Having an emotional response to a bag pack was absurd, but when Coulson saw one next to May, his stomach clenched. She wanted to leave.

She kneeled outside of his room and pushed an envelope through the crack beneath the door, when he turned a corner and saw her. She wore a winter jacket, a woolen bonnet and firm boots. She would leave.

And he was surprised. Gosh, he was such a fool! What had he expected? That she would just take his anger, his yelling and his rejection and stay?

Yes. Even when he told her to leave, even when he had thrown her words back at her in anger, he hadn't really considered that she would really leave him. What a fool!

He wanted her to stay. He wanted her to say those words again, so maybe he could believe them this time. He had been so angry for saying them. That she cared about him. He had been so angry at her for saying them like they could mean something else. Like she had been talking about love.

He should love Audrey. And he did. He really did. Loving Audrey was so much more comfortable, so much easier. Nice. There were parts of himself Audrey had never seen, could never know about. And she never had asked about anything. He was her hero and she was his escape. Such a lovely illusion to hide behind.

Loving Melinda was … He had thought he was over her. He couldn't count how many times he had thought he was over her, that he'd be happy to be her friend and only that. Just wishful thinking.

When she had said that she cared, his love flooded him. Like the dam he had built around it, to contain it, to live without it, just crumbled. It soaked through his anger and his disappointment and his hurt. And hope had flickered up. He had been so mad at her for doing that to him.

Because they couldn't work, could they? Some things were too good to be true and hearing her say those words felt like that.

And now she wanted to leave. He was sure that note she just pushed into his room was goodbye.

"What are you doing?" he asked.

She flinched, her head turned to him and she looked … Trapped, maybe. "The bus is ready," she said and stood up. She was blushing. "I completed my orders, I'm finding somewhere else to be."

"You're leaving?" A redundant question, really.

She gave a short nod. "I'll be out of your way." She tried to walk past him, but he stepped in her way. Her eyes widened.

"Audrey saw me," he said. Because it was obviously such a fantastic moment to bring her up. "Well, she didn't," he added quickly. "She did, but she didn't. She thought I was a head injury induced vision. She almost got killed so I had to act. I told her I'm still here to protect her. That was a mistake, wasn't it?"

"I thought we didn't do personal?"

That stung, but it was his own damn fault. His heart raced. "I was an idiot." He shook his head. "I understand now why you did it and before I was just …" rambling. He was rambling and Melinda stared at him and he felt stupid. He didn't want her lo leave. He blinked and took a breath. "What you did …" He stopped himself. He needed to get to the point! "For me it was personal," he said. "Everything about you is personal to me."

Her expression was blank. "What do you want from me?"

"My friend back." He touched her arm and her eyes closed. He let go.

"I'm sorry, I yelled at you," he said. He wanted to be closer to her. He wanted to hold her. He loved her and he was so sorry. Gosh, he was an idiot.

She looked at him again. "Could you trust me again?"

"I never stopped. Not really. When you said that you cared … I was so mad at you."

"I betrayed you."

"It's not … it's …" He sighed. "You never really speak about your feelings, why then? Why me?" If she'd say she loved him, he'd tell her too.

She pressed her lips together. Of course she wouldn't make it that easy for him. Of course not. "You know that," she said.

"We're colleges. Friends. I'm your best friend." She was his.

"Yes." The way she looked at him … He knew longing too well not to recognize it. Or maybe it was just wishful thinking. Hopeful thinking.

But she didn't flinch when he cradled her face. She didn't pull away when he stepped closer. She lifted her head when he bent down.

He gently pressed his lips against hers and pulled away.

"Phil," she gasped. Her arms wrapped around his waist and she tiptoed to find his mouth again.

She nibbled at his lower lip and he groaned. The tip of her tongue slipped into his mouth, while she rubbed her hips against his. He felt himself harden. Good heavens!

He moved his hands to her shoulders, turned them both and pressed her against the door to his room. He buried one hand in her soft hair and brushed the cap off her head, while the other roamed over her back, down, down until he could cup her ass.

She moaned and hitched her left leg up his thigh. They wore to many clothes. She moved her hands up between them and looped her arms around his neck. He bucked his hips into hers. She keened. Gosh, the sounds she made! He grabbed her leg and lifted it up to get between her thighs. Melinda jumped and suddenly, her legs were wrapped around his hips. He was so hard now. He needed to get that winter coat off her. He needed to touch her skin. He needed – He needed to get them somewhere more private. They were still on the floor outside of his room, how the hell could he forget himself like that?

He tried to break the kiss but she held on to him.

"Melinda," he breathed against her mouth.

"Please," she whispered and sealed his lips with another kiss.

This was perfect. This was heaven! This was torture. They could get caught any minute, damn it!

He pulled away and she whimpered in protest. He leaned his forehead against hers.

"My room," he managed to say, "now."

It made her smile. She snuck a hand between their bodies and fumbled with his suit jacket, until she found his key-card. Then she reached behind her back and he heard the door unlock. She did everything whilst still kissing him. He smiled and nibbled on her lip.

After she pushed the door open, he carried them both inside and kicked the door shut with his left foot. The moving air carried Melinda's note further into the room, but he barely registered.

He put her down and he took off her coat, while she unbuttoned his jacket and pushed it off his shoulders. Her leather jacket followed next. His tie. His shirt. He kissed her neck and caressed her bare shoulders as she unbuckled his belt. She whispered his name over and over again; he loved it. He groaned when she cupped his cock through his trousers. She caressed him trough the fabric and he bit his lip to keep himself from coming. This wasn't enough. He needed more and she deserved better. He wanted to feel her tremble beneath him. He wanted to see her eyes when he'd make her come. He caught her wrist with one hand.

"Phil." She sounded breathless.

"Too much." He was panting too.

"Hurry," she whispered back. Together they rid her of her tank top. She took off her bra. He kissed her collar bones, the top of her breasts. She keened. She was so beautiful. He struggled with her pants until she helped him. They pushed them down her legs, but her boots got in the way.

He picked her up again and carried her to the bed, where he sat her down. She ran her fingers through his hair while he kissed her knee caps and her shins. She had three fresh bruises there. He kissed them too. He unlaced her boots and pulled them off her feet. He was painfully hard, but this was lovely. He kissed her feet too. She pulled him up and back into her arms. Somehow he managed to kick off his shoes and socks. She helped him with the zipper of his pants. It almost killed him, but gosh, it was worth it. He had to stop her when she kissed his stomach. He almost fell flat on his ass as he took off his pants and briefs, because she took the moment to slip out of her panties. His cock twitched. She took his breath away.

"I'm clean," she said.

For a moment he wondered what she was talking about.

He hadn't even thought about protection. And of course he didn't have a condom.

Fortunately, she was smarter. Beautiful, strong, smart May. Melinda. His. He loved her so much.

"I'm clean," he said.

Then she lay beneath him, her thighs spread. They both groaned when she guided his cock inside her. He kissed her again, a long, slow kiss. She whispered "please" and "yes" and "Phil" as he trusted into her. He moved a hand between their bodies and rubbed his thumb over her clit.

He watched her face as she came beneath them. She was stunning. Her eyes were closed. Later he would have to start all over again and tell her to keep her eyes open for him. Preferably whilst his head was buried between her legs. He wanted to taste her badly.

Her inner walls clenched around his cock. He trusted into her one last time and he came too.

Her rolled off her and pulled her into his arms. For a moment, they both just breathed together. She stroked his face, his ears, his throat. She kissed his scar, her fingers traced it's rough edges. The air in the room was chilly and goose bumps formed on her skin, but she didn't seem to notice. She lifted herself up and kissed him. Quick, tender. Her touch lingered.

He watched her get up and reach for her panties and couldn't tell what went wrong. Her face was blank again.

He sat up. "Melinda?"

"I need to shower." With her back to him, she slipped into her pants and he felt naked and silly and vulnerable. He stood up too and put on his pants without bothering with the briefs first.

"Was this just sex?" he asked. Could he've been this wrong?

She froze. "No," she said.

"Look at me."

She didn't move.

"Please look at me," he repeated.

She turned around and crossed her arms in front of her bare chest. She kept her gaze to the floor. "I know you love Audrey and I'll be your friend, I promise." Her voice was low. She glanced at him. "But I need to get something done before." She pulled her shoulders up, almost apologetically. "Please." She pressed her lips together. He could see tears in her eyes.

He was such a fool. "I love you," he said. He should've told her sooner. He had thought it was obvious.

She made a sound, halfway between sob and gasp. He reached out and pulled her into an embrace.

She wrapped her arms around his neck and pressed herself against him. "I love you," she whispered against his throat. "I love you so much and I'm so sorry for everything, I didn't know what else to do, so I just kept to my orders and I'm so sorry." She took a breath. "You were so mad at me."

He swallowed. "I couldn't believe you, when you first told me," he said and caressed her back. "I wanted to hear it too much, so I couldn't."

She pulled away until she could look at him. "Do you believe me now?"

"Yes." He kissed her. She sighed. He could kiss her for hours.

Then he remembered something.

"What is the thing you need to do?" he asked.

"A contact of mine will help me find Maria Hill. I have questions."

"About me?"

"Yes. And others too." He loved her more for that.

"I could come with you."

"You're needed here." She told him what he already knew, but he hadn't been able to hold back the offer. Having to part from her now felt cruel. But he had lost faith in her once, he wouldn't do that twice.

"Be careful," he said. "Come back to me."

She leaned her forehead against his. "When I have the answers we need."

"Can I drop you off somewhere?"

"That would be nice, I don't want to make my mother wait."

He swallowed. "Your mother is your contact?"

"I needed somebody I could trust."

"Okay." Her mother scared him, but she was trustworthy.

"I should shower," Melinda said, but made no attempt to peel away from him.

"I have a shower," he said. "You can go first."

She smiled. "Or we could shower together."

They stole ten more minutes before they had to part.

When he returned to the secret bunker, he picked up Melinda's note.

It read: "I have to find Maria, I contact you when I have answers. - M."

He was grateful for the answers they had found today. And while he waited for her to return, he would save the world in the meantime. Smiling slightly, he put the note in his pocket. It felt good there.