“Ma’am, we just got word, Agent May is incoming.”
The head nurse watched as her staff flat out scattered. “Status?”
“Conscious.” The two who had remained, stalwart, took off at a brisk pace.
“They suspect cracked ribs, possible concussion, multiple lacerations.” The head nurse winced. She had once dug a bullet out of Nick Fury in the back of a Humvee with nothing more than a bottle of whiskey, and a swiss army knife. She would choose that again in a heartbeat over Agent May needing stitches.
The head nurse looked at her roster and smiled, relieved. “We have that new transfer. Phil Coulson, he can do May’s intake.”
“Ma’am isn’t it cruel to send him in alone?”
“We are SHIELD, Nurse Harrison, trial by fire is how we operate,” she said sternly. “If he can’t survive May, then he doesn’t belong on this ward. Unless of course, you’d like the job.”
“Trial by fire ma’am. A time honoured tradition,” the nurse quickly agreed.
Phil stood in the locker room. “I was supposed to have new SHIELD scrubs.”
“Sorry, we ordered them, but they decided we had the measurements wrong and sent well -”
“Not men’s scrubs.” Phil knew they used different scrubs for nurses and doctors to help people differentiate at a glance. Phil reached for his bag. “Good thing I brought some of my own. Not regulation, but they’ll do until the mix up is fixed.” He opened it and frowned. Instead of his green scrubs there was a new gift wrapped set From Your Friendly Neighbourhood Spiderman , the card said.
Phil knew that was a lie, Spiderman would have gotten Avengers scrubs, not Hello Kitty. But they were clean and the perfect size, so he put them on.
The orderly in the room laughed. “Looking sharp there, new guy.”
“Always said pink was my colour,” Phil agreed. “I better go see where I’m needed. Desk is a left and then a right?” He asked to make sure. SHIELD had a lot of corridors.
“Yup. You survive your first shift, beer’s on me," the man said. Phil had made sure on the day of his paperwork to go around and talk to all the orderlies he could find, he knew who kept a place running smooth.
Phil smiled and waved and walked down to the station. It was really quiet in the hall, someone should be moving around. He made it to the desk where the head nurse was writing on the whiteboard.
“We have incoming ma’am?”
“Yes, Nurse Coulson we do,” she handed him a patient file. “Field Agent May, injured in a fight, at most an overnight. That is what was reported in and her history.”
“She’s been with SHIELD for a while.”
“Why is this flag here?” Phil asked. “Allergy, phobia?”
“Ahh, that,” the head nurse tidied the station. “That is to let you know that a patient is...problematic. We deal with very dangerous people in here, some respond less than well to medical professionals.”
“I can handle it,” Phil said. “I’ll go prep room 5.”
“Of course,” she nodded. “I do expect by your next shift that you will be in SHIELD scrubs?”
“Order was mixed up. It was this or suit and tie.”
“Next time, choose the suit and tie,” she said dryly.
“Yes ma’am,” Phil agreed.
Melinda didn’t care for the way Jemma and Mack were escorting her to medical. “I’m fine.”
“You are still bleeding.”
“I am fine,” Melinda repeated. “And if I wasn’t you would be able to fix me.”
“I’ve told you, I’m not a doctor,” Jemma paused. “Well, that sort of doctor.”
“You’ve done it before.”
“Yes, when we were so far out in the field you would have died otherwise!” Jemma responded. Mack opened the doors to the medical area and Jemma pushed Melinda along. “We were barely an hour out, which means you can be looked at by some of the best medical people in the world.”
Jemma approached the woman at the desk. “We called in about Agent May?”
“Room 5 over there, her nurse is waiting.”
“Thank you.” Jemma’s grip was relentless and pulled Melinda along. “Seriously, these are the best that can be fou-” She opened the door. “Oh dear.”
Melinda took one look at the man. “No.”
“Hello, you must be Agent May. I’m Nurse Coulson,” Phil smiled. “Let’s get you taken care of.”
“No,” Melinda repeated. “I’m fine.”
“Your team sent in word otherwise. And that shoulder needs at least four stitches,” Phil said looking at her and doing a quick mental assessment. “I don’t bite.”
Mack snorted from the door. “Yeah but she does.”
“I am a model patient. And if I needed medical assistance from a strange man in Hello Kitty scrubs, I would say so. But I do not.”
Jemma poked Melinda’s side and Melinda winced.
“A practical joke from a friend,” Phil said easily. “Now you can keep standing there in pain while we wait you out until it is bad enough that you pass out and I work on you without your knowing what I’m doing. Or you can come over here so I can put this blood pressure cuff on you and start the process of mending you.”
“Hello Kitty there has balls,” Mack muttered.
Melinda went and sat on the bed. Phil took her blood pressure and temperature and made a note on her chart. He asked her questions which she ignored or tersely answered. Jemma filled in the blanks.
“Right, you two can wait outside,” Phil said.
“I’m not sure that is a good -” Jemma began.
“Ma’am, please wait outside,” Phil said firmly.
Mack and Jemma left and closed the door.
“I need to cut your tank top off, it is filthy and I am not stitching those wounds with it nearby,” Phil said calmly. He pulled his tray closer and grabbed the scissors.
“I can take care of myself," Melinda said as she gripped his wrist.
“That should would is in an awkward spot to stitch yourself especially with cracked ribs,” Phil answered back. “Ma’am I understand not wanting a stranger touching you, but you know how well this place vets employees. SHIELD knows the name of my grandfather’s teddy bear, I can promise you that you are safe.”
“I will take care of this myself,” May was tired of repeating herself. She tightened her grip a little bit. Not enough to damage but enough to show intent.
Phil didn’t react a bit. “I’m sorry, am I supposed to feel threatened now? Be scared by how badass a SHIELD field agent is? Quaking in my orthopedic shoes? I’ve reattached Wade Wilson’s ball sack, nothing you can throw at me will bother me,” Phil smiled politely. “Now let go so I can do my job and you can leave.”
Melinda let go, impressed by his calm. She was a reasonable patient, most of the staff here didn’t understand that and tended to cry. She disliked people who cried. “You tell me everything that you are going to do.”
“Yes ma’am. First as I said is cutting off the tank top and cleaning the wounds for the sutures.” Phil put on some gloves and picked up the scissors and showed them to her. In three swift cuts the filthy shirt was off and dropped into a biohazard bag. “Good news, based on this conversation, I doubt you are concussed, and I think at this point in your career, you know how to handle cracked ribs, so long as that is all the xrays show.”
“Sterile gauze, cleaning agent,” he explained. “It will sting.”
“So did being stabbed,” she said dryly. “So what you are like that nurse that helps the Defenders then?”
“Claire Temple? God no, I hate superheroes.” Phil pat gently at the wound. “I was a pediatric nurse at General.”
Melinda blinked. “If you were a pediatric nurse why were you handling Wilson’s balls?”
“Well everyone classifies a good date differently,” Phil said seriously. He held it for a minute before laughing. “Oh god, your face.” He finished cleaning the wounds. “No, his daughter gets strep throat a lot and we’ve built a bit of a relationship. He had a bad day and called for help.”
“He regenerates.” May watched his hands move, the man was quick and competent. She appreciated that.
“Apparently, multiple gunshot wounds and castration take a while to heal from,” Phil said. “And I was informed that it goes easier if the parts are attached versus having to be regrown. The scrubs were a gift from him.” Phil opened a metal box. “Ready for sutures?”
“I dislike needles,” Melinda looked at him calmly. “It has caused problems in the past.”
“The nurse ended up in the bed next to me,” Melinda smiled, it was a little vicious. “Maybe you should get Mack in here to hold me down.”
Phil pulled out everything he needed onto a sterile mat. He looked her dead in the eye. “I can handle you Agent May, just fine on my own.”
Jemma was pacing outside and Mack was listening for cries of pain, mostly from the nurse. But the door opened and Melinda was in a wheelchair and Phil was behind her. “We are just going to x ray and if that checks out, she’ll be free to leave in your care.” Phil told them. “Be back soon.” He whistled as he pushed May down the hall.
“Stop that,” May said.
“No, I have a lovely whistle.” Phil kept his tune going and pushed her down the hall.
“I don’t understand,” Jemma said in shock.
“Told you, looks like Hello Kitty has balls,” Mack grinned. He was relieved he hadn’t had to stop May from attempting to kill anyone.
An hour later Phil was signing off on May. “And for you.” He handed her a lollipop.
“What’s this for?” she stared at the treat.
“For being such a bwave little soldier,” Phil said in a childish voice. “But it is sour flavoured because you were a little sour yourself. Stay safe out there May.” Phil grabbed another chart and went into a room across the hall.
The head nurse stared after him in horror. “Agent May, I apologize for my new nurse. That was completely unacceptable here at SHIELD. He will of course be censured.”
May looked at the woman. “He is the only nurse that will ever work on me.” She turned to Jemma and Mack. “Let’s go.”
Mack opened his mouth.
“Don’t say it,” Melinda warned.
Didn’t stop him from thinking damn Hello Kitty had balls.
Melinda woke in a strange place. Hospital, one person in the room. She wasn’t immobilized which suggested friendly hospital. She could hear them moving about going from the foot of the bed to the side. In a blink she reached up and grabbed the person.
She knew him.
“Agent May, it is Thursday the 12th, 9:06am. You are in SHIELD medical. You required emergency surgery for a ruptured appendix. The surgery was performed at 2:30am when your team member Daisy Johnson finally convinced you to come in the pain. Another half hour and you would have likely gone septic. You are very lucky.”
“You sound mad,” she whispered. She remembered to let go of the fingers she was near to breaking.
Phil shook out his hand and replaced her i.v. bag. “I dislike it when people don’t listen to the warning signs their bodies give them,” he said. He put a thermometer in her mouth. “You would have been having pain, perhaps running a fever. And you ignored it.”
She opened her mouth.
“I promise I will shove that up your ass if you fuck my readings even once,” he warned. When it beeped he pulled it out. “The attending did an excellent job.”
“Were you in surgery with me?”
“No. But I am the only one who has been in this room since you were brought in post-op. It seems your file states I’m the only nurse to attend you. Thanks for the overtime I’ll be earning.” He still sounded cranky but he held a straw to her lips. “Three sips,” he said.
She took four, mainly to hear him huff. Which he did.
“If you had paid attention to your body, it would have been an overnight stay, you’d be out of here tomorrow. But since there are concerns about infection, you get to stay for three days.”
“My team can watch me,” she protested.
“Your team were up all night worried about you. I am ordering them to go rest.” Phil looked at her. “When your body shouts pain, you listen to it May.”
“I’m a field agent, I’m in pain 80% of the time.”
Phil paused in his writing on her chart. “Specific locations?”
“Old bullet wound, shattered kneecap aches when it rains,” Melinda said. “You keep going.”
“I understand. Two of my left fingers can flare pain fierce some days.”
“From the job?”
“From being a nationally ranked Mario Kart champion. No one throws a banana like me,” he answered.
She just gave him a look.
“I was a field nurse for the army when I was younger. We were bombed mid surgery. Light landed on my hand caused a few bad breaks.”
“And then kids.”
“Skateboard accidents much easier to deal with that landmine injuries.”
“So why come to SHIELD then?” Melinda was curious.
“I was ready for a change. And Maria Hill is very persuasive. You need more rest,” Phil nodded to her. “I’ll check on you in a couple hours. If you even think of escaping, I will chain you to the bed.”
“Kinky,” Melinda yawned the pain killers sliding into her system again.
“Not really, people recovering from surgery not really my kink.”
“What is then, pretty kitty?”
“Ask me when you aren’t on drugs sometime and I’ll tell you,” Phil said, but she was already passed out.
Phil caught her trying to break out at 1am on night two.
“I’m fine enough to go,” Melinda said quickly. She looked around the hall as if she expected security to be around the corner. She thought about it. “How did you know I’d be breaking out?”
“I’ve been sleeping in the breakroom while you’ve been here. I had your bed set to inform me of change in weight. When you didn’t return in 4 minutes your average pee break, figured you were trying to leave.”
“That feels insane on a few levels.”
“Really, miss I tried to heal a ruptured appendix with the powers of ignoring it? I’m insane?” Phil smiled at her. “Shorted out the cameras, you have about one more minute for escape, a ride is out front for you, I’ve had one on standby waiting for your escape for the last 12 hours.”
“You should be stopping me.”
“I’d have to tackle you, which would burst the stitches. Which just makes more work for me. I’m due three days off and have a netflix marathon and 2 whole beers on ice for it.”
“Living large I see.” Melinda looked at him. “You’ve been here the whole time?”
“I’m the nurse you trust,” Phil said simply. He handed her a shiny pink Hello Kitty bag. “All my gift wrapping supplies are aimed still for kids. Sorry.”
Melinda took it and tried to figure out what to say.
“Cameras back soon Agent May. Pay attention to your body next time,” Phil walked away.
She got outside and there was a SHIELD SUV, Mack behind the wheel.
“He got you a break out gift?” Mack looked at the bag. “Shit, patient care is really improving in there.”
“Just get me back to the Bus.” Melinda didn’t open the bag until she was on her bed. Inside were a few different shaped weighted fabric things. The fabric was all skulls and kittens and they had a faint smell that was soothing.
40 seconds in the microwave and then rest on the aching muscle or joint.
They’ll help. Sorry my stitches weren’t neater. I’m better with skin than fabric.
And sorry that made me sound like a serial killer.
I hope you don’t hurt.
Nurse Coulson had sewn these for her, while sleeping in the break room because she had said he was the only nurse she could trust.
She carefully put them in the drawer beside her bed.
“Hey, May, you checked your email?” Daisy asked after knocking on Melinda’s door.
Melinda was reading some notes, prepping for a mission. “No.”
“Well, we’re grounded.”
Melinda’s head came up sharply. “Why?”
“Because it seems our fearless leader is a month overdue for her annual physical.”
“That isn’t until March,” Melinda dismissed her.
“It’s April,” Daisy shook her head. “Read your damn emails and book an appointment May.”
Melinda checked her inbox but there was nothing there. She then remembered that she had set her email so that Medical went to junk and sure enough there were several emails waiting.
You are due for your annual check up. Please contact the Medical department at Headquarters to book your appointment.
Phillip J. Coulson
Your file shows you have yet to make an appointment for your annual physical. Please contact medical at your earliest convenience.
Phillip J Coulson
You are overdue for your appointment, please come into the department as soon as possible. You will be squeezed into the schedule.
Phillip J Coulson
If you have concerns about me being your medical examiner, I would like to ease your mind. I am not qualified to perform a pelvic exam, and have researched the nurses and doctors here and have a list of three people that I would be happy to recommend for you, please contact the office.
Phillip J Coulson
Unless you haven’t booked it because you are scared it won’t be me. I’ll start doing research, but I am really, really not qualified for this. I could do your blood pressure and weight and other basic assessment work before handing your over to the other professional. Would that help you get in for your annual?
Phillip J Coulson
I DO NOT LIKE SPECULUMS. PLEASE DON’T MAKE ME DO THIS.
Phillip J Coulson
The head nurse has quizzed me and I have passed the qualifications to perform the required exams, but again I really, really think that you should go with someone who has more experience that isn’t just on a dummy. That lives in my nightmares. They have named her Janet. I felt guilty for being so invasive that I bought her a new sweater.
A bought a medical dummy a sweater May, because I am determined to keep you in excellent medical health.
Book your goddamn appointment.
Phillip J Coulson
That’s it. I pulled rank. Oh yeah, I can do that. I don’t care that I now owe a great deal of favours to a number of people. You are grounded until your check up.
Deal with it.
Janet the dummy says hello.
Phillip J Coulson
May thought about responding to the emails but she wasn’t quite sure where to begin. Instead she made a phone call booking her annual exam and they managed to squeeze her in for the next day.
“Agent May, hello,” Phil said as he met her in the waiting room. He was in Hello Kitty scrubs again. “If you’ll follow me.”
Melinda followed him. “Did they change regulations just for you?”
“No,” Phil sighed. “We had a rough morning, there had been an ambush. My three regulation scrubs were burned through and these were all I had left.”
Phil just shook his head and opened a door. “Shoes off and on the scale please.”
Melinda stared at the wall as he read the number.
“You need to gain five pounds.”
“Not until date 5. I’m old fashioned,” he joked. “Blood pressure.” She sat down and he wrapped the cuff around her arm. His hands were shaking just a little. And there was a teeny bit of sweat on his forehead.
“I called and Nurse Harrison will do my breast and pelvic exams,” she said. Melinda had thought about dragging it out but it seemed cruel.
Phil immediately sagged. “Oh thank Christ.” But he quickly straightened. “I can stay in the room, if you prefer. Behind a curtain. Far away, in a dark corner, staring at a wall.” He brought over his tray. “I need a few blood samples. All for the standard tests.” He held up each vial and explained what it would end up studying. He then waited.
“You said you don’t like needles. I’m waiting for you to centre yourself, or punch me and run, or use dark magic to make your blood just appear in the vials.”
“Just take the samples, Phil,” Melinda paused. “Is that okay?”
“The Phil?” Phil tied the tube around her arm. “I don’t mind, Agent May.”
He was careful and slid the needle into her arm and added the first vial.
“How’s Janet doing?” Melinda asked to distract herself.
Phil sighed. “Unfortunately our relationship soured, she’s fallen in with a bad crowd. The ICU nurses here, man they roll hard. They gave her a mohawk and black lipstick and she doesn’t even fall off the shelf anymore when I’m in the teaching room.” He switched out the vials.
“The things you made? They help,” Melinda said quietly.
Phil smiled a small, but pleased smile as he switched to the last smile. “Really? I thought you might have turned them into weapons or something.”
“No.” Melinda felt the need to be truthful. “Well, one.”
Phil grabbed a cotton ball and eased the needle out. He then put it in place with a Princess Leia band aid. “One badass galaxy saving woman to another,” he said. He cleared everything away. “I’ll get Nurse Harrison.”
“I won’t need you in the room,” Melinda said. “But if you wouldn’t go far?”
“I can be right outside the door,” Phil promised. “You are my last thing for the day.”
Melinda nodded and stripped down into the paper gown he had left for her. There was a polite knock on the door and Nurse Harrison came in.
“Agent May.” She moved over a different tray that Phil had prepared. “Nurse Coulson said that you do better if we explain everything we are doing before we begin, is that correct?”
Melinda smiled a bit. “It is.”
“We do apologize for not meeting your needs before.” Nurse Harrison explained everything and the exam was done soon enough. “You are good to go, Agent May. We will clear your file. And next time perhaps don’t make one of our best nurses jump through so many hoops to get you in here?”
“He’s settled in well?”
“Most do after 6 months, if they don’t run screaming. He has a gift with people,” Nurse Harrison smiled. “Give him a couple years and he’ll be running this place.”
That didn’t surprise Melinda in the least.
The nurse left and Melinda got dressed and sure enough Phil was waiting in the hallway.
They stood there 10 feet in between them.
“I was good, where’s my lollipop?” Melinda asked.
Phil reached behind his back and pulled out a box. “No lollipop, but I can switch it.”
Melinda looked at the box. “Tea?”
“Sleepytime, I bet you have difficulty relaxing,” Phil shrugged and handed the cheap grocery store box over.
“Thank you.” Melinda took the box. “And I hope things with you and Janet workout.”
“I think we are done for,” Phil sighed sadly.
Melinda laughed just a little before heading out.
The mission went off smoothly but they were out of contact for two weeks and once they had access to their systems again, Melinda saw that she had an email.
She opened it up and saw it was just a photo of him with his arm around the medical dummy. Who was indeed wearing a sweater.
Melinda hit reply.
You two look very happy together .
A few hours later there was a reply
She left me for Walter the male dummy .
Melinda bit her lip before typing, maybe next time I am in town, I can buy you a drink to cheer you up . She hit send before she could change her mind.
“Yes, Eleanor?” Phil moved the game piece on the board, trying to keep the girl’s eyes on him and not her healing father.
“Dad said you have a girlfriend now, can I meet her?”
“No sweetie, I said Uncle Phil had a crush on someone, and he hadn’t done anything about it.” Wade coughed up some more buckshot. “Oooh this piece looks like a star.”
“I don’t have a crush. There is a patient that everyone else is scared of, but I think she’s neat,” Phil explained. “It would be bad for me to ask a patient out.”
“Even if you like her?”
“Even if I like her,” Phil agreed. There weren’t any more coughs. “You okay?”
“Right as 3 day old tacos.”
“But you do like her,” Eleanor pressed.
Phil smiled and thought of the dozens of emails they had exchanged over the last few weeks. “I like her a little.”
“You should make her a friendship bracelet. Girls like that.” Eleanor moved her piece. “I win.”
“Rematch?” Phil asked. His beeper went off even though he wasn’t on call. He looked at the code. It was the one that had been created just for him.
It meant Melinda May was incoming and it wasn’t good.
Phil kissed Eleanor’s head. “Have to go, medical emergency.” He went over to Wade. “You need me to call Peter to babysit?” He asked quietly.
“No, that was the last of it,” Wade said. “Go save a spleen. Mine’s mostly back to being intact.”
Phil looked him over carefully and nodded. “Call Peter if you need to.”
Wade came him a salute and Phil hurried out. It took him 30 minutes to get to his locker and he quickly dressed in his SHIELD scrubs. He went out to the desk where people were moving in a flurry.
“Status report?” Phil asked.
“May’s team was on an extraction in Jersey, they were hit with an aerosol spray. They are exhibiting signs of fever, impaired decision making. One member avoided the spray and is driving them in. Fitz has been reporting the symptoms as he drives, they are getting slowly worse. Once they are in, we need blood and urine samples to the lab stat.”
“Agent May was hit with the spray,” Phil said, keeping calm. He grabbed a tablet from the docks and began to look at Melinda’s baselines so that he’d have something to compare against.
“She received the largest dose, Simmons and Johnson were also hit. Mack got some blow back off of them, but seems to be showing few symptoms,” the triage nurse explained.
Phil nodded. “I’ll prepare some rooms.” He moved quickly getting basics ready and it wasn’t long before he heard a flurry outside. He opened the door and watched the team be escorted in. They looked mostly okay, sweating, glazed eyes, and Johnson was giggling. The group looked like they had been at a hot bar.
“Phil!” Melinda shouted. “Phil, Phil, Philly, Phil, Phil, I remember that we forgot to talk about what your kinks are.”
“They are high as kites,” Phil said to the two other nurses in the hall. “We need to get them separated and assessed.” He held the door open and oh dear lord Melinda skipped over to him. He watched though when they tried to separate Simmons and Johnson and Johnson took out a nurse. He quickly went over and subdued Johnson.
“Awwww, why don’t you arm bar me?” Melinda asked from her doorway.
Phil ignored that. “Johnson you need to calm down.”
“You can’t take my doctor woctor away. She needs to kiss the booboo in my pants.” Everyone in the hallways stopped and stared at one of the most dangerous SHIELD field teams.
Fitz slapped Mack’s hands away as they tried to haul him into a hug. “Yeah this was about alien drugs. I think it might be -”
Phil looked at him. “Do not say sex pollen. Do not say sex pollen.” Phil had been of course briefed on the more outlandish things that could end up in the medical department but he had always hoped that it was a bit of a joke.
“I think it might be a very powerful sexual enhancement drug, yes.”
The head nurse said. “Protocol 69, and remind me to kill whoever decided to name it that.” The staff all moved quickly, one nurse inputting the codes into all the patient’s files as people were hustled into rooms.
Phil went back to Melinda and closed the door after them. “Melinda, who am I?”
“Nurse Phillip J Coulson.” she said promptly. “Phil. Phillllll.”
“Are you aware of what is happening right now?” He handed her a cup. “Go pee in that.”
She froze. “I can’t do both. How do I talk and pee at the same time?”
“Go pee in the cup and then come back out and explain what you know to me,” Phil explained calmly.
Melinda went into the bathroom. “I can’t pee if I think you are listening.”
“You are a field agent. I’m sure you’ve peed in a bush before.”
“I didn’t flirt with a bush.”
Phil had to stay focused. He began to recite the St Crispin’s Day speech from Henry the V until Melinda came back out. He put the sample on a tray. “Good, now tell me what happened.”
Melinda nodded and stood at attention. “We hunted bad guys. They went boom. Then we got stuff in our faces and now we feel funny. But good funny, like hook up at a bar funny,” she blinked at him. “Hospital. Safety. Phil keeps me safe at the hospital. Not so scary. But no telling I’m scared of hospitals.”
“Your secret is safe,” Phil promised. “I need to do the standard tests now okay?”
“Okay,” Melinda smiled. “Can I dance while you do them?”
“No. I need you to sit on the bed. I’ll give you a lollipop if you do.”
“I like to suck things,” Melinda said cheerfully. “Would you like me to suck things?”
“Just the thermometer,” Phil took a breath. “Agent May, in your file do you have a person listed you want called in the event of a situation like this?”
“I don’t want them,” Melinda said quickly. “Papers are wrong, I just never changed them. Don’t let them call Andrew. Promise Phil, no Andrew.”
“I promise,” Phil swore. He finished the basic tests and gathered his samples. “I want you to stay in this room okay? I’ll be back in just a few minutes.”
“Just you?” Melinda asked, aiming and falling short of normal.
“Okay. I’ll stay right here.”
“I’ll bring you that lollipop.”
Phil took his samples out and a nurse collected them, along with the rest from the team.
The head nurse approached him. “Mack is seeming flirtatious but not exhibiting the same symptoms as the women,” she explained. “We have him under observation but aren’t too concerned. We’ve lucked out a little in that Simmons and Johnson are each other’s trusted person in this sort of situation.”
“So keep them in the same room and let them assist each other through the worst of it.”
“That is our intention. We have a nurse ready to check on them every hour. Cameras have been disabled in their and May’s room.”
Phil nodded, it was a kindness. “May is euphoric and running towards insensible. Her temperature is also high.”
“Her contact is Andrew Garner.”
“Don’t call him. May was very insistent that he not be contacted,” Phil said.
“Her paperwork suggests -”
“She suggests that it is out of date,” Phil said firmly.
“And you said she is almost insensible,” the head nurse countered.
“He’s right, May won’t want Andrew. It’s her ex. They reconciled for a bit, but that ended months ago. They haven’t even exchanged an email since. May would hate if you brought him in,” Fitz interjected.
“And if her health requires it?"
“We can adapt,” Phil said. “Toys, cool showers, anything until it suggests that it is absolutely needed.”
“And how will we know that?”
“I can monitor her,” Phil said. “She trusts me.”
Fitz nodded. “May has expressed her faith in Phil’s medical knowledge.”
“We will hold off on contacting him for now, until we have better understanding of the chemical they were doused with. Dismissed.”
Phil nodded a thanks to Fitz and returned to Melinda’s room after opening a drawer at the desk. “How are you?”
“Hot, itchy,” Melinda said. “But I stayed still. See?”
“That’s great.” He handed her the lollipop and she pulled off the wrapper and began to lick it slowly. “Well isn’t that fantastic?”
“I don’t have a gag reflex.”
“I’ll add that to your medical file.” Phil saw she was sweating a bit. He went to the bathroom and dampened a towel. He moved over to her and ran it over her neck and placed it on the back of her neck. “Better?”
She nodded. “I like sex.”
“Sex is great.”
“I like being on top, riding a man until he breaks.”
“Melinda can you do me a favour and stop talking?” Phil begged.
Melinda closed her mouth with an audible click. Within a couple of minutes she was shaking and her lip was bleeding.
“Okay, talk.” Phil put on gloves and grabbed a wipe for her lip.
Melinda started babbling about sex, her favourite positions and kinks and good experiences and bad experiences and Phil was dying. He checked her vitals again and they were elevated but not dangerous. He replaced the towel on her neck.
When there was a knock on the door, he sighed in relief. “I’ll be right back.”
“Okay.” she went back to the lollipop that had been forgotten in her ramblings.
The head nurse was there. “Good news, they just don’t make sex pollen like they used to - it is unlikely to be a fuck or die situation.”
“I could live the rest of my life happily never hearing that phrase again,” Phil said.
“I have dildos for you to give her,” the woman handed him a brown bag. “Some gatorade and snacks.”
“I…” Phil just shook his head and went back into Melinda’s room.
Melinda had started to cry. Phil dropped the bag and hurried over. He cupped her face and wiped away her tears. “Agent May, what happened?”
“I finished the lollipop,” she cried some more. The drug she had been doused with had her all over the map.
“I have other things for you.”
This made her bawl. “I never get you anything.”
“You can buy me a coffee sometime.” Phil picked up the dropped bag and handed it to her. “We don’t think we’ll have to call Andrew. This should help you get through the next few hours. I’m going to leave you alone, but I will check on you every ninety minutes. And you will make it through this. If you hit the help button. I promise I’ll come running.”
“Okay,” Melinda nodded and clutched the bag.
“Okay.” Phil wanted to hug her, but didn’t dare, not right now. He left her alone.
When he checked on her 90 minutes later, she was doing tai chi and sweating buckets. She lit up like the sun when she saw him. Her vitals were again elevated but not scarily so.
The nurse who was checking on Simmons and Johnson was blushing furiously when she left their room. “They are very flexible,” was all she said.
At the next check Mack was sent home, he seemed to showing no effects. Simmons and Johnson were slowing down and their vitals were stabilizing.
But Melinda was worse. She had soaked through her clothes but was still wearing them and she was pacing, shaking.
“Agent May,” Phil looked at her. “You need to hydrate and used the toys we provided.”
“No, tried. Didn’t help,” Melinda said. “Got dressed and worked out. I can just push through this.”
“You can’t. You need to let go and -”
Melinda rounded on him. “Take my vitals and get out.”
“Melinda,” Phil looked at her. “You need to listen to me.”
“You’re just as shitty at the job as the rest of the people in here, telling me that you know my body better than I do. Getting in my head, breaking me apart.”
“I’m trying to keep you together.” But he took her vitals and added them to the chart and left her be.
Less than an hour later, the light went off for Melinda’s room and Phil ran down the corridor.
She was on the ground, gasping, wrung out. “Phil, help me please.”
Phil hurried and went to the bathroom and turned the shower on making it lukewarm. He put down a sterile pad on the bed and lifted Melinda up onto it.
“Melinda, I need to take your clothes off,” Phil said. “I’m going to remove your top and pants.”
Phil shed them quickly and stuffed them into the biohazard bag.
“Take the rest off,” she whispered.
“I don’t know if,” Phil wasn’t sure it was the best idea.
“They feel like they are burning my skin,” Melinda said.
Phil nodded and cut the underwear off. He picked her up and carried her to the shower. She sighed in relief as the water hit her overheated skin. Phil stepped back ready to leave her alone but it became apparent that she couldn’t hold herself up. Phil stepped into the spray with her and held her back carefully. She just leaned against him and he washed her hair and scrubbed her down. He kept it clinical, she was just another patient.
He didn’t think about promises to get a beer or that one email where she had actually sent a heart emoji. He was sure it was a typo. He sat her carefully down on the tile. “Stay in the water, I’m getting you something clean to wear.” Out of the bathroom he stripped off the soaked scrub shirt but left the pants on. He threw a towel over his shoulder and ran down the hall. He was changed and back to her room in 7 minutes.
Phil pulled her out of the water and dried her carefully and put her in his Hello Kitty scrubs.
“They don’t smell like you.”
“No, medical cleaning. They just smell like scrubs,” Phil said. He helped her sit on the bed and stepped away.
She began to whimper and shiver and Phil grabbed a gatorade and slid onto the bed behind her. He made her take a few sips and smoothed her hair.
“Your team is safe. Fitz and Mack are okay, Simmons and Johnson are at the sleeping it off stage. Expecting a hell of a hangover for all the three of you.”
“Why am I still so bad?”
“You got the heaviest dose and aren’t working it out of your system the same way,” Phil explained. “You are also older than them and your body heals slower.”
“Are you calling me old?”
“No, I think you are just about the right age,” he said softly.
“My phone has some books on it, can you read to me?” Melinda asked. “I...alone is bad Nurse Coulson.”
“Of course.” Phil got up and found her phone and opened the app. He settled back on the bed behind her and began to read.
He did his damnedest to ignore when her hand slid between her legs and she began to move a little. He just kept reading the biography.
They both ignored him growing hard under her movements.
Two hours later Melinda finally fell asleep, her temperature dropping. Phil eased himself away from her and hobbled into the hallway, half hard and legs aching from the way she had laid across him. He collapsed on the ground and closed his eyes.
He felt a coffee cup being nudged into his hands. He opened his eyes to look at Maria Hill.
“Well it was nice working here while it lasted.”
“I came to check on the team. How is she?”
“Recovering. I’ll be filing a report against myself for inappropriate behaviour,” Phil said.
Maria crouched down. “Did you fuck her?”
Phil looked at her in horror. “Of course not.”
“Touch her in a sexual manner.”
“No, I helped her shower and then I read to her while she was finally able to...help her situation.” Phil looked at the coffee. “But I was on the bed with her. I..reacted.”
“So what you are telling me is that you behaved in a manner as befit your job and in the process of that your body had an involuntary biological reaction but you in no way responded to said reaction.”
“If you clutter my desk with bullshit paperwork, I’ll make sure your boss has you scrubbing bedpans for a month.” Maria looked at him. “You are a good nurse Phil, I know I don’t trust anyone else here and that goes for several other people. So go get some sleep.”
“Thank you ma’am.”
Maria gave him a sympathetic pat on the knee and hauled him up. She took the coffee back. “You don’t need this.”
Phil went to the cots set up for staff and crashed for eight hours.
When he awoke, Melinda had checked herself out.
She didn’t respond to any of his emails.
After the 10th he gave up.
Melinda was in a meeting with Maria planning some upcoming missions when Maria’s phone rang. “Yes?” She listened and hung up quickly. “There’s been an attack.” She was checking her gun and rounding her desk.
“In house?” May was shocked.
Maria nodded. “In the medical wing. Seems a couple agents went ballistic have gone on a siege.”
Melinda froze for half a second.
But she was barely a step behind Maria as she strode down the hall. “Team is waiting for orders, but they have to be careful, you can’t just shoot into a medical wing. Patients, oxygen tanks. Perfect place really to hole up, lots of cannon fodder, lots of negotiable hostages.”
“Have there been any demands?” Melinda asked. She was texting her team as they moved. “Daisy is linking me camera feeds.”
“Good. And no demands as of yet. We aren’t even sure how many involved in the attack.” Maria met the team waiting at the medical entrance. “Report.”
“Barricaded ma’am. We think 4 people involved. No calls, no demands,” an agent explained.
“Shit.” Maria looked up. “And medical sealed the vents well after all of Barton’s escapes.” Maria was kind enough not to mention the couple times that Melinda had done the same escape.
“I have eyes,” Melinda touched her phone and each tap showed a different view from a camera inside. “Seems they’ve rounded up the staff into the break room and locked the patients in. That’s smart. Do we know who’s on shift right now?”
Maria checked her phone and rattled off the names, which included Phil.
“Coulson isn’t in the room with the rest of the staff,” Melinda said. “Perhaps they accidentally locked him in with a patient?”
“Possible,” Maria looked. “They said four. Where’s the fourth?”
Melinda kept tapping the screen until they moved past where a pair of feet were being dragged into a supply closet. Melinda quickly swiped back and they watched.
“Damn, Hello Kitty has balls,” Maria whistled.
“How does he keep ruining his SHIELD scrubs?” Melinda asked. “And also how has that made the common lexicon?”
“What, Mack has a way with phrases,” Maria said.
“At least he grabbed the man’s vest and put it over top the Hello Kitty scrubs,” Melinda muttered. She absolutely did not find the bullet proof vest over the pink scrubs charming. “Why didn’t he grab a gun too?”
All they could do was watch as Phil went cautiously down the halls and pretty much ran right into one of the men. He realized first what was happening and they saw him jab a needle into the man’s neck and the guy collapsed in an instant.
Phil tied the man up quickly but was focused enough not to notice the guy coming up behind him.
Melinda watched the guy knock Phil out with his gun and start to kick him. “No,” was all she said. She grabbed a gun off one of the waiting agents and shot at the door handle until it fell off. She opened it and stalked through.
All the agents stared in shock. “Well Jesus give the woman some fucking back up,” Maria ordered.
Melinda stalked down the hallway and pistol whipped the first guy and threw him over her shoulder and kept moving until she rounded a corner and saw Phil on the ground.
She ran and jumped and took the man kicking him down. She was relentless, destructive, and heard several bones snap.
“Agent stand down,” Maria roared.
Melinda landed a couple more kicks before she stepped back and let them take the man away. She crouched down and checked over Phil.
He had a goose egg already forming, and his sides were going to be bruised, but nothing looked permanent.
Melinda smoothed his hair. “Phil, wake up. Come on,” she kept repeating that over and over.
Phil groaned. “I think I need a nurse.”
Melinda laughed. “I can recommend a good one.”
Phil blinked and brought her into focus. “I was totally badass, you know. Took out two of them.”
“I got the other two.”
“We would make a great team,” he slid back into unconsciousness.
Phil woke in a hospital bed an hour later and Melinda was sitting beside him filling out her after action report. “I think I’m hallucinating.”
Melinda sat forward. “What are you seeing?”
“Agent Melinda May voluntarily in a hospital room.”
Melinda rolled her eyes. “So much for a knock to the head giving you a better sense of humour.”
“I have it on good authority, I’m quite funny.”
“Was it your mother, was she trying to make you feel better?”
“...maybe.” Phil groaned. “Getting hit with a gun hurts.”
“It does,” Melinda looked at him. “You shouldn’t have been playing the hero.”
“Patients were at risk, I couldn’t do nothing. They had missed me in the roundup, I took advantage.”
“And if they had killed you?”
Phil shrugged. “I was warned of the risks coming to work here. I’ve been in Iraq. I have some training.”
“Two decades ago.”
“Hence why I didn’t pick up a gun,” Phil said. “And what does it matter so much?”
“I don’t want you hurt.”
“It would be a shame to lose the one nurse you can tolerate,” Phil agreed.
“No.” Melinda shook her head. “I don’t want you hurt. You mean a lot to me.”
“Oh,” Phil looked at her. “You haven’t been in contact.”
“I was embarrassed. I took advantage of your kindness.”
“You took advantage,” Phil was dumbfounded. “I offered to write myself up for being inappropriate.”
Melinda laughed. She reached under her paperwork and pulled out a lollipop. “For being such a bwave little soldier.”
“You know there was once rumours of a beer when that hussy Janet broke my heart. We never did get it.”
Melinda smiled. “Beer is definitely an option.”
“Now gimmie my lollipop,” Phil reached out. “I happen to be a model patient unlike some people.”
Melinda snorted a bit. She really wasn’t so bad.
Phil handled her just fine.
“Hey Phil, you have the energy for one last patient?”
“Yup,” Phil agreed. He was in his Hello Kitty scrubs, because his SHIELD ones had somehow disappeared out of his locker.
“Room 3. Complaining about chest pains.”
“File?” Phil asked. He was handed some papers. He had his nose buried in them and opened the door. “Hi, I’m Nurse Coulson, I’ll get you started before we get a doctor in here. Now what can you tell me about the pain?”
“Well, it hurts right here,” Melinda said placing her hand over her heart.
Phil smiled. “You’re home.”
“We got in early, but been in post op meetings,” Melinda smiled. It had been a long six weeks away and she had missed their first anniversary.
Phil locked the door behind him. “That explains the missing scrubs.”
“I like the Hello Kitty.”
“So, chest pain, hmmm?” Phil stepped closer and closer.
“Oh yes, right here. Maybe you should check me out,” Melinda suggested. She undid her field jacket and revealed that she only had a bra on underneath. “I can understand that you might have to be thorough.”
“Of course. It is only responsible. Don’t worry, I’ll tell you everything I’m going to do before I do it,” Phil picked her up and put her on the bed. “We’ll start with a thorough examination of your mouth and work our way downwards. I know you said chest pain, but I really should check every inch. I pride myself on my work you know.”
Melinda tilted her head up. “Check away, Nurse Coulson.”
Phil sank a hand into her hair and tugged her into a hard kiss as his other hand pushed her jacket off her shoulders.
“Damn, Hello Kitty has game,” Mack said in the hallway.
Daisy elbowed him and made sure that the camera in their room malfunctioned before dragging Mack down to the cafeteria where the rest of the team was hanging out. She had a feeling they were going to be a while.
Phil was in a good mood. They had the lemon cranberry muffin he loved at the bakery, he had a movie night with Eleanor and Wade the night before, and his dog cops t-shirt had come in the mail. Life was pretty sweet.
He was whistling as he put on his SHIELD scrubs and went to the desk.
He stopped whistling as the head nurse smirked at him. "Which of my idiots?" he asked.
"Room 3," was all she said as she handed him a file.
He read as he walked and then opened the door. "Hairline fractures, Daisy? I thought you were doing better at not turning it inward."
Daisy smiled through her pain. "It was that or accidentally blast Mack. See there was this -"
"Level 2, Daisy. Can't know about your missions beyond what I need for medical. Let's get your numbers and down to x-ray." Phil frowned, "Though Simmons could take care of it."
"Usually yes, but,"
"But let me guess, she's in room 4?"
So much for his good day.
"Jesus, Mack, you got lucky. This is almost bad enough to require a skin graft." Phil was helping the doctor deal with the steam burn on his ribs. "Skin from your ass, transferred to your side."
"Well, spreading that mighty fine skin, wouldn't be the worse thing," Mack was sweating, shaking from the pain. Phil dialed up his drip a little.
"You'll be out of commission for a while," Phil explained. "And I get the pleasure of your company for at least a week."
Phil squeezed Mack's hand a little.
"Ye can't blame me for getting the bloody chicken pox!" Fitz sat on his hands to stop them from itching.
"Watch me. You just watch me, I'll figure out a way," Phil muttered as he checked the man over. "I hope you get horribly itchy spots on your balls."
"Your bedside manner has really taken a dive."
"Well, my favourite people keep ending up in my charge, because they are reckless morons," Phil relented and grab some soothing lotion and started to help Fitz out. "This is why my best friend regenerates, it makes things easier," Phil paused. "Oh, Wade is my best friend. That feels wrong."
"He paid May a visit ye know," Fitz sighed in relief. "Shovel talk."
Phil closed his eyes. "Christ."
Phil didn't say a word as he helped prep May for her surgery. She wouldn't have heard it anyways.
When she woke up 8 hours later, Phil still didn't say a word, just kissed her hair before checking all her numbers and settling into the chair beside her.
"Room 3, Phil."
"Oh come on, they are all attending seminars this week, they can't be injured," Phil groaned. He held out a hand for a file, only there wasn't one. "Huh?"
Phil went into the room and immediately snapped to attention. "Director Fury, sir." He kept his spine straight as possible.
"I'm a little disappointed Coulson, hear tell you usually run around here in Hello Kitty scrubs," Fury looked at them. "The running commentary is -"
Phil rolled his eyes, "That Hello Kitty has balls. Yeah I've heard it." Shit, he just back talked a man who shot down one of his own planes with a rocket launcher. Fury smiled and it terrified Phil.
"Well I need a tetanus shot," Fury explained.
"That does require taking the coat off, sir," Phil said. "Or you can leave it on and drop trou."
"I like you, Phil," Fury smiled and took off the coat. "How long you been with us now?"
"About two years, sir," Phil went over to the cabinet and unlocked it. He got the supplies he needed.
"Your boss has recommended you for promotion, twice in that time and you've turned it down. Why?"
"I like my job," Phil readied the needle. "I keep heroes in one piece, and frankly shift supervisor paperwork terrifies me."
"Ever consider field work?"
"I know, Director, that occasionally there are missions that require medical staff go out with a team, but the personnel that does so tends to have a much higher clearance than me, along with a lot of training." Phil swabbed the arm and gave him the shot. He smiled and put a Hello Kitty bandage on it. "To make up for the regulation scrubs."
"Agent's May team currently holds the ranking for most medical visits for a team that doesn't include Clint Barton," Fury explained. "And they only come to you or people they know you trust. They have a doctor on board, and all they do is stop gap until they get to you."
"Simmons hates being forced into being a field medic, it isn't her training. She stabilizes and they come to me," Phil explained calmly. "Is there a problem with them using your operation how it is meant to be used?"
"My problem is that we are losing time and money on these trips home," Fury grabbed his coat. "Sorry, Phil, you've just been promoted. You have an appointment at the range tomorrow. Don't be late."
Phil stood there, confused, and mad, even if he couldn't explain why. But there was a folder left on the bed and it had his name on it. He reached out and opened it up.
May was going to be pissed.
"This is unacceptable," May said pacing in Maria's office. "How is this acceptable?"
"Because your team's dedication to both getting blown up and only trusting Coulson is costing time and money," Maria explained. Again. "Fury and I talked about it and agreed, this is a good solution."
"Phil Coulson is not a field agent. Does he even know how to fire a gun?"
"He had training when he was an army medic."
"That was twenty five years ago," Melinda said. She put her fists on the table. "He doesn't have the clearance, the experience, or the attitude to go out in the field."
"He isn't going out in the field, he's going on your plane," Maria smiled. "And he's currently at hand to hand and weapons training with Bobbi and Hunter."
Melinda opened her mouth.
"Now is where you be quiet, Agent May," Maria warned. Melinda was shocked into silence. "Your team is our best, and we have you going out on more and more sensitive missions. Having a dedicated medic on your plane will at some point be the difference between life and death. And before you throw Simmons at me, tell me she doesn't need help." Maria opened Phil's file. "Commendations from his brief military career. Top marks in nursing school, two stints with doctors without borders. He has shown himself to be cool under pressure, capable of handling your stubborn ass, and most importantly, a damn good nurse. So tell me, if he wasn't your boyfriend would you be lodging this strong an objection?"
"Yes ma'am, I would. We don't like new players."
"This was Johnson's idea," Maria said. "And we agree with her. He passes certification for SHIELD triage nursing and gun cert, he will join your team for a trial period of three months."
"Ma'am," Melinda leaned forward.
"Dismissed, Agent May," Maria said.
"Oh and remember our rules on fraternization."
"We don't have any."
"Exactly." Maria picked up her phone and ignored May's departure.
Melinda went down to the range and watched Hunter adjust Coulson's stance.
"He's doing better than Daisy did at the start. Doesn't say bang. Not quite dead centre, but it is hard for medical people to make kill shots, that whole do no harm thing," Bobbi stood beside Melinda. "He learns fast."
"He's a smart one."
Hunter slapped Phil on the shoulder and came over to them. "I like him. Hello Kitty's got balls."
Melinda had grown tired of that joke months ago. She ignored Hunter like usual. "You can't think this is a good idea Bobbi."
"Actually? I kind of do. I know what you've been doing and will be doing, and having him there, might make it go a little easier," Bobbi watched him make some good shots. "He's not going to go out in the field May."
"How long does that ever last with SHIELD?" Melinda asked.
Phil put the gun carefully away and practically bounced over to them. "Did you see? I don't suck."
Melinda smiled a little and patted his head. "Good boy, you want a treat?"
"I'll save it for later, first Bobbi has to put me in medical," Phil bounced on his toes a little. "So you done trying to get this to not happen?"
Melinda nodded. "I am, but you will follow my rules, to the letter, to the inch. And if you step out of line, you will be disciplined."
"Kinky," Hunter grinned.
Melinda glared at him and walked away.
"You don't want to see me learn to throw a punch?" Phil called after her.
"No," Melinda walked away and left him to his training.
"Are you wearing a suit?" Melinda looked at Phil as he stood in front of her plane.
"Day one of a new job, you dress nicely. My dad always said a suit made a good impression, showed I respected the work," Phil smiled. "Plus you like this suit. You have expressed extreme enjoyment of this suit."
Melinda smiled a little. "It is a good suit." She gestured and Phil followed her.
"So this is where you live."
"You've been to my apartment, Phil," Melinda walked him through the cargo hold.
"This is where you live," Phil was taking in everything. Melinda showed him their medical space. "Small," he said.
"Functional," she countered.
Phil dropped his med bag onto the bed and looked around a bit. "I can make it work."
"You will, or you'll be off the plane," Melinda said.
"Melinda?" Phil was a little surprised.
"This is my command, Phil and you will respect that."
"Why wouldn't I, May?" Phil asked. "I'm not a field agent, I don't have even 10% of the training of everyone else on this plane. I'm here to patch you all up, that's it, I don't even have the clearance to sit in on your briefings."
"Actually, you do."
"Fury and Hill felt that you'd best do your job with a basic report of what we are doing out in the field, so you can be prepared with the right tools at hand. Jungle, you can have anti-venom ready, the arctic be prepared for frostbite and the like. You've moved to Level Five Limited."
"Does that come with a pay raise? Because I have an eye on a birthday gift for you and could use the cash," Phil grinned. "Do I get a badge? Medical usually just gets lanyards."
Melinda reached into her pocket and pulled out a badge. "You wouldn't normally, but I had it made special for you."
Phil looked at it in awe. He then looked at Melinda the same way. "You might be pissed I'm in your space, but hard to hide that you like me."
"It's to soften the blow that you aren't bunking with me," Melinda explained. "I would prefer that while on operations, we keep it professional."
Phil nodded. "Okay that makes sense. I need to make something clear to you though. I'll follow your orders, I promise, I'll always follow them. But, in this pod, I'm in charge," he paused. "Well, Simmons and I are sort of both in charge in here. You don't have a say in what I do to keep you all alive."
"When is the rest of the team due?" Phil asked.
"Not for another hour," Melinda tilted her head a little bit. "Thought you might need to get...settled."
"So operations haven't begun," Phil picked her up and put her on the bed and she grabbed his tie and pulled him down with her. "I knew you liked the suit."
An hour later Jemma was wheeling a new hospital bed onto the plane. "I just don't understand how you broke it." She looked at Phil. "These beds are designed to hold enhanced individuals."
Phil blushed a bit. "The hydraulics were faulty."
"Hope that was the only thing that was faulty," Mack joked as he walked by.
"That is a medical pod, it is supposed to be a sterile environment, not a...a...a...sex den," Jemma wagged a finger at him.
"It was more a lovemaking den, if that makes it better," Phil offered.
"Are you telling me you and Daisy have never been inappropriate on this plane?"
"But we're young and impetuous, and you are -"
"We are what Simmons?" Melinda asked behind her.
Jemma squeaked and ran for safety.
"That was mean," Phil grinned. "It was all sorts of attractive."
Melinda didn't laugh.
"Game time, got it, Agent May."
"Wheels up in 10, Nurse Coulson."
"I'm ready," he said calmly.
"I am not ready for this job," Phil was helping Fitz drag Mack to medical. They were not getting far. "He's a fucking tank."
"Lab stool," Fitz said as he dropped Mack's legs. Phil ended up with 250 pounds of dead weight. He fell to the ground. He heard wheels and saw the stool.
"Yeah that should help," Phil scrambled up and they sort of draped Mack over it and got him to the medical pod. "Robotic bees, Fitz, robotic bees."
"I know! I captured a half dozen to study. They are quite fascinating really," Fitz tipped the stool and Mack fell onto the bed. Phil immediately set up a heart monitor and checked his eyes.
"It seems to be a knock out drug," Phil said, going through the basic routine. "But has to be powerful stuff that one bee did this."
Mack started to crash and Phil shouted out orders, trying to stabilize him. He threw scissors to Fitz. "Get him out of the clothes, now."
Fitz started to cut him out and they found three of the robotic bees still stinging Mack's arm.
"Get it all off, just in case." Phil ordered as he readied a shot.
Fitz got Mack down to the skin and they found two more bees in his clothes. "How did he stay upright until he got back here?"
"Never underestimate force of will, Fitz," Phil said he gave Mack the shot. He watched as the monitors slowly leveled out. He listened to the man's heart and smiled. "Better." He remembered to drape a sheet over the man.
"Thanks," Fitz said. "Jemma is with May, if you hadn't been here,"
"I was though," Phil gave Fitz's shoulder a squeeze. "And he's going to be okay." Phil handed Fitz all the bees they found. They both sat and watched Mack breathe.
They were quiet and Fitz wasn't quite holding Mack's hand.
"So how do you two -" Phil asked.
"We haven't yet," Fitz muttered. "We've...we're taking it slow."
"Well, I have lube in a drawer here, you know. Because really not an injury I want to deal with." Phil handed Fitz a bottle of water.
"How is that appropriate?" Fitz asked.
"Come on, Mack would find it funny," Phil toasted them with his water bottle. "Mazel tov."
Fitz snorted a little. "It is bloody ridiculous."
"Not really, proportional to his overall size."
Fitz started to giggle. Phil smiled, relieved. Mack hadn't been the only one he had been worried about. But Fitz was relaxing, breathing. It was good. Now he just had to worry about the rest of them.
But this time, the rest came home fine.
"Hey Coulson, you wanted to see me?" Daisy walked into the medical pod.
"Yes, thanks for coming. Strip to your underwear," Phil said, not looking up from his chart.
"Strip. You can leave your underwear on. Socks too, the floor is cold." He looked up. "I sent you an email."
"I didn't read it."
"Why do none of you ever read my emails?" he huffed a little.
"You have your Wednesday blues emails, your Saturday health guide emails, your Monday start your week right emails, half of them are kitten photos."
Phil put his chart down. "Studies have shown that small animal photos have an excellent placebo effect and can lower heart rate and stress, even lower blood pressure. And trust me, you are a group that needs your blood pressure lowered."
"Is that why there are so many vegetables in the fridge?"
"Twizzlers are not a food group, Daisy," Phil said sternly.
"Yeah well 60% of your diet is coffee," she replied. "And why do I have to have this fight naked?"
"Not naked." Phil showed her the chart he had made. "Your powers have been indexed by SHIELD, and studied, but not for useful things."
"Know I can cause an avalanche, pretty useful," she countered.
"But I don't know what it does to your body," Phil explained. "I don't know if your temperature goes up, do your muscles tense? What if you got a charlie horse mid-usage?"
Daisy looked at him. "You really do care, don't you?"
"I wouldn't do this job if I didn't," Phil said. "And the more information I have, the better I can do my job."
"Okay then," Daisy agreed and she stripped down. "Let's fill your chart."
They spent two hours working and she was exhausted by the end, but Phil was smiling. "This will help me a lot, Daisy." He gave her a towel. "I appreciate it."
"Sure, Coulson. May told us to treat you like a member of the team."
Phil smiled a little and reached into a cupboard and pulled out a box. "Reward bucket, for good patients."
"Sweet!" Daisy reached in and grabbed the tsum tsum 3 pack.
"Eat the vegetables for a week and you can have another," Phil promised.
Daisy grinned and grabbed her clothes to hit the showers.
Melinda passed her in the all and went into the pod. "Everything okay?"
"Yup, just running tests. Been actually doing them to everyone. Getting baselines," Phil explained. "And you are right on time for yours."
"You have our baselines, it is in your files," Melinda said. "We all have very thorough medical records.
"But I didn't take them." Phil pulled a file down. "You trust other people's intel?"
"Point." Melinda agreed. She sat on the bed. "What do you need?"
"We are going to take some numbers, and then you'll go work out, and we'll take some more," Phil said. "Easy."
"See if you get a toy surprise with that attitude."
Melinda relented and let him run his numbers. "We'll be done in a couple days," she mentioned. "Potentially a night early."
"Oh yeah?" He ran a light across her eyes.
"There's a nice hotel not too far from here, very comfortable beds."
"Well, I'll wish you very good hunting then, Agent May," Phil grinned. "Now go get sweaty."
"Phil, we need to move quickly," Jemma and he were moving around the pod quickly. "She's losing a lot of blood."
He already was setting up a bag. "Good thing I keep us filled."
"I'll need to operate to get the bullet out, can you handle this?"
"Doctor Simmons, my hands are yours," Phil didn't look at the blood and cuts on Melinda's face, they weren't the priority. He whited out the walls so that they couldn't see Daisy crying.
They worked for two hours before they were satisfied. Mack got them in the air and headed towards home.
Phil couldn't stop washing his hands. Jemma put a gentle arm around him. "You did incredible work. I think we've all said it, but having you here, it has made a difference."
He leaned his head against the cabinet above the sink. "She's never actually said that you know."
"She doesn't say much when on a mission," Jemma rubbed his back a little. "But you matter, having you here matters."
"Thank you," Phil straightened and turned the water off. "I'm going to stay with her. I'm always with her when she wakes up in medical."
"I know, she said it is one of the certainties in her uncertain world."
That was a comfort to Phil. He held her hand as she slept.
"Fitz, what do we do?" Phil asked.
They were hidden in the cargo hold, just under the floor as the men searched the plane.
"We wait. Those were our orders. We wait," Fitz whispered.
"They can't get what you and Jemma were working on," Phil said. "They would cause great devastation."
"I know, but -"
Phil shook his head. "We have to keep them out of your lab."
Fitz nodded, Phil was right. And he had thought the team would be back by now. "What do we do?"
"Why are you asking me?" Phil stared at him in horror. "I haven't read the SHIELD manual on how to deal with infiltration."
"It mostly says don't get infiltrated and if you do kill the motherfuckers. Fury keeps things simple."
Phil tried to think. "Gas masks." He could see the locker they were in and the room was empty. "Right. I need to get to my pod. You get the masks."
Phil ran to the pod and grabbed a tank and went back. He could see a man about to get the drop on Fitz and hit him in the back of the head with the tank.
"Thanks," Fitz said. "Small tank."
"It will do what we need it to," Phil said. They went into the lab and waited. They even opened the door for the 5 goons.
"Why you wearing those masks?" One guy asked.
"They look like aliens," another started to laugh. Soon they all had the giggles and were bent over. Phil quickly drugged them and they dragged them to the centre of the cargo hold and tied them up.
"Laughing gas, didn't think it would really work," Phil admitted.
When the team made it back on the plane, Phil and Fitz were having a beer and had guns pointed at the tied up men.
"You were supposed to stay hidden," Melinda said after they made sure the plane was indeed secure.
"Couldn't, mission would have been compromised," Phil answered.
"It was brilliant," Fitz began.
"Your orders are to hide," Melinda glared at Phil. "This isn't hidden. We had an agreement."
"If we hadn't stepped out, they would have taken the artifact and we'd all be in a very bad spot," Fitz butt in. "We made the right call."
Melinda's jaw tightened. "Fill your after action reports. Coulson, in my office."
Phil gave his beer to Fitz and followed Melinda. "May -"
She held up a hand. "No. We had clear parameters."
"And parameters never change in the field?"
"The plane is not the field, Phil," Melinda's voice was hard.
"They made it the field, May," Phil answered right back. "I didn't. I was in scrubs! I was terrified, but more terrified of you and the team losing all the work you did, to monsters who wanted it just to destroy with. I couldn't let that happen."
"Not your call."
"Fitz and I agreed. And I'm sorry you are mad about that, but I would do it again."
"Any other rules, you are planning to break?" Melinda moved close to him. "Anything else you want to tell me in my command?"
"No ma'am. May I go?"
Phil went to his pod and his hands were shaking. He made it to the head in time to throw up. He couldn't be trapped in that tiny bed area and the common area was too open. He went to the comfort of his medical pod. He decided inventory. It was the nicest mix of effortless but requiring attention. He made note after note, some of which were even legible with his shaking fingers. He dropped a sterile package and it caught on the bed and ripped open. Phil sank to the ground and started to cry.
"Phil," Melinda crouched next to him.
"Fitz tried to hide it, but the man I hit, he hadn't woken up. I couldn't even tell if he was breathing," Phil hugged his legs. "I know your mad, and we're still technically on the job until we hand over the artifact, but I really need Melinda and not Agent May right now," Phil curled into himself. "Hello Kitty doesn't have the balls everyone thinks."
"Daisy has command until we're back in New York," Melinda said. "Can you get up?"
"I can't go to my bunk," Phil explained. "I'll panic in there, feel trapped like when we were hiding."
"You're coming to my quarters," Melinda helped him up. "Does Jemma need to look at you?"
"Adrenaline crash, trauma, release of emotion," Phil said. "I'll be fine."
They went up to Melinda's office/quarters and she pulled the bed down from the wall and sat Phil on it. "You didn't react like this after the incident at the hospital."
"I got knocked out, remember?" Phil said. He kept making fists and releasing them. "Don't honestly remember most of what happened." He wiped at his face a bit. "You must think me pathetic."
"No," Melinda tilted his face up so he looked at her. "You were very brave. And this isn't your job, a reaction is normal." She kissed his forehead before going to the head. She returned with a bowl of warm water and a wash cloth. She put them on the ground and then picked up his hands and kissed his palms. She raised his arms over his head and pulled his scrub shirt off.
"Melinda," Phil whispered.
"Shhh," she said. "Just relax as much as you can." Melinda picked up the bowl and wet the cloth. She rubbed the cloth over his face, wiping his tears away. She trailed it over his shoulders and each arm, warming it a couple times in the water. "15. Since we met, you've taken care of me 15 times after a mission. After I'm hurting. You make me better." She put the cloth down and cupped his face. "You make me better, Phil." She kissed him gently, a mix of affection and solace.
Melinda straightened and Phil hugged her torso, rested his head against her breasts. "I didn't mean to break your orders. I just know what you put into the job, I didn't want it to be for naught."
"You matter more," she said.
"Not more than the fate of the world," Phil answered.
She didn't respond to that. He cared too much about people and didn't need to know that if it came down to it, she would always pick him first. Melinda rubbed her hand over his hair and massaged his shoulders a little. She could feel the tension slowly leaking out of him. With a nudge, he stood up and she knelt.
Melinda pulled his pants and underwear off, and he used her shoulder to balance as she also pulled the socks off. She washed his stomach, his legs, his cock, even between his toes before she put the bowl to the side. Melinda placed a gentle kiss just below his belly button and ran her hands up and down his thighs. She nuzzled at his hipbone, his hair tickling her nose a little.
"Melinda," Phil ran a hand through her hair.
"Let me comfort you," she answered. His hand tightened in her hair for a minute and then let go.
Melinda kissed his cock, it was still soft but that was okay. She kept her hands moving on his legs, on his hips. Gentle sweeps, comforting circles. She licked at his length and used her hand to put the soft length into her mouth. Melinda didn't suck, just let him rest on her tongue for a minute, until he sighed, finally boneless from her ministrations. She began to slowly bob her head, her tongue moving against his length, until he began to swell in her mouth.
Melinda had no idea how much time had passed until he was fully hard and moaning and she didn't begrudge a second of it. She kept up the languid pace even as she began to suck a little harder, as she brought a hand to play with his balls a bit. When she flicked her tongue over the tip, Phil lost his breath.
"Melinda, you steal my breath," he said. "But I don't want it to finish this way."
She let his cock slip out of her mouth. "How would you like it to finish?"
Phil held out a hand and helped her up. They lay down on the bed. "I'd like to return the favour, at least a little."
Melinda moved up against the pillows a little more and ran her fingers over her breasts as Phil settled in between her legs. He took a page from her book at kept it all slow and soft. He kissed her hipbones and around the triangle of trimmed hair. He licked at where thigh met pelvis. Phil sucked on his finger before touching her core and was happy that she was wet. He eased the finger in and moved it back and forth a bit until she was squirming. He kissed right above her clit.
"Phil," Melinda's toes nudged his shoulder. "Phil."
He nuzzled a bit and then he began to lick. He had learned to move with her, that the first few licks always hovered on the edge of pain and her hips jerked with it. He kept his licks small and barely there until she sank more into the bed. Then he began broad strokes as he moved a finger, then two in and out of her. Phil loved how Melinda's thighs shook when he went down on her.
But just like how he had wanted a change, Melinda kicked his shoulder a little and brought him up the bed. They stayed close, Melinda taking his weight until he pressed his cock into her. They barely moved, her letting him take all the comfort he needed.
It was a soft, slow rolling orgasm for them both. Not the most pleasurable one ever, but perhaps one of the most important for them. The solace of it, kept Phil whole.
They both went to the bathroom and they looked at each other.
"I can go to my bunk," Phil said. He was looking for his boxer briefs. "May, this helped. I don't think you realize how much."
"Come to bed, Phil. We can be SHIELD again tomorrow," Melinda held the sheets open for him and then tugged him into position, wrapping herself around him as the big spoon.
Phil curled himself into her. She ran her hand over his hair.
"I redefined shore leave after my first kill. A bottle of bourbon and three men," she said to him. "The bourbon was better."
"I'm sorry I fell apart on you. The field is a lot harder than I expected," Phil said.
He didn't answer her.
Melinda kissed him. "I know there is still three more weeks on the trial period, but when we get to New York, I'll file paperwork with Maria." Melinda swallowed. It hurt more than she expected. "And I'll give you your key back." She gasped when Phil squeezed her too hard.
"No," he said sharply. "No. You don't end us here and now."
"Phil, this life is too much for civilians."
"I'm not a civilian. I mean I'm not an agent, but I'm not a civilian. And I can handle the life. Your life. I know one day, someone is going to hand me your badge and tell me you died a hero. And I know I'll quit SHIELD the next day and go back to being a pediatric nurse somewhere where no one knows me. And I'll endure the quiet, because all the spark will have gone out of the world anyways. But you don't break us apart until the world does." Phil's grip was still painful. "You don't let go of us."
Melinda kissed his head. "I don't want to."
"Then don't. Melinda May, I'm going to love you until my dying die," Phil promised.
"I love you, eternally."
"Oh, that sounded so much better than mine," Phil said.
Melinda kissed his head. "Get some rest."
"Don't let go."
"Well, we're sorry that you think it didn't work," Maria said looking at Melinda. "In general, do you feel having a nurse on the Bus made a difference?"
"It absolutely did, and I will accept a replacement for Coulson. But in the end, the field was just too much for him." Melinda's spine was painfully straight.
"Understood. It will take time to vet a replacement, go on that drop mission to Bogota and we'll have it straightened out when you are back," Maria promised.
Melinda nodded and stopped by the medical wing where Phil was already reading files and in his Hello Kitty scrubs. "You know I sort of hate you didn't bring those on the plane."
"You said regulation only," Phil reminded her. "Good hunting, May. When you get home, we'll go out for Italian?"
She smiled, "Or we could stay in for some." She saw Hunter out of the corner of her eye. "I swear to god if you make a sausage joke, I will end you."
Phil kissed her cheek and shooed her out of the ward before she could give him a new patient.
The job went perfectly and the team went off to their corners.
Melinda had a very good four days never leaving Phil's apartment, before she was called to Fury's office. "Sir," she said.
"We got some rogue enhanced people causing a shit ton of trouble. You get to go clean it up. Bobbi and Hunter are with you, and don't you make that face about Hunter, he's a damn good shot, no matter how much he mouths off." Nick handed her the files. "And your new nurse will be on board waiting for you. I think you'll be pleased. Coulson helped with the selection process."
"Thank you, sir."
Melinda read the files as she walked the halls. It looked like it was going to be a clusterfuck, the extra man power was going to be handy. She made her way to her plane and saw the team all loading up.
"Assessment of the nurse?" she asked Simmons.
"Excellent qualifications, been through a fight or two, I don't think we could do better," she said.
Daisy stifled a giggle beside her.
"Hunter, Bobbi, go find a bunk," Melinda ordered. "Separate ones."
"Sure boss lady."
Melinda debated breaking his jaw. He could still shoot with his mouth wired shut.
Melinda was looking down and saw the running shoes first, the sort she knew all medical staff wore. And she saw pink. With a little white cat dancing around. Her eyes slowly lifted.
"Nurse Coulson, reporting in, Agent May," Phil smiled. "I've read the mission brief and think I have us properly stocked."
Melinda ignored all the smiles around her. And protocol and ran and hugged him. "You idiot. Helped with the selection process my ass."
"I couldn't let anyone else work on you, you'd hate that," he said. He gave her a quick squeeze and kiss. "I'm the only one you trust, right?"
"Right," she agreed. She cupped his face just for a moment. "Nurse Coulson, I recall that the crew quarters gave you some claustrophobia. I would recommend that you bunk with me for the duration of your stay." Melinda glared at him. "During operations you will follow all orders given."
"Of course," Phil agreed.
"Welcome to the team, Nurse Coulson," she said.
Phil looked as Daisy and Mack whooped. He pointed at them. "This means you damn well better read those health tip emails I send. And no more corn chips. None of you are dying from a heart attack. There is a food pyramid, learn it, love it, live it."
"You restocked the reward bucket right?" Fitz asked. Everyone perked up a bit.
"Yes, there is a reward bucket for good patients," Phil promised. "With extra rewards if I don't have to dig a bullet out of you."
At the end of the mission, Melinda argued that the bullets were dug out of her vest, not her, so she totally deserved the extra reward.
Once they were off the clock, Coulson made it a very good reward.
Okay, I thought I had been done, but sometimes you get an idea and then you just have to dive back in. One thing I love doing in canon adjacent AUs is taking scenes and changing the characters involved, how the situation becomes completely different.
Also we needed Deadpool and Melinda May interacting.
"Don't worry, it's a healthy cupcake," Daisy smiled and held it out to Phil. Of course it had a Hello Kitty decoration on it.
"How is it a healthy cupcake?" Phil asked.
"Vanilla so no artificial dyes," Daisy looked at it. "You know, other than the pink frosting. Happy one year on the bus."
Phil smiled and took the decoration of the top and realized that it was actually a small hair barrette. Daisy smirked at him and he licked the frosting off and managed to clip it into his hair. He bit into the cupcake and sighed happily. "Okay, this is good. Better even than the corvette hot wheel Mack gave me."
"Well, you and me, we've bonded."
"You mean I've held your intestines inside you and always have spare tampons on hand."
"See? Bonded." Daisy kissed his cheek. "Happy anniversary, Phil."
"You still need to eat your carrots at dinner," he shouted after her. He was finishing his cupcake when he phone dinged. He climbed onto the medical bed and scrolled and laughed at the photo Wade sent of Peter doing finger painting with Eleanor. He checked and he also had a message from Brett. Phil settled in and read it. Soon he was flat out giggling at the story of a comic book auction that went practically feral.
"What has you so happy?" Melinda asked from the door.
"Just some emails," he showed her the picture Wade sent. "Brett also found a few good deals on some Cap comics, he's mailing them to me."
"Brett?" Melinda asked coming onto the bed.
"Guy I talked to in that Avengers forum. We've exchanged some memorabilia, a few emails," Phil explained.
"Do we need to stop somewhere so you can have a play date?" Melinda joked.
"How haven't you met Steve yet?" Melinda asked.
"Busy with you guys, and he doesn't end up in medical a lot."
"Clint does though, and Steve checks on his team."
Phil flushed a bit. "I was kept away in case my...enthusiasm impugned the stoicism of the medical department," Phil said primly.
"They were scared you'd fanboy."
"Shut up," Phil repeated.
"Make me," Melinda countered.
"I thought we were working," Phil said but he pulled Melinda towards him.
"An anniversary warrants a bit of relaxing the rules," Melinda crawled onto his lap.
"Now that is a good gift." Phil began to kiss her neck.
There was a hard rap on the glass and they turned to see Jemma wag a finger. She held a piece of paper to the glass: no breaking another bed.
"Our quarters?" Melinda suggested.
Phil nodded and they held hands through the bus.
Everyone scattered once they finished their debrief at the Hub. Well, not Melinda, she still had a couple more meetings, but she had insisted that Phil go visit Wade, check on his apartment. Phil was whistling as he walked, it was a perfect day out really. He stopped in a bodega and bought a few provisions and wondered if he should go to see Wade or go check his mail.
Even as he thought that, he saw a taco truck drive by madly missing a wheel.
So Wade was busy, then.
To his apartment it was. He got in and opened the windows to let some fresh air in. He was shocked to see his plant actually alive, but there was a note saying that a level one SHIELD agent had been sent to water it. He used the watch Fitz had made him to scan for bugs. There were only four in the apartment, they must be really starting to trust him. He walked around and checked his closet and saw three new sets of scrubs, two regulation and one Hello Kitty, because it had somehow become a thing. He had a shower and wondered how he should kill some time.
His phone beeped and he saw it was a message from Brett:
Couson on the off chance you are in New York today.
And there was a photo of Greg Rucka signing at Mid-Town Comics Central.
Phil never moved so fast in his life.
He got to the shop and saw he was still there and he got in line. There was a man who was sizing up the crowd and smiled a little before coming over.
"Sorry if this is wrong, but Phil?" He looked a bit nervous.
"Brett!" Phil said cheerfully. "I can't believe my luck."
"I know right, wasn't even sure you'd be in town, but thought hey what's it take to send a text."
"Glad you did. They have some trades for sale right? I didn't have a chance to grab anything."
"Sure do," Brett pointed. "I'll hold your place in line."
Phil nodded his thanks and went to peruse the options.
They chatted in line and Phil tried to stay cool when he got his trades signed. They left the shop and Brett gave a bit of a wave and started to walk away. Phil checked his phone, nothing from Melinda, and the local news said a taco truck had exploded so Wade was probably still busy.
"Hey Brett, I have some time, want to grab a beer?" Phil offered. "I owe you one for the head's up."
"That sounds great," They walked in companionable silence until they found a bar with it's windows all open. "Pilsner?" Phil asked.
"Sure," Brett smiled easily and sat at the table right in front and opened one of his trades while Phil went up to the bar.
He came back with a couple beers. "Ordered some nachos too."
"Great. So come on, let's trash talk Brubaker," Brett grinned.
"Oh fuck Brubaker," Phil began to rant and they talked, disagreeing at times, as they had a couple beers and ate the nachos. Phil's phone beeped and he checked. "Hey, my girl is done her meetings. Is it cool if I tell her to meet me here?"
"Nah that's fine," Brett shrugged. "You never said what she does, you know."
"Crisis manager for a large corporation," Phil smiled. "She's amazing. Kicks so much ass, everyone is terrified of her." Phil drank the last half of his beer in a few gulps, she'd be there soon. "But she's really sweet and kind."
Brett snorts a little. "Sure. She doesn't even smile."
Phil frowned a little. "She smiles plenty." His stomach cramped a bit, he really shouldn't have swallowed the beer so quickly. "I need to hit the head."
"Doesn't it bother you, how sex with her is always the same? Her on top, using you like a toy?"
"That's not -" Things were getting swimmy.
"Let me help you up there buddy, guess you are a light weight," Brett said and he hauled the swaying Phil up and walked them outside. A van pulled up shortly after and Brett bundled Coulson into the back. The man was out when he hit the floor of the vehicle.
"WARD!" He heard some one shout.
Grant looked and saw Melinda start to run towards them. He gave her a small wave. "Go," he said and they were gone before she could catch them.
The lights were flickering.
"Daisy control," Melinda said sharply.
"Ward took our Coulson, he's lucky I haven't flattened the city yet," Daisy snarled back. The room began to shake.
Jemma stepped in front of her. "We'll get him back. Ward won't hurt him, he's needs Coulson to barter with SHIELD. And May will have called in every resource imaginable. We'll get him back," Jemma smiled a little. "And hopefully kill Ward in the process this time."
Fitz was loading guns and readying equipment, ignoring all the conversation.
Mack was watching Melinda. "The Avengers?"
"They are halfway across the world dealing with something much larger than a missing nurse," Melinda's voice was calm, her hands steady.
"Bobbi and Hunter then?"
"In California and we need to move quicker then they can get here. I talked with Hill, she has approved my hiring a particular man on a very temporary one off oh god this is going to blow up in our faces contract. He should be here soon."
"How will he get through all the security to here, if he is just a contract?"
"Because I'm just that sexy," Wade said as he dropped down from a vent.
"Holy shit, we've got Deadpool," Mack said in awe and terror.
"Awww, big guy, you could have me however you want me," Deadpool sashayed over to Mack. "Hello, there."
"Mine," Fitz said sharply. Everyone turned to look at him in shock and Mack smiled a little at the possessiveness. "And I won't give you a shiny prototype gun or grenade if you keep flirting with him."
"How can we tell he's pouting, even through the mask?" Jemma wondered.
"I emote really well. Hold on, I can make hearts appear," Deadpool seemed to struggle. "Oh wait, that's just gas. So anyhoo, guns?" he asked cheerfully.
"I activated the back up tracker I put in Coulson. No doubt that Ward found the standard SHIELD one, but -"
"But you lojacked your boyfriend because we have a shitty job," Daisy was a little impressed. "Hey Jemma, do you think?"
"I think the one tracker in my shoulder is sufficient."
"Everyone get ready, we'll take two vehicles. Deadpool walk with me," Melinda ordered.
Deadpool grabbed half the weapons of Fitz's and hurried after Melinda. "So, I kind of want to kill you right now, because you didn't keep him safe like you promised, but if I did I think I'd lose reward bucket privileges for a while," he said casually. "What do our readers think, Phil would be mad wouldn't he? I'd be put on the thinking step."
Melinda had been told by Phil to ignore when Deadpool did asides, he always focused again after. "You are welcome to try. After we get Phil back."
"No, then I would be interrupting nooky time, and I never cockblock." He sounded so virtuous.
"I should have background everyone he talked to," Melinda said.
"That's invasive," he said. "I saw him walking today while I was dealing with evil rats who stole a taco truck. I should have prioritized my buddy over rats who think salsa verde is the shit."
Melinda turned at looked at Wade. "Understand me Wade," she began.
"You can call me Pool. Or DP. Unless that makes you think naughty things." Wade somehow wiggled his eyebrows. "Bet if we team up we could make Phil do really naughty things." He slumped a little. "I threw up a little. Phil is a best buddy, like a puppy. Not a DP sort of buddy."
Melinda crowded him a little. "Understand me, and do not forget this. You do not get sidetracked. You do not lose focus. Your only purpose, the only reason you live, your entire existence is on this point - you will find Phillip J. Coulson and you will get him out. Whatever you have to do to get to him and save him is acceptable, except for injuring my team in the process. Is that clear?"
"Super clear, window washer just finished clear."
"They'll have hurt him. This isn't about bargaining, this is about revenge."
"He babysits Eleanor and looks me in the eye," Deadpool said. "Imma make them eat their own intestines." He was singing 'whistle while you work' as he walked away.
"I hope he didn't mean that literally."
But she didn't really care.
They were dead for touching her Phil.
Phil didn't like being kidnapped. He didn't need to add this experience to his life list of things that went horribly wrong. He was just fine with that list having that shrimp dish in Puerto Rico, the mustache he once grew, and becoming best friends with a sociopath.
"Do you even like comics?" Phil asked Brett. No, not Brett, Grant.
"Not really, they are a little cheesy. I've actually met Captain America you know, not as exciting as he is on the page." Grant sat at the table across from him. They both ignored all the utensils on the table. "So, you are Melinda's current toy."
"Bet you weren't allowed to call her Melinda," Phil smiled. "Bet you called her May even when she was rolling off you."
"It doesn't bother you?"
"What that a woman in her late forties has had sex before?" Phil laughed. "How insecure and pathetic are you to think that would bother me?" Phil should have seen the punch coming. He tried to lift his hand to his face, but remembered they were bolted down to the table.
"What is this then?" Ward pulled out the bracelet he had found in Phil's pocket. "It's nice."
"It's a gift," Phil said. He spit out some of the blood in his mouth.
Grant nodded and put it in his own pocket. "May and her team destroyed my life. They killed my girlfriend and my boss."
"You mean the lunatic who tried to take over SHIELD claiming he was HYDRA and had an army of co-conspirators but really it was like 10 idiots like you?" Another hit. Phil really had to stop mouthing off. Channeling Wade at this time wasn't helping. "So this is just revenge."
"She took mine, so now I'll take hers," Grant smiled. He picked up a think metal wire.
Don't say it Phil, don't say it. "You properly cleaned those right, sanitation on medical equipment is paramount." Oh look he said it.
"What is it they say around the office, Hello Kitty has balls?" Grant smiled and obligingly ran some hand sanitizer over the metal.
"You know what else they say?" Phil asked. Screw it, he was dead, he was going down swinging. "Not your name. Not a single person there even remembers you."
"They'll remember me after this," Grant said. He was almost delicate as he slid the metal under Phil's fingernail.
The closest Phil had come to torture training was the two weeks Wade only spoke in Simpson's quotations. He screamed and screamed as Grant got to work.
"I guess he did mean it literally," Melinda said staring at the body in the door. Sure enough Phil's primary tracker had been disabled, but the secondary was working and they followed it to a warehouse. Deadpool had rolled out of the still moving SUV and jumped through a window.
"Fan out," Melinda ordered. "Stay out of Wade's way. Subdue threats and obtain our objective."
They all paused as screams echoed through the whole building.
"Phil," Jemma's voice shattered on that one word.
"Or it could be Deadpool having some fun," Melinda said. "I told him he could have fun."
"Thanks for that terrifying information," Mack said.
The P.A. system crackled to life in the old warehouse. The screams filled their head.
"Hello, Melinda. Hello everyone!" Ward's voice had a tinny voice through the ancient system. "Knew you'd come for him. I guess the fun will be, can you make to Phil while he's in one piece?" The team started to move, following the tracker. Which blinked out. "Don't want to make it too easy for you," Ward chided. "Phil, any last words for your friends?"
"Eat your vegetables," Phil was gasping crying. "Melinda, eternally."
The PA system cut out.
"May?" Daisy asked.
"Destroy them," Melinda ordered and she ran forward.
Phil stared at his hand, the metal under all his fingernails, the pain was just a throbbing wave. He tried to focus, he'd need a lot of physiotherapy. Stitches where Grant had gouged out the two trackers under his skin. Missing tooth. Maybe cracked ribs.
He couldn't understand why Grant was putting a gun up, if he was going to shoot him, he'd want Melinda to see it. "What?" Phil managed to whisper.
"Neat little trap," Grant explained. "When they swing the door to rescue you, it will hit the sensor and the gun will fire. They'll have to live with the knowledge that they killed you. I hope it is May, but any one of them, would be good."
He moved over and crouched beside Phil. "You seem like a nice guy, you should have stuck to pediatrics." Grant stabbed a knife into Phil's chest. "The bullet will kill you, but a little suffering to focus on while you wait to be executed, so that when it comes it is almost a relief when one of your friends kills you."
Ward stood up and heard a noise. "Here they come." He moved away, anxious to see who is would be.
Phil was dying. It wasn't a metaphor, it was actual death. The knife hurt, oh god, it hurt. He closed his eyes and hung his head. He tried to think of Melinda, but it was all just a sea of pain.
There was a crash but the pain just kept going. He tried to lift his head but that felt like too much effort.
"Hey, I hear you are Grant Ward," a man's voice said. "I get to play operation with your body."
"Pool," Phil whispered. "Trap."
"Well that is just rude. Manners are the height of civilization." Deadpool came over and gently moved Phil to stop the trap. He heard a gun and felt the bullet tear into his back. He threw a sword without looking, was very happy when Ward screamed. He looked at Phil. "You aren't supposed to be a pincushion." Wade tapped the comm he had been given and told May and her team to hurry the fuck up. "Why are you a pincushion?"
"His pocket. He...has...a...mine...please," Phil gasped. Everything was going black at the edges. "Melinda,"
"Melinda isn't in his pocket," Wade promised. "No shrinkrays, I checked. I want bad guys with shrinkrays."
Phil tried to laugh. There were worse last sentences to hear before dying.
He thought he heard Melinda, but his eyes wouldn't open.
She was so going to yell at him when they met in heaven.
Melinda sat beside Phil's bed in medical. It had been five days and he hadn't woken up yet. But considering he had coded three times as they had rushed him to surgery, a coma was better than nothing. The team took turns keeping her company, knowing that she wouldn't be moved. Nurses and doctors all checked on their coworker and even Hill and Fury had hung out a bit.
"Um, hi?" a young voice said.
Melinda looked over. "Jesus the interns keep getting younger," she said. "What do you need?"
"Wade had something for you. He told me I really didn't want to open the box. He would have delivered it himself, but well, he didn't trust SHIELD not to detain him." He handed her a box and came and sat beside Phil. "Phil helped me with my history homework. Always said in a different life he would have been a history teacher."
"Peter," she realized.
"Yup." he smiled and Melinda realized just how damn young Spiderman was. "He takes care of us, you know. Even gone as much as he is with you, he sends us emails and grocery orders. Face times medical advice and bedtime stories for Eleanor."
Melinda opened the box and inside was a heart and Grant's birth certificate. She had wondered what Deadpool had been going to do as he had dragged Grant away while they were trying to keep Phil alive. Wade had rage issues when people he liked were hurt. She appreciated that. There was another small box in there, covered in blood.
She opened it and there was a bracelet. She moved the larger package to a biohazard bag and threw it out. "Do you know what this is about?" she asked Peter.
"The last thing he said, before -" Peter swallowed. "Before was that Wade had to get that off of Grant. And your name. So we figured it was supposed to be for you."
Melinda traced her fingers over the black leather. It was utterly plain, just a simple black band. But on this inside stitched in gold and red thread was eternally in Mandarin. She snapped it on her wrist.
"Shouldn't you be in school?"
"Probably," Peter agreed.
She gave him a look.
"Oh right, so um bye!" he left quickly a little scared of her.
Melinda went back to her vigil.
Phil woke up and hurt. He didn't think after you died it hurt. And Melinda was there.
"No, not you too, not yet," he whispered.
Her head snapped up. "How dare you get kidnapped? What the hell, Phil?" the words spilled out of her just raging at him.
Phil tried to smile. "I knew you'd yell when we met again." He looked around. "Heaven is a rip off if it looks like a hospital."
"Or you didn't die, no matter how hard you tried," Melinda said. She hit the call button and wiped away the one tear that fell. "Phil."
Before they could say more a dozen people came running into the room.
Phil had never been so happy as the day he managed to walk to the bathroom alone. He even managed to shower before he needed to nap. When he made it back to the bed, Melinda tucked him in.
"You haven't been talking to the therapist," she said.
"Don't need to," he answered.
"Phil, it helps," Melinda smoothed a hand over his hair. "I know. It hurts, but it does help."
He shook his head. "Been talking to Wade, and Daisy a bit. A stranger won't help me, my family will."
"Wade hasn't been in," Melinda said worried.
"Sure he has," Phil said. "Just you know, at rather off times. In the ceiling. I think he and Barton ran into each other in there and have bonded."
"But if you need more help," Melinda pressed.
"Then I'll get it," Phil promised. "I have to say, I think that this whole thing will have turned me off of comic books though. That asshole ruined comic books for me."
"He ruined a lot that he touched."
Melinda smiled a bit. And kissed Phil's fingers that were slowly healing. "He never touched me."
Phil gave her a deadpan look.
"He never touched me," Melinda repeated to make sure Phil understood what she meant. "I like the bracelet."
"Was there a purpose behind it? Or just because?"
Phil blushed a little and yawned. The solo trip to the bathroom had been exhausting. He blinked and realized he had to answer her. "Yeah, there is a purpose."
Melinda waited but that was all his said. He was drifting off. She nudged him a little. "What was the purpose, Phil?"
"Hmmm?" he asked, eyes closing. "Oh, right. You fight. Can't wear an engagement ring. So bracelet." He fell asleep before Melinda could respond to that.
Phil walked onto the Bus six weeks later and there was a huge banner hanging from it saying WELCOME HOME. Everyone had a party hat on. Well not Melinda, but she let them desecrate her bus and that was as good as festive gear. Bobbi and Hunter were there, and even Wade and Eleanor. Eleanor came and hugged his leg. "I like my new aunts and uncles," she said.
Of course the team had adopted the sweet girl. He wished he could pick her up, but he wasn't allowed to quite yet. He instead put a hand on her hair. "How much candy has Auntie Daisy given you already?"
Eleanor tried to look innocent. "Oh look, carrot sticks over there. Yum." she ran quickly away.
Phil let himself be pulled into the group and saw Fury hovering in the back. "Sir, medical says I'm mostly fit for duty."
"Good, having my best team refusing missions until they could have you back was fucking up my plans. You'll do a couple milk runs while you finish healing and then I expect the Bus back to S.O.P." Fury held out a hand and Phil shook it. "Glad you're a stubborn son of a bitch about dying."
"Me too," Phil agreed.
"Do you store candy under the eyepatch? Or maybe a grenade?" Wade asked Fury as he came over. "Also I like working with these guys. Can I do it again? You pay well."
"Agent May paid you out of her retirement fund. I didn't do shit for you," Fury said. "But we can talk contracts, if you want."
"Nah, I have to go 20 years in the future soon. Someone is gonna mess with mine and Petey's adopted alien son."
"I don't even want to know." Fury shook his head and went to get some food.
Phil talked to everyone who was hugging him and wishing him well.
Daisy didn't stop hugging him. "We have a surprise for you," she said.
"Not that fond of surprises right now," Phil reminded her.
"You'll like this one," she pointed and there was Captain America walking towards the party.
"Oh god, I did die and this has all been an elaborate Heaven daydream," he said. Phil felt weak in the knees.
"Hello, Phil," Steve said.
Daisy poked Phil until the man remembered that he actually knew words.
After a conversation where Phil hoped he hadn't sounded too horribly nerdy, he left the party for his medical pod, needing a few minutes alone. He sat on the bed and breathed slowly.
"You okay?" Melinda asked.
"Yeah, just a little overwhelmed."
Melinda came over and cupped his face and kissed him. "You are held in great affection by many people."
"It's the reward bucket system, hooks everyone every time."
"Or, it could just be you."
"I'm a bit scared," Phil admitted. "Gun shy, I think is the word. I would really like not to be kidnapped again."
"Do you want to switch back to medical in the Hub?"
"Yes," he said. "But no." Phil took a breath. "I'm scared of the field a bit more now. I'm scared of people, new people. I've quit all the chat rooms I had been in. But if I let that fear win, I'll end up never leaving my apartment, never being me."
"You are the strongest, bravest man I know." Melinda gave him another kiss and he saw the bracelet out of the corner of his eye.
"You like it?" he asked. Phil touched the skin of her wrist right above the leather.
"I do," Melinda said. She emphasized the words. "I do," she repeated.
"Oh," Phil blinked and looked at her. He must have told her why he bought it, and just didn't remember. "You do?"
"I do too," Phil smiled.
Melinda gave him a third kiss. "I'm not planning shit," she warned.
"Leave it to me," Phil said. "Wade is actually an ordained online minister."
"That is horrifying."
"It will be great," Phil promised. It was his turn to kiss her. He got into it, pressing his tongue into her mouth.
Jemma rapped on the glass hard. "You haven't been medically cleared for relations yet!" she yelled.
"But free peep show," Wade said. "I bet she's flexible."
Phil looked over and the whole party was watching them. "People are allowed to celebrate getting engaged," he yelled back to them.
Melinda groaned as the cheers filled the hall. "Great, this is all we're going to talk about in between gunfire now."
"I'll make sure no one ever mentions centerpieces to you." Phil held her close.
Melinda whited out the glass, blocking out the party, to the dismayed shouts of many.
She had bought Phil a ring and dammit she was going to give it to him without everyone watching.
Most of them had seen it when she went to buy it anyways. Apparently her team hadn't trusted her to not screw it up.
The poor jeweler took an hour to convince that I <3 Hello Kitty really did need to be written into a man's ring.
here comes the bride, all dressed in blood, and dirt, you can't forget the dirt.
"Uncle Phil?" Eleanor asked as she coloured on the ground.
"Yes, sweetie?" Phil was writing in his wedding journal.
"What if something goes wrong?" she asked. She pointed at the seating chart on the coffee table. "Something always goes wrong."
"No it doesn't."
"Uh-huh, good things always get ruined," Eleanor countered.
Phil pulled her up into his lap and gave her a kiss and cuddle. "Things go wrong sometimes, but not always. And I have plans."
"You always have plans."
"That is right, and my plans have plans," he said. He moved the seating chart for the ballroom at a nice hotel 4 weeks from then. He showed her the plans for a quick wedding on the Bus if they got word they were wheels up for an emergency. There was plan for a hospital room wedding, one on the helicarrier, even just 4 people at the courthouse. Each of these had notes on different variables. "See, lots of plans. And in the end as long as I marry Melinda, the how doesn't matter so much."
"What matters is that she looked fabulous," Wade said as he spun into the room on a giant wedding dress with a sweetheart neckline. "It is a little excessive, but you only get married once."
"She has an ex."
"You only get married once to Phil," Wade amended. He adjusted the gloves.
"Did you just have that in your closet? How would it even fit in a closet?" Phil asked.
"Kleinfelds had a flash sale. I bought six dresses. Though I might keep this one." Wade played with one of the numerous ruffles.
"A sweetheart neckline broadens your shoulders too much, go sleeker, more a halter neckline or mermaid skirt." Phil hung his head, he should know better than to encourage Wade.
They all heard a thump against the door and Phil tapped Eleanor's leg. She ran for her bedroom to hide. Phil got out a gun and Wade grabbed a sword. The door knob twisted and Peter stumbled in.
"I do declare, my sainted aunt," Wade shouted and he ran over as Peter collapsed. He picked him up and carried him gently to the couch while Phil went for the extensive medical kit he kept there. He stopped and told Eleanor it was all clear but she should stay in her room.
Wade ripped up his skirts and held the fabric to some of the wounds. "I promise, no matter that you are a yankee soldier, I will tend to your wounds." He used a strip to wipe away Peter's sweat, the mask having been pulled off earlier.
"We agreed no roleplay until I am 21," Peter said and groaned as the pain made itself known.
Phil sat on the coffee table. "We agreed no nothing until Peter was 18."
"Wade's been nothing but a gentleman in deed," Peter promised. "I mean if we ignore the texts and bad guys he ties up in lewd positions."
"Good," Phil said as he eased away the uniform from Peter's soldier to check the wounds. "Because I'd have to kill Wade otherwise. And I have spent a great deal of time research and planning how to kill him. No offense, Wade."
Wade hugged Phil tightly. "That actually means a lot to me."
"Bleeding here," Peter said.
Phil prepped his needle and thread.
"Sorry by the way, the place I told you about for canapes, kind of got blown up," Peter said sadly.
"You matter more than tasty finger food."
"Well not pakoras," Wade teased.
"Nothing is better than the ones off that truck that hangs out on 33rd," Peter agreed.
Phil just shook his head and patched the kid up.
"Phil, little busy here," Melinda said into her comms.
"It's just an Asgardian Destroyer, you are fine. So you need to let me know if you have any thoughts on our first dance song," Phil said. He heard the sound of the machine warming up to fire and tons of swearing, he whistled while he waited for further word. There was a lull. "I'm thinking nothing too slow, I want to see you dance."
"Busy!" she shouted.
"I can wait."
15 minutes later he was pretty sure it was done. "So, a Disney song feels like a little much."
"We are incoming with burns and Mack likely has a concussion. And why the interest in dancing all of a sudden?" Melinda asked.
Phil stayed silent.
"Who told?" Melinda snarled.
"A little bird," Phil said happily. "Top marks in dance class Melinda? You think I'm not cutting a rug with you, even if we are in jail when we are married?"
"When did jail get added to the contingency plans?"
"Last week," Phil offered. "Sinatra?"
"I have an outfit, and I am showing up. Those were the rules." Melinda tapped her comms off. Phil hummed a little and the comms tapped back in. "If you pick a power ballad, I will be the fastest widow on record." She went silent again.
"A dancer, really?" Jemma asked beside him.
"Apparently," Phil said. He readied the medical pod for the incoming patients.
Not Sinatra, maybe the Beatles.
Phil was sitting on Melinda's bed and making some notes in his journal for the wedding that was now only a week away. He was getting very excited and knew under her resting bitch face that Melinda was too. The whole Bus was getting excited and happy they were on the ground until after the wedding. He had given up his apartment months ago, they were just so busy on the Bus. His stuff was split between Wade's place and Melinda's quarters here at the Hub. Phil was happy that he convinced Wade they needed a slightly saner officiant and the trade off had been Wade doing the flowers. He'd been worried but Eleanor promised to help. He had the first dance to five songs when he heard the shower turn off. Phil quickly put the journal away in the drawer. Melinda had promised sex so long as the journal was away when she got back in the room. It was squirreled away with his Captain America trading cards, medical id, and her guns and knives. He took his t-shirt off but left the boxers on.
Melinda opened the bathroom door.
"Oh god," he whispered.
"What?" she asked as she sauntered to the bed and climbed onto his lap.
"Lace, black lace, and skin, and straps, and oh holy fuck in heaven." His hands settled on her hips and crushed the lace. "You never wear stuff like this. This is honeymoon stuff." Phil looked up at her. "Wait, I haven't jumped in time, the wedding is still next week, right?"
Melinda kissed away the panicked look on his face. "Relax. I just read those articles you forwarded about keeping sane while wedding planning."
Phil smiled a dopey smile. "You do love me."
"Anyways, they said couples are often too tired after the wedding to enjoy the fabled wedding night sex, and just to be safe, figured we should have some fun now." Melinda's kiss changed from sweet to filthy and Phil let himself be swept away. He scratched his nails up and down her thighs and sighed when she ended the kiss with a gentle nip on his lower lip. She worked her way over his jaw and down his neck.
"Another time would you wear your work boots with the heels with this?" Phil asked. Melinda stopped sucking on his collar bone to look at him. He flushed a bit, "Sorry, never mind."
Melinda swung off him and he whimpered at the loss of her skin, her warmth. She went to her closet and pulled something out. "These were from an op." She bent down and slid her foot in and zipped up the knee high spiked heel boot and did the same on the other foot. She turned to Phil. "Well?" He didn't respond. "Phil?"
"Sorry, my heart stopped," he said hoarsely. He thumped a fist against his chest. "I want to fuck you hard into the mattress those on my shoulders or squeezing my waist. Whatever. Bed. Boots. Now." Phil held out a hand and when she took it, he yanked hard and rolled so she was under him. Melinda wrapped a leg around him and he swore at the feel of it against his skin.
Phil kissed her hard, the hand in her hair tugging, pulling her head back. He worked his way down her body and bit at a nipple through the lace, sucking and laving until it was hard and Melinda was squirming under him. He did the same to the other until a heel dug into his back.
"Enough foreplay," she said.
"I'll be the judge of that," he said. He pressed his fingers against her folds rubbing the lace against sensitive skin. "Mmmmmm," was all he managed to say, he was never going to get tired of touching her. He was careful but quick and hard as he pushed two fingers into her and pumped them in and out a few times. "Fuck," he whispered.
"That's what I am asking for," Melinda said. She moved so his fingers slid out of her and she was able to reach down and pull off his boxers. His hard cock bobbed a bit and she wrapped her hand around him.
Phil settled back against her hips and moaned when she rubbed the tip of his cock against her clit. She pushed down a little and Phil angled and slid into her until he bottomed out.
Melinda's smile as she put a leg on his shoulder was wicked. Wicked and perfect. He didn't start slowly, like usual but pushed hard, rocking against her plunging in and almost out again and again. He eventually let the leg drop so he could get a better angle to rub her clit. The feel of the boots tight around his waist was short circuiting his brain.
Phil wanted her to come first but damn if he could hold on much longer. Melinda swore and rocked her hips up hard to meet his and she bit into his shoulder. She was even tighter around his cock the spasms of her orgasm triggered his. When he collapsed he barely remembered not to squish her.
Melinda got up while Phil was pretty sure he was still seeing actual stars. She returned bare foot and in a large SHIELD t-shirt. She was just as sexy.
Phil took his turn in the bathroom and when he got to bed pulled Melinda close. She hated touching while sleeping but always let him have some snuggles before hand.
"A honeymoon would actually kill us," he decided.
"We're having a honeymoon," Melinda protested. "Chasing an 084 through India, nice and relaxing."
Phil kissed her head and held her close for another moment. He knew she was being utterly serious that that was a good honeymoon. Them in only slight peril and 4 other people traveling with them. Then again, it kind of sounded fun to him too.
Phil was pleased with how the room looked. And he was almost sure that not all the flower arrangements had weapons hidden in the middle. Guests were starting to arrive and he showed them to tables and chatted.
"You look so beautiful, Uncle Phil," Eleanor said when she, Wade, and Peter arrived. She was in a pretty pink dress and Peter looked uncomfortable in his suit. Wade looked rather stellar.
"You are wearing the suit I got you," Phil smiled at his best man.
"My underwear have unicorns on them," Wade said. "Promise to be good through the ceremony."
"I know you will Wade," Phil said.
Wade hugged him. Phil always had faith in him. It was crazy. Wade wouldn't screw this up. The gremlins in the corner could be dealt with later.
Soon enough all the guests had arrived and Fury was at the front ready to marry his employees. "Well? I was promised quality food and booze, let's get the legal crap over with, so we can have fun." Maria glared at the man.
Phil just smiled. "Oh Melinda and her team are running late, there was a quick text that said oops and that was it. They'll be here soon." Phil looked completely unconcerned.
Maria started typing furiously into her phone. "Johnson logged in a level three threat about an hour ago in the subway system."
Fury sighed. "Phil, looks like this might not happen." He looked ready to make a statement to the group who were looking a little restless.
Phil's phone beeped. He looked at it. "Contingency plan 1 beta, Peter," he called out.
Peter quickly left the room and Phil reached under the head table and pulled out an armored case. He opened up and started sorting.
"What the hell?" Fury asked.
"Wade, door!" Peter called out. Wade hurried over and Hawkeye met him. They stopped for a minute to do a bro hug. "Help," Peter reminded them. He couldn't stop himself from glaring at Hawkeye a little as he wheeled in the hospital chair. Wade had talked about Hawkeye a lot since they had met over the vents of Phil's hospital stay.
Wade squeezed Peter's hand and helped him wheel the chair over. "He's not as cute as you sweetie. He has resting bitch face, not resting happy face. Besides I know the future. If we have problems it isn't because of him. Right readers, we've all seen the latest news, Pete and I are soulmates," Wade said cheerfully.
Peter rolled his eyes but smiled at the insane man that yeah maybe he adored. "Here you go Phil," Peter said and went back to his seat.
"Thanks. Wade the folding table over there," Phil pointed and Wade went and got it. Phil put a sterile cloth down and laid out supplies. "Should cover what we need."
The whole room heard the commotion out in the hall, the manager cried out, "You can't go in there, that is a private function and all of you are covered in dirt, and blood, and I'm calling the cops!"
"That's my fucking wedding in there, and I'm not missing it!" Melinda could be heard yelling. "Now get out of our way before I gut you."
Daisy blew open the doors and there they were, the strangest wedding procession ever. Daisy was covered in dirt and her uniform was torn, Mack had shiner and was holding Melinda up while Fitz and Jemma looked a little glassy eyed. There may have been pizza in Jemma's hair.
Melinda had a split lip, some blood had trickled from her hair to her forehead and it looked like a four inch gash on her ribs. "Walk me down the goddamn aisle, Mack," she ordered.
Phil's grin was blinding with joy. "She's perfect."
Fury shook his head. "See this is why I wish my people wouldn't fall in love, makes them crazy."
Mack helped Melinda to the front and onto the medical chair. Her team sort of stayed hovering.
"Wondered how you would get out of wearing a dress," Phil grabbed some cleaner and gauze and started to clean her up.
"I wanted to wear it," Melinda said. "Blame the bastards who took over a subway car with alien tech. When they wake up, I was a little enraged at the delay."
Phil cut away the fabric near the cut that needed stitches. "Come Fury, don't hold us up," he said as he put on a pair of gloves to clean and stitch the wound.
"Huh?" Fury frowned his scariest frown. Damn nurse making him at a loss for words.
"Marry us," Phil grinned.
"Damn, Hello Kitty has balls," Fury said. It was echoed by the whole room.
Melinda ignored them all and just focused on Phil who repeated his vows as he stitched her closed. She carefully recited the words when it was her turn. Phil taped up the wound just as Fury declared them married. Phil gave her a gentle kiss, mindful of her split lip.
"You smell like subway garbage," was the first thing he said to Melinda as her husband. "I made sure this facility had a shower and that you and the team had a change of clothes on hand."
Melinda smiled at him and gave him a second kiss. "I love you."
"Damn right you do," he agreed. "I love you, eternally. Now go, I need to clean this up."
Phil tidied all the medical equipment while the Bus team got cleaned up.
Most of the people there were SHIELD and ended up finding it all rather romantic, stitching up a person as you say your wedding vows.
The team returned and Melinda looked a lot better. Phil wouldn't let her have any champagne with the pain killers he had given her, though Wade slipped her a glass for toasting and she only took a couple sips. She never let go of Phil's hand.
Phil stood up and thanked everyone for coming and said that they were to enjoy the open bar and the dancing. He looked down at Melinda. "The hardest part of all this, aside from having an actual contingency plan for the rise of Cthulhu was to pick a first dance song for Melinda and I. She swore she didn't have a preference, but the list of things that were banned unless I wanted grievous bodily harm kept growing. So you'll indulge me if it is a peculiar choice." Phil held out a hand. "Melinda, may I have this dance?"
She didn't say anything just followed him to the open side of the banquet hall. It was quiet until Phil coughed and Peter remembered his job. Peter ran to the bar and pressed play on the docked ipad.
The strains of the music started. Hawkeye was the first to recognize the song and he started to laugh. "Fucking perfect for you two."
Phil gently moved Melinda around the small dance floor, careful of her stitches as Nick Lowe's Cruel to be Kind played.
"I'm cruel?" Melinda said pretending to glare. She sort of loved the pick.
"No more than all the times I pushed you back down to take care of you," Phil countered. He spun her out as the song sang 'cruel to be kind means that I love you baby.' He brought her back and arched her into a dip. "You didn't want normal, I provided."
"I'm sorry, Phil," Melinda said as the music went into another song and people joined them on the dance floor.
"For ruining the wedding plans. I really did mean to be here on time, in my dress," Melinda kissed his jaw.
"Melinda May, I married you today. It was perfect," Phil promised her.
When Wade swung by with Eleanor wearing the top half of his suit but no pants in order to show off his unicorn boxers it was still pretty perfect.
"Still think this is a good honeymoon, Melinda?" Phil asked with a glare.
"There is sun and surf?" she asked.
"Green surf, black sand!" Phil yelled. "Because the 084 sucked us all onto a different planet!" Phil clutched his bag close, relieved he hadn't dropped it through the vortex, black hole, thing.
"Ooh, look at all the flora!" Jemma squealed. Fitz was poking at the 084 trying to get it to work.
Daisy was experimenting as her powers seemed to work differently here.
Mack was unconscious again.
Melinda shrugged. "Seems like a good honeymoon to me." She gave him a thorough kiss until he relaxed a little.
"I'm not even in my hello kitty scubs," he said, staring at his SHIELD field gear. "I'd feel braver in them." He paused. "I did not say that." Phil smiled when Melinda gave him another kiss.
"Oh dear, the plant tried to eat me," Jemma said.
"You keep the team alive, and I'll get us home," Melinda promised. "And look in your field bag."
Phil dropped to the sand and opened it up, to find his Hello Kitty scrubs in a vacuum bag in the side pocket.
His wife loved him so. Phil switched to the scrubs and got ready to fix up Mack and Jemma.
Nothing was going to ruin this honeymoon.