Author: khay
Category: Marvel: Agents of Shield
Rating: T
Disclaimer: Marvel and all related characters do not belong to me.
Summary: Jemma Simmons was granted permission to get off the Bus for one night and she's spending it on a date with a mysterious field agent. Grant Ward does not approve.
Author's Notes: Apparently, I'm writing in the M:AoS fandom now. I totally blame Thea. And the perfection that are Grant Ward and Jemma Simmons.

...

SPY vs. SPY

Grant Ward froze, his spoonful of soup frozen in midair, and for a really terrible moment or two, he could not remember if he was bringing the spoon into his mouth or back to his bowl.

(Fitz must have been playing a trick on him, Ward theorized. The boy might have invented a freeze gun and decided to test it out on the specialist. Unfortunately, there was something wrong with his hypothesis: Fitz was sitting next to him, squabbling with Skye about the last piece of chicken leg.)

Skye noticed the constipated look on Ward's face (which was not saying a lot since he often sported said look). Something had captured his attention from behind her. She turned, then wolf-whistled.

"Simmons," Fitz gasped, his eyes widening when he finally saw what his two companions were looking at. He gulped. "You look like a girl."

Jemma Simmons, who had been striding towards their direction, paused and frowned. "I am a girl, you daft—"

"Don't listen to him, Jemma," Skye interrupted before a brawl could erupt between the two best friends which would ruin the artful curls that framed Jemma's face. "You look beautiful."

"Thank you." Jemma reddened but rewarded the hacker with a beaming smile.

"Are you wearing makeup?" Fitz asked.

It was a testament to Ward's distraction that he did not even notice that the engineer had left the table for a closer inspection of the biochemist.

Fitz reached out to test his hypothesis that Jemma was wearing foundation.

"Don't touch my face!" Jemma slapped away Fitz's hand. "I spent hours just trying to get it right."

"Fitz, stop teasing." the very effective single word warning came from Melinda May who had just walked in to tell Jemma,"I'll inform Coulson that you're ready to go. I'll meet you at the short bus in ten minutes."

"Thank you, Agent May!" Jemma called out to the older woman's back.

Grant looked at Jemma Simmons; he was helpless to do otherwise.

To him, she had always been beautiful (wait, where did that come from?), but now, now she even more so.

It was his first time seeing her in a dress, a silky white concoction that hugged the curves of her body, curves that she usually hide beneath sweaters and coats and blazers, curves that he discovered when they were molded against his body as they were falling a hundred miles an hour. (And that was how Ward felt right then, that he was falling a hundred miles an hour without any parachute to break his fall.) Her dress fell about five inches above her knee, exposing miles and miles of legs. And her red, red lips...

Grant Ward wondered how his companions are able to string together words to form sentences; he certainly could not.

"What happened to you?" Fitz demanded from Jemma. "I thought you were just going to dinner?"

"I am!" Jemma frowned at him. "That's why I wanted to dress up."

"Wait," Skye interrupted. "You're going out to dinner? Without us? Alone?"

"Why would I dress up and go out to dinner alone?" Jemma looked confused.

"You're going out to dinner with someone? Like a date?" Skye's eyes widened.

"Yes," Jemma admitted. "I'm so nervous though." she confessed. "My stomach feels like large, mutated butterflies have taken refuge in it."

Grant Ward looked like he swallowed a particularly vile-tasting lemon.

"You have to breathe, Jemma," Fitz told his friend. "Deep breaths. That's it. You wouldn't want to hyperventilate like the last time."

That last time?

"It's just that I'm so excited, Fitz!"

"Who?" Ward finally barked out.

Three pairs of startled eyes turned to him in confusion.

"Who are you having dinner with?" he clarified.

"Oh," and just like that, Jemma was calm and happy again. "I'm having dinner with—"

"Simmons," Coulson walked into the kitchen, grinning from ear to ear. "May told me you were ready?"

Grant Ward cursed Coulson's impeccable sense of timing.

"Oh, yes, sir," Jemma made a happy sound from her throat. "I'd like to take this opportunity to thank you for allowing me to take the night off. So, thank you, sir."

"The two of you deserve this," Coulson told her, his eyes twinkling in merriment. "But keep your communication lines open in case of emergency and don't forget your curfew."

"Yes, sir." Jemma's happiness was a palpable thing as she nodded enthusiastically.

"Sir," Ward managed to interrupt. "I was not informed of this. How can protect my team when I'm not given all the variables involved?"

"It's your night off, too, Ward." Coulson told him. "And don't worry about Jemma. May's driving her to the restaurant where she's having dinner. She'll be handed directly to her date who, trust me, can and will take excellent care of her."

"Don't be such a killjoy, Ward." Fitz frowned at him. "Jemma has been looking forward to seeing him for days!"

Him? Him? Unacceptable!

"Thank you for your concern, Agent Ward," Jemma smiled reassuringly at him, and Ward felt his knees weaken (it must be something he ate). "As Agent Coulson said, Will can take care of me. He's a field agent, too, you know." she confided to the team. "He's been in deep undercover for two years."

Will?

"That's enough, Jemma," Coulson held up his hand. "That information's above all of your clearance levels. And as usual, your frown is noted, Agent Ward, but this is not your call, or mine for that matter. The order came from way above our heads."

Ward's frown line became more pronounced when Skye walked over to Jemma squealing about dates and such. (And if the two women get so excited that they start to jump up and down, he was so out of there.)

"I'm off to fill out paperwork," Coulson interrupted before turning to Jemma. "Now go have fun."

"Thank you again for making this happen, sir."

"Don't forget your coat!" Grant called out to Jemma just as she walked away. At her puzzled look, he added, "A nice, long one. Preferably with thick lining. I think the one you used when we were in Antartica would do!"

"Tell me why are we spying on Simmons again?" Ward asked Skye.

"Oh, no." Skye told him defensively. "You are not going to pin this on me. This was not my idea. I caught you sneaking out of the Bus with Sneezy. If Fitz catches you playing with his toys," she shuddered at the mental picture of the rocket scientist's revenge.

"Just focus on what you're doing."

"Then don't look over my shoulder. You know how much I hate that!" Skye glared at Ward before turning her attention back to the tablet showing the live feed of what Sneezy was seeing. Fitz made controlling the bots seem so easy.

"Can we get an audio feed or something?"

"I'm doing the best I can! I'm just the hacker." Skye resisted the urge to slam the tablet against her S.O.'s head.

"Wait, wait! There they are. Hold it steady."

"Oh, wow," Skye whistled when she saw Jemma's Will. "I'd hyperventilate, too, if that prime piece of meat was my date."

The most striking feature about the man with Jemma was his smoldering eyes. Sneezy was not close enough to see their colours but Skye saw enough to know that if those eyes were focused on her instead of at Jemma's, she would immediately disrobe and lie down on the nearest horizontal surface, no questions asked. The man's cheekbones were to die for, so sharp one could almost cut glass on it. His hair was bleached blond and sleeked back against his head. And his lips, those lips were red and seemed to be made for sinning. Skye imagined those lips wrapped around her—

"Shut it." Ward told her between gritted teeth.

Was Skye thinking out loud? She rolled her eyes but she did shut it. After all, Ward was wound so tight he might do something overly drastic if pushed too hard. "You've got it bad, Ward." Skye muttered to herself, shaking her head in pity. "So bad."

Ward, on the other hand, concentrated on Jemma. It seemed she had gotten over her nervousness. She bit her lower lip and leaned closer to hear what her date was saying. Then, she laughed.

Thankfully, the unknown field agent was behaving like a consummate gentleman. There were no roving hands, disrespectful glances, or untoward advances. Ward would hate for the night to end in murder. Specifically, the murder of Agent Bleached Blond.

Hours later, Skye was ready to commit murder herself. "Can we please go back to the Bus? I'm bored. And hungry. Plus Fitz called me a million times asking if I've seen Sneezy."

"Quick!" Ward told her even as he grabbed her arm to pull her in some shadowy corner. "Back to that alley."

"Finally, some action."

"Quiet. They're on the move. We don't want them to hear us."

"You don't want them to know that you're spying on them, you mean?" Skye muttered even as she hid behind Ward. Skye peered over his shoulder and saw Jemma and her date walking towards them. Jemma hooked her arm around the man's and giggled.

That lucky little biochemist, Skye thought, in awe of the man's fluid motions. He was a little on the short side, just a few inches taller than the petite Jemma. But it was obvious in the way he moved that he was in total control of his lithe, muscular body.

Skye's theory was proven true when the man and Jemma pulled close to her hiding place. In a move so fast she almost missed it, the man had released Jemma from his hold, nudged her behind him, and reached two hands into the darkness where Skye and Ward were hiding. When he jerked back his powerful arms, one hand was wrapped around Ward's shirt collar and the other against Skye's arm. The spying duo were almost thrown down on the ground.

Ward recovered fast. He regained his footing and tried to use his height advantage to knock out the other man.

"Grant?" Jemma's eyes widened. "Skye?"

"Surprise?" Skye tried.

The two men may have started the fight, but it was ended by Jemma. Both men, breathing heavily, pulled back the punches they were in the middle of throwing when Jemma came between them.

Jemma let out a slow, relieved breath. She turned to her friend. "Skye, you can let go now."

"Are you sure?" Skye, who had thrown herself into the fray in order to protect Jemma, had wrapped herself around the bleach blond. "Because I can hold this position. All night if I have to."

The blond gave her a smirk before removing the hands that were now wandering around his chest.

"What are you doing here?" Jemma asked Ward and Skye, then turned to her date. "And why did you attack them?"

Jemma's date reached into his pocket and took out pieces of dented metal and wiring. "They had been spying on us."

"Sneezy!" Skye cried out. There was no way she can pretend that the bot was only misplaced. Fitz was going to kill them. They were dead. They were deader than dead.

The blond raised a scarred eyebrow. "Friends of yours, I presume?" he asked, his English accent evident.

"That bint who wrapped herself around you like a limpet is Skye. This is Agent Grant Ward. He's a level seven," she confided. "Grant, this is Will, I don't know what his clearance level is at the moment, but I believe it's higher than a seven."

Jemma's date was a surprisingly good sport, Grant noted when he saw him offer a handshake. If it was Grant whose date with Jemma had been interrupted, he was sure that somebody would go home in tiny little pieces.

Ward took the proffered handshake. Then, the contest to see who can crush whose hands into powder began.

"He's really quite level-headed," Jemma told her date, oblivious to the battle of testosterone going on. "I don't know how Skye roped him into this spying on us scheme."

"Hey! I resent that!" Skye, who was aware of the contest between the two men, protested. She gently laid her hands on top of the men's clasped ones and tugged them apart. The squeezing contest degenerated into a glaring contest.

"Yes, Skye is all about gathering information because she'll spontaneously combust if a single secret is kept from her." Jemma finished.

"This was not my idea!" Skye reiterated. "But I do find it unfair that everyone except Ward and me know all about your dinner date!"

Ward wondered how he lost control of the situation so quickly, but that often happened to him when a certain biochemist is around. He decided to pull rank. "Agent Simmons!" he snapped.

Two pairs of eerily identical hazel brown eyes turned to Ward. In unison, Jemma and her companion replied, "What?"

"You're both Agent Simmons?" Skye gaped. She took in the identical sets of eyes, the similar accents, the frowns and postures, the near identical coloring. "Oh, my god. It all makes sense now." then, she laughed at Ward all the way back to the Bus.

end.

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