A/N: This is set after episode 1x05 "Girl in the Flower Dress", but before Skye can regain everyone's trust completely.

Chapter 1: Prologue

'So long'.

Those were the only two words written on the otherwise blank laptop screen in front of Agent Ward. He couldn't stop staring at it while Agent Coulson and the rest of the team moved around him busily, completely ignoring him for the moment. The cursor was still blinking, prompting anyone to continue typing, and as far as Ward was concerned, the next word was probably going to be 'morons'.

At least that was what he felt like right now.

He still couldn't believe that he had been fooled – again – by the same woman, or rather the same girl, who had betrayed them all only a few weeks ago. This had been the first mission in the field for Skye without direct supervision after the whole 'Miles' incident – nothing big, just serving as surveillance support for Ward on a simple operation – and now she was gone, the SHIELD tracking bracelet lying uselessly on the table of the small hotel room they had been using as base.

Fitzsimmons were buzzing around the room, examining the bracelet, the laptop and everything else that might give them a clue as to where Skye had vanished to, but Ward knew this was pointless. There was no mystery to uncover here.

Ever since her lies had been discovered, Skye must have only been waiting for the right opportunity to ditch them and now she had found it, making him look like a complete fool once again.

An angry sound escaped Ward's lips as he finally forced his gaze away from the cold words in front of him, pushing his chair back in the process. As if the noise had suddenly alerted him to the younger agent's continued presence, Coulson abandoned the documents he had been studying regarding the mission target and walked over to stand in front of Ward, his arms crossed.

"Tell me again what happened. From the beginning this time."

To be continued…