"Commander May! What a surprise. I didn't expect to see you here" The last person President Phil Coulson had expected to attend the Colonial Day gala was the Commander. She just didn't seem like someone who enjoyed this.
The name of the event was Colonial Day, but it was more of a place for politicians to meet and decide what to do, plot against each other and find some way to bring one another down. It was a tiresome event but Phil needed to do this. He needed to know where he stood. He had been aware that Senator Garrett had his eyes on the presidency but the last of humanity in the hands of Garrett ? No way! Phil would rather die than see that happen.
However seeing Commander May here was a surprise. Irrespective of their differences and arguments, Commander May was someone who Phil trusted and she was a good company to talk to, once in a while. No one understood his situation better than her. Two leaders, one military, one civilian left to lead the last of humanity to a new home. Both never having wanted this responsibility yet being thrust with it.
"I'm a patriot Mr. President, I am also the highest ranked military officer surviving. It wouldn't look nice if I didn't visit. Couldn't let people think the military and government aren't on one side" she said with a shrug.
"You could be a good politician Commander" Phil responded teasingly
She chuckled. Phil could swear she chuckled. Though that vanished as soon as it came. He could also swear that was the sweetest voice he had heard in a long time. Wait! Sweetest ? Why was he thinking about her laughing ?
Well even in her military uniform, there was a certain air of casualness around her at this moment. He had never seen her this calm. Ever since he met her for the first time. Sure she had once leant him a book to read but that was nothing like this. He could always see her tensed. It was no surprise. The whole responsibility of humanity's safety hanging on your shoulders, never gave one a chance to relax but it felt good.
He observed her more closely. In her stoic and composed expression one could see the years of experience in the military. In her ever set jaw and rarely given smiles, one could see the experiences that had built her to what she was today. In the wedding rig she still wore on her finger one could see the regrets that she carried with her but yet irrespective of all that, if there was one thing someone could say about her was that she was a really beautiful woman. She had really beautiful eyes and lovely hair and the tiny smile that graced her face added a sort of serenity to her. If he could just pull her in and kiss her ....
Wait! Kiss her ? Get a grip over yourself Phil! You are the head of the government and she's your military head, you have responsibilities towards the last of humanity, don't forget that your future isn't really in your hands anymore, you know what's gonna end up happening to you and you both don't really get along well, you can't let yourself be dragged down but the warmth you're feeling currently when she's looking at you ... She's looking at you !!
He came back to the present and realised May was looking at him.
"You're ok Mr. President ?" She asked.
"Uhh .. Yeah I am. Sorry was carried away" he replied sheepishly.
"I was saying Grant as your choice for Vice President. Think it's the better choice ?"
"Well I atleast can keep an eye on Grant! Garrett is way too dangerous, for the fleet. Grant is someone I can deal with" he said shrugging his shoulder.
"Politics and War, not so different huh ? It's all about strategy"
"Definitely but once war happens, you either survive or die, while in politics you can go on being killed until you give up" he smirked.
They looked at the scene before them. The youngsters bonding. Young Viper Pilots taking a break before they have to return back to protecting people. He saw his personal aide Leo trying to impress the girl from Melinda's team.. Jemma! He suddenly remembered her name. He had seen how Leo would blush when Jemma's name was mentioned. The kid was in love. Everyone was happy. It did feel good. The company he had currently also did and if everyone got a chance to dance then why shouldn't they ? Who said the leaders couldn't let go and relax for once ?
He moved around the table and stood in front of her, hand stretched out. She looked up at him eyebrows raised and surprise clear on her face.
"Commander let all tensions frak off for now, currently I've had a victory and I would like to dance! So would you join me ?" He asked with a smile on his face. He had been told a lot of times that he had a smile which was pretty amazing and it was tough to say no when he asked with that smile. Though nothing really worked with Commander May but he should try his luck.
Shaking her head and with a smirk on her face, she joins him.
He slowly walks her over to the dance floor and sees that she's feeling a bit awkward with her team glancing at them every now and then. The slow music playing in the background gave him a chance to hold her closer to him, or as close as they could be.
They swayed slowly to the music. Her hand resting now in his. His other palm resting lightly on her back. Her other hand resting on his shoulder. He couldn't help but feel how nice her hand felt in his. Amongst everything that felt like a mess around them, this felt right.
"I didn't expect you to be a good dancer Mr. President" she said looking up at him.
"Just because I was a school teacher, don't think I don't have other tricks up my sleeve Commander" he replied back.
"Oh I don't doubt that Mr. President! The way you dealt with Garrett today was impressive"
"You're appreciating my work! That is a shocker!" He replied with a mock expression of shock on his face.
"I do appreciate your work Mr. President. What you're doing is brave and it needs courage. Handling the civilians when all hope's lost, it takes guts! And we wouldn't have been here without you and I'd anyways choose you as a leader for the civilians than that Garrett. It's just that sometimes ..."
"I tend to get a bit on your nerves" he cut her off chuckling.
She smiled back. "That's why I assure you Commander, I'll handle the government, you handle military" he added.
They kept swaying to the music. Both could feel the moment was gonna end soon. They have to return back to their duties and the kids needed more fast beat songs playing. A president and his military head needed to be brought back and Melinda and Phil forgotten. That's how it'll always be.
They parted and both the President and the Commander left. Phil had to prepare for a meeting the next day while Melinda had to return back to CIC.
Walking towards the hangar where the Phil's ride was awaiting him both of them didn't speak much. Just before Phil boarded and left, he halted and turned around.
"Thank you Commander May for what you said. I'm also glad that you are the military head ! You give a lot of importance to the civilians. Thank you"
"What we have here, is the last of humanity Mr. President, it's my duty to protect them." She smiled.
Deciding to take a little a little bit more of a risk, he bent down and touched his lips with hers. It was a quick peck, finished before it even began but it felt like it was needed. It wasn't romantic as such, it was more of Phil showing gratitude in his own way to Melinda for being there with him. He knew that the coming time was going to be hard and he needed people who'd stand by him, who he could trust.
Once he retreated she looked at him and gave a tiny smile.
"Thank you Commander May. Take care."
"Wish you the same Mr. President"
He smiled one last time before leaving off to his ship. Whatever was in store could be handled later, right now he was happy his day turned out much better than it began. He needed to go back and start reading the Book of Kreean Prophesies, see how much truth was in it but that could be dealt with later. For now he relaxed.