AN: Hello people of the AoS fandom! I promise I will try my hardest to update 'Trust What You Know' soon... but, you know, I'm a GCSE student taking 23 exams in 3 months time; I've got a lot on my mind! :D
In this meantime, I have returned briefly to post this oneshot, which I wrote to say a massive thanks to plainmnmemy for being my 100th follower on fanfiction ^-^ (To plainmnmemy: I'm so sorry it's taken so long! I tried to avoid sappyness wherever possible and I hope there's enough of a backstory!)
Skye was shaking as she looked in the mirror in the bathroom; it had been a few hours since they'd received word from Coulson that the mission was over and they were all on their way back. Skye had dropped the phone and collapsed into Simmons with relief before Coulson had even finished talking, because he'd said the only thing she needed to hear:
Fitz had picked the phone up from the floor, patting Skye's back as Simmons hugged her tightly. Neither of them completely understood Skye's reaction, but they didn't question it; it had been a rough day, after all.
The mission had been hugely last minute. That was why Ward had been chosen in the first place. He was a specialist: that was what he was trained to do. But no one had anticipated the bomb that went off at the extraction site, nor the eight deaths it had resulted in. For a while, the Bus had seemed stiflingly small, despite the fact that only Skye and FitzSimmons were residing there. The three had just sat in a shocked silence, desperately staring at the phone sitting in front of them, hoping that the communications lines would come back online.
When they finally heard from Coulson, they'd been able to relax for all of two seconds until he explained that Ward was now stuck inside a building that was acting as terrorist HQ with no extraction team. The only people who could have got him out were either dead or seriously injured; even May had grudgingly gone to the hospital.
Ward was on his own.
So, in her opinion, Skye's reaction wasn't particularly strange; she'd thought, as had FitzSimmons, that Ward had a slim chance of getting out alive. That was a big thing to deal with. And he was Skye's SO; he was constantly worrying about her, because that was his job, but that didn't mean that it didn't work both ways. To a certain extent, Skye needed Ward. So, excuse her for getting a bit worked up about the fact that there was a high chance of him being blown up.
But none of that mattered now, she told herself, looking down from the mirror again, because Coulson had said those words and he'd meant them:
It did matter, though. Of course it mattered, because Skye had almost lost him and that wasn't okay. It didn't matter that he'd laughed at her when she'd thrown herself at him when he returned. She hadn't even apologised for aggravating the bullet wound he'd received in the process of taking the terrorist cell down, because she was so ridiculously angry at him for putting her through that.
She looked up at the mirror again and sighed angrily, both at Ward and herself. Had Simmons been able to hear her thoughts, the scientist would have chuckled and accused Skye of having a crush on her SO, but the hacker knew, deep down, that that wasn't what it was.
Skye loved Ward, which was obvious given her reaction to him almost dying. But she wasn't about to throw herself at him declaring her love because she didn't love him in that way. Sure, she could learn to (and with that body, it really wouldn't be difficult) but despite popular belief and bad romance movies, a few hours after they almost died is not the right time to tell your crush that you love them.
She saw Ward behind her in the mirror before he said anything.
"Hey, Rookie." He said quietly. Skye spun around quickly, hiding her shaking hands behind her back and forcing a smile onto her face.
"Hey, Robot," she said, almost cheerfully, "What's up?"
"I was just coming to see if you were okay," Ward replied, frowning slightly. Skye scoffed.
"If I'm okay?" she asked disbelievingly, "I'm fine. You're the one who almost died." Ward smirked slightly.
"Flesh wound," he reminded her, "It was only skin deep. Those terrorists are far better at blowing stuff up than shooting, trust me." Skye laughed humourlessly, wishing he would react how a normal person would after almost dying. He should have locked himself away, or gotten really impossibly drunk, or started punching things, because then she would have felt a little better about feeling how she did. Instead, he was acting like everything was normal.
And that was about as okay as the fact that she'd almost lost him in the first place.
Skye turned around again, turning on the tap and holding her hands under the cold water, wondering whether her shaking was due to the fear of losing Ward or the anger at him for making her think about it.
"Skye." Ward's tone was so impossibly understanding that it made Skye want to punch him in the face.
"You could have died." She said after a moment of silence, her voice barely audible.
"But I didn't," Ward replied, "I'm fine, see? Not dead." Skye could picture the small smirk on his face without having to look at him.
"That's not the point," she dried her hands quickly and pushed past him, walking towards her bedroom, "There was the bomb, and we couldn't contact you and then Coulson said you were on your own and he wouldn't let me drive out to you and..." She stopped suddenly, turning around to stare at him angrily, "You could have died."
Ward sighed, running a hand through his hair, "That was what I was trained to do, Skye," he told her, risking a step closer to her despite the fire burning in her eyes, "And I was trained by the best of the best. And I'm not dead, so they must have taught me something relevant." Skye groaned in frustration, continuing her walk to her room.
"You don't understand," she muttered.
"Then explain," he said, sighing as he had to stop short with her door slammed in his face, "Skye? Please?" He got no reply, so sat down on the floor outside, leaning on the door as he started talking.
"I'm not going to pretend that I understand how you're feeling because I don't. I've never been close to anyone before. I've always worked alone, but that's what I'm good at. I'm not good at this: the having to come home to people, knowing that if I hadn't come back then they'd be upset. I'm used to writing up a report and then never thinking about a mission again. That's what I've been taught to do." The door slid open and if he hadn't braced himself for it, hoping that Skye would come out, he would have fallen backwards into her room. Instead, he looked up, seeing her standing behind him with tears in her eyes.
"I don't know how to do this," he said quietly, "And I'm sorry for that. But I can't change it unless you tell me how." Skye sat down beside him, leaning her head on his shoulder.
"You shouldn't have gone in alone," she told him quietly, "No one should ever go in alone. It shouldn't matter that two people are more suspicious than one, because if there are two of you then you always have a way out."
"No, let me finish," she interrupted him, "Because I can't lose you. You don't have a clue about what today has been like for me. It's been... long and terrifying and just plain bad because I knew you were out there with a building full of murderers and I didn't know if you'd be coming home. And that feeling, that... not knowing, wondering if you were already dead or if you were dying with no one to help... that was heartbreaking. And I never want to have to feel like that again."
Ward was silent, slowing taking in and attempting to comprehend what Skye had told him. He wasn't sure she'd ever been quite that open with him, or even FitzSimmons, and he was kind of honoured. At the same time, he felt ridiculously guilty for ever making her feel that way because that sucked and it was basically his fault.
"I'm not going to promise that it won't happen again," he told her quietly. Skye sighed as she lifted her head off his shoulder to look at him, "Because this is what we do, Skye. We're the people who have to deal with the bad stuff because it's our job and if we don't, then who will? But," he continued as he saw her frown, "I promise you that I'm not stupid: I don't take my job lightly. I know that it's dangerous, I know I could die, but I know how to stay safe as well." He looked at her, their eyes locking in a moment of sincerity, "I know what I'm doing, Rookie. That, I can promise you."
Skye held his gaze for a few more seconds before resting her head on his shoulder again. Ward wrapped his arm around her, pulling her closer. Skye happily shuffled into him, letting a tear fall down her face.
"I can't lose you, Ward." She said again quietly. Ward sighed.
"I know," he replied, "I know." Skye wiped the tear away, smiling slightly as she looked up at him.
"Just don't let any of this happen again, got it?" she asked fiercely, her eyes shining with a mixture of relief and happiness. Ward rolled his eyes, chuckling.
"You have my word, Rookie."
Skye grinned, unconsciously edging closer to him, allowing herself to relax and enjoy the fact that Ward wasn't dead and that he understood, sort of. Ward hugged her tightly against him, needing her to know that he was still there for her, even after the rough day they'd both had.
Skye smiled even more as she closed her eyes to appreciate the moment properly.
Yes, she could learn to love Ward like that. All she needed was a little time and few more moments like this. Though, she thought to herself, possibly without the almost-dying.
She could learn to love Ward, and she knew he'd be waiting when she finally did.
Well there's that! Review if you deem this worthy, favourite if you loved it or said awwwww at least once and thank you, once again, to all of my amazing followers: you're the people who motivate me to write! TTFN dear readers and thank you for reading ^-^