Daisy screwed up her nose looking at the dossier file. "An auction for some dumb rich people?"
May smirked and Coulson sighed. "Yes. See anything interesting for sale?"
Daisy flickered through the pages, sitting back in the chair in Coulson's office, sunlight weakly creeping through the clouds outside. "Pretty sure I know who counterfeited that painting." She said, "He's a nice guy, but not Monet." She hesitated. "Huh."
Coulson shook his head. "She's even getting your reactions now." He teased May.
She rolled her eyes, but couldn't help the grin. Things between them had felt... different, since they had gotten together. A good different though. And Daisy was thrilled for them, of course. May still hadn't gotten her back for the slow dance stunt.
Daisy swallowed. "How'd they get a terrigen crystal?"
"Not sure," Coulson said, leaning forwards, "No one's been changed by it yet, but that thing being out in public like this is dangerous. Can't have civilians getting their hands on it, whether they're inhuman or not."
To his relief, Daisy nodded. "We need to bring it in then. What's our cover?"
Coulson nodded to the file, and Daisy flicked the page, then had to fight to hide her smile. She loved this cover. She knew that they did too. "Cool." She said. "Same as before?"
Coulson and May exchanged a look. "Well, not exactly." Coulson said gently. "See, for May to get the crystal, we'll need to make a scene, so that no one notices."
Daisy frowned. "Why don't I get it? It'd be safer, it can't hurt me."
May smirked. "Not in this crowd. They'd be watching you."
Daisy glared playfully, "And why would they be doing that?"
"I've told you that hair marks you out as a troublemaker."
Daisy gasped in mock offence, delighting in May's soft laugh. Coulson shook his head and continued. "We'll reuse Charles and Heidi. You can be their angry entitled kid. You and I can stage a fight while May goes and grabs the crystal. We've rendezvous at the car."
Daisy cocked her head, confused. "Don't Charles and Heidi hate each other?"
Coulson shrugged. "It's more of a marriage for convenience than anything. You'll be the kid they adopted because Heidi didn't want to ruin her figure." Daisy sniggered and he smiled. "Why'd you ask?"
She raised an eyebrow. "You guys sure you can pull off the whole 'loveless relationship' thing?"
Coulson turned red and May scoffed. "Shut up Daisy."
She grinned. "So is that a yes, or..."
When May glared at her, Daisy looked away. "Guess it is a yes." She muttered.
It was different to the first time. Daisy felt like she was on show, like Charles and Heidi were saying 'look at what great people we are!' every time someone looked at her. She'd had parents like that before. Those who wanted an award for taking in a foster kid. Like there was something wrong with her.
Needless to say, Daisy wasn't a fan. But she pushed through it, jacking up the prices of a few items at the silent auction, messing around on her phone. It wasn't as much fun, but it was a mission. It weren't meant to be fun, they were meant to get their job done.
She glanced over at the sound of her pseudo parents voices and saw that they were having a quiet disagreement.
"Honestly Charles, we were just talking, I don't know what you're so worried about."
"He was undressing you with his eyes." The anger in Coulson's eyes wasn't something she'd seen before. Daisy had seen him angry, but not like this. This possessive, jealous fury that made her want to run right out the door.
May laughed, a Heidi laugh, shrill and ignorant, "Oh please, most men do. If I wanted to leave with him I would have done already, so stop being so jealous! It's not an attractive look on a man."
"Well I guess you'd know all about attractive men." He muttered, and Daisy felt the inexplicable urge to yell at May to run.
She shook herself. This was stupid. She knew that Coulson would never hurt her, and he certainly wouldn't hurt May. He loved them both, she knew that. She knew it. Coulson loved them. He wasn't a foster parent. He wasn't.
He caught her looking at them and threw her a wink. That and the smile he couldn't contain as May walked away did reassure her somewhat. Those lovesick eyes wouldn't hurt May. Or her. That dopey grin could only belong to Coulson. He loved them both.
It still took Daisy a minute to gather herself enough to approach, during which time Coulson shot her several meaningful looks. She knew that it was time for their little spat. But part of her was still shaking in her boots. She cleared her throat and walked up to him. "Kind of hypocritical for you to be mad at guys for undressing random women, right dad?"
The warmth in his eyes was gone. "Stay out of it Cory."
"What, like I need to stay out of everything else too? Like I need to stay out of the computer?" She let her voice get louder, fighting to keep her breathing steady so as not to let on the fear.
Coulson set his jaw. "We both know what you were really doing on that thing." He retorted. "I'll be damned if any daughter of mine associates with those kind of people!"
"Those kind of people are my FRIENDS!" Daisy yelled, glad to see that they were getting stares. "And we both know I'm NOT YOUR DAUGHTER!"
"Well sometimes I wish that was true!" Coulson shouted, and it was like a knife through her heart. "But while you're living under my roof you'll DO AS I SAY!"
Daisy couldn't keep the tears from welling in her eyes, but she kept going. "I HATE YOU!" She forced out, and the tears broke free.
Coulson's face took on a stony look. "That's it!" He said, grabbing her wrist, "We're going home!"
Daisy twisted her arm free. "Don't touch me!" She snapped, "You don't own me!" Her heart hammered in her chest. She had to fight not to run or hit him. She couldn't control her pulse, her breathing, the tears. This wasn't good. She was a hair away from causing a quake in the middle of a covert mission.
"You could have fooled me with how much we paid to get you!"
A choked sob escaped against Daisy's will, the tears streaming now. "Fine, then I guess I'll just GO if I'm so much trouble!" She tried to go for angry but it wouldn't quite come. She stormed out the door, trying to soak up the tears on her sleeves and failing miserably.
Coulson followed her into the car park, which was mercifully empty. Daisy heard the door close behind him and was glad that no one else had followed.
Coulson jogged slightly to catch up with Daisy. "Good job." He said softly, putting a hand on her shoulder.
Daisy flinched violently, staggering several steps away. She stared at him, blood pounding in her ears.
Coulson stopped, suddenly horrified. "Daisy?" He asked, "Are you okay?"
Daisy shuddered, continuing to the car. She said nothing, but Coulson could swear the ground beneath them shook.
"Daisy, it's me, you can tell me what's wrong, okay?" Though he had a sinking feeling. Coulson followed, but kept some space between them.
Daisy reached the car but found it locked. She knew that May had the keys, so she put one hand on the roof to brace herself. She wished she could stop. She knew that Coulson was worried. "I-I'm sorry." She whispered, still shaking with sobs.
"It's okay." He tried to comfort, going for a gentler touch, putting one hand over hers.
Daisy jerked away once again. "No, don't, please." She begged, "Don't touch me."
"Okay." He said, drawing back "Just talk to me, tell me what's wrong."
"Nothing, I'm fine." She said, the statement falling flat on it's face. "I-I'm being stupid, I just- I can't..." Daisy squeezed her eyes shut and bit her lip. "I wanna go home." She said in a small voice, still shaking uncontrollably.
A click came from the car and a familiar voice said, "Well that was easy."
Daisy bowed her head in a futile attempt to keep May from seeing. She knew it wouldn't work, but it was all she could do.
"Daisy?" There it was. "What happened, what's wrong?"
Daisy didn't reply, and she looked to Coulson. He shrugged helplessly, shaking his head when she went to take Daisy's hand. "What the hell did you do?"
"I don't know," Coulson said softly, watching her cry. "I- I thought everything was going well until we left, but..."
Alarms started ringing and May jammed the case with the terrigen under the driver's seat.
Daisy darted into the back seat. "We have to go."
Coulson hesitated, then asked, "You okay if I ride back here?"
Daisy nodded shyly, desperately wishing she could stop crying.
She curled in on herself as much as she could, knowing that they were both watching her. Of course they were. They were Coulson and May. They loved her, they would never hurt her. She hated herself for being scared anyway. "I-I-I'm fine." She tried to assure, but the tears still wouldn't stop, "I-I just, I-..." She trailed off, feeling her breathing become more and more shallow. "I can't breathe- I-"
May's alarmed eyes found the rearview mirror. Coulson's hand hovered just above Daisy's, "Just breathe with me, okay?" He said soothingly, "Look at me, Daisy, you need to calm down. We're here, you're safe."
Daisy raised her eyes to meet his, still shaking violently with sobs. She followed his instructions, taking a deep breath in through her nose first, then evening out gradually. After a minute of this, she collapsed into his arms. "I'm sorry." She mumbled, "I just- I can't stop."
"It's okay." He soothed, one arm wrapping around her ribs and the other around her shoulders. "We're here, it's okay."
Daisy buried her face in his shoulder, "I... you just really pull it off." She whispered. "It was- I was... scared." She felt ashamed. Stupid. She swallowed. "I- had a few families like that." She admitted. "They- they only wanted me to make their family work, a-and that made it my fault when it didn't."
Coulson met May's eyes in the mirror and he held her all the tighter. "That wasn't your fault. Those people didn't deserve you."
Daisy sniffled. "I didn't care. I didn't care whether they deserved me. I just- I just wanted a home."
"You have one now. With us."
"I know." Daisy said softly. "I do. But- I'm so scared I'm gonna lose it." She trembled, the tears starting again. "Everything could fall apart, and I-I..." She trailed off.
May sighed and, after checking that they hadn't been followed, pulled over. Coulson kept holding Daisy and she got out, giving him a nod to say she'd be back.
Coulson smiled, pressing a kiss to the top of Daisy's head. "You won't lose us Daisy. I promise."
She swallowed, noting that May had left. "What if you guys don't... if you-" She didn't want to say it. They were so happy together. She wanted them to be together. But some tiny, doubtful, scared part of her said that it could mean that she would lose both of them.
"If we break up?" He asked gently. "I mean, I'd rather that didn't happen. I love her." He hadn't said so before. But it felt right. Daisy relaxed slightly and he continued. "But even if we do, neither of us are going to give you up. Got it?"
Daisy sniffled. "Okay."
Coulson smiled, trying for a joke. "That custody battle would be brutal, believe me."
Daisy giggled, a soft, hopeful kind of laugh. "I'm way to old for anyone to have custody."
"Well that's the first point I'll have to argue in court."
She smiled, "Why would you get custody and not May then?"
A knock on the window interrupted Coulson's answer, and Daisy opened the door, letting May in. "Shove over." She said, nudging Daisy gently. Once she had slid into the back seat with them, she handed Daisy a container of ice cream.
Daisy looked down, ashamed. "I'm fine." She mumbled.
May rolled her eyes. "Oh, good, then I can have it." She made to take it back, but Daisy snatched it away. She smiled. "That's what I thought." She handed her a spoon. "You okay?"
Daisy nodded. "Yeah." She murmured, taking a spoonful of ice cream.
"Good." May said simply, taking some ice cream with her own spoon.
Coulson pouted. "None for me?"
Melinda rolled her eyes fondly, ate another spoonful, and leaned over Daisy to kiss him. "Happy?"
Daisy looked down, awkwardly squeezing her eye shut, but she couldn't keep the massive smile from her face. Those two were just so sweet together.
Coulson hummed. "For now." He grinned, "I might need some more later."
Daisy groaned. "Stop trying to traumatise me, it's not fair."
May smirked, poking her lightly in the ribs and getting a surprised squeak.
Coulson grinned. "We've been talking about which of us would get Daisy in a custody battle."
May raised an eyebrow. "Oh? And what's your case?" She asked.
Daisy let herself curl up, nursing a pint of ice cream, sitting between the two people she loved most in the world.
"Well let's face it Melinda, one of us can cook and one of us blew up my stove."
"That was one time."
Daisy grinned. "I can cook."
May looked at him triumphantly. "See? Irrelevant. Plus women usually win custody. And the child's choice is taken into consideration."
Coulson gasped. "Are you saying you're her favourite?"
Melinda pointedly took another scoop of ice cream and Coulson sighed. "Trying to buy love." He said, shaking his head. "Sneaky."
"Well I believe that Daisy is a girl with integrity that can't be bought."
They both looked to her, and Daisy pretended to think for a moment before shaking her head, taking another bite of ice cream.
May shook with silent laughter and Coulson shook his head. "I give up, you deserve each other."
"Yeah." Daisy said, yawning around her spoon.
May gently smoothed her hair back. "Go to sleep." She said gently, climbing into the drivers seat. "We'll wake you when we get home."
"'kay." Daisy mumbled, curling up to Coulson. His suit was soft. "I love you guys."
Coulson smiled, wrapping an arm around her securely. "We love you too Daisy."
May hummed in agreement, watching them in the mirror as she drove them home.
Daisy smiled sleepily. Her family.