An Agents of SHIELD fanfic by Aisling Yinyr Ngaio

Grant Ward knew what it meant to be a SHIELD black ops specialist. It meant getting constantly reassigned to various locations around the globe, at random places and random times, so that his movements were unpredictable and his talents in espionage still usable. When you weren't around long enough for people to remember you or pin down a routine, they couldn't threaten you or even neutralise you.

He was reconciled with the drawback of having no permanent home except for a small duffel bag of necessities which he brought along each time he was reassigned, with only a slightly larger stash of personal items (which mostly consisted of books and clothes) in his personal locker aboard the Helicarrier HQ. He wasn't a sentimental man - he couldn't afford to be, in any case - and he didn't need many mementos to remember days gone by.

He liked his work, which might seem odd to outsiders, but there was rarely a SHIELD agent who reached Level 6 without truly and sincerely believing in the good that the organisation did. Sure, his black ops work straddled the line between right and wrong, and maybe he didn't always understand some of the orders flowing down from the top, but he trusted that SHIELD was helmed by good people, and he would give his life to serve SHIELD, with the same excellence he wished he had in saving his brothers.

However, Grant Ward came as close to disobedience as was possible for a man who rarely, if ever, questioned his loyalty on the day he was promoted to Level 7. The reason for his promotion was also the reason he was hanging around the on-call area of the Los Angeles branch office with a black scowl on his face.

He was seriously wondering why SHIELD wasn't deploying him based on his strength of being the one-man strike team. He was wondering why Agent Coulson's death had to be classified months after the Battle of New York. Most of all, he was wondering whether the senior agent was still right in the head to be requesting him for a long-term team assignment.

So he paced there, silently wishing that the verbal order wouldn't be followed up by official stationery, with his pending transfer confirmed in black and white. Hoping that one of his superiors would realise at the eleventh hour that it was foolish to pluck him out of his usual duty - which he had always discharged to superb results, he didn't mind saying - to play Happy Family with a team of unknowns, apparently including one Fitzsimmons who wasn't even cleared for combat. He was better than being a glorified bodyguard for rookies, damnit!

Still, Grant Ward was ultimately an agent of SHIELD through and through, so when he received official orders to report to the hanger bay of SHIELD-616, he only sighed through his teeth before accepting his new charge, albeit with a heavy heart. He picked up the single duffel bag lying at his feet and, after taking a last look around, bade farewell to his pleasantly dangerous single life in Level 6 and headed off towards his new mobile workplace, praying fervently that there wouldn't be any more unpleasant surprises that day.

- Finis -