Skye doesn't stick around long enough to finish fighting the workers Cross convinced to take care of them. She catches Coulson's eye as she carries Jemma out so he knows she's leaving.
Jemma is surprisingly heavy, but at least Ward's copious upper body training is finally coming in handy. As soon as she's out of the building, passersby start paying attention. In any other situation, someone taking up this much room in the middle of the sidewalk would be shoved aside without a second thought, but because of Jemma bleeding in her arms, she warrants some attention.
"Call an ambulance!" Skye yells over the rush of traffic and the startled chatter of pedestrians. One of the bystanders immediately starts calling with their cell phone. Skye lowers Jemma to the ground gently and pulls out the knife, then puts her hands over the wound in an attempt to stop the bleeding. It's only minutes until an ambulance appears, but it feels like longer. Skye hears sirens and sees flashing red and blue in her peripheral vision, not taking her eyes off Jemma for even a moment.
Paramedics drag her away so they can get a closer look at the injury, but they allow Skye to ride the ambulance with them as long as she keeps her distance and doesn't get in their way.
The paramedics apply pressure to Jemma's wound. She hasn't lost too much blood; it's nothing compared to when Skye was shot. She doesn't let herself hope for anything yet, but she can tell it's less serious than she originally thought.
Jemma is efficiently loaded onto a different stretcher and wheeled into the hospital. Skye has to jog to keep up. She watches from just outside the room as doctors patch Jemma up. She doesn't want to be seeing this, but she can't look away.
Someone taps her shoulder. "Excuse me, are you family or friend?"
"Significant other," Skye answers without thinking, then winces as soon as he turns his back. What was she thinking? She sighs and turns back to where Jemma is lying. She'll have to deal with that mistake later.
A couple minutes later, a doctor comes out. "It looks like she's going to be fine," she says. "She'll most likely be unconscious for another hour or two, but it seems like she passed out from pain and shock, not blood loss, so her healing process should go quickly."
Skye feels relief flowing through her. "Thank you," she says, smiling at the doctor. She nods before moving on.
Skye rushes into the room. She knows Jemma's okay now, but she still needs to see it with her own eyes. Jemma looks pale, especially in the harsh lighting, but she's okay. She's breathing normally, a bandage covering her shoulder, and she has a fresh hospital gown on that's clean of blood. She's going to wake up soon.
Skye knows she can't stay here. She can't just hang around Jemma's unconscious body for the next few hours, and she really needs some air after all this. Besides, she knows just where to go.
It's nearly 8 p.m. Toronto time when Skye hesitantly but firmly knocks on the door of her clone. Julia hasn't told Skye anything about her. Judging by her house in the suburbs and the nice car in the driveway, she's pretty well off and probably has a family.
The door opens, and the clone stands in the doorframe. Skye is struck by how much her appearance fits the neighborhood. She can imagine herself in a lot of situations, growing up with a lot of different families - she has, in fact - but somehow this never even crossed her mind. She can't help but stare blankly at the woman wearing yoga pants, a neat pink shirt, and a lime green headband, the perfect picture of suburbia.
The woman in question looks far from happy to see Skye. Anger radiates from her form, barely masked by her faux polite smile. Skye resists the urge to take a large step back. The woman grabs Skye's arm and forcefully yanks her around to the side of the house.
"What are you doing here?" she hisses.
Skye actually does step back now. The suburban woman finally lets her hand drop from its death grip on Skye's arm.
"Who are you?" the woman asks. She wraps her arms around herself protectively. She seems to physically shrink into herself. "How did you get this address?"
The woman is fuming. Skye supposes she can see why; if she had a life as pristine as this one, she would be angry at any complications, too. As it is, she loves her family on the Bus, but she doubts they can be ripped apart as easily as that. They've been through a lot before.
"I'm Skye. Julia gave me this address," Skye says quickly. Despite probably not being able to actually hurt Skye, something about her is incredibly threatening, and Skye doesn't want to get on her bad side.
The woman relaxes slightly but keeps a glare fixed on Skye. "I'm going to go put my daughter to bed," she says pointedly. "Meet me at the back door in ten minutes. Don't let anybody see you." She stomps off toward the front of the house.
Skye slinks into the shadow of the house, clinging to the darkness. She stands on the back deck out of view of all the windows, impatiently waiting for the door to open. Toronto evenings are chilly, and she left her jacket on the Bus, which makes the wait even more difficult.
The door finally opens after 10 minutes exactly. The woman looks more composed now, but her feelings still clearly shine through.
"You don't come near my family," she says with aggression. "Are we clear?"
"Yes," Skye says.
"Good. What do you need?"
"I want to know more about us. Who we are, who made us, all that." Skye crosses her arms over her chest, trying to demand the answers.
The clone laughs. "Don't we all," she says. "My husband could've answered that door as easily as me. That was too close. My family can't figure out what I am." She says the last part with disgust, like it's shameful.
"I won't do it again," Skye promises gravely. "Sorry, I'm new. I don't know the rules of clone club or whatever," she adds jokingly.
She stiffens. "Don't use that word, please," she chirps. "My name is Catherine. Is there anything you need that I can actually do?"
"Not right now. I'll give you my cell number." Skye digs around in her pocket for a minute before Catherine makes a small annoyed sound and pulls her phone out of her pocket.
"Do you live far?" Catherine asks as Skye types her number into the small pink cell phone.
"I'm sort of on the move," Skye answers distractedly and finishes entering herself as a contact. She hands the phone back to Catherine. "If it's anything important, you can call."
"Fine," Catherine says. "Leave quickly so my neighbors don't see you." She turns on her heel and leaves without saying goodbye. Skye slouches and sighs, exhausted by the angry suburban mother.
She knows she should get back to Jemma. It certainly can't be any later than 8:30, but it's a pretty long bus trip, so she needs to get going. Even though it's dark enough that no one can recognize her unless they look closely, she follows Catherine's instructions and moves as quickly as she can.
Jemma is sitting up in bed when Skye gets back to the room. She looks a lot better.
"I got stabbed," Jemma says thoughtfully when she sees her, like she hasn't really processed it yet.
"Yeah. You shouldn't do that again." Skye pulls a chair from the side of the room to right next to the bed and sits.
"I agree." She shifts, making herself more upright. "Where's the rest of the team? Do they know where we are?"
That hasn't even occured to her. She hasn't given the team a second thought since she got Jemma out of there. "No, I should call them." She stands.
"Oh, and Skye?" Jemma calls out as Skye turns away.
"Yeah?" Skye asks, immediately adopting a look of concern.
"Just before you came in, they told me my girlfriend was in to see me," she says sweetly. It's clearly something she expects an answer to.
Skye shrugs. She's glad for a moment that Jemma is awful at knowing when people are lying. "Well, they wouldn't let me in if I was just a friend, I don't think, and family didn't really seem like it would work."
Skye thinks she sees a flicker of disappointment in Jemma's eyes, but it's probably just a trick of the light. "Oh. That makes sense, I suppose."
Skye pulls out her phone, and there's a new message on it.
Unknown number: Another of us has been killed. We should discuss safety measures.
Skye reads it over again to make sure she hasn't misunderstood. She keeps her expression neutral and decides to address that situation later. For now, Jemma is her top priority.
Hours later, the Bus is quiet due to the exhaustion of all its passengers. May retreated to the cockpit immediately and hasn't emerged since. The others all slowly trickle back to their rooms, Jemma first as soon as Fitz is done worrying after her.
Skye is restless. She's too wired to sleep. She replies briefly to Catherine's text.
Skye: Won't be available for an in person visit for a while, I'd like an explanation.
She doesn't expect an answer tonight. It's already quite late, and she assumes soccer moms have really early bed times anyway.
Skye stretches and decides to get a drink of water. She could use a bit of a refresher before she tries to sleep. As she walks down the cold hallway, she notices light coming from under Jemma's door. That's especially odd for her; Skye knows Jemma can only sleep when it's dark. She decides to investigate. She knocks lightly on the door.
She hears some shuffling noises, and then the door opens, revealing Jemma wearing a light green tank top and blue pajama pants with pink cats on them. "Hello, Skye. It's rather late; shouldn't you be sleeping?"
"I could ask you the same," Skye deflects with a smile. Jemma looks truly adorable in her pajamas, as compared to Skye, who must look like a mess in nothing but an oversized t-shirt.
"I suppose you could. Come in," Jemma says, making room in the door for Skye to walk through.
Skye accepts the invitation. Jemma moves in after her, shutting the door behind them. They both take a seat on the bed.
"You should really be resting," Skye says, eyeing the bandage covering Jemma's shoulder.
Jemma rolls her eyes. "They gave me a clean bill of health, I'll have you know."
"Who knew you were as bad a patient as me," Skye teases. The silence after that remark feels endless, but it's not uncomfortable.
The atmosphere in the room suddenly changes. It hadn't really registered in Skye's mind before this moment exactly how close they are. It's ridiculously late, and she will definitely regret this in the morning, but she goes for it. She closes the distance between them easily, moving one of her hands to Jemma's face.
The kiss lingers for a few seconds, staying chaste, until Jemma pulls back. The look on her face is very surprised and not entirely pleased.
Skye immediately stands up and takes a huge step back. "I'm sorry. I don't know what I was thinking. I'm gonna go," she says in one breath then rushes out the door.
A/N: Since I won't be able to finish another chapter before I have to leave again, I think you guys should know that I will be going on vacation from this Monday until August 5. So enjoy this chapter, you won't be getting another one for over a month! Sorry! I promise this is the last really long break without updates. I'll hopefully start updating much more regularly once I return.