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Accidents Don't Just Happen Accidentally

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The child knocks the rest of the books off the coffee table, trying to outrun Jamie. The poor cat is actually having trouble keeping up, but he seems to realize that she needs someone to play with.

"You can't really be serious, Phil," Melinda whispers, still worried that the girl might overhear them. She was old enough at nearly three to be able to tell when adults were having a disagreement.

"There's nowhere else for her to go, Melinda. Not really. Nowhere SHIELD can guarantee she'll be taken care of like she should be."

Melinda purses her lips. He knew her too well.

"If it doesn't work out it can be temporary, but we both...I know this is more sudden than it would be if we went forward through the non-top-secret legal system, but we're her best chance, too."

The little girl's laughter echoes through the small apartment, and neither of them can help but smile.

"Are you sure we're ready for this? It's not as easy as signing papers and declaring that we're parents, what if I'm really not cut out for this and then..."

"Hey," Phil cups her chin in his hands and kisses her nose. She grumbles, even though they aren't in public and she actually doesn't mind when they're at home. "We're a team, remember? In the field, at home, no matter what. We can handle this. You, me, the Internet, and our cat named James Bond. We got this."

His hands slip down to her shoulders, and their eyes meet, and for a moment, she can let herself trust that all their discussing and hoping and crying won't be in vain.

"Don't forget our car named Lola."

Something else crashes, this time down the hall, and Jamie meows like he does when they'd had another cat and he could blame things on her.

Just some boxes, Phil and Melinda find out after scurrying over to the hallway, nothing breakable or of note, but looking at each other they can tell that their sighs of relief are ones of noticing that neither Jamie nor the toddler has been hurt. Phil raises an eyebrow, and Melinda smiles as she nods.

"Hey, Daisy? You wanna come to the kitchen for dinner?" he coos sweetly, walking down the hall and hoisting her up into his arms. Jamie whines, and Phil gestures back to Melinda, scolding him.

"Cookies," Daisy declares, wrapping her arms around Phil's neck.

"Not until you finish dinner," Melinda says, letting Jamie pop himself up onto her shoulder from a table, and waiting for them to reach the end of the hall before heading back to the kitchen. Daisy groans, but Phil whispers something in her ear, and she cheers up.