Melinda reached into her bag, taking out a random T-shirt nonchalantly. But when she looked at what she was holding, she was surprise. It seemed as though she had left this red-white-and-blue T-shirt in the bottom of her bag since she had first packed it, nearly three years ago. She had forgotten it was there.
It was the T-shirt Phil had been wearing the first time she met him. She remembered how she had frowned when her eyes had first set on the Captain America logo, only too look up and see the cutest, nicest, excited, handsome face beaming at her. “I’m Phil,” he had said, grinning, and she stayed silent for a moment, just staring at his smile, before smiling back at him. “I’m Melinda,” she had said.
He wore that T-shirt often. So much that some of her friends, who only knew him through her, called him ‘Captain America T guy’.
Melinda examined the T-shirt. She found a stain at the bottom of it, and smiled fondly at the memory of how it got there. She had convinced Phil to sneak into the lab with her to get a file, and they had spilled a vial of some sort of gooey chemical. He had gotten a bit of it on his T-shirt. He freaked out, wondering if the chemical was poisonous, and they had to go to the head of the lab to ask him whether or not the chemical was safe. Of course then they had to explain why they were in the lab in the first place, and they got in trouble.
Melinda smelled the shirt, and was happy to learn that it still smelled like him. That it still smelled like Phil.
She remembered after his death, breaking into his apartment to retrieve that T-shirt. She knew that it was selfish, seeing as she had been pushing him away since Bahrain, but she couldn’t stand the idea of losing him forever. She had to have something to remind her of him, even though she probably no right to have anything. So she took the T-shirt.
She slept in it for months, not caring that she had once sworn to him that she would never wear Captain America clothes. She missed him so much.
Melinda teared up a bit at the memory. She remembered the exact feeling of emptiness she had felt after he had died. That feeling as though the last beautiful thing, the last thing that made life worth it, had disappeared, ceased to exist.
Melinda wiped away a tear. He was back now, and he was okay. She had nearly had to kill him, but they found another way, and now he was safe. She would keep him that way.
She put the T-shirt on, and wandered down the hallway. She entered the kitchen, and leaned against the doorframe.
There he was, her Phil, cooking the breakfast, alive and happy.
“Mornin’,” she said.
He turned around and grinned, and just like the first time she had met him, she found herself stunned by his beautiful smile.
“Hey! You’re up. Just in time, too. I just finished making breakfast,” he said. “You do still like pancakes, right?” he asked, putting the food on a plate. “Because if you don’t anymore, I could just go out and get donuts or something. Skye told me there’s this great place, although Trip did complain that they didn’t have his favorite kind. That started a heated argument…” he continued talking, and she just watched him, wondering how on earth did she end up with someone as special as him.
He kept blabbering, until she interrupted him. “Phil?” she asked.
He looked at her. “Yeah?”
“I love you,” she said, in a matter-of-fact way. She felt a need to remind him of that.
He smiled. “I love you two,” he responded, giving her a soft kiss.
When they pulled apart, he looked down. “Wait is that my T-shirt?” he asked.