At the start of Season 1, May and Ward both joined Coulson's team. Previously, Ward had known of May's reputation of being the Calvary but had not met each other. Both had worked on a variety of missions with each other such as protecting the team in Peru and capturing Amador.
After Ward released his anger using the Berserker Staff, May inclined that Ward should join her for drinks. After a brief moment of eye contact, she entered her room, leaving the door open, and Ward soon followed. Seeing May as the biggest threat to his uncover mission as a H.Y.D.R.A. agent, he allowed things to get intimate. Ward and May continued their relationship, often training together when they weren't going to bed together to release stress.
Later, on a mission to find an object belonging to Iain Quinn. May reveals to Phil Coulson that she and Ward had been having a sexual relationship, to Ward's horror. Not long after, Ward took the opportunity to speak to Coulson about his relationship with May; Coulson warned him that if it ever endangered the team, Ward would be punished.
After Skye was shot, Melinda May comforted Grant Ward and told him not to blame himself, but he responded by saying he was not blaming himself. At the thought of losing Skye, Ward's feelings for her grew as his relationship with Melinda May waned.
When Lorelei returned to Midgard, she controlled Ward's mind using her powers. After spending the night together in Las Vegas, Ward was candid with Lorelei about his feelings toward Skye and May. Ward appeared with Lorelei and she kissed Ward in front of May to mock her, Ward had a lengthy fight with May, in which he eventually got the upper hand and aimed his gun at her. He would have killed her if his gun was not empty, Sif then managed to get the Collar around Lorelei, ending her control over Ward. May punched Ward in revenge, effectively ending their relationship.
After Ward's betrayal is made known, Melinda May appears angry and annoyed. Once they met again, May attacked Ward, with whom he engaged in a long battle. During the fight, they tried to kill each other with buzzsaws and various other weapons they could find. The fight ended when May managed to get her hands on a nearby nail gun and started bolting his foot to the floor. Despite pleas from Ward, May punched him in the jaw and fractured his larynx, before knocking him unconscious with a kick to the head. Ward was captured by Coulson's Team and May mentions that she said she had not got all her anger out as Ward was still alive.
MayWard had a certain level popularity during Season 1, particularly after it became known that both May and Ward began to have a sexual relationship. However, this ship declined in popularity after it was revealed that Ward was H.Y.D.R.A. and maintained no sexual or romantic feelings towards May. Although, some fans continue to ship MayWard because of the rivalry they continued to have. Fanfictions involving Angst, Hurt/Comfort or events during Season 1 are popular with this ship.