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Music from the Heart

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Interviewer: What is the concept of the album?

Actually, I don't know if it's quite a concept. The album is a challenge and I had the idea of calling other artists to be a part of it. I asked my closest friends now and now I ask all the artists around the world. The proposal is: You know those songs that no one has listened to? The ones you wrote and never looked again? That demo that seemed so intimate, too pathetic, too revealing, those songs made in the dead of night when you couldn't sleep? The time has come for these songs to see the light of day. There’s no use in hiding it, they exist and expose the deepest of our feelings, terrifying feelings sometimes, fragility, pain, a passion you shouldn’t have, anyway... They chase me, these songs I compose and were afraid to record or release to the public. And you know what? I took the courage to let everyone know what’s actually going on in my heart, without censorship or cuts. And I call everyone alse who also have that courage, to join me. Let’s bombard our audience in December, show everything there is to show and I promise that in the end, it will be worth it. I am optimistic.

 

Phil took a deep breath as he again watched his first interview for his new album called “Secrets of the Heart,” being the first song to come out in just over half an hour and he was feeling awkward. As his hands were sweaty, one leg swunging unnoticed and he couldn't stand still for long. He has just received a list of artists who has accepted his challenge and since he has seen her name there, officially, it seems that his body is not responding.

He throws his cell phone on the table, the empty apartment suffocates him and the sweat only increased. He didn't want to admit that he was scared to release this song. He knew the risks, knew that she would probably know that it was hers he was talking about, that she was the one who he wanted to live everything that the song said, and the confession that he  makes at the chorus makes his heart jump in his chest so hard that he was sure he was about to pass out. Philip J. Coulson, known for his romantic songs, his funny and friendly manner, his guitar and his amazing voice, winner of several awards such as Grammy, IHeartRadio, People's Choice and AMA’s, wondered for the thousandth time that afternoon if it's really worth it, as he promised other artists.

Phil remembers exactly what it was like to know the love of his life, Melinda May. She wore a red dress that dragged the floor, the contrast of the fabric with her milky skin made every look turn in her direction as she passed with her beautiful smile that carry its own light, her brown eyes sparkled, her slightly wavy brown hair flew as her hips drifted her from side to side and he could still hear her laughter echoing around the room if he concentrated hard enough. He was introduced to her by a mutual friend and when he touched her hand, Phil swore he felt an electric current pass through his body.

That night, after both won a prize, they talked a lot at the After Party, danced and drank too much, the connection was instantaneous. He took care of her when Melinda got sick from the drinking and since then he has been hiding this song under lock and key. The first part of it is as old as their friendship that for ten years they have been building this unique bond. Inseparable, the fans were united as the two of them and conspired and hoped that Philinda was real and that the two would soon become an assumed couple. And for years he had to deny publicly and intimately, repeating over and over that they were just friends, that he loved her for exactly what she was, his best friend.

And now he was sitting here in his empty New York apartment, staring at one of his walls wondering if she could ever feel the same way he felt for her. Because if she felt a little of what he felt for her, Phil would be the happiest man in the world. Coulson knew he didn't deserve her, didn't deserve the happiness she emanated, didn't deserve to hear her melodious laughter, didn't deserve the warmth of her body that warmed him, didn't deserve the time she spent beside him, didn't deserve the secrets she had trusted him with, didn't deserve it, and yet it wasn't enough. The ten years were not enough, the moments were not enough, the proximity was not enough.

That's why he decided a few months he would risk it, because he could not continue living this lie. He lied all the time, to himself, to the fans, to her, and wasn't completely honest with his career. When Phil was discovered, he promised to write and always share his truth with the world, and it seemed that those thirteen songs about her were charging that promise and every time he recorded another song, a song full of “between the lines”, that covered any hint of his deepest feelings, those thirteen songs took his peace.

Of course, that during the ten years, he had an absurd amount of music about her. Melinda was his greatest source of inspiration, his muse, his favorite subject. But the ones he pulled out of the drawer were the ones that moved him the most, the ones that made him quiver at the thought of the Chinese woman hearing those words. That is, those were the ones he was sure would ruin the friendship between them, that friendship that meant everything to him but was no longer enough. Now it was everything, or nothing. And just imagining the rejection, just creating the possible scenarios of Melinda coming out of his life, took the air away from his lungs, but peering at the clock, he knew there were no ways to stop what was coming.

Taking several deep breaths, he turned on his computer and picked up his cell phone again. With trembling fingers, Coulson reminded his fans on his social networks of the release of "Say you won't let go," and he grinned to see that his name and the name of the song were already on the most talked about topics worldwide on twitter. Oh, how he loved his fans and their unconditional support.

He received the email from which he needed to check the video one last time and with just one click from him, the music video would be on air. On the computer, he opened the email and clicked play, the first chords of the guitar brought a small smile to his lips and a weight came off his shoulders, finally he would no longer be haunted by those chords.

 

I met you in the dark
You lit me up
You made me feel as though
I was enough

 

As his voice sang, he saw the actors lying on the bed, little space between them. The camera focused on the woman's smile that was not as beautiful as Melinda's, their fingers intertwined and they laughed.


We danced the night away
We drank too much
I held your hair back when
You were throwing up


The scene cut short and the actress wore a red ad wine dress, the exact color of Melinda's dress at that awards but a different model. The couple in the video danced for a few seconds, drank and laughed and while sitting on the bar table the man touched the actress's loose dark hair and the camera focused on that movement. The strands ran through his fingers and the scene brought flashbacks of moments when he had her in his arms, asleep, and he stroked her hair just like that.


Then you smiled over your shoulder
For a minute, I was stone cold sober
I pulled you closer to my chest
And you asked me to stay over
I said, I already told ya
I think you should get some rest

 

The actor rolled over in bed and as flashes the beautiful smile of the actress appeared several times. Soon, several hugs in different clothes and places took place and at the end of the verse the woman slept while the actor watched her, his fingers caressing the skin of her cheek affectionately.


I knew I loved you then
But you'd never know
'Cause I played it cool when I was scared of letting go
I know I needed you
But I never showed
But I wanna stay with you
Until we're gray and old
Just say you won't let go
Just say you won't let go


The man appeared frantically writing and playing guitar and piano. In flashes the actor appeared staring at a window lost in thought. The scene cuts to the actor in the bath, eyes open under the shower as he stared at the tile in front of him. He would roll over in bed and write again so that at the end of the verse he would rewire his fingers with hers and smile shyly when the woman clearly asked if he was all right.


I wake you up with some breakfast in bed
I'll bring your coffee
With a kiss on your head
And I'll take the kids to school
Wave them goodbye
And I'll thank my lucky stars for that night


 The image turned black and white and the man brought her a tray on the bed, she sips her coffee and smiles as she feels the man's kiss on her forehead. The scene is cut short and suddenly two little girls are waving at the actor as he waves back, smiling.


When you looked over your shoulder
For a minute, I forget that I'm older
I wanna dance with you right now, oh
And you look as beautiful as ever
And I swear that everyday you'll get better
You make me feel this way somehow

 

The actors appear dancing in the middle of a room, the image still black and white. He whirls her around the space and she laughs as the man smiles.

The verse ends and the colors come back, the man sighs and smiles sweetly at the ceiling as he lies in his bed with his arms under his head.

 

I'm so in love with you
And I hope you know
Darling, your love is more than worth its weight in gold
We've been so far my dear
Look how we've grown
And I wanna stay with you
Until we're gray and old
Just say you won't let go
Just say you won't let go


Suddenly the male actor was surrounded by people and smiling as the woman sang on the stage in front of him. And during this verse, images passed, each taking 2 to 4 seconds. The actors making a food war, making angels in the snow, him smearing out her nose with ice cream, her showing a black dress clinging to her curves and spinning around for him and them cooking together.


I wanna live with you
Even when we're ghosts
'Cause you were always there for me
When I needed you most
I'm gonna love you till
My lungs give out


The image turned black and white again, and the scenes from the previous verse recurred, with slight differences.
In the food war he kissed the girl, both stained with wheat. At the little angel scene, she hugged him as they watched the work they did. The actor wipes the ice cream from the woman's nose with a kiss. He kissed her neck as they both stared at the actress's reflection in the mirror. And finally, she hugs him from behind as the actor cuts a carrot.


I promise until we die death
Like in our vows
So I wrote this song for you
Now everybody knows
'Cause that is just you and me
Until we're gray and old
Just say you won't let go
Just say you won't let go
Just say you won't let go
Oh, just say you won't let go

 

In the last words of the song, the male actor wrote again, the image in bright colors. The scene cuts and he stand in front of a microphone and wears a headset to his ears while singing the words. People in the studio watched him as the actor closed his eyes, surrendering himself to the lyrics. In the last scene, the couple walk to the horizon, their fingers brushing as they walk, but they never intertwine it. The camera goes out of focus as they keep walking. A black screen takes over Phil's computer, and the video clip ends.

Despite all the stress that music caused him, he knew it was beautiful and the video was equally beautiful. With a small smile on his lips, Phil confirmed his final approval and his back hit the back of the chair. Okay, now he had no control over what would happen, what people would think or say, what critics would think, and most of all, he had no control over what Melinda May would think of his words. He could only hope that she would at least let him explain before excluding him from her life.

With that thought, Coulson got up and took off his shirt with the intention of taking a shower and disappearing for the rest of the day, pretending that his world was not about to change forever.

Chapter Text

Melinda was nervous, her lips were mistreated by her teeths that couldn't help but bite them. She wondered if what was about to go out in a few minutes would change her life for the better or for an incredibly empty life, she didn't want and couldn't lose him. Swallowing hard, tears in her eyes, she rested her head on her palms and in the silence of her hotel room she asked, begged, to any deity who listened, so she wouldn't lose him.

Why had she accepted that shit? He'd understand if she hadn't accepted his challenge, but at the time it seemed very interesting, even exciting, to reveal her secrets like that in a pure and raw way. But now, with the music video already being uploaded by her crew, she hated herself for accepting, for recording the images the way she did, giving so much of her deepest feelings. Why? Why did she have to be so impulsive and stupid? She was going to lose him and she only had herself to blame.

May angrily dries the tears that escapes her eyes without her permission and opened the computer with trembling fingers. Her anger was at herself for doing everything in such a way that she couldn’t prevent the music and its clip from being aired. Seems like she knew she would regret it so she planned for her team to finalize the video’s few effects and air it just the minute Phil would release his first song from his new album. She remembers thinking that if he released a song that talked about one of his ex-girlfriends and broke Melinda's heart, she would definitely back down on her decision. And she was wrong, even without seeing or hearing Phil's music, she already regretted.

Not a minute more, not a minute less, a notification saying that her video was successfully uploaded on youtube came to her phone, and she closed her eyes letting a few more tears escape. It was all lost and it was her fault.

Clicking on the computer's web page, she entered at her official page and "Big girls don't cry" was available now and within seconds there were about a thousand views. Her fans were very anxious about this song, apparently. Wiping her face again, she took a deep breath and pressed play. The first image that appears is Melinda's hands, gripping tightly to the railing from the balcony of the apartment that in the music video belonged to her, and her voice began the monologue.

 

It's like you're screaming, and no one can hear, you almost feel ashamed that someone could be that important that without them, you feel like nothing.

 

As her voice said the words, the camera recorded Melinda pacing the apartment, bare feet, her smooth white dress fluttering in the wind. She ran her fingers through the hair on the side of her face in a clear movement of anxiety, making the strands messy. She paced, eyes downcast and a nervous expression on her face.


No one will ever understand how much it hurts, not having the one you want because he can't be yours. You feel hopeless; like nothing can save you.

 

The scene changes and Melinda were walking the streets of New York when she suddenly paralyzes through the crowd that walks around her and faces a couple kissing and laughing, their noses touching as they laughed.


And you know he doesn't love you like you love him, so you pull back, and keep your distance as much as your heart can take, cause the more you look at his beautiful face, the more you want to tell him how he makes you feel.

 

And then Melinda is back in the apartment, sitting in the living room on a white sofa while on the floor are dozens of photos. The camera spins around her as she stares at them with a small smile on her lips. She picks one and the camera gradually focuses on the portrait between her fingers. Melinda was with an actor, he played guitar focused on the ropes while Melinda had her mouth open because she was singing, and she stared at him, her eyes shining.


The more he touches you, the more you want to touch him. The more he smiles at you, the more you want to grab your arms around him, kiss him, and never let go.

 

The scene changes and Melinda and the actor walk side by side in the street, stopping to wait for the traffic lights to allow their passage. Abruptly, he touches her cheek gently, their eyes connect and she looks lost in his gaze, the camera focusing on the actor's blue eyes. He smiles and the moment passes when he shows an eyelash in the palm of his hand that explained the sudden touch.


So, I made up a billion of excuses, anything, so he doesn't know that I'm in love with him, and it's killing me not saying anything so I can keep him in my life.

 

Melinda appears hugging the actor at the airport and soon, her suitcase comes into focus with the wheels spinning and she gets on the plane without looking back, but stares at the small round window beside her seat, her fingers touching the plastic that hold it closed and she thinks for a second, then gives up on opening it.


I had to shield myself from this love and I had to do this on my own, away from him.

Flashes of shows she selected for the clip appeared, she smiled dancing and singing on stage and her audience followed her.


And still, after all the trying and the distance and the straightening out, in my heart, I still love him.

 

Once again in the apartment, Melinda is sitting on the edge of the bed and facing her cell phone. On the screen the camera shows a message sent to her that said: "I miss you". The camera stays on the phone and she answers the person with the words "I miss you too".


I think I love him more now than I did before.


Melinda at the end of her monologue takes a serious look at the camera and abruptly a black screen takes over the clip for exactly 2 seconds until the chords of the guitar play and Melinda's face reappears as her lips sing "Da Da Da Da" as the song begins. When the first words are sung, the scene changes.


The smell of your skin lingers on me now
You're probably on your flight back to your hometown

The two appear watching a movie on the apartment's white sofa, he was concentrated on the TV while she watches him, their bodies were close together, almost glued. In the blink of an eye, she finds herself alone on the same couch, in different clothes, staring at the empty spot beside her, her legs at her chest.

 

I need some shelter of my own protection baby
Be with myself in center, clarity
Peace, Serenity
 

Melinda chewed on something as she wrote, sitting at the apartment table completely alone. The phone rings and she pick it up, staring at the screen for several seconds until she rejects the call. She takes a deep breath, staring at the paper in front of her, the pen dangling between her fingers.


I hope you know, I hope you know
That has nothing to do with you
It's personal, myself and I
We got some straightening out to do

 

Melinda sings this part of the chorus, her eyes staring at the camera, her expression of pain and sadness is evident. She gestures, sometimes touching her heart, sometimes pointing at the camera, her eyes occasionally closing as she surrenders to the words she sings.


And I'm gonna miss you
like a child misses their blanket
But I've gotta get a move on with my life

Then the two of them appear hugging, her head fitting perfectly into the arms of the actor like she fit into his arms. The camera focuses on the way she closes her eyes, how the Asian’s arms squeeze him against her body and the way he runs his fingers through her straight black hair. The moment of affection is short-lived and soon they are parting and she walks away from him, singing.


It's time to be a big girl now
And big girls don't cry
Don't cry
Don't cry
Don't cry

 

The camera blurs from the actor who stays behind while Melinda sings, tears fall from her eyes and she lets them fall.

 

The path that I'm walking, I must go alone
I must take the baby steps til I'm full grown, full grown
Fairy tales don't always have a happy ending
And I forseek the dark ahead if I stay

 

She appears again in the apartment, an open suitcase on the bed as she puts several clothes in while her lips sing the verse. She picks up some papers from the dresser and she throws a picture of them in the suitcase. In the picture, she smiles as the actor makes a funny face. The camera refocuses on Melinda who has a text marker in her hand and she strikes December 1th, 2018.

 

I hope you know, I hope you know
That has nothing to do with you
It's personal, myself and I
We got some straightening out to do

Melinda again appears dragging her suitcase while in the corner of the screen, days pass from the scratched day, December 1, 2018. She walks alongside an airport wall made of glass and the seasons change by her side and almost a year goes by while she keeps dragging her suitcase.


And I'm gonna miss you
like a child misses their blanket
But I've gotta get a move on with my life
It's time to be a big girl now
And big girls don't cry

 

The scene cuts in and she's sitting in a room that was clearly from a hotel because it had no life in it. She had a dark cover circling her small form and stared impassively at the TV. Suddenly what was once a movie became flashes of what looked like memories. Melinda and the actor laughing, both making a food war, him covering her with his suit, Melinda tickling him as the actor wriggles. When the camera comes back to Melinda sitting on the couch, she has tears streaming down her face.

 

Like a little school mate in the school yard
We'll play jacks and uno cards
I'll be your best friend and you'll be mine
Valentine

 

Suddenly she appears running to him, who smiles at her. The two laughs while playing cards on the floor, the actor throws himself in her arms, forgetting the game. Their bodies connect and they lie on the floor.

 

Yes you can hold my hand if you want to
'cause I wanna hold yours too
We'll be playmates and lovers
and share our secret worlds

Still lying on the floor surrounded by the game cards, they stare at each other as the actor runs his fingers along Melinda's arm and the camera follows his slide across her skin. He intertwines their fingers and stands up, taking her with him. Still with their fingers intertwined, he glues their bodies again and they begin to dance, sliding through the space with sweet smiles on their lips.

 

But it's time for me to go home
It's getting late, dark outside
I need to be with myself in center, clarity
Peace, Serenity

 

Melinda stops dancing abruptly and looks into the actor's worried eyes, her fingers lightly touching his face as he stands still. Melinda takes two steps backward with a startled expression on her face, and when he opens his mouth to say something, Melinda runs off aimlessly, her run is slow-motion in the clip.

 

I hope you know, I hope you know
That has nothing to do with you
It's personal, myself and I
We got some straightening out to do

Melinda is in the apartment again. She moves from room to room, and the camera follows her gaze. Everywhere she finds evidence of him, a forgotten coat on the coat rack, a Star Wars blouse on the couch, a picture frame in the middle of the dining table, a toothbrush in the bathroom, and a flyer from one of his shows next to her bed.

 

 And I'm gonna miss you
like a child misses their blanket
But I've gotta get a move on with my life
It's time to be a big girl now
And big girls don't cry
Don't cry
Don't cry
Don't cry

 

Melinda in the last verses, wearing his forgotten Star Wars blouse and coat, is sitting in the middle of her bed in her apartment, and she has a notebook in her lap as she writes the words "don't cry" several times. Black ink stains the paper and Melinda realizes that she is crying again when she touches her face and her fingers come back covered with water. She dries them furiously and throws her notebook on the wall, covering her face with her hands as she sobs. After a few seconds crying, strong arms hug her and she takes a deep breath, the crying soon subsiding.

 

La Da Da Da Da Da

The video ends with Melinda staring at the camera, singing the last words while still holding him in her arms. She closes her eyes taking a deep breath again and again a black screen takes over Melinda's computer, and the clip ends.

She dried her eyes and the tracks her tears made on her face. She could remember exactly the day she wrote that monologue, she was in the middle of a tour and missed her best friend a lot. She just wanted to hear his voice, but before she could get out of the app she was on and call him, the timeline updated and a picture of him with his girlfriend of that time appeared. He was smiling, his white teeth gleaming, and his arms were tight around Audrey. So instead of calling, she wrote. She wrote two songs that day, sad and melancholy songs that helped her win a prize later.

Shaking her head to dismiss her thoughts, she closed the video and before she could close the web tab, she saw the notification in the corner of her screen that said “Philip Coulson had added a recently video, titled ‘Say you won't let go’”. She stared at the notification for what seemed like forever. She knew that this song and video had something different from his other songs, that's what he promised at promoting his album and she was sure that song had the power to maybe break her heart, and she had to admit to herself that she was afraid to click that box and be redirected to something that would hurt her so much.

But she told herself she was used to the pain, and if she wasn't already, she would have to because he wasn't hers and never would be. Promising herself to be a good best friend and supporter of his success, Melinda allowed her finger to unknowingly change her relationship with Phil completely, with just one click.

Chapter Text

The chords of the guitar captivated Melinda's ears in the first few seconds of the video and she made herself better in bed, concentrating on the images that began to appear in front of her. The first words of the song ripped the air from her lungs and she stared at the actors in front of her with wide eyes. He could not be talking about them, it was not possible, she was certainly being deceived by her heart that was still beating for some hope.

No, no, no, she couldn't be that crazy, it was their story, it wasn't possible that anyone else had gone through that shame when meeting him, she would have known, he would have mentioned, wouldn't he? The second line of the song only confirmed that he spoke of their friendship, how they met, because she might be drunk then, but she remembers that night very well. He was a perfect gentleman, and that was the first time he had taken care of her, the first of many.

When she heard the first sentence of the chorus, her fingers jumped and reached the space key on the computer keyboard, and the clip paused. Melinda's eyes were wide, her breath caught in her throat, and her heart was beating so fast she was sure it would explode. It was not possible; it couldn’t be. Tears formed in her eyes and she swallowed hard. The fingers touched the key again and the music played again and the words "But I wanna stay with you, until we're gray and old" made the woman with difficulty, pull the air back to her lungs.

The video was incredibly beautiful, delicate and full of feelings. She was sure Phil's voice was very similar to what men could imagine to be angel singing and the lyrics... The lyrics of the song were mending Melinda's shattered heart with each syllable. She didn't even know what to pay more attention to, the actors who looked a lot like both of them, what they performed in the clip, which were clearly memories they had shared through all these years together, or the lyrics that were so romantic and beautiful, sung wholeheartedly and showing uncensoredly all the immensity of what Phil felt.

Phil was saying he was completely in love with... her? It couldn't be, it was a dream, she was absolutely sure. Her lips formed a huge smile at the promise Coulson made with the lyrics, a promise she wanted for so long to hear from his lips, the promise of a life together, that he wanted a future, a home, a family, a love.

She didn't even realize she was crying until a sob escaped her lips. She could hardly see the clip anymore because her tears kept her from seeing straight. The music video ended too fast and soon she was restarting it, tears falling and the smile never fading. It couldn't be a dream, because if it were, and if she woke up now, she wouldn't be able to recover.

The music video was revised so many times that she almost memorized all the words he declared. Oh my God, he was declaring himself!! She didn't know what to do, how to react to it. Happiness was exploding inside her chest, her whole body trembled with excitement, her cheeks ached so much that the smile had not yet faded, and if possible, it only widened.

For the millionth time, the music video ended and this time she jumped out of bed and paced around with her cell phone in hand, pondering what to do for a few minutes. May found it amusing that a short time ago she was grateful for being on the other side of the continent, far away from him. Melinda was in a hotel in San Francisco and she knew he was in his apartment in New York. It wasn't on purpose that distance, but when she was scared to death of her song release, she thanked it.

But now, all she wanted was to be home, close to him so she could just go to him and ask if all she saw and heard was really real, if he still felt that way, if his promises of a daily life, a family and a future with her was still what he wanted, and looking into his eyes, she would hope for him to confirm, so she could finally kiss him.

She couldn't wait that long, she needed to know. Decided, she puts the phone to her ear listening to the noise that confirmed that the call was being made. Her hands were sweating and she kept walking aimlessly, nervousness taking over her body and with each beep her heart beat faster.

“Hi, you called Coulson. Leave your name and number and I promise to return” - The damn voice message said in her ear, and she hung up. She knew very well the busy man she fell in love with, but even so she couldn't help being disappointed that he didn't answer, after all would she have the same courage that ran in her veins at that moment when he returned her call?

~~~~~...~~~~~...~~~~~...~~~~~

Stepping out of the shower, his mind a little clearer of all nervousness, anxiety and fear, Phil went to check his twitter with the intention of thanking his fans and their incredibly motivating support when a notification caught his attention. Melinda had released a song just like him. Was it her contribution to the challenge? She had confirmed that she would do it, but like most, did not report release dates.

Anyway, he was happy for his best friend, he loved how much she had control over her own career. He was charmed by anything about her, true, but she was so talented that it still shocked him sometimes.

He sat on the couch with his cell phone still in his hands, his chest bare and wearing only jeans and bare feet. Not knowing how much that click would change everything, he played the video, smiling sweetly with the sound of her voice that to him was the most beautiful sound on the planet. Her monologue hit him deeply, your heart tight and racing at the same time. She conveyed so much emotion, her words were deep and even painful as if she believed she didn't deserved love. Phil knew a lot about Melinda, and one of those things is that when she got scared, she would hide, and it was exciting for him to know that she was letting people see that side of hers, that's where he knew that video was the answer to his challenge.

Phil realized that he had completely lost himself at her words and barely watched the images before his eyes. Laughing slightly at how she could affect him, even though she was not by his side, he returned the video to its beginning and paid attention to the images as well as her wistful words.

The images brought back vivid memories that he revisited every day and it made him slightly agitated, his heart pounding in his chest. He told himself to calm down, that she could have done everything those images showed with anyone, but it seemed that his heart didn't want to hear his reason and kept pounding.

When the song started, he fell in love with the sound combination, again enjoying her talent. As the video went on, his breathing grew heavier and heavier, his heart longing to burst with happiness as reason stopped him, both dueling and leaving Phil the task of deciding what to surrender to, to his heart that wanted so badly to believe this song was about him or his reason that said he was deluding himself and she loved another she thought she couldn’t have.

What makes his heart win that battle is the end of the video, the things Melinda finds in her apartment are good enough evidence for joy to run through his skin and he smiles knowing that she still had that blouse he forgot on her apartment, 3 years ago. His toothbrush was still next to hers in her New York apartment, and she had one in his bathroom too.

He knew exactly which picture frame was in the middle of her dining table and it was taken 5 years ago. It was Phil's birthday and he had lost his mother that year, she knew he didn't want any celebrations, but still showed up at his door at 11 pm the day before his birthday wearing her pet pajamas and smiling, she said that she would spend his birthday turn by his side, doing whatever he wanted. They smiled at the picture, her arms around his neck and he wore pajamas similar to hers, since she had given him as a birthday present and made him wear it that night.

He knew exactly what he needed to do and he had no doubt that he needed to see her as soon as possible. As soon as the clip was over, Phil didn't have to see again those images to confirm what his heart already knew, she felt the same way he did, it had to be. He knew he had risked everything with his own music and music video, so if he was wrong, he would throw it all up at one strike.

He put on some shirt, got his wallet, passport and keys. He quickly called his agent and asked her to buy a ticket to San Francisco and informed her that he was already on his way to the airport. The woman understood nothing, asked if he was okay, but Coulson could only answer that he needed to be there as soon as possible. The way to the airport was a blur but all that mattered was that in a short time he had tickets, a passport and no suitcase, and in just over five hours he would see her chocolate eyes and this was the time he had to find out what he would tell her.

Sitting in the first-class seat he formed each of the possible scenarios, from the happiest to the most disappointing. He didn't know if his heart could handle much more of that roller coaster of emotions he was putting him through. Glancing at the viewfinder in front of him, he saw that he had few hours left and he tried to remember how to draw air into his lungs. With his eyes closed, he could only think of her smile.

~~~~~...~~~~~...~~~~~...~~~~~

It had been hours, hours she'd been trying to call, and there was no sign of him. She rummaged through social media, fan clubs, gossip sites, and nothing, no information about his whereabouts, it was as if he'd been missing from the map since his video aired. She couldn't stop wondering if he regretted releasing the song, if he was afraid of her reaction or if he was with someone now, that someone he might be talking about in the song.

Melinda shook her head at such thoughts, he couldn't be with anyone else, cos she was right there. But she needed to keep reminding herself, remembering that she was sure the music was about herself, but even with the certainty that hugged her heart, a little voice kept whispering in her ear that she might be wrong. That voice fed her insecurity and doubts, and his disappearance was no help.

Still staring at the cell phone screen, May got up from the couch she was sitting on and headed for the door. On her way, the doorbell rang once more, making the asian woman roll her eyes impatiently. Almost snorting at being importuned at her frantic search for her best friend, she nearly dropped the phone in her hand as she opened the door and came across the one she was looking for.

She held her breath without realizing it and met his blue eyes completely paralyzed and surprised. How? How could he be standing in front of her? Her thoughts were confused and her heart was beating so loud that it was all she could focus on at the moment, how her heart was beating fast when she had those eyes on hers.

Philip was trying to remember what words he had so carefully devised to say to her, something about... what was it about? Oh, he could barely think with the look he was getting from her, he could barely remember his own name, such beauty she exuded, and he was sure the blouse that was clearly too big for her belonged to him. What a sight she gave him, and it didn't fail to take his breath away. His lips twitched a few times, still trying to connect with his confused thoughts, but he simply gave up after realizing that they stared at each other for what seemed like an eternity without saying a word.

Then, without saying a word, he took two steps, stood before her and without a second thought, his fingers grabbed Melinda's delicate face and his lips kissing hers. He was surprised to feel her sweet, soft lips move over his without any hesitation. He felt peace as soon as he had her in his arms, she slowly pulled her lips from his only to connect them again in one more peck.

Phil moved his lips and tilted his head, changing the angle of their kiss. Passing her tongue over Phil's lips, Melinda soon asked for a passage and sighed when she finally tasted him. Her sigh was swallowed by Coulson's lips as he eagerly received her tongue, almost moaning as her tongue slid into his in a dance he never wanted to end. The kiss was slow, sensual and exploratory, one of his hands sliding to the back of Melinda's neck, his fingers stroking the strands of her hair while the other lingered on her jaw, his fingertips stroking the skin of her cheek. May had her palms on Coulson's chest so she could feel the beating of his heart that seemed as fast as her own, the cell phone long forgotten.

The contact was broken only when the air became necessary, and yet all Melinda wanted when Phil created space between them, was to kiss him right away. With heavy breaths, the couple stared deeply into each other and Phil felt his heart melt as Melinda closed her eyes and leaned toward the caress he was doing on her cheek.

“My God, I'm so in love with you!” - The words just came out of his throat without his permission. Was that what he had planned to tell her? Why couldn't he think straight with this woman's presence? She smiled the most beautiful smile he had ever seen and his heart missed a beat.

"I want everything, Phil." - She whispered, her eyes filling with tears - "I want the coffee in bed, the kisses, the children, I even stand the dance if it's with you" - She struggled to control her emotions, but the man she loved, loved her back. He laughed at the mention of her hatred for the dance that even after years of career still existed. He leaned his forehead against hers taking a deep breath, smelling her scent.

"Will you tell me how I make you feel?" - He asked with a sweet smile and closed eyes. Melinda chuckled and nodded, unable to speak to the lump that formed in her throat as she felt at once, all that man made her feel.

They kissed again, their lips already missing each other’s. He ran his hands down the side of her body until he could hold her slim waist as she wrapped her arms around his neck, clamping them even further. This time Melinda was the one to pull away first, and asked softly as her nails scratched at the back of Coulson's neck.

"Can I ask you a question?"

"Yeah" - Phil smiled.

"What the hell are you wearing?" - May asked with a crooked smile making her best friend laugh and look down to his own feet.

"They call themselves slippers" - It was her turn to laugh - "You're lucky I didn’t show up barefoot and shirtless" - He completed, love spreading through every cell of his body for that woman.

"You call that luck?" - She shook her head, making Coulson laugh once again and a small redness take over his cheeks. To escape her hungry gaze, Philip finally remembers the door that was still open, so he closes it and with Melinda's fingers intertwined with his, he is guided into the apartment.

Chapter Text

She reached for the keys in her purse, trying to reach it without spilling the coffee she held. It still left her with a silly smile to use the key he gave her as what he said was a promise of the future he imagined and wanted for both of them. The key was much more than a key from that day on, and every time she turned it in the lock, she felt butterflies in her stomach.
May leaves her bag on the couch and goes to the room where she finds him reviewing some papers, sitting on the bed wearing jeans shorts and T-shirt, the glasses he so little wore hanging on his nose. She watched him from the bedroom door, the way he played with the pen, his incredibly blue eyes that darted back and forth, his expression of concentration that left him with a little wrinkle on his forehead. He was perfect, everything about him was perfect.
"Hey!" - He greeted and she smiled, walking over to him, noticing how he almost throws the papers that fall on the bed and his hands are empty now only to be able to hold her face while their lips meet.
“Hi!” - Still smiling, she offers him the coffee, loving the way his eyes sparkle as he takes the first sip.
"Thank you, that's all I needed." - He gave her one more kiss and then took another sip. Melinda didn't know how she could be so lucky. - “What is it?” - He asked, his fingers caressing her shivering arm. She bit her lower lip as she stared into his eyes for a few seconds, considering whether to show him.
"I wanted to show you something..." - She said softly.
"You can show me anything, tell me anything, Lin," - He replied sweetly, holding her hand. She still looked undecided when she whispered an "okay" and got up from beside him on the bed and guided him to Phil's small studio in the apartment.
May sat him on the stool in front of the highest-end stereo table and sat on a stool a little way from him. She plugged her cellphone into the device, and he watched her make some adjustments as he sipped his coffee, waiting patiently. When she felt ready, she turned to face him and took a deep breath. She still felt so nervous around him, so vulnerable when she talked about her feelings for him or sang a song about him to him, and she doesn't know how long it will be before the nervousness goes away, considering they're already dated three months.
The first chords filled the silence of the room and she closed her eyes, concentrating on the words.

No, I never liked San Francisco
Never thought it was something special
Till you kissed me there


She paused, breathing and opening her eyes, finding the immensity of his oceans that stared back at her.

No, I never liked windy cities
But I think maybe when you're with me
I like everywhere

She smiled and lowered her head feeling embarrassed before him. Her hair cascaded around her face preventing him from seeing her flushed cheeks.

It's the strangest feeling
Midnight, I'm not leaving
Know for once, I think I'll stay

She looked back at him and found him smiling widely that made her laugh lightly at his clear happiness at her words.

I'll say your name, just listen
Doesn't it sound different
Never whispered it this way

She stayed with her gaze locked on his, and she decided to get closer, the nervousness leaving her body, reading only love, understanding and admiration in her boyfriend's blue eyes.

It's gonna take me a minute
But I could get used to this
I feel it in your fingertips
The feeling of another kiss
It's gonna take me a minute
But I could get used to this
Like every scar on your skin
I'm memorizing every inch
I could get used to this

She sang the chorus seriously, trying to pass through her voice and her gaze how much it meant that he knew she wanted it all, trying to make him feel through her music how much she loved everything they were living.

I could get used to this
Definitely

She got up from the stool and walked slowly the few steps to him, the words dancing on her vocal cords. The pause she made after the verse she used to stretch her arm silently asking him to get up, from which he made, almost mesmerized.

No, I never did like whiskey
But there's something about when I see ya
I think I need a drink

Holding back her laughter as he barely remembered that he was still holding the coffee in one hand, she sang as a silly smile took over her face as she took the cup from his hand, carefully setting the plastic on the table carefully that it was in no danger of falling.

And the callouses on your fingers
I admire them from a distance
Now they're on my cheek

She turned her attention again to his eyes and took one of his hands and placed it on her cheek. She cupped her cheek with his hand and tilted her head toward their hands, which together, held her face gently.

Oh, I've known you forever
Now I know you better
Let's just get carried away, oh

Her voice made Phil's heart pound in his chest, her gaze held him prisoner, and the touch of her skin made his mind find peace. She sang with her heart and the words fixed a smile on his lips.

And it bears repeating
How hard my heart's beating
When you tell me I should stay

Melinda slid the hand that once held her face to her neck, slaying it to her chest where Melinda made him feel the rapid beating of her heart. Even after months together, Melinda still felt her heart beating fast and hard inside her chest every moment beside him and she hoped it would never pass, so she would have constant evidence of how he made her feel so she could show him, as words never seemed enough

It's gonna take me a minute
But I could get used to this
I feel it in your fingertips
The feeling of another kiss
It's gonna take me a minute
But I could get used to this
Like every scar on your skin
I'm memorizing every inch
I could get used to this
Definitely

She let him hold her waist as she circled his neck with her arms, pasting their bodies. Philip touched their foreheads and she sang the chorus to him with her eyes closed, feeling the warmth of his skin, feeling the his breath beating on her face and her heart cheered to be surrounded by him.

No, I never liked San Francisco
Never thought it was something special
Till you kissed me there

May drew back a few inches to meet his eyes that opened with the movement. She sang staring at them and smiled as Phil tucked her hair behind her ear delicately. Before moving back to the chorus, she touched the tip of her nose to the tip of Phil's nose, which made him laugh softly.

It's gonna take me a minute
But I could get used to this
I feel it in your fingertips
The feeling of another kiss
It's gonna take me a minute
But I could get used to this
Like every scar on your skin
I'm memorizing every inch
I could get used to this

They swayed slightly to the beat of the music that filled the room and he could only think of recording every bit of that moment as a photograph.

I feel it all (I could get used to this)
You're kiss is all
I'll risk it all
Certain things are starting to fall
But we lost it all
And I just can't believe it all
Definitely

She disconnected her forehead and sang, whispering the words into her boyfriend's ear, making goose bumps run down the body of the man who practically buried his face in her neck, his nose glued to her skin, smelling it. Melinda couldn't think of anything more gratifying than this moment.
The song was ending and she sang the last words of the lyrics, but the ending didn't make them move away. The couple remained embraced in the middle of the studio for a few more minutes and Coulson just put space between them to reach her lips. The kiss was tender and graceful, lips sliding between them and tongues tasting each other's tastes. Melinda smiled at the kiss and simply let herself be taken by him and his presence that made her legs become pudding and every cell vibrated with the expectation of a touch.
Philip said nothing, he knew she could read all his words in his gaze. He was sure Melinda knew that if it was up to him, she would be the happiest woman in the world and if she didn't know how much she means to him, how much he loves her and how perfect she is to him, Coulson would remind her today, tomorrow, and so on. Every day of their lives. By taking Melinda to the bedroom, he was not worried about what the media would think, or how much the fans would freak out or how their lives would be busy and would require an adjustment for them to continue this relationship. No, all that mattered was her skin on his and how much he wanted her to understand that he was in no hurry, and that she was all he needed, just her, just as she is.