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you mean a lot to me

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She followed him down the long hall and around the corner. The hideout, large and hidden as it was, was startlingly quiet while everyone slept. They made it back just after four in the morning and spent a few hours after that helping tend to the wounded, Melinda was exhausted. She could have kept going. Going without a lot of sleep wasn’t anything new, but she had been slow to hide it and damn if Phil Coulson hadn’t called her out on it.

He came to a stop at the end of another corridor and opened a door. “You can sleep here. There’s a bathroom too.”

She gazed inside. There was a medium-sized bed, an armchair, a few bookcases with only a few books, but not much more. “Where will you sleep?”

Phil shrugged before pushing his glasses up his nose. It was cute and also aggravating. All these conflicting emotions she was feeling for him were confusing. “There’s a bench down the hall I don’t think anyone’s claimed yet.”

A bench? Was he serious? 

“Phil, this is stupid. There’s more than enough room for us both.”

He took a step back, and she tried not to think about how well he looked dressed in a suit from the night before. Although his corduroy pants and flannel shirt looked damn good on him too. “No, that’s okay, I couldn’t,” he began to insist.

“Why?” She smirked, crossed her arms, and leaned against the door frame. “Can’t keep your hands to yourself?”

He stopped at that, blinked at her while a blush rose in his cheeks making him look like an inexperienced teenager. “No, that’s not it. I just…” he began, looking down and away, pushing those glasses back up again. “I don’t want you to be uncomfor-”


His eyes rose to meet hers. Was that a hopeful gaze in those blue eyes of his? “Yeah?”

“You need sleep too,” she told him with finality in her voice. “Shut up and get in here.”


She went in first, and he closed the door. “Do you need the bathroom?”

“Hm? No, I’m fine.”

There were towels and soap and seeing it so clean honestly shocked her. It was nice to see that the resistance didn’t live without means. 

The shower was hot, and she stood underneath the spray for a while and let herself cry. They weren’t hard tears or ones that wracked her body as some did after hard days doing what she did, but gentle tears she let herself cry for everything that had happened then washed her face, her hair and body. She got dressed in her tee-shirt and pants. Leaving her long sleeve shirt and jacket on the counter. She was tempted to only wear her underwear, but she was too afraid Phil would run from the room. 

A smile pulled her lips up thinking of him. He was such a… well, there was no other word for it, a nerd. It was cute though. He was cute. And… familiar. She felt it the moment she saw him when he stood in front of her and said that he trusted her. And when they were together the previous night, helping him with his tie. 

The things he had said to her earlier that morning, about nothing being real and having another life, it struck a chord in her. Right down to her very soul and shook her foundation. But she couldn’t just believe as he did. She’d been following blindly for too long. Until he could give her something to help her believe or remember...

No, that wasn’t right because whether or not she wanted to admit it, deep down she believed him. But how that could be possible she couldn’t fathom to explain. She’d known him less than two days and yet…

Staring at her reflection in the mirror, she thought about Phil and Agent - Daisy. There was no doubt in her mind there was something familiar about them. 

Especially Phil.

Melinda shook her head at herself and let out a breath. This was stupid. They were being so stupid. They were strangers, nothing more.

With her mind made up to not think anymore about what they were, Melinda turned on her heel and headed into the room. What she needed was sleep.

Flipping the switch for the light off, Melinda padded over to the bed, not sure if Phil was asleep or not. She pulled back the covers and eased herself into the bed. It was softer than she imagined it would be. The sheets were soft and cool, and Melinda closed her eyes, trying to center herself. She felt the bed dip beside her, and Melinda opened her eyes to see Phil was now facing her, his blue eyes taking her in.

“I’m sorry, did I wake you?”

Phil’s voice was soft when he replied, “No, I’ve been awake.”

Her lips pulled up. “Better get some sleep. It’s going to be a long day for us.”

“You’re right.” He turned onto his back. She let her eyes close, trying not to think about the man lying next to her when he said, “This is wild.”


“I never thought I’d be in bed with a HYDRA agent.” As if realizing how his words sounded, he clarified, “Not in bed, in bed… and I mean, reformed HYDRA agent... I’m not judging you. Trust me, I taught HYDRA’s sick history for years. You can’t let it get to you. This isn’t real. This isn’t really our life.”

She took a deep breath through her nose and let it out slowly. “It feels like my life.” In a way, she hoped what he was saying wasn’t all nonsense. Truth be told, she felt like her entire life she’d been living in a nightmare. “You mentioned you remembered certain things?”

“Not so much remembering as like what happened to you last night. It’s like a deja vu of words and places.”

She turned to face him. Resting her head on her hand. “What were they?”

He turned towards her. His eyes light with excitement, even in the dim light. “Tahiti. Quake. Lola. May.”


She wished she could see him better. “Pretty sure that’s you. Why I trust you.” His voice was soft, and yet confident. He really believed it. 

And so did she. “I trust you too. Even though I might think you’re a little nuts.”

He chuckled, and boy, it was a nice chuckle. “That’s something.”

Even though he couldn’t see it, she hid her smile in the pillow. “Do you really make soap?”

“I do.”

“Does it smell good?” 

Oh, my God. Why did she say that aloud? Was she flirting with him?

“I mostly just make it for me, but it does have cedarwood, cocoa, and citrus notes.”

Her eyes fell from his to his lips to his neck. What if she just... “Yeah?”

“I’m pretty proud of it.” She moved her hand from underneath her cheek and closing the few inches between them, rested it over his chest. Slowly, she moved towards him. “What are you doing?” He asked, his voice a little huskier than before.

“Seeing if I can smell it,” she said then breathed him in. 

“Oh, okay.”

When she was a child, her grandmother would make her sweet steamed buns. Her mother would also make them, and when she did, she couldn’t help but think of her grandmother. And in high school, she had a favorite perfume. To this day, if she smelled it, she would be instantly taken back to fourth period when she would spray some on in the morning’s and after gym. 

It was the same now. Sure she could catch notes of citrus and cedarwood, but there was something underneath it, something so him . And the frustrating part was it was as if the memory was right there for her but wiped away.

“Why do I feel like we’ve been this close before?” she murmured into his ear.

She was so close she could hear him swallow. “Um, well, a lot’s happened. And you were pretty close before...”

“That’s not it.”


“No, and I don’t think you believe that either.” She looked down at her hand where it still rested on his chest. He wore a white cotton shirt that he must have been wearing under his flannel. An image flashed through her mind. Of his chest, but bare and with... “You have a scar here.”

Phil was silent a moment before he said, “I had heart surgery. How do you...?”

“I don’t know.” Tears filled her eyes, as she felt a deep, unexplainable ache in her chest. “I can’t explain it but I think we mean…”

“A lot to each other,” they both said in unison.

Her tears slipped down her cheeks and she didn’t think anymore after that moment. Before he or she could say another thing before anything could interrupt them, her lips were on his, and he reciprocated with as much fervor as she. 

She rolled him underneath her and straddled him while his tongue licked along the seam of her lips, seeking entrance. Her mouth softened and her tongue found his.

“Should we be doing this?” he murmured. “What if we’re married?”

“The only one we’d be married to is each other,” she told him.

His hands were on her hips, squeezing and pulling her down along his length, making them both moan. “I don’t have anything…”

She moved away enough to look into his eyes. “I thought you said this all isn’t real?”

His eyes held hers for a moment, and Phil replied, “That’s a good point.” 

The air between them charged once again, she could feel it. That moment they’d shared countless times that were almost always ignored or stopped by one of them. Only this time it felt different. Only inches between them now, she felt like this was right. That, it was time, she could hear him say in her mind, and her breath caught, she licked her lips, and his eyes followed. With a rough voice filled with want, he said, “Melinda...”

Her eyes fell to his lips. “Phil.”

“I-” Phil began, but that’s all he could get out before Melinda surprised him and closed the distance between them, her lips crashing against his. 

Phil took only a heartbeat to catch up, and when he did, Melinda felt his arms around her, pulling her down closing the distance separating them. His hands were on her back, and she threaded her fingers into his hair at the nape of his neck, his tongue licked once again against the seam of her lips seeking entrance, and her mouth softened and opened for him, her tongue sweeping in and meeting him eagerly.

There was a sound out in the hall. She didn’t know who or why all Melinda knew was she never wanted to stop kissing him. 

And oh, he was a good kisser. Gentle, yet eager. Then her thoughts faded, as he shifted, rolled her onto her back, and settled above her, and she wrapped her legs around his middle without ever breaking their kiss.

A thought entered her mind, what if they hadn’t done this before, but that voice faded away when he kissed a trail down her neck. Wet lips against her collar then back up, and he found a spot just behind her ear that had her breath hitching, weaving her fingers into his hair and holding him close.

Screw it. They’d deal with the consequences later.

Melinda tilted her chin and her face towards him. While she loved his lips on her neck, she wanted them back on hers. Phil took her cue, and a low groan escaped him as her legs tightened around him, pulling him fully down on her. Melinda gasped in his mouth when she felt him. She was already so very wet, her hips moving of their own accord up and against him. The slippery friction nearly sending her over the edge. He broke their kiss, his forehead dropping to her shoulder with a pleasured heavy exhale.

“My God, Melinda.”

“Phil,” Melinda breathed his name in the space between them before he lifted his head and captured her lips once again, her mouth opening for him easily, tilting her head to get just the right angle and then suddenly her hips were moving again.

It’d been so long since she’d done anything like this? She had Andrew for a few years before they divorced, and a one-night stand almost three years ago now. She wasn’t exactly someone who made rash decisions like this. But with her inexplicable pull to him, the way she felt about him, it was all too good to stop.

“Melinda, you have no idea how much I want you, but,” Phil started, pulling back, his normally bright blue eyes dark with lust that sent a shiver of want down deep in her belly. “I won’t last long if you keep doing that.”

She grinned up at him. “Lose the clothes then,” Melinda replied before he could continue, and leaned up placing a kiss to his lips. 

In no time at all, they divested each other of their garments. Threw them to the floor with a haphazardness they might regret in the morning.

Once he was back above her, Phil reached between them, his fingers tracing over and slipping over her, making her gasp and him moan. When he was sure she was ready, he moved back and pushed himself against her, and she clutched his shoulders. She was so wet he slid easily, deliciously into her. 

He stilled once he filled her and dropped his brow to hers. It was a moment that between strangers shouldn’t have affected them as much as it did. She swallowed against the emotions threatening to overwhelm her. Soon, his lips found hers, and her hips and his found a rhythm together, and their breathing quickened. Her belly tightened. She was close, so very close, and they’d barely gotten started. 

Phil pulled away from their kiss, and then his voice was in her ear, husky and strained, “I don’t remember being this close, but God, everything about you feels like home.”

Melinda nodded. God yes, yes, he did too, and she told him as much before pulling him down on her, chest to breast, leaving no distance between them as they rocked together. 

Phil groaned, his forehead falling against Melinda’s shoulder. With her hand in his hair and on his back urging him closer to her. Leaning up, his lips found hers, and automatically their mouths opened, tongues sliding together.

Melinda gasped as he thrust into her more firmly while slowing their pace. She clutched at him, moaned into his mouth. “Touch me, Phil,” she breathed. 

Not having to be told twice, Phil leaned to the side, his hand sliding slowly down from where it was tangled in her hair. He traced a path down over her chest where it skimmed across her hardened nipple, causing her to inhale sharply, right before he cupped her breast and rolled the firm peak. She pulled away from the kiss to gasp for breath, and her voice was a high breathy murmur in his ear, “Yes, Phil…”

He placed a kiss to her lips, and asked, “Are you close?”


Picking up the pace with long quick thrusts against her, he moved his hand down and between them, and he leaned down to whisper in her ear, “Then come for me, Mel.” Between the feel of him inside her and his fingers on her clit, her breathing increased right before she fell over the edge, and Phil blissfully followed after her.

Her legs felt heavy, and they fell away from around him. She turned her head, her nose nudging his cheek. Once his lips met hers, Melinda reveled in just how soft they were, and how good they felt moving against hers. They traded lazy kisses for some time, basking in the afterglow of finally sedating at least some tension between them.

All too soon for her liking, Phil pulled back, and swept the hair from her brow, and looked down at her, smiling, he said, “That was… I can’t explain it.”

She gazed up at him, her hands cradled his face in her palms and her thumbs caressed his cheeks. “I know.”

He rolled off her, pulling her along with her so she lay against his side. She pillowed her head on his shoulder and closed her eyes, content to lie in his arms.

She felt his lips on her brow before he said, “I can’t wait to get out of here. I want to remember us.”

Melinda smiled and pressed a kiss on his chest. “You’re not the only one.”