Would Have
By Izzy

“He would have killed him anyway.”

Of course Hunter said that, when they had their immediate area secured and were waiting to be picked up, since his mission had failed, and Coulson had convinced her come back with them and let the medical staff look her over. Also let everyone see her, because he’d hinted that would especially be good for them right about now, just to see her whole. “I’m more sorry that I can possibly…” he’d also said to her, and his voice had caught as proof to her that he’d meant it. “We all are.”

Melinda didn’t look at Hunter. If she did, she might do something even more stupid than everything he had done.

Apparently he hadn’t exhausted his idiocy, though, because he said, “Would’ve killed us too-used a bomb or something you couldn’t stop. Besides, he didn’t even try to pretend he expected us to be there, which means he must have sent his dogs off without expecting us to be involved. Hell, maybe he would’ve used the ‘exact words’ trick, and just managed to kill us all anyway.”

“That is true,” said Melinda, in a tone she hoped made clear it didn’t earn him any forgiveness.

She understood where he was coming from. And with many a Hydra leader, she would’ve been dead certain he was right. Had it been Whitehall, or the Baron, or one of those guys who all had the same view of themselves, or at least close enough to each other, she could have found this much easier to deal with, knowing there was nothing more she could have done.

But it was all too possible that Grant Ward still viewed himself as a man of his word, and that he actually might have let them walk out. Might have let Andrew escape, and then he could have gone to ground; Coulson would have kept him safe.

For that, she didn’t even care if he still would’ve arranged for her to meet her death. Melinda May had not really known, for most of the past decade, how she felt about her ex-husband, but in all the years she’d known him there’d never been a time she wouldn’t have died to keep him alive.

But now there was the man next to her, who just sighed, and said no more, and the roar of the plane in the distance, but now close enough for them to hear. Bearing the man who would insist on giving her a hug, she thought, and be kind, and probably not even beg her to stay with him, even though she knew he’d want to.

The other man with whom things had gotten too complicated for her to be around, even though she wanted to be, and more than ever now.

Also the reason for the terror that crept into her breast even as she stood there, her normal stoic self, because she sure wasn’t going to let Hunter see anything. She hadn’t even told anyone about what she had said to Ward, back when he’d been the man she’d trusted to have in her bed and at her back, thinking he’d find it reassuring to hear she’d never been in danger of feeling too much for him. Because she was terrified he’d guessed why.

Which might not even bring him a target he wouldn’t have been after anyway. But still, Melinda dreaded the possibility that, when it came to his revenge on her, Andrew’s death had only been Grant Ward’s opening act.