Daisy wasn't sure what woke her up so early in the morning, but she was wide awake the second she opened her eyes. She yawned, stretching, and pulled on her workout clothes, thinking of going to the gym to get some training done.
When she opened her door, however, it was to find a hesitant looking Melinda May on the other side, looking like she was about to knock. Daisy smiled, "May, hey. What," She yawned again, "are you doing up?"
She saw May's throat work for a moment before she spoke. "I need to talk to you."
Daisy could see the apprehension on her face a mile away. "What is it?" She asked, concerned. "Is something wrong?"
The worry in Daisy's eyes made Melinda's heart ache. Except... no. She didn't really have a heart, did she? And Daisy wasn't actually worried about her. May nodded quietly.
Daisy gestured to her room. "Do you wanna come in?"
Melinda entered silently, sinking into Daisy's chair. Daisy sat on the edge of her unmade bed, leaning forwards. May sighed. "If I asked you to throw me into a holding cell with no explanation, would you do it?"
Daisy rolled her eyes. "Have we met?" She asked sarcastically. She was going for a joke, but the look on May's face was only one of conflict. Daisy hesitated. "May, you're scaring me. Just- tell me what it is, okay? We'll figure it out."
Melinda tried to take a breath to calm down, but even that felt wrong. Did she even need to breathe? She trembled ever so slightly. "I- I'm not who you think I am."
Daisy cocker her head. "What do you mean?" She bit her lip. "Did you have a nightmare about..."
But May shook her head. "I haven't slept."
"Okay." Daisy would hound her about that later. "Then what is it?"
May tried to say it. I think I'm an android. The words wouldn't come. She wasn't sure if she was programmed not to say it, or if she was just too scared. She chewed on her lip. "I feel like me." She said softly, "I- I know I care about everyone. I remember-" She sucked a breath, trying to calm down, "I remember training you. I remember being at the academy with Coulson. All our missions as a team."
Daisy frowned. "Yeah, so do I. What's going on?"
Melinda looked down. She couldn't say it. No way Daisy would just figure it out. She swallowed the sour feeling in her mouth. She didn't want to lose Daisy, but... she wasn't the person Daisy thought she was. "I-" She couldn't ask Daisy to trust her. She didn't even trust herself. "I need you to look at my shoulder."
"Is something wrong?" Daisy asked, "Is it infected or something?"
She shook her head. "No. Y-" She felt sick. "You have to- pull the skin back to see."
Daisy recoiled. "Are you serious?! I'm not gonna do that! I don't wanna hurt you, and- what the hell May?!"
Melinda licked her lips. She should have known that Daisy wouldn't make this easy. She was so scared though. Daisy was... Daisy. She didn't want to lose her, or any of her team.
But they weren't her team.
Melinda drew her swiss army knife from her pocket. "I didn't know." She said softly, and before Daisy could shout out, May had driven the knife into her abdomen.
Daisy screamed, rocketing backwards. "W-what the hell are you doing?!" She exclaimed, staring at the knife May was removing from her stomach, wincing in pain.
Melinda put the knife down, holding up her hands. "Daisy- look."
Daisy went for the door. "The only thing I'm looking for is a doctor." She said.
"No, Daisy-" May stood and caught her arm. "Look." She gestured to the wound, and the first thing Daisy noticed was that if definitely should be bleeding more than that. Then May wiped away a little of it with her shirt as she pulled it up, and Daisy saw the telltale shine of metal beneath the skin.
Daisy stared, uncomprehending for a long moment as the reality started to sink in. She wrenched her arm from May's grip, taking several steps backwards. She tried to speak. She couldn't.
May held up her hands, hating the fear in Daisy's eyes. "I'm not gonna hurt you." She said, "I-I don't know what's going on."
Daisy stared. "Y-you're not May."
Melinda swallowed. "I- I feel like I am." She said, "I didn't know until I hurt my shoulder."
Daisy started to relax her arms, tentatively accepting that this... robot May, wasn't going to attack. "I- where's the real May?"
The emphasis put on 'real' stung. "I don't know." She admitted, "But if I had to put money on it..."
Daisy's eyes narrowed. "Aida did something." She growled, but the fear started to grow. Had May been dead for weeks? "When did this happen?"
The robot shook her head. "I don't know, Daisy- I... I don't know what to do."
Daisy could see the panic written all over the robot's countenance, and realised that she didn't look very much different. "Just- breathe, okay? We'll figure this out."
May felt sick again. "I don't need to breath though, do I?"
Daisy took a deep breath. "To calm down you do." She bit her lip. "Remember? You taught me that."
"That wasn't me." May said, but did as Daisy said. Her shoulders sagged as she exhaled, and despite everything, she felt slightly better. "We need to find... me."
Daisy hesitated. "Who can we trust though?" She asked, realising. "Any of the others could be..."
May rolled her eyes. "Can't go around stabbing everyone."
Daisy thought for a moment, then brought her hand up, facing the ceiling, and sent out the tiniest of pulses. "Aida can't copy this." She said.
May nodded. "So you're not-"
"That's a start." Daisy muttered. "And Yoyo. But the others..."
That pulled Melinda up short. Were the others androids too? Was Phil? Oh God. Phil. She sank back into the chair.
"Hey," Daisy's voice interrupted her thoughts. "We'll figure this out. Everything's gonna be alright."
"Then what?" May asked quietly. She was scared. Best case scenario they found... her, alive and well, took down Aida or whoever was behind this, and then... she wasn't sure. She would be deactivated, probably.
Daisy put a tentative hand over hers. "I... I won't let anyone hurt you." She promised.
Melinda wished she could pull away. "Why not?" She asked flatly. "I'm not really May. I... I don't know what I am."
Daisy cocked her head. "I do." She said softly. "You're someone who needs help. And," She smiled a little, "Lucky for you, I'm kind of a big deal when it comes to superheroes."
Despite herself, Melinda smiled. "Good to see it hasn't gone to your head."
Daisy grinned back. "You know me, modest to a fault."
May rolled her eyes and Daisy hesitated. "Look, I know you're not... really May." She said, "But you told me the truth, and that means that you trust me, so... I trust you too." She swallowed. "We could still be friends, if you want."
Melinda swallowed. "Thank you Daisy." She said softly. She was okay with losing everything she thought she was, just so long as she could keep the people she cared about.
Daisy smiled bashfully. "You gonna cry now?" She teased, trying to hide her own embarrassment.
"Robots don't cry."
"Sappy robots do."