Phil couldn’t sleep. He rarely could, since T.A.H.I.TI.. It was weird. He never imagined he’d be in a situation where he’d have to force himself awake to escape the nightmares. He knew lots of people who did, but for some reason the situation always seemed foreign to him. As if he was untouchable. He was a fool.
He headed towards the bus, knowing that place never failed to ease his nerves. When he entered the plane, he immediately felt better. Funny how places you consider your home always seemed to have a calming effect on you. Well, at least to him. Some people were in too deep to find comfort anywhere.
His mind immediately flashed to May, and he felt a pang of sadness. She used to be so happy, so loving, so warm. Now it seemed as though she was dead inside. Never showing emotions. Never letting herself have them. Just wandering, with no real home.
Oh, how he wanted to be that home. He wanted to be the one to comfort her. He had tried to be that, after Bahrain, but now he feared he did more bad than good.
As if by reflex, he found himself in front of the Cockpit. He entered it, and to his surprise, May lay there, asleep on one of the chairs.
He smiled. May was, of course, having similar problems to his, and the fact that she had decided to sleep here meant that this place was at least a bit comforting for her, that she at least felt a bit at home. He knew it was wrong, but he couldn’t help feeling overjoyed by the fact that he was the reason she was on the plane, therefor he was the reason she had the cockpit.
He sat down in the chair next to her and watched her sleeping form. It was weird. Where most people saw the ice queen or the cavalry, he always saw snippets of the person she used to be, as if leaking out of her. There was always as part of her true self that showed, as badly as she didn’t want it to. But when she slept, it was as if she was transported back to the time before Bahrain where she would laugh and bend the rules so easily. It was simultaneously adorable and heart breaking. Most of all it made him feel so, so nostalgic.
He looked out the window, onto the Playground garage, and got lost in thought, remembering the good old days at the academy.
Suddenly, he heard whimpering. He turned to look down at May. What had earlier been her calm features had turned into the face of someone trying not to cry. Her chest heaved up and down, as if she were finding it hard to breed. She shook her head, and a little ‘no’, barely over a whisper, escaped her lips, as the first tear rolled down her cheek. Her breath got less and less tempered, and she started making gasping noises.
“May?” he asked, reaching out to steady her. But she didn’t react. “May!” he repeated. She was starting to hyperventilate. He shook her. “May, please, wake up!” he said, almost pleading.
Suddenly, her eyes opened. She looked around, confused. Then her eyes landed on him. “Phil?” she asked meekly.
He nodded, and caressed her cheek. “You okay?” he asked.
She nodded, looking down. “I, uh, I dreamt about Bahrain...” she said.
He nodded. “Want to talk about it?” he asked.
She sighed. “Not really...” she said. He nodded, not wanting to push her.
They sat in silence for a few moments, until he got up to leave. “I should probably get some sleep,” he said “Long day tomorrow.”
As he was about to exit the door when she asked, “Phil?”
He turned to her without a second of hesitation. “Yes?” he asked.
“Uh, I, uh—I know that we’ve been, um, slightly less close since you found out about the whole me reporting to Fury thing, but, um, I was wondering if you could, um, stay with me?” she asked shyly, which he found adorable.
“Melinda,” he said, as he went back to sit on the chair, “Of course I will.”
She smiled. “Thanks. It’s just that— I, uh, I sleep better when you’re around,” she said.
He couldn’t help but grin. “You have no idea how much you saying that makes me happy.”
And so she fell asleep, on his lap. As Phil was about to fall asleep too, he smiled, knowing that she did have a home.