Within Grips
By Izzy

She woke up with only a ragged gasp and her head shaking in denial, though she was still sure for a moment she was able to smell Skye’s blood. But when Melinda realized after another moment or so she had fallen asleep at her desk, her nose pressed into the photo of Coulson and Andrew meeting, she anxiously looked about. But this wasn’t like the old office, and there had been no one around.

It had basically been the same nightmare she’d been having more nights than not since they’d first found out about Skye’s being changed by the obelisk. This time it had been in the barn from a year and a half ago, at least for most of the dream, though she’d had the feeling at one point it had been underground somehow. Skye has looked about the age of the girl, though her voice had still been the one of the adult Skye, and with it she’d begged for her life. As usual, Melinda had woken up just as she’d pulled the trigger.

Only now, before she’d done so, she’d looked over and seen Coulson and Andrew both standing there. And Coulson, in his normal calm, authoritative tone, had said to her, “Do it,” and Andrew had sadly shaken his head, then nodded his agreement.

Those two same men who now lay there together on her desk, and no matter how much she reminded herself she shouldn’t form any opinions of their actions until she had a better idea of what they actually were, just seeing that photo made her feel betrayed all over again, and in a way she’d never felt, not even this past year when she’d certainly been betrayed plenty. She’d never trusted anyone the way she had those two, always without thinking about it, always being so certain that Coulson could not be but Coulson, and Andrew could not be but one of the kindest and most moral human beings she had ever known.

And when she was dead certain Simmons was now keeping some secret from her, thought she wasn’t sure what it could be about yet, well, for the first time in her life, Melinda May was finding herself threatened by despair. Of course she’d been claimed by it before, but that had all happened fast enough she hadn’t had time to fear it first. Now when she looked around at the walls she had to sternly remind herself she wasn’t allow to feel like they were closing in.

She looked back at the photo instead, glared at it, as if the two men in it could feel her wrath at them. She wondered if she could get away with calling Andrew and yelling at him, but that probably wasn’t a smart idea.

And he wasn’t the one she really wanted to talk to. That was Coulson. She just wanted to ask him why.