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what a difference a day makes

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She contests the order, of course.

Not because she thinks the world is going to end if she spends one day away from the base - but who knows? it might; not that she is that important, but, she could help if something happened - but because she worries she won’t be able to relax at all, and then Andrew’s point would be moot.

“Doc’s orders. And we have to indulge him because...”

“Because he is still finding his footing,” Coulson finishes, signing her off duty papers despite her frown. “It’s just a day.”

Daisy grumbles.

“If it’s any consolation, he ordered the same treatment for me,” Coulson adds. “And I don’t like it either.”

He turns around and that’s when Daisy notices the overnight bag on his desk, which he is getting right now. It does serve as consolation, and it piques her interest. Coulson with a day off. She doesn’t think that has ever happened. Not even after… yeah, no, it hasn’t happened.

They walk out together to the garage.

“I think it’s reckless,” Daisy says. “You’re the Director and I’m… I’m me. We should be here. What if something bad happens?”

Coulson gives her a soft smile. Daisy feels strangely patronized for a second.

“Then we’ll be one phone call away?”

It annoys her that Coulson is seemingly so chill about this. He deserves a break, she agrees and she wants him to have fun, but she had imagined he would go kicking and screaming, and she’d have a companion complaining about Andrew’s tyranny.

I know it’s useless trying to get you to agree to a full vacation but let’s start with one day, Andrew had said to her with that soft look of his like she’s usually so unreasonable. She’s not. She just - she doesn’t like the idea of leaving people behind. Even for a day. It might make a difference, her being here, if something happens.

“I know things have been quiet lately,” she tells Coulson, more seriously. “But that’s usually when things tend to…”

She makes a explosion gesture, complete with sound effect.

Coulson touches her arm, listening more closely now.

“I know. I agree. But you’ll be close. The team can manage,” he reminds her, knowing she’ll react to that, the implication that she is doing the team a disservice but not trusting they’ll know how to deal with whatever comes.

Daisy nods.

She’ll figure it out.

It’s just 24 hours, it can’t be that difficult.

She now wonders where Coulson is going, now that she knows Andrew wrote the same prescription for him. She’s taking an SUV and he’s taking Lola, predictably.

“This is really pathetic but I’m not sure what to do with a day off,” she admits.

She sounds like an old lady tied to her work desk, she knows.

“I’m a bit rusty myself,” Coulson says. “Where are you headed?”

“New York, I guess,” she replies. She didn’t want to think too much. “I figured I’d find something to do there. You?”

“I have a flat here in town,” he says, a bit mysteriously. “Not exactly a safe house, I wanted to check it out. Maybe buy some furniture. Have a meal in an actual restaurant for once.”

“Sounds fun,” Daisy says. She would rather go with Coulson and do some boring furniture business right now than try to find out exactly what she’s supposed to do when she’s not supposed to do anything.

“You’ll figure it out,” Coulson tells her.

“Yeah.” She sighs. “When are we off our punishment then?”

“Tomorrow at eight o’clock.”

That’s a lot of hours. It’s going to feel endless.

 

+

 

It takes her a couple of hours to call him again.

She doesn’t want to be - what? needy, but Coulson is the only one who knows how edgy she feels right now.

“I’ve been checking the news,” she tells him when he picks up (he picks up pretty quickly, is he feeling edgy too? or just worried that she’s calling him?). “You were right. The world hasn’t imploded because I’ve been idle for a couple of hours.”

He teases her about it: “I’m really sorry.”

He can joke but truth is Daisy almost wishes an emergency call would come. No one getting hurt, of course, but she’d rather go suit up and face a mission than face the fact that her private life is so hollow that she has no idea what to do when she’s given one lousy off-day.

“So what are you doing?” Coulson asks.

Daisy looks at the skyline. The familiarity she feels around this place is not something years away from here can erase. She could still find her way through these streets blindfolded.

“I’m swinging by my old orphanage,” she tells him.

Coulson falls silent. Then, in a soft, different voice: “Are you okay? Do you want to talk?”

She smiles at the offer, even though he can’t see her. “Thanks, it’s fine. I do it every time I come back to Hell’s Kitchen. It’s kind of a ritual.”

“Ah.”

“There’s my favorite Thai around the corner and then I can to Sullivan Street Bakery for the dessert. Coulson, you would love that place.”

She immediately feels a bit awkward about saying that last part and the moment of silence on Coulson’s end worries her for a second.

“A good plan, then,” he says, easy.

“Yeah, I think I might be getting into the whole off-duty thing.”

“It’s good for you.”

She chuckles. “How would you know? I’ve never seen you take an hour for yourself, let alone a day. When was the last time you went on vacation?”

Tahiti notwithstanding, she adds mentally. Though that wasn’t a vacation. Off-time, definitely, but not a vacation. Coulson might be feeling ambiguous about the whole thing because of that.

“I don’t know. Nineteen ninety-eight? Officially.”

“And unofficially?”

He makes a strange pause.

“I’ve dated people, I sometimes just checked out on the job without telling anyone. To see them.”

She raises her eyebrow, more freely and comically now that he can’t see her.

“That… doesn’t sound like you,” she says, chuckling a bit.

She hears an offended sound at the other end of the phone. For some reason it’s easier teasing Coulson when she doesn’t have him in front of her. Coulson, too, seems to find it easier to be goofy through the phone line.

“I’m full of surprises,” he tells her.

 

+

 

Eating in restaurants alone - which Daisy has always liked, but she’s not sure if that wasn’t out of necessity - was a lot funner when she wasn’t worried about getting spotted as a known agent from a shady organization. And things are okay now, but the whole Registration Act debacle last year taught her to look over her shoulder even more than she used to.

Maybe it’s also the fact that she’s older now and her life is unexpectedly full and the neighborhood has lost some of its allure. When she was a lonely twenty year old hiding behind her laptop she felt quite bold and independent, enjoying her meals alone while she worked.

The food is still good and the place comforting and it still feels a bit like home - but now she has another home and the experience is a bit nostalgic.

So she takes out her phone.

“Hello again,” Coulson says when he picks up. Daisy searches his voice for any hint that she might be bothering him.

“Are you eating?” she asks, wishing for some company even if it’s through an encrypted line.

“Yes.”

“Is it a nice place?”

“Very nice,” he tells her. “It has a three-month waiting list. But I know some people who know some people.”

“How come you never take me to such elegant places?”

Coulson actually laughs at that. It reminds her of the sound of glass clinking for some reason. She wishes she could feel the vibrations of it.

“Next time,” he tells her.

She wishes that sounded more like a promise and less like a joke.

“I don’t like eating alone,” Coulson adds, all of the sudden.

“No?” That surprises her. He looks like the type who would be comfortable with it. In fact, he seems to prefer it, seeing as he almost never eats with the rest of the team.

“I do it often, for work,” he says. “I ate alone a lot when I was a kid.”

He doesn’t need to elaborate. Daisy has seen his personal file, she can fill in the gaps; he was brought up by a woman who was alone, a mother who had to work multiple jobs to support her kid and who most likely didn’t have the luxury of eating meals together with him. Daisy feels a pang of pain, even though she knows, intimately, what it means to spend most of your childhood alone. She has this weird, unexpected thought attacking her, that she doesn’t want Coulson to have to eat alone ever again.

 

+

 

A couple of hours later he sends her pictures of a couple of tables he’s considering buying, so Daisy can give her opinion on which one looks better.

 

+

 

On the way to finally get dessert (she visited a couple of Rising Tide contacts on the way - not work, just work associations) she punches Coulson’s number again. This time she doesn’t feel guilty about it. It’s obvious he wants to talk to her, too.

“Okay, I admit it, I’m pretty bored now,” she tells him.

“Workaholic,” he replies.

“That coming from you?”

Coulson laughs. Through the phone he sounds different, more loosened up. Maybe it’s just the day off.

When was the last time she had the luxury of being bored, though? Okay, she’s beginning to see Andrew Garner’s point here, and it’s not about relaxing or even taking time off. And she can see why Coulson is on the same boat.

“So I’m hopelessly dedicated to the cause,” Daisy jokes.

“There are worse things,” Coulson agrees. “But isolation always leads to mistakes. The cause needs whole human beings.”

She’s taken aback by the sudden change in his mood. Maybe - and it sounds a bit like it - he is also saying this to himself, a reminder.

“Yes, sir,” Daisy says.

“Sorry. Didn’t mean to sound preachy.”

“No. It’s a good point.”

The line goes quiet. This has been happening today and Daisy knows it’s never because they have nothing to say to each other.

It’s a bit disconcerting, talking to Coulson without being in his presence, because she can’t feel his vibrations and she has become accustomed (or even depend on) to the extra help in her interactions with other people. Through the phone she can’t pinpoint the mood accurately.

“Look, if you’re really bored, that table I wanted? They only have it in the New York branch,” Coulson tells her. “Do you think you’d want to pick it up and bring it over?”

Daisy almost jumps at the chance to do something, anything.

“It’s a small table, it would fit in the SUV,” he says. “Unless you don’t want to drive.”

“No, no, I’d love to drive. Let me do this for you.”

 

+

 

And it’s weird doing something as normal as go to a furniture store to pick up a table. That’s what regular people who are not alien experiments or belong to a secret organization normally do. It’s also something she’s never done. Going to a store to pick up a couch - it’s the kind of thing you learn to do at the age where you are becoming a grown-up and Daisy skipped that, what with the almost living on the streets and the spending her days in dark rooms finding exploits on a computer screen. Plus the kind of places she’s lived, they didn’t invite further furnishing, not on this scale anyway. The guy at the store explains that the tiny table Coulson has chosen is a 1940s model (of course), not that expensive but pretty exclusive. Daisy can totally see the appeal of antiques now, despite how much she eyerolled every time Joey tried to sit her down to watch one of those furniture-oriented reality shows with him. Coulson has picked a beautiful table - even her can see he has a good eye for this stuff.

The drive back to DC settles her even more. New York was home for a long time but she feels better being close to the base, just in case. That probably makes her pathetic and a workaholic like Coulson said, like Andrew was probably worrying about when he recommended the day off.

 

+

 

Daisy hadn’t planned on spending a chunk of her day off helping her boss move furniture in his house. This is much better than what she had planned.

Coulson has an open plan flat here so it’s fun to play around, trying different spots for the table. Coulson doesn’t seem convinced by anything (Daisy could have called it, that he was fuzzy about stuff like this). The light is not right in that spot. And if they put it by the kitchen it looks too crowded.

At some point Daisy grows tired of moving furniture around.

“May I?” she offers to move with couch with her powers.

He gestures. “Please.”

She vibrates the couch further against the wall so they can see how the table would fit in the middle of the living room. Using her powers right now feels a lot easier than pushing the couch with her hands. Coulson gets this look he sometimes gets when she uses her powers. One would think he’d be used to seeing it by now.

“You really like it when I use my powers, don’t you?”

He gives her a tiny smile. “Do you mind?”

“Not at all. It’s actually a change from the usual fear and unease.”

He nods slightly. He gets it. He does like his superhero worship, though, and Daisy is glad to be on the receiving end of that. She still feels like a monster most of the time, and Coulson looking at her like he’s six and Daisy is Christmas, like he’s doing right now, won’t fix that. But it doesn’t hurt one bit.

“And I think I’m actually going to leave the table right there,” he says.

“Good choice. Because I was beginning to get bored.”

She remembers she has something for him too.

“I brought you this from New York,” she says, tossing him the bakery bag.

He examines the bag suspiciously. “What’s this?”

“A bombolini. You have to try it.”

Coulson stares at her for a moment, standing there oddly touched. Dude, it’s just a donut, she didn’t buy jewelry or anything, Daisy feels a bit - like maybe it was too much.

“Split it over coffee?” he offers. “I don’t have latte, though. Just black.”

She nods. She sits on the very comfortable couch - every piece of furniture seems top quality here, but also like somebody expected to actually live here - and checks the news while Coulson washes a couple of mugs.

“The world still hasn’t imploded in your absence?” he asks.

“There’s the usual chaos and cruelty. Nothing I can do about those.”

He joins her in the couch with the coffee and the donut. She was right, he loves it. And she decides that talking on the phone was nice and all but she missed being around his vibrations. Each person has very distinct vibrations, and they influence Daisy differently. It’s nice talking to Coulson and being able to tell what he means by the vibe he gives off, as well as his words. People would think it gives her an unfair advantage but it’s just like being good at reading expressions. It just feels natural to her, not like she’s cheating.

She looks around while she drinks her black coffee. She admits the house intrigues her. It’s not a safe house, he said as much, and it obviously doesn’t look like one.

“Cool place.”

“Thanks.”

“What is it? Really?”

“It’s mine.”

“Yours? As in yours-yours? Like, you own it?”

Coulson straightens his back a bit, leaning against the back of the couch.

“When I hit thirty I got obsessed with owning property,” he explains. Off-duty Coulson is talkative, which Daisy, selfishly, can’t regret. “Getting serious about SHIELD, I knew I probably would never have a family, but I wanted to have a place of my own. When I have some time I take care of it. Buy new furniture, check the plumbing, clean up a bit, paint the walls.”

She can totally imagine Coulson using his time off to come here, cans of paint in tow, rolling up his sleeves and getting down to work.

“A natural born homemaker,” Daisy points out.

She finds the part about never having a family a bit sad - because she knows, like her, Coulson would want to have one. Like Coulson, Daisy herself believes her chances of that happening, ever, are pretty slim. So she gets the gloominess, but she doesn’t like when Coulson does it.

“Yeah, well, it’s not that much,” he says, a bit self-conscious.

“I think it’s a cool place,” Daisy tells him again. “Then again, I lived in a van for two years.”

“Not much room to worry about decor there?”

She laughs. “Not really. My style was more like taping newspaper clipping about people with powers all over the place.”

God she misses her van. Not in the sense she misses Hell’s Kitchen or the orphanage or the Thai around the corner. This is for real, that van was the love of her life for years. Kind of like her Lola. Well, not quite, because Lola has many meanings for Coulson, but that sort of thing.

“Do you think…?” Coulson starts, then seems to think better of it.

“What?”

He slides to the edge of the couch, moving closer to her.

“Do you ever think how it’s possible that there’s some young conspiracy nut out there, pining newspaper clippings about Daisy Johnson on the walls of their van?”

She widens her eyes involuntarily. It’s such a big thought, but she’s even more shocked at the idea of Coulson thinking about this stuff.

“Wow, no,” she replies. “I had never thought about that.”

“Uh. I wonder about that often.”

He looks into the distance and tries to drink from his mug, but the coffee is already gone.

Daisy reaches out and touches his left hand.

“You want to go down to the store and buy some actual food? Have dinner together?” she asks, remembering his voice when they talked during lunch. Coulson stares at her for a moment and she fears she’s said the wrong thing. She shifts her weight on the couch, and tries to deflect. “We deserve some reward after slaving so much with this table of yours.”

Coulson stands up and grabs his coat quietly. “I’d like that.”

 

+

 

They spend quite a long time in the store, just goofing around (the luxuries of having nothing to do, she guesses). Daisy thinks it’s because they are having so much fun picking products and comparing tastes. They both agree in the dangerous deliciousness of raw cookie dough. They talk about their childhoods some more in front of the frozen chicken. They grab sweet popcorn and some ice cream and stuff that definitely doesn’t qualify as proper food. They toss a couple of turkey sandwiches on the basket, to pretend it’s an actual dinner. She’s surprised Coulson hasn’t offered to cook. He seems content with just picking up some junk food. Daisy thinks about Coulson eating in his fancy restaurant this lunch, and then coming here to have this with her. she doesn’t exactly know what that means but he looks happy. Genuinely glad to be here. It’s not a look you see on him often.

“I have to say, Director, I thought we were going to struggle but I’m very proud of us,” she jokes as they are choosing some beer. “We have this whole off-duty assignment locked down.”

He gives her a sideways look, the corner of his lips curled in an unfamiliar way.

“Days off might not be so bad,” he says. “If one has the right company.”

Is she flirting with her? Daisy wonders. The whole day has been a bit weird, and this definitely sounds like a line, and his eyes are doing a strange hopeful smooth thing but Coulson wouldn’t do that. Would he?

But before Daisy has time to think more of that through she hears the immortal words “Don’t move” and “Give me the cash” behind them. She takes a quick look at the situation with the cashier and turns around: Coulson has gotten note of it as well, all the muscles in his body already tense and in mission stance. She remembers they have both come unarmed.

Day off.

Daisy sighs softly.

“Seriously? A hold-up? In our day off?”

“This has happened to me before,” Coulson tells her.

She so wants to hear that story later.

“Wait here, I’ve got this,” she says, giving him the basket.

She clenches her first and turns towards the criminals.

 

+

 

“I think I have a first aid kit… somewhere,” Coulson says, hesitating before getting into the bathroom like he suddenly doesn’t know his own flat.

“It’s okay, it’s just a scratch,” Daisy says as she sits down on the couch and rolls the sleeve of her shirt above her elbow.

Coulson comes back, medical supplies in tow.

He holds her arm gently between his fingers, cleaning the cut on her forearm. He frowns when she winces in pain.

“I’m sorry,” Daisy says. “I have the whole knocking out the criminals down to a science. But sometimes I still forget I tend to make things fall all around me too.”

“Those shelves didn’t look exactly clean,” Coulson comments. “You should probably ask Simmons to give you a shot when you come back.”

She nods.

He’s very careful with her (all this time and she can’t believe this is the first time he’s tended to her wounds after a mission), cleaning the area over and over, his hand in slow, hypnotic movements over Daisy’s arm. She feels immediately safe and cared for. He is so concentrated and looks so serious, he even purses his lips without realizing. It makes Daisy smile.

“Hey, is it just me or back at the grocery store…?”

“What?” he asks.

Daisy stares at his familiar, friendly face. She wants her and Coulson to be like they have been today.

She doesn’t dare ask.

(she doesn’t dare ask for more)

“No, forget it,” she says, shaking her head. “I’m probably wrong anyway.”

Coulson is still holding her wrist and when she says that Daisy feels like his grip tightens a bit.

“No, what is it?” he insists.

She looks into his eyes. They change color a lot, she notices, you can’t never be sure if they’re brown or gray or what. They’re nice.

Maybe she does dare.

“Were things getting… a bit flirty? Between us?” she asks.

Coulson takes a moment to reply, holding her questioning gaze.

“Did you mind?”

She shakes her head. “I just… didn’t expect it from you.”

He nods, but stays very still. Daisy can feel his heartbeat in the way his fingers are still tightly wrapped around her wrist. She leans towards him, very slowly and presses her mouth against his. Coulson tilts his head a little to the left, giving her better access to try the kiss out. His lips are softer than she imagined. Then again, she shouldn’t be surprised - Coulson himself is softer than he looks.

Daisy touches the side of his face and draws her tongue along the line of his mouth, but not pressing inside yet. She feels Coulson’s vibrations change immediately; she can’t tell if that’s good or bad, because she has no reference on how this should feel with him.

She pulls back slowly, wanting to see his face.

“That was good,” she says. Then doubting herself, “Wasn’t it?”

Coulson nods. “It was good.” His hand finally releases Daisy’s wrist and moves up to her neck, her hair, pulling her against him for another kiss. Which is much better than just good and Coulson makes a falling, yielding sound and then he pushes his tongue inside Daisy’s mouth.

It all happens very quickly - Daisy has the feeling this days has come and gone so quickly - and the next thing she knows is that she’s comfortably pressed with her back against the couch and Coulson over her and his hand slipping under her shirt while Daisy wraps her legs around his waist. She’s not normally this direct but she’s known Coulson for a long time and she trusts him so it’s okay.

It’s when she takes his left hand in hers, digging her fingers gently into the leather of his glove, that Coulson gives him a hesitating look. She doesn’t have to ask what it’s about.

“You haven’t been with anyone since…?”

“No.”

“And that was…”

“Over a year ago.”

“Wow.”

“Yeah.”

“Don’t worry about it.”

He chuckles softly.

“No, Daisy, I’m not worried about that part,” he says with a confidence that is kind of attractive in him.

“There are other things you should be worried about?” Daisy asks.

He nods. “Our job. Hurting our friendship is this goes wrong. You’re too important to me, I couldn’t hurt you.”

She lets go of his hand and runs her fingers across his chest. His words are quiet and calm but she can feel his pulse racing way too fast. She smiles.

“I think we’d be okay, even if this goes wrong,” she tells him. She can’t imagine a universe where she and Coulson are not friends at least. They would find a way to fix things, she’s sure. “Plus, I think it’s a bit early to be worrying about that stuff. We haven’t even…”

She brushes her mouth against his again, enticed by all the talk about it.

“Yeah… we should probably… first,” Coulson mutters between kisses, getting deeper each time, grabbing her head and twisting his fingers into her hair.

She gives him a reassuring moan when his fingers skim over her stomach and drop to unbutton her pants.

He pulls her jeans and her underwear both at the same time, slipping them off her in a moment. Not exactly hurried, just efficient. Coulson looks at her for a moment, no shame, and then starts kissing her legs, the side of her knee and moving up. Daisy is a bit surprised when she realizes where this is going.

“Oh, I guess we’re doing that first,” she comments.

Coulson lifts his head from between her legs, confused.

“You don’t want me to-”

“No, no, I want it.” She smiles at the idea of Coulson being so surprised that someone might refuse oral from him. But that’s not it at all. She’s just really awkward about sex, as he has just discovered.

He spreads his right hand against the inside of her thigh, reaching to kiss between where his thumb and index rest. Okay, that feels pretty good.

The next part feels even better, when Coulson pushes his tongue inside and starts eating her out, and after the initial awkward sensation (first time with someone is never Daisy’s favorite moment) she starts relaxing against his mouth, relaxing the muscles in her back to find a more comfortable position, with Coulson helping by hooking his fingers under her knee and letting her rest her leg over his shoulder. Eventually she relaxes enough that she starts enjoying it properly, and eventually it feels so good that her breathing becomes labored and Coulson’s name starts dripping out of her mouth.

“You want to come now?” he asks, stopping for a moment.

Daisy nods.

He works his hand between her legs and draws one finger along her entrance, making her shiver while he bends down and presses his tongue against her clit. She comes hard against his mouth.

She props herself on one elbow, feeling a warm wave of gratitude for her lover (because wow, she guesses that’s what Coulson is now, shocking). He can’t know how rare it is for her to climax on the first time. It has happened before (she thinks back on Miles and his annoying handsomeness and how easy it was with him, despite everything) but she normally doesn’t count on it.

Coulson wipes his mouth with the back of his hand, and it’s the filthiest thing Daisy has ever seen. It fits him.

He lets her catch her breath before sliding his body over hers again and kissing her.

He struggles unbuttoning his shirt, because even though his latest model of prosthetic (the fifth) has many advances when it comes to a mission it still doesn’t work so well with delicate and precise gestures. “Let me help,” Daisy offers, only lifting his hands when Coulson nods and lets her work his shirt open and off his shoulders. She is about to make a joke about him hiding this nice body behind the Director’s desk but then she sees the scar and she simply rests her hand over his hand for a moment. Coulson kisses her again - slower, she thinks more meaningful too, she feels a change - and she drops his hand, working her fingers into his boxers.

“Do we need…?” he asks. “Because maybe we’ll have to take another trip to the store.”

Daisy shakes her head. “I’m covered. And clean. If you trust me.”

She knows he doesn’t have to trust her, he’s the Director, he gets her updated medical files every month. But she asks him, anyway. He looks at her, asking the same of her, without words. Neither wants to stop.

“I’m pretty sure you have a bedroom back there, though,” Daisy points out.

“I’m not that sure I can wait,” he confesses, kissing her hard against the couch.

Daisy smiles against his mouth, liking his desperation.

It’s the first time she has sex with a human since her transformation, and the vibrations are so different. She can actually feel Coulson’s movements being born, way before he makes them. She can feel his excitement so loudly that it fuels hers. Not that she needs the extra help (it shocks her, wonderfully, how much she wants this, once she has decided she dares) but Daisy has always liked feeling wanted. And it doesn’t happen that often. And never with the intensity she’s feeling now from Coulson. That must mean something.

She smiles up at him and curls her body tighter around his, thinking how great days off work are.

 

+

 

The very proper Director of SHIELD eating in bed with his hands, carelessly, pupils still blown and mouth quirked in post-orgasm happiness, this is a sight Daisy is willing to sacrifice a working day for. He seems fantastically unselfconscious right now, scratching his knee or the sore spot where his arm locks into his prosthetic, in boxers and a t-shirt, touching Daisy’s ankle with his foot, like he wants to keep the connection between them.

“I should go down to the SUV to get my bag,” she says, feeling a bit conscious herself, and cold, naked under the sheets.

“That’s so far,” Coulson whines, fake-needy (and real needy), grabbing her waist with one arm. “You can borrow clothes from here.”

“Okay, okay,” she says, disentangling herself from him only after quickly kissing his temple.

She goes through a couple of drawers until she finds some fitting underwear and a t-shirt.

She doesn’t mean to pry - maybe a bit, it’s Coulson’s flat after all, how can she not be curious - but there’s a framed picture sitting on top of one of the drawers. A blond man and a pretty brunette smiling happy under what is definitely 1960s sunlight.

“This your parents?” she asks, showing him the picture.

Coulson nods. “Mm-uh.”

“You shouldn’t keep it in a drawer.”

“I guess not. I didn’t mean to hide it. I can never figure out where I want to put it.”

She looks closer at the picture. She now knows where Coulson gets the handsome from. She will not say that out loud, it’s embarrassing. She doesn’t return the picture to the drawers and instead she puts it on top of them, visible at least if you get into the bedroom. She searches Coulson’s expression for permission and he nods.

“I wish I had a picture of my parents together,” she says, not quite realizing she is saying it, doing it for herself more than Coulson. “Cal said he burnt everything.”

She finishes dressing and goes back to bed, attacking the artisan bread and cheese that was basically all they had in the house after their failed trip to the grocery store. Coulson runs a comforting hand across her back for a minute, he doesn’t need to say anything about Daisy’s sad comment, just listen to her.

“So… you and me, uh?” she says, lifting the mood and taking a piece of bread between her fingers and wiggling her eyebrows at Coulson. He wiggles back. “Kind of shocking.”

“Is it?” Coulson asks, trying to sound distracted as he cuts a slice out of the cheese. “I don’t think so. The whole day has been strange for me. I had time to think about a lot of things. Maybe I don’t want to question it. I haven’t had the greatest of years. Well, you know.”

“Oh yes, I do,” she says, breathing relief that they can somehow joke a bit about this, after the national hysteria over Inhumans in her case, or the way Ward-but-not-Ward came back to haunt him, in Coulson’s case. A crappy year all around.

“This is the happiest I’ve been in as long as I can remember,” Coulson admits, not grandly, just the stating the truth, while he eats.

“I like that,” Daisy says, scraping her nails across his knee gently. Sexily, she hopes. “I like making people happy.”

“I know,” Coulson says, stilling his voice. “But that might not always be a good thing in your case. You have to take care that you’re happy too.”

Daisy nods and pulls back, thinking about it while they finish their food. Coulson is right, and she should be done being with people just because she can do things for them. Coulson seems to be telling her to be selfish and she has to think about that too, but for now he shouldn’t worry, because now, right this moment, she’s pretty happy, after all.

 

+

 

When the alarm goes off Daisy is not sure they have slept for more than a couple of hours - and maybe that wasn’t even sleeping and more like catching their breath. They have gone a bit overboard last night, and Coulson was a total trooper about it (not that he was complaining exactly).

She groans and reaches over his body to switch off the alarm.

“Already?” she protests. “But it’s all gone so fast.”

Coulson opens his eyes and lifts his hand to Daisy’s back, stroking it tenderly and casually, like they do this every day. He seems pretty comfortable with the whole set-up here.

“You were the one complaining about having to be off-duty a whole day.”

She narrows her eyes at him.

“Don’t look so smug about it,” she tells him.

Coulson smiles and slides his mouth across her neck. For a guy who was so worried about sex jeopardizing their relationship so much last night he seems to have gotten over it pretty quickly.

“We should probably get dressed,” she tells him. “And clean the place a bit.”

“I’m the Director, I can be late to work once in a while,” he tells her, sneaking a couple more kisses over her collarbone, pulling at the t-shirt she’s wearing, which Daisy suddenly realizes it’s his and she feels a wave of warmth and odd embarrassment for it.

“You did warn me you tend to skip work to go see your lovers.”

Coulson groans against her neck at the word, his hand already slipping under her clothes.

“You have no idea how much work I would skip for you,” he says, shamelessly corny. She would normally mind, but she doesn’t anymore, and it fits Coulson. He looks up at her. “But what do you want to do?”

She makes a grimace and grits her teeth because she can’t believe she is about to reject Coulson’s offer and the warmth of his touch right now.

“I think I want to get dressed and clean up, we’re supposed to be at the Playground at eight.”

“Workaholic,” Coulson protests, but his voice is full of fondness and he kisses her despite her decision.

 

+

 

“You’re both late,” Andrew greets them when they come into the common area.

Daisy stops in her tracks, suddenly panicked that they might have been caught. They had driven in separate cars and they haven’t even have the conversation yet, the one where they decide if they want to repeat last night. She’s thinking probably yes, judging by the amount of kissing Coulson showered her with on the steps to his flat when they said goodbye, but that leads to the other conversation, the one where the decide if they want to tell the team. That conversation is still some time away in the future, or Daisy had hoped so.

Andrew’s comment seems totally innocent in the end, and he looks at them just like a doctor who’s happy his instructions were followed.

“Traffic,” Daisy lies.

“Okay. Phil?” Andrew asks.

“I overslept,” Coulson says, looking awfully satisfied with himself.

Andrew seems content with their replies. Daisy looks around, hoping no one else has seen them come back at the same time, together.

“Did the day off work for you?” Andrew asks them while she’s still half distracted.

Daisy has to make an inhuman - pun intended - effort not to laugh in poor Doctor Garner’s face.

“I think, Andrew, you might just be a genius,” Coulson says and yeah, it’s even harder not to laugh at that.

Andrew looks at Coulson like he is trying to decide if the man is making fun of him.

“It worked so much for us,” Coulson goes on, touching Daisy’s back in a flirty way no one can see, “that we’ve decided we’re taking tomorrow off as well.”

Daisy looks at him. “We have?”

“I think that’s an excellent idea,” Andrew says, and there’s a twinkle in his eye and Daisy suspects he’s finally caught up with their little game. “I’ll be here if you want to talk about it afterwards.”

Coulson nods at him, his expression suddenly serious, no more amusement. He and Andrew exchange some oddly meaningful looks, a whole conversation going on between them, and Daisy remembers they’ve been friends for decades, and she wonders what Andrew sees in the other man’s face right now, what Coulson might want to talk about with his friend, not his therapist, afterwards.

The lingering stops and Andrew leaves them to it.

Coulson says he wants to grab some stuff from the office and Daisy follows him.

“Another day, uh?”

“I did warn you about my tendencies,” he says.

“You think the world can survive without us on the job for another 24 hours?”

“Let’s find out.”

She nods. Remembering she should take care that she’s happy. Remembering to be a little selfish too.

“Do you want to go have lunch together?” Coulson asks. “I can get us into pretty exclusive restaurants.”

Daisy raises an eyebrow. “Finally you’ve decided to treat me like I deserve,” she jokes.

“Yes,” he says, slipping his fingers around her arm as they walk. “And I don’t like eating alone.”

Daisy is grateful for a second day off.