Author's note- I own nothing from Marvel or ABC.

Like everyone else, I was just gutted by "Tracks". Here's how I'd fix the problem.

Also, once again, please be warned that there are some spoilers to Thor:The Dark World.

Ch. 1

It had been a week. A week of pacing the hospital room floor, staring at her still form. A week without sleep, except for the times one of the other team members had forced him to rest. Coulson blamed himself. He went over the mission six ways to Sunday, but in the end, he still blamed himself. He was the one who put her on the Bus, knowing that she wasn't a fully trained S.H.I.E.L.D. recruit. Quinn's words burned themselves into his mind.

May came in the hospital room on the eighth day, blood still drying on her fists from Quinn's "interrogation". Coulson knew that he should put a stop to it. He knew that letting May loose on Quinn would most likely garner no significant intel and might very well result in Quinn's death, but he just couldn't make himself care.

"You need to get out of this room. I'll stay here with her," May said, hand on his shoulder.

He looked up at her and saw her blanch. He knew how he must look, bloodshot eyes with bags under them, an unearthly pallor that came of little food and less sleep.

"I can't. I just can't leave," Coulson said, his voice breaking.

"Go," May replied firmly, her voice brooking no disagreement.

Finally, Coulson nodded. As he stood, he staggered a bit. He felt at least ten years older than he had a week ago. He let out a shaky breath as he made his way out of the hospital room.


As soon as he arrived back at the Bus, he went straight to his room. He couldn't bear to see the guilt and sadness on everyone else's faces. It seemed as though everyone was carrying their own particular piece of guilt over what had happened to Skye. Ward was her S.O. and felt he should have trained her better. Fitz had let her go inside Quinn's house alone. Jemma hadn't been able to administer medical treatment quickly enough to avoid the coma that Skye was in.

But Coulson was the commanding officer. And whatever else happened, it was all on him. It was his duty, his responsibility. He had fought so incredibly hard the last week with the S.H.I.E.L.D. hierarchy, called Director Fury every name in the book, but to no avail. The experimental treatments used revive him were not authorized to wake Skye from her vegetative state. The coma that she was in could last for days or years.

Coulson began to pace his room, unable to slow his racing mind despite his weary state. He had an idea. It wasn't a good one. It was probably a very, very bad one. But at that moment, he knew the absolute meaning of the word desperation.

He stood in the middle of his room, feeling self-conscious, but knowing that there were much, much worse things than embarrassment.

He took a deep breath and began, "Heimdall, I know you can hear me. I am . . . son of Coul, and I need to ask a favor."