a.n. This first chapter is like, finale adjacent, since I started it pre-finale
It was really easy to love Melinda May. Coulson had learned that very early in their relationship when he almost immediately developed a massive crush. Back then that was all it had been. A crush, because she was funny and beautiful and could kick his ass without breaking a sweat.
He'd gotten over that little crush eventually, and they were good friends. Great friends. Over the years they had been through so much together, helped each other through their worst times and celebrated their best. Along the way they had learned everything about each other. Favourite foods, their little rituals when they needed to relax or psych themselves up for a mission, how to tell when they needed someone there for them and when they needed to be alone.
Phil had, somewhat naively, thought he knew everything there was to know about his partner, even as that decades old crush had resurfaced. He realised very quickly that it was way more than a crush. Phil knew he was a romantic but the way his stomach swooped when she looked at him and how he felt like he would do anything to see her smile... well. It was Melinda. After everything that had been through it was never just going to be a crush. Not now.
It wasn't until she had cornered him in that hallway that Coulson realised something he hadn't known about Melinda May. That she loved him too.
On some level Phil thought that was it. The final piece of the puzzle for both of them. Now they were together, and there was nothing else left to learn.
Neither of them had the energy for conversation after their mission. Neither of them really had the energy for anything. They trailed back through the halls of the Lighthouse alone, relieved to have saved Coulson's life, but exhausted.
Phil hesitated when he opened his door, noting that May had stopped walking. He swallowed. "I-I know that this is all... new, and I don't want to overstep, I just-"
He was interrupted by May walking past him into his room, kicking off her boots at the door.
Despite everything, Phil smiled. "I've got some old T-shirts in the bottom drawer."
Even though they were technically together now, Phil flushed bright red when May started to pull of her own shirt to change into one of his old ones and he immediately turned to look at the wall.
He would swear he could hear her smirking at him. "It's not like you haven't seen it before Phil."
He flushed further, fiddling with his robot hand. "I know, it's just... it's different now."
Melinda circled to stand in front of him, standing on tiptoe to kiss him. "It is." She murmured. "That's a good thing."
Phil smiled down at her. "I know. Just give me a little time to get used to it without making fun of me too much."
The way her grin turned wicked and her eyes narrowed made him realise she would do no such thing, and Phil couldn't resist the urge to pull her into his arms for another kiss, which was broken after several seconds when he yawned.
May laughed against him. "Get changed." She said, grabbing for the boxers on his bed and throwing them at him.
Phil shook his head, reluctantly freeing himself from their embrace. "Yes ma'am."
He could feel her eyes on him as he changed, but did his best to ignore the self-conscious feeling her gaze elicited. When his hands reached for the buttons of his shirt, Phil hesitated. He had barely looked since being cured. It had been a long time since he hadn't looked down and seen that black network of scars across his chest. Coulson didn't notice May's approach until her hands were placed over his.
He looked at her and saw that same uncertainty. "It's okay." She said quietly. "We're okay."
Phil nodded haltingly, willing his hands to stop shaking as he began to unbutton his shirt.
Part of him didn't believe it when the scars weren't there. The only one that remained was the scar from his original injury. The one he had previously thought of as large and twisted and horrifying, but which now seemed laughably small. Phil let out a shaky sigh, his hands dropping to his sides.
May swallowed in an attempt to hide her own nerves. "Told you." She joked weakly.
Phil looked up to meet her eyes and smiled. "I love you." He murmured. It felt like relief. It felt normal to the point that he didn't even question it until he saw the affectionate look that took over Melinda's face, a smile tugging at her lips. The vulnerability to her puzzled him for a moment before he realised.
That was the first time he had said it.
He leaned down to kiss her again. "I love you." Phil repeated. "I'm sorry I didn't say it sooner."
May shook her head. "It's okay." She mumbled. "You've got plenty of time to make up for it. For now let's just sleep."
"Copy that." He said, and the two collapsed onto his bed, Phil barely having the presence of mind to remove his hand and mutter the command to turn off the lights before they fell asleep.
Phil woke slowly, his exhaustion and the darkness of the room beckoning him to sleep more. He was warm and he was comfortable, but something was pulling him out of his well-earned rest. A quiet sound.
He blinked his eyes blearily to get his bearings. His chest still hurt a little from the scars, but not enough to wake him. After a moment, his eyes fixed on May's form in the darkness.
She was curled up slightly on her side, one half of her face mashed into his pillow. Her hair was more than a little mussed, and she looked more innocent and unguarded that Phil had ever seen.
And she was snoring.
Phil bit his lip to keep from laughing at the realisation. No matter how exhausted, he knew that would wake her. She wasn't even snoring that badly, not really. Just a quiet, unmistakable noise in the back of her throat that Phil couldn't help but find incredibly endearing.
He rolled onto his side to face her, smiling. A lot of weird and unbelievable things had happened in the last few months, but by far the most surprising and welcome of them was Melinda May loving him. Her wanting this, her kissing him back on that spaceship and again almost every time they had been alone since.
She was so cute in that moment that all he wanted to do was wrap her up in his arms and pepper kisses all over her face. To tell her he loved her a million times so that she might have some idea how he felt.
But she was sleeping, and Phil was loath to wake her. Instead he lay there and watched her, letting the sound of May's quiet snoring soothe him back to sleep.
Melinda May usually woke up suddenly. She had her internal clock, and she almost always followed it, waking promptly at five every morning for training. That was her routine, but after a mission, especially a mission like this, she had become more forgiving of herself for sleeping in. Maybe Daisy had just been rubbing off on her, maybe she was getting old, but she excused herself from training if she had been on an intense mission the day before.
Her mother would be disgusted, but then again her mother had never saved the world. At least as far as she knew.
So that morning she woke gradually, that quiet calming voice inside willing her to keep her eyes closed a little longer, the soft material of Phil's shirt against her skin more comforting than she would care to admit.
May could feel a little itch though, which she knew meant she was being watched. Probably Phil. Definitely Phil, at least it had better be.
She let herself open her eyes slowly, eyelids fluttering in a way they rarely did, squirming and stretching her unusually sore muscles. When her eyes cleared, it was to see Phil smiling at her in an oddly familiar way. "What?"
"Morning." He smiled, brushing a stray strand of hair out of her face.
May blinked at him, still getting her bearings. "Morning." His touch was so gentle and affectionate that it was hard not to melt. Hell, maybe it would be okay to melt right now. No. He still had that knowing grin on his face that said he knew something she didn't. "What are you smiling about?"
His smile widened. "What, I'm not allowed to be happy to wake up next to the woman I love?"
Her stomach fluttered at the words and May felt a flush climbing her neck, grateful for the millionth time that it almost never showed. Still, she knew him. That was a dodge, and a weak one at that. "Phil."
He chuckled. "You snore."
Melinda sat up abruptly, her eyes narrowing. "Take that back."
Phil laughed and she refused to be happy about it. "You do though."
"I do not."
He had that smug look on his face that made her want to either punch him or kiss him. "Only a little." Phil grinned. "Don't worry, it's cute."
Even May was impressed at how much the sound that came out of her resembled a growl. "Take that back."
Phil snorted. "You've got bed-head and you're wearing one of my old T-shirts, you can't really pull of the scary look right now."
She swiftly pinned him to the bed. "I don't need a look to be scary."
Phil grinned up at her. "I love you." He murmured, pressing a quick kiss to her lips before she could see it coming. "Especially when you snore."
May glared. "You'll pay for that."
"I look forward to it."
a.n. OKAY, so this is gonna be an ongoing thing, mostly short little fic bits. If you have any prompts for this I'd love to take them but they have to follow two rules;
1) No smut. Writing sex scenes really squicks me so I'm just not gonna do it.
2) It has to be something they feasibly don't already know about each other. May knows Coulson likes to cook, he knows she doesn't like coffee.