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Right Where You Belong

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They finally found where they were keeping her. After working tirelessly to track Radcliffe’s movements, Daisy managed to put two and two together. Without a second thought, Coulson and Mack got into a car and made their way.

“I've seen that look on your face before, Coulson.”, Mack said as the GPS told them there was 2 minutes until they reach their destination. “It's the same one you had on a year ago. You're determined to get her back, so am I. But I just want to know where you draw the line. Are you planning on killing Radcliffe?”

“No.”, he said sharply. “He's not Ward. I'm not doing that again.”

“Good.”

“But that's not the mission. The mission is May. Whatever has to be done to get her back-- we’re doing it.”

“Copy that.”

Mack pulled into an alley near where they knew she was being held. When parked, Coulson got out to assess his surroundings, and Mack followed.

“She's in there.”, he states.

“What's the plan?”

“I’d say our best bet is for you to go in posing as a Watchdog. You're more their type.”

Coulson turned around to see how Mack reacted to his suggestion, but Mack was nowhere to be found.

“Mack? Where’d you--”

A large number of Watchdogs popped out of nowhere and rendered Coulson unconscious.

The next thing he knew he was waking up in a metal room with pipes all around it. The first thing he could feel was the new bruise on the spot someone used their gun to knock him out.

He looked throughout the room. There were pipes everywhere, he couldn’t quite make out where he was. When he looked to his left he saw her. She was there. Wires and tubes attached and going into her.

“Oh my God.”

He ran up to her.

“May, wake up.”, he said shaking her. “I found you, but you gotta wake up.”

She wouldn’t, though. The machine was doing this to her. Coulson looked all around it for an off button or a power source.

“It's no use, Agent Coulson.”, said a voice from behind him.

It was Radcliffe. It was definitely him-- not some LMD.

“You. You bastard.”

Coulson looked over at May to make sure she was ok for the moment before storming over to the doctor that kidnaped her.

“What the hell did you do to--”

He was interrupted when he ran into a SHIELD energy wall.

“Relax. She's alright.”

“Where are we, Radcliffe. Where'd you take us.”

“You don't need to worry about that right now.”

The door swung open and The Superior slowly walked in.

“You have other things to worry about.”,Radcliffe smirked. “This is Agent Coulson.”

“Anton Ivanov.”, Coulson said.

“I go by ‘Superior’”

Coulson looked over at Radcliffe.

“You're working with the Watchdogs.”

Radcliffe nodded.

“We may not share beliefs, but they allow me to expand on my current projects.”

“And that's how they knew the Koenigs had the Darkhold-- because you were looking at us through May’s decoy.”

“Precisely.”

“But that LMD isn't benefiting you anymore. Fitz shut it off. So why not let her go? And why am I in here anyway?”

Radcliffe and the Superior shared a look.

“The Superior has seen you, Coulson.”

“‘Seen me’? Seen me where?”

“Everywhere. Stark’s conferences, Thor’s hammer, before the battle of New York, and everything having to do with the inhumans in the past two years.”

“And?”

“And he thinks you're the cause of the rise in alien activity.”

Coulson was confused. Confused as to why someone would be so stupid as to come to a conclusion like that.

“That still doesn't answer why May's still here.”

“Call it an incentive.”

“You want me to talk? Let her go. I’ll talk.”

Radcliffe looked over at the Superior, who nodded. The energy wall came down and Radcliffe powered off May’s machine.

Her eyes fluttered open. Radcliffe removed her restraints and headgear. She looked around the room and found Coulson watching in horror.

“Phil?”

“You alright?”

“She’s fine, Agent Coulson.”, Radcliffe said.

She didn’t look fine to him. She looked like she lost something.

“Give us the room.”

“No.”, the Superior grunted.

“Give us the room or the deal’s off.”

The two other men reluctantly left the room.

May attempted to get off of her standing bed, but was overwhelmed with a massive headache.

“Ah.”

Coulson rushed over and helped her get a seat on the bench.

“Are you ok? How do you feel?”

“Cold.”

He quickly took off his jacket and put it over her shoulders.

“How long have I been…”

“Eight days.”

She lets that sink in. The simulations made it seem like minutes.

“I didn't know you were an LMD until two days ago.”

“What-- the coffee thing didn't work?”

“No, unfortunately it was a lot more complicated this time.”

“What gave her away?”

He took a seat next to her on the bench.

“She tried to kill me.”, he sighed. “You would never do that.”

A smile slowly grew on her face.

“Never? Remember that time you told my dad we went to Cabo during spring break when I told him I’d be studying for finals?”
He shook his head with a healthy smirk on his face.

“How’s the base?”, she asked.

“Same old, same old. Bureaucracy at every corner. Daisy’s back for good, she’s getting used to it. And there’s something about Mace. Tell you about it later.”

She simply nodded. Almost nothing could shock her at this point. She’s been doing this damn job her entire life.

“What about you? What was that machine doing to you? Was it bad?”

She looked at him. He seemed so concerned-- which in this case he had an actual right to be-- but it gave her a warm feeling.

“Yeah. But I’ll tell you about it later.”

He knew that look in her eyes. There was something terrifying inside her head, but she wouldn’t let it out-- that’s May.

He scooted closer and gently put his hand on her thigh.

“You’re getting out of here. I promise.”

“I know. And that bottle still needs to be cracked.”

His eyes widened as he inhaled sharply.

“Or not.”

“Honestly, it tasted like crap. You wouldn’t have liked it.”

She adjusted the jacket on her shoulders as she couldn’t help but smile at the expression on his face.

“It’s ok. It was just a bottle anyway.”

Silence fell upon them, for a moment. It was nice. They’ve learned to appreciate the downtime, even if they’re being held hostage.

“Things have gotten more complicated-- haven’t they?”

“Yup.”, he said. “But you don’t have to worry about that. I’m gonna do whatever I have to to make sure you stay standing.”

“You don’t have to protect me, Phil.”

“I know.”

His eyes locked onto her’s as he took her hand.

“But I do. Because you mean everything to me.”

Before she had a chance to react, Radcliffe, the Superior and four other Watchdogs entered the room-- followed by Mack.

“You’re free to go.”, the Superior said.

May got up and stopped at the door when she realized Coulson was still sitting on the bench.

“Phil, come on. We can go now.”

He just sat there with a smile on his face as he took in her beautiful face. He has no idea what the Superior has in mind for him. This might be the last time he sees her. But she’s safe.

“You can go Agent May, you’ve served your purpose.”, Radcliffe says to her. “Agent Coulson still needs to give us what we want.”

May looked over at him. He was still soaking in the sight of her. She had on a confused and slightly scared look, while he probably had a stupid smile on his face.

“Go, May. I’ll be fine.”

She looked up at Mack. He seemed confident. Maybe SHIELD already had a plan to extract him?

“You’re coming back. You’ll be back right where you belong. I promise.”