It had been weeks now since the whole debacle with Afterlife. Weeks.
May still wasn't talking to her.
Skye knew that the woman was stubborn, and she knew that May was rightfully hurt. But weeks of the silent treatment, and the only time May met her eyes was when they had a mission. Skye couldn't even find her half the time, and any attempts at apologies were met with the back of May's head.
She missed training. She really really missed training.
And she couldn't sleep. Skye rolled over and looked at her phone. Three AM. She sighed. Sleep would be nice but really, it wasn't going to happen.
She climbed out of her bunk and donned her workout clothes on impulse, going down to the gym. She really missed training, but tai chi alone would have to do.
There was no one around, which Skye should have expected at this time. She entered the gym and flicked on the light, smiling at the familiar sight. She pulled out the mats, took a deep breath, and began her usual routine, feeling the smoothness of her movements. If she concentrated only on that, it almost felt like before.
Skye wasn't sure how long she performed her tai chi, moving from one form to the next, wishing that May was there with her.
Then she turned, and she was standing in the doorway, watching her.
Skye stopped, surprised. "Sorry," She said, even though she knew she hadn't done anything wrong. "I- if you wanna train I can go." She wanted May to forgive her. At this point she would do almost anything.
May looked at her for another second, then left without saying a word.
Skye wished for the time when she could have called May's expression blank. Many would say that it was. But it wasn't, not to her. Skye could see the sadness, the broken way she looked at her, the way she was an inch from tears.
She wanted to make it better. "May-" She ran out after her, but May didn't stop.
Skye had first thought that May was doing this as some kind of punishment. It seemed like her kind of thing to give someone the silent treatment. But then she noticed the way Coulson kept watching her, and realised that it wasn't.
Then she noticed the dejection that hung around her and realised that this wasn't something May was trying to do to her.
The way she subtly changed her stance whenever Skye entered the room was another one. It was tiny really, the slight twitch of her shoulders, but something about it reminded Skye of a puppy with it's tail between it's legs. She later amended it to a puppy who had just been hit over the head with a newspaper and was trying to avoid a second blow.
It broke Skye's heart. She had driven her away. Hurt May so much that she receded into herself, hid. From everyone. She wanted to undo it. "You seen May?" She asked Coulson, for the third time that week, and he shook his head.
"She wants to be alone Skye. Everyone needs time to themselves sometimes."
The hell they do. Skye thought. Everyone wasn't looking like they were about to jump off a bridge. Rather than actually look, which was time consuming and unfruitful, Skye sent a pulse through the base, the various presences bouncing back to her like ships on a radar.
The roof. Really? The roof? Skye shrugged and ran off to find May before she found somewhere else to hide.
It was dark, and the wind sent a chill through her bones. "May?"
The older woman was standing towards the edge of the building. Her head turned slightly at the sound of Skye coming out, but as usual she said nothing.
Skye bit her lip. She knew that she had done a pretty good job of screwing up whatever kind of friendship they had, but she wanted to salvage anything she could.
May sighed and slumped a little, not facing the younger agent.
Skye was seized with a sudden frustration with it all. "Just- be angry with me! I hit you, I-I did everything wrong!" She grabbed May by the shoulder, pulling her around to face her. "Yell at me, for the love of God! Hit me back!"
May broke Skye's grasp with the same ease she always had. Skye could see that she was biting the inside of her lip to stave off the tears that were just beginning to fall, but before she could say anything May walked past her, back inside.
"Damnit!" Skye swore, and the roof shook slightly in response to her frustration.
Skye had gotten to the point where she didn't even care whether or not May would forgive her, she just wanted to start acting like herself again. She missed her SO like a hole in her chest, and every time she saw May shambling around just twisted the knife further.
She managed to corner May in the corridor to the gym, following her in. "Will you please just let me talk?!"
"Fine." Her voice was tense, and she turned to face Skye for the first time since Afterlife. "Talk."
Skye had half a dozen speeches planned, but she was so surprised at actually being spoken to that she couldn't talk for a moment, eventually stuttering out an, "I-I'm sorry."
May didn't move or react, and Skye found the words to continue. "I-I was wrong, and I was horrible to you, and I shouldn't have done any of that, just- please... can we be friends again?"
May stared at her for a long time, her jaw clenching. "We were never friends Skye." She said stiffly. "It was my job to protect you until you could protect yourself. We both know you don't need me anymore, so just call it a day."
Skye was frozen in place, stunned at the words. She knew that they were meant as a defence mechanism, to push her away, but they still stung. "May..."
The older woman looked away. "I appreciate the apology Agent Skye, but it's not needed."
"You should go."
Skye left fighting the burn of tears behind her eyes. It hurt so much there was an ache in her chest that wouldn't go away. But there was one more thing she had to say, so she turned around, a couple of the tears escaping.
"She wasn't." She said in a choked voice, and May turned from the punching bag. "Jiaying, she wasn't everything I wanted her to be."
She spotted the subtle tremble to May's shoulders, but she managed to keep her face blank.
This was more than Skye could do, since she could hardly get the words out between tears. "You were everything I wanted my mom to be, before I even knew who she was. You kick my ass when I'm wrong, and you pretend you don't care when we both know that no one cares more than you do."
May's mask was cracking, but she refused to look away, knowing that to do so would mean admitting that Skye was getting to her. Admitting that every time she had imagined what her daughter would have been like, she imagined Skye.
"You might not think that we're friends, but we are family, so you can't get rid of me, and I'm gonna do anything I can to make this right. If you want to fight me to get it all out in the open then just get on with it."
May was silent for a while, torn between arguing and staying away. The arguing won out. "I don't actually enjoy hurting people Skye." She said softly.
"I hurt you." Just as softly.
"And you enjoyed it?" Skye looked stricken at the suggestion. "Just go, Skye. I was never your responsibility, and now you're not mine either."
"I'm not going to do that." Skye knew that there was no magic solution here. But she had first gotten through to May by sitting with her in the cockpit. Their plane was gone now, but Skye was going to make this better. "Train if you want, I'll just sit over here and watch." Until you ask me to join you.
Maybe May wouldn't speak another word to her today, maybe not even this week, but Skye would get up at their usual time anyway, and sit and wait and hope that her SO could become that again.
Because Skye knew that May was wrong. She did need her. More than ever.