A/N: So this takes place shortly after the Miles thing, when Ward is still bitter and punishing her for her betrayal.
"If you're not even going to try, you should just leave," Ward growled, as Skye completely missed the target for the fourth time.
"I am trying," Skye insisted.
Ward huffed, took the gun, emptying the clip into the target's heart with ease, before turning to her.
"It is not that hard," he grumbled, before walking away.
Skye blinked several times to stall the tears forming in her eyes. She knew that Ward was still angry, but she was really trying to make amends. She was trying to show him that she would work hard to earn back his trust. They were at weapons training the same as they had been every day since he became her S.O., but he just snapped. In her defense, she had hit the target a few times. Not to mention, she had finally figured out how to work the safety, but it wasn't good enough.
She rolled her shoulders, trying to loosen the stress her body was carrying, before picking up the gun again. She didn't need help with target practice anymore. She reloaded the gun and fired another clip at the target. Half the projectiles hit the paper, and she even had few in the heart. She smiled to herself. She didn't need stupid Agent Grant stick-in-his-*ss Ward.
When she had cleaned up and taken a shower, they were called into a briefing. Yet another weapon of unknown origin, this time in Greenland.
"Do you mind not breathing down my neck?" Ward whispered harshly when she tried to look over his shoulder.
"Well, if you weren't blocking my view with your giant head, I wouldn't have to," she replied. He didn't reply, simply took a half step to the side, giving her room to move closer to the screen.
They made it to Greenland in record time. May was sent with Fitzsimmons and the dwarves to examine the weapon, while Skye and Ward were supposed to check the surround area for any anomalies. They had only walked about half a mile from the site, when they were ambushed. They fought hard, but in the end the enemy numbers subdued them.
It was some time later, Ward was brought to consciousness by a rough pulling on his shoulder.
"What are you trying to do? Take my arm off," he growled. From the looks of it, they were trapped in the back of a freezer truck. He could feel her gloved hands fiddling with the rope that bound them together back to back, but the way she pulled was causing the rope to rub his wrists painfully.
"I was trying to create friction since these idiots tied us up with cheap rope, I thought I might be able to get loose," she replied in a clearly irritated tone. She had been awake for a while, and was close to getting the ropes loose when Ward interrupted her, retightening the knot with his insistent jerking.
"It's not working, Skye, all you are doing is causing more damage," Ward complained.
"Well, what do you suggest robot?" she growled back, pissed that he had ruined all her hard work.
"I am working on a plan just, sit tight," he replied.
"Like I have a choice," she grumbled.
"Oh yeah, like this is my dream, to be tied to you, once again having to save your ass. If you had just tried a little harder during training, those punks wouldn't have gotten the drop on us," he was tired and cold and he knew he was lashing out, but he couldn't find it in himself to stop.
Skye didn't reply. She didn't have anything to say to him, because he clearly didn't value her input at all. So they sat in silence, him planning their escape, her trying to breathe the cold thin air and fight off the asthma attack she could feel building in her lungs.
"How attached are you to your pinkie?" he asked, though he didn't think she would be any more willing to lose a finger than Fitz was.
"I don't care, I just need to get out of here," she replied through gritted teeth.
It was then that he noticed her body shaking slightly, but he attributed it to the cold.
"Ok, so what I need you to do is," he started.
"Wait a minute," Skye interrupted. "I have a knife in my boot."
"Why didn't you use it during the fight?" he asked, exasperated that she had failed to mention the knife in all the time they had sat freezing in the god-forsaken truck.
"Because I was busy fighting," she explained with heaving breath as she twisted her feet toward her bound hands. It took her a minute, but she got the knife out and cut them loose.
"Well, that was great and all, Crocodile Dundee, but now what are we going to do?" Ward grumbled as he looked for a way out.
"I got us untied," she replied tucking the knife back into her boot and sitting down, "why don't you figure out the next step?"
"I am working on it, but you sitting there isn't helping," he said, pounding the walls to gage thickness.
Skye took an exaggeratedly slow breath. "I'm off the clock."
"I know you're cold princess, but we are going to freeze to death soon if we don't get out of here and you sitting still will only speed up the process," he said looking at her for the first time and noticing that her lips were already blue. Now concerned he moved to her, taking her hand and trying to pull her up, "Come on Skye, we have to keep moving."
"I can't," she gasped, before closing her eyes and trying to take another deep breath.
"Skye, what's going on, are you ok?" he pulled her hand again, but her glove came off revealing blue fingertips. "Skye you need to breath, the air in here is not that thin."
She took another breath, "It is when," her eyes fluttered shut.
"It is when what?" he yelled, echoing around the container.
"Asthma," she said, between deep breaths.
"What the hell, Skye? You have asthma?" he yelled again, angry at her for keeping such a dangerous secret.
She simply nodded.
"What are we going to do?" he wondered aloud.
"Die?" she laughed, only to start coughing violently. He rubbed her back trying to ease the tremors of coughing coming from the tiny woman, all the while berating her.
"Seriously?! This is serious, Skye. This is not something to joke about. I should know, as your S.O. that you have asthma. That is important information! How could you be so reckless? Does Coulson know? How is this not public knowledge?"
When the coughing finally eased, he stood this time determined to find a way out. Fast. A never ending litany of insults flooded his mind. She was so stupid and short sighted and secretive and she was going to die because of it. She would die because she couldn't trust him with her secrets. But as the rage wore out, it all boiled down to one thing. Every angry word he had said to her came from his worry that someday the moment would come that he couldn't save her.
He prayed to anyone listening, begging them for that moment to not come today. After circling the the space three times, Ward just kicked the door with all the rage he had left in his body, and amazingly it gave way. He was elated, until he turned back to tell Skye, and saw that she was unconscious again.
"Dammit, Skye!" he called running over to her and pulling her into his arms. "You don't get to die today!"
Ward knew she had a better chance if he could get her back to the bus. He ran toward where he thought they would find the plane they called home. When he got closer he saw that the men who had attacked them, had found the rest of the team, but between May and Coulson, the enemy lay in a heap of twisted limbs and blood.
"Agent Ward?" Simmons called from behind him.
He turned around with Skye in his arms, completely lost in the relief that she would be okay now, "She had an asthma attack," he explained. "We were attacked by those goons and trapped in a freezer truck. She's been down for a while," he whispered the last part, hoping it hadn't been too long.
"Come on, hurry, the bus is this way," she gestured behind herself, immediately taking charge of the situation. "Agent May just finished with those guys, and then went looking for you. Agent May, Agent Ward and Skye are back at the bus," she said into her comm. "Fitz, go warm some saline." She called to her partner in the lab, while she cleared a table. "Go ahead and put her down."
Ward put Skye on the table reluctantly, "Is there anything I can do?"
"Go check her bunk for an inhaler, I don't have a file on her, and giving her another medication, might do more harm than good."
Ward felt awkward going through her things, but he was able to find an inhaler in her shower bag. By the time he got back to the lab, Skye was covered in a stack of blankets, oxygen mask covering her face and bags of saline packed around her, trying to increase her core temperature slowly. The rest of the team had returned and was milling around trying to help.
"I found it," he said handing the inhaler to the young woman, who read the label and went about her work.
"Wheels up in five," May called as she moved toward the stairs.
"Were you able to retrieve the weapon, Sir?" Agent Ward asked.
"Yes, Fitzsimmons had it all under control. We just have to drop it off at the Hub," Coulson answered, his eyes never leaving Skye's unusually still form. "What happen out there, Agent Ward?"
Ward recounted their excursion with the appropriate details, leaving out certain harsh exchanges.
Coulson was stuck on one detail.
"She had a knife in her shoe?" he asked in disbelief.
"Yes, Sir," Agent Ward answered seriously.
"Did you tell her to carry a knife?" Coulson continued to question.
"Excuse me," Agent Coulson looked over at Skye one last time, "Simmons call me if there is any change."
"Of course, Sir," Simmons replied.
"How is she?" Ward asked, when Coulson had left the room.
"Too soon to tell," Simmons replied referencing readings from several machines. Fitz was also busy fiddling with different machines, while Ward pulled over a chair to sit by her head.
"Please," he whispered quietly, his voice breaking, "please, don't leave me."
Hours later, it was only Skye and Ward left in the lab. Skye's vitals had stabilized, but she had yet to wake up. Ward had convinced Simmons to get some rest. He promised to wake her if anything changed. He was staring at the monitor, when she woke up.
"What are you doing, robot?" Skye asked, her voice raspy from coughing.
"Monitoring your vitals like I said I would," he replied. He was relieved that she had finally woken up, but he couldn't look at her. He kept his eyes on her heart rate, thumping regularly.
"Well, I am up now, so you can go," she said before starting to take off the wires attached to her body.
"You can't do that," he snapped.
"I'm fine, Agent Ward, see," she took a deep breath, only to start cough violently.
"See, you're not fine, I'm calling Simmons."
"What time is it?"
He checked his watch, "0200"
"Don't wake Simmons, this happens, the coughing, I just need to run upstairs and get my…."
"Inhaler?" he interrupted, shaking said item in his hand.
"Yes, thank you," she said snatching it from his hand.
She took a puff from her in haler. Then she drew another deep breath, which was not accompanied by a cacophony of coughs.
"See, all set," she gave him a placating smile and started removing more wires. All she wanted was to be in her own bed and away from Grant Ward, who had quickly gone from someone she thought was her friend, back to the heartless man in a suit.
"You cannot go anywhere, Skye," he insisted trying replace wires as quickly as she was removing them.
"I want to go sleep in my bed, not on this table, Agent Ward," she growled, tired, achy and grouchy.
"I don't know what you don't understand about the fact that I almost lost you today, but I don't care if I have to carry you and all these machines upstairs, either I wake up Simmons, or I monitor your vitals all night. Your choice," he challenged.
"All I need is this one," she said holding up a remote sized device. "It'll monitor my heart rate and oxygen levels. It has an alarm so if my stats get too low, which they won't, it will alert someone. So now can I go to bed?"
"Are you sure about this?" he asked.
"Not my first rodeo, cowboy." she joked, removing the last of the wires and wrapping a blanket around herself, as Jemma had removed most of her clothed in the effort to warm her. She walked up the stairs slowly, but when she got to her bunk Ward was still right behind her.
"What now?" she whined.
"I told you I was in charge of watching you until Simmons comes back," he answered.
Exhausted, she shuffled into her room and all but collapsed on her bed, too tired to fight anymore. A few minutes later Ward sitting Skye's floor when the machine started to beep.
"Skye?" Ward called, clearly worried.
"I'mmmmm Finnnnne," she shivered.
Ward left the room, and Skye thought for sure he had gone to get Simmons, but he returned a minute later with the blanket from his bed.
"Scoot," he said.
"Excuse me?" Skye questioned, even as she moved her body toward the wall.
"Everyone knows that the best way to get warm is shared body heat," he explained laying down, throwing his blanket over them and taking her in his arms.
When she finally stopped shaking, he thought she had fallen asleep.
"Why are you doing this?" she asked proving him wrong.
"It's my job to take care of you," he answered honestly.
"No, it's your job to train me," she corrected him.
"I want to take care of you," he admitted.
"You have been mean and hateful to me for days and you are trying to tell me that you want to take care of me?" she questioned incredulously.
"I," he wanted to deny it, but he knew that he had hurt her, "I just want you to be safe. I'm hard on you because the thought of losing you, like I almost did today, is not acceptable to me. I couldn't live with myself if something happened to you."
Skye thought about his response for a long time.
"Are you going to work on not being a tool bag?" she finally asked.
"Are you going to work on not trying to get yourself killed every week?" he countered.
"Okay," she agreed, cuddling closer.
"Okay," he smiled, happy for the first time all day.
She couldn't resist. She leaned up and kissed him. He returned the kiss, pulling her closer. They only pulled away when the monitor started to beep.
"Maybe we should do this tomorrow," Skye giggled.
"Tomorrow," he promised.
They fell asleep in each other's arms, and that is how a very nervous Simmons found them in the morning when she went searching for her patient.