The room might be warm, but the air feels crisp regardless, and for once Melinda seems to actually be noticing it, her fingers tapping - if he dares even think it, anxiously - at her hips, even with her hands clamped against her hips and her entire body tensed up as though for a fight.
It always had to be a fight, didn’t it?
Sometimes Phil wasn’t entirely sure why he kept trying. Of course, he knew all too well why he did. However, he was growing less certain that it wouldn’t be the death of him.
“Since when did you become a high-ranking member of Team Gonzales?”
Melinda scoffs, keeping her face blank enough that he can’t tell whether it’s at him or at them.
“Someone had to run the base while you were gone. Someone had to keep everyone - keep you - safe.”
“I was fine on my own. I’m a grown man, I can handle myself.”
“Really? Because the last time I checked, you were about to have a tantrum because I don’t agree with you wholeheartedly!”
Now it’s Phil’s turn to scoff, giving him something to focus on so that he can force himself to stay a reasonable distance from her.
“Oh, so that’s what you think this is?”
“Well, you’re not angry at Hunter or Fitz or Simmons or anyone else, are you? I’m the one you’re angry with, and they’re your team!”
The world pauses.
“Are you not a part of my team?” his voice comes out softer and more broken than he wants it to.
He watches as she clenches her jaw.
“We haven’t been half the team I thought we were if I’m just a part of your team, Phillip,” she replies, her voice even darker than bitter now, the closest to a tantrum that she’s let herself get since Bahrain save for kicking Ward’s ass, and the worst he’s felt in years.
He isn’t surprised that she gives neither of them a chance to explain or elaborate, and pushes past him over to the door, shoulder definitely not unintentionally bumping his as she passes. He reflexively reaches for her, his outstretched hand grazing her back, and she twists herself around.
“I’m angry, too, okay? But I’m sure as Hell not gonna waste it on a tantrum, not even one about you. We have a job to do, Phil. This may not be Bahrain, and our boundaries may not be clear, but we still have a job to do,” she says roughly, and shoves the door open, leaving him standing there alone, lavender perfume lingering afterwards.