Afternoon tea was never as important as during exams. The table in Fitz's room got cleared off to make way for one teapot on a warming plate, one bowl of sugar cubes, two cups, and two helpings of lecture notes. Sometimes there were biscuits, if Simmons took time to make them, or if Fitz snuck some out of the cafeteria.

"Are you going to eat that?" Fitz asked, pointing at the last biscuit on the plate half-covered by one of Fitz's diagrams.

Simmons shook her head. "You eat it." Those ones were his favorite, the thin square ones with chocolate on one side.

He picked up the biscuit and ate it in two swift bites. "D'you think they'll notice if I don't know the exact function of a zeta-neutrino loop in an epsilon-configured quantum phase grid?"

"You made that up."

"I did not!" Fitz rifled through a stack of grid papers and yanked one out with a flourish. He made to brandish it at Simmons as proof that it was a Real Thing, but hit the teapot instead. Before she could realize her study partner had dumped a fresh pot of tea into her lap, Simmons was out of her chair, slapping at the scalding hot tea soaking through her sweats. Her frantic attempts to brush herself off were futile; she could feel the tea burning her legs.

She didn't think twice before tugging the waistband of her sweats down past her knees. Her legs were bright red where the tea had soaked through the fleece, and the air circulating through the room made the raw skin sting.

She looked up and saw Fitz still standing with his hands outstretched, as if to catch the teapot. "Fitz!" she snapped. "I need ice."

Fitz blinked, stammered something Simmons didn't hear, and turned to the mini-fridge.

Simmons stripped her sweats off the rest of the way; she wasn't about to pull the sopping wet fleece back on, and it was still pretty warm. She noticed now that her notes were soaked, too, and stained with thick, triple-strength tea. They weren't completely ruined; most of the tea had sloshed onto her lap, and she'd only had a couple of pages directly in front of her. The spill had, thankfully, missed the stack of books to the left of her chair.

"I'm really sorry about that," Fitz said before he noticed she was no longer wearing trousers. He averted his eyes instinctually, and handed her the cold pack: a damp, refrigerated towel in a plastic bag. She pressed it against one leg and then the other, and then picked up her sweats and hung them over the back of her chair. She tried to hold the cold pack against her legs while she helped clean up the spill, until Fitz elbowed her out of the way. "Sit down! It's my fault. I'll clean it up. You just go tend to your, uh, burns."

She sat on Fitz's bed, since her chair was occupied by a puddle of tea, and laid the cold press across both legs. It felt better now, and she wouldn't have any lasting damage. She'd wear a skirt tomorrow, maybe, and a pair of knee-high socks, and she'd be just fine.

"Do you want to borrow a pair of trousers?" Fitz asked. "Or I can get you something from your room."

"If you were too shy to see your best friend in her knickers, you oughtn't've spilled a pot of tea on her."

"I'm not—it's not—" Fitz blushed. "I don't want you to get cold, that's all. A blanket, maybe? While your sweats dry out?"

Simmons smiled. "You've convinced me," she said.

When he'd settled the throw over her, he asked, "D'you want a cuppa?" It was a reflex, courtesy of their British upbringings, and he swore under his breath when he realized what he'd said. "I promise I won't spill this one on you."

A/N: I apologize to anyone who tried to read this before and couldn't because the formatting was jacked.