a new note on his collar and Phil reached for it with a smile.

'So, I am stocking up on cat-supplies. Give him a treat for waking me up this morning; I was almost late for my deadline.'

"Deadline? What kind of job does she do?" he mumbled, as he placed her note in the little box on his desk.

It was nice, talking to Daisy. Well, writing. He had liked her when they first met, thanks to Chessur, and he didn't know how to start a conversation, since they didn't meet on the hall often.

'What kind of job do you do?' he wrote back.

Daisy had just returned from work to find Chess already in his couch, lounging.

"Hey, Chess." she greeted and reached for her note. "What news from Phil?" she asked.

Chess stared up at her, as she read the quick note, then proceeded to write back.

'Computer programmer and tech support. Your computer went wonky on you, I'm your girl. You can find me online. Well, you only have to knock my door. What about you, Phil?'

"What are you reading, Phil?" Andrew asked.

"Nothing." he said, quickly stuffing Daisy's latest note in his pocket.

"Really, Phil." Andrew stared at him. "Out with it."

"Chessur likes my neighbor." he shrugged.

"And...?"

"We...uh...send notes to each other with him." Phil admitted.

Andrew raised an eyebrow at that.

"Notes." he repeated.

"You live next door." Melinda said dryly.

"Different hours?" he suggested. "She's online tech support and computer programmer."

"So that's where Chess had vanished to? Your neighbor?" Melinda smirked.

"He seems to like her."

"And it doesn't seem like he's the only one."

"Melinda." Phil widened his eyes at her suggestion.

There was a thump from outside and a yell of pain.

"OW! Ow, ow, ow. Shit, shit, shit." a female voice cursed. "Dammit."

Phil and the Garner-Mays went to see.

"Daisy?" Phil asked a little worried once the door opened.

"Hey, Phil. You ok?" she asked.

"I'm not the one laying amidst fallen groceries." he said, amused.

Chessur went and jumped on her chest.

"Oompf. Not a good time, Chess. Off, furball. You can have extra milk later."

"Is the milk salvagable?" he asked, as he started picking up her shopping bags.

"Everything is salvagable. Oh, hello. Sorry for this." she waved at the couple behind Phil. "I'm Daisy Johnson."

"Melinda May and this is my husband, Andrew Garner. Nice meeting you." Melinda smiled.

"What happened?"

"Sprained my freaking ankle." Daisy rolled her eyes at herself.

"That's Chess's favorite." Phil said, picking the last item.

"Yeah? Cool. I'm clairvoyant."

Andrew took the bags from Phil, and Mel Daisy's apartment keys, while Phil helped Daisy up.

"You'll be ok?" he asked.

"Yeah, no worries. Come morning, I'll be good as rain."

Phil helped her down on her couch and then stocked everything in the kitchen with Andrew.

Daisy's appartment was much like his, but even less decorated.

"Thank you, the three of you." she said once they were finished.

"Anytime." Phil smiled.

"It was good to meet you, Daisy." Andrew said, shaking her hand.

"Take care." Melinda said from her husband's side.

"You too." she smiled.

"Phil, we sould be going, too. It's late." Melinda turned to Phil.

"Yes, of course. You're both early, right?" he nodded. "Let me just walk you out."

"Don't you mean walk them to your place and then out?" Daisy asked amused.

"Hush." he grinned.

Daisy chuckled after his retreating form.

Later that evening, Chess made his way over to her and curled up on her stomach, while she was watching TV.

"Hey, Chess nice to see you again. Did you eat?" Daisy scratched his head and he purred. "Good for you, furball. Got a note for me?"she asked reaching for the colar.

'I'm a history professor. And let me tell you, there never had been a more deadly job than talking about the past to teenagers.'

Daisy chuckled.

"Your caretaker must have a really hard time fedning off all the bored teens."

'Sounds definitelly deadly, Phil. You're really brave, facing off teens. Word of advise; be careful of the ones in the back, they're either ogling you or the popular kids.'

Two days later, Phil got his note and blushed.

'Ogling? Me? Come on, Daisy. I could very well be their father. By the way, the school is getting ready for a trip and I was asked to chaperone. Mind looking after of Chessur? I'd owe you one.'

Daisy was wrapped in her blanket when the doorbell rang.

She blearily got out of her bed, jostling Chessur, and went to open her door.

"Yeah...?" she yawned.

"Did I wake you?" Phil asked, guiltily.

"'S fine...Come in. Want some coffee?" she asked, turning and going to the kitchen, as Phil closed the door behind him.

"Ah, yeah, ok." he said, walking in. Chess came in to greet him. "Hey, Chessur."

"So when is this trip?" she asked, preparing a latte for her. "What coffee do you want?"

"Black."

Daisy made a face.

"Black and bitter? You don't look it. I could totally take you one for the sweet stuff." she rubbed her eyes, as she waited.

"I..." Phil started. "We're leaving tomorrow." he changed subjects.

"Oh? So soon? There you go, black. But I did add half a spoon sugar. You want anything else, beside looking after Chess?"

"Uh, could you keep an eye on my appartment?"

"Phil. Of course. Stop fidgetting. Your're next door to me, if you're broke in, chances are I'll be next. And you won't be here to valliantly defend your home." she smiled. "But, no fear. I will be defending them both."

Phil chuckled.

"You take this way more seriously." he said.

"Well, you looked like you'd pass out for asking. Chill, Phil." she said, drinking her coffee. "Mmm. This is nice." she sighed, closing her eyes.

"Huh." Phil took a sip from his and didn't mind the slight sweetness.

"I know, right?" Daisy smirked, opening one eye to look at him.

"Yeah." he smiled.

"Now that I am more awake. Can I help you with anything else aside Chess and security duty?"

"No. I, uh, I just wanted to spent some time with you."

"You are not shy, are you?" She narrowed her eyes at him. "You didn't seem shy."

"No, normally I'm not shy. Maybe I just want to make a really good impresion." he shrugged.

Daisy smiled and went around the table to lay a kiss on his temple and how is this Phil's life at the momnent he's certain he has Chessur to thank for.

"You packed?"

"Yeah. It's a day off today." he added.

"Give me a moment, yeah? I'm taking you out."

"What? Daisy, you don't..."

"Shut up, Phil. I know." she said, going to her bedroom. "Besides, you need to have something good to think about while herding the hormone-crazy bunch."

Phil smiled. He couldn't argue with Daisy.

"Yeah, ok."

They spent the day together, walking about the city, and Phil couldn't help inch closer to Daisy, almost invading her personal space. She didn't seem to mind, invading his from time to time. He wasn't complaining.

They came back late in the evening and Daisy followed him to his place, so she could pick up Chessur's stuff.

"You're into collecting?" she asked, touching lightly some of his dad's collectibles.

"My dad used to. I kept it up, somewhat." he said, bringing the bag over. "These are his."

"I guess he's passed, huh?" she said softly.

"I was nine."

"Oh, I'm so sorry, Phil." she rubbed his arm a little.

"It's fine." he smiled softly. "You?"

"A year and a few months ago, both of them. Accident." she said quietly. "I sold off the house, packed up and left. Most of our things is in storage, couldn't bear seeing anything for the longest while."

"Daisy..." he said, laying a hand on her shoulder and squezing a little.

Daisy smiled up at him.

"You're a pretty sweet guy, Phil."

He was sure he was blushing.

"I...uh..."

"Safety tip; stay relatively away from the girls." she smirked. "Me and Chess are not ready to share you."

"Daisy!" he exclaimed, somewhat shocked.

"Have a good time, a safe trip and come back home with good memories and many interesting anecdotes." she said softly, drawing him in her arms.

Phil closed his arms around her and pulled her even closer.

"It's seven days." he informed her.

"The longest we'll go without Chess acting as our postcat." she said.

Phil nodded.

Daisy drew back and kissed his cheeck.

"Rest. I'll see you in a week."

"I'll knock your door first thing when I get back." he promised.

"I'll hold you to that." she smiled, taking Chessur's stuff and Phil's second key to his house.

Daisy kept his house clean and made sure no one broke in – she didn't really expect anyone woud, but – while she and Chess spend time together. The cat either didn't like anyone else in the building or wanted to keep her company until Phil's return, because he never slipped into other appartments.

Seven days later, late at night a knock on her door pulled Daisy and Chess away from the TV.

Daisy walked closer, carefully.

"Who's it? I am armed with a dangerous feline." she called out.

"I come bearing gifts." a voice said with amusement.

"Phil!" she beamed, opening the door.

He was standing there, bags and all, looking tired, but he smiled at her when she appeared at the door.

Daisy threw her arms around him and pulled him in a tight embrace, Chess tangling in their legs.

"Hello." he said softly to her hair.

"Missed your handwritting." she told him.

Phil chuckled.

"Come on in." she ushered him inside, picking up his bag. "What did you get me?"

"This." he said before pulling her for a kiss.

Daisy kissed back.

"Oh." she breathed out. "That is a very nice gift, indeed." she smiled. "Thanks, Phil." she said against his lips.

"Seven days without you near was torture. And I had been dying to find a way to talk to you for quite a while."

"Before or after Chess?"

"Before."

"We should really treat our cat, then."

"Our?" he smiled at that. "I like the sound of that."

"Good." Daisy said, serious.

They spent quite a while using Chess as a postcat to invite the other over for dinner or movies or coffee or to suggest they go out on dates.

It was a little over a year and a half before they moved in together. Phil had his stuff moved from his appartment to Daisy's saying he liked hers better.

"You know they are exactly the same, right?" she asked him as he finished moving in.

"Mine didn't have you."

"You're a sap, aren't you?" Daisy smiled.

"Only with you."

"You could have moved in earlier."

"I could. But I wanted to do this, take it slow, woo you."

"You were born in the wrong era, Phil."

"No. It can't be wrong, if there's you in it." he shook his head, pulling her for a kiss.

"What will I do with you and your sweet romancing me, charm school?"

"That is for you to find out. I am humbly awaiting your commands."

Daisy smiled softly at him, before leaning for a kiss.

"I haven't told you yet, but I love you so much." she said quietly.

"I love you, too."

"I know." she smirked.

"I know that you do." he smirked back.

"I knew that."

"I knew that you knew it."

"I've known this, too."

"I've known that you did."

Daisy laughed. Phil smiled at her, loving the sound of her laughter. Chess walked in and jumped on the couch, making himself comfortable, looking mighty pleased with himself.

The couple berely noticed him, but that didn't seem to bother or annoy Chessur. He was enjoying the warmth Daisy had left behind on the couch as his owners enjoyed a moment between them.

Daisy pulled back from the kiss.

"I don't have a very good track record with relationships."

"We all had downs."

"I am letting you know, Phil, my last three weren't good ones. I wasn't expecting to start something serious for a longer while."

"I'll try -"

"No. What I mean is, you feel right." she cut him off. "This is why I didn't push, that I took it slow, too. Mum said that when it feels right, it's worth taking the long road."

"Your mum was very wise."

"I think she'd've liked you. Dad, though, he would have hated you with a passion."

"The age gap?"

"No. Because you'd be taking his 'baby girl' away from him." she smiled.

Phil hummed.

"I could never take the daughter away from her father."

"He'd eventually accept you, once he realised I was head over heels in love with you."

"Or when he'd finally notice I am smitten with you."

"Yeah?"

"Absolutely."

"Bed?"

"Bed."

Chess watched them from his position on the couch as they entered ther bedroom. He then stretched and strated cleaning up himself. His two humans were happy. It made him happy.

~The End~