Jemma Ward was just a regular housewife with a child who works in an average laboratory and was perfectly normal. At least, that's what her husband the specialist believed to be true until he came face to face with her at his next SHIELD assignment.
It's a Wonderful Day in the Neighborhood
7:01 on the dot. The Li's dog would begin barking as Mr. Li backed out of his driveway in the slightly older model Lexus to his humdrum job. His wife in her faded purple bathrobe waved from the front porch before she would turn to shush their barking dog. They did this every day like clock work. Grant Ward appreciated this as he ran by them, his daily routine. He like the predictability in the movements of his neighbors. It was why he'd chosen to buy his house here, in this particular neighborhood. He'd done a lot of research. His wife had made several disparaging comments about the house and neighborhood when he'd first shown it to her. It was too boring for her tastes. Her dislike of it had been apparent. But she'd been heavily pregnant and too hormonal to be too picky, "And it has great schools" he'd whispered into her ear. After that, she'd been very easy to convince.
His morning workouts ended every morning at 7:05 . He jogged up to his very inconspicuous, two story home and greeted the family dog, Ginger. The German Sheppard trotted up to him and panted happily when he gave her a quick scratch behind the ear.
He moved on to the kitchen where, as usual, his wife was attempting to feed their daughter, Evelyn, something organic and healthy. To Grant, quite frankly, it looked disgusting. He stood in the hall for a second and watched as their daughter Evelyn made a big fuss about wanting something else for breakfast. His wife, Jemma, couldn't cook if her life depended on it. He noticed her bags were already placed at the foot of the stairs. She had some kind of science conference. Grant usually tuned her out when she started talking about her work. She was a lab tech with a small firm called TaylorCo. The exact details of what she did were a bit confusing to him. It involved a lot of science and technology that was lost on him. Sometimes she had to travel with the company for presentations, like today.
"Good morning!" Grant announced to the kitchen.
His daughter immediately lit up. Her hands, covered in something unidentifiable reached out to him. "Daddy. Up!" Evelyn immediately demanded. His wife did not seem pleased with this.
"Evelyn, you're not done eating yet." Jemma's eyes quietly pleaded with Grant for help.
"Mom is right, you need to eat your breakfast." Evelyn gave him a pout, but made a grand gesture of putting spoonfuls of the mystery goop into her mouth. "That's better," he picked her up and gave her kisses all over face, making funny noises as he did so.
Evelyn giggled in delight. The second her father stopped her brown eyes got immediately bigger and she said, with all the innocence and seriousness she could muster, "Daddy, I wants to wash Yo Gabba Gabba now," She waited and then while putting her hands on his cheek and looking him straight in the eyes she added, "Pees." Grant quickly looked over to his wife for her permission. She rolled her eyes but smiled and turned around to start cleaning the kitchen. Grant was powerless against his daughter. Luckily she'd never demanded anything too outrageous, and Jemma had refused to let him spoil her.
After settling Evie down and making sure she was sufficiently drawn in by the television (but he'd learned that Yo Gabba Gabba had the ability to turn children into zombies) he went back into the kitchen and saw Jemma scrubbing a pot twice as hard as was probably necessary. That was a telltale sign she was stressed. She'd been stressed more that usual over the past 9 months. She'd said work was getting to her, he wasn't sure if he believed her. Something else was bothering her.
"You're torturing the pot," He whispered into her neck. He started kneading some of the knots out of her back while slowly kissing her up her neck. Jemma gave up scrubbing the pot and turned around. He used his hands to pin her between himself and the sink. "What's wrong Jem?" She gave him a bright smile, but her eyes, they were sad. She then looked into his eyes, and there was a fire behind them he almost never saw. She leapt up and attacked his lips with hers passionately. Her hands, wet from the dishes were climbing up and clawing at him and trying to find any way to leverage herself for a better position. He quickly picked her up and placed on the edge of the kitchen sink. They both tried desperately to get as close to each other as humanly possible and Grant would have taken her then and there had their daughter not been in the next room. It took every ounce of willpower they had to pull their lips away and temper their lust.
With their foreheads touching, Grant kept one of his rough calloused hands on Jemma's cheek to gently stroke her flushed skin. He sighed loudly, frustrated with her lack of communication. When he started to pull away, she put her hand on top of his and brought it to her lips. "Promise me you'll be careful," she demanded.
"Of course I'll be careful," Grant replied.
"I promise you, Jemma Ward, that I will be very careful,"
Jemma didn't know exactly what he did. She knew he worked for the government in some kind of capacity, and that what he did was a secret and sometimes dangerous. Grant worked for S.H.I.E.L.D. as a specialist. He often told himself that his decision to keep this from his family was for their protection. No one at work knew he was married or had a child. It could put them in danger. At least that's what he told himself each time he started to feel guilty. However he found comfort in knowing that his wife would never know the details of what his occupation entailed. It might make her worry. Lately when he came home, he could sense worry radiating off of his wife. As if she knew that there had been something to worry about.
"Is this about your conference in Denver?" Grant asked. Trying to both deflect and ease the tension. "I'm sure your speech about..." he genuinely didn't know what her speech was about.
"The virology of the H5N1 Influenza and the probability of it becoming an epidemic to the U.S. livestock through cross species infection?" she parroted while rolling her eyes. This was a common occurrence. She said something that sounded even slightly scientific, and Grant's eyes glazed over. "No, that's old news. I could give a lecture like this one in my sleep." She smiled with a confidence that was her signature.
"You know, you're really sexy when you speak science" Grant whispered into her ear.
"You'll get nowhere with me until you've showered," Jemma mocked him as she wrinkled her nose. "And Mrs. Bronson will be here soon enough to watch Evie." She smiled as she hopped off the kitchen counter and pushed him up the stairs toward the shower. Seeing as he had little say in the matter, Grant did as he was told.
As far as Jemma knew, Mrs. Bronson was a retired school teacher who now filled up her loneliness by caring for other peoples children as a nanny. But Grant had actually hired Mrs. Bronson, the retired ex-S.H.I.E.L.D. operative who terrified more than just a little bit but had saved his life countless times. More importantly he trusted her to look after and keep his daughter safe while he was on assignment and his wife was at work.
With their three year old daughter on his hip, Grant waved to Jemma as she backed out of the driveway. When her car was no longer visible he turned around and got ready for just another day as a S.H.I.E.L.D. specialist. He wanted that disconcerting look she gave him to mean nothing, that everything in his mundane home would stay the same, but life hardly ever went as planned, no matter how hard one tries.
Song Playlist: Reflections By: Misterwives
Special Thanks To: SapphyreGlyphs for her hard work editing and constant encouragement.
Marvels Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. obviously belongs to Marvel. I'm just having a heck of a time playing pretend with some of their characters.