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Ward hadn’t been back with the team all that long and because he was so determined to make up for his actions, he willingly took on the riskiest missions (actually, he dove headfirst into any missions Coulson asked of him and also volunteered as much as he could for others). Skye refused to work with him and having accepted her wishes, he avoided her as much as possible - he knew how much he had hurt her. Unfortunately, this newest mission was one that required both their skillsets. “Are you fucking kidding me, Sir?” Skye hissed at Coulson, side-eying Ward from across the room.

Coulson rolled his eyes. “No, I’m not kidding you. Your powers and Ward’s skills as a specialist are needed this time around.”

“I still have my tracking bracelet on if you’re worried,” Ward tentatively offered, holding his hand out. The bracelet had been one of Coulson’s conditions, and he was working hard to prove he could be the hero he so desperately wanted to be (although he still didn’t feel like one and doubted he ever would).

She rolled her eyes at him and huffed out a breath. “Fucking whatever. It’s a job and I’m a professional. We can do this.”

He wanted to tell her he looked forward to working with her again but refrained - that would likely only piss her off even further and he didn’t want to upset her even more. “Let’s do this!” He smiled at both of them and then sauntered out of the office. Upon making sure that no one else was around, Ward leaned against the wall and visibly sagged. As hard as redemption was, he was willing to work for it. And the fact that it was painful meant that it was working. At least he was taking some small steps (Fitz and Jemma were even talking to him now, something he’d never thought would happen). He’d work this job with Skye and then go back to avoiding her. The woman he loved would never love him back (nothing he wasn’t used to, and he deserved it) and that painful truth was something he accepted after she shot him back in San Juan.

Time to get to work.

Unfortunately, they got made by their suspect less than two hours in and ended up locked in a jail cell together. Skye growled and held her hands out but nothing happened. “They must be inhibiting my powers in here somewhere.”

“Hey, I’m back where I somehow end up - a jail cell,” Ward smirked. “At least they didn’t take off my tracking tracelet,” he said, looking down at his wrist.

“They’re probably preventing SHIELD from accessing the signal,” she pointed out.

“Fuck.” Now what they were supposed to do?

“Exactly.” Skye sighed and sat down on the bench. Why did she have to stuck with Grant Ward, the last person she wanted to be with (aside from her biological parents)? This was hell.

Ward stood up and looked at the wall, hopefully in the direction of the cameras. “I’m going to fucking kill you!” he warned them.

Although she was still angry and annoyed as hell, Skye snorted. “Okay, I like this version of you. Is this the real Grant Ward?” Snarky as fuck (but also defensive - he tended to use it as a weapon to distract them from his clear vulnerability) but also also kind and sweet.

He eyed her warily. “Maybe. What does it matter to you anyway?” And yup, now his walls were up but only because he suspected she was about to hurl insults at him.

“I really want out - hopefully the team will figure out where we are soon - but you’re stuck with me for now. Tell me some truths about yourself,” Skye encouraged.

Afraid to just in case she used it against him (something he was used to happening all his life, with both his family and Garrett), he clammed up. “Why don’t you tell me something truthful about you?” Ward shot back.

“I know what you’re doing and it’s not working but fine. You want to know the name the nuns gave me?”

“Sure.” That was something he had been curious about since their first meeting.

“Fine. It’s Mary Sue Poots.” She waited for him to start laughing and braced herself for it but when none came, Skye just stared at him. “Nothing?”

The name had surprised him (and he understood now why she chose the name Skye, and still used it despite learning her birth name) but he had heard worse and tell her so. “I actually like it,” Ward admitted.

“Thank you. Now tell me something about yourself.” Skye was still pissed as hell but her anger was waning (something she figured would happen, thus why she had tried to avoid him for so long).

He resisted the urge to get defensive again because that wouldn’t help the situation and let out a breath instead. “I realize now he was manipulating me to trust him but life with John wasn’t always bad. He did give me Buddy, and he was my best friend.”

“The fact that your best friend was a dog is a little sad,” she murmured, careful not to hurt him because she knew how much Buddy meant to him (and that his loss - at Garrett’s hands - still hurt him).

He snorted. “I know that but I wish you could have met him. He brought me back food all the time when I was hungry and couldn’t find anything to eat.” Ward smiled wistfully, lost in memories. “He comforted me when I was upset. Spent a few days crying in the rain in the early days, and he sat down and let me pet him as long as I needed him.”

She shivered at the thought of a teenage Ward stuck in the woods, his only companion a dog. “I wish that fucking bastard was still alive so I could kill him myself. But I’m glad you had Buddy. He seemed like a good dog. You ever think about getting another one? Maybe like a therapy dog,” Skye suggested.

The haunted look in his eyes told her that was a bad idea. “I don’t know if I can handle a dog,” he admitted. Maybe a cat? He wasn’t sure, though. “So tell me something else about yourself, Skye.”

“Well, let’s see. I was absolutely terrified of my powers at first. Hid them from the team - except for FItz - and that went about as well as you would expect.”

“They seem to be okay with them now.” Ward wished he had been around then (had still been with the team) - he definitely would have been supportive.

Skye then looked up at the table. “Let us out! I’ll kill you too!” she threatened. Then she sighed and looked over at him. “What you did to us wasn’t right but I understand why it happened. I can’t forgive you just yet but I think I can eventually.”

He grinned at her. “Thank you.”

“You’re welcome.”

All the lights suddenly went out, and Skye flicked her wrist towards the doors, which then proceeded to open. “I’m pretty sure you could have just opened the doors but nice job,” he approvingly told her.

“Shut up, Ward,” she teased. She then leaned up and kissed him. “Think of it as a promise for awaits you.”

Despite the darkness, the dazed look on his face was evident. “I’ll make it up to you and the team, Skye. I promise.”

And then the team burst in, ready to save them. This was definitely the start of something new for Skye and Ward but for now, they had some bad guys to take down.