"You love him though." He said leaning on his elbow as his free hand run up and down her naked back. This was nothing new for them, they've been doing it for two years.

"I don't know how I feel." She mumbled, face buried into her pillow. Lance wasn't stupid, he knew that talking about him, the one that must not be named, was not Skye's favorite pass time. Yet not pushing the subject was not something He was fond of.

Lance was not a person of noble causes, he was a mercenary that looked only after his own back. But after Izzy and Idaho died it became personal. Lance had to stay back and take revenge for the family he lost. Somewhere in that big mess his relationship with Skye started. She needed someone to help her work through her anger and Lance was good with that. He in return needed someone to keep him grounded.

It started off just as two people talking over beers and as the time went on it evolved to a friendship. After one particular hard mission she came to him with a bottle of vodka and one thing led to another and before they knew it they were naked screwing each other into oblivion. They woke up with the biggest hangover known to mankind, high fived because it was awesome and went their separate ways. It became a thing for them after that first time, a way of letting some steam go. They weren't in love, Lance was pretty sure that she still loved Ward to be honest. But their agreement stood in place.

"You love him, sweetheart." He insisted laying on his back. "It's written all over your face. You are angry with him of course but your love is bigger than your hate. Take it from someone that knows." Six months ago Coulson brought Ward back to the team. Something about needing help and him being the only one able to give it.

Lance didn't know much about the man, he wasn't really talking to anyone except Fitz but he knew one thing, Ward was and would always be head over heels for Skye. Lance knew that look Ward had in his eyes, he had been in love once upon a time and he let her go. There wasn't a day that he didn't regret it, but try to explain that to a bunch of kids that don't know which way is up and which down!

"I don't want to talk about it anymore." She said as she sat up, settling herself over him. "I could however go for another round." She leaned down and crashed her lips against his.

"That I can do." He teased as they pulled apart.

~oOo~

He watched Ward from afar, trying to figure out why he wouldn't step up to fight him for Skye. There's not a single man that would see his woman with another man and wouldn't get just a tiny bit jealous. If Lance was in his shoes he would have torn Ward apart, God knows he did it enough times before his ex wife told him to knock it off. Not Grant Ward though, no, he stood in the side lines and watched Skye living her life.

"You are a saint, you know that?" He told him one day sitting beside him. Ward didn't even bother looking up from his book.

"I'm far from it." He said in that monotone voice he seemed to use all the time and it bothered Lance to no end. What the fuck did they do to that poor kid to screw him up like that? Because if Lance knew one thing well that was to tell if someone had issues or not, and Ward has a bunch of them and then some.

"Come out of it, kid." He said raising his beer to his lips. "You are not the only one with blood in his hands in here. I have twice as much as you and I still haven't given up on life. Whoever told you that you shouldn't be redeeming yourself was full of shit. Everyone deserves a second chance if they want one."

~oOo~

"You should stop lying to yourself." He whispered in her ear as he rested his forehead against hers. He would really miss her body and the way it was reacting to his touch, there was no question there, but all good things came to an end. Their little agreement would not be the exemption, merely just the rule.

He could see that she was starting to break, it wouldn't be long before Skye fully opened to Ward again. It was all in the little things, really, like knowing the way she took her coffee, her favorite comfort food, putting his life in the line just to make sure she was safe.

While Skye protested Ward only fought harder, Lance was happy for them. If someone deserved love it was these two. He could also see that he and Skye were coming to an end, one way or another. Though if you asked her she would swear up and down that she felt nothing for Ward.

"Lie to myself about what?" He body still trembled as he slumped beside her, pulling her against him.

"That you don't love him." He stressed the word a little more than necessary. "I didn't bought into it from the very first moment and right now neither does anyone else."

"But I don't love him." She growled turning her back to him.

"Really?" Sarcasm dripped from his voice. "Was that the reason you kept moaning his name while we fucked?" He knew he was being harsh but sometimes tough love was better than beating around the bush.

"Drop it." She threw him a dirty look over her shoulder as she sat up, searching for her clothes. He wouldn't stop her though, that wasn't his responsibility.

"All I'm saying is that you'll have to face the music at some point, sweetheart." He held his hands up in surrender. "Cause he's been there for months, years, waiting for you and you're wasting your time over nothing."

"You and I," She said motioning between them as she pulled her jeans on. "It's not nothing. We love each other!"

"You got that one confused." He said in a matter of fact tone. "We are friends that screw each other every now and then. I love you, of course I do, but as a friend." He reached towards her and pulled here down to sit beside him. "What you and him have, that's love. The kind of love that's unconditional and able to survive through anything and you will survive this, Skye." He wiped a tear from her cheek with his thumb. "I bet an arm and a leg that if you want it you'll get through it."

He just hoped that this time she would follow his advice.

~oOo~

If he believed in God he would have prayed for them. But Lance didn't so he put all his money into fate and it didn't disappoint him. They all knew that walking into a Hydra base was a suicide mission but no one backed down. Things turned to shit way too soon and before they knew it Hydra agents were coming at them from every direction.

Lance had seen many things in his short life but nothing like that. For a moment he even doubted that they would make it out of there alive. That is until someone pointed a gun at Skye and all hell broke loose.

Coulson had told him that Ward was a very skilled soldier but Lance did not expect that. As soon as the ex agent focused on the fact that Skye was in danger he stepped around the rest of the team towards her. Lance had never seen anyone battle with so much grace before.

By the time they took down their opponents Ward had already disposed the three Hydra agents that Skye had been fighting. Later Lance would swear that Skye's scream was what made him close his mouth and move again.

~oOo~

Skye did not leave Ward's bedside for four days and neither did Lance. Just when they thought it was over another bullet whooshed through the air towards Skye but not before Ward pushed her out of the way. He knew that the girl would be his downfall, hell everyone in the base knew it by now.

They had rushed him back to Shield's medical bay and they had to force Skye to let him go so the doctors could work on him. The bullet had missed his heart just barely. Thankfully it did not hit an artery of other organs. The doctor had said that Ward was one like bastard for surviving something like this. They had him hooked up on heavy painkillers so he would be out for a while but other than that he would be fine. Yet Skye refused to move from his side.

Coulson had tried to make her go back to her bunk and sleep for a while. May had tried to make her eat something. She refused everything and stubbornly sat in the uncomfortable chair. Eventually Lance just dropped by her room and grabbed some clean clothes and a sandwich from the kitchen and brought them to her. For someone that repeated time and time again that she did not love Ward, Skye spent an awful lot of time telling his unconscious form exactly that!

Lance would not tease her about it just yet but it was in the program. Four days later the doctors had started reducing the sedatives in Ward and the other man was coming out of it. The moment he opened his eyes and saw Skye was the moment Lance choose to leave.

He was no longer needed here.