A/N: Do love the response this fic has been getting, especially since I hardly ever update, which I am sorry for. But, good news is that swim practice has ended, so I have more time to write. Yeah!
Disclaimer: Oh goodness how I wish. I'm gonna make it clear, this is a Ward-is-not-HYDRA AU. This is because I started the fic after Yes-Men was aired, and I like the idea of Ward being a good guy. Shoot me. (Don't actually shoot me). I might start a Season 2-verse redemption fic for Ward, but it would mostly revolve around my OC, who would be Wards mysterious sister that we heard about in Providence. So… PM me, review, let me know if you'd be interested in reading that, I'll post the first chapter of that soon.
"And this will wipe their systems completely?"
"Well, yeah, but before it does that, it'll copy all their digital information and send it to us. Then it'll erase their hard drive."
"How long does it take."
"About 5 minutes? Ten? It depends on how much they have. How long do you think you'll have until you're discovered?"
"About five minutes. Ten. It depends on how well you cloaked it."
"In that case, you have twenty."
May sat on the armrest of the couch Skye had set herself up at.
"You seem pretty confident."
"I kind of have to be. I was up 'till one working on this and woke up at five to make sure there weren't any glitches. I'm just really… nervous, I guess, for this mission."
"Why would that be?"
"Well… it's kind of my first real assignment since I got shot. Call me crazy, but I'm not really keen on that happening again."
"Have you been training with Ward?"
"Not as much since Lorelei."
"That was weeks ago."
"Yeah. He looked like hell day before yesterday."
"Why is that?"
"I think she did something, made him sick somehow. He had some kind of relapse of what happened with the Berserker Staff."
"Is he alright now?"
"Yeah, he just… he had some stuff he needed to get out."
"What kind of stuff."
"Kind of… personal stuff, I guess. I'm sorry, I shouldn't be telling you any of this. It's Wards business."
"Skye, if something is making him unwell, you should tell us. Me or Coulson."
"You know how stubborn he can be. He won't seek out help, even if it's something serious as this. I won't ask what he told you, but if he shows any signs of not being himself, I'd like you to say something."
May rested a hand on the hackers shoulder, and left the room.
Skye turned the words over in her mind. She knew May was right. Ward wouldn't ask for anything from anyone, but his health had to come first, especially right now.
"And these are for the infections. Any side effects? Specific way I should take them?"
"Specific way to take them? No. Well, with water, preferably. As for symptoms, they will mellow you out tremendously, which, if you ask me, is exactly what you need right now. Also, when you take them, they'll cause you to become drowsy. So I recommend taking two a day, One in the morning and one at night."
"Alright... but what about the mission. It's tomorrow, I need to train. Should I start it after the mission?"
Nervousness dirtied the scientists face for a moment.
His voice is anger chained with patience.
"I was actually thinking that you might want to skip the mission. Just one, just to get better."
"That's not an option."
"But it is necessary."
"Simmons, this is it, this is the mission. We could take Centipede down. Mason Earhl is the linchpin. Everything is connected to him, and if we can't capture him, we're screwed."
"I understand that Ward. You think I don't want them gone as much as you do? They've shot Skye. They turned Mike Peterson into a psychotic killer. I would do anything to make sure they were gone, but I won't sacrifice you or anyone else on this team. So please, just take your medicine and sit this one out."
"I'm sorry. I can't do that."
He collected the meds from the counter as he stalked off.
"He being a jerk again?"
Simmons let her breath fall out of her, "He's just under the Beserker effects again Fitz. He'll be fine soon."
"It doesn't give him a free pass to be such a blighter."
"I know that, but we have to work with it for now. He'll be back to himself in a few days."
"Tell me again how that's better?"
"I'm just saying, at least in this state he'll show a bit of emotion."
"That isn't fair."
"No, you know what isn't fair?" The tools he was working with clanged to the table, "That he gets away with it. It isn't just when he holds the Staff, Simmons. He's like that all the time. Pissed, and stubborn, and he was like that before any of this Asgardian stuff even happened. I don't know what happened to him when he was younger. I don't know if he had a messed up childhood or if he got picked on in school, I don't know. But it shouldn't give him an excuse to be such a grade A pain in the arse."
"I'm not saying you're wrong, but right now we need to help him. He's our friend Fitz. We owe him that much."
"And I'm not telling you to just abandon him. I'm telling you, that he can't act like this, when all you're trying to do is help him."
"I hate seeing him act this way. There's a good person buried underneath all that hate and all that anger, and the only thing around here that really isn't fair is that he refuses to let that out."
"I know it isn't. We just have to help how we can."
"I know. I shouldn't have snapped. I'm sorry."
"It's alright. The entire business with Lorelei put stress on everyone."
"Have you asked Skye to talk to him about the mission?"
"I'm not sure if I should."
"Well he'll listen to her."
"Maybe. Maybe it'll make him angrier. We're trying to calm him down Fitz, not rile him up."
"Yeah I know. Still," he gathered the tools up again, "It's worth a shot."
"Hey," she knocked against the wall, "Mind if I join you?"
"Go ahead," he said.
She lounged on the chair. He hunched over on the bed, staring at the pills.
"Supposed to help me control the anger."
"Simmons wants me off the mission."
She sat forward, "How come?"
"She thinks I'll go haywire or something in the middle of the capture."
"And you're mad at her about this... because..?"
"I need to be there. This is it. We can finally destroy them. Centipede, Cybertek, the whole operation. All we need is Eahrl."
"You short circuiting during the mission could be more dangerous than you sitting this one out. You said so yourself, this is a big one."
"I'll be fine."
"Ward, just do what Simmons tells you to do. For goodness sake you'll get hurt."
"What, you don't think I can do it? Whose side are you on?"
"I'm on my side. That doesn't mean I'm just gonna let you crash and burn!"
"Maybe you should! One agent doesn't matter when we're talking about the whole picture!"
"We're not talking about an agent, we're talking about you!"
"It doesn't matter, Skye," He reached for her hand, "They shot you. Don't you want to see them gone? Whatever happens, we're going to have to pay a price for that. Does it really matter what it is?"
"It does if it means losing you."
"Hey," He knelt in front of the seat, holding her face in his palms.
"I will be fine. I promise you. But we have to do this."
She bit her lip, salt water tracing down her cheek.
"It's suicide. Simmons said you needed rest, what if-?"
"Nothing bad is gonna happen Skye."
He pulled her face down and pressed his lips to her forehead. When he pulled away, her eyes were still shining and clear. Her breath came out strangled, and she collapsed into him, hands snatching at the material of his shirt. He tucked her under his chin and leaned them back against the wall, arms circling her small frame and holding her almost crushingly against his chest.
"It'll be okay," he whispered.
"We're both gonna be okay," he lied.
So hello. This chapter took me a while to write. Sorry about that. I planned to update much sooner, but life. Anyway, reviews are fantastic. Let me know what you liked, what you hated, what you want. I've got a pretty solid idea of where I want the story to go. Only another four, maybe five chapters to go lovelies. It is winding down fairly soon. So yes, I'd like a few requests of what you'd like for a perhaps epilogue. If you don't want an epilogue at all, let me know too.