Time for another Coulson/Skye fic! This is a one-shot that takes place after 1.11 'The Magical Place' about Coulson's scars like the title suggests... and well... there's a little surprise for my readers at the end! ^_^

Disclaimer: I do not own Marvel and therefore do not own Skye or Coulson and thus, everything that is in this story is owned by Marvel indirectly? Which means I technically own something!

Scars. Multiple ones instead of just the single big scar on his chest where Loki had driven his spear through and left Coulson alone to die. She shuddered at that thought and tried to force her mind towards something less frightening. That was what she had started to feel - frightened at the idea that he had already died and come back to life once. To think about it wouldn't be something he'd want her to worry over; she had never questioned him for details because she knew that it would get her nowhere, not until he was ready to open up himself. Instead, she focused her mind on the scars that were visible in the moonlight and began to wonder just how many battles he had fought. Almost absent-mindedly, her fingers reached out to trace the pattern of his main scar as her thoughts strayed to earlier tonight and how the two of them had ended up here… together.

It had been another nightmare-filled night for Skye; just like the rest of them she had been experiencing over the last few weeks, this one had been all too real for her and jolted her awake. The words ringing in her ears even as she felt her breathing calm down slowly, "Please, let me die! Please..." over and over again. Coulson's pain stricken voice as he was forced to relive everything that had happened to him after dying at the hand's of Loki's scepter. And to feel the agony he had been put through to be brought back to life - Skye had been there to witness that terrifying scene as she found him being held captive by Raina. Once that girl in the flower dress had been temporarily incapacitated, Skye had rushed over to Coulson and managed to bring him back to reality, away from the pain and agony and anguish, back to her. Her. Shaking her head clear of all these thoughts, she rolled out of her bunk and carefully made her way quietly through the Bus towards the only place where she would find peace and a good distraction away from thinking about Coulson more than she should. He was her boss and older than her and most definitely not interested in her as she... no!

"I really need that cup of hot chocolate." Skye groaned softly as she tiptoed down the hallway past Ward's bunk, ahead of Simmons' room, trying not to let her chattering teeth wake the rest of her team up!

The Bus was usually warm enough during her post-midnight habit of sneaking to the bar and drinking her hot cocoa before going back to sleep. However, on this particular night... May seemed to have left the air-conditioning on a low thermostat temperature before taking a nap. Skye tried her best not to let her feet touch the cool marble and mentally whacked herself for forgetting to wear her slippers along with a robe, all because she was too busy focusing on Coulson and these ridiculous feelings she couldn't make sense of. Taking a deep sigh and breaking into a brisk walk, she was relieved to reach the lounge which was carpeted, but unfortunately not empty. As her eyes set their sights on the bar, Skye gulped when she saw who the other occupant was.

"Oh!" Her voice sounded like a tiny squeak and yet, in the midst of all the silence around them, Skye knew she shouldn't have been surprised to see the figure turn around and... smile tiredly upon noticing her.

"Skye." Even the sound of her name falling from his lips was enough to make her feel like she was a teenage high-school girl all over again, getting weak in the knees and whatnot. Of all the people she could encounter in the middle of the night, Phil Coulson was not the first name on her list. "Couldn't sleep either?" He asked as he swung back towards the bar, waiting for her to come and join him.

"Yeah... something like that A.C." She was definitely puzzled at her ability to form a coherent sentence around him. Her mind was still flooded with images from her nightmare, thoughts over her confusing feelings for him and fast-paced heartbeats now that he was near enough her to hear every single word she would possibly speak out loud without thinking twice. And yet, once she began to close the distance between them and stood directly opposite him on the other side of the counter, Skye began to feel a sense of comfort knowing that Coulson was there with her; there was no awkwardness in the silence that passed by until she spoke up again when her eyes fell on the unopened bottle of Scotch lying next to his hand.

"Late nightcap for you?" She questioned, wondering if this was the first time that Coulson had woken up in the middle of the night. They hadn't run into each other before and yet, judging by the forlorn look in his eyes, Skye knew that he wasn't sleeping well either.

"You could say so..." Coulson replied as he finally brought his gaze up to her face and studied her features. "What are you doing here at this late hour Skye?" It was general curiosity for he had never expected to see the young hacker awake at half past 1 in the morning.

"I came to have my cup of hot chocolate. Helps me sleep better and I've always enjoyed the Bus when its quiet at this time. It feels peaceful here doesn't it?" Skye knew that even though she was back to her normal self around Coulson, it was best that she kept her mind busy and so began to remove all the necessary ingredients that she needed and set to work while she talked.

"Really? You do this every night then?" Hearing about the young hacker spending her nights alone wasn't something that completely surprised Coulson because he knew all too well about her habit of taking some 'me-time' out for herself but he was certain he hadn't seen Skye near the bar for the past week when he had been here.

"Oh no, not all the time A.C. Hot chocolate is reserved only for special night's... It was something I developed during my time when I was with a foster family for a few months; they were really nice and whenever I woke up in the middle of the nights, the lady who took care of me always made a cup of hot chocolate with marshmallows and used to sit with me until I felt better and could sleep again. So I guess the habit's just stuck..." Opening up about her childhood spent around many foster families wasn't something that Skye was still used to, but she knew that with Coulson, she could talk to him about everything on her mind. Well, almost everything. Shaking her head clear, she went on, "If you want I could make you a cup of cocoa too? It helps to take my mind off the nightmares and then I find it easier to sleep..." It was only after she finished that last statement did she realize what she had said.

"Nightmares?" Coulson looked up at her, "Skye... are you having nightmares that keep you awake?" This definitely could not have been the reason Skye was having trouble sleeping, and yet Coulson wasn't sure how but he felt as if he knew what Skye's nightmares may have been about.

"Its nothing. Really." Skye dropped her gaze from Coulson and ducked down behind the counter to fumble around the cupboards looking for the marshmallows. "I'm fine. There's no need to worry about anything A.C." She hoped that her voice didn't give anything away and that he would leave it at this. "So what will it be?" Standing up with the packet of marshmallows in hand, Skye gestured to the bottle of unopened Scotch in Coulson's hands and waited to see if he would change the topic.

For a moment Coulson debated on whether or not he should ask Skye more about her nightmares but he felt that she wasn't ready to open up completely just yet and he respected that decision. Skye was a lot braver than anyone would give her credit for and she had been able to grow up into a strong young woman. And knew that she had a family and friends now, who would always be there for her when they were needed. Until she was comfortable enough to talk to any one of them, be it Ward or Simmons or even himself, Coulson was content to not push the topic of her nightmares any further. Instead, without a second's thought, he handed the bottle across the counter.

"I'll take that cup of hot chocolate." He said, passing the bottle towards her.

"Good choice!" Smiling brightly as she grabbed another mug, Skye reached out with her free hand to take the bottle from Coulson's hand and involuntarily froze for a moment when their fingers touched. It was barely a brush of his strong and firm yet soft fingers on hers and yet, Skye tried her best not to let the shiver she felt inside of her show in front of Coulson.

He seemed to have noticed something cross Skye's features and thought he saw her cheeks reddening but figured it was the temperature around them affecting her. During those few moments of silence when Skye worked quietly to heat the two cups of hot chocolate in the microwave, Coulson watched the young hacker as she fell into a quick routine of getting everything prepared the way she liked. Without saying anything more, there was still a sense of calmness in the Bus now and Coulson felt all of his earlier burden fading away. As he glanced over to Skye, noticing the little distance between them, he wondered if it was her presence that was helping him feel better... or was it something more?

"Here we are! Two cups of hot cocoa with marshmallows." Skye had just finished adding a small handful of marshmallows to each mug as she placed them on two coasters before moving around the bar and coming to sit on the stool next to Coulson.

"Thank you. This does look good." Coulson could smell the chocolate creating a strong aroma along with the sweetness of the marshmallows tinging the air. He was sure it tasted as good as it looked.

"Well go on, drink up A.C! Tell me how it is." Skye had already sipped on hers and was enjoying the warmth of the hot drink spreading through her body and settling her shivers. She hoped that even though this was nothing too fancy, Coulson would like her hot chocolate and it would help him sleep better.

"Cheers." Clinking his mug against hers, Coulson took a sip of the hot chocolate and almost instinctively closed his eyes as he felt... felt the wonderful sensation of the chocolate as he had some more and relished the drink for as long as he could. When it was half empty, he opened his eyes again and saw Skye staring at him with a look on her face that he couldn't quite place. Several heartbeats later, he spoke up. "This is the best hot chocolate I've had in a really long time Skye. Its wonderful." He realized that he had forgotten to say something to her about the drink but when he set the mug on the counter again, he noticed what it was about Skye that he was trying to figure out. She was shivering slightly and trying to hide it from him.

"That's good to know A.C, I'm glad you liked it." Fortunately for Coulson, Skye had her head lowered as she continued to drink her hot chocolate and didn't register when he had swiftly gotten up from his seat and removed his jacket so that he could drape it around her shoulders. Only when she felt his hands on her shoulders did she turn around with a start and saw him standing behind, very close to her did she glance back down and mumbled a quick 'thanks' to him.

Obviously her real reaction to feeling Coulson's fingers on her bare skin... again, had been something more profound and likely to have made her jump a bit higher than just a startle but Skye had learned how to keep her reactions in check whenever she was near Coulson. This, however was something new she hadn't experienced yet and just the sense of him instantly helping her without even saying a word made her feel happy. And possibly giddy but she wasn't going there yet. Maybe it was time to bring up something else to talk about.

"Are you okay now?" Coulson's voice broke through her reverie as he observed Skye seemingly warm up as he noticed the goosebumps from her arms disappearing; she hadn't slipped his jacket on completely but as long as it covered her up and kept her from shivering he knew she would be fine.

"Yeah, I am. Sorry about this, I forgot to wear my robe earlier and even my fluffy slippers!" Skye said jokingly as she finished the last sips of her hot chocolate but tried not to stare too long in Coulson's direction; it was the first time she had seen him without his full suit and jacket combination; plus it hadn't gone unnoticed by her that he wasn't wearing his tie and had left the top two buttons of his white shirt open.

She knew that acknowledging the fact of Coulson being a good-looking, attractive man was not wrong in any way at all. She and Jemma had talked about Ward and Fitz too but while their talks often ended in silent giggles when either man walked in on their discussions, they had always been silly jokes about which of the three men was the hottest, smartest, most romantic; but now, Skye was barely aware of what Coulson had replied to her because her mind had drifted back to her earlier confusing feelings she was having for her boss as she began to wonder what it would be like to see Coulson in more casual clothes instead of his regular suits everyday or better yet if... "No, no, no! Not going there at all! Nope, nope. I am not thinking of seeing Coulson shirtless!" Skye yelled at herself mentally while trying to focus back to the talk she was having with Coulson. A normal, simple, conversation between two people on the Bus. Just like any other regular chat.

"Skye. Skye?" Coulson called out to the young hacker sitting in front of him, unaware of her inner mental war she was having between the rational part of her mind and her heart. He definitely knew that something was bothering Skye tonight and was determined to figure out if the nightmares were still affecting her.

"Yes? Oh... sorry A.C, I just... got distracted there for a moment." Skye looked sheepishly at him and wondered to herself what he would think of her if she suddenly got up and ran back to her bunk without saying anything to him.

"Are you sure you're okay Skye? You seem to be... worried about something?" The care that was filling his tone didn't go unnoticed by Coulson himself nor on Skye for she gazed at him with a slight tilt of her head when she heard the concern in his voice for her. For her. And yet, he was the one who looked worried, more than that. Skye remembered just then that the look on Coulson's face when she first saw him had been a mirror image of herself when she woke up from the latest nightmare.

"Yes. Yes, I'm perfectly fine. There's nothing worrying me at all." Her feelings were not important at the moment, she would deal with them later, Coulson was more important to her. "But... A.C... are you okay?" She figured it was the best chance she was going to get to turn the conversation toward him and wondered what she would learn.

"Me?" Coulson was a bit puzzled when he heard her ask about how he was doing. "Of course I'm okay. What made you think that I wasn't?" Surely he had been able to keep up appearances around her? It was easy to convince May and the others that after being rescued from Raina's captivity, he was dealing with everything slowly, one day at a time but that he was also getting better. Was it possible that Skye had seen something more behind all his attempts to pass her concerns as nothing?

"I saw you tonight A.C. The way you were staring at that bottle of scotch earlier when I came in... you looked... sad." Skye herself was starting to sound more serious now, "I didn't say anything... then... because I thought it was just... a long day... but its more than that isn't it?" This wasn't something Skye was used to talking about, especially with Coulson, given everything he had been through in the last year let alone these past few weeks, but she needed to know if he was truly okay.

Letting out a soft sigh, Coulson bowed his head before turning around to face Skye and saw the worry written all over her face. She knew. Even if she wasn't saying it out loud, she knew that there was more to his reassurances than he was letting on; there was no need for him to hide the truth from Skye, Coulson believed with all his heart that she was the only person who could really understand him and maybe that's what he needed right now. Maybe he couldn't tell her everything that he remembered from having his memories unlocked, not yet, but if he revealed a little of what was on his mind then perhaps it would help him sleep better at night.

"I've been... having nightmares." He finally answered Skye, "Ever since you saved me from Raina that day... I haven't slept properly and I haven't told the others about any of this." Should he go on? Or wait before he said anything else to Skye about what he had seen?

Before Coulson could make a decision however, he felt one of her hands holding onto his... very gently, but still firm. She did not look surprised to hear what he had to say but the worry on her face had now reached her eyes as well.

"A.C... why... why didn't you say something earlier? I... I didn't want to bring this up because I knew... its hard to talk about... and... I shouldn't have said anything, its okay if you don't want to talk about this with me..." She hadn't realized when her careful words to him suddenly turned to a ramble but Skye found herself cut-off midway when Coulson reached out with his free hand and placed a finger on her lips.

"Skye..." There was a hint of a smile on Coulson's face, "I didn't say anything earlier because I didn't want to worry any of you, there's a lot we all have been dealing with ever since I came back. And, if there's ever anyone I would talk to about anything, its you Skye." Everything he said to her just then was possibly the last thing she needed to hear from him because knowing that he trusted her this much... Skye didn't want to betray his trust with something she would say about her feelings for him... he didn't need that now and even though he needed her around him, she decided that for one night, this was enough of a start.

The one thing she hadn't counted on was Coulson's next move to her silence. He had removed his finger from her lips by then but instead of pulling the hand free that she was still holding on to, Coulson surprised Skye when he turned his hand around so that he was also holding her. A moment of silence passed again as the two of them sat opposite each other, face to face, hand holding hand and their gazes never leaving the other. Skye was sure the only thing she could think of was her heartbeats speeding up again and her need to go back to her bunk before... wait! There was something she could try out, a perfectly innocent gesture as a way of suddenly saying goodnight to Coulson.

"I... umm... I should probably be getting back to my bunk... it is late. And I think the hot chocolate... helped us both." Trying her best not to comment on what Coulson had just admitted to her, Skye figured this would work. "We can talk about this tomorrow... same time, same place?" She added the last part as a question, hoping it didn't come off as too sudden for Coulson.

"Of course. I'll see you tomorrow then Skye." Coulson had known what was going on from the moment he held Skye's hand in his and everything that he had been feeling disappeared instantly. He'd found the answer to the unspoken question and knew what his heart was telling him now.

Almost jumping off the stool she sat in and still wearing Coulson's jacket around her shoulders, Skye didn't turn away immediately and leave for her bunk. Instead, she closed the distance between her and Coulson as she stood on her toes slightly and pressed her lips to his cheek. A small kiss goodnight. Safe enough. "Goodnight A.C." She couldn't stop her smile that was getting wider as she stepped back, it was possibly more daring than she had thought but Skye knew Coulson would understand. Or so she believed.

As soon as he had felt her lips caressing his skin, the warmth from that touch vanished almost instantly when Skye stood a few feet away, blushing deeply and turned around to leave. But this time, Coulson wasn't about to let her go that easily; she had made the first move and it was his turn to return the favor... he knew that she wanted this as much as he did. Without a second's thought, he reached out and grabbed her wrist and pulled her back to him, cherishing the feeling when her body bumped into his chest.

It seemed as if time had stopped altogether as Coulson brought his hand up to Skye's face and tucked a lock of hair behind her ear, letting his finger linger across her cheek longer than she had expected. The two of them locked gazes once more and he noticed her deep, erratic breaths. He smirked as he knew what he was about to do next would leave the young woman in his arms completely breathless. Skye had barely been able to register the fact that he was holding her by the waist with his left arm and rested his right hand against her cheek when the distance between them was closed as he bent down and brushed his lips across hers. They formed a smile when she shivered under his touch; it wasn't about the cold temperature around them anymore. Without wasting any more time in teasing her, Coulson finally captured her lips with his and kissed her. He pulled back only seconds later and gazed at Skye without saying anything out loud but still asking her permission.

As soon as she had felt his lips against hers, Skye knew that this is what she had been aching for all this time. Ever since they day Coulson had 'kidnapped' her from L.A in her van and recruited her on his team, her feelings toward him had only increased with each day. And now, with the kiss that he had initiated first, Skye knew that he had feelings for her as well. Without a second thought, she let her body control her actions as she reached up and wrapped her arms around his neck, pulling them closer together and kissed him back. Instinctively reacting to her, Coulson slid his hands around her waist and let his tongue tease her lips open with a soft moan as he deepened the kiss. Moments passed by and the two of them finally broke apart, breathing heavily as they both still held on to each other. Skye was staring into Coulson's eyes and the two of them saw what was hidden behind those unsaid words between them. Reaching out to kiss her again, Coulson surprised Skye when he reached for her legs and picked her up in his arms with ease.

"Are you sure about this?" He whispered in her ear between quick kisses, the walk to his room seemed miles away and yet he knew it was worth the wait, everything had to be perfect for Skye.

"I am." Skye replied as she curled her fingers in his hair and shushed him with another kiss that she wasn't going to break free from anytime soon.

It was only when she felt the door to Coulson's bedroom being opened behind her did she find herself being lowered down gently, a perfect gentleman in every way possible. Their kiss had now turned into five as Skye grew impatient, something that was not lost on Coulson. He grinned as he spun Skye around and closed the door, pinning her against the wood, moving away from her lips now and trailing kisses down her neck, feeling her shivering against his touch as she let out small gasps with each kiss. With his hands traveling up her waist and to her shoulders, Coulson quickly threw his jacket off and chuckled when Skye made a noise of approval; it was her turn now to lessen the barriers between them as she began to unbutton his shirt before she practically could rip it off his body. Within seconds, the floor was covered with their clothes as Coulson slipped Skye's gown past her legs and his pants followed suit.

"Skye..." He breathed her name across her lips as they both reached the foot of his bed.

"Make me yours A.C." Was all she said to him and wrapped her arms around him again as he picked her up to lay her down on the bed.

Their eyes met again in that second and as soon as their lips found each other again, he claimed her as they made love that night.

And now, here she was... lying in bed with Coulson a few hours later as she found herself running her fingers over his scars, tracing each and every pattern, as if to memorize all of them. Skye had never seen any of these scars before and certainly hadn't expected to see the big one in the center of his chest, near his heart. She shuddered inwardly as she remembered that this was where Loki's scepter had pierced through and killed him; thinking about that wasn't going to help in any way and she knew that Coulson wouldn't want her to dwell on the past, not when he had found life again and was safe, more or less. The dangers were still very real and lurking around all of them, no matter where they went, for as long as they were part of S.H.I.E.L.D, there couldn't really be a 'safe' moment for anyone. And yet, in spite of all her previous fears and worries, Skye didn't feel anything but safe here in Coulson's arms.

"What are you staring at?" His voice alerted her that he was awake and she could feel him gazing at her but Skye didn't look up immediately, she had only just reached the center of his scar.

"I'm not staring at anything. Its called admiring." Skye corrected him with a smile as she trailed her finger up to the very end of the wound.

"You're admiring my wounds?" For some reason, when he said it out loud, Coulson wasn't sure why Skye was looking at his scars even though he had no problem with it.

"Yes I am. These are all battle scars aren't they? A part of who you are and each one has a story of its own." She finally glanced up to see that Coulson was staring at her with a smile on his face... a happy one even? Compared to what she had noticed etched across his features earlier that night, this was definitely an improvement because he genuinely seemed much more relaxed and at peace.

"That is true. I've been in the field for many years now and I always knew the risks that came with the job. A few wounds and injuries along with one fatal chest impalement is about it though." He couldn't help but smirk a little when he saw Skye widening her eyes on hearing his joke.

"A.C..." Skye's voice suddenly turned contemplative as if she were debating about something. She sat up and turned around to face Coulson with an unspoken worry written in her eyes.

"What is it Skye?" There was something about the way she was studying his features carefully as if trying to judge his reaction, which made Coulson realize what she wanted to talk about. "Is everything alright?" He asked her, reaching out to brush a lock of hair from her cheek.

"I... there's something I wanted to... say to you. Its..." Fidgeting with the sheet that covered her completely and only showed her shoulders, Skye took a deep breath before meeting Coulson's gaze on hers and let the words flow without thinking. "I've been having nightmares for the last few weeks now, which I already let slip accidentally earlier tonight. I wasn't going to say anything because I thought they were just... my mind dealing with the aftermath of what had happened when you were taken by Raina. You weren't supposed to know this but I can't ever lie to you about anything; the nightmares... they're... about you."

Several prolonged and very loud heartbeats that Skye counted as she felt it hammering against her chest passed by before Coulson reacted to her words. She had never even in her dreams ever thought of what it would be like if she did confess everything about this to him and what he might say to her. Or think of her. And all this was before they had even gotten closer to each other than they already were; whatever had just transpired between them was also something Skye knew they had to talk about but Coulson and these nightmares came first. Also, there was a part of her which wondered if he would admit to having nightmares as well, which would explain his state of mind and emotions lately. While all sorts of possibilities flowed through her mind, she never broke contact with Coulson's eyes that were watching her quietly and in a matter of seconds, although it felt like hours, he finally said something.

"You've been having nightmares about... what you saw in that room... when you found me?" For a moment, it was almost as if Coulson didn't think it was possible that he had someone who cared about him so much to an extent where... him being hurt had caused Skye to feel the pain. "All this time? Ever since that day, you've been relieving it over and over again?" He had not expected this to be Skye's big revelation; not that he knew what she would have confessed to. And yet, as the realization of how real and pure and true her feelings were for him, Coulson knew within his heart that no matter what happened, he would not let Skye go through anything like that ever again.

"Not every day... not really... mostly its on the nights when we haven't had a long mission which usually exhausts me to the point of passing out in my bunk with a dreamless sleep. They... uh... they seem to be getting less intense lately... so I just thought... maybe they were going to stop eventually." Skye replied, wondering if that was all Coulson had to say to her.

"Oh Skye... you saved my life. To think that you've been dealing with this all on your own without confiding in anyone, I just... I'm still amazed by your emotional strength which always continues to only grow. It happens each time there's something that affects all of us; but I don't want you to worry about the past anymore... we've dealt with Raina already and whatever is going to come our way next, we'll handle it as a team like we always do." Coulson paused just then, thinking if he should say something about his nightmares to her?

Of course he wouldn't want to burden her anymore with all the memories that he had come across, not at this moment, no. The time to tell her everything would come soon and he knew that she would be there waiting patiently until he was ready, but it didn't mean that he couldn't admit to having the same problem himself.

"I know that and I... well... I wanted to say that tonight, after a really long time, I felt like this was what good sleep is supposed to be." Changing the topics to something equally serious but less intense was the next step for her.

Hearing her words, Coulson chuckled softly as he noticed the blush that was very visible on her cheeks now. He reached out and grasped her hands before placing a light kiss on them.

"I felt the same too Skye. You have no idea how long I've waited for this. A chance to be with you, it always seemed impossible and even now, a part of me thinks the last few hours are like a perfect dream." If there was one thing Coulson could be truthful about, it was his feelings for Skye.

"Wait a minute. What did you just say A.C?" She sounded shocked when she heard what he said to her. "You... you've had feelings for me since before tonight?" Not registering that she had spoken out loud, Skye went on talking, "Does that mean I've been fretting about all this forever without needing to worry about what you would think of me or what you would say if..." Just before she could complete that sentence, Coulson hushed her with a finger on his lips.

"Forever?" He repeated, raising an eyebrow at her. "You... you've had feelings for me since day one?" How had he missed the signs? Unless he had been caught up in his own confusion over how he had felt towards her.

"Since you and Ward kidnapped me from my van and recruited me to consult for S.H.I.E.L.D, not to mention that you flew us to the aiport in a red corvette. At first I thought it was just a harmless innocent crush really, I mean, you're a good-looking guy and you carry off your suits perfectly but... you're still my boss and then there's the whole factor of rules and regulations which forbids inter-team relationships... and we do have quite a bit of an age gap... and..." Once again Skye didn't get a chance to finish.

"Skye... we both know where you stand when it comes to following the rules." Coulson waited for a second before going on, "As for myself, given all that's happened recently and ever since I've met you, I realize that things don't necessarily always fall in the 'black or 'white' categories when it comes to S.H.I.E.L.D. They haven't been completely honest with me about what happened after I was brought back to life and there's still a lot of secrets that I don't even know about, so right now, the only thing that matters to me right now is you. There's nothing else that is more important... I've been given a second chance at life again and while there's mixed feelings on my part on this matter, if I can be lucky enough to find love once more then I know that this time around I will do everything in my power to hold on to this. For the first time in a long time, I have a family to take care of, a life to live and someone to love. And I do love you Skye... with all my heart I love you."

All this while, Skye had been listening to Coulson's words without reacting to anything he said to her, but the moment she heard those three words, her head snapped up to stare at him with her mouth nearly dropping at his sudden but honest confession.

"You love me?" The words were barely forming in her mind but she still found herself saying the words that spilled out of her mouth.

"I do, Skye." Coulson studied her as he watched the young woman go through a flurry of emotions that flashed across her eyes in seconds, "There's no rush... If you want some time to think about all this and take it slowly, we can do it together. I know this... falling into bed together... was not what either of us had expected and now I've just admitted to loving you so it probably is a lot to process..." This time, Skye wasn't about to let Coulson finish what he wanted to tell her.

Instead of saying anything, Skye reached across the bed and wrapped her arms around him as she pulled him into a deep kiss which conveniently shut him up. The sheet that covered her slipped off as they both fell back on the pillows but she was definitely sure that Coulson had a hand in it, which made her giggle in the middle of her kiss.

"Skye..." He started to say something, but just hearing her name on his lips and seeing the love in his eyes that he had for her, it made all her worries and doubts and questions and excuses disappear without a second thought.

"I love you A.C." She smiled brightly as she said those words back to him. There was nothing more she had wanted in the world then to finally say that she loved him. All her fears had passed, she didn't have anything holding her back anymore and now, things were going to change for the both of them. In a good way though and Skye was ready for anything that would come; as long as she and Coulson were together, they would deal with the world like they always did... as a team.

Thoughts? As for the surprise... let's just say that for those who might want a little more of this story won't have to wait too long... because... there's a sequel-one-shot coming up next! how about some R&R then? xD