She stormed into his room without a knock. Coulson sat up straight on his bed and dropped the book, he had been reading, into his lap.
"What the hell, May?"
She carried a little black box and a determinated look on her face.
"Do you trust me?" she asked.
He did. In his core he still did. He glared at her and pressed his lips together. He was mad at her for that as well.
May opened the box and took out an injection pistol and a vial, filled with a green liquid.
"This is QNBT16," she said and placed the vial in the pistol. "You know what this is?"
His eyes widened. Of course he knew! "The top shelf martini of truth drugs." The kind he had used on Ward the day they had captured Skye.
May injected herself with it, then put the pistol back into the box. "You've got one hour," she said and leaned against the desk, like they were just having a chat. "Ask whatever you want."
"Are you serious?"
She crossed her arms. "Absolutely."
"Are you a traitor?" He knew the answer to that already. Maybe he just asked to see the hurt look on her face. She had hurt him first. And he wanted to get even.
"I'd never betray you."
"Then why did you lie to me?"
"I was protecting you," she said.
"From what? The truth?"
"Nobody knew how'd you react. If you'd survive knowing."
He felt like he was watching a rerun of somethig. They had had the same exact conversation a few days ago and her answers still made him feel the same. Angry. Betrayed. He jumped up from the bed. The book fell to the ground with a quiet thud.
"I'm not a helpless child, Melinda!"
"You died!" She hit the table with open palms. "You died!"
"And somebody should've told me that!"
She shook her head vehemently. "Not when it meant risking your life again."
"So you got the job done?"
"This wasn't just a job for me, Phil." She sounded tired.
He sighed. He was tired too. "Is it true that you assembled the team?"
"You chose to get back in the field for me." This wasn't a question but a realization. Even before he had tried to save her by putting her on the bus, she had already chosen to do it.
She lifted her chin. "Where you'll go, I'll go."
"You should've trusted me!"
She squinted at him. "Do you have any idea how it was for me, when you died? Any?"
Now she was mad. If he'd be smart, he'd stop this right now.
"For two months I thought you were dead until Fury told me about your resurrection," she said, "For two months I thought you were gone!" She shook her head. "I missed you so much!"
"Do you love me, May?" he asked quietly.
She pressed her lips together, but the serum was stronger. "Yes." She looked at the floor and pulled her shoulders up.
He should've seen this coming. He should've been prepared. He wasn't. Melinda May loved him and he couldn't fathom it.
"You love me?"
"Yes. My answer isn't gonna change, Phil."
He wanted to kiss her. He wanted to kiss her since he'd invited her to the bus. He had wanted to kiss her before he had died.
He should give her some truth now too, but his heart was racing and he still couldn't believe her.
"Why did you sleep with Ward?" he asked instead. What an old fool he was!
She looked at him again. "Is this my punishment?" she asked. "Talking about my feelings while you mock me?" She shrugged as if defeated. "I slept with him because it was easy. No emotinal attachment, no complications." She swallowed. "Are we done?"
He was so close to losing her, it was ridiculous. "I love you," he blurred out. "And I'm so mad at you for keeping things from me and for sleeping with Ward who isn't really that good looking and -" He took a breath.
Melinda stared at him.
"I love you," he repeated. He'd needed to hear her admit it twice, maybe she needed the same.
She blinked. And then she was in movement. Her arms flung around his neck and she pressed herself against him.
"I'm so sorry, Phil." She nuzzled his neck. They were such a mess. She felt so good against him. He loved her scent. Home. He wrapped his arms around her waist.
"I forgive you." He kissed the crown of her hair. He felt how she relaxed in their embrace. She tilted her head and their gazes met.
He kissed her, then.